At the Pirelli Spanish Round it was triple World Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) who took the victory in Race 2 on Sunday to complete a fine weekend at the Circuito de Jerez.
A commanding performance in a restarted WorldSBK race at the resurfaced 4.423km Spanish track gave Rea maximum points – as he was joined on the podium by Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati).
Northern Irishman Rea therefore notched a double win at a venue where he had not previously scored a victory before the Round 12 weekend, the KRT man riding in a confident and relaxed manner having wrapped up an unprecedented third successive title three weeks ago in France.
Rea went from ninth on the grid to first place by the end of the first lap, overtaking Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) cleanly at the second attempt to remain at the front from early in lap 2.
Rea did not look back from there and crossed the line 2.7s seconds ahead of Melandri, who got the better of his teammate Davies in the final stages of the race. The result gave Kawasaki the 2017 WorldSBK Manufacturers’ title.
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) – P1
“Kawasaki won the Manufacturers’ Championship today and it is not just the bike, the rider, the management, the crew chief, it is every single person inside the team and at the factory race department in Japan. Everyone has made this result and I am super-proud to be a part of it. In the race I had a really nice hash tag on my dash today for a little bit more motivation on the grid. My mechanics were building me up right before I left the grid and I knew today I had to go. I feel like I steered the bike around today. The win came from my crew chief Pere Riba because he asked me to trust him with some front geometry changes and a front tyre change. It was awesome.”
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) – P2
“Today’s second place, at the end of such a hard race, feels almost like a win to me. Starting in 10th, I knew it would have been hard to climb back through the field. Rea had the pace to pull away by himself, and I wanted to stay with him from the very start. I was recovering positions quickly, but then I lost time with VD Mark after a contact at turn 5. We could have tried to hunt down Rea together, but it turned into a fight that made us lose time. After that, all I could go for was second place, but it felt good to finally be able to fight with Chaz until the very end. I’m confident ahead of Qatar, we’re still improving.”
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) – P3
“I’m really happy with today’s result, to get on the podium twice wasn’t easy for us. I think we did the best we could this weekend. It was clear it wasn’t going to be an easy round for us since Friday morning, the new tarmac threw us a bit of a curveball and we had all sorts of obstacles to jump over, but we reacted quite well. It would have been a tall order to fight for the win today, but the main goal was to take some points off from Sykes and now we’re exactly even, so I’m satisfied with that. In 2016 we did really well in Qatar so I hope to start from where we left off last year.”
There were good battles throughout the field behind the front runners with Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) finishing fourth and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) fifth. Van der Mark was sixth after leading on the first lap and having had a clash with Melandri early in the race.
Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) was seventh, after a good battle with 2014 World Champion Sylvain Guintoli – who returned to action on the Kawasaki ZX-10RR this weekend. Frenchman Guintoli will also ride for Kawasaki Puccetti Racing at the final round of the season in Qatar next month. Leandro Mercado (IODARacing) and Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) completed the top ten.
Davide Giugliano (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) was given a ride through penalty after speeding in pit lane having been forced to return to his garage due to an issue midrace. He eventually finished 17th, after suffering a DNF on Saturday. Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) was 18th after he crashed out on the first lap of the restarted race.
A red flag had been shown after first lap incidents in the initial race, which saw Davies and Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) both down at turn two and then Dominic Schmitter (eighty one HPC-Power Suzuki Racing) needing assistance from medical staff at trackside after crashing heavily on the Suzuki GSX-R1000.
Davies’ team worked hard as the riders prepared for a restart 20 minutes after the original race had begun, with the Ducati Panigale R requiring some quick repairs in order for the Welshman to return to the starting grid for the second getaway. Laverty was also due on the grid for the restart however he had to return to pit lane for another tweak to his Aprilia RSV4 RF just before the second start – as his tough season continued. He eventually restarted from pit lane and was ultimately unable to finish the shortened 19 lap second race.
The last round of the 2017 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship – the Acerbis Qatar Round – takes place from Thursday 2nd November to Saturday 4th November, under the floodlights in the desert at the Losail International Circuit.
