-- World Superbike 2013 - Round Six - Portimao
-- Melandri and Laverty share the wins, Guintoli extends his lead
-- Weather: Dry and overcast - Attendance: 25,816
-- Temperature: Ambient 18/16 degrees C / Track 27/23 degrees C
Portimao (Portugal), Sunday 9 June 2013 – Round 6 race day at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve was a mix of great performances and big disappointments for some of the protagonists of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship. Today's winners Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) and Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) experienced some tough luck when not on top: the Irishman was leading Race 1 before a technical problem ruled him out of contention, while Melandri had to face an excessive rear tyre wear to eventually end up 12th in the second race.
Tom Sykes wasted an opportunity for a repeat podium finish by crashing out of Turn 2 during the sighting lap of the last race. The Englishman showed he had what it takes to fight for the win later on, as he set the new lap record despite being way out of the battle for points. With a second and a third place in the two races Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) boosts his points tally to 213 to increase the gap in the points to 28 over Sykes and 39 on Laverty.
Even though a slight improvement between the two races – still not matching early expectations - as per the application of FIM Regulations art. 220.127.116.11.3 Ducati will see the removal of the air restrictors on their 1199 Panigale R, starting from the next round at Imola (June 28-30).
Marco Melandri won Race 1 following a close battle in the closing stages with Sylvain Guintoli, that ended up with just a 0.007 gap between the two at the finish line – 4th smallest margin for victory ever in a WSBK race. A perfect exit out of the last corner was just not enough for the Championship leader to snatch victory over the Italian.
The works Aprilia team's race outcome was well saved by the Frenchman, following team Eugene Laverty unfortunate retire on lap 12, consequence of a technical problem he sustained while he was on the lead. Tom Sykes - the only first row starter to finish the race - completed the podium with a solid 3rd place, after losing some ground from the top in the final part. Best result so far in the season for Leon Camier and the FIXI Crescent Suzuki Team, as the tall British rider finished 4th ahead of a sore Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) and Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma Aprilia).
Camier's team mate Jules Cluzel got the better of Carlos Checa (Team Ducati Alstare) on the last lap, finishing 8th. Pata Honda Team's unfortunate first race of the day saw Jonathan Rea retiring due to a technical problem and Leon Haslam pulling in after losing the feeling in both arms, as the 30 year old from Derby was trying to compensate the lack of strength in his injured left leg.
1 / M. MELANDRI / ITA / BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK / BMW S1000 RR / 38'12.447
2 / S. GUINTOLI / FRA / Aprilia Racing Team / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 0.007
3 / T. SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 4.224
4 / L. CAMIER / GBR / Fixi Crescent Suzuki / Suzuki GSX-R1000 / 9.479
5 / L. BAZ / FRA / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 12.057
6 / C. DAVIES / GBR / BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK / BMW S1000 RR / 16.61
7 / M. FABRIZIO / ITA / Red Devils Roma / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 21.35
8 / J. CLUZEL / FRA / Fixi Crescent Suzuki / Suzuki GSX-R1000 / 22.337
9 / C. CHECA / ESP / Team Ducati Alstare / Ducati 1199 Panigale R / 23.662
10 / F. SANDI / ITA / Team Pedercini / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 1'26.995
11 / V. IANNUZZO / ITA / Grillini Dentalmatic SBK / BMW S1000 RR / 1'27.119
12 / I. CLEMENTI / ITA / HTM Racing / BMW S1000 RR / 1'29.096
13 / M. NEUKIRCHNER / GER / MR-Racing / Ducati 1199 Panigale R / 3 Laps
Fastest Lap: 3° Eugene Laverty 1'43.062 160,401 Km/h
Lap Record: 2010 M. Biaggi 1'42.774 160,850 Km/h
Best Lap: 2013 T. Sykes 1'41.360 163,090 Km/h
Eugene Laverty is the winner of Race 2 at Portimao. The Irishman, back on the podium after the Italian round at Monza, managed to score his 4th victory of the season: of the seven wins achieved so far in his WSBK career, six of them came in the second race of the day.
Eugene Laverty: “Race 1 seems to be cursed for us this year, especially on tracks like this one and Aragon where I had the right pace to take a double win. In any case I'm not one to complain. I was really trying hard for this win and I'm pleased to have been able to do it dominating from the first to last lap. I'm still in the title chase even with a few too many DNFs, but we are growing race by race and I'm confident about the upcoming rounds.”
The only rider able to keep up with the winner, at least in the first half of the race, was Jonathan Rea. The Ulsterman was edged out of 2nd place in the closing stages by Sylvain Guintoli, who completed the third one-two for the official Aprilia team in 2013 - after the total domination of Round 1 at Phillip Island.
Tom Sykes, following a very early crash during the sighting lap at Turn 2, managed after several attempts, to make his way back to the pits, from where he started the race. Towards the end of Lap 1 the Englishman had to pull in again but, after returning to the track for the third time, with no chances left for a top-15 finish, Sykes showed an incredible pace and even set the new lap record in 1'42.475.
