Anthony West 11th in Supersport, Mike Jones 8th, Glenn Scott 15th in Superstock 1000
At the Motul Italian Round on Sunday it was Aruba.it Racing – Ducati rider Chaz Davies who took a superb victory in front of the fans at Imola, with the podium also featuring Kawasaki Racing Team pair Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes.
In a restarted race – after a red flag in the first Race 2 start earlier in the afternoon – Davies produced a superb ride on the Ducati, overtaking provisional leader Sykes midrace and going on to win by just under four seconds from Rea.
Davies’ first double victory of 2017 was a repeat of his Imola result from 2016, the Ducati man having also picked up maximum points at the Italian track last year.
“What a weekend! For the first time this year, I feel we’ve been the benchmark from the beginning. We were able to find our rhythm on Friday, and it sort of snowballed from there. The team has done an awesome job, the bike worked superbly in both races, in different conditions, but today it was quite interesting. We got mixed up at the first start, but after the re-start we got a good launch and I was able to make some good moves that put us in a good position. Sykes’ pace was strong, so I had to put my head down to hunt him and, once I caught him, I was able to set my own pace and that was good enough. Thanks to all the Italian fans for showing up this weekend, their push was something special.”
Sykes had led the race but was eventually unable to hold off his teammate Rea for second, as the Northern Irishman ultimately beat the Yorkshirman across the line by +0.603s.
“It was difficult at times today especially because I made a mistake going into the Variante Bassa chicane at one point. I lost all the track positions that I gained in the first few corners and that changed my race completely. I feel that if I did not lose those I would have had something extra to – maybe not win the race – but for sure to go with Chaz. I got stuck behind some traffic after that but when I went through I was able to keep a consistent rhythm. I was too far back from Chaz but today we halved the winning margin compared to yesterday. I raced with the new soft prototype front tyre and in these temperatures I think it was maybe too soft an option for our bike. But I am generally content to have increased our championship lead, take 40 points and get on the podium twice at what is probably not our strongest track right now. It has been a really positive weekend.”
“We had a good start to the race and I knew this was one of the opportunities I would have. I had to make a good start and push hard early on. I knew the speed of Chaz was incredible and I knew Jonathan would have good speed as well. Finally, Jonathan and I were quite evenly matched on lap times. There were two areas of the track where I was not able to do my usual riding style and over a lap I was suffering with turning the bike. The lap times were not too bad. Chaz had another step again today but we were a big step in front of the other riders. We improved the bike set-up from yesterday a little bit, but third was probably our realistic maximum today. I am relatively happy with the Sunday race but it was just the first race this weekend that let us down a bit.”
Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) and home rider Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) were engaged in a close fight for fourth, with Spaniard Fores finally coming out on top in that duel by less than two tenths of a second.
“It was a difficult day for us, and we can’t be happy with the result because it’s not representative of our potential. Yesterday we managed to step on the podium, but we already had some issues under acceleration and unfortunately we weren’t able to solve them. The rear kept losing contact with the ground while upshifting, and this penalized us a lot coming out of slow corners. Also, I didn’t have enough confidence with the front to try and pass Forés. Still, I wanted to thank all the fans for their support, it was incredible and it made me really proud to represent the Italian flag on an Italian bike. We’ll bounce back at Donington.”
Behind that pair Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) crossed the line in sixth place for more good points, with Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) close by in seventh. It was a solid result for Laverty after a difficult day for him on Saturday, with his big crash in Race 1.
“Today was one of our best results of the year, but more importantly it was the first race where I was able to maintain pace and actually move forward at the end. We learnt so much, especially in regard to the weight distribution which we’ve struggled with. It confirmed our thoughts over the last few rounds of the direction we need to take, and hopefully some of the ideas we have to try and Donington Park will move us forward. I’m optimistic and excited to race at the home round in the UK, and I’d like to make that step further there in front of our fans.”
Likewise an excellent performance by Jordi Torres saw the Althea BMW Racing Team man finish in eighth place having got away from the back of the grid, after he missed Superpole and Race 1 on Saturday due to illness.
Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) and Leandro Mercado (IODARacing) completed the top ten, Mercado making amends for his Race 1 DNF.
There was disappointment for Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) who crashed out of second place early on having made a superb start, with Alex De Angelis (Pedercini Racing SC-Project) also crashing shortly after the Englishman.
Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) was another crasher and Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was forced to retire due to a technical issue.
WorldSBK 2017 – Round Five – Imola Race Two Superbike Results
C. Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
J. Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team)
T. Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team)
X. Forés (BARNI Racing Team)
M. Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
A. Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
E. Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia)
J. Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team)
M. Van Der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
L. Mercado (IODARacing)
R. Ramos (Team Kawasaki GoEleven)
N.Hayden (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team)
L. Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia)
S. Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team)
R. Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing)
R. De Rosa (Althea BMW Racing Team)
O. Jezek (Grillini Racing Team)
RT) R. Russo (Guandalini Racing)
RT) L. Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse)
RT) A. De Angelis (Pedercini Racing SC-Project)
RT) A. Badovini (Grillini Racing Team)
WorldSBK 2017 – Round Five – WSBK Championship Points Standings
Jonathan Rea – 235
Chaz Davies – 161
Tom Sykes – 160
Marco Melandri – 124
Alex Lowes – 94
Xavi Forés – 84
Michael Van Der Mark – 78
Jordi Torres – 65
Leon Camier – 64
Eugene Laverty – 55
Román Ramos – 44
Stefan Bradl – 43
Nicky Hayden – 40
Leandro Mercado – 34
Lorenzo Savadori – 28
Randy Krummenacher – 25
Alex De Angelis – 23
Markus Reiterberger – 19
WSS: Kenan Sofuoglu backs up his Dutch win with another at Imola to move into fourth overall
Anthony West 11th, Lachlan Epis 19th, Giuseppe Scarcella 24th
In a delayed and shortened WorldSSP race on Sunday afternoon at the Motul Italian Round World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) took the win, using all his experience to beat Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) and PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), who both joined him on the podium.
Anthony West was the strongest Aussie, placing 11th, while Lachlan Epis came home 19th. Giuseppe Scarcella was 24th.
Anthony West shared on social media
“20th to 11th. We made it hard for ourself again. Three restarts and two red flags, it was a crazy race day. Finally the bike run without any problems. We had many issues Friday and Saturday so that’s that’s why QF didn’t go so well. Also I have been a little off this week with personal problems. If the Yamaha R6 had run all weekend like it did for the race I feel the bike is finally at a top five level. So all going well, I really hope for top five in Donington park in two weeks. Unfortunately it will be my last race in WSS this year unless we find a sponsors in the next three weeks to finish the last six races. Thanks to my EAB WEST RACING team for getting me this far! It’s really hard to be at the top level against the teams that know their bikes well and have the staff to fix the details. My two guys work for nothing and do the work of four mechanics. So I can’t complain about their work, they have done an amazing job to get me out on track. Big thanks to them! Let’s hope I will be where I should be in UK and that’s at the front.”
Having missed the first two rounds of 2017 due to a training injury and then crashing out on his comeback at Aragon, Sofuoglu built on his Assen victory with a second consecutive triumph in this 11-lap sprint to claw back five points on championship leader Mahias.
“My fortieth WorldSSP race win was not easy especially as the many red flags gave us a hard time. Finally for the race I had no new rear tyres left to use. But I told myself ‘no excuses, no complaints’ just go for the win. I worked very hard to stay at the front with a good pace. I am especially happy for the team because it is an Italian round and therefore a home round for them. I am also very happy for Kawasaki because this was a good result.”
Frenchman Mahias remains at the head of the standings following his second place finish, a fourth podium result of the year so far for the Yamaha man. Pole man Jacobsen crossed the line just behind Sofuoglu and Mahias in third, but he was never really able to challenge the leading pair for victory.
