— Biaggi dominates at Misano
Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing) left Misano with the sound of his fan club members’ voices ringing in his ears after he completed a home double that will long be remembered by all 67,000 weekend spectators. He pushed his career win total to 19 today. These were Biaggi’s second and third wins of the year, but the first since the opening race in Australia, way back in February.
Having started off the third row in each race Biaggi made up places quickly and held off the close pressure from Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) in race one, then he had a clear win from Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) and Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) in race two. Biaggi has been the most consistent of the top riders in 2012 so far, but today he proved that when his bike is right he can also compete for race wins again.
Another rider from Rome, Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Ducati) had a podium day, third in race one, his second top three finish as a rookie in SBK racing. Off the podium positions at Misano, Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Aprilia) was an excellent sixth, after starting 21st on the grid, while Kawasaki Racing Team rider Loris Baz rode with panache and pushed to score eighth in race two, just behind his team-mate Tom Sykes. Wild-card man Matteo Baiocco (Barni Racing Team Ducati) was 15th in race one but a much-improved tenth in race two.
In the championship fight, Biaggi is on 210.5 points, Rea is second on 172 and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) has 164.5, after finishing fourth and seventh today.
Biaggi rode from the third row to the win, after a superb performance in front of his home crowd. With many passes and changes throughout the race he had to ride hard at the end to defend from another lowly starter, Checa, who finished second, having started 16th. Giugliano secured a combative third place, with Sykes fourth after riding up front at the start, then dropping to seventh for a time. He overhauled long time race leader Jonathan Rea.
Max Biaggi: “This weekend didn’t start in the best way for us, that kind of Superpole out of the top 4 made it so difficult to come back. There are not many places to overtake here at Misano but in the end I found a way, someone made some mistakes, and little by little we tried to climb the mountain to get to the top.”
Carlos Checa: “It was an amazing result considering the position we started in. Today we fixed yesterday’s mistake, finally fighting for the win which was unthinkable because of the difficulties in this track to overtake. Second and third is great for the team, it was tough and in the end Max was stronger.”
Davide Giugliano: “This is a track I like a lot and where the Ducati has always gone well but now we have to confirm our good form. The race was splendid, I demanded a lot from the bike and the tyres for half the race, then after the mid-point I began to suffer. I knew that Carlos and Max were arriving, then when I saw the black ‘shadow’ of Biaggi let’s say it wasn’t much fun because I used to watch him all the time on TV when I was a kid!”
Misano Adriatico – FIM Superbike World Championship – Race 1
1. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 38’58.471
2. Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 38’58.776
3. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 39’02.974
4. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 39’07.329
5. Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 39’10.098
6. Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 39’10.729
7. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 39’11.022
8. Sylvain Guintoli (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 39’12.032
9. Jakub Smrz (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert) Ducati 1098R 39’15.485
10. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 39’16.832
11. Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 39’18.500
12. Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 39’20.553
13. Maxime Berger (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 39’21.437
14. Michel Fabrizio (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 39’25.485
15. Matteo Baiocco (Barni Racing Team Italia) Ducati 1098R 39’29.604
16. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 39’30.190
17. John Hopkins (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 39’30.373
18. Niccolò Canepa (Red Devils Roma) Ducati 1098R 39’42.241
19. Leandro Mercado (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 39’53.542
20. Federico Sandi (Grillini Progea Superbike Team) BMW S1000 RR 39’04.464
RT. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 34’29.084
RT. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 21’15.803
RT. David Salom (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 26’56.581
RT. Lorenzo Zanetti (PATA Racing Team) Ducati 1098R 9’54.565
Biaggi secured a second brilliant victory, pulling clear after some early action with other riders and winning by a margin of 5.355 seconds, easing down in the final lap. Rea and Haslam had a long fight for second with Rea securing it. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) and Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia Gold Bet) had another personal duel that went the way of Melandri. The top five riders were covered by only seven seconds at the flag. Race one co-stars Checa and Giugliano each crashed out of race two.
Max Biaggi: “It was an unbelievable weekend, it was such a long time since my first win in Australia in February. Now we are back in first position and it’s great. This race was amazingly difficult, much sliding of the tyres, chattering and it’s a difficult place to race at the top level. I won these races that make me happy, one in the last two laps and the other when you take the lead and go. I can’t ask for more, thanks to all the boys who always try to help me win.”
