Jonathan Rea doubles Imola WorldSBK – Leads series by 87 points
The fifth round of the World Superbike Season ended with victory in both races in the top category going to Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team). The Brit is on an impressive winning streak: out of the ten races held he has won eight and placed second in the other two.
After a three round absence due to a bad crash during the opening race of the season in Australia, Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team) came back keen to make up for lost time, winning the Superpole on Saturday ahead of the two Kawasaki riders, Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea.
Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team) got off the line well ahead of Tom Sykes, temporarily overtaken by team mate Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) who moved into second place only to lose it a few turns later.
During the eighth lap the other Ducati rider, Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team), was forced to withdraw due to an electrical problem with his bike.
Things got really exciting in the ninth lap when Tom Sykes managed to overtake Giugliano to move into the lead. During the same lap Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) crashed out and in the tenth lap Jonathan Rea also managed to get by Davide Giugliano, chasing down team mate Tom Sykes.
Just as the two Kawasakis ridden by Sykes and Rea were leading the race a bad crash, fortunately without any grave consequences, took David Salom (Team Pedercini) out of the race and forced the marshals to red flag the race and bring all the riders back into the pits.
The race restarted according to the rules for 6 laps which was the 2/3 distance left in the race when the red flag came out.
The restart had the riders on the grid in the order they were when the race was red flagged, so Sykes was on the pole ahead of Rea, Giugliano and Haslam.
In the third lap of the restart Jonathan Rea overtook Tom Sykes to move into the lead. The two Kawasakis increased the gap ahead of Davide Giugliano (in third place) and crossed the wire first. Jonathan Rea took the top step of the podium followed by team mate Tome Sykes and Ducati rider Davide Giugliano who finished with an excellent third place.
Race two confirmed the outcome of Race 1 with the Akashi-based manufacturer demonstrating clear superiority over the competition on the Imola track.
In the third lap Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team) overtook team mate Davide Giugliano, already overtaken at the start by the two Kawasakis ridden by Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) who led the race.
From the sixth lap the two Kawasakis, just like in race one, increased the race pace and pulled away from their pursuers.
In the ninth lap Michael VD Mark crashed due to contact with Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) and in the following lap the Spaniard began a duel with Davide Giugliano for fourth place.
During the twelfth lap Torres managed to overtake the Italian and then in the fifteenth Chaz Davies, in third place at the moment, was forced to retire once again, leaving third place to Torres.
The race ended once again with victory for Jonathan Rea on his Kawasaki and his team mate crossing the wire behind him again with the bottom step going to Jordi Torres on his Aprilia ahead of Italians Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team), Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia) and Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing Ducati).
Jonathan Rea – Kawasaki – Race 1 1st – Race 2 1st – “It has been incredible this weekend and I do not know what to say because this kind of run has never happened to me before. The key to the weekend was working hard with Pere and Paolo Friday and Saturday to make sure we had a package we could fight with. I was honestly a little bit worried about the six lap first race because we were not really set up to be so strong in the beginning of the race. In race two I watched the gap behind and Arturo was giving me great signals from pitlane. When the gap got to one second I thought ‘keep going and no mistakes’.”
Tom Sykes – Kawasaki – Race 1 2nd – Race 2 2nd – “We made some improvements at this round and I am very happy. Jonathan rode a strong race in race two and we had a big gap to the guys behind. In the end I just had to accept that this was our limit today. The good thing is we have improved from previous events so I think we are heading in the right direction. Still there are some minor things to change but on the whole we have addressed some of our limitations and in Donington at the next round we will keep working. We improved some small things but small things at this level make an incredible difference. To take the wins would have been better, but I am happy.”
Jordi Torres – Aprilia – Race 1 DNF – Race 2 4th – It’s incredible! After the practice sessions on Friday I thought that this was a difficult track with chicanes that are my weak point and a very narrow track. In Race 1 I had a few problems with the gearbox. I was struggling in downshifting and in the end I had to withdraw after running straight on. The guys did a great job fixing my bike for Race 2 and this third place goes to them. I have definitely changed my opinion on this track. Now I think it is the best one in the world! Seriously though, I’m very pleased with the improvements we made. On a new track we did a great job. I think that on tracks we know we’ll be able to confirm our progress.”
