-- World SBK 2013 - Round 12 - Laguna Seca -
-- Laverty and Sykes share the wins at Laguna Seca
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) has won Race 1 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, which was eventually contested over 12 laps, rather than the scheduled 26 due to two red flags, caused by the crashes sustained firstly by Danny Eslick (Michael Jordan Motorsports Suzuki) and then by his team mate Roger Hayden.
The works Kawasaki rider took the lead on the tenth lap thanks to an outstanding overtaking manoeuvre at Turn 11, after a side-by-side downhill ride with Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet). The championship leader then rode comfortably to win the race, while Marco Melandri lost some ground after trying to pass his team mate Davies at turn 5 and then, on the final lap, lost third place courtesy of a superb pass by Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) at the "Corkscrew".
Tom Sykes: “It was hard having three starts but it ended up good for us with a race win. Sylvain (Guintoli) and I came together at the entry to turn one off the start and our contact pushed my brake lever down from its normal position. That was a bit awkward to deal with for a little while but I got my head around it. I was pushing to stay with the BMW guys up front for a while but in the end it was a good race for us. Another race tomorrow so that is what I am thinking about now.”
Laverty's team mate Sylvain Guintoli ended up fifth, a frustrating result for the Frenchman who was comfortably in the lead in each of the two interrupted races. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Aprilia) claimed sixth place, ahead of Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki), Toni Elias (Red Devils Aprilia), Ayrton Badovini (Team Ducati Alstare) and Mark Aitchison (Team Pedercini Kawasaki).
Potential podium contender Niccolò Canepa (Team Ducati Alstare) and Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike) could not line-up for the final restart of the race after crashing out in the second part. Both were thankfully uninjured as well as Eslick and Hayden.
Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) won the second race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in spectacular fashion in front of 41.175 excited spectators. After passing Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Team) at Turn 5 with two laps to go, the Irishman made the exact same move on Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) on the following lap, breaking the spell that was holding the Brit at the front for most of the race.
Eugene Laverty: “It was not an easy race. I'd like to thank my team because they made some set-up adjustments to my bike that worked perfectly. I pushed to the limit on the last lap, Davide (Giugliano) and Tom (Sykes) were really strong but I'm happy for the win. It was an unexpected result, but now I'm now second in the standings ahead of two very different rounds. I would like to dedicate this win to my track engineer Marco Bertolatti, who’s just become father."
Sykes, on the other hand, tried everything he could to defend his position under braking, but once he lost the lead he was passed by both Giugliano and Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet), crossing the line in fourth place. The works BMW rider successfully stayed ahead of the Championship leader for third, while Giugliano did the best he could to snatch his first WSBK race win, eventually settling for second.
Tom Sykes: “It was great to win yesterday and I led for a long time today but that was the first time we have struggled all weekend. We were six or seven tenths off our best times in the same track conditions and we have to think about why that was. We know what our potential was here again today. We can keep improving and we have a couple of good circuits coming up so we will move on with confidence. In less than a week’s time we will be in France and doing it all over again.”
Sylvain Guintoli did not manage to catch the leading pack to be in contention for the win, but the end result today helped him stay in touch with Sykes in the standings, as he ended up fifth ahead of fellow Frenchman Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki), Toni Elias (Red Devils Aprilia) wildcard Roger Hayden (Michael Jordan Motorsports Suzuki) and David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team).
A disappointing race for Team Ducati Alstare, as both Niccolò Canepa, who running 4th, and team mate Ayrton Badovini suffered crashes, while Welshman Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) had to pull in due to a technical problem on the second lap.
After today's results, Sykes is still the Championship leader with a 23 point advantage over Laverty who has jumped to second position in the overall standings. Guintoli is now third, a point behind his team mate while Melandri is now 42 points short from the lead.
SUPERBIKE SATURDAY RACE - RACE1: (Laps 12 = 43,320 Km)
1 / T. SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 16'55.703
2 / C. DAVIES / GBR / BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK / BMW S1000 RR / 1.253
3 / E. LAVERTY / IRL / Aprilia Racing Team / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 2.454
4 / M. MELANDRI / ITA / BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK / BMW S1000 RR / 2.65
5 / S. GUINTOLI / FRA / Aprilia Racing Team / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 3.43
6 / D. GIUGLIANO / ITA / Althea Racing / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 3.584
7 / J. CLUZEL / FRA / Fixi Crescent Suzuki / Suzuki GSX-R1000 / 9.134
8 / T. ELIAS / ESP / Red Devils Roma / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 11.252
9 / A. BADOVINI / ITA / Team Ducati Alstare / Ducati 1199 Panigale R / 14.14
10 / M. AITCHISON / AUS / Team Pedercini / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 17.83
11 / D. SALOM / ESP / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 18.01
12 / B. YOUNG / USA / Fixi Crescent Suzuki / Suzuki GSX-R1000 / 21.767
13 / M. FABRIZIO / ITA / Pata Honda World Superbike / Honda CBR1000RR / 22.087
14 / F. SANDI / ITA / Team Pedercini / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 32.837
15 / V. IANNUZZO / ITA / Grillini Dentalmatic SBK / BMW S1000 RR / 34.267
Fastest Lap: 2° Tom Sykes 1'23.803 155,078 Km/h
Lap Record: 2002 N. Haga 1'25.475 152,040 Km/h
Best Lap: 2013 S. Guintoli 1'22.683 157,180 Km/h
SUPERBIKE SUNDAY RACE - RACE2: (Laps 26 = 93,860 Km)
1 / E. LAVERTY / IRL / Aprilia Racing Team / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 36'44.555
2 / D. GIUGLIANO / ITA / Althea Racing / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 0.112
3 / M. MELANDRI / ITA / BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK / BMW S1000 RR / 2.051
4 / T. SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 2.304
5 / S. GUINTOLI / FRA / Aprilia Racing Team / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 2.959
6 / J. CLUZEL / FRA / Fixi Crescent Suzuki / Suzuki GSX-R1000 / 10.187
7 / T. ELIAS / ESP / Red Devils Roma / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 17.789
8 / R. HAYDEN / USA / Michael Jordan Motorsports / Suzuki GSX-R1000 / 20.602
9 / D. SALOM / ESP / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 22.055
10 / M. FABRIZIO / ITA / Pata Honda World Superbike / Honda CBR1000RR / 23.472
11 / L. HASLAM / GBR / Pata Honda World Superbike / Honda CBR1000RR / 24.118
12 / B. YOUNG / USA / Fixi Crescent Suzuki / Suzuki GSX-R1000 / 29.563
13 / M. AITCHISON / AUS / Team Pedercini / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 32.565
14 / D. ESLICK / USA / Michael Jordan Motorsports / Suzuki GSX-R1000 / 51.777
15 / N. CANEPA / ITA / Team Ducati Alstare / Ducati 1199 Panigale R / 1'05.824
Fastest Lap: 7° Davide Giugliano 1'23.707 155,256 Km/h
Lap Record: 2013 T. Sykes 1'23.803 155,080 Km/h
Best Lap: 2013 S. Guintoli 1'22.683 157,180 Km/h
1 SYKES 361, 2 LAVERTY 338, 3 GUINTOLI 337, 4 MELANDRI 319, 5 DAVIES 259, 6 BAZ 180, 7 FABRIZIO 177, 8 REA 176, 9 GIUGLIANO 169, 10 CLUZEL 160, 11 CAMIER 114, 12 BADOVINI 114, 13 NEUKIRCHNER 84, 14 HASLAM 83, 15 CHECA 80.
