2011 Portimao World Superbike Post-Race Press Release Round Up

Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the final round of the season at Portimao. Which includes the official statement that Carlos Checa will be staying with Althea Ducati for the 2012 season:


Miguel scores season best eighth at home

PARKALGAR HONDA'S Miguel Praia thrilled a huge crowd at his home Parkalgar circuit near Portimao in Portugal coming from 12th place with five laps to go to take eighth at the finish line and equal his season best performance in the final round of the World Supersport Championship.

Sam Lowes on his Parkalgar Honda was battling for the lead on lap 10 when he lost the front of his bike and crashed unhurt. Despite remounting he was forced to retire. Sam is racing again at the Sunflower Meeting at Bishopscourt in Northern Ireland on 21st and 22nd October. Local favourite, TT winner and road racer Michael Dunlop will join Sam on the team for this event.

Sam: "I am absolutely gutted not to finish. I felt good, my Parkalgar Honda was great and I was within touching distance of Chaz in the lead. I was pushing hard and simply lost the front. I am disappointed just as much for Parkalgar as I would have loved to have won my first race here at our home track. It's been a good learning season and a big thank you to all my team and the supporters at Parkalgar - and of course to my fans, we will be back. On it."

Miguel: "I enjoyed that race a lot. At the start the bike was moving a lot on me and it took me a couple of laps to adapt my riding style. Then as the race wore on I kept my speed and got faster while everyone else was slowing down. I am very happy to equal my best result this season at Parkalgar, the cheering from the fans in the crowd helped me on every pass I made. Thank you to my Parkalgar Honda team and everyone who came here to watch us race, it's been a great end to the season."

Simon Buckmaster, Parkalgar Honda Team Manager: "Miguel had the crowd cheering and shouting at the end of the race when he was coming through the field. He rode exceptionally well and this is probably one of his best ever races because he beat such strong competition - that will keep him motivated through the winter for sure.

"Sam was in contention for the race win and went down fighting. We are all disappointed in the race result but I congratulate him on having a fantastic first season at World Championship level. No-one will deny that with the experience he has gained he is going to be a title contender in 2012 and we look forward to that with a lot of relish.

"Thank you to Parkalgar, Elf, LeoVince, A&A Lamb, CIA Insurance, Bogdanka and Honda for all their support this season, it's been a fantastic season and now we will focus on 2012 and finalise our plans - more news on that soon."

Paulo Pinheiro, Parkalgar Chief Executive: "It is a shame that Sam crashed out fighting for the lead but it was a great race for Miguel and he rode very well - at the end of the race he was amongst the fastest on circuit and that shows his potential. Well done to James Ellison on getting on the podium on our sister Bogdanka PTR Honda bike."


Ellison gets superb podium at Parkalgar

BOGDANKA PTR HONDA'S James Ellison enjoyed a race long battle at the front of the field at the final round of the World Supersport Championship at Parkalgar in Portugal, before finishing a close third less than 1.5seconds away from the victory.

Pawel Szkopek on the second Bogdanka PTR Honda ended the season on a positive note scoring another point in 15th place. In its first attempt at the Championship Bogdanka PTR Honda is pleased with its sixth place overall in the team standings. For all the off-season news on Bogdanka PTR Honda, visit www.bogdankaracing.com, the team will be back to compete in the 2012 World Supersport Championship.

James: "That was a great race, I really enjoyed it. I was chipping away at Chaz in front trying to bring him back and racing with Salom for second at the same time. I was losing grip as the race went on and on the last lap I left too much of a gap and let Salom through and that interrupted my rhythm. I am not too disappointed though, I am happy with a podium end to the season and also with getting the fastest lap of the race - it shows what we can do."

Pawel: "That was a good race and I am pleased to score another Championship point. My Bogdanka PTR Honda felt good and I made sure that I was going to finish and in the best place possible. It has been a good season and I have learnt a lot - thank you to Bogdanka, PTR, Opeus and all of the sponsors, I hope you have enjoyed it as much as we have."

Simon Buckmaster, Bogdanka PTR Honda Team Manager: "James has really come good since the mid-season break and from 10th on the grid he was able to challenge at the front for most of the race. It was very impressive and well done to him and his crew.

"Pawel has shown more consistency recently and has scored another point at a very difficult event, he should be proud of his achievements this year; he has shown that he deserves to be in the Championship.

"A big thank you to Bogdanka, Michael Piasecki and all the Polish support that helped make this team happen this year, we look forward to coming back faster and stronger in 2012."


Portimão – Races.

Sunday, 16th October 2011.

It was a historic Sunday at Portimão (POR): After being part of the FIM Superbike World Championship for nearly 20 years, BMW Motorrad factory rider, Troy Corser (AUS), rode the last races of his long and successful career in this series. To mark this occasion, Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport surprised Troy with a special green "crocodile"-livery on his RR. Starting the final round of the 2011 season from 18th on the grid, Troy faced a big challenge at his farewell performance. But the double world champion was committed until the final chequered flag, despite knowing that the bumpy and undulating nature of the track would cause some difficulties for him and team mate, Leon Haslam (GBR). Troy put in two solid races and finished 14th and 16th. Leon came home in ninth and 15th.

Ayrton Badovini (ITA) of the BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team was 13th and ninth. His team mate, Xavier Fores (ESP), retired in race one and finished 19th in the second one. The races were won by Carlos Checa (ESP) and Marco Melandri (ITA). In the riders' championship, Leon finished the season in fifth with 224 points. Troy is 15th with 84 points. In the manufacturers' standings BMW is fourth with 275 points. Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport will now stay at Portimão and on Tuesday will test there with the 2012 RR.

In the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup race Sylvain Barrier (FRA) of the BMW Motorrad Italia Superstock Team celebrated another podium, crossing the finish line in second. His team mate, Lorenzo Zanetti (ITA), was fifth. In all five BMW S 1000 RRs were classified in the top 11. Fabio Massei (ITA) from Team Piellemoto finished eighth. The two riders from the Garnier Alpha Racing Team, Brett McCormick (CAN) and Markus Reiterberger (GER), were tenth and 11th respectively.