WorldSBK at Jerez – Race 2 Results
Jonathan Rea Kawasaki
Marco Melandri Ducati +2.732
Chaz Davies Ducati +3.974
Championship Standings after Race 2, Round 12
Jonathan Rea – 506 – Kawasaki
Chaz Davies – 363 – Ducati
Tom Sykes – 363 – Kawasaki
Marco Melandri – 301 – Ducati
Alex Lowes – 226 – Yamaha
Michael Van Der Mark – 210 – Yamaha
Xavi Forés – 185 – Ducati
Leon Camier – 154 – MV Agusta
Jordi Torres – 149 – BMW
Eugene Laverty – 135 – Aprilia
Leandro Mercado – 115 – Aprilia
Lorenzo Savadori – 113 – Aprilia
Román Ramos – 106 – Kawasaki
Stefan Bradl 67 – Honda
Randy Krummenacher – 50 – Kawasaki
Raffaele De Rosa – 48 – BMW
Nicky Hayden – 40 – Honda
Alex De Angelis – 32 – Kawasaki
Markus Reiterberger – 29 – BMW
Ayrton Badovini – 26 – Kawasaki
WorldSSP: Victory for Caricasulo in southern Spanish sunshine
In the penultimate WorldSSP race of the season on Sunday in Spain it was Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) who clinched a scintillating victory, crossing the line just 0.065s in front of Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda), with the podium completed by Anthony West (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing).
It was a superb 19 lap contest around the resurfaced 4.423km Circuito de Jerez with Caricasulo and Cluzel contesting the lead in the early laps and their battle would continue to the last corner of the race, with the Italian just holding off the Frenchman for a breathtaking win.
Federico Caricasulo – P1
“I am so happy, the whole team did a good job, we had a perfect bike the whole race. I was pushing 100% in the last two laps and it was really hard to battle with Jules and in the end I was able to win and we are really happy.”
The experienced West worked his way up into a front group of five riders and was able to secure third place by a comfortable enough margin from fourth placed PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) in the end.
Anthony West – P3
“My start was not too bad but I got stuck on the inside and everyone was quite aggressive in the beginning. I got dropped back after that and I lost contact with the very front group. I pushed hard to get back up there and ended up in third place with a few laps to go. I felt strong with the bike but it was difficult to catch the two guys in front. This was my first time on this bike so third was a good result for me. I did not want to push too hard and crash. I am happy the team gave me the opportunity to ride and I am happy to give the team back this podium result.”
At the Pirelli Spanish Round standings leader Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) ultimately produced a controlled and professional ride to fifth place, picking up crucial points after two crashes earlier in the weekend in Spain.
In the absence of the injured 2016 World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) Mahias has opened up a 20 point advantage at the head of the standings with one race remaining in Qatar early in November.
Sheridan Morais (Kallio Racing) is now out of contention for the title, the South African having a tricky race, taking the holeshot off the line from third on the grid before dropping out of the top ten in the early running and then making his way back up to sixth.
The top ten was completed by Niki Tuuli (Kallio Racing), Rob Hartog (Team Hartog – Jenik – Against Cancer), Gino Rea (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) and Christian Gamarino (BARDAHL EVAN BROS. Honda Racing).
The race results saw Yamaha confirmed as the Winning WorldSSP Manufacturer for 2017 as the GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team secured the Team’s title.
Meanwhile, for Estonian rider Hannes Soomer (WILSport Racedays) 15th place was enough to give him the FIM Europe Supersport Cup title.
Stefan Hill (Profile Racing) crashed out at turn 10 early in the race, then with 9 laps to go Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) went down at turn 13 and would retire shortly afterwards. Kyle Smith then also crashed at turn 13 at the end of the race, meaning a DNF for the GEMAR Team Lorini man.
Lachlan Epis took 24th, while fellow Aussie Guiseppe Scarcella was 25th.
WorldSSP300: Hendra takes the victory as Garcia secures the title
One event rider Galang Hendra Pratama (Team MOTOXRACING) has made history as he secured his first race victory, as the Indonesian secured the win over the line at the Circuito de Jerez in an 11 lap thriller. Marc Garcia (Halcourier Racing) finished in fourth position, which was enough to be crowned 2017 FIM Supersport 300 World Champion.
Garcia had a terrible start off the line in one of the most important race starts of his life, whilst Coppola was down in 10th position on the opening lap, but Spanish rider Garcia was able to bounce back instantly in the opening laps and sit in a championship winning position.
Marc Garcia – WorldSSP300 Champion 2017
“I am so happy to take this title and thank you to all my team, its unbelievable. I have no words to describe this feeling, I have been working so hard to achieve this for so long so I want to thank my family and my friends.”
However Coppola was not taking this challenge lying down, and the Italian made up nine places in the first six laps to be back in contention for the title and the victory. In classic WorldSSP300 style there was an eight rider battle for the victory following Ana Carrasco (ETG Racing) being forced to enter pit lane following a jump start.
The final three laps were all about the title fight, and the duo crossed the line joint on points as Scott Deroue (MTM HS Kawasaki) was able to get into the lead on the penultimate lap. But the final lap was anyone’s call and the championship was decided over the line.