NEXT EVENT: ROUND13, OCTOBER 06, MAGNY-COURS, FRANCE.
-- Althea Racing Report
The second race of the twelfth round of the World Superbike Champoionship took place today at the Laguna Seca Mazda Raceway in California. In yesterday’s race Davide Giugliano and team Althea Racing put in a solid performance, closing in sixth place, after a difficult race that was interrupted twice by red flags. After this morning’s warm-up, in which Giugliano recorded the fastest time (1’23”927), the race got underway at 2pm local time and ran over 26 laps on a dry track and in sunny conditions.
Having qualified sixth in yesterday’s Superpole, the Althea rider started today’s race from the second row of the grid. He made a good start and was lying in fifth place during the initial laps. On lap three Giugliano passed Davies to move into fourth position. By lapping fast and avoiding mistakes, the Althea rider was able to record the fastest lap of the race on lap seven (1’23”707), also passing Guintoli to move into third place. With grit and determination, Davide chased Laverty and at the mid-race point he was able to pass him and move up to second place. He held this position until the final stages. At two laps from the end of the race, Laverty passed both Giugliano and then Sykes, taking the lead, but the Althea rider didn’t give up and passed Sykes, positioning himself right behind leader Laverty. On the final lap Davide stuck with the factory rider but was unable to pass him, nevertheless closing the race in a fantastic second position.
It was one of the most thrilling races of the 2013 season and it was team Althea’s rider, scoring second place, who made it so spectacular. The next round of the World Superbike championship will take place in a week’s time at Magny-Cours in France.
Davide Giugliano: “I’m so very happy! It was an amazing race and I battled first with Sykes and then with Laverty. I think we have done a great job here at Laguna, both me and my team. We have obtained a great result after a few disappointing results in previous races and so this is very satisfying. We have demonstrated that when everyone works well together and with the right mentality anything is possible. I thank my entire team that has worked so hard this weekend and also my family and my girlfriend Claudia who is always here for me. Now we must continue like this. From now until the end of the season we hope to take more strong results. I thought it would be hard to be in the front but now I realise that I could have won this race. A mistake made out of inexperience and that will serve well on another occasion.”
-- Aprilia Report
The determination shown in the Race 1 finale at Laguna Seca yesterday was almost a foreshadowing of the way Eugene Laverty would perform today. Rocketing to the front as soon as the red lights went off, the Northern Irish rider then found himself riding in third place behind the exhaust of Sykes and Giugliano in the first phase of the race. Eugene bided his time throughout the middle portion of the race, staying in contact with the leaders without taking any pointless risks, also taking into consideration the less than excellent grip.
Laverty's strategy paid off when four laps from the end he launched his attack on Giugliano for second place and then overtook Sykes two lap later. The grand finale had him controlling his rivals and flying across the finish in the lead. His seventh victory of the season and the third place in Race 1 take him to second place in the rider standings, 23 points behind Sykes with two more rounds (four races) left to go.
Thanks in part to Davide Giugliano's podium finish, an excellent second place ride on the Althea Racing Team RSV4, Aprilia strengthens their dominating lead in the manufacturer standings. The advantage in front of Kawasaki is now 45 points, 70 ahead of BMW, 235 over Honda, 248 above Suzuki and 308 in front of Ducati.
Eugene Laverty: “This was anything but an easy race. Yesterday I struggled quite a bit to keep up with the front runners and I managed to finish on the podium by overtaking twice in the last lap. I want to thank my team because we worked a lot on the bike and took a big step forward that allowed me to ride better in spite of the grip issues. I pushed hard from the first to the last lap and Davide (Giugliano) and Tom (Sykes) didn't make this win an easy one! This is a result that I really didn't expect which now takes me to second place in the rider standings, but we have two very different rounds ahead of us. I struggled last year at Magny Cours, but my RSV4 has grown a lot so things could change, whereas Jerez is our test track so I could have an advantage there. In any case I'll need to give 100% in every session for the next two weekends. I'd like to dedicate my win to my engineer Marco Bertolatti who became a father just a few hours ago.”
