Press releases after qualifying and the first WorldSBK race at Brno:
The rolling hills of Brno have produced one of the most iconic circuits on the MotoGP and WorldSBK calendar, and this 5km circuit has been the home of some classic races. What goes into a fast lap, though, is a lot of work on your bike settings and not forcing the issue. Max Biaggi and Marco Melandri, two former 250GP champions, have been hugely successful at the Czech track and it's no coincidence that both riders were schooled riding bikes that needed high corner speed.
Former MotoGP rider Michael Laverty is in Brno, and he sat down to talk about what goes into finding speed at the track and what he's seen from watching trackside on Friday.
"I really enjoy Brno but it's a track that you can't attack," said Laverty. "This is a track where you need to let it come to you and your settings are crucial. You can't force the bike around here because it needs to turn naturally for you. That's the reason that Max Biaggi was the king here for so long because he let the bike do the work. Max didn't brake late into the corners and he didn't force the bike to turn in the mid-corner and on the exit he wasn't sliding once he got on the gas. He was just smooth and relaxed and that's the key."
Championship standings after the first race at Brno:
World Supersport Superpole one was contested by twenty one riders with Kyle Smith and Rob Hartog favourites to get promoted based on yesterday's times.
With everyone using the same higher-profile development tyre that served the top five so well at Donington, albeit with a slightly different compound, World Superbike race one ran for three laps of the advertised eighteen, led by Jonathan Rea, before Michael Ruben Rinaldi crashed into the air fence at turn five. This brought out the red flags as, like yesterday, the air fence needed a quick repair. The race was reduced to seventeen laps after a quick restart. A glitch with the lights, causing a few false starts, caused a third attempted start.
Superpole one for World Superbike was contested by ten riders fighting for two spots in Superpole two, with Eugene Laverty and Tati Mercado, based on their qualifying yesterday, the favourites for promotion.
Press releases from the organizers and some of the teams after the action at Brno on Friday:
#CzechWorldSBK Day 1: Rea takes first strike ending day one on top
KRT lock out the top two in disrupted final free practice of the day
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) is used to sitting in the number one spot.... will we see this again?
Aprilia issued the following press release, announcing that Andrea Iannone will be joining Aleix Espargaro at Aprilia for the next two years, as had been widely predicted:
ANDREA IANNONE WITH APRILIA FOR THE 2019 AND 2020 SEASONS
ROMANO ALBESIANO: "THIS IS A SIGN OF APRILIA'S INCREASING COMMITMENT TO THE MOTOGP PROJECT"
THIS TAKES THE APRILIA MOTOGP PROJECT INTO ITS SECOND EVOLUTIONARY STAGE, MOVING THE TEAM FROM NOALE TO A NEW AND HIGHER LEVEL, EVER CLOSER TO THE LEADERS
Jonathan Rea increased his lead over Tom Sykes's quickest time of the day as Sykes was unable to improve on his earlier dry time. Marco Melandri was the third quickest with a time he also set in the second timed session today. Lorenzo Savadori put himself directly into Superpole two with the second quickest time of the session.
Sandro Cortese crashed in turn five, the same turn that brought out the red flags in World Superbike and when the session was restarted, Jules Cluzel improved on his earlier time and set the provisional pole lap while his rival sat the remainder of the session out. Cortese relied on his morning's time to remain in Superpole two.
Suzuki today issued the following press release, confirming that Andrea Iannone would be leaving the Japanese factory, as the Italian had told reporters at Mugello. A press release confirming his destination is expected shortly, while an announcement on his replacement is expected before Barcelona:
SUZUKI MOTOR CORPORATION AND ANDREA IANNONE PART WAYS
Team Suzuki Press Office – June 8.
With the track dried out, Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes took the top two spots ahead of Marco Melandri and Alex Lowes. The session was briefly interrupted when the red flags were brought out after Yonny Hernandez crashed, unharmed.
The Yamahas of Sandro Cortese and Jules Cluzel recorded the only laps under 2'04, ahead of Ayrton Badovini's MV Agusta.
The rain stopped before the riders went out and Jonathan Rea put in a lap that lasted as the quickest lap until the dying minutes of the session when several riders took advantage of the drying track. Michael Ruben Rinaldi came out on top, ahead of Loris Baz and Xavi Fores. With more rain promised, all bets are off for Superpole qualifying.
Jorge Lorenzo’s shock move to Repsol Honda caught pretty much everyone by surprise. What are the precedents and how will the deal work out?
In December 1988, a letter from Rothmans Honda chattered through fax machines of editorial offices around the world, announcing that reigning 500cc world champion Eddie Lawson was quitting Marlboro Yamaha Team Agostini to race Rothmans Hondas the following season.
Editors and journalists stared at the letter in disbelief.
A few days later their befuddlement was complete when a fax arrived from Marlboro Yamaha Team Agostini, announcing that Rothmans Honda’s former world champion Freddie Spencer would ride YZR500s in 1989.