Following a difficult weekend in Sepang, the Kawasaki Racing Team was back on top form at Misano – in front of the 59,424 spectators attending over the three days – with reigning Champion Tom Sykes taking the double, Loris Baz finishing with a brace of second places and David Salom leading the EVO field in both races. Thanks to his third double of the season, Sykes has now a 39-point advantage over Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) and 41 over teammate Baz.
Despite still being second in the standings, Guintoli was on the back foot today at the Misano World Circuit, missing out the podium and being edged again by his fellow works Aprilia rider Marco Melandri, who completed the podium in the two WSBK encounters of the seventh round.
Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) claimed the race win in World Supersport, while local rider Lorenzo Savadori (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) was victorious in the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup outing.
The eni FIM Superbike World Championship will be back in action in a fortnight’s time, as the series heads to the Portimão’s Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, for the first of two back-to-back rounds before the summer break.
Bryan Staring carded a pair of 18th place finishes in his World Superbike return.
Tom Sykes: “I am very pleasantly surprised at these results but I knew that the adrenaline and the concentration would give me something extra. It all went to plan in race one. I knew I had some limitation all weekend and I said that to my crew chief, and what the issues were. After that you need to get on and do the job. The lap times were quite surprising at the start and my pace too. The front and rear were moving a lot but the feedback from the bike was fantastic, so I have to thank Marcel and Danilo and all the mechanics for that. In race two it was even more difficult, I had to stay focused but at the end the control of the second race was probably a bit more relaxed than in race one.”
Sylvain Guintoli: “Title race wise at least I am holding onto second place but I definitely was expecting more. The top speed was there but we need to find consistency in our race pace especially in the second half. In Race 1 we made the wrong tyre choice, whereas in the second outing we made some adjustments to close the gap to the leaders. While I was with Marco and Baz I made a few mistakes which kept me from battling for the podium in the end. It’s a shame there is no Race 3. Anyway, we need to keep working to be more consistent in the race”.
After 21 fast and furious laps, Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) won the opening race of the day at the Misano World Circuit – Marco Simoncelli after starting from Pole Position courtesy of his record breaking lap yesterday.
From the start however it was Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) that took the holeshot before reigning champion Tom Sykes forced his way past towards the end of the opening lap.
Both factory Aprilia riders made small mistakes before regrouping allowing Loris Baz through to give chase to his Kawasaki team mate.
Elias overshot at the start of lap 3 into turn one whilst the battle at the front was intensifying.
As the race progressed the battle at the front was fast becoming a two rider affair with the fight for the final podium place now involving both Ducati riders as well as the two factory Aprilia machines, Elias and the Pata Honda of Jonathan Rea.
As the race entered the final third Sykes was pulling away from Baz by 2 tenths of second leaving the Frenchman a lonely second. The final podium fight was now between Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) and Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team) with Melandri eventually grabbing 3rd at the flag.
Chaz Davies, Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) and Jonathan Rea completed the top 6.
David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) came out on top in the EVO battle after working his way through the pack after being caught mid pack in the opening sequence of corners eventually finishing a respectable 11th overall.
Alessandro Andreozzi (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) and Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) crashed out unhurt.
After winning the opening race of the day reigning champion Tom Sykes was victorious again in race two putting in a commanding performance aboard his Kawasaki Racing Team machine.
Behind Sykes there was an intense race long three rider fight for the final places on the podium with Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) eventually grabbing 2nd ahead of Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) after some hard but fair overtakes between the pair. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) having to be content with fourth.
An equally exciting scrap behind the top four saw Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) emerge 5th ahead of Toni Elias, Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) and Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) who was 8th.
Race 2 was over before it had begun for Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team). The Italian who had finished 8th earlier in the day took the lead into turn one but was judged to have moved before the lights went out and was given a jump start penalty. He would eventually finish 9th after serving a ride through the pits for his mistake. Ducati’s other rider Chaz Davies crashed out of fifth on the 5th lap.
In the EVO battle the accolade of being the best classified finisher went once again to David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) despite a valiant race from Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia) on his return to racing.
Christian Iddon (Team Bimota Alstare) highsided out of contention early on but was thankfully able to limp away. Fellow Brit Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) crashed out of the fight for fifth. Unlike Iddon, Haslam did remount to finish 12th.
As expected following a close qualifying session today’s World Supersport race was action packed from start to finish with multiple position changes at the front throughout the 19 lap encounter. Pole Position setter Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) led from the start and immediately began stretching a lead of over the chasing group of riders that included Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki), Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team), Raffaele De Rosa… (read more)
Lorenzo Savadori (Team Pedercini) has taken the win, his first of 2014 in the 4th round of the FIM Superstock 1000cc Cup.
