Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike) annihilated the opposition in the Utah US Round of the Hannspree FIM Superbike World Championship at Miller Motorsports Park, picking up his second double win of the year in his rookie SBK season.

In front of 47,300 spectators the Texan again reopened the title battle in a championship that following Kyalami appeared to be firmly in the hands of Ducati.

Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox), who crashed heavily in practice, ran the two races in a bruised state, finishing ninth and eighth. The Japanese rider lost ground to Spies as well as to his team-mate Michel Fabrizio, who finished third and second.

With the season now at its mid-point Haga leads on 265 points, with Spies up to 212 and Fabrizio on 201.

Race 1

Spies dominated the first race to cut the gap at the top of the table, as Haga could only finish in ninth place, losing 18 points in the process.

The race was interrupted on lap 7 after a crash involving Australian Karl Muggeridge (Celani Suzuki), who only came away with a few bruises.

Spies powered away again in the second part to win by a comfortable margin on aggregate times.

Behind Spies finished Spain’s Carlos Checa (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda), last year’s double winner, and third place went to Fabrizio who was slowed by two poor starts.

It was a good day for Ten Kate Honda as Ryuichi Kiyonari and Jonathan Rea came home in fourth and fifth position respectively. Max Biaggi started from row 4 but worked his way up to sixth position at the flag on his Aprilia RSV4 machine.

Ben Spies: “We’ve been working on our starts a bit and this is a long straightaway and I really needed to get a good one here. After the restart it was tough because I really wanted to win on the road and couldn’t take too many risks to keep Carlos at bay. I just wanted to cross the line first even though I had a six-second cushion.”

Carlos Checa: “From the beginning Ben was too strong today. I didn’t have so much grip in the first part but then we adjusted the tyre pressure and it was better in the second. The Honda is working well here, we have a good base from last year and we used that benefit to get at a certain level and get a good result. We needed this result because it has not been so good for us since the start of the year.”

Michel Fabrizio: “It’s a pity about the second start, I felt a bit like a ping-pong ball, because I was under attack from all sides by three of four other guys. Luckily, I managed to stay upright. Afterwards I managed to run at my own pace and get onto the podium for a good result.”

Race 2

The second race was similar to the first, with the three-times AMA Superbike champion Spies taking the lead at the first turn and never relinquishing it.

Fabrizio this time got off to an excellent start and was second at the first corner, the Italian managing to keep Spies in his sights for over half the race before settling for the runner-up slot.

Checa crashed out on lap 4, leaving the battle for the final podium place to be fought out between Rea, Leon Haslam (Stiggy Racing Honda), who crashed out on the final lap, and Biaggi, competitive in the race after problems in qualifying.

Kiyonari, Jakub Smrz (Guandalini Ducati) and Shinya Nakano (Aprilia Racing) all finished ahead of Haga in eighth.

It was an encouraging race for Kawasaki, with Parkes and Hacking often running inside the top 10, but BMW again had a difficult time of things with Xaus and Corser finishing outside the top 15.

Ben Spies: “That was a tough race, I almost feel like I robbed Michel because he rode fantastic. I tried to set a good pace but a pace that was comfortable and every time he took a tenth out I had to put a tenth back to keep him at bay. Then in the last six laps I pulled the pin and held it to the end. It’s good to get a double win here, unfortunately we know Haga’s not 100% but you’ve got to capitalize on the weekend and we made up some points.”

Michel Fabrizio: “It was a good weekend, I tried every way possible until five or six laps from the end to give some problems to Ben but in my attempt to catch up to him I pusher a bit too hard and finished the front tyre so there was nothing I could do.”

Jonathan Rea: “The guys have put a great bike under me this weekend, we’ve done some good development, but I’ve never had to race as slow as I could for third place because I had a few problems with the front and the front tyre. Ben and Michel put on a great run at the front, I couldn’t go with them. I could see a big gaggle of riders behind me, and thought I’d keep something in reserve until the end but I couldn’t see what happened with Leon’s crash. Anyway it was my second podium in two rounds so I’m very happy.