It was another difficult race for Sylvain Guintoli, dominator in Race 1 before the second red flag. After an imperfect start from the first spot on the grid thanks to winning Superpole yesterday, the Frenchman had to surrender the pace to Melandri and Giugliano. Relegated to fifth place, Sylvain struggled in the first part of the race to keep pace with the lead pack, finally settling into a good pace. However, the gap behind the four leaders kept him from improving his position, which repeats the result from yesterday but certainly does no justice to the performance demonstrated during the practice sessions. Sylvain is now lying third in the championship, just one point behind his team mate Laverty, a position that keeps him well in the running for the final victory.
Sylvain Guintoli: “To be honest this was a disappointing Race 2. I expected much more and, all things considered, the start was good. I felt like I could pass Tom and Eugene, but instead I came under attack from Melandri and Giugliano and dropped back behind the lead group. The pace was really fast and when you lose a few metres it's hard to make up that gap. Like yesterday, when I'm in the middle of the pack I'm lacking something. I'm unable to maintain the same pace that I can set when I'm riding by myself like I was in the first two starts yesterday. It's something I need to work on because we didn't make any changes to the bike compared to yesterday. I need to get focused again, I'm not lacking in speed since yesterday when I was out front I was able to be very fast. Magny Cours is coming up in just a few days and that's my home race where I hope to make up some important points”.
-- Kawasaki Report
Tom Sykes added a fourth place in race two today to his race one victory to take a 23-point advantage away from the 12th round of the series, as David Salom scored a strong ninth place.
Sykes was leader of the second race at Laguna for 21 of 26 laps but in the final two circuits he got passed by three riders and had to settle for fourth place. He had been fighting unexpected traction issues exiting corners for most of the race and rode well to stay in the lead for so long, but he was unable to make the most of his machine's performance as he could not get the power to the ground as he wanted.
His first race win on Saturday added to his 13 points for fourth today take Tom to a leading total of 361 points, with two rounds and four races remaining – the first next weekend in France at Magny-Cours.
The overall team performance at Laguna was strong as it was a new track for Tom and his team to face, while most of his top rivals had been here many times before. With regular team rider Loris Baz missing through injury David Salom’s ninth place in race two today was a good result for a rider more used to racing in the Supersport World Championship. He improved all weekend and rewarded his opportunity to race in SBK with good points scores.
Sykes and new second place rider in the championship Eugene Laverty are now tied on seven race wins apiece, as Tom looks to Magny-Cours next Sunday to repeat the race victory he took there last season on the Ninja ZX-10R.
Mark Aitchison (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) scored 13th today with his team-mate Federico Sandi an early retiree.
Tom Sykes: “It was great to win yesterday and I led for a long time today but that was the first time we have struggled with grip all weekend. We were six or seven tenths off our best times in the same track conditions and we have to think about why that was. We know what our potential was here again today. Overall, we have extended our championship lead but it would have been nice to taken that second podium! We can keep improving and we have a couple of good circuits coming up so we will move on with confidence. In less than a week’s time we will be in France and doing it all over again. We have worked hard and well all race weekend and took a win on Saturday.”
David Salom: “I had a good second race today and the finger I hurt yesterday when I hit a trackside marker gave me no real pain. The team worked very hard to make the bike suit me this weekend, it worked well in the Sunday race and I got a top ten finish. I enjoyed the race and the weekend, finishing both races in the points, and the work the team did was perfect. I have been happy with the experience.”
-- BMW Goldbet Report
Another race day, another reason to celebrate: The BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team stepped onto the podium again in the second of the US-races at Laguna Seca. Factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA) finished an exciting race in third after only narrowly missing the podium in fourth yesterday. It disappointing day for his team-mate though, Chaz Davies (GBR), who had claimed a strong second place in yesterday’s race. Chaz crashed in the warm-up in the late morning. His crew did an excellent job in repairing the bike in the short time before the race but after three laps, Chaz had to retire due to a technical issue. Laguna Seca hosted the 12th of 14 rounds of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship. The team now travels directly to Magny-Cours, France, where the next round will be contested this coming weekend.
After yesterday’s race, the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team analysed the data and further improved Marco’s and Chaz’ BMW S 1000 RRs. Chaz was fifth on the grid, Marco started from seventh. In the beginning, both riders were racing in the leading group but after three laps, Chaz returned to the garage. He felt there was an issue in the braking system and decided to retire for safety reasons. Until he retired, he was lying in fifth, not far behind the leader. Marco was running in fourth for most of the race, never being more than one second behind the top 3. In his typical manner, he started to catch up with the front group halfway through the race. He closed the gap with every lap and was soon directly within the closely fought leading group. In the exciting final stage of the race all top 4 riders were possible winners, Marco included. On the last lap, he overtook Tom Sykes (GBR) and took third on the podium. The race was won by Eugene Laverty.
In the riders’ championship, Marco is fourth with 319 points, 42 points behind the lead. Chaz follows in fifth with 259 points. In the team standings, the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team is second with 578 points and in the manufacturers’ classification, BMW is currently third with 390 points.
Marco Melandri: Result Race 2: 3rd / Gap to 1st: 0:02.051 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:23.819 min (lap 12)
“Today was a quite positive day. It was not easy, even if I got the best result I could achieve. I want to thank my team; they did a very good job. Unfortunately during the first part of the races I struggled with the front, so I needed a long race to catch up with the guys in front of me. This was not possible yesterday as the race was not long enough. But today, I could push in the second half of the race and I got on the podium. There are still many points still available. It will not be easy, but I still want to win some more races.”
Chaz Davies: Result Race 2: DNF / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:24.724 min (lap 2)
“It was very frustrating because the race looked like fun and for sure I would have been in the mix. The bike felt great so I think I would have certainly done my best and tried to win today. I think we would have had a good chance. With the bike, we had definitely made a step forward from yesterday but unfortunately we did not get to showcase it because we had an issue with the front brake system. After my crash in the warm-up, when I lost the front, we had to replace the brake system. During the sighting lap it felt like there is something not quite right with it, but on the warm-up lap and after the start it was fine. But then on the second or third lap, the issue came back. I basically had zero brakes and it was getting too dangerous so it was safer to stop. The guys will now check what caused the problem. Now we are heading to Magny-Cours, where my target is to again fight for wins and podiums.”