Davide Giugliano – Ducati – Race 1 3rd – Race 2 4th – “I’m really pleased with the podium, which on a personal level is like a win for me. After the first ‘heat’ I was already tired and the second part of the race was extremely difficult, I couldn’t have done any more. I was undecided as to whether to do race 2 at all as the first race really wore me out, but thanks to the Clinica Mobile’s help and the support of all the fans here, I was actually able to complete race 2, in fourth place. It’s been an important weekend for us, and has helped us see that we can fight for the top positions at every round.”
Matteo Baiocco – Ducati – Race 1 8th – Race 2 6th – “I’m really pleased with today’s two races, which went to making up for yesterday unlucky Superpole episode. I was able to see that if we’d started a little further ahead on the grid I would have been able to make a great race. A solid result in terms of the championship anyway, two good positions and consistency throughout the races. The team has worked really well and these results give us confidence for the next races. I would like to thank everyone who was here, Genesio Bevilacqua and all my staff, who never set a foot wrong and who have helped me complete two strong races. I will continue to try and repay them with results that are equal to or better than these.”
Roman Ramos (Team Go Eleven Kawasaki), Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing Ducati), Michel Fabrizio (Althea Racing Ducati) and Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) completed the top ten.
Alex Lowes: “A difficult day but I tried my best in both races. It’s frustrating that we haven’t made more improvements but we’re that far into it now that we just have to keep going, keep our heads down, work as hard as we can and see if we can go better at Donington. Obviously I will have the advantage that I know the track and I think it will be less critical on the electronics so I’m looking forward to Donington already. You have two choices when things aren’t going your way, you either give in or you keep working, keep doing your best, keep trying to improve the bike and see what happens, so that’s what we’re doing!”
Michel Fabrizio’s return to a championship that he hasn’t competed in for a year was a positive one. The Italian was able to complete two good races, not far off the results obtained by his teammate, Matteo Baiocco. In only three days Fabrizio has had to deal with a new bike, after a long break, and trying to find the right feeling with his Ducati Panigale R. In race 1 he was able to finish inside the top ten but was unlucky in race 2, losing precious time after making contact with another rider and almost losing his boot in the process. This set back forced him to push hard to make up for lost time and he eventually finished in ninth position.
Michel Fabrizio: “This was a good weekend for me and the best thing is that I felt like a rider again. I thank the entire team for having given me so much over these three days. I would have liked to repay them with a great result and it was a pity about the contact with Mercado which literally pulled my boot off. I almost had to stop to put it back on because it was sliding off my foot. I lost precious seconds and so seeing as how the race went I think ninth was the best I could do. Ninth which wouldn’t normally be positive for a rider but after a year’s break I think it’s a great result. I’m particularly disappointed for the team.”
Continuing to struggle with confidence in the new electronic control systems, Randy de Puniet retired his Suzuki GSX-R1000 from both races having completed four laps of each, leaving him in 19th place in the Championship.
Randy de Puniet: “I’m very disappointed as Imola was another bad weekend for me. We are still struggling to find the correct base-setting for the electronics system and it has now affected three race weekends. I really hope we can find the solution at Donington so we can start building our season from there.”
Paul Denning – Suzuki Team Manager: “A very challenging day at the office. The whole Voltcom Crescent Suzuki team could not be working harder to find the correct solutions – from tyre technicians to crew chiefs, everybody is giving 100%. The biggest frustration is that the very clear results of our testing after Assen did not translate at all to the Imola Circuit. If a bike has issues with throttle connection, driveability and engine brake control, these issues will be multiplied at Imola due to the very technical layout of the track and that’s exactly what happened. Equally, when the focus is on these fundamental problems, normal chassis setting work takes a back seat and the overall bike performance doesn’t progress as it should. Again, Alex simply did all we could ask of him and rode really well to score good points. He has continued to apply himself in a difficult situation, and to set his best lap time of the day on the final lap of race two shows his commitment to the very end. His efforts and natural speed indicate that we will be straight back into a stronger position when the fundamental problems are solved.”
Sylvain Guintoli and his Pata Honda team-mate Michael van der Mark both crashed out before half distance in the second bout, as did Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils). A number of other retirements meant only 13 riders completed the race.
Leon Haslam: “A difficult day for me. In Race 1 I brought home the best possible result (4th). In Race 2 I was struggling in the braking section and I even went wide a couple of times, ending up behind VD Mark and Jordi. Then I found a good pace but just as I was making up ground I had a bad highside on turn 3. I’m hurting all over now, but thinking about the crash I think I’m lucky and I should be at 100% by Donington”.