Troy Corser:

Result Race 1: 14th / Gap to 1st: 00:31.822 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:44.063 min

Result Race 2: 16th / Gap to 1st: 00:31.057 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:44.064 min

"I am a little disappointed with the results. That was not really how I wanted to finish my racing career. We struggled the whole weekend. We were able to improve the bike by changing some settings, but we still did not have enough grip. I just rode as hard as I could with what I had and gave my best. It was a shame because we have made very good steps throughout the year and I was hoping to transfer that here to a good result. The boys and I tried everything, but that was not enough. But I was not the only one to struggle with grip, as a lot of guys were sliding around. So it was just a matter of bringing it home without a crash. All in all I have to say that I enjoyed every bit of my time with BMW so far. It was frustrating at times, but there have been a lot of great moments as well."

Leon Haslam:

Result Race 1: 9th / Gap to 1st: 00:26.695 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:43.967 min

Result Race 2: 15th / Gap to 1st: 00:30.951 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:44.535 min

"We knew that it was going to be a tough weekend and, as we had expected, we were struggling with the bike already in race one. From the first lap on we had to fight and it was a long, hard race. It was just about bringing it home and trying to get as many points as possible. We were in the top ten, so we improved from where we qualified. At the start of the second race I was struggling so much that I ran off the track. That put me way back. Throughout the race the consistency was a little bit better, but I lost the front quite often and the rear tyre had blistered. There were too many issues to get a good result. Now I am looking forward to the future and to the 2012 season, which starts on Tuesday with our test here."

Bernhard Gobmeier (BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director):

"Due to it being Troy's last start in the Superbike World Championship, this was an historic day. Of course we would have hoped for a better result for him, but this weekend was difficult from the beginning on. In the early stages of race one it went quite well for us, but then we experienced severe issues with grip and tyres. I want thank our riders and the entire team for their commitment and efforts during the whole season. Now we are looking forward to the new 2012 season and getting our preparations into full swing, starting with our test on Tuesday."


WORLD CHAMPION CARLOS CHECA (ALTHEA RACING) CLOSES THE 2011 SBK SEASON WITH HIS 15TH VICTORY, TODAY AT PORTIMAO

Portimao (Portugal), Sunday 16th October 2011: Carlos Checa and the Althea Racing team, World Superbike Champions 2011, closed the season in the best possible way today with a spectacular win in Race 1, Carlos' 15th victory of this more than impressive year.

Carlos, second on the grid, was in fifth position at the end of the first lap, while his team-mate Davide Giugliano lay in eighteenth place. On lap three Davide had already made up a couple of positions and was in fifteenth and Carlos was up into fourth, chasing down Melandri for third. Unfortunately a small mistake by Giugliano caused him to lose several positions on the seventh lap and he had to recommence battle from twentieth position. Checa meanwhile closed the gap on Rea, passing him on lap twelve and moving into second place. It didn't end there, as lap after lap the newly crowned World Champion gained on race leader Guintoli. Three laps from the end he got past the Frenchman, to cross the line in first place, 2.8 seconds ahead of Sylvain.

The second race got off to a similar start for Carlos who was fourth at the end of lap one. Despite his best efforts, a change of tyre between the two races didn't allow him to push as he had done in race one. He held fourth position for the entire race, getting close to Rea, Melandri and Laverty but unable to pass them. He closed the final race of the 2011 season in fourth position. Davide made a better start in this race, and was thirteenth after the opening lap. He made a small mistake which cost him a couple of positions but he then fought back, passing first Fabrizio and then Haslam to take fourteenth place on the seventeenth lap. In the final phase, and thanks to some fast laps, he was also able to pass Corser and Smrz to close his second ever SBK race in twelfth position, and earning three championship points in the process.

Carlos Checa closes the 2011 Superbike season as World Champion, with a total of 505 points. During the season he has accumulated 15 race victories and a total of 21 podium finishes. He will stay with Althea Racing and Ducati for the 2012 season, an agreement having been reached just this afternoon at the Portimao track.

Carlos Checa, 2011 World Superbike Champion:

"Race 1 wasn't at all easy because at the start I was having trouble with the tyre but we knew that it would perform better in the final stages and our decision turned out to be the right one. I was able to reach first Marco and Johnny and then Sylvain to win the race with a small advantage. This victory is for the team that has truly deserved it this weekend – I dedicate this win to all of them. In race 2 I was pushing hard but we'd changed tyre and with the softer solution I couldn't do more than I did. This weekend has been very special; before Race 1 it looked like there was no way that I could stay with Althea Racing in 2012 and I was very upset about this but now it seems that Althea Racing and Ducati have come to an agreement and I am over the moon to hear that I can stay with my team and with my bike again next year. We have built something very special here and to leave would have been heartbreaking. More than a win, today has been a moral victory – in the space of two days I have lost, and thankfully regained my team."

Davide Giugliano:

Race 2 went very well apart from a small mistake on my part; if it hadn't been for that I could have done even better, Anyway I kept a good pace and was able to lap as fast as many of those ahead of me and I am pleased about that. The first race was very difficult but I realize that I need to gain experience as this category is certainly of a much higher level than the Stock 1000! I wasn't able to make the best start in race 2 but I'll work on this over the winter. We also changed tyre between the two races and this helped me a lot in the second. I thank my whole team of course, Genesio, and my engineer this weekend, Ernesto Marinelli, for all their hard work."

Genesio Bevilacqua, General Manager of Althea Racing:

"Many things have changed between yesterday and today and I have waited before talking simply because of these uncertainties. We remained hopeful but it was a complicated issue especially on an economic level. In the end we were able to convince everyone to find an agreement that would keep the team together and this was of course the greatest news for me. Carlos stated a while ago that he wanted to stay with us and we of course wanted the same outcome so this positive agreement has been reached with Ducati and he'll be with us again next year, faster than before."

Ernesto Marinelli, Superbike Project Director - Ducati:

"I am extremely happy that this agreement, which we never stopped working towards, has led to the confirmation of Carlos in the Althea team for 2012. Ducati has had to make a big effort in order for this to happen, a sign of the affection we have for Carlos, for Genesio and for the whole Althea Team, that has given us this truly incredible result, one that we hope can be replicated in future years."