Andrea Buzzoni (General Manager BMW Motorrad WSBK): “The fact that yesterday’s first race was reduced to 12 laps did not allow Marco to achieve the result he and the bike had the potential for. He is usually stronger than his rivals in the second part of the race when the tyres drop. This is what he also demonstrated today by finishing on the podium. Chaz had a great race yesterday and stepped on the second place of the podium. Contrary to that, he had to retire after three laps today due to an issue with the brake system. Thus he unfortunately could not achieve a result which potentially could have been similar to yesterday’s.
The positive part of the weekend is that we were twice on the podium with two different riders. But the gap to the front increased a little bit and this cannot leave us satisfied. Our task is not easy, we are 42 points behind the leader, and we have three riders in front of us in the rankings. Until the end of the season, the team must be as competitive as possible, to claim victories and podiums to score as many points as possible. We have to focus on our strengths to keep our performance level as high as possible.”
Stephan Fischer (Technical Director BMW Motorrad Motorsport): “We obviously came here with certain expectations because it is a very technical circuit and we have two strong riders who know very well how to handle challenging tracks. We had the potential to achieve strong results. In addition, both riders knew the circuit from the past and we could see on Friday how quickly they got to grips with it again. It was also a promising fact that we soon had a strong pace on Friday. The races themselves have been a fantastic show with several riders fighting for the win until the very end.
From a technical point of view we have seen that the packages of our competitors and our package are very similar regarding the competitiveness. As a manufacturer, you now have to try to adapt the bike to the individual strengths of your riders so that they not only have competitive material available but can make best use of it. I think that succeeded in that very well today. Our bike was without a doubt capable of winning and Marco did a very good job in race two. He demonstrated to himself and to the team that we still have the chance to win the title. In the championship anything can happen. For sure our joy was tempered by the issues Chaz experienced today. It was a real pity, as Chaz was absolutely capable of winning in race two. He showed a very strong performance in the first race and for today we had further improved the chassis set-up. Now we have to analyse what exactly caused the issues in the brake system. As usual, we now directly shift our focus to the next race. There are still a lot of points to grab, everything is open.”
-- Pata Honda Report
A change to the front end of his Pata Honda CBR1000RR helped Michel Fabrizio secure a top ten finish in today’s second 12th-round World Superbike championship race at Laguna Seca in the USA.
As in yesterday’s opener, the 29-year-old Italian started from 13th place on the grid but his crew had raised the front end of his machine following this morning’s warm-up which allowed him eventually to overhaul his Pata Honda team-mate Leon Haslam. His result also moves him to seventh in the championship standings, one point ahead of injured Pata Honda rider Jonathan Rea.
Haslam himself started from 12th on the grid after electronics gremlins hampered yesterday’s Superpole 2 and the 30-year-old British rider suffered further engine management problems which restricted him to 11th place at the end of today 26-lap race.
The Pata Honda team will re-group at Magny-Cours in France in just three days to prepare for the penultimate round of the 2013 World Superbike championship next weekend, 4-6 October.
Michel Fabrizio – 10th - "Starting from the fifth row was difficult but after the changes that we made after warm-up this morning, my confidence in the front was much better and I was able to do 1m24s laps in the race, so I was very happy. I felt much more comfortable on the bike and although the result is not perfect I think I could have finished higher with a better starting position. I am happy that we were able to make these steps forward after the problems earlier in the weekend."
Leon Haslam – 11th - "It’s been another frustrating race day and I was more than a second a lap slower than the times I was doing yesterday. I had a lot of traction control problems and not so much grip from the rear. I was also suffering a little from the affects of yesterday’s crash, but it’s definitely not what we were looking for. My pace yesterday was good for top four or five but I wasn’t close to that, so it’s not been good."
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator - "Leon had problems yesterday so we tried to make some changes in warm-up this morning. The grip level was down a bit so we made more alterations for the race. We still need to check the data but he had some problems in the race and could finish no better than 11th. Michel got tenth after some changes to his bike that were in the right direction. They allowed him to do some decent lap times and at least race the bike, but there is clearly still more work to do."
-- Pirelli Report
On the weekend just gone Pirelli has once again given proof of the excellent work carried out this year in the eni FIM Superbike World Championship. On Friday the first satisfactions: the Michael Jordan Motorsports team with riders Roger Lee Hayden and Danny Eslick, who normally compete in the AMA Superbike without Pirelli tyres, decided not to attend the AMA race at Laguna Seca to compete as wild cards in the World Superbike. They quickly adapted to the 17-inch Diablo Superbike tyres gradually improving lap times through to Saturday when Eslick, in Superpole, set a 1'23.730 that he had never achieved before on this track. Not only that, in Race 2 Roger Lee Hayden was ranked eighth setting the fastest lap in 1'24.245 and running faster than Josh Hayes, who won the AMA Superbike race, and made his best lap in 1'24.335. In practice, if Hayden had competed in the AMA Superbike with Pirelli tyres would have won the race. All this using just standard Diablo Superbike tyres available on the market and which any motorcyclist can buy.
Other satisfaction have been taken by Pirelli with Sylvain Guintoli who in setting a 1'22.683 Superpole lap broke the track record established in 2007 by Ben Spies in the AMA Superbike - 1'23.104 - improving this pace by almost half a second. This as further evidence of the progresses made by the Milanese tyre company, strengthened also by the win, obtained today, of the French Superbike Championship with Gregory Leblanc and Team Kawasaki SRC.
Regarding the two races of the weekend, the performance of Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) who won Race 1 ahead of Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK ) and Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) was ecellent. The latter, however, was good to realize in Race 2, achieving the highest step of the podium followed by Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) and Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK). In general, took turns on the podium all the eligible candidates winners of the 2013 Championship, with Kawasaki, Aprilia and BMW manufactures contending for the podium.