Tom Sykes: “I expected the first race to be just as close as it was but I was struggling a little bit with race performance. Portimao is not one of my strongest circuits and still we could fight for the win. In race two the fall was my fault because in turn one on my out lap I ran over the kerbstone on the inside. We had made improvements on the bike for race two and we proved that was the case because we went on to break the lap record. I feel I have let a few people down but I do not want to be too hard on myself as it is the first mistake I have made for a long time.”
The works Kawasaki team had something to cheer anyway, as Loris Baz finished fourth ahead of Chaz Davies, a tenacious Carlos Checa and Jules Cluzel. An excessive rear-tyre wear forced Marco Melandri to ride defensively to a 12th place at the flag. The issue that hampered the performance of the Italian rider is currently being analysed by Pirelli. A technical problem is the reason behind the withdrawal from Race 2 by Leon Camier on the twelfth lap.
Race 2 results:
1 / E. LAVERTY / IRL / Aprilia Racing Team / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 38'02.051
2 / S. GUINTOLI / FRA / Aprilia Racing Team / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 4.107
3 / J. REA / GBR / Pata Honda World Superbike / Honda CBR1000RR / 5.853
4 / L. BAZ / FRA / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 15.306
5 / C. DAVIES / GBR / BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK / BMW S1000 RR / 17.552
6 / C. CHECA / ESP / Team Ducati Alstare / Ducati 1199 Panigale R / 18.366
7 / J. CLUZEL / FRA / Fixi Crescent Suzuki / Suzuki GSX-R1000 / 29.392
8 / A. BADOVINI / ITA / Team Ducati Alstare / Ducati 1199 Panigale R / 38.359
9 / D. GIUGLIANO / ITA / Althea Racing / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 39.321
10 / M. FABRIZIO / ITA / Red Devils Roma / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 44.603
11 / M. NEUKIRCHNER / GER / MR-Racing / Ducati 1199 Panigale R / 45.339
12 / M. MELANDRI / ITA / BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK / BMW S1000 RR / 45.429
13 / F. SANDI / ITA / Team Pedercini / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 1'16.310
14 / A. LUNDH / SWE / Team Pedercini / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 1'16.375
15 / V. IANNUZZO / ITA / Grillini Dentalmatic SBK / BMW S1000 RR / 1'18.303
Fastest Lap: 6° Tom Sykes 1'42.475 161,319 Km/h
Lap Record: 2010 M. Biaggi 1'42.774 160,850 Km/h
Best Lap: 2013 T. Sykes 1'27.378 165,750 Km/h
Standings - provisional (round 6 of 15)*: 1. Guintoli 213; 2. Sykes 185; 3. Laverty 174; 4. Melandri 156; 5. Davies 133; 6. Baz 119; 7. Rea 105; 8. Fabrizio 101; 9. Giugliano 79; 10. Cluzel 72; 11. Camier 62; 12. Neukirchner 53; 13. Checa 50; 14. Badovini 45; 15. Haslam 29; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Aprilia 253; 2. BMW 211; 3. Kawasaki 209; 4. Honda 112; 5. Suzuki 104; 6. Ducati 82.
* Possible updated results could be defined by the International Disciplinary Court which is dealing with the appeal lodged by Aprilia Racing Team and rider Sylvain Guintoli, following the decision taken by the FIM Stewards in Monza (Italian Round, last 12 May) to cancel the drop of position sanction (from third to fourth place in race 2) imposed by the Race Direction on rider Tom Sykes.
World Supersport – Sam Lowes winner of an exciting race
A thrilling and spectacular 4-way finale was the highest point of an incredible race, won by Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha) over Mahi Racing Team India duo of Fabien Foret and Kenan Sofuoglu. Thanks to his fourth consecutive win of the season, the Brit extends his Championship lead to 39 points on the defending WSS Champion. Rookie and potential podium finisher Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport) ended up in fourth place.
All four riders waited for the closing stages to give everything they had, but Lowes' last move at Turn 11 on Foret proved to be a successful one as the pole-sitter managed to stay on the lead up to the chequered flag, while the Frenchman and Sofuoglu kept contesting the remaining podium positions.
Van der Mark had his shot at the front in the closing stages, but once being passed back by the hungry trio he had to settle for an encouraging 4th, especially considering his fitness condition. Sheridan Morais (PTR Honda) and Jack Kennedy (Rivamoto Honda) mixed up front in the early part, eventually finishing 5th and 6th respectively despite a big gap from the front runners.
