— Euro brands dominate Aragon
Like last year Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) and Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) scored a win apiece in the eni FIM Superbike World Championship round today, after two classic races unfolded during each 20-lap contest. Biaggi now has 20 career wins to his credit, Melandri seven.
There was drama aplenty in warm conditions, but raceday temperatures had cooled from the fiery intensity of the first two days, a factor that played a part for some riders in their final fortunes. Strong winds also affected the riders today, but the abiding memory of all will be a superb second race in which Melandri held off the attentions of not only Biaggi, but also two other Aprilia riders, Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) and Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Racing Aprilia). Davies had to catch up the leading trio in a forceful run to the front and was rewarded with his first career podium to add to his fourth place from race one.
Biaggi secured a tight win by only 0.278 seconds from his great rival Melandri. This was Biaggi’s fourth win of 2012, and his third in a row. The top two were well clear of the battle for third, which eventually went to Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) from Davies, even though he took it in bizarre circumstances after Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) was deprived of what looked like a sure podium place when Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) lost the front and his machine, which then hit Sykes’ rear wheel, and both riders fell.
Max Biaggi: “It was a nice race. I saw I could stay in the lead. The tyres are always a problem here and it’s very difficult to keep the pace, but we were working good all weekend to be comfortable with the tyres moving around. There were only two riders in front, we tried to overtake each other and understand where and what was possible to do at the end. The result could have been the other way around but this time I did it so I’m happy.”
Marco Melandri: “I was struggling to pass Laverty and Sykes and then I had to push a lot to catch Max who was leading. When I was there I tried to take him but it was not easy. In the end he passed me quite easy because he was faster than me, but it was a good result anyway. BMW and the team have been working very well and we will try and win race 2.”
Carlos Checa: “We always fight until the end, you never know! Today for sure we were lucky because we were not in the best position so to be here was quite a surprise. Hopefully Badovini and Sykes are OK after their crash, but I’m quite satisfied for the final result. It’s my home race and it was difficult to be in front fighting for the win today.“
Aragon – FIM Superbike World Championship – Race 1
1. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 39’51.188
2. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 39’51.466
3. Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 40’00.650
4. Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 40’02.015
5. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 40’06.896
6. Michel Fabrizio (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 40’18.785
7. Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 40’20.220
8. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 40’30.562
9. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 40’32.075
10. Maxime Berger (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 40’32.628
11. Niccolò Canepa (Red Devils Roma) Ducati 1098R 40’33.244
12. Sylvain Guintoli (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 40’33.557
13. Lorenzo Zanetti (PATA Racing Team) Ducati 1098R 40’33.857
14. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 40’39.198
15. John Hopkins (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 40’40.940
16. Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 40’45.778
17. Norino Brignola (Grillini Progea Superbike Team) BMW S1000 RR 41’50.841
RT. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 37’59.942
RT. Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 38’00.256
RT. David Salom (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 37’42.556
RT. Leandro Mercado (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 20’25.914
RT. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 17’07.882
RT. Jakub Smrz (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert) Ducati 1098R
Melandri secured his third win of the season after a spectacularly tight fight against three other riders. Second was Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing) who lost out by only 0.042 seconds. Immediately behind, Davies held off the attention of Biaggi to take his first ever podium in the championship, as the top four were only 0.484 seconds apart after 20 laps. Behind the leading quartet Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) went fifth after recovering from another bad start, with Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport), Checa and Sykes in basically the same group for most of the race.
Marco Melandri: “I have no words actually! After race 1 I was a little disappointed so I tried to get a win in race 2, it was not easy because the wind was very strong. Eugene started to lead the race and was very fast, suddenly with three laps to go Max passed me and when I passed him back I went wide then Chaz passed me. We were running so wide and so fast and I had no plan for the last lap! To win here has been beautiful.”
Eugene Laverty: “It was close with Marco on the last lap, he got the better of me. Still it’s nice to be back on the podium after Assen and Monza where we were top 3, and where I think we have belonged in the last three rounds but where we had small electronic problems that held us back. But we’re back where we belong, which is fighting for race wins. The second race was a really good battle, we made some changes and I was much happier.”
Chaz Davies: “What a race! I didn’t get off to the greatest start and the first couple of laps weren’t good either but I put my head down and got to fourth. I tried to keep chipping away and eventually caught the top 3. I had a great race, enjoyed every moment of it. I was really surprised to be on the podium but I knew we had the pace.”