In the overall riders standings Tom Sykes, thanks to the success in Race 1, remains the leader with 361 points with an advantage of 23 points on Eugene Laverty, who bypassed his teammate Sylvain Guintoli by 1 point. Closer and closer to victory in the Manufacturers Championship is the Aprilia company from Noale which now has a lead of 45 points over Kawasaki.
For the U.S. round riders had at their disposal only standard Diablo Superbike tyres, respectively in SC0 and SC1 compounds for the rear and SC1 and SC2 for the front. With rather high track temperatures, for the rear riders have unanimously chosen both on Saturday as well as on Sunday the standard SC0 (R1261), the softest solution of the range which debuted at Monza with the reinforced central area and has been used at Donington, Portimão, Imola and Nürburgring with success. This slick solution has a soft compound, ideal for tackling smooth asphalt and high temperatures. It offers, in fact, maximum tread contact on smooth asphalt and maximum traction development at high temperatures as well as higher resistance to thermal performance decay. It’s a tyre really appreciated by the riders due to the excellent grip that is able to offer and is ideal for tackling smooth asphalt and high temperatures ensuring a higher resistance to thermal performance decay.
On the front, as often happens, the riders divided their preferences between the standard SC1 and SC2 solutions with a strong prevalence for the SC2 (R982), the hardest among those in range excellent for high temperatures because it guarantees solidity on the tread band, for that reason is usually the preferred one by riders who have a more aggressive riding style.
At rider’s disposal during the Superpole of Saturday, as always there was the qualifier tyre (R754) in supersoft compound with which the riders have set amazing times. Every rider has available two qualifying tyres, this amount is not accidental: having to make 3 Superpole sessions, teams and riders are forced to schedule the use of the Superpole tyres deciding whether to exploit them, if immediately in the first two Superpole sessions to try to get in the third or if, otherwise, make a first session with standard tyre keeping the two qualifiers for the last two sessions.
Pirelli Best Lap Award:
The “Pirelli Best Lap Award” is awarded by Pirelli to the rider who sets the fastest race lap. This recognition is presented by a Pirelli representative during the Paddock Show in a press conference which follows the podium at the end of races 1 and 2 for the Superbike class and at the end of the Supersport race, for a total of three awards each weekend. The time set by the fastest rider is indicated and can be seen in the trophy which is in the shape of a motorcycle instrument panel this year.
The Superbike and Supersport rider who has earned the most “Pirelli Best Lap Award” titles at the end of the season will be elected “Best Lap Winner: fastest rider of the year” and awarded in the usual end of year ceremony. Tom Sykes, having already won 10 Pirelli Best Lap Awards and with only 4 prizes up for grabs, is mathematically the “Best Lap Winner: fastest rider of the year” in 2013 for the Superbike class and will be awarded at Jerez de la Frontera in the end of year ceremony.
Comment from Giorgio Barbier, Pirelli Moto Racing Director: "To come back to Laguna Seca after nearly 10 years and do it for the first time with 17-inch Diablo Superbike tyres, which contributed to breaking the track record, ss definitely a great return for Pirelli. But the greatest satisfaction, beyond that of having fulfilled the wishes of the riders, is perhaps the one that gave us the Michael Jordan Motorsports team with its riders Roger Lee Hayden and Danny Eslick, two wild cards that run regularly in AMA Superbike but with a competitor’s tyres. Well, using the same motorcycle used in the AMA, already on Friday and having never used the Pirelli Diablo Superbike, they got a good increase in terms of lap time up to the 1’23.730 made by Eslick in Superpole 1 when the best time he had made on this track in the AMA was of 1'24.5 in July. Also notable is the result of Guintoli, but also Laverty, Sykes, Canepa and Davies who beat the absolute record of the AMA Superbike signed in 2007 by Ben Spies in 1'23.104 shooting all below this time with Guintoli who made an astonishing 1'22.683. As regards the results of the races, Sykes has been very good to realize in Race 1, it’s a pity for Race 2, now however he has a good advantage over his pursuers, among other things, he has already won with two rounds still to go the Pirelli Best Lap Award 2013, having already won 10 awards, so congratulations! But there are still two rounds and Aprilia riders have been shown to fight until the end for the first place, I think that as always we will have a great final of the Championship which will keep us in suspense until the late stages. Bravo to Davide Giugliano who made a beautiful Race 2! I am very happy also for the win in the French Superbike Championship with Gregory Leblanc and the SRC Kawasaki team, it was a perfect weekend!"
The 2013 Pirelli statistics for Laguna Seca round:
• Total number of tyres Pirelli brought: 1310
• Number of solutions (dry, intermediate and wet) for the Superbike class: 4 front and 5 rear
• Number of tyres available for each Superbike rider: 29 front and 31 rear
• Temperature in Race 1: air 27° C, asphalt 42° C
• Temperature in Race 2: air 24° C, asphalt 42° C
• Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli Diablo Superbike tyres: 256.4 km/h, in Race 1 by Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) at 2nd lap
-- Qualifying - Guintoli takes Superpole
The Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca hosted today one of the most challenging Tissot-Superpole of the season, that was won by Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) at the very last minute thanks to a 1'22.683 lap-time, new Best Lap for the track. The Frenchman – who scored his second ever Superpole, first one this year - edged out Championship leader Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) by just 0.015s, while other works Aprilia rider Eugene Laverty had to settle for third, after crashing at Turn 3 in the final stages.
Fourth place Niccolò Canepa (Team Ducati Alstare) will share the second row of the grid with Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) and Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Apriila), while Davies' team mate Marco Melandri will start the two races – the first one scheduled for today at 2pm local time – from seventh place.
1. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1'22.683 average 157.179 kph;
2. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'22.698;
3. Laverty (Aprilia) 1'22.728;
4. Canepa (Ducati) 1'22.824;
5. Davies (BMW) 1'23.040;
6. Giugliano (Aprilia) 1'23.353;
7. Melandri (BMW) 1'23.363;
8. Cluzel (Suzuki) 1'24.079;
9. Badovini (Ducati) 1'24.789;
10. Hayden (Suzuki);
11. Eslick (Suzuki);
12. Haslam (Honda);
13. Fabrizio (Honda);
14. Aitchison (Kawasaki) 1'24.364;
15. Elias (Aprilia).
-- Aprilia Report
The first, hectic day of World Superbike practice just ended at Laguna Seca. The unusual format of this round, with Superpole and Race 1 on Saturday and Race 2 on Sunday, condensed today into three full sessions. For the riders and team, making their maiden run on this difficult California track, it was a “tour de force” made pleasant by the weather conditions and the enthusiasm of the American public. The warm welcome for the Aprilia Racing Team, points leader in the manufacturer standings, seems to forecast a weekend full of excitement.
Sylvain Guintoli, currently lying second in the Championship, finished his day ten minutes early. In fact, the French rider preferred not to tire out his injured right shoulder too much so that he'll be in better condition for Superpole tomorrow. In the three sessions Sylvain consistently improved his feeling with the new track, putting the seventh best time on the boards in free practice, repeating the performance in the first qualifiers and finishing the last session in fourth place. His general sensations are good, both physical and in terms of the technical profile which will be verified in the last free practice session before Superpole and Race 1 tomorrow.
Sylvain Guintoli: “In the afternoon we reached a good basic set up even though we didn't lap a lot because I wanted to save my shoulder for Superpole and Race 1. Our decision also stemmed from the fact that the track conditions in the last session were quite different from what we'll find tomorrow. Unfortunately because of my shoulder I need to find a compromise that will allow me to be fast without too much physical stress. In any case we demonstrated a promising pace straight away. We were able to test everything we wanted to and I feel good and confident.”
Team mate Eugene Laverty also got off on the right foot, coming from a double win in Istanbul and making his absolute maiden run here at Laguna Seca. The Northern Irish rider, ahead of all the rest in the first qualifiers, later ended his day with the eighth best time in the last session after testing various set up solutions on his RSV4. Prospects are good for Eugene, despite the fact that the reduced gaps (12 riders within one second) make it difficult to accurately assess the values on the field.
Eugene Laverty: “Quite a demanding day. With three consecutive sessions it almost feels like a test! I was surprised at how quickly I adapted to a completely new track. Today we worked really well and I feel like I've reached a good starting point. There are a lot of fast riders here, so it's hard to tell which ones will be the toughest rivals tomorrow. All that's left now is to follow our own game plan and I think that it's the right one”.
-- Day One - Melandri and BMW leave it late to head qualifying
The second qualifying session lived up to expectations as the WSBK riders did their best to finish inside the top 15, to guarantee themselves a spot for tomorrow morning's Tissot-Superpole. Despite the temperature dropping considerably throughout the 1-hour session, lap-times significantly improved as the leading two riders were even able to break into the 1'23s barrier.
Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) eventually took top spot after displacing fellow Italian Niccolò Canepa (Team Ducati Alstare) in the closing stages, thanks to a new Best Lap of 1'23.775. Championship leader Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) edged his closest rival in the Championship chase Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) to claim third, while Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) strung together a handful of fast laps to elevate himself to fifth ahead of impressive wildcard Danny Eslick (Michael Jordan Motorsports Suzuki).
Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Aprilia) salvaged seventh position after a mid-session crash, getting the better of works Aprilia rider Eugene Laverty, Pata Honda's Leon Haslam and Ayrton Badovini (Team Ducati Alstare), who also crashed at Turn 6.
Notable non-improvers were Toni Elias (Red Devils Aprilia) and Roger Hayden (Michael Jordan Motorsports Suzuki), both suffering technical failures but still making Tissot-Superpole in twelfth and fourteenth place respectively.
1. Melandri (BMW) 1'23.775 average 155.130 kph;
2. Canepa (Ducati) 1'23.938;
3. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'24.153;
4. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1'24.303;
5. Davies (BMW) 1'24.334;
6. Eslick (Suzuki) 1'24.345;
7. Giugliano (Aprilia) 1'24.373;
8. Laverty (Aprilia) 1'24.394;
9. Haslam (Honda) 1'24.592;
10. Badovini (Ducati) 1'24.616;
11. Cluzel (Suzuki) 1'24.617;
12. Elias (Aprilia) 1'24.699;
13. Aitchison (Kawasaki) 1'24.839;
14. Hayden (Suzuki) 1'24.845;
15. Fabrizio (Honda) 1'25.010;
16. Salom (Kawasaki) 1'25.449;
17. Young (Suzuki) 1'25.661;
18. Sandi (Kawasaki) 1'25.668;
19. Iannuzzo (BMW) 1'25.975;
20. Allerton (BMW) 1'26.735.
-- BMW Goldbet Report
It was a long and successful Friday for the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team at “Laguna Seca Raceway” (USA). Factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA) set a new best lap at the famous Californian racetrack and secured provisional pole-position with his BMW S 1000 RR. His team-mate Chaz Davies (GBR) finished today’s qualifying practices in fifth in the provisional second row although his afternoon was not trouble-free. The 12th race weekend of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship sees a different schedule than usual. After a free practice in the late morning, both qualifying practices were held this afternoon.
The day started well for the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team, with Chaz setting the fastest time in the free practice, directly followed by Marco, who finished the session in second. In the 45-minute qualifying practice one, Marco and Chaz were fourth and tenth respectively. The second qualifying practice in the late afternoon lasted for one hour. Marco was setting fast times with his RR throughout the session and put himself at the top of the time sheets in the final stages, setting a new record time of 1:23.775 minutes. Chaz lost track time halfway through the session, when the display on his bike failed. After his crew had repaired the failure, Chaz went out on track again and propelled himself from 13th into the front positions. The deciding Superpole qualifying will take place tomorrow in the late morning. Race one is also contested tomorrow (on Saturday) and starts at 14:00 local time. Race two will take place on Sunday, again at 14:00 local time.