Sylvain Guintoli – 5th and DNF – “Race one was much better than we expected and I was able to race hard and get up to fifth from fifteenth on the grid. The bike felt better than it had done all weekend and we found some good data that allowed us to make some positive changes for the second race. I was really looking forward to race two and with the hotter weather we could use the softer tyre. I was in the pack on the first lap but I had to leave some room for, I think, Leon Camier who dived in to overtake me at turn nine. I had to go wide on to a dirty part of the track and just lost the front. It was one of those first lap racing incidents but it’s a shame because I think we could have recovered well again. But we’ll take the positives and the fighting spirit from race one and move forward at Donington Park which is like a home race for me.”
Michael van der Mark – 9th and DNF – “It’s been quite a difficult weekend throughout all the sessions but we improved in each session from Saturday morning. In race one I had a problem with the launch control system so that’s why I lost so many places at the start. In the end I rode step-by-step and made up around ten places and, although the pace wasn’t great, it was an improvement again. Then we had the six lap sprint after the red flag when I tried another tyre but I didn’t get any grip, which was quite disappointing. The start of race two was not too bad and I was able to make up some places in the first corner. I moved forward and passed Leon and had a nice fight with Torres. Leon wanted to pass but he hit me and I crashed. I was really disappointed with that because if you look at the end Torres got to the podium and, f or sure, a fourth or even a third place might have been possible.”
Chaz Davies was left to lament what might have been after technical problems put a halt to his charge in both races making Imola a weekend to forget for the Briton. His strong start to the season however meant he only lost one place in the championship standings, slipping from third to fourth in the series points now behind Tom Sykes.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team #7) – DNF, DNF – “A disastrous day for us obviously. We were in a position to be able to complete two good races here today and instead we go home with nothing. In race 1 a technical problem stopped me and so I hoped to be able to make up for that in race two. But once the second race got underway, I knew something was wrong almost right away. I was using the second bike and had to press a couple of buttons to change the setting and after that the bike seemed a bit smoother. But then I started to have other issues, my foot came off the footpeg and I realized there was a little oil leaking, so I tried to be careful and hoped it wouldn’t get worse but it wasn’t possible to finish the race. A day to forget…”
In the championship standings Jonathan Rea heads to his home round at Donington Park with a stretched points advantage after his double race win, the gap to his nearest rival Leon Haslam is 87 points.
Race 1 Results
1 Jonathan Rea 10m43.252s GBR KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team
2 Tom Sykes +0.482s GBR KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team
3 Davide Guigliano +3.945s ITA DUCATI Aruba.it Racing-Ducati Superbike Team
4 Leon Haslam +7.455s GBR APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils
5 Sylvain Guintoli +11.925s FRA HONDA Pata Honda World Superbike Team
6 Ayrton Badovini +12.074s ITA BMW JR Racing Team
7 Leandro Mercado +12.789s ARG DUCATI BARNI Racing Team
8 Matteo Baiocco +13.712s ITA DUCATI Althea Racing
9 Michael van der Mark +13.863s NED HONDA Pata Honda World Superbike Team
10 Michel Fabrizio +14.637s ITA DUCATI Althea Racing
Race 2 Results
1 Jonathan Rea 34m06.825s GBR KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team
2 Tom Sykes +4.399s GBR KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team
3 Jordi Torres +26.020s ESP APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils
4 Davide Guigliano +30.853s ITA DUCATI Aruba.it Racing-Ducati Superbike Team
5 Ayrton Badovini +35.379s ITA BMW JR Racing Team
6 Matteo Baiocco +38.818s ITA DUCATI Althea Racing
7 Roman Ramos +40.663s ESP KAWASAKI Team GO Eleven
8 Leandro Mercado +42.067s ARG DUCATI BARNI Racing Team
9 Michel Fabrizio +55.722s ITA DUCATI Althea Racing
10 Alex Lowes +56.990s GBR SUZUKI Voltcom Crescent Suzuki
1 Jonathan Rea 240 pts GBR KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team
2 Leon Haslam 153 pts GBR APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils
3 Tom Sykes 128 pts GBR KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team
4 Chaz Davies 123 pts GBR DUCATI Aruba.it Racing-Ducati Superbike Team
5 Jordi Torres 99 pts ESP APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils
6 Sylvain Guintoli 76 pts FRA HONDA Pata Honda World Superbike Team
7 Michael van der Mark 67 pts NED HONDA Pata Honda World Superbike Team
8 Matteo Baiocco 66 pts ITA DUCATI Althea Racing
9 Leandro Mercado 62 pts ARG DUCATI BARNI Racing Team
10 Alex Lowes 51 pts GBR SUZUKI Voltcom Crescent Suzuki
Kenan Sofuoglu wins Lap Record breaking WSS race
Between Superbike Race 1 and Race 2 the FIM Supersport World Championship race was held, 17 laps long with Jules Cluzel on his MV Agusta starting from pole position ahead of the two Kawasakis ridden by Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Marco Faccani (San Carlo Puccetti Racing).
