Spies and Rea split the WSBK wins at Misano
Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike) and Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) scored the two wins in a memorable day of racing at the Misano World Circuit in Italy. In front of 65,000 spectators Spies took his eighth seasonal win in the first race, while Rea grabbed his maiden Superbike win in the second. The Ducati Xerox pairing of Michel Fabrizio, third and second in the two races, and Noriyuki Haga were also key players in the day’s action, and the Japanese rider now has a 48 point lead over Spies and 55 over his team-mate.
Spies scored the win in the first race of the day, held in flag-to-flag conditions, which saw the riders starting on a wet track but taking the flag in the dry. Half-way through the 24-lapper, which had been totally dominated by Shane Byrne (Sterilgarda Ducati), the entire field started to pit to change bikes and tyres. Spies was the rider who judged things to perfection, the Texan immediately finding the right pace in the dry and going on to win by almost 8 seconds from Byrne. Third place saw a fantastic scrap, with Fabrizio making his 1098 machine as wide as possible on the final lap to hold off the rapidly catching poleman Jakub Smrz (Guandalini Ducati). Fifth place went to Haga, who limited the damage on a track that is not one of his favourites, the Japanese rider passing his compatriot Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki Alstare) in the final stages. Rea was the first Honda to the flag in a race that saw him start from the back of the grid and pick up a ride-through penalty. Tenth place went to Superbike rookie Matthieu Lagrive (Honda Althea), behind Shinya Nakano (Aprilia), while team-mate Max Biaggi was in difficulty in these conditions and could only finish 13th.
Ben Spies: “It was a hard one, we knew from the start it was going to get dry and in that first half hats off to Shakey, he rode great. I had the feeling in the rain that I wasn’t quite happy but I tried as hard as I could to stay close to Michel. My box showed me that some riders were starting to come in for a change so I said that it was time to get in now. It was a hectic race, pretty eventful, not a great race but I was happy to pull this one off.”
Shane Byrne: “That was a fantastic race. It’s a shame it didn’t stay wet for a little bit longer because I had a really big lead at one point. I wasn’t sure what to do with the tyre situation and all the time the lead was going up, and I didn’t know whether to stay out or not. I switched bikes with about seven laps to go and the first two laps were really difficult. Ben had done a couple more dry laps than I had, he passed me and there was no way I was going to get him. It was a fantastic result for the team at their home circuit, they’ve all worked really hard.”
Michel Fabrizio: “That’s not a bad result, it was a great battle with Jakub for the final podium slot. When I saw that on the big screen that he was getting closer and closer, I knew that I had to invent something special on the last lap. I was unable to find the best possible feeling immediately with the dry tyres and I slipped back a bit but I’ve had a lot of bad luck in recent years at Misano so I’m very happy to get onto the podium.”
The second Superbike race saw talented young Brit Jonathan Rea take his first ever win after a spectacular scrap with Fabrizio that set the last laps of the race alight. The final podium slot went to points leader Haga, who took advantage of Spies’ second race mishap, the Texan only managing ninth after being slowed by a clutch issue. Smrz picked up another fourth place after passing Carlos Checa (Honda) on the final lap as the Spanish rider’s tyres went off. Byrne was once again up amongst the front-runners and he finished the second race in sixth place. The first Yamaha to the finish was the R1 of Tom Sykes, seventh ahead of Leon Haslam (Stiggy Racing Honda). The Aprilias of Biaggi and Nakano both finished in the points, together with the Suzukis of Kagayama and Nieto, while Xaus and Corser (BMW) and Parkes and Hacking (Kawasaki) all failed to finish in the top 15.
Jonathan Rea: “To win my first race in Italy here is really special for me before my home round next weekend at Donington. As everybody’s aware we switched suspensions, and tried them for the first time on Monday at Magny-Cours and the team all did a marvelous job to get me to win the race here so this is really special for them as well. I got settled into my own rhythm and Michel came past but he couldn’t outbrake me and that spared my bike from doing all the running. I could pass where I wanted to pass and I saved it to the last lap. I’m really over the moon with the win!”
Michel Fabrizio: “In race 2 I didn’t have a perfect feeling with the front and Rea’s Honda accelerated better out of the corners than me. It’s a pity I didn’t win today but two podiums are my best result on this track and knowing that I did my best makes me happy. I’m just a few points behind Spies in the table and maybe I can start thinking about the title now although I realize that to be a serious candidate I have to keep on getting good results and even win a few races”.