Aragon – FIM Superbike World Championship – Race 2
1. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 39’59.200
2. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 39’59.242
3. Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 39’59.646
4. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 39’59.684
5. Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 40’05.811
6. Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 40’06.691
7. Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 40’08.525
8. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 40’09.644
9. Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 40’10.028
10. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 40’10.125
11. Michel Fabrizio (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 40’21.155
12. Maxime Berger (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 40’21.246
13. Sylvain Guintoli (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 40’21.686
14. Lorenzo Zanetti (PATA Racing Team) Ducati 1098R 40’42.001
15. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 40’48.344
16. David Salom (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 40’50.161
17. Niccolò Canepa (Red Devils Roma) Ducati 1098R 41’00.063
18. Leandro Mercado (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 41’13.349
19. Norino Brignola (Grillini Progea Superbike Team) BMW S1000 RR 41’52.588
20. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 41’37.232
RT. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 35’03.915
RT. John Hopkins (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 6’11.966
Points (after 8 of 14 rounds): 1. Biaggi 248.5; 2. Melandri 200.5; 3. Rea 183; 4. Checa 175.5; 5. Sykes 172.5; 6. Haslam 142; 7. Laverty 126; 8. Guintoli 110; 9. Giugliano 94; 10. Davies 78; etc.
Manufacturers: 1. Aprilia 266; 2. Ducati 247.5; 3. BMW 242; 4. Honda 189; 5. Kawasaki 178.5; 6. Suzuki 63.5.
After an accident delayed the eventual running of the full 18-lap Supersport race, Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Lorenzini) crossed the line first but was demoted four places in the final results because of a coming together between him and eventual second place rider Fabien Foret (Kawasaki Intermoto Step). The final race winner was Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda) after Sofuoglu was penalised for not dropping the regulation three places during the race. It was Lowes’ second win of the year and it puts him second overall in the championship, after PTR Honda rider and pole man Jules Cluzel had crashed out early on.
Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki Lorenzini) scored his first podium in this class in third, with Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products) fourth and Sofuoglu fifth. Another South African Ronan Quarmby (PTR Honda) was sixth.
Results: 1. Lowes (Honda) 18 Laps/96.192 km in 37’14.284 average 154.990 kph; 2. Foret (Kawasaki) 1.446; 3. Morais (Kawasaki) 4.322; 4. Parkes (Honda) 5.924; 5. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 6.377; 6. Quarmby (Honda) 16.333; 7. Iannuzzo (Triumph) 19.948; 8. Metcher (Yamaha) 22.663; etc.
Points (after 7 of 13 rounds): 1. Sofuoglu 117; 2. Lowes 101; 3. Cluzel 84; 4. Foret 83; 5. Parkes 66; 6. Baldolini 54; 7. Morais 53; 8. Quarmby 44; etc.
Manufacturers: 1. Honda 156; 2. Kawasaki 151; 3. Triumph 76; 4. Yamaha 60; 5. Suzuki 6.
Bryan Staring (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) took his first win in the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup class today, front-running to take a final advantage of eight seconds and setting a new lap record of 2 minutes 01.446 seconds along the way. Runner-up was MRS Kawasaki rider Jeremy Guarnoni, who passed long-time second-placed man Lorenzo Baroni (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) in the closing stages. Fourth was Barni Racing Team Ducati Panigale rider Eddi La Marra. Championship leader Sylvain Barrier is now only a single point ahead of La Marra after he and Luca Savadori collided early in the race and Barrier eventually retired.
Results: 1. Staring (Kawasaki) 12 Laps/64.128 km in 24’28.928 average 157.163 kph; 2. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 8.073; 3. Baroni (BMW) 11.320; 4. La Marra (Ducati) 14.630; 5. Reiterberger (BMW) 15.911; 6. Coghlan (Ducati) 24.471; 7. Bussolotti (Ducati) 28.367; 8. McFadden (Kawasaki) 28.914; etc.
Points (after 5 of 10 rounds): 1. Barrier 75; 2. La Marra 74; 3. Savadori 67; 4. Baroni 56; 5. Reiterberger 52; 6. Guarnoni 46; 7. Staring 45; 8. Bergman 40; etc.
Manufacturers: 1. BMW 100; 2. Ducati 87; 3. Kawasaki 85; 4. Honda 36; 5. Aprilia 15.