Jonathan Rea: “Really happy, my bike worked pretty good. I felt like I was riding well and enjoying myself as well. I had stronger pace than Sykes at the beginning and once I got past I could maintain the pace to Max who was on race management. Now we go on to Aragon where I haven’t ridden yet so I’m quite motivated for that. Thanks to all the Italian fans who were cheering me on today!”
Leon Haslam: “After race 1 when we had tyre issues from half distance on the boys worked really hard to change the set-up. We made a different tyre choice and the rear was much better. I struggled with the front and that made it difficult to get past Johnny, but it was another good battle and fair play to those guys”
Misano Adriatico – FIM Superbike World Championship – Race 2
1. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 39’01.869
2. Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 39’07.224
3. Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 39’07.600
4. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 39’08.873
5. Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 39’09.790
6. Michel Fabrizio (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 39’19.160
7. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 39’19.220
8. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 39’19.499
9. Jakub Smrz (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert) Ducati 1098R 39’20.080
10. Matteo Baiocco (Barni Racing Team Italia) Ducati 1098R 39’30.000
11. Maxime Berger (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 39’30.276
12. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 39’39.929
13. Niccolò Canepa (Red Devils Roma) Ducati 1098R 39’50.872
14. John Hopkins (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 39’53.750
15. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 39’57.371
16. Leandro Mercado (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 40’08.230
17. Federico Sandi (Grillini Progea Superbike Team) BMW S1000 RR 40’31.787
RT. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 32’16.723
RT. Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 24’34.477
RT. David Salom (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 11’39.370
RT. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 8’12.161
RT. Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 4’58.038
RT. Lorenzo Zanetti (PATA Racing Team) Ducati 1098R 3’23.618
RT. Sylvain Guintoli (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 1’43.649
Points (after 7 of 14 rounds): 1. Biaggi 210.5; 2. Rea 172; 3. Sykes 164.5; 4. Melandri 155.5; 5. Checa 150.5; 6. Haslam 123; 7. Guintoli 103; 8. Laverty 95; 9. Giugliano 80; 10. Smrz 75.5; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 222.5; 2. Aprilia 221; 3. BMW 197; 4. Honda 176; 5. Kawasaki 170.5; 6. Suzuki 56.5.
Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki DeltaFin Lorenzini) and Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda) contested the win in the 22-lap Supersport World Championship race at Misano but the Turkish rider had the upper hand and Cluzel had to settle for second, 1.228 seconds behind. Sofuoglu’s win makes him the only rider in this class to have won more than a single race in 2012. Alex Baldolini (Power Team by Suriano Triumph) was an impressive third, with Roberto Tamburini (Team Lorini Honda) for close company. Pole man Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda) struggled for early pace and crashed, then restarted to finish 18th, with no points. In the championship fight, Sofuoglu now leads Cluzel, 106 points to 84, with Lowes on 76.
Results: 1. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 22 Laps/92.972 km in 36’44.023 average 151.858 kph; 2. Cluzel (Honda) 1.228; 3. Baldolini (Triumph) 20.597; 4. Tamburini (Honda) 21.800; 5. Parkes (Honda) 26.357; 6. Morais (Kawasaki) 26.935; 7. Metcher (Yamaha) 33.183; 8. Foret (Kawasaki) 34.587; etc.
Points (after 6 of 13 rounds): 1. Sofuoglu 106; 2. Cluzel 84; 3. Lowes 76; 4. Foret 63; 5. Baldolini 54; 6. Parkes 53; 7. Tamburini 38; 8. Morais 37; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 131; 2. Honda 131; 3. Triumph 67; 4. Yamaha 52; 5. Suzuki 6.
The Superstock 1000 race was eventually run over only six laps after it had started and then been stopped after an oil spill at the third corner. Eddi La Marra took the holeshot on his Barni Racing Team Italia Ducati Panigale, but within half race distance he had been passed by Sylvain Barrier’s BMW and then Michele Magnoni’s GM Racing BMW. Lorenzo Baroni, Barrier’s BMW Motorrad Italia Gold Bet team-mate, was an eventual second after catching the leading pack on the final lap then passing two riders with ease. Magnoni was third. The top four were covered by 0.571 seconds. In the championship Barrier leads with 75 points, Lorenzo Savadori is second with 64.