Noriyuki Haga: “Race 2 was much better than the first one: I got a good start but then Johnny and Michel passed me and it was hard to keep their pace, maybe because they’re much younger than me! Seriously though we have taken home some good points and that’s important because Misano is not one of my favourite tracks. Now I’m looking forward to racing at Donington where in recent years I’ve always had good results.”
|SBK Race 1
1 Ben Spies Yamaha USA 45’02.773
2 Shane Byrne Ducati GBR 0’07.931
3 Michel Fabrizio Ducati ITA 0’11.836
4 Jakub Smrz Ducati CZE 0’11.886
5 Noriyuki Haga Ducati JPN 0’31.670
6 Yukio Kagayama Suzuki JPN 0’33.241
7 Jonathan Rea Honda GBR 0’35.772
8 Tom Sykes Yamaha GBR 0’41.931
9 Shinya Nakano Aprilia JPN 0’51.507
10 Matthieu Lagrive Honda FRA 0’59.921
11 Carlos Checa Honda ESP 1’04.285
12 Leon Haslam Honda GBR 1’04.313
13 Max Biaggi Aprilia ITA 1’19.822
14 Ruben Xaus BMW ESP 1’22.412
15 Alessandro Polita Suzuki ITA 1’31.635
— Day 1 Results
— Day 2 Results
|SBK Race 2
1 Jonathan Rea Honda GBR 39’11.204
2 Michel Fabrizio Ducati ITA 0’00.630
3 Noriyuki Haga Ducati JPN 0’00.457
4 Jakub Smrz Ducati CZE 0’03.635
5 Carlos Checa Honda ESP 0’04.460
6 Shane Byrne Ducati GBR 0’04.538
7 Tom Sykes Yamaha GBR 0’12.679
8 Leon Haslam Honda GBR 0’12.763
9 Ben Spies Yamaha USA 0’13.237
10 Max Biaggi Aprilia ITA 0’14.412
11 Yukio Kagayama Suzuki JPN 0’20.073
12 Fonsi Nieto Suzuki ESP 0’20.239
13 Shinya Nakano Aprilia JPN 0’22.351
14 Ryuichi Kiyonari Honda JPN 0’24.457
15 Gregorio Lavilla Ducati ESP 0’24.696
1. Noriyuki Haga Ducati JPN 292
2. Ben Spies Yamaha USA 244
3. Michel Fabrizio Ducati ITA 237
4. Jonathan Rea Honda GBR 167
5. Max Biaggi Aprilia ITA 135
6. Leon Haslam Honda GBR 134
7. Tom Sykes Yamaha GBR 130
8. Carlos Checa Honda ESP 109
9. Jakub Smrz Ducati CZE 108
10. Ryuichi Kiyonari Honda JPN 98
11. Yukio Kagayama Suzuki JPN 91
12. Shane Byrne Ducati GBR 89
13. Regis Laconi Ducati FRA 77
14. Max Neukirchner Suzuki GER 75
15. Shinya Nakano Aprilia JPN 71
|FIM Supersport World Championship
Kenan Sofuoglu (H
1 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 36’51.032
2 Eugene Laverty Honda GBR 0’00.263
3 Massimo Roccoli Honda ITA 0’16.289
4 Joan Lascorz Kawasaki ESP 0’20.894
5 Mark Aitchison Honda AUS 0’21.615
6 Katsuaki Fujiwara Kawasaki JPN 0’22.272
7 Anthony West Honda AUS 0’25.099
8 Fabien Foret Yamaha FRA 0’26.374
9 Gianluca Nannelli Triumph ITA 0’34.558
10 Miguel Praia Honda POR 0’49.578
11 Gianluca Vizziello Honda ITA 0’51.446
12 Flavio Gentile Honda ITA 0’54.391
13 Danilo Dell’omo Honda ITA 1’00.324
14 Arie Vos Honda NED 1’11.594
15 Yannick Guerra Yamaha ESP 1’43.088
1. Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 160
2. Eugene Laverty Honda GBR 146
3. Kenan Sofuoglu Honda TUR 108
4. Joan Lascorz Kawasaki ESP 86
5. Anthony West Honda AUS 75
6. Andrew Pitt Honda AUS 73
7. Fabien Foret Yamaha FRA 63
8. Mark Aitchison Honda AUS 61
9. Michele Pirro Yamaha ITA 48
10. Massimo Roccoli Honda ITA 40
11. Katsuaki Fujiwara Kawasaki JPN 39
12. Garry McCoy Triumph AUS 39
13. Matthieu Lagrive Honda FRA 38
14. Barry Veneman Suzuki NED 30
15. Robbin Harms Honda DNK 23
1. Honda 178
2. Yamaha 160
3. Kawasaki 97
4. Triumph 53
5. Suzuki 30
Race one saw drama unfold as the World Superbike riders headed out for a wet race but were forced to change midway for slicks as the rain stopped and the sun broke out. Yamaha rider Ben Spies spent most of the wet heat in 4th tucked up behind rival Fabrizio as he paced himself on the damp track. He picked the ideal time to change to his dry bike on lap 13, emerging from the pits right behind Fabrizio, taking him swiftly for 8th position. Spies then displayed a typical Texan masterclass in racing, working swiftly up to take Xaus for the lead on lap 17, leading from there to the chequered flag. Race two saw a technical issue with the clutch drop Spies from 2nd back to 17th. He then proved his skill yet again, riding round the fault to work through eight riders to take ninth in the race.