Official Tyre Supplier – “The race weekend at Motorland Aragòn confirmed, first and foremost, that Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) and Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) are particularly fond of this circuit where they definitely are able to express themselves at top levels: once again this year, just like last year, they battled to the finish for the top step of the podium in race 1. On the other hand, in race 2 the Roman rider passed the baton to his team mate, Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team), wisely managing his advantage in the standings over his rivals. Max Biaggi certainly solidified his leadership position in the championship with 248.5 points, now pursued by Marco Melandri at 200.5 points which he earned in both race 1 and race 2 with the Best Lap. A note of merit is also due Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) who rode a splendid Superpole on Saturday and setting a track record with a 1’56.552 lap, breaking Marco Melandri’s record from last year by more than 1 second. Chaz Davies and the ParkinGO MTC Racing team also had an excellent performance, riding to the podium in race 2. Generally speaking, as regards the tyres we brought to this round, we can definitely ascertain that the development of the SC1 for the rear, the R302, has once again shown itself to be an excellent solution capable of working well in a very wide temperature range like the one in the last few days: from the almost 60° asphalt temperatures during the Friday test sessions to the 30° and 37° which were found respectively in race 1 and race 2 where it was the solution all the riders chose. Now we are already projected toward the future and the first important step will be the one we take tomorrow with the tests of the new 17 inch tyres which we expect to be quite promising.” – Giorgio Barbier, Racing Director, Pirelli Moto
— Jed Metcher
Rivamoto achieved some positive results from the World Supersport race in Motorland Aragon. The track temperature for Sunday’s race was 15 degrees lower than the qualifying sessions, the conditions made tyre and gearing choice difficult as the wind was also much stronger. 22 year-old Jed Metcher came away with another top 10 finish with an 8th position, his second best of the season and gives him another 7 points in the championship. Team Rivamoto are now 9th in the team standings.
Metcher started from the second row of the grid in 8th and got a good start gaining 2 positions slotting him into 6th place. Unfortunately the race had to be stopped after 2 riders collided on the starting grid and then restarted. The restart didn’t go in Metcher’s favour as he was blocked on the first turn and wasn’t able to get away with the leaders. The battle during the first laps with Frenchman Romain Lannusse cost Jed time as he lost the slip stream to the bunch in front. He was able get past and pushed to try to close the gap to South African rider Ronan Quarmby in 7th but was unable to get close enough. Jed held onto 8th position until the flag where he finished 0.3 seconds ahead of 125cc World Champion Gabor Talmacsi. “We were hoping for a better result but I am very happy with the points for 8th position. I was able to match the pace of the front riders in the middle of the race, but lost too much time dicing at the beginning. A big thank you to my team for a very strong weekend and I am looking forward to working with them in the next race.”
After starting in 29th position, Blokhin fought hard to improve his spot in the race. He battled with Italian rider Roberto Anastasia, but unfortunately mid-way through the race he ran off the track and lost control of the bike on the gravel. Luckily, there was no damage to Edik or the bike and he was able to remount and finish the race in 19th position. “I got off to a great start, and the bike was performing extremely well. My final position could have been stronger, but after what happened I was happy to finish the race. I look forward to fighting back at the next round in 3 weeks’ time!”
With the help of Rivamoto, Pirelli tyres and the Yamaha R6, Oleg Pozdneev’s 18th place finish is his best result yet. “I am happy with the result of the race and the settings on the bike are perfect. I would like to thank the Rivamoto team for working so hard to give me a bike I feel comfortable with and can improve my results on. Race strategy is something I will be working hard to improve and I look forward to demonstrating this at the next round.”
Jed has moved up 2 spots in the championship to sit in 12th position on 31 points. He hopes to achieve his goal of finishing the championship in the top 10. The team will be staying in Motorland to test tomorrow (Monday) before heading to the next round in Brno, Czech Republic on July 22.
— Matt Davies
Round 5 of the UEM Superstock 600cc Championship was held in near perfect conditions at the Motorland Aragon circuit in Spain yesterday.
Matt Davies continues to impress aboard the GO ELEVEN Kawasaki and his natural talent was apparent in Spain as the youngster from Australia qualified his 600cc machine in an impressive 7th position only 0.7 seconds from Pole Position (his best ever grid position in the class).
As the lights went out in the restarted race Matt made one of his usual lightning starts and was up to 4th before dropping back to fifth position where he would stay until the final lap when a mistake at the hairpin saw the reigning European Junior Cup Champion highside his Kawasaki machine. Davies clung on and despite almost crashing crossed the line to claim his first top six finish in the series.