1 / S. LOWES / GBR / Yakhnich Motorsport / Yamaha YZF R6 / 35'32.882
2 / F. FORET / FRA / MAHI Racing Team India / Kawasaki ZX-6R / 0.38
3 / K. SOFUOGLU / TUR / MAHI Racing Team India / Kawasaki ZX-6R / 0.502
4 / M. VD MARK / NED / Pata Honda World Supersport / Honda CBR600RR / 1.322
5 / S. MORAIS / RSA / PTR Honda / Honda CBR600RR / 9.537
6 / J. KENNEDY / IRL / Rivamoto / Honda CBR600RR / 11.772
7 / A. ANTONELLI / ITA / Team Goeleven / Kawasaki ZX-6R / 13.535
8 / L. SCASSA / ITA / Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres / Kawasaki ZX-6R / 13.953
9 / R. DE ROSA / ITA / Team Lorini / Honda CBR600RR / 14.728
10 / C. IDDON / GBR / ParkinGo MV Agusta Corse / MV Agusta F3 675 / 18.756
11 / V. LEONOV / RUS / Yakhnich Motorsport / Yamaha YZF R6 / 18.909
12 / M. ROCCOLI / ITA / Team Pata by Martini / Yamaha YZF R6 / 32.012
13 / A. BALDOLINI / ITA / Suriano Racing Team / Suzuki GSX-R600 / 32.039
14 / L. ZANETTI / ITA / Pata Honda World Supersport / Honda CBR600RR / 32.118
15 / L. MARCONI / ITA / PTR Honda / Honda CBR600RR / 33.152
Fastest Lap: 12° Kenan Sofuoglu 1'45.730 156,353 Km/h
Lap Record: 2010 M. Pirro 1'45.180 157,170 Km/h
Best Lap: 2010 K. Sofuoglu 1'44.683 157,920 Km/h
Standings (round 6 of 14): 1. Lowes 120; 2. Sofuoglu 81; 3. Foret 81; 4. Vd Mark 62; 5. Zanetti 55; 6. Scassa 53; 7. Antonelli 46; 8. Kennedy 44; 9. Rolfo 38; 10. Marino 31; 11. Morais 30; 12. Russo 28; 13. Leonov 26; 14. Coghlan 22; 15. Ivanov 18. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 130; 2. Yamaha 128; 3. Honda 91; 4. MV Agusta 44; 5. Suzuki 12; 6. Triumph 6.
Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) has won today's FIM Superstock 1000 Cup race at Portimao to become the new leader in the standings with an only one-point margin over Eddi La Marra (Barni Racing Ducati). The reigning Champion led the race for the most part and successfully started to pull away from the chasing pack on Lap 5, as soon as Lorenzo Savadori (Team Pedercini Kawasaki), who was running second at that time, lost the front of his ZX-10R at Turn 14.
While Barrier managed to keep a comfortable gap to cross the line a lonely first, the remaining positions on the podium were contested by Eddi La Marra and Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki), as the Frenchman got side by side to edge the Italian on the final straight and eventually finish 3rd for a matter of 0.027 seconds.
Team Pedercini's Leandro Mercado was 4th with Niccolò Canepa (Barni Racing Ducati) and team mate Alessandro Andreozzi to follow. South Africa's David McFadden scored his best result of the season by finishing eight at his first race with newly joined Garnier Racing Team BMW after a close battle with Marco Bussolotti (Rider Promotion by T. Trasimeno BMW). France's Romain Lanusse (MRS Kawasaki) wasted an opportunity for a top-4 finish due to a crash on the ninth lap out of twelve.
Race results: 1. Barrier (BMW) 12 Laps/55.104 km in 21'19.450 average 155.047 kph; 2. La Marra (Ducati) 1.318; 3. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 1.345; 4. Mercado (Kawasaki) 10.781; 5. Canepa (Ducati) 15.500; 6. Lussiana (Kawasaki) 16.573; 7. Andreozzi (Kawasaki) 19.279; 8. McFadden (BMW) 21.707; 9. Bussolotti (BMW) 21.781; 10. Massei (Kawasaki) 22.769; 11. Jezek (Ducati) 24.200; 12. Gildenhuys (BMW) 25.233; 13. Ponsson (Kawasaki) 27.304; 14. De Boer (Honda) 32.087; 15. Suchet (Honda) 43.211; etc.
Standings:1. Barrier 70; 2. La Marra 69; 3. Canepa 63; 4. Guarnoni 60; 5. Mercado 49; 6. Savadori 33; 7. Lanusse 29; 8. Jezek 29; 9. Bussolotti 26; 10. Lussiana 25; 11. Andreozzi 15; 12. Bergman 15; 13. McFadden 13; 14. Magnoni 11; 15. Gildenhuys 10. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 81; 2. BMW 81; 3. Kawasaki 70; 4. Honda 8; 5. Suzuki 5.
-- HRC Report
Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) rode to an assured race two podium finish with third place in the FIM Superbike World Championship event at Portimao in Portugal, after the disappointment of a retirement in race one.
Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) was able to start race one despite the pain from his long-term left lower leg injury but he did not compete in race two.
In the first race, having qualified third in Superpole and starting from the front row of the grid, Rea was in contention early on but only completed eight laps, after encountering a technical issue with his machine. Marco Melandri (BMW) won the first 22-lap race.
Haslam had battled weakness in his injured left leg to ride to 14th in Superpole but he only completed one more lap than Rea in race one before pulling in. He had to use a lot of upper body strength to move his bike around at the very physical Portimao circuit and this proved to be almost as much of an issue as his injured leg, so he did not start the second race.
In race two Rea chased hard on the heels of leader and eventual race winner Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) for 17 laps but a drop in pace as his tyre life got used up allowed Laverty to escape and Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) to overtake. Jonathan had sufficient pace to hold onto a hard earned third place. This was his second podium finish of 2013.
In the championship standings Rea is seventh with 105 points, 14 points behind sixth placed Loris Baz (Kawasaki). Haslam is 15th with a total of 29 points.