Team-mate Tom Sykes made up for an average qualifying position to post good finishes in both races. Race one saw the British rider pit early for slicks and then come out fighting in 13th, enjoying the damp conditions he pushed on to eventually take eighth at the chequered flag. Race two saw a good start, Sykes moving to 11th then fighting hard all the way up to duel with Haslam for the 7th place spot as the race end drew close. Having lost the spot to Haslam on lap 20 he took it back again and crossed the line to claim his well deserved points.
Spies now prepares for Donington next week on 244 points, second in the championship and now closer to Haga, with 48 points separating them. Sykes heads back to the UK for his home race seventh in the championship on 130 points, with only five points separating him from fifth placed Max Biaggi.
Ben Spies, Yamaha World Superbike Team (1st, 9th)
“Race one was definitely better than race two! It was good for us, we did what we had to do. I stayed as close as I could to Fabrizio, I couldn’t run Byrne’s pace but wanted to stay with Michel as he was the one who mattered to me in the championship. I picked the right moment to come in and get out on dry tyres and switch bikes and put in good pace and we managed to win the race. Race two wasn’t so great, I had an issue with the clutch on the start, for the first few laps I was short shifting and trying to ride round it. It finally came better but when I got behind Corser and Kagayama and those guys I couldn’t get round them easily. The last seven or eight laps it came good and I tried to run everyone down and started picking them off. I got up to Sykes and Haslam and they were having their little battle, we were definitely faster but I needed another lap to get round them which I didn’t have. It’s frustrating as we’ve lost good points this year and we’d be leading the championship with them. We’ll go to Donington and try to start over again and see what happens.”
Tom Sykes, Yamaha World Superbike Team (8th, 7th)
“From where we qualified we’ve made a bit better day of things than I expected. For race 1 in the wet I had some difficulty with too much traction in the first heat. I pulled in a bit sooner than I would have done if I’d had a perfect wet set up. In the second half we were fast and consistent, I really enjoyed it, the 14 laps felt like two it was over so quickly. Race two we made a couple more changes and I was pretty happy with the balance of the bike, I struggled with some rear grip but we’re improving the small bits and it’s onwards and upwards. It’s been a tough weekend and I’d like to thank the whole of the team, we’ve put our heads together and they put in a lot of hard work and effort to improve the bike.”
Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager
“The first race was amazing, the second race was different! In the end we came here 54 points behind Nori and now we’re 48 points behind so it’s still better for the championship. Tom made a great improvement which was really important for him so now we’re going to Donington where he will make another step. Both Ben and Tom know the track there, and Ben has showed us that when he doesn’t have to learn the track he can be even quicker. See you in a week.”
Crutchlow adds Misano to his list of conquered circuits
With a track both wet and dry and a race red flagged and re-started, it was never going to be a straightforward day for Yamaha World Superbike rider Cal Crutchlow. Having initially dropped back to eighth at the start he showed incredible pace to work back up to lead the race, taking less than two laps to pass the seven riders. He led until a red flag for oil on the track brought the supersport riders back into the pits. As the race re-started Crutchlow shot off to take the lead which he held until lap 18 where second placed rider Eugene Laverty dived underneath having pursued Crutchlow from the off. Two laps later Crutchlow took the lead back in a decisive overtake up the inside of Laverty and powered on to take the chequered flag.
Team-mate Fabien Foret worked hard from his less than perfect grid start spot. Race one saw him close in on the top ten, making up several places leading up to the red flag incident. The Frenchman put his head down in the second heat and put in consistent fast laps, much happier in the dry conditions of the race and eventually took Nannelli for eighth at the chequered flag.
Crutchlow heads for his home race in Donington leading the championship with 160 points ahead of second placed Laverty on 146. Team-mate Foret also holds onto his seventh spot in the standings and heads to the UK with 63 points, just 10 behind 2008 champion Andrew Pitt.
Cal Crutchlow, Yamaha World Supersport Team (1st)
“it was great to come here to Misano and take the win. It’s all credit to the team, they did a fantastic job again and we’re back to winning form. Let’s hope we can continue this, bring it home to Donington and take another victory.”