Results: 1. Barrier (BMW) 6 Laps/25.356 km in 10’06.206 average 150.579 kph; 2. Baroni (BMW) 0.137; 3. Magnoni (BMW) 0.528; 4. La Marra (Ducati) 0.571; 5. Savadori (Ducati) 2.269; 6. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 2.572; 7. Staring (Kawasaki) 2.655; 8. Coghlan (Ducati) 5.718; etc.
Points (after 4 of 10 rounds): 1. Barrier 75; 2. Savadori 64; 3. La Marra 61; 4. Reiterberger 41; 5. Baroni 40; 6. Bergman 33; 7. Baz 30; 8. Massei 30; etc. Manufacturers: 1. BMW 84; 2. Ducati 74; 3. Kawasaki 60; 4. Honda 30; 5. Aprilia 15.
KTM European Junior Cup
Austrian rider Lukas Wimmer scored a victory in the single make European Cup Series, taking his KTM single to the win by seven seconds. Christian Vidal was second, winning a fight with Giuseppe Scarcella for the next podium place. In the championship, due to the absence of round 1 winner Adrian Pasek with injury, Vidal now has 26 points, Wimmer 25.
Results: 1. Wimmer (KTM) 9 Laps/38.034 km in 17’02.314 average 133.934 kph; 2. Vidal (KTM) 7.799; 3. Scarcella (KTM) 7.868; 4. Orellana (KTM) 13.121; 5. Demoulin (KTM) 13.184; 6. Fazzina (KTM) 13.703; 7. Lewis (KTM) 15.624; 8. Odegard (KTM) 16.162; etc.
Points (after 3 of 8 rounds): 1. Vidal 26; 2. Wimmer 25; 3. Pasek 25; 4. Demoulin 24; 5. Orellana 21; 6. Hartog 20; 7. Wielebski 20; 8. Lewis 19; etc.
— Althea Ducati
Another difficult day for the Althea Racing team today at the Misano World Circuit. The team celebrated a double podium in race 1 when Carlos Checa and Davide Giugliano crossed the line in second and third place respectively, both having put on an impressive show in front of the Italian crowds; unfortunately the success was not to continue, with both riders crashing out of the second race.
Race 1 – by the end of the first lap Davide was up in third position and Carlos, having already made up ground thanks to a very fast start, lay ninth (having started from sixteenth on the grid). While Giugliano chased down Sykes and Haslam, Checa got past Melandri before heading into battle with Biaggi. On the eighth lap Carlos recorded the fastest lap of the race (1m36.0), moving gradually closer to the leading group. Towards the middle of the race, Giugliano, having passed both Sykes and Haslam, moved into second position. A couple of laps later Checa was up in fifth ahead of Melandri and Sykes. The current champion’s impressive recovery continued and at the sixteenth lap he was in third position, right behind Biaggi, second. At the same time Giugliano moved into first position, holding the lead for six laps until three laps from the end of the race, when ‘veterans’ Max and Carlos moved in front of him. The fight for victory went down to the wire; Checa crossed the line in eventual second position, just three tenths of a second behind winner Biaggi, while Giugliano finished third, earning a very well deserved second podium place of the season.
Race 2 – once again the two Althea riders made strong starts. By the end of lap one Giugliano was fourth and Checa, closing in on the leading group, in eighth position. On lap three, while in the process of making another incredible recovery, there was contact between himself and Melandri. The Italian tried to pass in a dangerous point of the track, causing Carlos to crash out as a result. Unfortunately the Spaniard was unable to continue with the race, returning immediately to the garage. Giugliano meanwhile pushed hard to catch Rea, passing him during the course of the fourth lap and moving into third position. As he pushed to catch Sykes, he unexpectedly found himself on the ground without warning.
As the seventh round of the championship comes to a close, Carlos lies in fifth position in the general standings with 150.5 points, while Davide is ninth with 80 points. Ducati leads the manufacturer’s championship with 222.5 points to Aprilia’s 221.
The Althea Racing team and riders Carlos Checa and Davide Giugliano will return to the Misano World Circuit in less than two weeks time for World Ducati Week, taking place between 21st and 24th June.