Carlos and Marco bring the curtain down in style

Portimao (Portugal), Sunday 16 October 2011 – Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) and Marco Melandri (Yamaha World Superbike Team) traded wins at the final round of the championship in Portugal in a day that promised and delivered close racing in hot weather conditions in front of an 86,000 crowd. Effenbert-Liberty Racing Ducati rider Sylvain Guintoli almost gave the new-for-2011 team its first race win in race one, but Checa prevailed at the end.

Checa's championship season win tally now ends on 15, part of a total of 21 podiums in 26 races, with six pole positions and 11 fastest laps. His points total reached over the 500 mark today, with his final tally 505 – the second highest ever in a single WSBK season.

Behind Carlos, the fight for second had already been already decided in Melandri's favour but his determination to succeed in race two underlined how much his presence has brought to the series this year. He has now scored four race wins in his rookie WSBK season, as part of a total of 15 podium places.

The fight for third place looked set to swing in favour of Eugene Laverty (Yamaha World Superbike Team) when Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia) qualified only 17th, but after Laverty no scored in race one the 2010 champion did just enough today to secure third, on the same 303 points as Laverty, but with better results in the count back of podium places. They had tied on race wins, having scored two each, but Biaggi had far more second places than Laverty – nine to Laverty's three.

Tissot-Superpole winner Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda) continued his remarkable turnaround of late season form with two third places today and ninth overall. Leon Haslam had a tough final day for the BMW Motorrad Motorsport Team, scoring ninth and 15th places, but still ending up fifth in the championship, the top S1000RR rider of the year. Leon's team-mate, WSBK legend Troy Corser signed off his career today, riding a specially painted racebike to signify this momentous day for the former double champion.

Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Racing Team) was on good form and equalled his season best finish of fifth in race one, then scored eighth place to finish top Kawasaki finisher, 11th overall. Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki Alstare) went 11th and 14th in Portugal, and was 12th in the championship standings.

Race 1

It took Checa some time to get on terms with the long time leader Guintoli but he made a final pass with only a couple of laps go, and took a final advantage of 2.860 seconds at the flag. Third went to early leader Rea while a remarkable comeback from 17th on the grid meant that Biaggi overhauled the ever-improving Lascorz to take fourth place after 22-laps of pure effort. Melandri faded in the later stages to go sixth, while a brilliant ride from privateer Maxime Berger (Supersonic Ducati) put him seventh, his best single result of the year.

Carlos Checa: "It was not easy at all, at the beginning I was struggling because we made a difficult choice about the hard tyre. We knew we would be more consistent at the end, but it was also difficult to overtake Marco and then Johnny, and to catch Guintoli was not easy at all. The win is because we made the right choice, and a good job. I want to dedicate this victory and the championship to Genesio and all the team because they deserve the victory."

Results: 1. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 38'13.293 (158,587 kph); 2. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 2.860; 3. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 8.481; 4. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 11.963; 5. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 13.333; 6. Melandri M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R1 18.960; 7. Berger M. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 20.489; 8. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10R 25.320; 9. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 26.695; 10. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 26.801; 11. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 27.115; 12. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 28.563; 13. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 31.765; 14. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 31.822; 15. Haga N. (JPN) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 31.866; 16. Giugliano D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 47.694; etc.

Race 2

Melandri and Laverty gave their official Yamaha squad a 1-2 finish in the final race of the 2011 season, with Rea posting third place after his late attack on Laverty was rebuffed. The top three were separated by only 1.363 seconds. Checa held off the resurgent charge of Guintoli to take fourth place in the 22-lap race. Leon Camier (Aprilia Alitalia) and his team-mate Biaggi went sixth and seventh, Lascorz eighth.

Marco Melandri: "After race 1 I was a little bit disappointed because we had a tyre problem, so in race 2 I was stronger at the beginning when I saw Eugene in front I tried to catch him and wait a bit because I wasn't fast at the beginning. It's been a great season for me, and to give Yamaha a win in the last race is awesome. I just want to say a big thanks to Maio Meregalli, Marco Riva, all my team and all the Yamaha guys, they did a great job, especially when they knew we were pulling out at the end of the season."

Results: 1. Melandri M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R1 38'11.326 (158,723 kph); 2. Laverty E. (IRL) Yamaha YZF R1 1.075; 3. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1.363; 4. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 2.648; 5. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 3.355; 6. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 4.709; 7. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 6.514; 8. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 14.441; 9. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 19.128; 10. Berger M. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 25.527; 11. Haga N. (JPN) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 26.400; 12. Giugliano D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 26.646; 13. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 26.963; 14. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 30.209; 15. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 30.951; 16. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 31.057; etc.

Final points: 1. Checa 505; 2. Melandri 395; 3. Biaggi 303; 4. Laverty 303; 5. Haslam 224; 6. Guintoli 210; 7. Camier 208; 8. Haga 176; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 529; 2. Yamaha 450; 3. Aprilia 422; 4. BMW 275; 5. Kawasaki 228; 6. Honda 194; 7. Suzuki 169.

World Supersport

Chaz Davies (Yamaha ParkinGO) scored his sixth win of the year, from the closing David Salom (Kawasaki Motocard.com) and one-time second place rider James Ellison (Bogdanka PTR Honda). The top three were within 1.415 seconds of each other. Luca Scassa (Yamaha ParkinGO) slotted his R6 into fourth place, 5.522 seconds from his team-mate and the 2011 champion Davies. Sam Lowes (Parkalgar Honda) and Broc Parkes (Kawasaki Motocard.com) no scored after a crash for Lowes and a collision with Gino Rea (Step Racing Honda) for Parkes. Fabien Foret (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) finished 12th, and thus Salom finishes second in the championship on the day he celebrated his 27th birthday. The final points read Davies 206, Salom 156, Foret 148 and Parkes 136.

Results: 1. Davies C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R6 35'31.062 (155,145 kph); 2. Salom D. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1.253; 3. Ellison J. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 1.415; 4. Scassa L. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 5.522; 5. Marino F. (FRA) Honda CBR600RR 21.658; 6. Tamburini R. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 24.490; 7. Roccoli M. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 25.506; 8. Praia M. (POR) Honda CBR600RR 32.271; etc.

Final points: 1. Davies 206; 2. Salom 156; 3. Foret 148; 4. Parkes 136; 5. Scassa 134; 6. Lowes 129; 7. Ellison 99; 8. Marino 89; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Yamaha 251; 2. Honda 230; 3. Kawasaki 197; 4. Triumph 36.