Fabien Foret, Yamaha World Supersport Team (8th)
“It’s been a tough race weekend for me. Qualifying wasn’t great with the difficult changing weather making it hard to get a good spot on the grid. I put my head down today and worked to get as far up the pack as I could. I’m trying to improve my early laps to stay with the front guys to get back onto the podium.”
Wilco Zeelenberg, Yamaha World Supersport Team Manager
“Well! It was an unbelievable race I would say. Again Cal and Eugene were very close. I’m so happy Cal was able to keep some distance between them on the last lap with an incredible 1’38.8 which is 1’3 seconds under the lap record, the pace was amazing. It’s going to be hard until the last race! Fabien came from 18th position, so he worked hard. It’s tough as we were expecting him to do better and he knows that so the mission is to practice more and get better first and second laps and he’ll be up there. We’re looking forward to Donington, we can see the hard work the team are doing is paying off.”
Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR) had to wait until the second race of the day to take his first win in World Superbike, but it was worth the wait as the young rider from Northern Ireland held off the two factory Ducati machines at their home circuit. It was also Honda’s first win this season in WSB.
The 22-year-old rider could well have had two podium visits today, but because of unseasonable local weather Rea ended up having a very dramatic first race, which was started in wet conditions.
The track dried as the race went on, making this the first race ever in WSB history to see new flag-to-flag rules brought into play.
Rea, who had qualified a career best second, was forced to start from the back of the grid and face a ride-through after getting a lift back to the pitlane from Ryuichi Kiyonari (Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR) when his machine developed a glitch and stopped on the track, as well as having a dispute with the officials when trying to exit pitlane. He took his ride through after fighting into the leading places in the wet, and then he had to come in once more to change to a machine with a dry set-up, losing more time.
Rea still finished a remarkable seventh, and was the first Honda rider home in race one, despite all his issues. Along with most of his team-mates, Rea has now swapped to Öhlins suspension, which he tested for the first time at Magny-Cours only a few days ago.
In race two Rea was in the mix from the start, and took the lead on lap four, relinquishing it in the latter stages and then probing the defences of Michel Fabrizio before making a decisive pass early in the final lap and holding on for an advantage of 0.063 seconds.
Rea’s team-mate Carlos Checa (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR) was not too disappointed with 11th in the opener, and was not helped by his machine stalling when changing bikes as the track dried out, an issue that also affected Rea on his changeover. Checa was much more effective in race two, finishing fifth after qualifying on row two. He was only 4.460 seconds from Rea.
Kiyonari was eighth on the grid but he did not finish the first race after a near highside in the damp conditions caused Rea to collide with him, bending his gear change lever. In the second 24-lap race he was14th.
Matthieu Lagrive (Honda Althea CBR1000RR) used all his knowledge of endurance racing to manage his race strategy well in race one and take a top ten. He finished 21st in race two, one place ahead of his qualifying position in his first Superbike race for his team.
Leon Haslam (Stiggy Racing Honda CBR1000RR) struggled to 12th and 10th in each race, not feeling as confident in this race as he had in other rounds. John Hopkins (Stiggy Racing Honda CBR1000RR) qualified 26th, but only rode on Friday, due to his still-healing hip injury swelling up. He is expecting to ride with a greater level of fitness at the next round in Donington.
Vittorio Iannuzzo (Squadra Corse Italia Honda CBR1000RR) qualified 27th and finished 20th in race one, 24th in the dry race two.
After yet another dramatic day of racing, Rea consolidated fourth position in the championship on 167 points, with Noriyuki Haga on 292, race one winner Spies on 244 and Fabrizio on 237.
Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda CBR600RR) recovered from an eighth place grid start and a crash in the wet morning warm-up to finish second in the aggregate 22-lap World Supersport race at Misano.
The race was halted and restarted before half distance because of an oil spill, with Laverty already in the lead, thanks to an incredible display of speed in the early laps. He was not quite able to stick close enough to the eventual race winner Cal Crutchlow on the final lap to maintain his narrow advantage after the first leg. He lost out in another classic fight with his old British Supersport rival by only 0.263 seconds, having spun up the rear tyre on the final corner, spoiling his planned his pass down the straight.
Mark Aitchison (Althea Honda CBR600RR) was seventh in practice but rode well in each leg to finish fifth and hold off the resurgent Anthony West (Stiggy Racing Honda CBR600RR), who ended his two-part race seventh, having qualified 6th.
Andrew Pitt (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) was leading the first leg of the race when he fell at high speed, while his fellow third row qualifier and team-mate Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) fell shortly afterwards, and was unable to join the re-started race because he did not get back to pitlane with his fallen bike in time.