The next round will take place in Imola, Italy, on Sunday June 30, with all classes represented once more.
Michael van Der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) made a real play to try and win the 20-lap FIM Supersport World Championship race at Portimao but had to give best to the trio of riders who had led the race from the start. Sam Lowes (Yamaha) won his fourth race in a row, with Kawasaki riders Fabien Foret and Kenan Sofuoglu just behind.
Michael, who had qualified in sixth place for a second row start, had to pick his way forward at good pace and finally got into contention. All the same he had to settle for fourth place, which puts him fourth in the overall rankings, one place ahead of his team-mate Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport Team).
The battle for the race win was thrilling for the sparse crowd with van Der Mark finally pleased to have been able to run up front yet again with the most experienced WSS riders in his rookie season.
Lorenzo suffered a big crash on Saturday, injuring his shoulder and putting him a lowly 24th on the grid. He fought back to finish 14th and score two points but it was a frustrating day for the Italian rider after some recent good showings on raceday.
Sheridan Morais (PTR Honda) put in a season best of fifth today after qualifying on the front row. From third on the grid he was in the leading group early on but even after making what he felt was an imperfect tyre choice he was fifth, and second best Honda rider behind van Der Mark. Morais was nine seconds down at the flag and is now 11th in the points.
Rookie rider Jack Kennedy (Rivamoto Honda) had to overcome pain from a right leg injury after hitting a high kerbstone with his knee on Saturday and he finished a career equalling best of sixth place in the race and holds eighth in the championship with 44 points.
Raffaele De Rosa (Team Lorini Honda) continued to work well in the WSS class by qualifying and finishing in ninth place. One off rider and local favourite Miguel Praia, who expanded the Lorini Honda team to two riders this weekend, joined him on the grid. Miguel finished 20th.
With Zanetti 14th Luca Marconi (PTR Honda) finished off the top 15 and scored a point, with David Linortner (Team Honda PTR) 16th and young rider Matt Davies (Team Honda PTR) 17th.
A luckless day for Gabor Talmacsi (PRORACE Honda) saw him retire with a technical issue. He is now 24th in the points table.
Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) Race result: DNF / 3rd Championship position: 7th
“It’s been a frustrating weekend, yet again, but we have a podium to take away from it and I’m quite happy to get back into the podium way. I set a really good pace in the first part of race two and the bike felt really good but, as soon as the grip dropped, the electronics were playing havoc. I can’t turn the traction control up because I slow down even more and, if I turn it off, the bike becomes unrideable. Race one was also disappointing because we’re just having too many mechanical problems this year. It was frustrating to go through that when I was fighting in the top five and two good circuits for us have now been and gone and we haven’t been able to capitalise. Imola is another strong circuit for us, so hopefully we can be back up here again. I want to thank Chris Pike my crew chief and everyone who keeps digging deep and working hard, and all the fans for their support, which means a lot at the moment when we’re finding it tough.”
Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) Race result: DNF / DNS Championship position: 15th
“A tough weekend, really, when I’ve been struggling with power in the leg. The knee bend was pretty good, but I just struggled in race one with fatigue in the rest of my body. I couldn’t use my leg properly, so the manhandling of the bike that’s needed round here was done pretty much using my upper body. You don’t realise how much you use your legs on the bike until you can’t use one of them! It’s a little frustrating, but I got eight or nine laps in before I was completely done, and I managed to pass a few people, like Leon Camier, who finished fourth. We’ve made progress from Donington and we have another three weeks until Imola. We’ve also been keeping up to speed on the electronics, which will be useful in the races to come. If I sat out three or four races it would take my head three or four races more to get back up to racing speed.”
Michael van Der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) Race result: 4th Championship position: 4th
“I think anything could have happened on those last two laps. My start was great. But in the first few corners I lost some positions and it took some time to get through. When I passed the guys in front I tried to get to the leaders but we were doing similar lap times so I could not catch them quickly. I knew at the end they would fight for the win so I closed the gap then and I had a nice battle with the front guys. The bike was fast on the straight so it was easy to pass them but on the last lap I almost lost the front but stayed on. I finished fourth and that was the kind of result we needed after two bad races.”
Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) Race result: 14th Championship position: 5th
“This had been a completely bad weekend for me because I arrived here after two positive races and this should be a good track for me. Anyway, I found it only possible to fight for a top 15. The bike was OK and the potential of the team and me is not reflected in this kind of result. We will restart working towards Imola to return to the front.”
Jack Kennedy (Rivamoto Honda) Race result: 6th Championship position: 8th
“I got a good start and was up where we needed to be in the front group. When van Der Mark and Morais came past I pushed to go with them. I held on for a few laps until I made a small mistake. Once I knew they had gone, I pretty much controlled the race by reading my pit board. I knew there was a group behind but I really wanted 6th. I was lacking a bit of confidence and my knee was pretty sore but it’s been a great weekend. The Rivamoto Honda has worked well once again and the team have been fantastic.”
Sheridan Morais (PTR Honda) Race result: 5th Championship position: 11th
"I tried hard today and while fifth is not what we wanted, it is a step in the right direction and we can get our heads down and keep improving. For some reason we seemed to struggle for rear traction in the race, which we hadn't done in qualifying and warm up. We have proved we can challenge at the front and the results will come as we continue to work hard as a team."