Starting from Pole Position the Italian rider eventually crossed the line to claim the victory after 2nd place man Federico Sandi (Team Motoxracing) crashed on the 11th lap bringing out the red flag.
That elevated championship leader Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing) to 2nd with Fabio Massei (EAB Racing Ducati) claiming back to back podiums in 3rd.
Ondrej Jezek (Barni Racing) recovered to 4th after being pushed wide early in the race by his team mate Mercado, while David McFadden (MRS Kawasaki) and Federico D’Annunzio (FDA Racing) rounded out the top six.
EJC points leader Augusto Fernandez (WIL Sport) has come out victorious in today’s 10-lap Pata European Junior Cup, powered by Honda race at Misano, taking his third win out of five races . The young Spaniard got the better of 16 year old Italian wildcard and EJC debutant Matteo Ciprietti (Honda Italy) and compatriot Illan Fernandez (EVO Kids Racing), after a thrilling three way battle up to the chequered flag.
Results: 1. Fernandez 10 Laps/42.260 km in 19’40.147 average 128.913 kph; 2. Ciprietti 0.003; 3. Fernandez 0.230; 4. Orellana 6.149; 5. Harland 6.585; 6. Licciardi 6.615; 7. Soomer 12.692; 8. Grassia 12.760; 9. Perez 27.375; 10. Geissler 33.998; etc.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki racer Eugene Laverty took a hard-fought-for seventh place at the Misano World Circuit ‘Marco Simoncelli’ in Italy today in the second of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship races.
Having slipped back in the first race due to a complication with his previous foot injury, Laverty displayed a strong and determined performance for the day’s second outing. He fought with a number of riders and initially dropped to 10th place at the beginning of the afternoon’s contest, but the Irishman dug deep to regain positions, crossing the line in seventh to score a further nine championship points.
Laverty rode a solitary race on his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R for the majority of the first outing, but set his fastest time of the morning’s race on his 17th revolution of the Italian circuit. Having damaged his already injured right foot in the opening laps, he slipped back and considered retiring from the race, but regrouped, adjusting his riding position towards the latter stages and reigniting his race to regain his grid position: Although he was swiftly-closing the gap to Ducati’s Davide Giugliano, Laverty ultimately ran out of laps as the chequered flag was raised, finishing ninth.
Alex Lowes showed impressive pace in both of the day’s races, racing to eighth this afternoon after a crash in the morning’s action. Recording a 1’36.621 on his ninth lap of the opening race, Lowes had been quickly-closing the gap to Honda’s Jonathan Rea for eighth position before a fall at ‘Turn 5’ on lap 13 saw him leave the fight early.
A difficult start to the second race left the Englishman circulating in 11th but his consistent pace on the Suzuki GSX-R allowed him to challenge the fight for fifth position, claiming seventh by lap 14 and narrowly losing-out to his team-mate at the flag to take the eight points.
Despite an overcast start to the day, race one maintained the weekend’s high temperatures of 29°C with the track already topping 38°C and, as the skies cleared, the afternoon saw track temperatures peak at 44°C. Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes took a double win, with team-mate David Salom reflecting the achievement in the EVO class.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki will continue its championship fight in two weeks’ time at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, Portimao in Portugal on July 6th after a break from racing sees the team attending the Goodwood Festival of Speed from June 27th-29th.
Eugene Laverty: “That was definitely not the easiest of days! In race one, a few laps in at turn five while I was pushing on the footrest I felt something snap inside my foot. There was a lot of pain and I struggled to ride for the next five laps but I didn’t want to pull in so I just adjusted my foot and for the last five or six laps I was able to ride again and start pushing. For the second race I sought medical attention which allowed me to ride in a different way – I had to keep my foot in a strange position on the footrest but at least that allowed me to fight and race, because I thought I wouldn’t be able to race again. It’s unfortunate because I thought the foot was coming ok; it’s ok to walk, but to ride the bike the break is exactly at the point I need to push on the footrest and I think I’ve done more damage now than originally. I’ll do my best to be as strong as I can be in Portimao and hope we can get the GSX-R close to the front.”