Results:

SBK Race 1

1 Spies B. (USA) Yamaha YZF R1
2 Checa C. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 9.394
3 Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 12.742
4 Kiyonari R. (JPN) Honda CBR1000RR 14.276
5 Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 14.915
6 Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 15.461
7 Hacking J. (USA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 22.901
8 Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 25.425
9 Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 25.870
10 Haslam L. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 26.093
11 Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 26.181
12 Kagayama Y. (JPN) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 29.275
13 Sykes T. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 38.365
14 Lavilla G. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 39.454
15 Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 39.513
16 Nieto F. (ESP) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 48.889
17 Lanzi L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 50.747
18 Zemke J. (USA) Honda CBR1000RR 51.446
19 Scassa L. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 54.472
20 Salom D. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX 10R 58.525
21 Xaus R. (ESP) BMW S1000 RR 1’07.572
22 Nigon E. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R1 1’18.092
RET Parkes B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX 10R
RET Nakano S. (JPN) Aprilia RSV4 Factory
RET Muggeridge K. (AUS) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9

—  Day 1 Results
—  Day 2 Results

SBK Race 2

1 Spies B. (USA) Yamaha YZF R1
2 Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 9.080
3 Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 14.357
4 Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 15.636
5 Kiyonari R. (JPN) Honda CBR1000RR 17.156
6 Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 17.546
7 Nakano S. (JPN) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 19.659
8 Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 23.455
9 Sykes T. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 30.489
10 Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 31.775
11 Parkes B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX 10R 33.246
12 Kagayama Y. (JPN) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 36.758
13 Nieto F. (ESP) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 36.887
14 Lanzi L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 37.290
15 Zemke J. (USA) Honda CBR1000RR 42.639
16 Xaus R. (ESP) BMW S1000 RR 42.777
17 Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 45.596
18 Salom D. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’09.237
19 Hacking J. (USA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’26.703
RET Haslam L. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR
RET Lavilla G. (ESP) Ducati 1098R
RET Nigon E. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R1
RET Checa C. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR
RET Scassa L. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX 10R

SBK Championship

1. Haga 265
2. Spies 212
3. Fabrizio 201
4. Rea 133
5. Biaggi 126
6. Haslam 122
7. Sykes 113
8. Kiyonari 96
9. Checa 93
10. Smrz 82
11. Laconi 77
12. Kagayama 76
13. Neukirchner 75
14. Nakano 61
15. Byrne 59
16. Xaus 40
17. Corser 36
18. Parkes 25

FIM Supersport World Championship

Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) emerged the winner from the thrilling final lap of a race-long battle between four riders and three different makes: Honda, Yamaha and Kawasaki.

With just one lap to go the 2007 champion first passed points leader Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha World Supersport), and then three turns from the chequered flag made a decisive move on Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda), who had led from the start.

For the Turkish rider it was the 13th win of his career, and the 67th for Honda in Supersport. The Ten Kate Honda rider is now back in contention in the points standings, third on 108 points behind leader Crutchlow on 135 and Laverty on 126.

Kawasaki scored an excellent fourth place with Joan Lascorz, who started from pole.

Gianluca Nannelli (parking Triumph ) crashed out of the battle for fifth place, which eventually went to Fabien Foret (Yamaha World Supersport), but Garry McCoy held the Triumph flag high with a positive sixth place to move into the top ten in the championship.

Seventh went to 2008 champion Andrew Pitt (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda), who started from the final row of the grid.