Cluzel and Sofuoglu got off the line fast with Faccani losing third place to American Patrick Jacobsen (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres).
During the third lap Cluzel and Sofuoglu pulled away from the rest of the pack, putting almost a second and a half between them and their closest rivals.
Toward the end of the seventh lap the Turkish rider launched an attack on the Frenchman and overtook but Cluzel wasn’t about to give up and on the straight stretch just before beginning the eighth lap he took back the lead. In the meantime his team mate, Lorenzo Zanetti (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) overtook Jacobsen to move into third place.
Sofuoglu did not relent and during the ninth lap he managed to overtake Cluzel’s MV Agusta to move back into the lead. Like at Assen, the finale came down to a dual between the Turkish rider and the Frenchman.
Kenan Sofuoglu took home the win but Jules Cluzel, second across the wire, deservedly broke the lap record with 1’51.101 in the penultimate lap, improving the one set by Sam Lowes in 2013 by half a second. Behind them was the other MV Agusta ridden by Lorenzo Zanetti.
Glenn Scott was having a positive race until engine problems forced the NSW rider to DNF – “We jumped many hurdles this weekend as a team but unfortunately the last one stopped us in our tracks. Retiring from 14th in today’s race was devastating. After making great progress in the race, setting our fastest lap of the weekend and fighting for positions in the points it was hard to accept an engine problem forced us to retire with 6 laps to go. But we can pull many positive from this weekend and the team is in good spirits considering all. Now to rebuild and focus on Rd6 in Donington! I have to thank my team for working so hard all weekend. They didn’t deserve this result, Donington will be our round. Like my friend told me, looking back only gives you a sore neck!”
Couuntryman Aiden Wagner, making his Eureopean debut in the World Supersport ranks at Imola, finished a creditable 14th, 57-seconds behind the leading duo after the 17-lap race distance.
At the moment the Turkish rider leads the overall Championship standings with 105 points, whereas Jules Cluzel lead the Pirelli Best Lap Awards standings with three fast race laps out of a total of five races held thus far.
Race Results – 17 laps
1 Kenan Sofuoglu 31m38.539s TUR KAWASAKI Kawasaki Puccetti Racing
2 Jules Cluzel +0.883s FRA MV MV Agusta Reparto Corse
3 Lorenzo Zanetti +9.624s ITA MV MV Agusta Reparto Corse
4 Patrick Jacobson +11.116s USA KAWASAKI Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres
5 Marco Faccani +14.327s ITA KAWASAKI Kawasaki Puccetti Racing
6 Ratthapark Wilairot +29.276s THA HONDA CORE Motorsport Thailand
7 Gino Rea +29.760s GBR HONDA CIA Landlords Insurance Honda
8 Riccardo Russo +30.745s ITA HONDA CIA Landlords Insurance Honda
9 Martin Cardenas +36.262s COL HONDA CIA Landlords Insurance Honda
10 Roberto Rolfo +37.478s ITA HONDA Team Lorini
1 Kenan Sofuoglu 105 pts TUR KAWASAKI Kawasaki Puccetti Racing
2 Patrick Jacobson 68 pts USA KAWASAKI Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres
3 Jules Cluzel 65 pts FRA MV MV Agusta Reparto Corse
4 Lorenzo Zanetti 57 pts ITA MV MV Agusta Reparto Corse
5 Ratthapark Wilairot 46 pts THA HONDA CORE Motorsport Thailand
6 Kyle Smith 46 pts GBR HONDA Pata Honda World Supersport Team
7 Gino Rea 46 pts GBR HONDA CIA Landlords Insurance Honda
8 Roberto Rolfo 41 pts ITA HONDA Team Lorini
9 Alex Baldolini 33 pts ITA MV Race Department ATK#25
10 Marco Faccani 32 pts ITA KAWASAKI Kawasaki Puccetti Racing
Second consecutive STK1000 win for Savadori
Lorenzo Savadori (Nuova M2 Racing Aprilia) claimed his second win of the season by coming out on top at the end of the 14-lap FIM Superstock 1000 Cup race at Imola’s Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari. The 22 year old from Cesena crossed the finish line with a controlled margin ahead of fellow Italian Roberto Tamburini (MotoxRacing BMW) as long-time second-place man Ondrej Jezek completed the podium.
