|World SBK 2011 – Round Eight – Brno|
Melandri & Biaggi swap wins again
Just like the previous round at Motorland Aragon, Marco Melandri (Yamaha World Superbike Team) and Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team) swapped wins and second places at another hot race circuit, as Marco won race one and Max won race two. In taking a hard fought victory, Max continued his amazing relationship with Brno, posting his 11th career win in world championship events at this 5.403km long venue. Points leader Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) battled to two gritty third place finishes at Brno today, minimizing the damage to his championship lead despite being outgunned by the riders closest to him in the points tally.
Max Biaggi: “It’s been very tough all weekend, Carlos and Marco were very fast, but here we are again with the top 3 on the podium. In this way we’re having ups and downs, winning one race and second in the other. In race 1 I wasn’t really happy, I knew I could do it, but I didn’t have the moment and Marco went on to win. This time I could reply and do my pace. We made a few changes between the races but not very much, you can always learn from the details, we made the right adjustments but here it’s very difficult for tyre wear and temperature.”
Marco Melandri: “I didn’t give up but it was too difficult like in Aragon. I tried to do my best but Max was faster. Anyway it’s been a good day, we still have to do a bit more to get the double, but I’m happy. Max and I have had some nice battles in the last two rounds, very fair and clean so that’s good. It was fun for us and hopefully fun for the people watching the race in the circuit and on TV!”
Carlos Checa: “You always think that you can do better so you always attack to improve the result, but today considering the conditions, the rivals, the track and the speed we are quite satisfied. We worked well to find the right set-up, chose the right tyres, we didn’t make any mistake. Max and Marco were strong around here and they deserved the win. Most important, we are competitive and fast and still leading the championship, it’s not easy but we are confident we can get the better of them at some circuits.”
Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki Alstare) is another who loves Brno and he showed it today, by taking two top four rides, with Eugene Laverty (Yamaha World Superbike) fifth on two occasions. The win tallies for the year now read Checa with eight, Melandri three, Biaggi and Laverty two each and the still injured Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda) one. Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team) once again played the fastest game for BMW, sixth in each race. Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Racing Team) had two superb fight backs from a starting position of 19th, going ninth in race one and eighth in race two, making him the top Kawasaki finisher. Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) flew solo for the official team this weekend and toughed it out, taking home points for eighth and seventh. Home rider Jakub Smrz (Effenbert – Liberty Racing Ducati) who was 11th in race one, fell in race two.
Melandri took his third win of the year to lead his championship rivals Biaggi and Checa across the line in race one. The top three were covered by only 0.436 seconds after 20 hot laps, with track temperatures reaching 44°C, and which only got hotter in race two. At one stage Fabrizio looked capable of catching the leading trio, but he slowed to take a safe and yet still impressive fourth. Laverty went from the front row to fifth. The man most on the move in the race was Badovini as he passed several riders to get up to sixth. Biaggi’s team-mate Camier took seventh, with Haslam eighth.
Biaggi and Melandri ended up deciding the race two result in a man-to-man duel, which went the way of the 2010 world champion. The margin of victory was only 0.222 seconds, with Melandri right behind his countryman but unable to pass Biaggi on the final few corners. Carlos Checa was in a clear third place, with Michel Fabrizio having a good race again and finishing fourth. Laverty could not catch the top quartet, but was safe in a lonely fifth. Once again Badovini impressed the paddock with his prowess and he took sixth place, one ahead of official rider Haslam. Track temperatures in race two hit a massive 54°C.