Matt Davies (Honda PTR) Race result: 17th Championship position: NA
“At least I finished where I started the race although I made a mess of the first corner after a good start. I also made another mistake across the back of the track. It was All OK and I came from 26th on the first lap. I am happy with that aspect so I will try to move on for Imola.”
-- Fixi Crescent Suzuki
FIXI Crescent Suzuki's Leon Camier fought his way to fourth place during today's first race at the eni FIM Superbike World Championship event at Portimao in Portugal; his and the team's best result of the year so far.
Starting from 12th on the grid, Camier was down in 15th place at the end of the first circulation after an incident with another rider forced him off the track. He began his fight up the field and passed many riders as he moved into the top 10 on lap five with a double overtaking manoeuvre on the brakes at the end of the start/ finish straight. Camier continued his progression through the pack and after Jonathan Rea and race-leader Eugene Laverty were both forced to retire with bike problems, Camier moved up to fourth place by the end of lap 11. He held this position for the remainder of the race and recorded consistent times that saw him finish only just over nine-seconds behind eventual race winner Marco Melandri. Camier's result was his and FIXI Crescent Suzuki's best result of the season so far and shows the race potential of the Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R. Unfortunately for Camier, he didn't fare as well in race two when a simple mechanical issue on lap 12 caused the Englishman to retire from the race as he was making progress through the field and was closing on the fight for sixth place.
Jules Cluzel had two very impressive performances today as he brought his FIXI Crescent Suzuki home comfortably inside the top-10 in both races. Starting from the middle of the third row, Cluzel was ninth at the end of lap one in the first race and struggled to find a rhythm early on as he was relegated to 12th, but the Frenchman re-grouped and made his way back up to ninth on lap 11; a position he held until the 20th lap when he passed Carlos Checa to move into eighth and hold that place until the chequered flag. In race two Cluzel's team made some setting changes to help the rider and his performance and lap-times improved as he held a consistent pace throughout. He gave chase to race-one winner Melandri and passed the Italian on lap 14 to move up to seventh, after which the FIXI Crescent Suzuki man was under pressure from Davide Giugliano, but Cluzel managed to put some space between him and the Aprilia and brought his machine home in a creditable and impressive seventh.
Both of today's races were held in cloudy conditions with track temperatures reaching a high of 27°C during the first race. Melandri took victory in race one by one of the smallest margins in Superbike history as he led Championship leader Sylvain Guintoli over the line by just 0.007 seconds. Race two saw Laverty make amends for his race one retirement by racing to the win ahead of his team-mate Guintoli.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki will now head back to the UK before it prepares to travel to the next round of the series, which is scheduled for Imola in Italy on Sunday June 30th.
Leon Camier: "I got an ok start in the first race and made a bit of progress, but as I went past Haslam on the inside - and was well past him! - he let the brake off in the turn and punted into me. I lost some time and dropped back some places and had the job of trying to catch-up and get through the field, so from 15th to fourth is a pretty-good result. The bike felt good, I felt like I could pass really well; and the speed of the FIXI Crescent Suzuki has definitely improved. This showed on the straight because I could exit on the last turn and keep the momentum going so I could pass at the end of the straight, which I haven't been able to do before, so I was really happy about that. At the start of the second race I had a problem with the electronics and the bike didn't pull away as it should. I made a few places up, but didn't feel quite as strong as I did in the first race, but I kept pushing and I was getting in a good rhythm when a problem with the bike didn't allow me to continue. I was hoping that I could have made up some more places, because I could see the group in front coming back to me, so I think that fourth or fifth was achievable, but we will never know now!"
Jules Cluzel: "I'm pleased to have finished both races inside the top-10. The first one was really hard and in the early part of the race I had very little feeling from the rear tyre and I nearly high-sided a few times in the first two laps. After this I tried to come back step-by-step and at the end my pace was not so bad and I finished eighth. In the second race we tried to improve the setting and I think we found something because the first 10-laps - when I was behind Leon - I was able to follow him and my pace was better than the first race. I think I was faster in every lap and that was a good step forward. I would still like more grip on the rear and I need to do more laps on a used tyre to learn more about how it works at the end of the race. It's been a good weekend and we have made some steps; now we will go to Italy and carry on working there to go further forward."
Paul Denning - Team Manager: "We've made some positive steps forward this weekend and Leon's performance in the first race; coming from 15th at the end of the first lap to fourth at the end - and not losing any time at all to the leaders over the last 12 laps of the race - is a very encouraging sign for the future. A very simple gear-linkage failure in race two was disappointing for everybody involved and robbed us of what looked like a top-six place.
"Portimao has been a challenging circuit for Jules in his first ride on the GSX-R here, but he rode two solid races, particularly in the second race when we tried a setting which will hopefully give us a more solid base to work from for the next rounds.
"The bike and Leon were strong last year in Imola and we will be going there with high hopes to turn the improved potential from this weekend into better race results."