The result moves matt up to 13th in the Championship.
The race was won by Ricardo Russo from Dutch rider Michael Van Der Mark whilst Gaulthier Duwelz rounded out the podium finishers.
Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) had never raced at Aragon before today, but qualified sixth in Superpole for the Spanish round of the 2012 FIM Superbike World Championship, before his race day fortunes changed somewhat. A first corner crash in race one, after a collision with other riders, saw him fall, then restart and eventually finish 16th.
In race two Jonathan battled through from ninth at one stage to go fifth at the flag, the first rider behind a leading group of four that contained race one winner Max Biaggi (Aprilia) and race two victor Marco Melandri (BMW).
The two 20-lap races were held in windy conditions, with relatively moderate temperatures compared to the opening day on Friday when it was in the high 30s. Down in 14th in the first qualifying session on that day Rea moved to 11th in combined qualifying, shortly before Superpole. He finished up on the second row, showing good improvements in machine set-up and rider experience around the 5.344Km circuit in northern Spain. With two good starts better results could have come along for a rider who has scored two race wins in 2012 so far.
Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) missed Superpole by two places, qualifying 18th from 23 riders. On race day he scored points in each 20-lap contest, in 14th and 15th places respectively. He is still trying to find an optimum set-up for his needs and looks forward to finding improvements for the next round, at Brno in the Czech Republic, on Sunday 22 July.
Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda) won his second Supersport World Championship race in peculiar fashion at Motorland Aragon, as he crossed the line in second place after 18-laps of close and combative racing, but was awarded the race win when the leader Kenan Sofuoglu was punished with a drop of position to fifth. Lowes and the other riders in the original top five moved up one place as Sofuoglu was demoted.
Lowes was aware the situation and the likely penalty Sofuoglu faced for not making the required drop in track positions before the end of the race and Sam reduced his pace near the end to take the 25 points and move back to second in the championship table, now only 16 points behind leader Sofuoglu. Lowes had been only fifth in qualifying, but found improvements in race pace at the right time and was in determined mood throughout, moving up from seventh on lap one to the lead before Sofuoglu re-passed him.
For Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda) an impressive pole sitter, a fall on lap three put him out of the points, dropping from second to third behind Lowes. At the top of the championship Sofuoglu has 117 points, Lowes 101 and Cluzel has an unchanged 84.
The first attempted running of the Supersport race was started on time then almost immediately halted for a serious looking accident when Mathew Scholtz (Bogdanka PTR Honda) and Yves Polzer (Yamaha) collided on the start line. Scholtz suffered a concussion, but walked away while Polzer was immobilised on track then taken to hospital for checks, with no serious injuries finally resulting from the collision.
The restarted race, getting underway half an hour behind schedule, went on for all 18 planned laps and Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda) secured an eventual fourth place, after Sofuoglu’s penalty was taken into account. The Australian rider was sixth in qualifying and is fifth in the championship rankings, the third highest ranked Honda rider as the 13 round season crossed over the halfway point.
Ronan Quarmby (PTR Honda) had one of his better days in 2012, finishing sixth after qualifying only 11th. He is now eighth in the championship and confident he can move up again. Gabor Talmacsi (PRORACE Honda) was a determined ninth today, easily his best finish in the two races he has competed in so far in 2012.
Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team): Race result: 16th / 5th Championship position: 3rd “In race one I was taken out. Unfortunate, but I want to make that clear because I have just watched the footage back and the some TV guys said I made a mistake, which was completely not the case. I could have come in because there was no chance of making points, but I stayed out to find a rhythm because I still did not have a good rhythm going into the race. We found some things out just by riding around, which was good. So we made some changes for race two, the temperature increased and I was able to run at a much better case. There were just two riders who were so difficult to pass. It was clear that when I did get past I would be able to go, but their only mission was to ride defensively so I wasted quite a lot of time passing, but I could go forward when I had clear track and I could get my head down. The bike was working pretty good, but I had some braking issues. But he front end is really good and I have a lot of confidence.”
Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team): Race result: 14th / 15th Championship position: 16th “I came here with a lot of motivation because we are in the half point of the season. We struggled a lot in the first half of the year and I wanted to have a good rhythm ever time on track, but it was another difficult weekend for me. Until now I have never felt full confidence with the bike. If it was easy we would have found it by now, but it is proving not so easy to fix. I think if we can get things going well then we can follow that direction. The team works a lot to thanks to them and I hope soon now we can find a solution for the races.”
Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda): Race result: 1st Championship position: 2nd “I’d like to say a massive thank you to my team. It was difficult in the end because I knew Kenan had a penalty and I was actually in first position, but I rode my race and it was good. Already yesterday I knew I had a good race pace and just needed to get a good start from fifth and then hang in there. I just put my head down and got into my rhythm. I took my time because I knew it was going to be a long race. We’re back in second overall, and I’m looking forward to fighting for more victories and the championship. We’ve got Brno next which I like a lot and Silverstone which is my second home race, so I’m really looking forward to that.”
Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda): Race result: DNF Championship position: 3rd “I am really disappointed because I lost points on a day it was possible to take points from Sofuoglu. We had good pace and before the race I felt good on the bike. I was surprised to lose the front and now we must understand why. It may have been windy or the fuel load; I will work with my team to discover the cause so we can learn from this. Anyway, this is racing and it happens sometimes, now I will focus on the next round and doing well there!”
Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda): Race result: 4th Championship position: 5th “I struggled a bit today. I tried to stay with the front guys the whole race, but I could only just keep it there at the beginning. When I caught back up they’d group again and just go. It was disappointing because I couldn’t attack anywhere. Unfortunately we didn’t get the result we wanted because I was here to battle for a podium, not fourth or fifth, but that’s racing. I think we need to work on where we put the power in the engine because we’re not getting the best out of it at the moment. I want to be back battling at the front, so we’ll work hard during the test tomorrow and prepare as well as we can for the next race in Brno.”
Kawasaki Racing Team riders Tom Sykes and Loris Baz both lost valuable points scoring opportunities today due to simple bad luck and a crash from another rider that put Sykes out of a podium place.
Tom, who set a blistering new track best in Superpole on Saturday, found slightly cooler conditions today and despite losing some ground at one stage of the race he fought back to secure what looked like a safe podium finish behind the leading duo.
Sykes was taken out from behind when another rider crashed and his sliding machine took Tom’s back wheel away from under him while at an extreme lean angle. The high-speed crash left Tom bruised but undamaged, but the same could not be said of his official Ninja ZX-10R machine. It had to be almost completely rebuilt due to the new-for-2012 single bike rules, which prevent riders from having two complete bikes in the pit box at any time.
Rapid and full repairs were made in time for Tom to compete in race two but high winds helped to keep him down in a final eighth place, despite lapping in fifth in the early laps.
Loris Baz found his own problems today, including the adverse effects of the high winds, but in each race he had some bad luck. He was run off track by crashing riders in front of him in the very first corner, and then his gear-linkage broke when he was about to get back into a points scoring position. In race two his quick shifter developed an issue but he carried on to the flag, finishing 20th. Leandro Mercado and David Salom (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) were also unfortunate on race day, with Salom just one place away from a point in race two at his home race in Spain and Mercado only 18th. Neither rider completed race one.
A class-leading 1-2 for Kawasaki in the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup race saw Bryan Staring (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) take his and the Ninja ZX-10R’s first race win at this level, and be followed home in second place by another Kawasaki rider, Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS). Former Australian champion Staring led for almost the entire race and also took a new race lap record of 2’01.446 on lap five, as he finished over eight seconds up on Guarnoni. The young French rider in his turn rode hard and effectively to catch and then pass Lorenzo Baroni and score his first podium in this class. Jeremy is now sixth overall, on 46 points, with Staring seventh on 45.
Tom Sykes: “We are far from happy because we had a fantastic test last week and learned a lot. We came here this weekend and were very strong, even in hot conditions, and I could do good lap times for a long time. I was confident for today’s races but unfortunately the winds came along and that looks like it has pushed us over the edge again on the front traction side. We were already critical but we had the best of he situation this weekend. I was expecting a good result on the Ninja ZX-10R, but we could not do anything about it. We were still heading for the podium in race one but unfortunately someone tried a silly manoeuvre in race one and it has cost me dearly, and Kawasaki, because we could have been sitting top three in the championship still without that. The boys in the team did a fantastic job and the bike was ready when the pitlane opened for race two, so credit to them, but it is not the ideal situation for any of us to be in. Al my boys put together a top bike for race two it was just unfortunate that with the windy conditions we were just not able to deliver. That mistake by another rider has upset me a bit and put us back but I am sure with a test tomorrow we can keep working and we will get there. I am confident we can come strong.”