Supersport Race

1 Sofuoglu K. (TUR) Honda CBR600RR 34’00.510 (155,831 kph)
2 Laverty E. (IRL) Honda CBR600RR 0.368
3 Crutchlow C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R6 0.521
4 Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1.833
5 Foret F. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R6 12.071
6 McCoy G. (AUS) Triumph Daytona 675 18.108
7 Pitt A. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 25.912
8 Pirro M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 26.867
9 Lagrive M. (FRA) Honda CBR600RR 30.411
10 West A. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 31.393
11 Pradita T. (INA) Yamaha YZF R6 32.206
12 Praia M. (POR) Honda CBR600RR 32.572
13 Fujiwara K. (JPN) Kawasaki ZX-6R 35.491
14 Veneman B. (NED) Suzuki GSX-R600 37.164
15 Vizziello G. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 39.041
16 Nannelli G. (ITA) Triumph Daytona 675 40.443
17 Laverty M. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R6 51.153
18 Vos A. (NED) Honda CBR600RR 52.658
19 Günther J. (GER) Honda CBR600RR 54.437
20 Polita A. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R600 1’11.500
21 Holland R. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 1’11.668
22 Guerra Y. (ESP) Yamaha YZF R6 1’18.385
23 Roccoli M. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 1’21.462
24 Pianykh O. (RUS) Yamaha YZF R6 1’33.636
25 Nelson A. (CAN) Yamaha YZF R6 1’40.570
26 Yates C. (USA) Suzuki GSX-R600
RET Harms R. (DEN) Honda CBR600RR
RET Vostárek P. (CZE) Honda CBR600RR
RET Paris M. (USA) Yamaha YZF R6
RET Aitchison M. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR

SS Championship

1. Crutchlow 135
2. Laverty 126
3. Sofuoglu 108
4. Pitt 73
5. Lascorz 73
6. West 66
7. Foret 55
8. Aitchison 50
9. Pirro 48
10. McCoy 39

Team Reports

— Andrew Pitt

Australian Hannspree Ten Kate Honda rider and reigning World Supersport Champion, Andrew Pitt, has stunned the World Supersport paddock by starting Sunday’s race from the back of the grid, in 30th position, and finishing in seventh position to retain his fourth place in the championship hunt.

In what can only be described as a heroic effort, the Aussie two times World Champion put pain aside and produced the ride of the weekend despite not completing a qualifying lap after a huge crash on the opening lap of the sole WSS qualifying session on Saturday. Pitt suffered bad bruising and concussion as a result and spent the afternoon in hospital undergoing treatment.

Andrew then participated in Sunday morning’s WSS warm up and managed to run 10th fastest.

“We tried a major set-up change in warm up and it was a step in the right direction,” said Pitt, “And although I felt tired and unwell, I decided to give it a go in the race from the back of the grid. But if someone had told me yesterday that I would finish seventh today, I would have signed on the dotted line there and then. I’m really happy with the end result, however, the weekend should have been much more of a success and this run of bad luck needs to end soon”.

Andrew was fastest for most of Saturday Free Practice Three and was confident of a podium on the weekend, prior to machine trouble causing his crash.

“A warped disc pushed the pads back and that was the end of me,” said Pitt, “But the end result has been enough to keep my fourth spot on the championship ladder so with some strong results from this point forward the championship is not yet out of my reach.”

Andrew had a fantastic start in the race and quickly passed the back and mid packs, settling down and running with Foret, he made some small mistakes and had to settle for seventh.

“I was finding it difficult to concentrate 100 per cent and my lap times, apexes and braking points were not quite as consistent and accurate as they could have been. In short, it was a tough race but most of us can pull something extra out of the hat when we really dig deep.”

Pitt now heads home to The Isle Of Man as a spectator at the Isle Of Man TT, before going to Misano to prepare for the next round of the championship.

—  Yamaha

Home run for sensational Spies as he does the double

It was a fitting result on race day for the Texan Terror Ben Spies at the Miller circuit as the Yamaha rider made it clear his home race belonged to him and him only. Spies led both races form the go with arguably his best race starts of the season ensuring he took the holeshot and had a clear circuit to work his magic on. Having extended a 4.2 second lead in the first race it was red flagged six laps in when Karl Muggeridge crashed out. The race was re started and run on aggregate timing to ensure any advantages from the first start where not lost. From the second start Spies led again with a convincing start over second place Checa to take his first win of the day.

Race two saw another incredible start from Spies, keeping his pole position at the front of the pack. Followed closely by Michel Fabrizio, Spies ran a perfect set of 21 laps in the front to take his second win of the day to the delight of the home crowd.

Team-mate Tom Sykes had an equally impressive race day. Following a bad qualification seeing him start from 22nd on the grid, Sykes had a lot of work to do. Race one saw him put his head down and work consistently up the pack, at the end of the race after aggregate he came home in 13th place. Race two saw an incredible start, Sykes put his talent out for all to see, picking off one rider after another to get down to ninth position. By this time the front pack had got too far away and Sykes ran out on his own for the remainder of the race to keep his top ten finish.