Marco Melandri: Fastest lap Free Practice: 1:25.377 min (P2)/Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:23.775 min (P1).
“It was a great day, I had a lot of fun. This weekend’s schedule is quite different from the usual one. This is why we had defined a detailed working plan which we followed perfectly today. We mainly tried to improve my feeling with the front and to be faster with fresh tyres and the result was excellent. We made a big step forward and we will have a good potential for tomorrow’s Superpole and races. I feel good, my RR works very well and I’m very positive for tomorrow.”
Chaz Davies: Fastest lap Free Practice: 1:25.218 min (P1)/Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:24.334 min (P5).
“The day started very well obviously with P1 this morning but I expected the other guys would catch up pretty quickly. We did not have a good session this afternoon in the first qualifying practice. We went the wrong way with the set-up, seeing that the bike was very sensitive to changes. Then in the second qualifying practice, the bike was pretty good. We had definitely improved it; I was quite consistent and felt comfortable in the end. We still need to find a couple of tenths. Today’s schedule was pretty tight, there was not much time between the sessions so there was no way to do adaptions to the gearbox and things like that. We will do this tonight and hopefully will find some benefit there. In addition, we lost around 20 minutes in the last session of the day. That was a shame as I had stuff to try but despite that we are heading in the right direction with the bike. So we will try to further improve tomorrow and then to be ready for race one, which is pretty unusual to have it on a Saturday.”
Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team): “It has been a positive day. Marco rode two excellent qualifying sessions. He did a great job and the result confirms the work done. Chaz did well too, despite an issue which stopped him for quite a long time in the garage but could be fixed. Chaz kept calm and stayed concentrated, and as soon he went back on the track he did a strong qualifying session. We are quite confident for tomorrow, when we will have free practice, Superpole and race one. This is a new schedule which could work very well. Now we can enjoy this moment. Tomorrow will be a new day and we will see what happens. In any case we need to keep focused because this is the only way to fight for the championship.”
Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team): “It has been a very long and tough day for the guys but we were able to improve from session to session with both riders. I am quite happy with the work done by the team today. Marco was quite fast and consistent, especially at the end of the second qualifying practice. It seems that he has good confidence with his RR and he can push even when the tyre dropped. We will use tomorrow’s free practice to further improve the speed of the bike but overall we are confident that we are ready to attack in Superpole. It will be very important to make best use of the qualifying tyre. Marco used a different setting than usual today and we will see how this will work with the high-grip tyre. Chaz has been fast from the beginning on. He then unfortunately lost some track time due to the display failure. We still have to work a bit on his bike. He is consistent but we need to work on further improving the performance of his bike. We have a few ideas regarding the turning in and bike stability. The new schedule has a big impact on our normal way of working. Tomorrow we will already have the first race which gives us less time for preparation. That is why today was so important.”
-- Pata Honda Report
Pata Honda World Superbike riders Leon Haslam and Michel Fabrizio both qualified for tomorrow morning’s Superpole sessions after a changed qualification schedule today at Laguna Seca in the USA.
The 12th round event at the 3.610km circuit near Monterey in California features race one tomorrow (Saturday) at 14.00 local and race two at the same time on Sunday, so one free practice and two qualifying session were held at the circuit today.
Italian Marco Melandri set the fastest time as Haslam and Fabrizio familiarised themselves and their Honda CBR1000RRs with Laguna’s undulating terrain and the iconic Corkscrew chicane.
Leon Haslam – P9 - "It’s been a good day in the end after we struggled a bit in first qualifying earlier. We couldn’t find the right direction but I think we’ve made some progress now after trying a few electronics changes, as well. We’re definitely getting more stable and I did a good 18-lap run on a race tyre in the final session, setting my fastest time on about lap 14. I’m pretty confident and happy with what we’ve achieved today and we’re not a million miles away from the others. There are still a few things we want to try tomorrow before Superpole so we’ll see what we can figure out."
Michel Fabrizio – P13 - "It’s my first time at Laguna and the track is absolutely fantastic. I have enjoyed riding it very much today but we have had a few problems getting the bike right for the circuit. The main problem is engine braking but this is something that the guys can work on this evening. Tomorrow I look forward to riding here again and making some more improvements."
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator - "It hasn’t been easy for Michel today. He’s still quite new to the bike and it’s his first time at the track. We’ve made some progress today but we need to improve tomorrow to get into the top ten. Leon struggled a little earlier to find the right setting as he found his way round. He made quite a step in his last run though and we’re in touch now. Because the track is short, the times are very close, so just a couple of tenths can lift you higher."
-- World SBK 2013 - Round 11 - Intercity Istanbul Park - Turkey-bound for World
Superbike Round 11
-- WSBK riders speak ahead of Turkish Round
The eni FIM Superbike World Championship had its first ever pre-event today at the Intercity Istanbul Park, as a selection of Superbike and Supersport riders – joined by representatives of the Circuit Board – took to the SBK Paddock Show stage for a press conference to introduce the maiden round of the series on Turkish soil.
Sharing their thoughts and feelings ahead of this historical weekend Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team), Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet), Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki), Ayrton Badovini (Team Ducati Alstare) and Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike), along with WSS Championship leader Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha) and local hero Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) were introduced.
Each rider involved in the pre-event showed a lot of appreciation for the circuit, beginning with WSBK Championship leader Tom Sykes: "It's great to be in Turkey, it's my first time here and the weather is fantastic. I had a little look at the circuit and it's amazing, hopefully the ZX-10R will perform well here. I'm a bit young in terms of track knowledge, but we'll do our best and keep focussed."