Miguel Praia (Parkalgar Honda CBR600RR) had a positive day, after qualifying 16th on Saturday and then falling in the wet morning warm-up, taking his first career top ten in a good day for the Parkalgar squad. Gianluca Vizziello (Stiggy Racing Honda CBR600RR) improved his practice performance to go 11th, equalling his best result of 2009 so far. New rider Flavio Gentile (Althea Honda CBR600RR) made a vast improvement on his 21st place in qualifying by finishing 12th in his home race.
In the overall championship fifth, Laverty lost five points to Crutchlow, but with Sofuoglu’s bad luck striking, Laverty is now 38 points ahead of the 2007 Champion. In the Manufacturers’ Standings, Honda leads by 18 points.
The ninth round of the 14-round series takes place at Donington Park, in the UK, between 26 and 28 June.
Jonathan Rea: “In race two I got into a good rhythm at the start and when the Ducatis came past I realised they could not clear off, so I settle behind them and found out where they were strong. With five or six laps to go I figured out where I could make some passes, and I got right onto Michel, and it was easy following him. I thought he pace of the race would be faster than it was. We have only had our new suspension for five days. I really want thank the rest of the team because they have worked really well and the motivation of the team is good, so it seems to be that anything that we need to find a way forward we get it. In race one, to start from the back of the grid, have a ride through penalty, stall the bike on the changeover and eventually finished seventh? If I look at the times I did without all the other things happening we would have won race one as well, which is a testament to how hard the team has been working. Donington next and I can’t wait.”
Leon Haslam: “I had an issue with the front end in the first race. I stayed out quite long on the wet tyres, got into fourth position, and then obviously stayed out for too long. When I went into the pit I only had four laps remaining, so I should have returned to pit four or five laps earlier. That was my own mistake. In the second race there was something wrong when the engine kept pushing me in and I kept losing the front. When the engine was good and the electronics were good, the lap times were as quick as anyone, but for seventy percent of the race the engine was just pushing me into the corners, so I really struggled.”
Carlos Checa: “I am actually quite positive, even though we did not have the perfect set-up and had some problems with movement in the rear of the bike. With those problems, I was struggling to match the pace of Jonathan and the two Ducatis. It’s been a very busy weekend with new suspension in the bike and we had a few things that we wanted to test this morning. However, the wet conditions made that impossible. The considering the big changes we have been working with this weekend, I think we can take a lot of positives to Donington next weekend.”
Ryuichi Kiyonari: “The first race was difficult with the first lap crash. I had a big high-side but stayed on the bike and Jonathan hit me, although it was not his fault. My gearshift was broken and there was some engine damage so I could not continue past the first lap. In race two, things were OK, but I did not have the same feeling that I had on Saturday and could not keep the lap times. The setting is definitely coming better though and with small steps we are improving. I hope at Donington, things will be even better because I like it there. After that, we have a test in Imola with more improvement I hope.”
John Hopkins: “After yesterday’s session I am feeling really sore. I got some painkillers before the session, but I think I just pushed it a bit too much. I am breaking away the scar tissue at the moment. It is just better for me to take it easy today and concentrate on tomorrow. I will be doing the warm up and then see what we can do for the race. This weekend for me is important to get the strength in my leg back up and to get ready for the next race at Donington.”
Matthieu Lagrive: “I’m very happy for my first race today. It was tough because in the first curve I went out on the gravel and I rejoined the race in the last position. Starting from the first few laps I pushed very hard and I found a very good pace. I was able to overtake a lot of riders and only when the track became dry I decided to re-enter the box to change the bike and to use the second one, and my team decided to use intermediate tyres. I took a few laps to understand how my second bike was working but I gained a lot of confidence very quickly and it was very nice to overtake riders like Biaggi and Checa and to reach tenth position in my first Superbike race. Unfortunately my second race was difficult because my bike setting was not perfect for a race on a track completely dry.”
WSS Rider Comments
Eugene Laverty: “I am still reasonably happy with second. In the first half of the race I sliced through from a bad start and 13th to the lead in just three laps. Then in the delay, we made a small change to my bike and it worked very well. In the second half it was much easier to follow Cal Crutchlow, so much so that when sitting behind him I thought I was being held up but when I took the lead I couldn’t get away. He passed me again and I thought I’d go for plan ‘B’ which was to get into the final corner and drive out to challenge Cal at the line. I had deliberately held back at that corner in previous laps because I was quicker than him there. Then on the last corner I got in well but got on the gas very early, I may have been too eager, and the rear wheel simply spun up.”