Spies leaves Miller in second place in the championship on 212 points, 53 points behind leader Haga. Sykes heads to Misano in seventh with 113 points, nine points behing sixth placed Haslam.

Ben Spies, Yamaha World Superbike Team, (1st, 1st)
“We’ve been working on our starts a little bit and with such a long straight we needed one. The first race was pretty comfortable for me, it’s a great track if you can get out in front and get into a rhythm. It was a tough race in race two, I almost feel like I robbed Michel of a win he rode so well. I tried to set a good pace but also a pace that was comfortable. In the last six laps I just pulled the pin and gave it everything we could. The pace was extremely fast and it was a great race. It’s great to get a double win here, unfortunately we all know Haga is not 100% but you got to capitalize on the weekends when you can. I think Misano is going to be another track the R1 is going to excel it so we’re going to go over there with an open mind and see what we can get away with.”

Tom Sykes, Yamaha World Superbike Team, (13th, 9th)
“We still had some issues with the bike today and obviously the starting position didn’t help matters much. We got off the line fairly well in race one but got boxed in on turn one and lost position a bit. A difficult first race but the red flag helped me re start further up the grid and I managed to run some consistent race times. For race two we made a bit more of a change and found another half a second which was good and had a good start. In the first lap I came from 22nd to 14th which was pretty good. Overall it’s been quite a difficult weekend with a couple of things but the team and I have sat down and put our heads together and we’ve made a drastic improvement to the set up and the way we work, we’re going to be stronger as a team and I’m confident I can now repay the team and deliver the goods.”

Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager
“For the team today was a really great day. We had a good weekend, we came 35 points closer to the leader and I think we can go to Misano optimistic. Tom showed us that he can push hard and he found a really good pace and he kept going. Soon he will get onto the podium.”

Yamaha Supersport riders take a top five and a podium in the Salt Lake sunshine

It was a hard fought race at the Miller Motorsport Park today for Cal Crutchlow as he pulled out all the stops to challenge for the win. Crutchlow was tucked in behind race leader Eugene Laverty for the majority of the race, followed by Lascorz and Sofuoglu. Never more than a bike length away Crutchlow made several attempts to out-brake the Parkalgar Honda rider at the end of the straight but couldn’t get past. AS the race drew to a close, just one lap from the end Sofuoglu put a close pass on Crutchlow, taking the second then passing Laverty for the lead. Crutchlow held on to third to take a well deserved podium for his efforts.

Team-mate Foret suffered from a less than perfect start to the race, dropping a couple of places before working his way back up to seventh by lap 11. B y lap 4 he had worked his way up to fifth, taking Nannelli and McCoy in the process. Foret held on to the position to take fifth under the chequered flag.

Crutchlow leaves Miller still leading the championship on 135 points, with a nine point advantage over second placed rider Laverty. Foret heads to Misano in seventh position on 55 points, 11 points behind sixth placed West.

Cal Crutchlow, Yamaha World Supersport Team (3rd)
“For me it was our worst race weekend so far and we still managed to finish third and only a second off the win so I’m pretty pleased to be honest. I could easily have finished fifth or sixth today so to finish third and just behind Eugene wasn’t so bad in the end. We’ll have to go back to the drawing board for the next race in Misano, a circuit I don’t know but I’m looking forward to it to be honest. I think we and the team did a good job this weekend.”

Fabien Foret, Yamaha World Supersport Team (5th)
“For most of the race was feeling pretty lonely, my start was not that great, I was pushed out to the edge of the track by another rider so I came into the first corner in a not very good position and was in tenth I think. Then I worked hard to overtake some guys, I was fast enough with good grip to get past them but then it was too late so I was just by myself. I was just doing my own race, pushing but not fighting for a podium, just looking to get the points in. I’m not so happy but at least I take away more points. We head to the next one and see what happens.”