The star who received the biggest applause while entering the stage was, of course, three-time World Supersport Champion Kenan Sofuoglu, who is looking forward to a strong performance in front of his crowd, to keep his title defence chances alive: "I never raced on this track before so, despite being a local rider, I have no advantage on my rivals. I think at this level, it's more about knowing your bike than the circuit itself, and I'm confident the long straights will suit the ZX-6R very well. Racing in front of thousands of fans can inspire you, but also put a lot of pressure on your shoulders."
On-track action for World Superbike and Supersport Championships will start tomorrow morning with a 90-minute free practice session for both classes.
-- New-look Pata Honda team heads to Asia
The Pata Honda team will compete for the first time in Turkey in this weekend’s 11th round World Superbike championship event at Istanbul Park with a weekend schedule that runs an hour earlier than other SBK events.
The 5.338km Hermann Tilke-designed circuit, which was completed just over eight years ago, lies on the Asian side of Istanbul and, for the Pata Honda team and riders, it will be a first racing visit to the Turkish city.
The team will be without regular rider Jonathan Rea, who broke his left femur after crashing on another rider’s oil on 1 September at the Nürburgring in Germany. The 26-year-old underwent surgery that evening and is optimistic about a relatively quick rehabilitation for his injury.
Rea will be replaced at Istanbul Park by Italian rider Michel Fabrizio, who has been competing in the 2013 World Superbike championship with another team. The 28-year-old from Rome currently lies in eighth place in the 2013 championship standings with one podium finish in the opening round at Phillip Island in Australia.
Fabrizio joins Pata Honda’s Leon Haslam who continues his own rehabilitation from a broken leg sustained in a practice crash at Assen in The Netherlands in April. The 30-year-old British rider has been getting back up to speed over the last few races and will be looking to improve on his season’s best result of seventh last time out at the Nürburgring.
Leon Haslam - "I’m really excited about going to race in Istanbul, even though some of the other Superbike riders have ridden there before. I’ve seen a few of the GP races there on video and it looks pretty awesome, but I won’t really know how it is until I get out there on the bike on Friday morning. We made some more progress last time in Germany but, although I was hanging on to the back of the leading group in race two, we still had some issues. But I do feel like I’m finally in a position – both physically and with the bike – to be fighting for podiums again. We need a few more things to fall into place for that to happen, but we’re nearly there."
Michel Fabrizio - "I am very happy to come back to the Honda CBR after my earlier experience with the DFX Honda Team. To race with the Ten Kate boys in the Pata Honda team is a real honour for me and, of course, I will do my best to get Jonathan’s machine near to the front. I would also like to take this opportunity to wish Jonathan a fast recovery from his injury and I would like to thank the whole Honda Superbike team for their hard work to fix the bike in time for me to race in Istanbul."
Michel Fabrizio – career details
2002: 125cc GP World Championship
2003: FIM Superstock 1000 champion (Suzuki)
2004: MotoGP World Championship (10 races – Honda), World Supersport championship (two races – Honda)
2005: World Supersport championship (Honda) – 5th
2006: World Superbike championship (Honda) – 11th
2007: World Superbike championship (Honda) – 11th
2008: World Superbike championship (Ducati) – 8th
2009: World Superbike championship (Ducati) – 3rd
2010: World Superbike championship (Ducati) – 8th
2011: World Superbike championship (Suzuki) – 12th
2012: World Superbike championship (BMW) – 11th
2013: World Superbike championship (Aprilia) – current position 8th
2013 World Superbike championship, round 11
Intercity Istanbul Park, Turkey – weekend schedule (local times – GMT+3)
Friday 13 September
11.45-13.15 Free practice
15.30-16.15 Qualifying 1
Saturday 14 September
08.45-09.30 Qualifying 2
11.30-12.15 Free practice
14.00-15.14 Superpole 1
14.21-15.33 Superpole 2
14.40-15.50 Superpole 3
Sunday 15 September
11.00 Race 1 (19 laps 95.226km)
14.30 Race 2 (19 laps 95.226km)
- World Superbike 2013 -
RND 10 - BRITS CONQUER GERMANY
RND 9 - SILVERSTONE
RND 8 -
MELANDRI WINS MOSCOW
RND 8 -
MOSCOW WSBK TRAGEDY
RND 7 -
SYKES TAKES WSBK LEAD
RND 6 -
WSBK HITS PORTIMAO
5 - DONINGTON
RND 4 - MONZA
RND 3 -
LAVERTY/SYKES SHARE SPOILS
RND 2 -
DAVIES DOUBLES ARAGON
RND 1 - APRILIA DOMINATE
WSBK TEST VIDEO P.I.
ASBK SUPPORTS UNDERWAY
CHECA TOPS P.I. TEST 2
WSBK WILDCARDS READY
WSBK 2013 PRE SEASON STATS
A SMOKIN' HOT PANIGALE
CAMIER TOPS P.I. TEST 1
UPDATED TUONO V4 R
MOTORCYCLE SALES RECOVERY
REDDING RIDES RGV500
MOTOGP - SACHSENRING SPILLS
NEW HONDA CRF125F
YAMAHA XV950R BOLT
- World Superbike 2012 -
RND 1 -
BIAGGI WINS WSBK RACE 1
RND 1 - CHECA TAKES WSBK RACE 2
RND 1 - WSBK VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
RND 2 - CHECA DOUBLES AT IMOLA
RND 3 - GUINTOLI & REA AT ASSEN
RND 4 -
DRAMA AT MONZA
RND 5 - DONINGTON DILEMMA
RND 5 -
DONINGTON VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
RND 6 - SALT LAKE CITY
RND7 - BIAGGI DOMINATES MISANO
RND 8 - EUROS DOMINATE ARAGON
RND 9 - MELANDRI WINS BRNO
RND 10 - SILVERSTONE
RND 11 - MELANDRI LEADS WSBK
RND 12 APRILIA DOMINATE RING
RND 13 - SYKES & LAVERTY
RND 14 - BIAGGI WSBK CHAMP
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