|SBK Race 1||SBK Race 2||SBK Series Points|
|1. Melandri M. (ITA) Yamaha|
2. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia 0.241
3. Checa C. (ESP) Duc 0.436
4. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Suz 8.448
5. Laverty E. (IRL) Yam 11.863
6. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW 16.374
7. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia 20.075
8. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW 21.399
9. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawa 21.5
10. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawa 22.3
11. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 22.49
12. Haga N. (JPN) Aprilia 24.710
13. Berger M. (FRA) Duc 27.958
14. Rolfo R. (ITA) Kawa 31.7
15. Lowes A. (GBR) Honda 31.9
16. Aitchison M. (AUS) Kaw 34.7
|1. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia|
2. Melandri M. (ITA) Yam 0.22
3. Checa C. (ESP).Ducati 3.558
4. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Suzuki 7.863
5. Laverty E. (IRL) Yamaha 8.534
6. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW 18.085
7. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW 21.650
8. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawa 21.86
9. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 25.306
10. Haga N. (JPN) Aprilia 27.366
11. Rolfo R. (ITA) Kawa 33.716
12. Aitchison M. (AUS) Kawa 36.5
13. Lanzi L. (ITA) BMW 37.468
14. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawa 46.87
15. Kispataki V. (HUN) Honda
|1. Checa 293|
2. Biaggi 263
3. Melandri 240
4. Laverty 168
5. Haslam 137
6. Camier 134
7. Fabrizio 134
8. Badovini 106
9. Haga 99
10. Rea 94
11. Guintoli 89
12. Smrz 88
13. Lascorz 88
14. Sykes 84
15. Corser 55
16. Xaus 44
— World Supersport
Gino Rea (Step Racing Team) won his first ever race in this category after the red flag was shown on lap 16 with Gino in a lead that he had held for some time. Fabien Foret (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) was a close second, with championship leader Chaz Davies (Yamaha ParkinGO) third. David Salom (Kawasaki Motocard.com) collected fourth place ahead of Roberto Tamburini (Bike Service R.T. Yamaha). Sam Lowes (Parkalgar Honda) slowed after a good start and finished sixth, one place up on Luca Scassa (Yamaha ParkinGO). Broc Parkes (Kawasaki Motocard.com) crashed out while in the leading group, leaving the championship points Davies on 121, Parkes on 85, Foret on 85, Salom on 84 and Scassa on 79.
1. Rea G. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 31’21.642 (155,057 kph)
2. Foret F. (FRA) Honda CBR600RR 0.448
3. Davies C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R6 0.857
4. Salom D. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 2.375
5. Tamburini R. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 5.505
6. Lowes S. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 6.890
7. Scassa L. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 7.721
8. Ellison J. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 15.495.
Points (after 7 of 12 rounds):
1. Davies 121; 2. Parkes, 3. Foret 85; 4. Salom 84; 5. Scassa 79;
6. Lowes 73; 7. Harms 59; 8. Rea 57;
— Superstock 1000
Frenchman Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia Superstock) won a closely contested 12-lap race at Brno as he fought off the race long challenge of championship leader Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Ducati). The margin of victory was 0.070 seconds and the battle for third was almost as close, with Lorenzo Zanetti (BMW Motorrad Italia Superstock) just 0.7 behind Barrier, but with Markus Reiterberger (Garnier Alpha Racing Team) right in his own wheel tracks. In the championship itself, Giugliano now has 115 points, Zanetti 84, and Danilo Petrucci (who fell from his Barni Racing Ducati while leading) has 69. Barrier, who won his first race of the year today, is fourth, with 65 points.
1. Barrier S. (FRA) BMW S1000 RR 24’54.052 (156,226 kph);
2. Giugliano D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 0.070;
3. Zanetti L. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 0.722;
4. Reiterberger M. (GER) BMW S1000 RR 1.257;
5. Canepa N. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 13.181;
6. Massei F. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 13.413;
7. Baroni L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 17.913;
8. Morais S. (RSA) Kawasaki ZX-10R 19.058
Points (after 5 of 10 rounds):
1. Giugliano 115; 2. Zanetti 84; 3. Petrucci 69; 4. Barrier 65; 5. Canepa 48
6. Massei 36; 7. Antonelli 35; 8. Baroni 33
– Yamaha Report
The Brno circuit was host to nail-biting races today under blistering sunshine, as the three championship leaders battled for podium positions in the two World Superbike races. Marco Melandri provided a masterful display of race craft in both races to claim his third victory of the season in race one and settling for second on the podium in a hard fought second race of the day.
In race one the two Yamaha World Superbike riders, Eugene Laverty and Marco Melandri, stormed off the grid to take second and third place respectively. Melandri passed his team-mate to claim second place on lap two and tucked neatly behind Biaggi where he remained for a further six laps, while Checa moved in to take third place. On lap 9, Melandri pushed into the lead and proceeded to hold off constant advances from the fellow Italian, only temporarily rendering position on the 17th lap before powering his R1 to the chequered flag, claiming his third victory of the 2011 season. Team-mate Laverty got off to a perfect start off the grid to tuck into second place. Struggling to gain speed on the straights, the Irishman gradually fell back to fifth place by lap four. Fighting hard to keep the pace, Laverty maintained position and completed the race in fifth.
Race two was almost a replica of race one. Yet again, Melandri closely tailed Biaggi for the first nine laps before pushing ahead into first place. After just two laps, a persistent Biaggi took repossession of the lead. Melandri continued to perform impeccably, constantly on the attack and interchanging positions on several occasions, before settling for second place after a hard fought battle to the finish line. Similar to race one, Laverty was unable to gain sufficient speed to attack the leading bunch. The Irishman put his head down to take fifth place at the flag. Melandri produced the fastest lap times of both race one and race two recording 2’00.118 and 2’00.058 and registering the highest speed of the day reaching an impressive 292.7 km/h in race two on a track temperature of 54 degrees.