Wilco Zeelenberg, Yamaha World Supersport Team Manager
“it was an interesting race, my heart rate was quite high I have to say. Eugene put in a really good pace and I think Cal needed everything to keep up. Still he went better and better and had a good feeling on the end and was preparing on the last lap to try and pass somewhere but then Sofuoglu made a move on him and he had to settle for third. Sofuoglu then made a move on Laverty and it was quite a hard one so it could have ended differently, I think he was lucky to stay on the bike. I think all three were happy to be on the podium. For Fabien it was a bit of a disappointing start, 11th on the first lap so making it back to fifth was good. I think he enjoyed the ride but for some bits it was a bit lonely, but to get fifth and take some points is not so bad.”

—  HRC

Carlos Checa (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR) scored a second place finish in race one at Miller Motorsports Park today and in race two his team-mate Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR) secured a fighting third place, promoting each rider up the championship standings.

After a superb qualifying performance, finishing second on the grid, Checa rode hard in an aggregated race one, and although he was unable to get close to the race winner Ben Spies, Carlos took his best finish of the year by some distance with his runner-up slot. This was his first podium finish of 2009, and although he fell in race two, while chasing another podium finish, he is now ninth in the championship table, one place up on his previous standing.

Race one, stopped and restarted because of a crash which saw Karl Muggeridge fall and stay on the track for some time, had three Hondas in the top five places, with Ryuichi Kiyonari (Ten Kate Racing Honda CBR1000RR) and Rea fourth and fifth respectively. They had been third and 11th respectively in Superpole.

In the second race of the day, a full 21-laps from start-to-finish, Spies won from Michel Fabrizio, with Rea fighting all the way to take third, as he headed up a battle which involved six other riders at some points.

Leon Haslam (Stiggy Racing Honda CBR1000RR) was a disappointed 12th in Superpole but completed the top ten in race one, after a tough multi-rider fight in each of the two aggregate legs. He was pushing for the podium against Rea when he fell on the last lap of race two, in the same fashion Checa did, when his alternator cover also touched down on a kerbstone.

Kiyonari was to finish race two in fifth place, part of the fighting group from first to last.

Jake Zemke (Stiggy Racing Honda CBR1000RR) was 23rd on the grid, and 18th on aggregate in race one. Set-up improvements moved him to 15th in race two, scoring a single point.

Tommy Hill (Honda Althea CBR1000RR) who had qualified only 25th after crashing and hurting his left foot, did not race at Miller, after discussion with his team.

In the overall championship standings, Rea is top Honda, rider, fourth overall on 133 points, Haslam slipped from fourth to sixth, on 122, and Kiyonari is eighth, on 96 points.

The next round is at Misano, on June 21.

Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) secured his second WSS race win of the 2009 season with a last lap attack on eventual second place man Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda CBR600RR) and championship leader Cal Crutchlow. Sofuoglu went from third to first in the space of a few corners and moved to within 27 points of the lead, with seven rounds gone.

Sofuoglu set the lap record of 1’52.285 on the 15th lap of 18, as he used radically new machine set-up in this race to get himself back up the points table after some disappointing recent results.

Laverty had led the race from the start, but on the third corner from the flag Sofuoglu dived inside and held his line to push Laverty to second in the race, just ahead of Crutchlow. The top three were covered by 0.521 seconds. Laverty had been second in qualifying, Sofuoglu sixth.

Andrew Pitt (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) overcame a heavy crash on Saturday to take seventh, an incredible achievement because of his start from the last row of the grid. He had fallen in the single qualifying session before recording a lap time, but was allowed to race because of his previous fast times in early unofficial sessions.

Matthieu Lagrive (Honda Althea CBR600RR) was ninth, just one place ahead of Anthony West (Stiggy Racing Honda CBR600RR), making it five Honda riders in the top ten places. West had been only 22nd in qualifying making his top ten finish hard, but ultimately rewarding, work.

Miguel Praia (Parkalgar Honda CBR600RR) was another heavy crasher in practice, but he recovered well enough to go from 14th on the grid to 12th in the race. The last point, for 15th place, went to Gianluca Vizziello (Stiggy Racing Honda CBR600RR), as Mark Aitchison (Honda Althea
CBR600RR) fell in the race, after starting from 9th on the grid.