Carlos Checa: “Considering our position on the grid, and the fact that it’s not at all easy to make passes at Misano, the result in race 1 was pretty good. I admit that I didn’t expect to be up there fighting for the win today but I was able to make up ground, which was no easy task! Max was strong today, well done to him and to Davide who rode a fantastic race! Then what can I say about race 2? It seems like this season we are under fire from all sides. Marco pushed me out through the corner, which is strange as he’s normally more careful but anyway that’s how it went. It’s a real pity as I could have made another good race and taken important points.”
Davide Giugliano: “I’m really happy with how race 1 went. We’re gaining experience race after race and I’m trying to put everything that the team and Ducati has given me to good use. I knew that the last phase of the race would be more difficult and I was right; I started to have grip issues and got a little nervous when I saw Carlos and Max right behind me! I’m really happy with the result, and the fact that it comes here at Misano. On the other hand, I’m really sorry about what happened in the second race. I was lapping very fast and doing all I could to stick with the leading group. Perhaps I pushed a little too hard and it was game over. I apologise to my team, that has worked so hard for me this weekend, to the fans and I’m also sorry for how Carlos’ race came to an end.”
Genesio Bevilacqua – General Manager of Althea Racing: “Another difficult day, though we partly made up for the problem we had in qualifying in race 1. A fantastic second place finish for Carlos and above all a great performance by Davide who showed us exactly the kind of race we believed he could make, as a result of which we can consider our rider to be a force to be reckoned with, a frontrunner. In the second race Carlos made a good start once more, he was able to make up lost ground and was there, close to the leaders. Then, in the key stages of the race, a strange incident occurred in which I saw Melandri take a rather aggressive approach in a risky point of the track; he should have waited rather than try to pass there. Davide proved to be quick once again. He didn’t want to miss out on a second podium and so was perhaps pushing harder than usual. Perhaps he could have controlled his emotions a little better but when you race at this level anything can happen; he has nevertheless undoubtedly proved to be a contender, and we hope he continues in a similar vein for the rest of the season.”
Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) went second in the 2012 FIM Superbike World Championship points’ rankings today after he scored a second place finish in the second 24-lap race at the newly re-named Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
Max Biaggi (Aprilia) scored a double win, but the other main championship hopefuls ran into varying degrees of trouble, all of which which helped Rea move up to his best championship position of the year so far.
In the first 24-lap race of the afternoon Rea led for 16 laps as he went for the win, but as rear grip dropped down on his hard rear tyre he could not keep up his pace and he slipped down the order as the last few laps timed out. He was eventually fifth. Rea had qualified second on the grid.
In race two Rea was never lower than fourth and ended up second thanks to a great display of determination mixed with strong defence in the last few laps as he tried successfully to keep the following Leon Haslam (BMW) behind him. This was Jonathan’s fourth podium score of the year.
In the championship Biaggi is now 38.5 points ahead of Jonathan, 210.5 points to 172. Behind Jonathan, Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) has 164.5 and Marco Melandri (BMW) 155.5.
Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) just missed out on points in race one, finishing 16th after qualifying 20th. In the second race he scored good points for 12th and is 16th in the overall championship fight, with 34.5 points. The championship now has a two weekend break before action recommences at the lavishly appointed Motorland Aragon circuit in Spain, with race day falling on Sunday 1 July.
Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda) was second in qualifying at the sixth round of the 2012 FIM Supersport World Championship race in Misano and followed that up with a strong second place behind race winner Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) in the 22-lap race. His sequence of seconds was completed when he leapfrogged fellow Honda rider Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda) to move into second place in the championship fight.
Cluzel had been Sofuoglu’s shadow throughout the entire race and had a couple of tries at drawing alongside and passing in the final laps, before realising he was taking too many risks and had to settle for second.
Lowes had secured his fourth pole position of the year in qualifying before going on to find some technical issues affecting his race day performance. He eventually fell and restarted to finish 18th, scoring no points. Lowes is now third in the championship, with Sofuoglu on 106, Cluzel on 84 and Lowes on 76.
A messy start to the 22-lap race saw many riders make contact and some run wide, a factor which affected many of the top Honda riders’ final results.
Roberto Tamburini (Lorini Honda) qualified 11th, but finished a charging fourth, despite being caught up in the early melees. He is now seventh overall, one place behind Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda). A front row qualifier, in fourth, Parkes was hoping for a strong Misano weekend but had to fight back from some early dramas and a slight lack of outright race-winning pace to go fifth in the race.