Factory Yamaha rider Kev Coghlan edged out Fabio Massei (EAB Racing Ducati) for fourth as other MRS rider Jeremy Guarnoni, Tony Covena (EAB Racing Ducati), Luca Salvadori (Althea Racing Ducati), wildcard Denni Schiavoni (2R Racing BMW) and Sylvain Barrier (G.M. Yamaha) rounded out the top-10.
A spectacular crash on the second lap saw Florian Marino (MRS Yamaha) highsiding over Raffaele De Rosa (Althea Racing Ducati) and his Panigale R, both ending up on the gravel and later transferred at the medical centre.
Bryan Staring failed to finish the race which put and end to his strong run of results in the opening rounds but the Perth born Kawasaki rider still holds down eighth position in the championship standings.
2015 STK1000 Italy – Imola 10/05/2015 14 Laps
1 Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia ITA 25’49.970
2 Roberto Tamburini BMW ITA 0’02.268
3 Ondrej Jezek Ducati CZE 0’07.279
4 Kev Coghlan Yamaha GBR 0’10.805
5 Fabio Massei Ducati ITA 0’15.198
6 Jeremy Guarnoni Yamaha FRA 0’20.687
7 Tony Coveña Ducati NLD 0’21.897
8 Luca Salvadori Ducati ITA 0’26.674
9 Denni Schiavoni BMW ITA 0’32.647
10 Sylvain Barrier Yamaha FRA 0’36.028
11 Sebastien Suchet Kawasaki CHE 0’37.426
12 Christoffer Bergman Yamaha SWE 0’38.241
13 Peter Sebestyen Kawasaki HUN 0’39.707
14 Marc Moser Ducati DE 0’39.958
15 Kevin Calia Aprilia ITA 0’40.121
16 Luca Marconi Yamaha ITA 0’45.193
Emanuele Pusceddu dominant in shortened EJC race at Imola
Emanuele Pusceddu took victory in today’s third round race of the 2015 Pata European Junior Cup, powered by Honda moving up to second place in the overall standings with his third podium of the season.
Today’s scheduled nine-lap race with 29 identically-prepared Honda CBR650F machines, was red-flagged early on when a number of riders crashed at Imola’s final chicane – often the scene of dramatic racing incidents.
When the track was cleared, a six-lap dash followed in which Pusceddu dominated, beating fellow Italian Paolo Grassia by almost three seconds, with series leader and winner of the opening two rounds, Javier Orellana, finishing third.
In the FIM Europe Women’s European Cup race, Hungarian Viktoria Kis took the victory, coming home in 19th position overall after Anastassia Kovalenko of Estonia and New Zealand’s Avalon Biddle were caught up in earlier crashes.
Emanuele Pusceddu – “Today the CBR was fantastic! The setting was very good and I was able to be very, very fast. I pushed very hard on the first lap of the re-start because I knew it was a very short race and the other guys would be very close. So I am really happy to take this victory in Italy and I would like to dedicate the win to the memory of my friend’s grandfather – a very important person who died on Friday.”
Gerry Bryce – EJC Series Director – “It was a fairly dramatic race today and Imola’s notorious final chicane had yet another say in proceedings. We lost a few riders from the crash there but Emanuele Pusceddu set a blinding pace in the re-start and was able to ride away a little. Behind him, Javier Orellana had a good battle with Paolo Grassia and with those three on the podium again I think it’ll come down to the end of the season with them.”
2015 Pata European Junior Cup, powered by Honda
Round three, Imola, Italy – Sunday, 10 May – Results:
1 E Pusceddu (ITA)
3 P Grassia (ITA)
3 J Orellana (ESP)
4 G De Gruttola (ITA)
5 G Raymond (FRA)
6 D Laville (FRA)
7 I Fernandez (ESP)
8 A Coppola (ITA)
9 H Cabuk (TUR)
10 S Wilford (GBR)