Superstock 1000

Danilo Petrucci (Barni Racing Ducati) secured the final win of the year in a race shortened to 11 laps after a technical issue with the starting lights. A distant second place went to Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia Superstock) after a close fight with Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki Lorenzini by Leoni) and fourth placed Bryan Staring (Kawasaki Pedercini Team). The absence of champion Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) - who stepped up to the Superbike class today - means that Giugliano finishes his stellar year with an unchanged 171 points, Petrucci now has 169, Lorenzo Zanetti (BMW Motorrad Italia Superstock) 148 and Barrier 132.

Results: 1. Petrucci D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 19'31.819 (155,18 kph); 2. Barrier S. (FRA) BMW S1000 RR 8.019; 3. Morais S. (RSA) Kawasaki ZX-10R 8.115; 4. Staring B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX-10R 8.364; 5. Zanetti L. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 9.354; 6. Antonelli A. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR 9.466; 7. Baz L. (FRA) Honda CBR1000RR 9.664; 8. Massei F. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 16.030; etc.

Final Points: 1. Giugliano 171; 2. Petrucci 169; 3. Zanetti 148; 4. Barrier 132; 5. Canepa 109; 6. Antonelli 77; 7. Baroni 74; 8. Reiterberger 69; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 240; 2. BMW 193; 3. Kawasaki 99; 4. Honda 85; 5. Yamaha 16.

Superstock 600

Dutchman Michael vd Mark (Ten Kate Honda Junior Team) did all he could to win the championship at the final round, but despite his race victory Australian Jed Metcher (MTM-RT Motorsports Yamaha) secured his first title in this division, finishing fourth in today's contest. Second in the race and the championship was American rider Joshua Day (Revolution Racedays Kawasaki), with van der Mark finishing third in the final points, with only one less than Day. Tomas Krajci (TK Racing Slovakia Yamaha) was a fighting third taking the final podium place and Riccardo Russo (Trasimeno Yamaha) was fifth. The final points scores are Metcher 150, Day 138 and van Der Mark 137.

Results: 1. Vd Mark M. (NED) Honda CBR600RR 18'11.759 (151,418 kph); 2. Day J. (USA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 3.787; 3. Krajci T. (SVK) Yamaha YZF R6 9.180; 4. Metcher J. (AUS) Yamaha YZF R6 11.700; 5. Russo R. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 11.919; 6. Lombardi D. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 15.560; 7. Morbidelli F. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 18.821; 8. Vitali L. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 20.194

Final Points: 1. Metcher 150; 2. Day 138; 3. Vd Mark 137; 4. Lanusse 101; 5. Lombardi 96; 6. Russo 94; 7. Duwelz 67; 8. Covena 50; etc.


REA SIGNS OFF IN STYLE WITH TWO PODIUMS AND SUPERPOLE WIN

Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda) ended an often challenging 2011 season with two third place finishes in the 22-lap FIM Superbike World Championship races at Portimao having started from pole position each time. World Champion Carlos Checa (Ducati) and Marco Melandri (Yamaha) won the races in front of a weekend crowd of 86,000, but with his two podium scores Rea put himself into the top ten, finishing the year ninth overall despite missing several races through injury.

Rea was only 1.363 seconds behind Melandri in race two, with Eugene Laverty (Yamaha) second. A late attempt to pass Laverty was rebuffed and Rea had to settle for a close third, his fifth podium in a year that delivered him two race wins.

Experienced rider Karl Muggeridge (Castrol Honda) was brought into the team this weekend to substitute for injured regular Ruben Xaus and thus Ruben finished the year 17th overall. Normally riding a less highly tuned Honda in the IDM Championship Muggeridge struggled to learn the circuit in the early part of the weekend, but still qualified 19th, with three riders behind him. In the races he worked hard to score 18th and 17th places, but missed out on the points scoring positions.

ELLISON ENDS UP ON THE PODIUM AT FINAL ROUND

James Ellison (Bogdanka PTR Honda) saw a possible second turn into a still-satisfying third place at the Portimao circuit as he was unable to chase down race winner Chaz Davies (Yamaha) in the final laps, and was himself passed by eventual race and championship second place rider David Salom (Kawasaki) on the very last lap.

Ellison had qualified tenth on the grid for a race held in glorious conditions and he had to work his way forward from seventh at the end of lap one. Seventh was also his eventual championship classification after 12-rounds, with the highest ranked Honda rider of all being 2002 champion Fabien Foret (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda). In finishing 12th in the 20-lap race today, Fabien ended his season third overall and eight points behind Salom.

Sam Lowes (Parkalgar Honda) was on course for a late challenge on race winner Davies, but he fell on lap ten as he was easing his way towards his fellow Briton. Lowes ended his full rookie season sixth overall and scored six podiums in 12 races.

Florian Marino (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) started well and was up to third in the early laps, but dropped back as the hot temperatures took a toll on his set-up and he finished fifth, his second best finish of the year and good enough to put him eighth in his rookie season.

Local rider Miguel Praia (Parkalgar Honda) overcame his midfield starting position of 13th to go eighth, having mounted a great recovery in the latter stages. This was his fourth eighth place of the season and he finished 13th in the final rankings.

Misfortune found Gino Rea (Step Racing Honda) once again as he forgot to reset his electronics system after the start and he was kicked out of the seat as his rear tyre lost traction, causing him to run off. The closely following Broc Parkes (Kawasaki) could not avoid him and damage to his bike eventually forced him to retire. Rea recovered to go 14th in the race, and 11th overall in the final standings.

Balazs Nemeth (Team Hungary Toth Honda) went tenth in the race and 15th in the championship. Alexander Lundh (Cresto Guide Honda) was a strong 13th today, one place behind Foret, while Pawel Szkopek (Bogdanka PTR Honda) scored a single point for 15th. Lundh finished his year 16th overall.

Robbin Harms (Harms Benjan Racing Honda) suffered a puncture and another DNF, ending a promising season 12th overall. Imre Toth (Team Hungary Toth Honda) retired but ended the season 19th in the points.