Raffaele de Rosa (Team Lorini Honda) was 11th after qualifying 14th at his home circuit on race day. Hungarian team-mates Balazs Nemeth and Imre Toth (Racing Team Toth Honda) were 12th and 13th respectively. The last Honda rider in the points was new PRORACE team rider, Gabor Talmacsi, who was 21st on the grid, but 15th in the race. Martin Jessopp (Riders PTR Honda) fought off the pain of a recently broken left collarbone to finish 19th, one place behind Lowes.
Ronan Quarmby (PTR Honda) fell while moving back up the field after being pushed wide on lap one, losing the front on the entry to the Quercia corner on lap seven. Valentine Debise (SMS Racing Honda) entered the pits while Mathew Scholtz (Bogdanka PTR Honda) crashed out after contact with another rider.
HONDA RIDER COMMENTS:
Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team): Race result: 5th / 2nd Championship position: 2nd “The bike was very good in race one and race two. In race one things were really good until the tyre went off. We did not do enough laps on the bigger profile rear tyre to use it for the race, so in race two we stayed with the 190 profile rear and used the soft option, the ‘A’. I am quite happy that in the hot conditions, in the summer, our bike can use an A tyre. I got stuck behind Tom to start in race two and also Davide Giugliano was being quite aggressive on circuit so I got a bit out of my rhythm, but stayed calm, regrouped and made a nice pass on Tom. I had to ride a clean race because Leon Haslam was ‘+0’ on my pit board all the time, so it was good to take a podium and finish second. I do not look at the championship position right now; we are just trying to go round-by-round. My guys are working calmly in the pits so to come to a circuit where we struggled last year and do well means I am quite looking forward to Aragon, then to finish Aragon, to get married and then come back to the rest of the circuits where I am quite strong.”
Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team): Race result: 16th / 12th Championship position: 16th “It’s been another difficult weekend for me. In race one we struggled a bit and I got stuck with some slower riders. When I got past the gap to the next group was too big and the tyre started to lose a lot of grip. In the second race it was difficult to feel the bike, maybe because of the higher temperature. It was a hard race but we got some points in the end. It was not so bad but position-wise I’m not so happy. I’ll try to think about what can do to make it better for the next race in Aragon and I will do my best there.”
Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda): Race result: 2nd Championship position: 2nd “I tried to catch Kenan because it seemed possible but he was too fast in some places; I was faster in some other places. In the end I tried to take too many risks and I made two mistakes, which allowed him to stay in front. But I am really happy because this is my third time on the podium and I am second in the championship, which is good for me, the team and for the future. I hope to continue like this, but next time to be first!”
Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda): Race result: 18th Championship position: 3rd “I had a good start and took the lead but I had to adjust my clutch straight away which wasn’t easy. After five or six laps I got settled into a rhythm and started to make my way up to third position. After the crash I had to turn the electronics off because of a damaged sensor. The right foot peg was damaged and so was the brake lever so it was really difficult but I got back up and continued, bringing the bike home in the end.”
Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda): Race result: 5th Championship position: 6th “I got punted in the first corner and was down in about 13th. I was so far back that I had to try and ride through half the pack. Then one guy crashed with another in front of me so I had to go around the outside of him. By the time I got going it was too late. We are a struggling a little bit because we have not been 100% on the pace all weekend.”
Roberto Tamburini: (Lorini Honda) Race Result: 4th Championship Position: 7th “My race was not so bad, taking fourth. My start was pretty good but another rider pulled across in front of me, so I had to close the gas. I had a few good passes to battle for the podium but I had to push very hard and in the end their tyres were used up a lot. I am happy the team made a good job and I want to go on in a good way.”
Ronan Quarmby (PTR Honda): Race result: DNF Championship position: 9th “The whole reason whey I did not get the position at the start was that another rider decided to make a big move on everyone and rode into Parkes. Then Parkes ran wide and I had nowhere else to go except off the track. If that had never happened, I think I would have had a chance for a really good result because my pace was strong. It was a positive weekend before that so I do not want to dwell on the past.”
Imre Toth (Racing Team Toth Honda): Race result: 13th Championship position: 16th “I made a good start but after eight or ten laps my front tyre was not very good so was having front slides. Finally, we brought home some points. I am not happy, but not so bad either in this race. I hope we can continue in a good way for Aragon.”