Alex Lowes: “I’m really disappointed with the first race, I made a mistake but I was riding quite well. In the second race I did my best and got an eighth place, which I can’t really be happy with but I worked hard. It’s all experience for me, I still need to adjust my riding style for the hot temperatures but it’s my first time here on the Superbike and I felt I held my own. We still have improvements that we need to make both for me and my understanding of the GSX-R and how to get the best from it but I’m looking forward to Portugal. We had a good test there before the season started so hopefully we can continue to improve and come back fighting at Portimao.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager: “A tough weekend all in all! This championship is so competitive; if you miss just a small percentage of your best performance it makes a good result impossible. Both riders made a huge effort and Eugene did very well to race in the second outing – he was clearly in a lot of discomfort. We have a good consistency on worn tyres but both riders struggle to use the grip of a new tyre at the start of the race, so this is our biggest focus in terms of improvement.”
Team Hero EBR Report
The optimism ahead of the 7th round of the World Superbike championship turned into a feeling of disappointment and frustration after both Team Hero EBR riders were unable to finish the day’s opening race and only Geoff was able to contest race two after Aaron’s machine developed a technical issue that prevented him starting.
After having to start from the pitlane in both races Geoff retired his EBR 1190RX after 3 laps in race one because of an issue with the clutch before riding well to climb to 22nd in race two before retiring for a second time to avoid troubles at the front riders on the last lap.
Aaron was running 24th in race one before a technical problem forced his retirement leaving him unable to start the following race as there wasn’t enough time to rectify it.
Of course after such a positive result in Sepang the team leave Misano a little downhearted but will come back positive and ready to fight again in Portimao in a fortnight.
Aaron Yates: “There is nothing much to say apart from that I am very disappointed about my retirement because we made good improvements during the weekend and I really wanted to ride in both races. The whole team is working hard and I am sure in Portimao we will make another step forward in the development of the bike.”
Geoff May: “I tried to push hard in both races but a technical problem with the clutch put me out of Race 1 and in Race 2 I preferred to stop to prevent any problem for the guys fighting for the podium. Starting from the Pitlane left me too far from the other riders and it wasn’t easy to close the gap. We are doing our best and I really hope for a better result in Portimao.”
Pata Honda Report
Pata Honda rider Jonathan Rea finished in seventh and fifth positions in today’s two seventh-round World Superbike championship races at Misano World Circuit ‘Marco Simoncelli’ in Italy.
With temperatures hovering around 30˚C and the track in the mid-40s, the two races were won by Tom Sykes as Rea, 27, fought to harness as many championship points as possible after a testing race weekend. At the halfway point of the season, he holds fourth place in the standings.
His Pata Honda team-mate Leon Haslam endured an eventful raceday, finishing 10th in race one after an electronics glitch just three laps from the end. The 30-year-old crashed on the last corner of the 4.226km Misano circuit in race two but minimal damage to his CBR1000RR Fireblade SP allowed him to re-mount and take 12th place at the flag.
Jonathan Rea – 7th and 5th – “It’s been a disappointing weekend for me because it feels like we’ve made zero progress here. It was frustrating to be unable to pinpoint and fix the problems we’ve had and, while I don’t want to sound like a broken record, I feel a bit like one with my comments in the garage. We were able to salvage a top five in race two after some brave passing in the fast parts of the circuit but the group at the front was too far away. I can only ride the bike as well as it’s working, but I want to be able to race it again. We can’t just hope that the next round will be better; we need to evaluate what’s been going wrong and try to find some different solutions. It’s been frustrating for the whole team because I know we haven’t been able to get the best out of the CBR this weeken d. I know that on the right day and in the right environment, the bike is capable of much, much more. The whole team feels like we’re under-achieving right now so we need to do our homework and fix things as quickly as possible.”
Leon Haslam – 10th and 12th – “I got a bad start in race one and got stuck for a couple of laps before working my way up. By then, I was about four seconds off the group in front, which included Johnny [Rea] and I felt like I was holding my own. I had a few little issues but then, with three laps to go, the ECU seemed to just cut-out. I pulled off the track, re-booted it using the kill-switch and managed to get going again to finish tenth. In race two my start was better but I had a bit of a yo-yo race, losing time in some corners and making it up again in others. I was right on the group that went up to fifth but then had another issue that led to the crash. We need to assess what that problem was and go from there. I think we’ve made some progress this weekend and I was able to do some better lap times in the races but there’s more work to do before Portimao.”
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator – “Leon was riding quite well today and doing some decent lap times. The bike had a technical issue just before the end of race one, which was disappointing for everyone. In race two, he was in the second group and had a small crash, which he was able to recover from to finish 12th. The results are not satisfying of course, but again we made progress. Leon is closer to his team-mate and we’ll take that positive to Portimao, which is a track that he likes. We wanted to battle for the podium here again but Jonathan had too many issues and it took us too long to make a good setting for him. We have a lot of work to do and we need to aim for the Portimao podium with him because it’s one of his favourite tracks and we know how well he and the bike can go there.