HONDA RIDER COMMENTS:

Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda)

Race result: 3rd/ 3rd Championship position: 9th

"It's always good to get on the podium in each race and it has been such a journey this year; ups and downs and having fought hard to overcome two injuries. To come back to the top step of the podium at Imola was probably my highlight, because of how hard we had to work to get there. The last few races have been good and the bike is a pleasure to ride. I am enjoying it so much that I wish the 2012 season started tomorrow."

Karl Muggeridge (Castrol Honda)

Race result: 18th/17th Championship position: No score

"The was a very busy weekend. I was thrown in the deep end and I did not expect I would have so much trouble learning the track and I really struggled with that at first. I missed a bit of track time because we had some minor issues with the bike, but by the second race I found my way. I just needed more time but by race two I got to race a bit and I enjoyed myself."

Fabien Foret (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda)

Race result: 12th Championship position: 3rd

"It's been one of the toughest weekends of the season and we really didn't expect to have the grip problems that we had today. It seems especially bad in the last race, which is always the one you remember. But our first race this season was difficult too, so we started badly and we've ended badly. There have been some great moments in between this year, but also some more difficult ones. I'm 50% happy and 50% frustrated because it could have been different and much better. We also lost second place in the championship, but there isn't much difference between second and third because winning is the most important thing. Anyway, I want to thank the team for the time we've had this year. There is a great relationship between us and it's my great wish to spend one more year with them."

Sam Lowes (Parkalgar Honda)

Race result: DNF Championship position: 5th

"I fell at turn five, and it was a strange one, because I just lost the front end. I must have done something wrong to crash and I am disappointed because I knew that I could fight for the win when I went fastest in warm-up this morning. I felt really good and Chaz and I broke everyone else early on. I wanted to finish the season with a win, because I felt I could have done it here. I feel as if I have had a very strong end to the year, despite this fall, because I have had three podiums recently."

James Ellison (Bogdanka Honda)

Race result: 3rd Championship position: 7th

"I really enjoyed that, but in the last couple of laps it was tough. We did put 25 laps on a front tyre in qualifying and practice to see if it would go the distance. We had to use the soft one so it wasn't a tyre gamble, but it was pushing the front towards the end. I am happy with a podium end to the season and also with getting the fastest lap of the race - it shows what we can do."

Florian Marino (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda)

Race result: 5th Championship position: 8th

"I was losing a lot in the corner speed because I could not get the same performance as the other guys, so I had to push so much on the brakes that sometimes I had to take a different line to try to stay fast. It was hot today and I think everybody had the same problems with the grip and the mission became staying on the bike without crashing. In the race I got some big warnings from the front and the rear, so I tried to keep going. We finished far from the front, but fifth is OK."

Gino Rea (Step Racing Honda)

Race result: 12th Championship position: 11th

"For this round only we had to turn all the electronics off on the grid for the start, but as I got off the start I had to go round another rider and forgot to push the button to turn the traction control back on, so when I opened the throttle it just flicked me out of the seat, but luckily I stayed on. It is frustrating because although we qualified average we knew our race pace would be all right. I apologised to Broc Parkes who ran into me, but it was not a case of me being too erratic on the first lap, I just forgot to switch the right engine map back on."

Miguel Praia (Parkalgar Honda)

Race result: 8th Championship position: 13th

"We had an electronic problems in warm up and made no laps and that made starting with the right pace very difficult. After the first five or six laps my pace was good and was then the performance was stable all the way through. I went for a different choice of front tyre and I had not used it all weekend. I recovered as many places as I could, but eighth was it."

Robbin Harms (Harms Benjan Honda)

Race result: DNF Championship position: 12th

"This morning we finally got everything working and I felt very confident for the race. In the race I made up some positions and I was working my way to the top ten. After one lap I had a very strange feeling in the front and I lost all grip. I tried to continue, but almost crashing made me enter pit-lane. A flat front tyre was the problem."


Tough season's end for Hannspree Ten Kate Honda

Hannspree Ten Kate Honda riders Florian Marino and Fabien Foret finished in fifth and twelfth places respectively in today's final race of the 2011 World Supersport championship at Portimao in Portugal.

The race was won by newly-crowned champion Chaz Davies, but it was a frustrating end to the season for the highest-placed Honda team, especially for Foret, who also slipped from second to third in the overall standings.

Starting from the front row, Marino ran at the front in the opening laps before grip issues forced him further down the field. Foret, too, slipped down the order after starting well from his second row grid position.

Florian Marino – 5th

It was a really hard race and the grip levels were definitely down, but it was the same for everyone. I also had a problem when I let go of the brake and the bike wanted just to go straight instead of turning. I over-pushed a bit I guess, bu t ended up losing time. In the end, I just wanted to avoid crashing because the track was so slippery. So fifth is OK but what's disappointing is that we finished quite far from the top.

Fabien Foret – 12th

It's been one of the toughest weekends of the season and we really didn't expect to have the grip problems that we had today. It seems especially bad in the last race, which is always the one you remember. But our first race this season was difficult too, so we started badly and we've ended badly. There have been some great moments in between this year, but also some difficult ones. I'm 50% happy and 50% frustrated because it could have been different and much better. We also lost second place in the championship, but there isn't much difference between second and third because winning is the most important thing. Anyway, I want to thank the team for the time we've had this ye ar. There is a fantastic relationship between us and it would be my great wish to spend one more year with them.

Ronald ten Kate – team manager

Although we didn't have the season that we all wanted, I'm still reasonably happy with the outcome. We were racing until the end for second or third place in the championship and we've maintained our ten-year run of having at least one of our riders in the top three. Once again, we are also the top Honda finisher so it hasn't been so bad. We had quite a lot of unexpected difficulties today on the track but the season has come to an end, and we are now looking forward to confirming the programme for 2012. It's going to take quite a bit more work but we are all confident that we'll be flying high again in the 2012 championship.


INJURY HINDERS FABRIZIO AT PORTIMAO WSB

Team Suzuki Press Office - October 16.

Team Alstare Suzuki rider Michel Fabrizio suffered problems with his right wrist and rear grip in today's 13th and final World Superbike Championship round at Portimao in Portugal that saw him finish in 11th and 14th positions.

The GSX-R1000-mounted Italian was hoping to end the final round with a pair of strong top-10 finishes. Although problems that began in practice and qualifying were less today, it was not enough to allow him to be as aggressive as he would have liked to have been.