Kenan Sofuoglu: “It’s been a bad weekend for us and our championship. We needed to test these new suspension components but there has just been too much rain this weekend. We had to guess at the dry set-up for the race but I knew quite early that it was not quite right. The rear was spinning way too much on the corner exit and I had some problems getting past Fujiwara. When I finally got through, I had to push hard to reach the others and I crashed.”
Andrew Pitt: “There is simply no point running around for fifth and sixth place finishes, which we’ve had for the last few races. I need to start winning again and that was all that was in my mind today. The problem is that we’ve been testing new suspension and had very little dry track time. Yesterday’s qualifying was difficult but my start was pretty good and I was just pushing for the win and we know what happened. It was fast enough and my neck and shoulder are a little sore but I’ll be OK again by next weekend.”
Anthony West: “It has been a strange weekend for me. I crashed twice trying to do the best I can with the bike, and I am not really happy with the race results. I did the best I could with the package I had this weekend, but it just wasn’t good enough. I need to be at the front. We have made some small improvements over the last race, but still have a lot of work to do. I hope we can improve the bike for Donington and get some better results there.”
Gianluca Vizziello: “I had a good start, but had some problems with the acceleration of my bike. Halfway through the race I got into problems with my front tyre. It was not possible to push myself forward on that tyre. I am disappointed, even though my result is not that bad. We just need to concentrate improving the front end of the machine.”
Mark Aitchison: “Today the race was a little bit difficult for me because we struggled a lot with grip. Unfortunately I lost the front group a bit in the first sector of the race and in the second sector it was almost the similar story with the grip of the tyres. We could not understand how to solve this problem to give me a good feeling on the tyres and as a consequence I could not push very hard.”
Miguel Praia: “Finally we have got into the top 10, this is my best ever race result since joining the World Championship and I am very happy. My Parkalgar Honda is fantastic and the team did a mega job to get me out in the race with such a good set-up after a crash in warm-up.”
Gianluca Vizziello: “I had a good start, but had some problems with the acceleration of my bike.
Halfway through the race I got into problems with my front tyre. It was not possible to push myself forward on that tyre. I am disappointed, even though my result is not that bad. We just need to concentrate improving the front end of the machine.”
Flavio Gentile: “I’m quite happy with today’s race. My first start was very bad and so I was forced to push extremely hard from the beginning to reach the riders in front of me. My second start was better and I found a good race pace very quickly.”
Ducati Xerox riders Michel Fabrizio and Noriyuki Haga rode a stressful 24–lap first race at the Misano World Circuit today, in which “flag-to-flag” rules were implemented due to the wet track conditions at the race start. An impressive race from Fabrizio and his Ducati 1198, finishing in third, on the podium for the first time in Misano, while teammate Haga also made up many positions to cross the line in fifth. In Race 2 Fabrizio narrowly missed out on the win, to conclude in second just 0.06 of a second behind Rea (Honda) and less than half a second in front of team-mate Haga.
Despite no win today, with the podiums celebrated by Michel, Noriyuki and privateer Shane Byrne, Ducati reaches a milestone: the two podiums scored in Race 2 signify the 700th and 701st visit by a Ducati rider to the Superbike podium since the championship began. At the same time, Noriyuki today celebrated his 99th Superbike podium.
A frenetic Race 1 ensued when the race was declared wet but the track quickly began to dry, meaning that the Superbike teams put into practice the “flag-to-flag” procedure, with riders able to change bikes, from a wet to a dry set-up, at any point they chose during the race. The majority of the riders on track rode on rain tyres for the first half of the race before making the swap, including Ducati Xerox riders Noriyuki, who came in during lap 10, and Michel in lap 13. Noriyuki lost a few seconds in making the changeover and then both Ducati men admitted that it took a few laps to find feeling with their 1198 machines on the drying surface but they were soon comfortable enough to begin their progression through the field, making up many positions in the latter stages of the race.
Race 2 was dry from start to finish and turned out to be a spectacular three-way battle for the win. Haga made a flying start to take the lead in the opening laps before soon losing the advantage to Jonathan Rea (Honda). In the subsequent laps it was the Ducati Xerox team-mates Noriyuki and Michel who battled it out between themselves for second place with Rea just ahead of them. In the sixteenth lap Michel made a move from second position, got past Jonathan and continued to command the race until the very last lap when Rea manoeuvred his way back past the Italian rider, leaving Fabrizio and Haga to come home in second and third
The championship leader remains Noriyuki Haga who, after the first eight rounds of the championship, has accumulated 292 points, to the 244 points held by current second-placed rider Ben Spies. Michel Fabrizio chases, just behind Ben with 237 points. Ducati continues to lead the manufacturers championship with 351 points ahead of Yamaha (287 points).