Loris Baz: “We were just unlucky today. I was pushed wide in the first corner so that was the first piece of bad luck. Riders crashed in front of me to I had to go straight. My race pace was quite good and I think I could have finished 11th, but then my gear linkage broke a few laps in. I had to come in then. My pace was good in race two but the wind was quite difficult it made it hard to find a solution to it. I wanted to lean off more to pull the bike into corners but when I did the wind caught my body and made it even worse. I had a few laps to sort it and then the shifter broke so it is just bad luck. It is nothing we have done wrong, just bad luck.”
Bryan Staring: “We had a lot of firsts in the race and it was a great race for me. I worked hard with the team and this is our second year together in Europe. I love the circuit here in Spain and everything came together for us in the race. We made some fantastic lap times and we were able to win the race so it was incredible for all of us.”
Jeremy Guarnoni: “A very good result for us as it is a new thing for me to be in the podium in Superstock 1000. I am now there with my MRS team and I have to be so happy for the race result we all took. I had some contact with Sylvain Barrier and I tried to push and push to get to Lorenzo Baroni and then pass him for second. I am happy for Bryan and Lorenzo also, because it was a very good race.“
Kawasaki Lorenzini Supersport competitor Sheridan Morais took his first WSS podium finish today but championship leader Kenan Sofuoglu was relegated from first to fifth by race officials.
A closely fought 18-lap WSS race was delayed after two riders collided on the start/finish straight and in the complete restart a top group of five riders made a break from the chasing pack.
Fighting each other and the effects of high winds the leading riders knew they were in a tough race from the start. After an altercation between Sofuoglu and Fabien Foret (Kawasaki Intermoto Step) at the end of the 1.2km long straight, Race Direction penalised Sofuoglu with an order to drop three race positions. Sofuoglu continued to the flag and crossed the line ahead of all his rivals, only to be placed fifth in the final results after a penalty was handed down from race officials.
Sam Lowes won the race and is now second in the championship fight but Kenan’s misfortune did not prevent him from leaving with a clear championship lead of 16 points, heading Lowes 117 to 101.
After Kenan’s penalty Foret was awarded second place and Sofuoglu’s team-mate Sheridan Morais scored a podium finish for the first time, in third. The South African rider has come close to the top three places before and his 16 points helped push his total to 53, placing him only a point from sixth in the rankings.
Foret’s young team-mate Romain Lanusse finished 11th, while rookie Joshua Day from the Kawasaki Team GO ELEVEN squad was a fine tenth.
Kenan Sofuoglu: “I lost a lot of points today. I had many problems with my knee and I was not sure if I could even ride today, but even in this condition I feel I won the race. We made a lot of tape on my knee and I cannot move it fully so especially in the chicanes it was very difficult. I was very careful and we changed some things on the bike and I was able to ride my bike. We were very strong today in any case and still leave here with a good lead in the championship.”
Sheridan Morais: “I was hoping for the race to go on a bit longer because I ran off a few laps before the end and I was coming back towards the leaders a bit. It was really windy out there but the racing was awesome and I look forward to more of this for the rest of the season.”
Fabien Foret: “It was a tough race and I just did my best. I am happy with this podium place especially after losing a lot of points in Misano. We did a good job and I will try to go better next time.”
It was an exciting and very successful Sunday for Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport at Motorland Aragón (ESP). The squad not only celebrated another victory in the FIM Superbike World Championship, but also a second place on the podium and two more fastest race laps. Factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA) won race two after being second in race one, setting the fastest laps in both races on his BMW S 1000 RR. In much cooler conditions than on the previous days, Leon Haslam (GBR) had bad luck with a wrong tyre choice for race one but fought strong battles in race two. He finished seventh and sixth respectively. With these results, the two riders collected 64 points in total for the squad – another team record for BMW Motorrad Motorsport.
In the early stages of race one, Marco caught up with the leaders after starting fifth. On lap four, he had improved to second place, one and a half second behind race leader Max Biaggi (ITA). Marco gradually closed the gap, setting the fastest race time on lap six. Less than halfway through the race he was already directly behind Biaggi and the two of them started a nail-biting battle for victory, breaking away from the rest of the field. Marco took the lead on lap 12, but was passed by Biaggi again one lap later. On lap 15 Marco again got to the front, but on the penultimate lap Biaggi was able to bounce back. He crossed the finish line as winner, 0.278 seconds ahead of Marco. Leon, who started fourth, slipped back to eighth through the first corners and as he was struggling with grip he could not catch up again and crossed the line in seventh.