The top five also included Sheridan Morais (Kallio Racing) and Kyle Smith (GEMAR Team Lorini), with South African rider Morais around seven seconds off the podium and eight tenths of a second in front of Smith.
Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda), Christian Gamarino (BARDAHL EVAN BROS. Honda Racing), Loris Cresson (SC Racing-RPM84), Hikari Okubo (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) and Alessandro Zaccone (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) were all in the top ten.
Indeed in tenth place Zaccone was the leading FIM Europe Supersport Cup finisher, ahead of Hannes Soomer (WILSport Racedays) in 16th and Rob Hartog (Team Hartog – Jenik – Against Cancer) in 17th.
Alex Baldolini (Race Department ATK#25) retired with technical problems, with smoke pouring from his MV Agusta F3 675 machine, whilst there were crashes for the likes of Niki Tuuli (Kallio Racing) and Kyle Ryde (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing).
The WorldSSP race finally took place after WorldSBK Race 2 following an initial race start delay and two interrupted races earlier in the day – due to red flags after incidents had left debris and oil on track. Due to the rescheduling of the race it was shortened from an original 17-lap length to 11 circulations of the Imola track.
The riders will be back in action over the 26th-28th May weekend at the UK’s Donington Park circuit.
WorldSBK 2017 – Round Five – Imola World Supersport Race Results
K. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing)
L. Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP team)
P. Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse)
S. Morais (Kallio Racing)
K. Smith (GEMAR Team Lorini)
J. Cluzel (CIA Landford Insurance Honda)
C. Gamarino (BARDAHL EVAN BROS. Honda Racing)
L. Cresson (SC Racing-RPM84)
H. Okubo (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda)
A. Zaccone (MV Agusta Reparto Corse)
A. West (EAB West Racing)
J. Kennedy (Profile Racing)
L. Stapleford (Profile Racing)
M. Canducci (Puccetti Racing Junior Team FMI)
G. Rea (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven)
H. Soomer (WILSport Racedays)
R. Hartog (Team Hartog – Jenik – Against Cancer)
R. Mulhauser (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda)
L. Epis (Response RE Racing)
H. Kunikawa (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda)
N. Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura)
J. Cretaro (RSV Phoenix Suzuki)
P. Sebestyén (SSP Hungary by Pedercini Racing)
G. Scarcella (GEMAR Team Lorini)
C. London (RSV Phoenix Suzuki)
RT) F. Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP team)
RT) K. Watanabe (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven)
RT) J. Van Sikkelerus (MVR Racing)
RT) N. Tuuli (Kallio Racing)
RT) A. Baldolini (Race Department ATK#25)
RT) M. Malone (Team Green Speed)
RT) K. Ryde (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing)
RT) D. Corradi (SCS Racing Team)
RT) R. Rolfo (Team Factory Vamag)
RT) Z. Khairuddin (Orelac Racing VerdNatura)
RT) D. Pizzoli (Race Department ATK#25)
WorldSBK 2017 – Round Five – World Supersport Championship Points Standings
Lucas Mahias – 85
Sheridan Morais – 58
Pj Jacobsen – 55
Kenan Sofuoglu – 50
Roberto Rolfo – 41
Jules Cluzel – 39
Kyle Ryde – 36
Federico Caricasulo – 35
Niki Tuuli – 27
Christian Gamarino – 25
Michael Canducci – 24
Anthony West – 23
Hikari Okubo – 22
Decha Kraisart – 20
Aiden Wagner – 17
Luke Stapleford – 17
Kyle Smith – 16
Kazuki Watanabe – 16
Thitipong Warokorn – 13
Hannes Soomer – 10
Nacho Calero – 10
Rob Hartog – 10
Lachlan Epis – 10
SSTK1000: Michael Rinaldi wins again at Imola
The excellent 2017 season of Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team) continued at his home race as the Italian took a dominant 2.3s victory at Imola in the Superstock 1000 European Championship, with Roberto Tamburini (PATA Yamaha Official STK 1000 Team) and Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) also on the podium.