Martin Jessopp (Riders PTR Honda): Race result: 19th Championship position: 36th “I am just happy to finish to be honest, after breaking my collarbone recently. I did not know if I could even ride this weekend so I said I would try for three laps of practice and see how it went. So to bring it home in the race; I was happy with that. I learned the track at least.”
Mathew Scholtz (Bogdanka PTR Honda): Race result: DNF Championship position: 33rd “I was feeling good and fighting for a point scoring position when another rider ran a bit wide and as he got back on the racing line, he clipped my front wheel with his rear wheel and there was nothing I could do. It’s not the end of the weekend we were expecting but we’re moving on to Aragon which is a track that I know and I’m confident we can have a good weekend there.”
Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport added another podium position to its tally in the FIM Superbike World Championship. Leon Haslam’s (GBR) third and Marco Melandri’s (ITA) fourth in race two at Misano (ITA) gave a happy end to a race Sunday that started in a difficult way for the team. In race one, both factory riders were denied the top positions they were initially fighting for.
In the opening stages of this first heat both riders showed an incredible performance. Starting sixth and 13th respectively, Leon and Marco quickly fought their way to the front, both being in the top five after three laps. In the process, Marco set a lap time of 1:36.100 minutes which for a while was the new lap record. Halfway through the race Leon was second and his team mate fourth, less than half a second adrift of the lead. But like several competitors, they then both suffered massive issues with tyre wear. Fighting with blunt weapons, Leon and Marco slipped back one place after another. Marco had to retire after 22 laps, having dropped back to 18th. Leon managed to hang on to 12th up to the finishing line.
For race two both crews made another tyre choice – and they turned the page again. Leon was challenging for the top positions from the start. Marco meanwhile started his chase from a bit further down the field, being ninth after the first lap. From lap six on, Leon was involved in exciting battles for second place, first with Tom Sykes (GBR) and then for more than half of the race with Jonathan Rea (GBR). In the end he crossed the line in third, just a few tenths shy of second placed Rea. Marco fought his way through the field and was fourth after 14 laps. He defended that position for the remaining ten laps. With BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet SBK Team’s riders Ayrton Badovini and Michel Fabrizio (both ITA) finishing fifth and sixth, four BMW S 1000 RRs were classified in the top six. In race one, Ayrton was 11th and Michel 14th. Both races were won by Max Biaggi (ITA).
In the Riders’ Championship, Marco is fourth with 155.5 points and Leon is sixth with 123 points. In the Manufacturers’ Standings BMW lies in third with 197 points, 25.5 points adrift of leader Ducati. Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport will now head to the Spanish Motorland Aragón where it will conduct two days of testing on 19th and 20th June. The next races in the 2012 Superbike World Championship will then take place at the same venue on 1st July.
In the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup, Sylvain Barrier (FRA), Lorenzo Baroni (ITA) of the BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet STK Team and Michele Magnoni (ITA) of G.M Racing secured a triple podium for the BMW S 1000 RR. Markus Reiterberger (GER) of Team Alpha Racing finished tenth on his RR.
Result Race 1: 12th / Gap to 1st: 00:22.082 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:36.419 min
Result Race 2: 3rd / Gap to 1st: 00:05.731 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:37.100 min
“It was another weekend where we challenged for the podium. In race one we were unlucky with the tyre, so we could not do anything. We were fighting for a podium position but then had a tyre issue and dropped three to four seconds a lap. The tyre was unrideable, so I was quite happy to get four points but also frustrated because after these strong first laps we did not get the podium in race one. But we did it in the second one.
Between the races the boys were working hard, as we changed the set-up and made a different tyre choice. This tyre was definitely a lot better. It was a good battle with Johnny. I thought I had the pace to overtake him, but it seems it took me too long to get passed Tom and the other guys, and Johnny was quicker than me in a couple of corners, which made overtaking very difficult. He did a perfect race and we had to settle for third which I don’t like doing. But I am happy to be back on the podium and a big thanks to BMW. Now are heading to Aragón for two more days of testing. We will try to fine tune a few things and get some more mileage on the different tyres.”
Result Race 1: DNF / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:36.100 min
Result Race 2: 4th / Gap to 1st: 00:07.004 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:37.109 min
“In race 1 we used the smaller rear tyre, and the grip level was quite ok. Suddenly, after nine or ten laps, the grip level dropped down. It took only another couple of laps and the tyre was gone completely. It was impossible to continue riding, so I decided to come into the garage.