The second race was even more exciting. From start to finish, three or four riders were fighting at the very top, Marco being one of them. The lead changed between Biaggi, his team-mate Eugene Laverty (GBR) and Marco. For the closing stages of the race, Chaz Davies (GBR) joined the trio in the fight for the win. In the 16th of 20 laps, Marco slipped back from P1 to third, but during the intense battle he worked his way back and took the lead again in the final lap, defended attacks from Laverty and Davies and crossed the finish line scoring his third victory of the season. Leon had a good start and was fighting at the front at the beginning, being third after the first lap but he then ran off the circuit briefly and fell back to fourth. From then on he was involved in a strong battle with Jonathan Rea, Tom Sykes (both GBR) and Carlos Checa (ESP), finishing the race in sixth.
In the Riders’ Championship, Marco has improved to second with 200.5 points, 48 shy of leader Biaggi. Leon is sixth with 142 points. In the Manufacturers’ Standings BMW lies in third with 242 points, 24 points adrift of leader Aprilia. Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport stays at Motorland Aragón and will take part in tomorrow’s official Infront testing at the venue.
BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet SBK Team’s rider Michel Fabrizio (ITA) was sixth and 11th in today’s races. His team-mate Ayrton Badovini (ITA) retired in race one and was ninth in race two. In the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup, Lorenzo Baroni (ITA) from the BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet STK Team finished third on the podium. Markus Reiterberger (GER) of Team Alpha Racing crossed the line in fifth on his RR.
Result Race 1: 2nd / Gap to 1st: 00:00.278 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:58.251 min
Result Race 2: 1st / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:58.950 min
“It is just amazing. To win here is beautiful. I just want to say thanks to my guys, because we made another small step with the bike. In race one we had a good battle and I just missed a little bit of speed in the end to try to beat Max. In the beginning I first had to overtake Eugene Laverty and Tom Sykes. Then I had to push hard to catch up with Max who was leading. Once I was there, I tried to overtake him, but it was not easy as I struggled with my rear tyre. When I was in front, I would have preferred to make it difficult for him to pass me back, but he overtook me quite easily. He was faster than me and on the last lap it was hard for me to follow him. It is always nice to be on the podium, but I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed after race one.
So in race two I put all my effort to get the win. It was not easy because the wind was very strong and the Aprilia guys were pushing hard. In the beginning, Max could not go as fast as in race one and for me it was similar. Eugene was very fast and suddenly with only a few laps to go, Max overtook me. I passed him back but went wide and so Chaz and Eugene went past me. They were riding so strongly and so fast that it was not easy. For the last lap I had no plan, because when racing against those guys you cannot think about a plan because they try to pass you at every corner so I just tried to find a good place for braking at the end of the straight. To win was so amazing. Now we will try some more things in the test tomorrow and keep working in this direction for the next races.”
Result Race 1: 7th / Gap to 1st: 00:29.032 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:59.933 min
Result Race 2: 6th / Gap to 1st: 00:07.491 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:59.343 min
“In race one we went for the wrong tyre. In the warm up in the morning the race tyre we had chosen only lasted seven laps so we made a last minute gamble to choose the hardest tyre which we had not really run over the weekend. We knew that the pace would not be so good in the beginning but hoped that it will be good at the end. My lap times stayed the same but I just had zero grip. It was the wrong choice. We missed out there because I felt we could have definitely challenged Carlos Checa for a podium in race one.
In race two I had a better start and felt pretty good but then ran off the circuit and lost a lot of time. I pushed again and got back up to battle with Carlos and Tom Sykes and a few other guys but ran off the circuit again. Every time I went a little bit deeper on the brakes I really struggled. I was pretty happy to finish ahead of Sykes and Checa but I felt that we had a good enough pace, especially at the end of the race, to be in the leading group; there were just too many mistakes.”
Bernhard Gobmeier (BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director):
“It was a great start to the second half of the season for us. Again we proved that we are very competitive. It was also important to see that we were fighting at the very top in both races. In race one, we unfortunately chose the wrong tyres for Leon due to the changing temperatures but overall we are very happy. Marco did an outstanding job, as did Leon in race two. In addition to that we had the fastest lap in both races. I am particularly delighted that we can welcome the new General Director of BMW Motorrad, Stephan Schaller, with these results. A big thank you to both riders and crews; the whole team did a great job.”