Michel Fabrizio (Race 1 – 3rd, Race 2 – 2nd)
“I did my best to stick with Ben in Race 1 but I think the fact that he changed from wet to dry set-up one or two laps before me made the difference, because I took a few laps to get feeling in the dry and then it was too late to catch him or Shane. In the last lap Smrz was right there on my tail and I went wide at one point but luckily he didn’t get past me and I finished third. In the second race I struggled a little with the front tyre and it seemed that today Rea’s Honda had a little something over us in its acceleration. It’s a shame it couldn’t be another win but, with two podiums today, I’m very happy, it’s my best ever result at this track and I know I did all I could so you can’t ask for more than that. I’ve just a few points behind Ben again now so, yes, I can’t help thinking about the title but in order to be a serious contender I know I need to remain consistent and clock up some race wins from here on in.”
Noriyuki Haga (Race 1 – 5th, Race 2 – 3rd)
“I am a bit disappointed with how Race 1 turned out. While on the wet set-up I was having all kinds of problems with the rear tyre that was sliding all over the place compared to other riders out there so I lost some positions before I came in to change bikes. Then I went back out on an intermediate/slick tyre combination that was perhaps not so suitable because in the final laps I was finding it difficult to maintain my pace and couldn’t push as I wanted to. Race 2 went much better, I got a great start but once Johnny, and then Michel, came past me it was hard to keep pace; maybe because they are so much younger than I am! Joking aside, I made good points all things considered, especially seeing as this has never been my favourite track, and now I’m looking forward to the next round at Donington where I’ve done well over the years.”
The first race at Misano today saw the riders line up on a soaking wet track with all of them on full wet tyres. But with conditions rapidly changing, and the prospect of World Superbike’s first ever ‘flag-to-flag’ race in the offing, all the teams had spare bikes, shod with slicks, at the ready in the pit-lane for a changeover when the track dried out.
BMW Motorrad Motorsport rider Ruben Xaus took advantage of the tricky conditions and charged his way up from 18th on the grid to first place and led the race with just seven laps to go. But when he changed bikes, he was adjudged to have exceeded the pit-lane speed limit and he was given a ‘ride-through’ penalty. He fought his way back into the race and ended 14th. Troy’s race was over before he could even start. An electronic problem on the warm-up lap caused a highside and he crashed out, fortunately without doing further damage to his injured right shoulder. Ben Spies (Yamaha) won the 24-lapper, with Shane Byrne (Ducati) second and Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) third.
Race two started in the dry and, apart from a few spots of rain, continued to remain a dry race. Ruben finished just out of the points in 16th, but ended lapping in similar times to the leaders. Troy had inconsistency problems with his S 1000 RR, but kept going as hard as he could and ended 19th. Jonathan Rea (Honda) had a race long battle with Michel Fabrizio and Noriyuki Haga (Ducati), but held them both off to record his maiden WSBK victory.
Ruben – Race 1: 14th, Race 2: 16th
It felt really good leading the race, knowing that I was beating all the guys who were all on exactly the same tyres as me. I felt comfortable in the damp conditions and if the track had stayed wet, maybe we could’ve done something that would’ve surprised everybody. But unfortunately for me, the track dried and we all had to come in and jump on to our spare bikes – with dry tyres. Our pit box is quite close to the pit-lane exit, so I didn’t think I had gone faster than the limit, but I got a ride-though penalty and that was enough for us to lose a top place. It’s always difficult knowing when to come in and change bikes, but this was a first for all of us and something we’ll have to get used to. In race two, I decided to adapt my riding style to the bike and I learnt a lot in that race and was happy because, at the end, I was lapping as quickly as the top guys.
Troy – Race 1: DNS, Race 2: 19th
Well that was a day to forget for me and a shame because Friday had gone so well and I felt that we were getting somewhere. I was highsided on the warm-up lap and we’re not sure why, but we think it was some sort of electronics problem. I didn’t open the throttle dramatically, but suddenly the bike just went faster and spat me off. Luckily I didn’t do any further harm to my shoulder, but my race was over. In race two, the bike felt kind of inconsistent and I wasn’t confident what it was going to do every time I entered or exited the corners. I could have pulled in, but I kept going because I knew that every lap I stayed out would give the team more information to work with. It’s been a frustrating day for me and the team, but I am sure we will have a better weekend in Donington.
Berti Hauser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport)
After the positive start on Friday, and all the changes, we were hoping for better results – especially as the technical aspects were going in the right direction. Our Superpole was not so successful and we were a bit confused in the first race. We have to find the reason for Troy’s crash, but we will do so. We had some exciting moments when Ruben was leading, but maybe we made a tactical mistake by changing bikes a bit too late. It was unfortunate that Ruben got a ride-thorough for speeding in pit-lane because that ruined what could’ve been a good result.