In the overall standings, Crutchlow has 135, Laverty the best Honda rider with 126 in second place, Sofuoglu third on 128, Pitt fourth on 73, tied with Joan Lascorz. West is sixth, with 66 points.

WSB Rider Quotes
Jonathan Rea said: “I made a change between races with the front tyre, upping the pressure a bit it wasn’t the right way to go. I didn’t have as much grip on the way into corners, but the bike has improved in terms of the throttle connection so I concentrated on making the most of the power on the exit of the corners, and that was how I stayed in front. Getting a podium was good for the team and we have definitely made real improvements. Every lap I was watching the big screen out of the last turn to see who it was behind me. I knew I had a little bit of a gap, but for me I had to ride as slow as I could for third place. We’ve been on the podium now two weeks on the run, so it’s almost enough for us.”

Carlos Checa said: “Race one was good, after all that has happened earlier this year, and despite my crash in race two we can leave here with everything being positive. We made progress and were on the pace and now we have a test in France to keep working, and be fast in Misano. In race two maybe I went in with too much angle and hit the kerbstone at the top of the hill, and that kerb is so high, we already complained about it last year. It was a shame because I knew I had good pace for the second race as well.”

Leon Haslam said: “It has obviously been a bit of a disappointing day for us, finishing the first race in tenth position and then taking a DNF in the second one. I rode really well in the second race, and I should have been in third place here. As I tried to make a pass on Rea, I hit the kerb and ended up on the gravel. I am disappointed with my results, but then again, the pace I have been running and everything else is working just fine. We have a few more issues that we will have to work on for the next round, but fingers crossed we should be at the rostrum every weekend from now on. I am feeling very good with the bike and what it can do, so bring on Misano.”

Ryuichi Kiyonari said: “I got a good start to the second part of race one and took the holeshot I think, but I had a problem with the tyre which was the same in race two. It was spinning on the rim and made rear grip a real problem in both races. We decided to go with the softer tyre after warm-up but we hadn’t had a chance to do any longer runs with it. It was OK for the first couple of laps but then the problems started. It’s very disappointing but I guess the results are not so bad, and a lot better than last time at Kyalami.”

Jake Zemke said: “The biggest problem I had in qualifying was with turning in the middle of the corners, but we improved it in race one and then again in race two and we got a point because of it. Obviously I have to thank the team and John Hopkins for getting this opportunity, and we made some progress, so I wish the team success for the rest of the season.”

Tommy Hill said: “I hurt my left foot in a crash and had two sets of X-rays which proved inconclusive. After discussion with the team we decided not to race.”

WSS Rider Quotes
Kenan Sofuoglu said: “We have had some problems with the set-up of the machine in recent races, and our results were not so good. But we kept working step-by-step and finally this morning we found a completely different set-up and it was like a new bike. I understood in warm-up that I could win the race, but in the beginning I could not pass some riders. I know how hard my mechanics worked last night so I want to give them a good result.”

Eugene Laverty said: “I was disappointed not to win because I didn’t expect Kenan to come through on me but he made a fantastic pass and held his line by carrying a lot more speed than me through that corner. I am happy for him to get a win because it has been a tough period for his team, so it looks like we are going to have to work that bit harder to maintain our position. I made a silly mistake in warm-up and crashed, and had to ride my spare bike, so the guys made a great job to put a great bike underneath me.”

Andrew Pitt said: “I tried a new setting this race, something different that we didn’t use before, and now I think we have turned the corner. Before the problem with my crash yesterday we were on the pace. I have a headache and my leg is a bit sore, but I got through the race OK. I think we are on the way up again.”

Anthony West said: “I have been frustrated recently and at the beginning of the race I just couldn’t push the bike but when the tyres started sliding around a bit I had a bit more feeling with the bike. Then I could manage it better than the other guys. We got a top ten and some points but it’s not where we should be.”

Mark Aitchison said: “I got into the Esses and was following McCoy. We went in left but as we went right he bobbled and I had nowhere to go. I almost ran up the back of him and had to change line so that put me onto the rumple strip and I went down. It was just a bit unfortunate.”