— Liberty Ducati
Already an unlucky race for the Liberty Racing with just the tenth place of Berger as best result. Guintoli closes its Spanish day with a twelfth and a thirteenth place. Kuba Smrz crashed at the start of race 1 and he did not take part at the second round.
The Liberty Racing Team finished the Spain GP with a not good budget for the economy of the Italo-Czech team. After the start of race 1 Kuba Smrž, crashed down after a contact with Johnny Rea, forcing Guintoli out of the track, and restarting the race from the last positions. Despite the bad impact on the tarmac Kuba reported no serious injuries, but only painful contusions to the wrist and ankle, and he didn’t run the second race, especially to be in perfect physical condition for the Czech GP, scheduled the weekend of July 22. The two French riders led a comeback race in parallel made several overtakes. At the end Guintoli closed on the twelfth place, instead the team mate Maxime Berger arrived tenth. On the podium rose respectively Biaggi, Checa and Melandri. In race two the Liberty Racing Team took to the track with only two of Ducati French. The first after a good start, seventh in the first corner, had achieved by the group of followers and was relegated to the thirteenth position under the checkered flag, with Berger twelfth. Melandri, Laverty and Davies are the heroes of the second round.
— Althea Ducati
Althea Racing’s Carlos Checa was very happy to score a podium finish at his home track of MotorLand Aragon today; he finished the first of two Superbike races in third position, cheered on by his Spanish fans.
Race 1 – the track temperature for this first race was about 25 degrees cooler than for yesterday’s Superpole, at about 32˚C. Starting from seventh position on the race grid, Checa got away well and by the end of the first lap he was lying sixth, having already got past Haslam. Davide also started very fast and was in fifth place after one lap, thanks to a flying start from eleventh on the grid. Unfortunately after a few laps Davide’s tyre performance began to drop and from that moment he was unable to keep pace with the leading group, losing positions as a result. Suffering even more in the later stages Giugliano crossed the line in eventual eighth place. Carlos held fifth position for the majority of the race, only a fraction of a second behind the third and fourth placed riders. These was contact between these two – Sykes and Badovini – on the final lap which left both of them on the ground. As a result it was Spanish rider Carlos Checa who took the final spot on the race 1 rostrum, very happy with having scored a podium finish ‘at home’.
Race 2 – in the second race Davide once again got away like a rocket and was sixth through the first corners, followed by Carlos in tenth position. Carlos began to make up lose ground and by the seventh lap he was into seventh position, behind Haslam and Sykes. Davide meanwhile lost a couple of positions and from eighth place battled it out with Rea and Haslam and, in the final phase, Badovini too. All of the riders in this chasing group were lapping with very similar times and at the end of a very hard-fought race, Davide closed in final tenth position, but only ten seconds behind the race winner Melandri. Carlos got past Haslam, taking sixth position but then he too had to spend the final stages of the race locked in battle against several riders including Rea and Sykes. Maintaining a good pace until the finish line, Checa concluded this second race in seventh position.
At the end of round 8, Checa climbs to fourth position in the general standings with 175.5 points while Davide is still ninth with 94 points. Ducati lies in second place in the manufacturer’s championship with 247.5 points to Aprilia’s 266.
Carlos Checa: “To close in the top five would already have been a good result today, so to reach the podium was pretty unexpected to be honest. It’s always great to score this kind of result when you’re racing at home. I thank all of my team for their hard work and also the public for their enthusiasm. We had a little luck at the end of race 1 – I was sorry for what happened between Badovini and Sykes, and pleased they were unhurt. The second race went fairly well, in the sense that my rhythm was a bit better but I was unable to get past those ahead of me. They slowed me down a little through the corners and then I was losing out to them on the straight. It’s difficult to race in these conditions, you have to force every manoeuvre, pushing so hard in the last part of the track to make up for what you lose on the straight.”
Davide Giugliano: “I think that if this was track was all corners, and no straight, Carlos and I could have finished first and second today. In the second race I had a better pace than in the first, and so even though I finished tenth, it meant I was only ten seconds from the winner, which is pretty good. We were all very close in race 2. I’m also satisfied that I came in as the second Ducati after the one ridden by the world champion Carlos, I don’t think that’s bad either. It wasn’t easy today, Carlos and I have to battle just to stay in the middle, just to stay close to those with superior top speed. Anyway, I’ve taken some points and now we move on. I thank my team for all their hard work over the weekend.”