Carlos Checa (Ducati) won the first race with Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati) second and Jonathan Rea (Honda) third. The second race - the final one of the season - saw Yamaha take a one-two with Marco Melandri taking victory ahead of Eugene Laverty, with Rea third.

Michel Fabrizio - Race 1: 11th, Race 2: 14th:

"I am disappointed to end the season like this because today could've been so much better. I didn't feel confident this weekend and although there was an improvement today, it was not enough for me. Between the warm-up and race one, we changed the bike back to the set-up we used in the second free practice, because that was the one that worked the best for me.

"In race one, my right wrist started getting sore and I was having difficulty on the brakes and getting the bike to turn quickly enough. It was very hard controlling the bike, so I suppose 11th wasn't so bad. We changed the front and rear a bit for race two - just a few clicks - so that I didn't have to exert so much pressure on the bars and it felt better. I just wished I didn't have to end the last race weekend of the season like this."


YOSHIMURA SUZUKI GAINS VALUED WSB DATA

Team Suzuki Press Office - October 16.

Yoshimura Suzuki completed its third "Wild Card" entry of 2011 at today's final round of the World Superbike Championship at Portimao in Portugal and came away upbeat after two race finishes and more valuable technical data to take back to Japan.

Australian Josh Waters and the aftermarket parts-tuning giant, mixed it with the world's WSBK regulars on a track unknown to all of them and took home 21st and an 18th position in the hotly-contested 22-lap races on arguably the 'most-beautifully-prepared and looking machine on the grid,' according to the media - and at the most-difficult and technically-demanding circuit on the calendar.

Riding a modified version of the team's Suzuka 8-Hour Endurance machine - and on completely different tyres than the bike was set-up for - that Waters, Yukio Kagayama and Nobu Aoki brought home to a close second-placed finish in July, Waters continued a steep learning curve, both for himself and the team; at the cutting-edge of world-level competition.

Josh Waters - Race 1: 21st, Race 2: 18th:

"To say that today has been hard is an understatement. All weekend, we've been working as hard as we can, but we've been up against a load of people with a lot more experience than us and that experience told today. We've been trying to get our bike set up in just three days, whereas the others here have had all season. Part of the problem is that the last time I rode this bike was in the Suzuka 8 Hour race and then it was on different tyres. The bike was set up for those tyres and so we've spent a lot of time trying to get the bike to work on the Pirellis here. That, together with learning the hardest track on the calendar has been a real challenge.

"But I am so happy to have been here and so happy that Yoshimura gave me this chance. As I said yesterday, we've had to learn a lot in a very short space of time - and that is never easy. The results probably don't look so good, but the team and I have tried our very best and we can hold our heads up that we have done so. It was good to have a dice with a fellow Aussie in race two and generally great fun competing against all the top guys. Hopefully, we'll get the chance to do it again soon.

"I had a problem with the shifter in the first race and had to pit. The team made some changes to it and I went out again, but the stop meant I had lost a lot of time, so 21st wasn't a bad result. Race two was a bit better, but these guys don't give anything away at all. We've been up against top riders and top teams who have tested here before and gained lots of information, whereas we were starting from scratch. But, we've learnt a lot and can take that with us for the next time."

Yohei Kato - Team Manager:

"Josh had problems in race one with the gear shift lever and had to pit, so we could make some adjustments to it. He went out again, but obviously he had lost a lot of time and was way down the field. We're a bit disappointed with the results today, but we knew it was going to be a hard weekend. It has been a very big learning experience for all of us in the team and we will build on this knowledge for the future."


Spectacular One Two for the Yamaha WSB Team at the Season Finale in Portimao

Yamaha World Superbike riders completed yet another spectacular race day today in Portimao, the final two races of the 2011 WSB season, with an outstanding one two finish on the Portuguese podium. Both Melandri and Laverty completed their WSB rookie seasons in style, closing the championship with Marco Melandri in second place in the 2011 WSB Championship standings and Eugene Laverty in fourth, the latter tying on points with 2010 Champion - Max Biaggi who takes the third place.

The Yamaha World Superbike Team proved to be the top team in the standings by completing the second race of the day with a spectacular one two race finish. Skillful race craft and determination was on display throughout the 22 laps. Laverty claimed the lead on lap one, following a perfect start off the front row on the grid, while Melandri tucked in behind him in second place by lap three. Holding off advances from Rea and Checa, Melandri closely tailed him team-mate to eventually take the lead with just four laps to go and snatch the chequered flag, claiming his fourth victory of the year. His Northern Irish team-mate and fellow rookie crossed the line just one second behind, to take the second step on the last podium of the season.

Both Yamaha riders faced a difficult race one after getting off to a perfect start from the grid. After just two laps Eugene Laverty had an issue with the rear of the machine, skillfully managed to avoid crashing but was forced to come in and have the steering damper repaired. The determined Northern Irish rider went back out, with a two lap gap and impressively made up four places setting fast lap times to complete the race in 19th position but missed out on important points for third place in the championship. Team-mate Marco Melandri struggled with rear tyre issues but pushed hard to cross the line in sixth place.

In this stellar season the Yamaha World Superbike team has claimed an amazing 19 podiums of which six race victories with two WSB rookie riders, Yamaha taking the second place in the 2011 World Superbike Manufacturer's standings with a total of 450 points and the top team in the Team standings

Earlier this season, Yamaha Motor Europe took the difficult decision to withdraw the official Yamaha World Superbike Team from the FIM Superbike World Championship at the end of the 2011 season, so today's race day in Portimao sadly marked the final race for the Yamaha WSB team.

Marco Melandri

Yamaha World Superbike Team - 6th, 1st

"It was a fantastic race win and end to the championship. The bike was working well and I really wanted one more win before finishing up the season. I would have liked a double but race one didn't go so well. I got a good start and was planning on waiting a few laps before pushing harder and fighting for a win but unfortunately the rear tyre was gone by mid race I had very little grip and just couldn't keep pushing. The team has worked really hard all year and I'd like to thank them and everyone at Yamaha for the amazing season together and for all their help and support in the tough time since YME decided to withdraw at the end of this year."