Melandri (240 points) and Laverty (168 points) are heading to Silverstone on the 31st July in third and fourth place in the championship standings. Melandri’s impeccable performance today reduced the gap behind himself and the leader, Checa to 53 points and remains 23 points behind Biaggi in third. Laverty remains an impressive 31 points ahead of Haslam in fifth.
Marco Melandri / Yamaha World Superbike Team – 1st, 2nd – “It’s a great sensation to be on my third win of the season but I still need to do a double. I’m really happy with today’s results. At the beginning of race one I didn’t think I’d catch up on Max, so I immediately passed Eugene in order to tail him. I was struggling to keep in front, at times Max was faster than me. Race two was also very difficult. I certainly didn’t give up but it wasn’t easy to keep pushing. Max and I had a nice battle which I think we both enjoyed, and I’m sure the spectators did also. I have to say thanks to the team for doing such a good job again. I’m looking forward to Silverstone.”
Eugene Laverty / Yamaha World Superbike Team – 5th, 5th – “Today wasn’t the best day for me, I had hoped to do much better. I had to settle for two fifth places when I could have done more. I was struggling with power, and getting up straight line speed. I was on the same pace as the top riders but losing time on straights even though I was riding to the limit. Considering the circumstances, the result wasn’t too bad. We need to pull out the data and investigate to understand where we can improve and be stronger for Silverstone.”
Andrea Dosoli / Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager – “It was a perfect conclusion to the weekend in Brno for Marco. He was fantastic in both races. Obviously it’s a pity he didn’t win the second race but considering the extreme track conditions and the fact that Marco and Max were fast and consistent throughout, we can safely say they provided great entertainment for the spectators. We reduced the gap to Checa by 13 points. That’s important and if we can continue like this it will be a very interesting championship. Eugene got two very good starts in both races. There are a few things we can still improve on his bike and we’ll continue to work on this. He proved to be constantly learning and we have to remember that he is still fourth in the classification and the top three riders have years of Moto GP experience behind them. He is performing fantastically for his rookie year.”
– BMW Report
Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport completed the eighth round of the 2011 FIM Superbike World Championship at Brno (CZE) with two solid races. Factory rider, Leon Haslam (GBR), had a good points haul, finishing eighth and seventh respectively. With this Leon improved one position in the riders’ championship. His team mate, Troy Corser (AUS), did not compete this weekend due to his fractured left arm. Nevertheless he was with the team at Brno. Troy will be back in action at the next round in Silverstone (GBR).
In race one, Leon had a good start from 13th on the grid and improved to eighth during the first lap. At the halfway stage he fell back a few places, but during the final laps he was able fight to his way back up, crossing the line in eighth. At the start of the second race Leon improved to ninth. Then he had some good battles and was able to pass a couple of riders, and was seventh after eight laps. In the closing stages of the race, Leon had an intense battle with Joan Lascorz for this seventh position, with Leon coming out on top.
Leon is now fifth in the riders’ championship with 137 points, Troy lies in 15th (55 points). In the manufacturers’ standings BMW is fourth with 173 points. Ayrton Badovini (ITA) of the BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team finished both heats in sixth, while his team mate, Lorenzo Lanzi (ITA), was 17th and 13th respectively. The races were won by Marco Melandri and Max Biaggi.
In the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup race BMW riders where once more successful, with four BMW S 1000 RRs finishing in the top six. Sylvain Barrier (FRA) from the BMW Motorrad Italia Superstock Team celebrated his first victory in the series. His team mate, Lorenzo Zanetti (ITA), also stood on the podium, finishing third. Markus Reiterberger (GER) from the Garnier Alpha Racing Team scored his best ever result in the series. He finished fourth after starting from the front row for the first time. Fabio Massei (ITA) from Team Piellemoto completed the top six.
Result Race 1: 8th / Gap to 1st: 00:21.399 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 2:01.064 min
Result Race 2: 7th / Gap to 1st: 00:21.650 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 2:00.941 min
“In today’s first race I had a good start. With new, grippy tyres I was struggling a little bit with my pace, so some other riders were able to pass me. But when the grip went away I did not go any slower – but they did, so I caught up again. That was a good battle and I passed three guys during the last few laps, which was exciting. In race two I was held up a little bit so Ayrton, who was in sixth, could get away. But then I had a really good battle with Lascorz in the last two laps. They were two pretty hard races for eighth and seventh. Of course this is not where we want to finish, but we kind of understand what the issue is and know what direction to take now. I am pretty happy with the progress we made and I hope we can make up the difference at my next home race at Silverstone.”