Matthieu Lagrive said: “OK, we got some points but I am not so happy to not have a good solution before practice and qualifying. I saw before the race where our set-up problem was, but it was too late. The whole weekend was difficult but we made some progress on raceday.”

Gianluca Vizziello said: “A good race but my rear was spinning a lot, so I was sliding instead of driving. One point is OK, but I think we should be better in the next race.”

Miguel Praia said: “I had a very big crash in practice so I was pleasantly surprised to score points and almost get a tenth place finish. The bike was great but it was a very hard race for me, particularly because I ripped my thigh muscles and you really need them to move around the bike.”

—  Ducati

Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) takes home 36 important points having visited the podium twice, with a worthy second and third place finish in the races held today at Miller Motorsports Park in Salt Lake City. Michel’s team-mate Noriyuki Haga, who had difficulty finding the right feeling with his Ducati 1198 this weekend, had a more difficult day and closed the two races in ninth and eighth position.

Race 1 became dramatic when, after five laps, Suzuki rider Muggeridge crashed and caused a red flag that led to a subsequent second heat. Recommencing from the positions they held before the red flag was shown, fourth and fifth, Ducati riders Michel and Noriyuki did not make the strongest start this time around and found themselves in eleventh and eighth place respectively at the end of the first lap. Michel made a great recovery, fighting his way through the pack from eleventh to fourth, which meant third place according to the aggregate race results. Noriyuki, still very sore from yesterday’s crash, found it difficult to make progress with his 1198 but, knowing that today is all about taking as many points as possible home, he held strong to come home in a valiant ninth position.

In Race 2 Noriyuki made a change to his bike’s setting but unfortunately it did not make a great difference to the feeling he had. Although he held third place for a few laps at the start, he was gradually overtaken by various riders including team-mate Fabrizio and concluded the 21-lap race in eighth position. Michel also made up a couple of places at the offset, and was in second behind Ben for the entirety of the race. Alhtough he remained close to Ben for the best part of the race, his efforts to stick with the frontrunner resulted in front tyre wear that in the final laps began to slow Michel down, causing him to lose a few seconds. Fabrizio did however finish a clear five seconds ahead of third-placed Honda rider Rea.

In the championship standings, Noriyuki continues to hold the lead though with a slightly diminished advantage of 265 points over American Spies who has 212. Fabrizio is in third place with 201 points. Ducati dominates the manufacturers classification with 311 points, Yamaha chases with 253.

Michel Fabrizio (Race 1 – 3rd, Race 2 – 2nd)
“Well Race 1 was quite hard, because after the restart I felt like a ping-pong ball, there were three or four guys coming at me from all directions causing me to lose some positions. I had to push hard to pass them again and it wasn’t easy but my desire to be up on the podium gave my the strength I needed and so I’m happy with the result. In the second race I got away well and did all I could to stick with Ben out front. The gap between us was about 1.5 seconds and I pushed hard to close it up, perhaps too hard, because in the last laps my front tyre was finished and I couldn’t do more to catch him. Ben was really strong today so I can’t complain that I didn’t win. I take away 36 valuable points and now we head to Misano where I’d like to be back up on the top step of the podium.”

Noriyuki Haga (Race 1 – 9th, Race 2 – 8th)
“I did not have a very good feeling with my bike in Race 1. It was very hot out there and I can’t say I was having an easy time. We changed the setting a little for the second race but I still wasn’t able to fight for the podium despite the fact that it was only a few seconds out of grasp. Unfortunately many riders were just stronger then me today. I am not 100% of course after my crash yesterday and I didn’t expect to win here today but I am happy to have taken points all the same, important points for the championship. I’ll get back in shape before Misano where I want to be back fighting for the win.”

—  SUZUKI

TBC

—  BMW

The seventh round of this year’s Superbike World Championship will not going down in Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport history as one to remember. Starting from their lowest grid positions this season was always going to be difficult for riders Troy Corser and Ruben Xaus and it is to their huge credit that they brought their bikes home in both races. Troy and Ruben fought hard in the pair of 21-lappers and managed to score just one point, thanks to Troy’s fifteenth place in race one.