-- BMW Goldbet
BMW Motorrad added another circuit to the list of tracks it was victorious at in the FIM Superbike World Championship. The BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team and factory rider, Marco Melandri (ITA), celebrated victory in the first of today´s races at Portimão (POR). It was Marco´s second and the team´s fourth victory of the season. In race two, Marco struggled with rear tyre wear issues and finished 12th. His team-mate Chaz Davies (GBR) finished a difficult first race in sixth place. For race two, he and his crew improved the set-up of the BMW S 1000 RR which meant Chaz felt more comfortable and finished fifth. After six rounds of the 2013 season, Marco is fourth in the riders championship with 156 points, directly followed by Chaz who is fifth with 133 points. In the Manufacturers´ classification, BMW climbed back up to second place with 211 points.
Race one was an exciting thriller. After starting from fourth place on the grid, Marco improved to second soon after the start, right behind leader Tom Sykes (GBR). He dropped back to third place on lap three when Eugene Laverty (IRL) overtook him. Halfway through the race, Laverty was forced to retire, and almost simultaneously, Marco took the lead from Sykes. Over the next few laps, Sykes was pushing from the back and the gap to Sylvain Guintoli (FRA) in third declined. Entering lap 17, Sykes passed Marco with a close manoeuvre and the Italian BMW factory rider had to take evasive action and leave the track to avoid a collision. As a consequence, he dropped back to third but began to catch up straight away. On lap 19 of 22, Marco overtook Sykes and Guintoli to take the lead, however the Frenchman fought back successfully. Entering the final lap, Marco retook the lead. It was hard work for Marco to defend it, but in the end he crossed the finish line with an advantage of 0.007 seconds in front of Guintoli - the fourth closest finish ever in the history of the Superbike World Championship. Chaz, who started from 12th place, lost two positions at the start and had to fight battles in the middle field during the beginning stages of the race. Over the course of the race he gained positions as his race pace was close to the leaders, but he was too far back to fight for the podium and he finished in sixth place.
In race two, Marco experienced excessive wear on his rear tyre from the very beginning. During the early laps he was able to hold third position, but from the eighth lap onwards he started to drop back. Without the correct level of grip, he was unable to fight back against his competitors and lost positions and after 22 tough laps he finished 12th. Meanwhile Chaz was feeling a lot better on his RR in comparison to race one. He made a good start and improved from 12th to eighth soon after the start of the race. He overtook Davide Giugliano (ITA) on lap three to take seventh place and then fought a long battle with Giugliano and Carlos Checa (ESP). On lap 12, he improved to sixth place by passing the struggling Marco, and on the penultimate lap Chaz overtook Checa to secure fifth place before the chequered flag.
In the fourth race of the 2013 FIM Superstock 1000 Cup, Sylvain Barrier (FRA) from the BMW Motorrad GoldBet STK Team celebrated his second win of the season and retook the lead in the Rider´s classification. After his heavy crash in yesterday´s qualifying session, the team worked all night to repair the BMW HP4 and their hard work was well rewarded. Today, Sylvain once more proved the potential of the new bike by dominating most of the race. His team-mate Greg Gildenhuys (RSA) defied the pain caused by his fractured left heel and collected important points finishing 12th.
Result Race 1: 1st / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:43.440 min (lap 4)
Result Race 2: 12th / Gap to 1st: 0:45.429 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:43.134 min (lap 2)
“To win in race one was not easy because at the beginning I was struggling a lot with the traction but after ten lap this improved and it was easier for me so I got closer to the front again. When I was leading, it was very difficult, because it was very windy so it was hard to stay in front. When Tom passed me, he closed the line. Maybe he thought he was in front of me but he just pushed me out of the track. When I came back, I did not have any plan so I just pushed as much as I could. I tried to overtake Tom very quickly because Sylvain was very fast and tried to pull away. When I caught Guintoli I took the opportunity to pass him. The last lap is very difficult to explain, it was just very close and I pushed as much as I could. I am so happy and thank you to everyone at BMW. In race two, I could certainly have been on the podium but instead the rear tyre began to vibrate from lap two onwards. From lap three I started losing grip and then the tyre deteriorated. As a consequence the whole bike started to vibrate and it was difficult to ride. I did the best I could do in that situation. Now I am looking forward to Imola.”
Result Race 1: 6th / Gap to 1st: 0:16.610 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:44.253 min (lap 2)
Result Race 2: 5th / Gap to 1st: 0:17.552 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:43.645 min (lap 2)
“Race one was kind of frustrating. My start was not particularly good and for the first few laps I was in the wrong company and I lost a lot of time. It did not ruin my race but it did not allow me to finish in a position that we were capable of. In the middle of the race, my pace was not too far off the guys in front so it would have been nice to have gone away with them. In the closing stages, we had a drop of performance as we started to lack a little bit of grip, also in the front where we were using the harder front tyre for stability purposes. For race two, we took a couple of gambles as honestly we did not have a lot to lose. We changed the front and the rear tyre and also changed the suspension a little bit. And in fact race two was much better than the first. I was much happier with the bike even if I did not quite have the grip that I wanted, especially on the first two laps. But then I found some grip from lap three onwards. Again, we have learnt something a little bit too late which is frustrating but in general we showed a better performance in race two, even if it not was good enough. So I would say that I am `semi-happy´.”