Rainer Bäumel (Head of Race Operations):
“We made the best out of our starting position. Actually, the results were even better than we expected from 13th on the grid. Leon had two solid races to improve in the riders’ championship by one position, so this was a satisfying end to this weekend. But, of course, we know that we still have work to do. We have a lot of ideas that, in any case, we will implement for the next race weekend at Silverstone. We want to congratulate Sylvain Barrier on his first victory on the BMW S 1000 RR in the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup.”
– HRC Report
Alex Lowes (Castrol Honda) enjoyed his first taste of Superbike World Championship racing as he scored a point for 15th place in race one, at a hot and steamy Brno circuit that marked round eight of the series. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) Marco Melandri (Yamaha) traded wins and second places, with championship leader Carlos Checa (Ducati) third in each 20-lap race.
Lowes made real progress with his overall pace from first practice onwards and in race one he was only an average of one and a half seconds per lap from the winning rider, despite his lack of riding experience on the official Castrol Honda machine.
In race two Alex fell on lap six as he tried to maintain his pace on a hotter track surface and he could not restart. Lowes, twin bother of WSS rider Sam, is standing-in for the recuperating Jonathan Rea, who was injured in a big crash at Misano in round six.
Team regular Ruben Xaus (Castrol Honda) had a hard and fast lap one crash on the exit of the penultimate chicane in race one and although initial medical checks proved that he had not broken anything, he was ruled out of race two due to the after effects of impacts with first his own his machine, and then the track surface. He had qualified 17th, ahead of his new stand-in team-mate Lowes, who has been 21st on the grid.
In the championship rankings, Checa is on 293 points, the closing Biaggi has 263 and Melandri has 240. Jonathan Rea is still inside the top ten despite missing three meetings, on 94 points, and Xaus has 44 points, in 16th place overall.
Step Racing Honda rider Gino Rea made the most of his front row starting position to record his first ever win in this class of racing and also post the first WSS race win for Honda in 2011. Gino, fourth on the grid, was leading the field on the penultimate lap as the red flag was shown. He had led for ten laps before the red flag was thrown and with the results counted back to lap 15, Rea was awarded the win by 0.448 seconds from Fabien Foret (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda).
Foret, starting from pole, had experienced issues with his quick-shifter shortly before the race commenced, but was still keen to attack Rea’s lead on the final lap or two, only to be deprived of the chance. His is ranked third overall after equalling his best 2011 race result, but is in reality tied on points for second place with Broc Parkes (Kawasaki) who fell once again.
Sam Lowes (Parkalgar Honda) was in line for a strong podium place, but after he inexplicably lost rear tyre traction he had to fight hard just to finish sixth, replicating his practice performance. His is also now also sixth in the points, the second best Honda rider after Foret.
James Ellison (Bogdanka PTR Honda) made a late technical change to his chassis and saw some benefits, but needed some extra time he did not have to find a new optimum setting. Nonetheless, he finished eighth after fighting with Florian Marino (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda). The young French rider was once more unsure of his settings on race day, but tied hard throughout. Ellison had qualified 13th, Marino 11th.
Robbin Harms (Harms Benjan Racing Team Honda) was unlucky as his machine stopped just before the race was red-flagged, when several bikes crashed in succession and one went on fire at the trackside. Robbin had been eighth in qualifying and was fighting for a good points score to keep him in the top echelons of the points standings.
Chaz Davies still leads the championship for Yamaha, with 121 points to the 85 of Parkes and Foret. After Brno Honda is placed second in the Manufacturers’ Standings, only 18 from the lead after seven of 12 rounds.
Alex Lowes (Castrol Honda) Race result: 15th /DNF Championship position: 28th – “Race one was pretty good. I have been modifying my riding style for the bike over the weekend and improving the settings so I was happy with race one. I only struggled with pace a little bit towards the end when the tyres were really worn. I was looking forward to race two, but my start was not so good and I was missing a bit of feeling so I went back to my old style of riding and that is what caused me to crash. I just took the brake into the middle of the corner, so my fault. I had been working a lot on going square into the corners in practice and getting a good exit, which is the correct way to ride the bike.”
Ruben Xaus (Castrol Honda) Race result: DNF / DNS Championship position: 14th – “I don’t think I did anything different in the crash, so I’m not sure why it happened, but it felt like a double high side. First the rear let go and threw me out of the seat. It seemed to correct and I thought I would save it, but while I was out of the seat it went again and just threw me forward over the front. I got a really big bang from the tank on my leg and, although there was no break, it swelled up and I could not bend the leg for race two. It’s a disappointing end to the weekend where I cannot deny we have had some problems. It’s frustrating because everyone in the team wants to fix them and is trying their best to do this. I won’t know for a week or so how bad the leg is, but I hope we can get back to some better results at Silverstone.”