Aprilia Racing Report
Finishing on the podium twice in Misano, Marco Melandri confirms the competitive edge that he reacquired with the double win at Sepang in Malaysia, while team mate Sylvain Guintoli managed to defend his second place in the championship standings.
The 32 points earned in Emilia Romagna – thanks to two third place finishes – are the second major spoils for Marco Melandri in his first season astride the Aprilia RSV4 and allow him to continue his climb in the upper part of the world championship standings. At Misano Marco gained 12 points on Rea and reduced the gap behind fourth place to 20 points.
In Race 1 Melandri got stuck in the pack through the first turns, then having to fight to regain positions from eights place, a job he carried out skilfully, finishing in third place for his first podium of the day. Race 2 was an exciting duel behind Sykes, battled out between Melandri and Baz to the excitement of the Italian crowd with Marco finishing the race in third place.
Marco Melandri: “I’m pleased with the way I rode today. I had a good feeling with the bike. In Race 1 after a few mistakes at the start I was able to overtake the riders in front of me, but the Kawasakis were quite simply faster. I’m disappointed about Race 2 because I was able to make up some ground thanks to the work done in the garage. Unfortunately it is very difficult to overtake here and Baz rode very well and didn’t make any mistakes. I think I could have given Sykes a run for it. I wouldn’t have made it easy for him. It’s a shame that we weren’t able to fully verify the progress we made. After Sepang I was consistently fast here too. We are on the right track in terms of feeling so we just need to keep improving from here. Portimao, with its layout, will be able to give us a hand”.
Sylvain Guintoli was one of the protagonists of the day, battling in the top spots but stopping at the foot of the podium twice, finishing fifth and fourth, placements that allowed him to fend off the attack by countryman Baz and hold onto second place in the championship standings.
Sylvain Guintoli: “In terms of the championship at least I am holding onto second place in the standings. But I definitely was expecting more. We are not missing any pure speed, but we need to work on consistent performance as far as race pace goes. In Race 1 we made the wrong tyre choice, whereas in Race 2 with the right options and a few changes to the bike geometry we were able to significantly reduce the gap behind the leaders. While I was with Marco and Baz I made a few mistakes too many which kept me from battling for the podium in the end. It’s a shame there is no Race 3… All joking aside, we need to keep working to be more consistent in the race”.
MV Agusta Report
MV Agusta triumphed once again in the seventh round of the World Supersport Championship: in fact, at Misano MV Agusta Reparto Corse team rider Jules Cluzel took his third pole and second win of the season.
The French rider dominated the race from the first lap, riding his F3 to victory. After an excellent start Cluzel pushed hard to maintain a consistent lead and then held onto it all the way to the chequered flag. With his first place finish today Cluzel reduced the gap in the standings to just 28 points behind championship leader Michael van der Mark.
Wild Card Massimo Roccoli also put in an excellent performance, staying in the points with a fourteenth place finish.
Jules Cluzel: “I am very pleased – more than pleased! We knew that the race would be very difficult, even from a physical point of view. I did exactly what I had wanted to do: I started from out front and tried to feel out my rivals’ pace straight away. I pushed hard from the first lap and was able to create a gap. Then I felt my tyres starting to lose grip. Van der Mark and I began to battle turn after turn with about a one second gap. The race was quite demanding both because of the heat and because of the focus needed to make it a flag to flag lead. But I didn’t make any mistakes. I want to thank the entire team for their excellent work this weekend.”
Massimo Roccoli: “It’s a shame about the result. I was given a great opportunity and this was truly a weekend of growth as was evident in the warm-up this morning. It’s too bad about the race result. We chose the wrong tyre – maybe we should have been more conservative. With that tyre was unable to press hard so I preferred not to take any unnecessary risks.”
Claudio Corti, on the other hand, rode an excellent first race to finish in thirteenth place, just behind the best EVO bikes, finishing the second race seventeenth.
Claudio Corti: “We are continuing to develop the bike as planned. Our feeling is getting better and better and I’m confident that at Portimao our work will already begin to take shape.”
Giovanni Castiglioni, President of MV Agusta: “This was very exciting, especially because at that moment I was reminded of the time when my father stepped onto the podium for the first time in 1992 with Eddie Lawson’s win on the Cagiva 500. We are improving considerably and I am confident that we can continue to do better and better.”
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