In race 2 we used the bigger rear tyre. I originally preferred this tyre, but we only had one set to use before the races. When we tested the bigger tyre in practice, we had more chattering than with the small one, but did not have the opportunity to fix this issue. As a result we focused on the small tyre for race 1. In race 2 the bike felt much more consistent and the grip level was much better, but unfortunately the chattering was still really bad, so overtaking was tough. On lap four I was behind Carlos. I tried to pass him in turn four where I felt strong in braking. We were side by side, so I expected him to see me. But when we started to flick into the corner he seemed not to realise that I was next to him, as he touched my leg with his shoulder and he lost the front. I am very sorry, Carlos is a great guy and a fair sportsman.
Here in Misano I raced with a special helmet design. We will organise an auction on Ebay in the next couple of days and donate the money to the people in Emilia Romagna who suffered from the earthquake. Just follow me on Twitter and you will find out more about the details.”
Bernhard Gobmeier (BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director): “It was a difficult weekend for us. As early as in Superpole the weather played a trick on us. At the beginning of race one it was looking very good for us. Both riders showed a strong performance and we were in second and fourth. Marco even set a new lap record for a short time. But as the track temperatures were a bit cooler than yesterday, we chose the wrong tyre. From half distance on it wore away completely. For the second race we made another tyre choice. With it we had been successful in Australia where we jumped on the podium. Our expectations have been met with third and fourth places. With better starting positions, even more would have been possible.
The fact that four RRs finished inside the top six in race two makes me particularly happy. All four have been very close performance wise and we were able to prove that BMW as a manufacturer belongs at the very top. We send hearty congratulation to our endurance colleagues, the BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent, who won the world championship round at Doha this weekend. We are very happy that they have been able celebrate such a dominant victory. Congratulations also go to the BMW riders in the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup who celebrated a triple podium on their RRs today.”
place in the first race at the seventh round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship at Misano in Italy today.
Camier started from 14th on the grid and was quickly on the pace and involved in a multi-bike battle for top-10 places. As the race progressed Camier tried to push on, but the technical nature of the 4.226m Italian circuit made overtaking very difficult. With two laps remaining Camier had made his way up to 12th, before passing two riders on the same lap to move into 10th; a position that he held until the chequered flag. In race two, Camier was in ninth by the fifth lap, but a crash ruined his chances of improving on his race one result. He was uninjured and able to get back on his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R and rejoin the race to try and salvage something. Camier chased after the pack and eventually came home in 15th place for a final points-scoring position and thoughts of what might have been.
John Hopkins scored points in the second race as he completed his first double race weekend of the season. He finished the 24-laps of race one in 17th position, before bringing his machine home in 14th place – despite being hit by another rider high-siding in-front of him – to score his first points since round three of his injury-hit season. Hopkins will take solace from completing the 48-laps from the two races today, with no ill effects from his recent injuries and will look to be stronger for the next round in three weeks’ time.
Today’s races were held in warm and sunny conditions, with track temperatures getting up to 41°C. Italian Max Biaggi on an Aprilia took victory on his home soil in both races to extend his title lead.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki will next be in race action at the Motorland Aragon Circuit in Spain on Sunday July 1st for the eighth round of the Championship.
Leon Camier: “I know the results don’t look great, but I’m pretty happy with our potential today – especially race two. We made a bit of a gamble with the settings in race one, because the conditions were quite a bit cooler than they had been, but the settings weren’t spot on and the grip wasn’t too good, so the tyres wore out pretty quickly. I rode as hard as I could, kept a consistent pace; and finished 10th.
“The bike felt really good in race two and I was lapping quickly from the start. I made a lot of progress and was enjoying myself passing people. Everything felt comfortable until a tip-off in turn four. I think I might have gone in a bit slower and tighter than normal and the front suddenly folded and down I went. I got back on the bike and, a lap later, I was just four-tenths-of-a-second slower than my previous best lap. During the race I set times equal to all the top guys except Biaggi. I was the fastest rider in sector four, second in sector five and third in sector one that shows how well the FIXI Crescent Suzuki was going – probably the best it’s been all year! I feel really positive after today and now all we have to do is nail Qualifying and we’ll be up there fighting with the fast guys for sure.”