Eugene Laverty

Yamaha World Superbike Team - 19th, 2nd

"Well it was a great end to the season for Yamaha with a one two race finish in race two. It's been a fantastic year and I'd like to thank Yamaha and all the team for that. Obviously it would have been great to finish up with one more point to get third in the championship, but unfortunately I lost out on a lot of points in race one. I had an issue with the bike on lap three, coming into the VIP tower corner when the rear of the machine came off the ground and the bike suddenly snapped sideways. I was lucky not have crashed and managed to stay on the bike but the viciousness of the incident broke the steering damper and I had to come back in and have it changed. It's a pity as the pace was quick and I could have definitely been on the podium."

Andrea Dosoli - Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager

"Fantastic! A great finish to an amazing season. Marco and Eugene were really spectacular. In the second race they showed fantastic racing, proving to be very talented and determined riders with great respect for each other. It's a pity Eugene lost out on important points in the first race and Marco had a problem with the rear tyre and they couldn't fight for the podium.

I'd like to thank the riders, the team and all our partners for the professionalism, passion and motivation evident throughout the 13 races of the season. Second place in the Manufacturer's championship is an excellent result for Yamaha, considering that both riders are rookies and were battling with Checa, a Champion that deserves his title, flawless all year and making the most of the advantage that the twin cylinder machines are provided by the championship. We are proud that our R1 is the first four cylinder in the standings. Thanks to everyone."

Laurens Klein Koerkamp

Racing Manager, Yamaha Motor Europe

"Finishing first and second in the last race is an unbelievable way for the Yamaha World Superbike Team to leave the championship. But apart from today, we are extremely proud of the whole season: Marco and Eugene being Superbike rookies and finishing second and fourth, winning six races on the way, is a fantastic achievement and the R1 has proven to be the best four cylinder machine in the superbike field. But of course at the same time it is a sad moment as Yamaha Motor Europe (YME), as announced before, now withdraws the official Yamaha World Superbike Team from the championship.

On behalf of YME I want to express the strongest appreciation possible to Marco and Eugene, our engineers in Japan and to all staff of the Yamaha World Superbike Team. They have done a great job this year again and to finish the 2011 season as the number one team in the WSB Team standings is a confirmation of their professionalism and dedication. Also I want to thank again all our team partners.

Many of the staff and partners have been with us for many years, giving their best to Yamaha with great passion, and were part of winning the World Title with Ben, the Manufacturers World title, many race victories and podiums and the success of the 2011 season.

It also filled us at Yamaha with pride that riders and staff all were prepared to hang on while we were trying to find a solution to remain on the grid with Yamaha factory superbike machinery. Unfortunately it is not meant to be.

We will bring the team to a closure in the coming months and I wish Marco, Eugene and all team staff all the best in pursuing the next steps in their careers."


Salom Second In Final Race And Championship Standings

WSS, Portimao, Portugal, 16 October 2011

David Salom won today's battle for second in the championship and celebrated his 27th birthday in the process. Broc Parkes was unable to compete after his machine was damaged in a lap one collision.

The Provec Motocard.com Kawasaki riders were peerless in qualifying with David taking his third pole position of the season in fine style on Saturday and then running inside the top places through the race.

Involved in a duel with James Ellison that looked like it may go away from Salom, a last lap effort pulled him clear to score his third podium of the 12-round season.

The race was won by new champion Chaz Davies, with Salom eventually only 1.253 seconds behind at the flag, after 20 laps of racing in hot temperatures.

Parkes, second in qualifying, was desperately unlucky when Gino Rea's machine suddenly lost rear traction and almost caused Rea to fall exiting a left hand corner early in lap one. Broc was so close behind that he could not avoid his rival and the impact punctured a hole in the Ninja ZX-6R's engine cases, losing oil and coolant and causing Broc to retire through no fault of his own or his machine's.

Parkes won the race at Misano this year but three DNFs have put him fourth in the final championship standings.

The Lorenzini by Leoni Kawasaki team of Massimo Roccoli and Vittorio Iannuzzo had impressive showings today. Roccoli was seventh even though he is no fan of the Portimao circuit and Iannuzzo battled away hard despite losing front tyre grip, and going 11th. In the title race Roccoli got a place in the top ten, with Iannuzzo 14th.

David Salom: "I was given the opportunity to finish second and I took it and I am very happy this weekend. I took pole and second in the race was a great result. This weekend I am happy because it is my birthday today and I took second place in the race and also in the championship. I have to thank the team and Kawasaki for this year. This is my best season of racing and a lot of it is because of the bike I rode and the team I rode for."

Broc Parkes: "Gino Rea lost control in front of me and I had nowhere to go. His bike's footpeg went through the side casing of my bike and all the water and oil came out so I could not continue. I was last after that incident and I was really upset because I knew I could have battled for another race win and second in the championship. For me that was the big thing, to try and get second. But congratulations to David, he rode well and got the runner-up place. We just needed to be a little bit more consistent because we got three DNFs and you cannot win championships with that, even thought this one was not my fault."


Lascorz Equals Season Best At Final Round

WSBK, Portimao, Portugal, 16 October 2011

Joan Lascorz posted an impressive fifth in race one at Portimao to equal his season best race result as Tom Sykes had a les pleasing end to his raceday at the final round of the year.

Lascorz had qualified well and started each race from the second row but had two less than perfect launches and was made to fight hard to take the third top five finish of his rookie season. Finishing eighth in race two he ended up top Kawasaki rider in the final points table, 11th, after showing some great consistency as he learned the secrets of the Ninja ZX-10R along the way.

For Sykes race one was difficult as an optimum setting for his riding style was not forthcoming at this tricky and undulating circuit, and he finished eighth in the opener. He had made a stirring recovery to that final position after being run wide and losing some places he had to claw back.

A technical issue put him out of race two, first causing him to lose places as he lost power and then be forced into pitlane to retire. Tom has experienced the highs of Superpole wins and even a race victory on the Ninja ZX-10R in Germany this year and he finishes the season 13th in the championship.

Mark Aitchison (Kawasaki Pedercini Team) had a tough weekend after a fall in practice, and finished 17th then 20th in the races. He rounded out his season in 19th place, one place behind his team-mate Roberto Rolfo, who missed this event through injury. His replacement, Santiago Barragan, was 20th and then a retiree today.