Mike Jones came home in a respectable eighth place, with fellow Aussie Glenn Scott 15th.
“Crazy day in Imola! Three restarts for my race but I’m proud to say I brought it home in P15, first point of the season. Bit of luck got me there but I stayed on, did my quickest lap time of the weekend and learnt a lot. Gaining more confidence every race! Bring on round4! Big thanks to my team and sponsors, progress!”
Controlling a restarted race from pole position on the grid, Rinaldi was unaffected by two aborted race starts – which were cut short by red flags – as he held his nerve to strengthen his position at the head of the standings.
After his win at Aragon and second place at Assen Rinaldi outpaced his rivals over the 9 lap sprint, with Tamburini and Razgatlioglu unable to catch him.
Turkish rider Razgatlioglu was the only non-Italian in a top six which also featured Federico Sandi (Berclaz Racing Team), Marco Faccani (Althea BMW Racing Team) and Matteo Ferrari (DMR Racing Team).
The top ten also featured Sebastien Suchet (Berclaz Racing Team), Mike Jones (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team), Alex Schacht (EAB Schacht Racing Team) and Federico Sanchioni (Clasitaly).
There were crashes for Maximillian Schieb (Nuova M2 Racing), Jeremy Guarnoni (Pedercini Racing), Florian Marino (Pata Yamaha Official STK1000 Team), Illia Mykhalchyk (TripleM Racing), Kevin Manfredi (DDM by BWG-Bike &Motor RT-Grimaldi) and Toni Fisterbusch (Agro On-Benjan-Kawasaki) on an incident packed day.
The first running of the race was cut short after a red flag following a crash for Luca Marconi (TheBlackSheep Team) and Jones at turn 3.
Then after the race was restarted separate incidents for Alessandro Nocco (DDM by BWG_Bike & Motor RT_Grimaldi) and Marc Moser (TripleM Racing) again at turn 3 saw the red flag come out once more. Eventually the riders got away a third time and were able finally able to complete the race.
The Superstock 1000 European Championship grid will gather again for more action next time out at Donington in two weeks’ time, over the 26th-28th May weekend.
WorldSBK 2017 – Round Five – Imola World Superstock1000 Race Results
WSSP300: Marc Garcia takes top spot from Alfonso Coppola on final lap
An enthralling WorldSSP300 race at the Motul Italian Round was won by Spanish rider Marc Garcia (Halcourier Racing) as he beat Italy’s Alfonso Coppola (SK Racing) on the final lap, with Mykyta Kalinin (Team MOTOXRACING) also on the podium.
At the end of a closely contested 11-lap race Garcia got the better of Coppola over the final corners, to win the third race of the season in this new category. Garcia beat his Italian rival to the line by just +0.177s as the pair dueled on the final lap, with Borja Sanchez (Halcourier Racing) following them across the line.
“I feel so happy, two races I didn’t finish on the podium, today I did it, amazing race. The last lap I pushed 100% after staying behind the group in the closing laps, and I am so happy. I would like to dedicate this to the people who have supported me.”
However Sanchez was sanctioned by Race Direction after the race and was demoted to fourth, promoting Kalinin to third.
Another Italian rider Giuseppe De Gruttola (SK Racing) completed the top five having earlier been in contention for victory.
Dorren Loureiro (DS Junior Team), Luca Bernardi (MotorZenit), Paolo Grassia (3570 Made in CIV), Robert Schotman (GRT Yamaha WorldSSP300 Team) and Mika Perez (WILSport Racedays) completed the top ten.
Early championship leader Scott Deroue (MTM HS Kawasaki) was never really on the pace over the weekend at Imola, starting in 21st place on the grid, and finally finishing in 11th. Deroue was the winner of the first two races at Aragon and Assen and remains at the head of the standings with a 14 point lead over Coppola.
The WorldSSP300 riders will be in action again next time out at Donington in two weeks’ time over the 26th-28th May weekend.
WorldSBK 2017 – Round Five – Imola WSSP300 Race Results
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