Andrea Buzzoni (General Manager BMW Motorrad WSBK):
“The day started very well with the victory in the Superstock class and it bettered itself thanks to the fantastic performance of Marco in race one, where he won by a fraction. In race two, due to a problem with the rear tyre, Marco couldn't finish better than 12th place but still gained four points. We are quite disappointed with this result because Marco was able to be on the podium but the circumstances did not allow him to do his best. Chaz had a tough Saturday with the crash, which had some physical consequences. Nevertheless he had two great races: he was sixth in race one and fifth in race two, very good results given the position he started from. In the Superstock class, Sylvain took the lead in the riders´ ranking with today´s victory while Greg, despite his fractured foot, gave his best and gained his first points”
Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“Today was a day of mixed emotions for us. For BMW it was nice to win two of three races. Firstly, the Superstock team was successful with Sylvain and then we won the first of the Superbike races with Marco. The job done by all the guys after Donington has paid off as we improved the bike and we were able to give Marco a more competitive package that he used in the best possible way. We must congratulate him for what he has done. It was a good decision to test after Donington. Even if we have seen during the races that we are still missing some stability and that we need to further improve for the future, overall I must say that at least with Marco the package was quite competitive. Chaz had to pay the price for his grid position. In race one, he lost time when he had to overtake other riders. In race two, he was more confident from the beginning and he was able to catch up the guys in front of him. Fifth place is a good result when starting from 12th on the grid. Also with him we have to work on the machine. We have to improve his feeling with the RR and to make sure that in Imola he will be able to show his potential. Race two for Marco we would prefer to forget. We experienced unexpected severe wear on the rear tyre and now we have to analyse the hardware and the data in order to understand the reason of these not common issues.”
-- Althea Racing
The sixth round of the World Superbike championship took place today at the “Autodromo Internacional do Algarve” in Portimao. Clear skies and a dry track for today’s two races which saw Davide Giugliano start from the fourth row, due to a Superpole that was conditioned by a crash in the final stages.
In race one the Althea Racing rider made a good start and was able to make some passes that brought him close to the leading group. Unfortunately during the course of lap six Davide was the victim of a crash and although he wasn’t hurt he was sadly forced to retire from the race. This was a real pity because the Althea rider was riding a strong race and would surely have scored a great result. In race two he made another strong start and was lying seventh in the first phase. A small mistake caused him to lose a few positions and although he was able to push to make up lost ground he was unable to find a rhythm that would allow him to do better than final ninth position. In the general standings Giugliano is in ninth place with 79 points.
Genesio Bevilacqua: “The weekend did not live up to expectations, it’s been difficult. In race one today Davide wasn’t at ease on the track and committed an error that put him out of the race. The second race was also hard. Davide soon lost confidence in the rear tyre and the situation gradually worsened which meant that he had to settle for ninth place. I think that the team worked in the right way, but this track is certainly not easy and it’s also for this reason that the results don’t match up to our true abilities. We’re looking ahead and preparing for Imola where we’ll race in front of our fans.”
Davide Giugliano: “It’s been a really difficult weekend in which we’ve worked a lot but gained little. I wasn’t comfortable with my bike on this track and yesterday’s crash in Superpole and today’s crash in the race certainly didn’t help matters. In race 2 I wasn’t able to push hard and made a small mistake that caused me to lose ground. At that point I tried to get to the end of the race without further errors. I want to turn the page and start thinking about Imola straight away; I hope to be back on form there. A big thank-you to my team that have worked as hard as ever here.”
-- Aprilia Racing
An absolutely brilliant weekend for Aprilia as they take a fantastic double win on the Portuguese Portimão track: in Race 2 Laverty won ahead of his team mate Guintoli, who strengthens his hold on the championship leadership, thanks in part to the second place he took in race 1. With this victory Laverty clinches third place in a world championship that is quickly becoming an Aprilia branded event. Only hard luck kept the spoils from being even richer. In fact, in Race 1 Laverty was held up by a technical problem while leading a race at a pace impossible for his rivals to match.
In a Race 1 full of surprises, Eugene Laverty took the lead in the sixth lap, widening the gap in front of the pack. Only a technical problem stopped his progress in the eleventh lap. The rest of the race was centred on Sylvain Guintoli's great comeback, skilfully looking after his tyres during the first laps, keeping a consistent pace after the halfway point of the race until reaching the lead. A long battle with Melandri ended only under the chequered flag, with Sylvain overtaken by the rider from Ravenna by only 7 thousandths of a second.
The script for Race 2 had Eugene Laverty running away from the first lap, highly motivated to redeem himself and supported well by his RSV4. His pace soon overcame Rea's tenaciousness, while Sykes, hindered by repeated technical problems which had begun during the warm-up lap, was forced to withdraw. Another clever race by Guintoli, careful and focused on race distance, so much that he overtook Melandri first and then Rea with surgical passes. The pair of official RSV4s crossed the finished line alone, with Laverty ahead of Guintoli.
After this weekend the rider standings have Guintoli widening the gap up front, with 28 points over Sykes and 39 ahead of team mate Laverty. Aprilia continues to dominate the Manufacturer standings with a 42 point advantage in front of BMW, 44 ahead of Kawasaki, 141 over Honda, 149 above Suzuki and 171 in front of Ducati.