Joan Lascorz: "In race one I lost a lot of rear grip and it was difficult at times. In the last lap Biaggi came past me on the gas. But a top five like in Donington and in Aragon, which is good. In race two we had the same tyre choice but made a little change in suspension set-up. Another not so good start and I think on the first lap I was 12th. Near the end of the race I was a little faster but just not enough to finish any higher."

Tom Sykes: "Race one was a big learning session and we struggled a bit all weekend with front end feel. We are definitely not where I need to be with the feeling of the bike. Badovini passed me in turn one and put me wide and onto the dirty bit of the track, so I lost places. It was unfortunate but we had a great start and got up to fifth position at one time. I was consistent at the end of the race and every lap gives us information. We all know where we need to be and the team has a very good understanding of what I need from the bike. I finished eighth when I was back in 11th and it is quite promising. Race two was unlucky for us but that's racing sometimes."


Yamaha Clinch the 2011 World Supersport Manufacturers title at Portimao

Yamaha ParkinGO team closed the spectacular 2011 season in perfect fashion today with an extraordinary number of achievements claimed throughout the year. Following a remarkable 12 podium finishes and nine race wins out of the 12 rounds of the 2011 season, Yamaha proudly clinched the 2011 Manufacturer's World title today in Portimao, with a total of 251 points and a 21 point lead.

World Champion Chaz Davies was on true champion form today powering his YZF-R6 to the finish line snatching the chequered flag and adding yet another race win to his numerous achievements. The Welshman immediately took the lead off the grid and continued to dominate the 20 lap race. Team-mate Luca Scassa also put on a strong solid performance, gradually working his way up from eighth place off the grid to cross the line in fourth place.

Chaz Davies was crowned the 2011 World Supersport Champion already in the last round of the championship in Magny Cours two weeks ago, while team- mate Luca Scassa climbed back up the standings to close the season in fifth place on 134 points, missing out on third place by just 12 points. Yamaha ParkinGO team made a sudden change of manufacturer at the beginning of the season, choosing the Yamaha YZF-R6 as the weapon of choice to power the team to complete a stellar season, snatching the 2011 World Supersport Champion title, the 2011 Manufacturer's World title and taking the top position in the 2011 Team classification.

Chaz Davies

Yamaha ParkinGO Team - 1st

"This was the best possible way to end an amazing season. It was a tough race, I had a good start, put my head down but started losing the front and had to work hard to keep pushing. I'm worn out actually but I really enjoyed the race. I had a great package, great bike and the team did a great job and I couldn't ask for anything more. The entire year has been amazing and the title and today is just a dream come true."

Luca Scassa

Yamaha ParkinGO Team - 4th

"It was a difficult last race today. I wanted to do my best and today I did, but the little crash yesterday caused me to start way back in eighth on the grid and it's really difficult to make my way back up especially if you don't do it in the first three corners. I had to pass a few riders ahead but it was tough, I was losing a lot accelerating; I think my weight was making it extra difficult. The team did a great job yesterday to repair the bike so I could get a few laps in in the second qualifying. I did my best and my worst this year, some silly mistakes have cost me a top three finish in the championship. But when one year ends, another begins and I'll hopefully have a better year next year."

Lucio Nicastro - Yamaha ParkinGO Team Manager

It seems like the year started yesterday and it's already over. We made a sudden change to Yamaha just before the beginning of the season, so it was difficult to get adjusted, we had to work extremely hard. The entire team did a fantastic job and we were winning from the very start of the season. Nine victories out of 12 is a spectacular result, three for Luca who had a great start to the year but unfortunately struggled a little mid-way, which is a pity as I'm sure he could have been second in the championship. Chaz was just amazing and ended the season as a true champion, taking his sixth race win this year. Three titles this year; World Champion, Manufacturer's title and top team in the Championship, we couldn't ask for more."

Laurens Klein Koerkamp

Racing Manager, Yamaha Motor Europe

"What an impressive season this has been. Taking the World Supersport Rider's world title with Chaz, Manufacturer's world title, first in the team standings with the Yamaha ParkinGO team and winning 9 out of 12 races. A big thank you to Chaz and Luca, all team and the supporting staff for a fantastic season.

We race to support our brand image and show the strength of our R-series production models and Yamaha couldn't have asked for a better World Supersport season than this.

The Yamaha R6 has dominated this year again, and on top of that Jed Metcher won European Superstock title today also on an R6.

A perfect season."


Lascorz Equals Season Best As PBM Bow Out In Style

Paul Bird Motorsport's tenure as official representatives of the Kawasaki Superbike Racing Team in the World Superbike Championship ended in positive style as Joan Lascorz posted an impressive fifth in race one at Portimao at the weekend to equal his best race result this season.

The young Spaniard had qualified well at the Portuguese track and started each race from the second row but had two less than perfect starts and was made to fight hard to take his third top five finish of his rookie season. Finishing eighth in race two he ended up top Kawasaki rider in the final points table in 11th place, after showing some great consistency as he learned the intricacies of the Ninja ZX-10R along the way.

For Yorkshireman Tom Sykes, who gave the team a victory last month in Germany, it was to be a less successful end to the final round of the year. He finished eighth in the first race before a technical issue put him out of race two meaning he ended up in 13th place in the World Championship for the Penrith-based team.

Joan Lascorz: "In race one, I lost some rear grip and it was difficult at times then on the last lap Biaggi came past me. But it was a top five placing like at Donington and Aragon which is good. In race two we had the same tyre choice but made a little change in suspension set-up. I did not make a good start again and I think on the first lap I was 12th. Near the end of the race I was a little faster but just not enough to finish any higher than eighth."

Tom Sykes: "We struggled a bit all weekend with front end feel and race one was a big learning session. Badovini passed me in turn one and put me wide and onto the dirty bit of the track so I lost places. It was unfortunate but we had a great start and got up to fifth position at one time. We all know where we need to be and the team has a very good understanding of what I need from the bike. Race two was unlucky for us but that's racing sometimes."

Paul Bird, Team Owner: "It's been a privilege to run the official Kawasaki team since 2009 and I'd like to say a huge thank you to the riders, the team, the organisers and our sponsors. We have achieved what we set out to do and that was to win a race on the brand new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R and both Tom and Joan have done a great job this season. We now are concentrating on other projects and we wish Kawasaki well in 2012."


2011

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