Race two was disappointing, but at the end of it we saw that Ruben could lap as fast as the front guys. We’re not sure why Troy struggled with the behaviour of his bike, but it’s something that we will have to investigate. We didn’t detect any problems in practice, but we’ll analyse all the data and make the necessary changes to carry on improving.
Unsatisfactory round for team ParkinGo Triumph BE1 Racing at Misano after a positive practice performance. Unfortunately, Garry McCoy retired from the race due to technical problems just a few laps after the second start of a race that was interrupted by the red flag after 7 laps.
Gianluca Nannelli finished ninth, a good result standingswise but unsatisfactory for the rider who had hoped to get in the top spots as in the last two races.
GARRY McCOY | Triumph Daytona 675 | retired : “I got a good first start and recovered a few positions. I didn’t get a good feeling with the front of the bike but the team solved the issue during the break before the second start. I got a good start again but I had clutch issues right away and after three laps I had to retire from the race”.
GIANLUCA NANNELLI | Triumph Daytona 675 | 9th : “I scored six important points in the standings but I wanted to do better. Unfortunately, the weather conditions didn’t allow us to check the machine with a long run. As a consequence, the setup was not the best one and the bike moved a lot in the first part of the race and so I couldn’t perform at my best. In the second part of the race, I didn’t get a good start and lost a few positions so I had to settle for the ninth place.”.
GIULIANO ROVELLI – TEAM MANAGER: “Today we didn’t get enough time to work on the machine unlike the non-European rounds where we had more practice sessions which helped us a lot. In Europe we had only 3 sessions yet again but with this kind of weather one session and a half were practically worthless. It’s really hard for us to perform at our best with so little time given the fact that we are a pretty new team in this competition. However, we hope to redeem ourselves next week at Donington”.
— Minor Classes
The fourth round was dominated by Maxime Berger (Ten Kate Honda), his second win of the season. The Frenchman was quickest off the mark, and he immediately pulled out a decisive margin for the win. The runner-up slot, his fourth in four races, went to Xavier Simeon (Ducati Xerox), who thanks to this result becomes the new Superstock points leader. The man he knocked off the top, Claudio Corti (Suzuki Alstare), had to settle for fourth and is now six points behind in the standings. The final podium place went to Sylvain Barrier (Garnier Junior Yamaha), while two more Italians, Michele Magnoni (Bevilacqua Yamaha) and Davide Giugliano (Unionbike MV Agusta) finished fifth and sixth.
Results: 1. Berger M. (FRA) Honda CBR1000RR 15’07.296 (150,913 kph); 2. Simeon X. (BEL) Ducati 1098R 5.596; 3. Barrier S. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R1 8.647; 4. Corti C. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 8.907; 5. Magnoni M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R1 9.066; 6. Giugliano D. (ITA) MV Agusta F4 312 R 12.028; 7. Fores J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX 10R 12.361; 8. Beretta D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 13.509
Points (after 4 of 10 rounds): 1. Simeon 80; 2. Corti 74; 3. Berger 66; 4. Fores 51; 5. Barrier 43; 6. Beretta 36; 7. Jesek 28; 8. Baz 23; 9. Magnoni 19; 10. Burrel 18
Thanks to his third win of the year Danilo Petrucci (Yamaha Trasimeno) has pulled out a decisive lead in the championship, a result made even more positive by the eighth place for his closest rival Gino Rea (Ten Kate Honda). The race was decided in the final stages with Petrucci getting the better of his team-mate Marco Bussolotti. Belgium’s Vincent Lonbois (MTM Yamaha) prevented an all-Italian podium and moves into third in the standings. Eddi La Marra (Honda Lorini) was fourth and Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Yamaha) fifth. Two wild-cards, Ferruccio Lamborghini (Yamaha Media Action) and Giuliano Gregorini (Baru Racing Yamaha), were also up amongst the front-runners but both crashed out.
Results: 1. Petrucci D. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 17’13.058 (147,268 kph); 2. Bussolotti M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 0.103; 3. Lonbois V. (BEL) Yamaha YZF R6 0.381; 4. La Marra E. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 3.560; 5. Guarnoni J. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R6 3.933; 6. Boscoscuro A. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 7.110; 7. Tamburini R. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 7.494; 8. Rea G. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 7.523
Points (after 4 of 10 rounds): 1. Petrucci 75; 2. Rea 58; 3. Lonbois 56; 4. Guarnoni 54; 5. Bussolotti 46; 6. Litjens 38; 7. La Marra 35; 8. Kerschbaumer 32; 9. Guittet 27; 10. Lombardi 23