As the race to the line was secured by Galang Hendra (Team MOTOXRACING) ahead of former championship contender Deroue, Coppola took third over the line but this wasn’t enough to secure the crown. Garcia took fourth position over the line and as a result took the title by one singular point.
Galang Hendra – P1
“This is a very fantastic race for me, it was the first race in Jerez, I had some problem and in Jerez I was able to do well. The team did a fantastic job and I am very happy for this result.”
Aussie Tom Edwards (Hel Performance – Benjan Racing) finished the race in 19th.
Fellow Australian Reid Battye (BWG Racing-Grimaldi) started from 27th, to finish 25th overall.
“Well after a disappointing qualifying yesterday crashing on lap 3 and not getting a solid time in I had to start from P27. My first World Championship race was crazy! Although the position I finished in is not what I wanted at all, it was a great experience. It really stuffed me up starting so far back because it was really hard to go forward when all the other riders are trying to battle with you. I can not thank my Mum and Dad enough for everything you do for me and I wouldn’t be here today without you. I also can not thank my sponsors and team enough for everything you do also, I really would not be racing without you guys. Also all of the fantastic support from back home every message and comment i see means a lot to me and I cant thank all of you enough for supporting me.”
Jerez WorldSBK – WorldSSP300 Race
1. Galang Hendra (INA) Yamaha
2. Scott Deroue (NED) Kawasaki +0.026
3. Alfonso Coppola (ITA)Yamaha +0.038
STK1000 – Michael Ruben Rinaldi crowned STK1000 Champion
In Sunday’s final race of the Superstock 1000 European Championship season former WorldSBK rider Markus Reiterberger (Van Zon Remeha BMW) took an impressive win from pole, crossing the line five seconds clear at the front, with Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team) securing the title by finishing sixth. Illia Mykhalchyk (TripleM Racing) and Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) completed the podium in second and third places respectively.
Mike Jones (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team) lost out on third place to Razgatlioglu by less than half a second, whilst Roberto Tamburini (PATA Yamaha Official STK 1000 Team) completed the top five.
21 year old Italian Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team) secured the European Superstock 1000 Championship in style, at the Pirelli Spanish Round. In just his second full season in the series, Rinaldi has had a stunning season in 2017, taking the title at the final round and securing four victories overall.
First joining the WorldSBK paddock in 2014, Rinaldi joined the European Superstock 600 class and was able to gain a top 11 finish in the class, which is renowned for its close and competitive nature. Taking a best result of fifth around his home circuit of Imola, he made the switch from Yamaha to Kawasaki for the 2015 season.
In a difficult season for the Italian, he was able to end the season as runner up despite three races outside of the points. Taking his debut win around Jerez, it was clear he had got into his stride on the European scene.
Making the step up into the European Superstock 1000 class for 2016, Rinaldi was team-mate to the title contender Leandro Mercado and was able to learn a lot in his rookie season. Ending in top six in the standings, the 21 year old took six top ten finishes including two podium appearances. With another learning year behind him, he entered the 2017 season ready to fight for the victory.
Beginning his season with a clear outlook on how he is set to take on the series, he dominated proceedings at MotorLand Aragon. Taking pole position and the race win around the Spanish circuit, it marked not only the first victory of the season but also the 21 year olds debut victory in the class. Crossing the line over 3.5s ahead of his rivals, his championship contention was stamped early on.
Three more pole positions followed the stunning opening round – at Imola, Donington Park and Misano – and just one finish outside of the top two so far in 2017. Unable to stop the flying Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) around the TT Circuit Assen, Rinaldi was able to bounce back around Imola, before crashing out in the UK at Donington Park.
Locked in a stunning battle in the Italian heat of Misano, Rinaldi showed the grit and determination it takes to be a championship contender, and fought until the end with compatriot Marco Faccani (Althea BMW Racing Team), but took second position.
Following the summer break, the Ducati rider took the victory in front of the German fans around Lausitzring, in a dramatic race which saw him stretch out his title advantage ahead of the final three races following Razgatlioglu’s crash. Struggling to keep up this pace as the series made its return to Portimao, a string of disappointing results followed which meant the fight went down to Jerez and he took sixth position, which was enough to take the title by eight points.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi – STK1000 Champion 2017
“It was worth the wait, the last three races have been very difficult but yesterday we found our way. It was just unlucky we broke some parts of our engine yesterday so I started low on the grid. But I was able to go up and up in the race and for me this championship is unbelievable. I want to thank everyone who has stayed behind me and supported me.”
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