John Hopkins: “I can’t say that I am too happy with the results, but I am happy because I’ve done 48 laps today in hard conditions with no problems and I’m regaining my confidence. I didn’t make a particularly good start in race one and then got held up in traffic. It took a bit of time, but once in the clear I tried to stay consistent throughout the race. My lap times at the end of the race were good, so it’s a pity that I lost touch at the start.
“We made some quite big changes to the bike for race two and I felt an improvement straight away. Starting races from the fifth row of the grid is never easy – especially when the competition is so tough. To make matters worse, Mercado high-sided right in front of me early on and he and his bike hit me and forced me off the track and into the gravel. I recovered, rejoined the action and then spent the rest of the race playing catch-up. Once again I was running pretty good lap times, but unable to make as much progress as I would’ve liked because of my grid position.”
Paul Denning – Team Principal: “For John, the important thing this weekend was to rebuild his physical strength and his confidence. Even though the day didn’t go to plan – results wise – he put 48 laps under his belt and made good improvements. He was unfortunate to get knocked off the track in race two, but recovered and was lapping well at the end of the race.
“Leon today showed massive potential – especially in race two. Without the crash, I’m sure a minimum of the top-five was on the cards – the lap times demonstrate that. The crash was unfortunate but we were impressed with his commitment to pick the bike out of the gravel and immediately start charging again.
“We’ve got two days of testing coming up in Aragon and that will provide John with more miles, which will be good for his comeback and will stand him in good stead when we race there a week later. He, Leon and the team will keep working hard, keep learning and keep trying to get the FIXI Crescent Suzuki competing with the fastest riders – which is where we believe we can be.”
— Effenbert Liberty Ducati
Another uphill race for the Liberty Racing Team. The Czech team, in fact, close the hot Sunday racing on the track in Misano just called “World Misano Circuit Marco Simoncelli” in honor of the unforgettable “Super Sic”, leaving the Romagna disappointed for the not good results, under the initial expectations.
In race 1 Guintoli, after an uncertain start and a contact with Carlos Checa, has lost several positions and he had to recover on the opponents, although he had a race pace very close to the lead group. The first race for him ended with an eighth place, just ahead of his team mate Kuba Smrž, who was also the victim of an unhappy start. 13th place for Maxime Berger.
In race 2 Guintoli was the author of a much better start, which allowed him to be in the top group, so with the hope of battling for the podium. Unfortunately, just as he upped his pace to consolidate its position, he crashed down, touched by Melandri, who was coming behind him to overtake. The Team mates Kuba Smrž and Maxime Berger left in the race to keep up the pride of Liberty, passed under the checkered flag ninth and eleventh.
In the standings, Sylvain Guintoli is seventh with 103 points, tenth Kuba Smrž with 75.5 points and Maxime Berger is 15th with 38.5 points. Next round of the Superbike World Championship is scheduled to Aragon, in Spain, the last weekend of June, but before the Liberty Racing Team will be the protagonist of two very special events. The first will be held in Sirolo, on the Riviera of Conero, 16 and 17 June, and from June 21 to 24 will be in first line for the World Ducati Weekend. More details will be announced in the coming days.
Scarcella Races to a Podium Finish In Misano
The 3rd round of the KTM European Junior Cup was held earlier today in ideal racing conditions at the newly renamed Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
After technical problems in qualifying which restricted the amount of track time he had, Sepp made a lightning start from 9th place on the grid to complete the opening lap in 2nd place.
Locked in a race long battle with Christian Vidal who pushed him hard throughout the 9 lap race Sepp showed that he was every bit a true ‘racer’ with the two upcoming talents passing each other at virtually every opportunity.
By half race distance Sepp and Christian had opened up a comfortable cushion with Sepp riding a mature race just losing out on the last turn to a spirited attack from his Spanish competitor to claim an impressive 3rd place at the flag.
With 16 points now on his score sheet and the promise of more to come in the next races you would be hard pressed to bet against the talented Australian securing a victory before the 2012 KTM European Junior Cup season is over.
1st Lukas Wimmer
2nd Christian Vidal
3rd Sepp Scarcella
1st Christian Vidal 26 points
2nd Lukas Wimmer 25 points
3rd Adrian Pasek 25 points
9th Sepp Scarcella 16 points