– Suzuki Report
Michel Fabrizio raced to two fourth places in today’s eight-round World Superbike Championship at Brno in the Czech Republic, defying the pain barrier in both 20-lappers.
The Team Alstare Suzuki rider was suffering from a cyst in between two of his toes in his right foot and was in agony every time he pushed down on his right footpeg. He had a pain-killing injection in between the two races, but was still in some discomfort and could not be as aggressive as he wanted to be in the right-hand corners.
Marco Melandri (Yamaha) and Max Biaggi (Aprilia) shared the victory spoils in front of 65,000 sun-kissed fans: Melandri won the first race with Biaggi second and Carlos Checa (Ducati) third. Then there was a small gap before Fabrizio and Eugene Laverty (Yamaha) in fifth.
Race two featured another Melandri/ Biaggi battle, but this time Biaggi took the win, just two-tenths-of a-second ahead of Melandri. Checa was third again ahead of Fabrizio.
Michel Fabrizio – Race 1: 4th, Race 2: 4th: “I am happy to get two fourth places today considering all things. I have raced here before with a broken collarbone, but that pain was nothing like my right foot today. Every time I pushed down hard on the right footpeg I was in agony, and, as this circuit is a clockwise one, there are a lot of right turns. I couldn’t push as hard as normal in the right-handers and that prevented me from going any quicker.
“I was happy with my bike set-up and enjoyed the races – apart from the pain of course. I used the same bike and tyres for both races and the only thing we did was a small adjustment to improve the grip. The grip was better in the second race, but once the front three had pulled out a gap, I found it difficult to catch them. But all-in-all, I’m pretty happy with my results today.”
– Althea Ducati Report
The Althea Racing team and rider Carlos Checa celebrated a double podium at the Automotodrom of Brno today; the Spanish rider achieved two very well deserved third place finishes at what is, for him and his 1198, one of the most difficult tracks on the SBK calendar.
The Althea Racing rider made a good start to race one, positioning himself fourth at the end of the first lap. On lap three he was able to get past Laverty to take third and from that point on he pushed hard to reach the two leaders, Melandri and Biaggi, who had already built up almost a two second lead. Towards mid-race, Carlos was lapping faster than anyone on track and with this impressive pace he was able to close the gap and reach Max in second position. He got past him on the twelfth lap but Biaggi almost immediately moved back in front of him. The fight for the podium places continued right up to the finish line. Checa gave it his all and his determination rewarded him with third place at a circuit that has never made his life very easy.
On an even hotter track (50˚C), Checa made a strong start to race two. In third place at the end of lap one, he soon reached race leaders Melandri and Biaggi. He followed the two Italian riders for the remainder of the race, but although he was able to stick with them he could not manage to pass them. Carlos closed this second race of the day with the same result as the first; a third place finish and 16 important championship points.
After eight of thirteen rounds, Checa continues to lead the rider’s classification with a total of 293 points to Biaggi’s 263. Ducati still leads the manufacturer’s championship with 305 points; Aprilia follows with 302.
Carlos Checa: “I’m really very happy with a double podium here. In Race 1 my start wasn’t so bad but it took a few laps to pass Eugene and once past him it took some time to reach Max and Marco ahead. Once there I tried to keep the pace and stick with them. It was hard to find the right place to pass, I got by Max at one point but he came straight back past me. It was a great battle and to be honest I am happy with third because this has always been a tough track for me. Considering the situation, the track, our rivals, we are quite satisfied. We worked well all weekend, found a good set-up, chose the right tyre and really did our best. Max and Marco were really very strong today, it’s a shame I couldn’t quite be there with them but we’re happy nevertheless. We still have a lead in the championship and it is important that we are competitive and consistently fast. Silverstone will be another difficult one for us but then come other tracks where we are at less of a disadvantage so we’ll see. I’m taking it one race at a time.”
Genesio Bevilacqua, General Manager of Althea Racing: “It was another rather difficult day for reasons that have to do with the bike; on these types of track the four cyclinders have a clear advantage in terms of acceleration. it is simply not at the level of our rivals’ bikes when it comes to power and acceleration. Carlos proved himself to be in the right mental and physical condition to be able to fight. He did his best, as did the bike, and now we look forward to tracks that are more favourable to us, or at least where we can be equal to our rivals. I thank everybody that has contributed – the whole team for its hard work all weekend, Ducati and all of our sponsors.”