American Ben Spies (Yamaha) continued his weekend of domination by taking both victories today – much to the delight of the home fans. Carlos Checa (Honda) was second in race one, with Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) third. Behind Spies in race two was Fabrizio again, with Jonathan Rea (Honda) third.

Troy – Race 1: 15th, Race 2: 17th
There’s no disguising that this has been a hard weekend for us all here at Miller. Although we had some difficulties during the weekend, my main problem today was my right shoulder. I damaged the ligament between the shoulder and the collarbone in the Monza crash and it has not recovered yet. Race one was hard enough, but I just ran out of strength in race two and had a hard time keeping going. Every time I braked or changed direction, I felt that there wasn’t enough strength to move the bike and that tired me out. I also had some problems with the tyre moving on the rim in race two and that didn’t help us either. Since Monza, the bikes have been on the road (well plane actually) to Kyalami and then on to USA, so it’ll be good to get them back to the workshops, analyse what’s been going on and then make the right improvements. Hard work for sure, but I’ve no doubt we’ll get there.

Ruben – Race 1: 21st, Race 2: 16th
We didn’t think that this season would be easy, but perhaps today was harder then it should’ve been. Of course we began the races from the last rows of the grid and that made life difficult. Towards the end of the first race my lap times were consistent and good and pretty close to the guys fighting for top ten places. My bike didn’t feel right in race one, but it felt better in race two, but my grid position held me up. Between race one and race two my mechanics did a superb job by changing engines in such a short time and I want to thank them for the good and fast work – especially because the bike ran perfectly.

Berti Hauser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director)
For us, today was more or less the same as all weekend, but there are three aspects we have to consider. First, there is our disappointment, because we have been so much better this season. Second is that we found a lot of surprises we didn’t expect with the way the bike was working at this track with these tyres. Third is the huge amount of info we received, which will go back for analysis. Our recent timeline has not been good for us, because the bikes went from Monza to South Africa and then straight on to USA, so there has been no opportunity for us to collate all the data in our workshops, figure out what changes are needed and do the work required.

At least now we head back to Europe and can work at home and make some modifications in time for Misano. This season’s pace is going faster and faster and we must fight to keep up. Today’s result was one to forget, but I’m proud of the whole team for the hard work they always put in and the motivation to improve by them and the riders is as strong as ever.

—  PBM Kawasaki

TBC

—  Triumph

Team ParkinGo Triumph BE1 Racing captured the sixth place with Garry McCoy who put on a good performance. The Australian confirmed his good form after doing well in practice in the first two days.

The Australian rider had a great start and got in fourth place right away. He had a fast pace just as the front runners but made a small mistake and lost contact with the leading pack. Without being able to use the wake in the faster part of the track, he could not catch up with the front runners. As a consequence, halfway into the race he decided to settle for the result and finished at 18 seconds from the winner.

On the other hand, Gianluca Nannelli did very well until the last lap when he slipped as he was fighting for the fifth place with Fabien Foret.

The Italian rider was not very effective at the start, but after a few corners managed to catch up with the group that was fighting for the fourth place. However, he unfortunately crashed with one lap left in the race.

GIANLUCA NANNELLI | Triumph Daytona 675 | 16th: “I’m really disappointed I didn’t score the result I was hoping for. However, I did prove both here and in South Africa that I’m in good form and I can fight for the top spots. I was desperate to do well today and I went over the top. Nonetheless, I hope to redeem myself in the next round at Misano”.

GARRY McCOY | Triumph Daytona 675 | 6th: “With this result I got in the top 10 in the standings but, most importantly we are slowly closing the gap on the top riders. Unfortunately, today I realised that halfway into the race I just couldn’t catch up and decided to maintain the pace, a choice that brought us some more points”.

GIULIANO ROVELLI – TEAM MANAGER: “If we had finished with both riders in sixth and seventh place, it would’ve been fantastic but I’m happy nonetheless. We did well in both practice and race, we got our first front row with Nannelli and halfway into the season we have McCoy in the top 10 in the standings. So, overall it was a positive season up to now. The team will now return to Italy and will keep working and hopefully be even more competitive at Misano in 20 days time”.