Eugene Laverty: “Race 1 seems to be cursed for us this year, especially on tracks like this one and Aragon where I had the right pace to take a double win. In any case I'm not one to complain. The important thing is to always start off with sights set high and to strike back when hard luck strikes. I was really trying hard for this win and I'm pleased to have been able to do it dominating from the first to last lap. I'm in the running for the Championship even with a few too many races with no points, but we are growing race by race and I'm confident about the upcoming rounds.”
Sylvain Guintoli: “In Race 1 I started off cautiously, trying to look after the tyres. This strategy helped me fight down to the last thousandths. It was a shame to have victory slip through my fingers, but I'm pleased with the way I managed the race. I had a few indecisions at the beginning of Race 1 but I quickly found my pace to finish the race well. After overtaking Rea I pushed to widen the gap, even risking a bit in the last turn, but unfortunately everything went well and we are leaving Portimão with some important spoils for the championship.”
Tom Sykes scored third in race one at Portimao but then failed to score in the second as his KRT team-mate Loris put in two impressive results, taking his Ninja ZX-10R to a fifth and a fourth place.
In a bizarre raceday for Sykes and his team he hung on well inside the leading three in race one, and did so for the whole race, only losing out in the final two laps to finish third. When he realised he could not quite match the pace of Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli he eased up right at the end to make sure of a good top-three finish.
His luck was to change in race two when he clipped a kerb on his sighting lap at turn one, fell heavily, and was lucky to be able to restart. Tom made it back to pitlane, his team made running repairs and he lined up for the real race start in pitlane itself. Tom then found an issue with a broken sensor for the electronics system, damaged in the crash, and came back into pitlane. After this was fixed he going again to try out his new settings.
Not classified in race two as he finished seven laps down, Sykes nonetheless scored the new lap record of 1’42.475 as his team had made improvements in the bike set-up between race one and race two before Tom’s fall.
For Baz both races were fruitful, as he was only 12 seconds from the winner’s overall race time in race one, and an assured fifth, despite not having a perfect race set-up on his machine. In race two he went one better in fourth place - his second best finish of the year - as he also found a happier set-up in the second outing.
Despite his race two mishap Sykes is still second in the championship fight, although 28 points behind leader Sylvain Guintoli. Baz improved his championship prospects with his Portimao performances. He is now only 14 points behind fifth place after six rounds.
Federico Sandi (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) and his team-mate Alex Lundh each scored SBK points at this tough and technical circuit, with Sandi tenth in race one and then 13th in race two, while Alex Lundh was a retiree from the opener but 14th in race two.
Jeremy Guarnoni was third the Portimao Superstock 1000 FIM Cup race on his MRS Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R, with Leandro Mercado (Team Pedercini) fourth. In the points Guarnoni is top Kawasaki rider, fourth, and only ten points behind the leader with four rounds of ten completed.
Tom Sykes: “I expected the first race to be just as close as it was, and obviously the guys who finished first and second were riding really strongly, but I was struggling a little bit with race performance. But we made a good podium and scored good points. Portimao is not one of my strongest circuits and still we could fight for the win. In race two the fall was my fault because in turn one on my out lap I ran over the kerbstone on the inside. The piece of kerbstone looked quite flat but in the last moment I realised it was a big high kerb and it chucked me over the front of the bike. The bike flipped, landed on me and it was a big crash. It hurt my right leg and gave me a headache. We had made improvements on the bike for race two and we proved that was the case because we went on to break the lap record. I was just riding to the limits of the bike in each race. This is my worst circuit but in both races we raced to the limit of the package and it felt easier to do this record lap time in race two. I feel I have let a few people down but I do not want to be too hard on myself as it is the first mistake I have made for a long time.”
Loris Baz: “Race two was a good one and I made a good start like I did in race one. I tried to go with Sylvain Guintoli but I could not follow him. I pushed in the race but when I saw Sylvain going away I dropped the pace a little. Top five is always our target but I think we could have made an even better result than fifth in race one. I lost only one position early on in that race but I felt that the bike did not have the same feeling with the rear as we had in practice and when I passed Carlos Checa I could not push like I wanted. In race two Melandri had a problem and I caught him fast so that was a good race for me. Overall two positive races and we made up points to Chaz Davies in table. If you look where we started on Friday we made a big improvement on raceday.”
-- Matt Davies Report
After a career best 17th on the grid yesterday, Australian youngster Matt Davies was as equally fast in today’s 6th round of the World Supersport championship in Portimao, Portugal, missing out on 15th position and his first championship point by just over 10 seconds at the flag.
Matt, who is the youngest ever full time rider in the championship, rode his PTR into a fantastic 17th position after a 20 lap battle saw him get the better of many more experienced rivals including Vladimir Ivanov who he overtook on the final lap.
He was perhaps too steady in the opening laps after not making the best start, but as we have come to expect, Matt is a racer and he proved that today.
Today’s result is not only a great result for Matt, but also for his experienced PTR crew who have been working solidly throughout the season.
The hard work will continue and at the end of the month, Matt will look to claim his first points of the season at the iconic Imola circuit in Italy.
- World Superbike 2013 -
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
- 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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