As ever, the World Superbike series has once again provided video highlights of the races from last weekend's WSBK round at Valencia on their Youtube channel. So for those of you who, for one reason or another, missed the World Superbike or World Supersport races, here's your chance to get the executive summary.
WSBK Race 1:
WSBK Race 2:
As the digital world continues its relentless drift into the world of the mobile device, both MotoGP and World Superbikes series are starting to catch up. Last week the World Superbike series announced the availability of its WSBK iPhone app in the iTunes store, and this week, MotoGP has followed suit, with its own live timing app for iPhone and iTouch.
After this weekend's double-header of races, with both World Superbikes in Valencia and MotoGP in Qatar, OnTheThrottleTV put on their usual excellent live video show, featuring interviews and news. The interview subject for the World Superbike series was Roger Lee Hayden, who talks to Dave Williams about the Valencia weekend and living in Ben Spies mountain hideaway in Como, Italy. Here's what Hayden had to say:
Before the 20210 World Superbike season began, pundits (including yours truly) took great relish in playing the prognostication game. In this fantasy world, the Xerox Ducati teammates of Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio were the odds-on pre-season favorites. Some, however, conjectured that Haga was so psychologically devastated from flinging away the 2009 championship at the last round at Portimao that he wouldn't be able to go through the same excruciating process this year, but most thought that when push came to shove, Nitro Nori would summon his inner warrior and make yet another serious quest for his first World Superbike championship.
Other sure contenders were thought to be Max Biaggi, aboard an Aprilia RSV4 that would benefit from a year of development, Jonny Rea, also in his sophomore year on the Ten Kate Honda, James Toseland and Chris Vermeulen, who both had something to prove after their demotion from MotoGP. And, oh yeah, Leon Haslam was doing good things in testing on the Alstare Suzuki and was clearly a man to be watched.
Results of the second World Superbike race at Valencia:
Results of World Superbikes race 1 at Valencia:
Results of Superpole for the World Superbike class at Valencia:
Max Biaggi dominated the final session of free practice for the World Superbike class at Valencia, putting a quarter of a second behind his Alitalia Aprilia and the Alstare Suzuki of Sylvain Guintoli. Althea Ducati's Carlos Checa took 3rd spot, ahead of Sterilgarda Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow.
Results of the FP2 session for World Superbikes at Valencia:
Max Biaggi has taken the provisional pole position for World Superbikes at Valencia, after a last minute dive to the front. The gap could hardly be bigger: the Alitalia Aprilia rider edged out Althea Ducati's Carlos Checa by just two thousandths of a second. Pata S&G's Jakub Smrz is another two hundredths behind, while Checa's teammate Shane Byrne is a couple of hundredths behind him.
Alstare Suzuki's Leon Haslam completes the top 5, all of whom are within a tenth of each other. The rest of the field is similarly close, with BMW's Ruben Xaus in 18th the last man to be inside a second of the leader.
Overall results from both qualifying sessions for the World Superbike class at Valencia:
Ducatis dominated the first qualifying session for the World Superbike class at Valencia, with 6 Ducatis finishing in the top 8. Althea's Carlos Checa was fastest again, as he had been during FP1, with Pata's Jakub Smrz and Checa's Althea teammate Shane Byrne in 3rd. Max Biaggi was the first of the non Ducatis, ahead of the leader in the title race Leon Haslam. The factory Xerox Ducatis follow, Michel Fabrizio leading Noriyuki Haga, with DFX Corse's Lorenzo Lanzi rounding out the top 8.
Results of QP1 for the World Superbike class:
Carlos Checa set the fastest time in the first session of free practice for the World Superbike class at Valencia, the Althea Ducati rider finishing a tenth of a second ahead of Michel Fabrizio on the factory Xerox Ducati. Two four cylinders took 3rd and 4th, with Sterilgarda Yamaha's James Toseland ahead of BMW's Troy Corser. The two men leading the championship, Alitalia Aprilia's Max Biaggi and Alstare Suzuki's Leon Haslam, were 5th and 6th, while Ten Kate Honda's Johnny Rea finished ahead of the second factory Ducati of Nori Haga.
Results of the first session of free practice for the World Superbike class at Valencia:
Regular readers of MotoMatters.com will be aware of our admiration of and friendship with the leading Italian motorcycle website GPOne.com. The site is a goldmine of information for motorcycle racing fans, and the deep roots which the site's writers have in the paddock allow the site to provide both news and in-depth analysis of MotoGP and World Superbikes better than probably any other site in the world. The only minor drawback for English speakers is the fact that the site is in Italian, but that is a hurdle which is easier to clear than you might think.
So it was a disturbing sign when GPOne.com went off air in the period between the Portimao WSBK race and the Qatar MotoGP season opener. But its absence was for a very good reason. The people who run the site were hard at work completely redesigning and updating the site, as well as switching it to a new content management back end.
They guys over at OnTheThrottle have been holding a series of live pre-race shows with the World Superbike commentating team Jonathan Green and Steve Martin, in which they talk through the upcoming WSBK races and the issues likely to be a feature of the weekend. Fortunately, these videos are also available after the fact, for people who missed the live show and wanted to catch up.
In the latest episode, Green, Martin and OTT's Dave Williams discuss the chances of Ducati dominating the weekend at Valencia, about tires, and about Leon Haslam's chance of holding on to his lead throughout the weekend. Enjoy the video:
The latest in the long line of World Superbike riders to be interviewed by the assembled press in the run up to the US round of WSBK at Miller Motorsports Park at the end of May was Max Biaggi. Unfortunately, MotoMatters.com was not able to participate, as we were on a flight to Qatar at the time the call was scheduled. We weren't missed, and the people who could attend came up with some pretty interesting questions for Biaggi to answer. In the interview, Biaggi talks about his two wins at Portimao, evaluates the relative strengths and weaknesses of the top teams in World Superbikes, explains why he decided against switching to F1 despite having had a test in a Ferrari, and admits that he still misses the two-stroke 500cc Grand Prix bikes. Well worth a read:
Moderator: Good morning, everybody. I'm John Gardner, the Media Manager at Miller Motorsports Park. This is the fourth in our series of teleconferences with riders in the HANNspree World Superbike Championship leading up to the Utah USA round, which will take place here at Miller Motorsports Park on Memorial Day weekend, May 29th to the 31st.
We are very pleased today to have with us Max Biaggi, who rides for the Alitalia Aprilia team and swept both rounds of the recent race in Portugal. He's currently second in the championship and is a legend in this sport. We're very honored to have you here, Max. Welcome.
Max Biaggi: Hi. Thank you.
Moderator: It was a big weekend for you in Portugal. How are things looking for you coming into Valencia this weekend?
Max Biaggi: Well, first of all, I'm very, very happy with the result we did in Portugal. And Valencia, I think, is going to be a good weekend for us. We'll be competitive with everybody there and possibly in the top three all the time. So, I'm quite confident for that.