Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams, as well as Infront, after Sunday's races at Brno:
Sam just misses podium at Bogdanka home race
BOGDANKA PTR HONDA'S Sam Lowes finished fourth in a shortened 13-lap red-flagged eighth round of the World Supersport Championship at Brno in the Czech Republic.
His teammate Mathew Scholtz was on for a points scoring finish when he had to retire with a clutch problem - and will take the positives from a good performance to the next round.
Bogdanka Honda PTR's Pawel Szkopek crashed unhurt on lap three. He will be looking to score points at the ninth and next round of the Championship at Silverstone in two weeks time on Sunday, August 5th.
Sam: "That was a bit of a weird race. I did not get the best of starts and then I was battling with my teammate Jules. By the time I was past him, I managed to hold the leaders for a few laps but they were too far in front so I just sat there and took the points. I am disappointed but on the positive side I am still second in the Championship, Brno was my least favourite track of the year and now I can look forward to my home race at Silverstone next and fighting to finish in front of Keenan for the rest of the season."
Mathew: "I am very disappointed to retire out of a points scoring finish. I got away OK and was building my pace and effort and moving up through the race - I did not want to crash. My clutch then had a problem and I had to pull in. We have shown we can challenge for points and will be ready for Silverstone in two weeks time."
Pawel: "I am frustrated to have crashed out early on as I think today I could have scored points. We have shown potential and I will do my best at the next round. Thank you for all the Polish support here at Brno, I only wish I could have scored a good result and I promise I will keep trying."
Simon Buckmaster, PTR Honda Team Manager: "Sam didn't get a great start and by the time he got through he had to settle for fourth. He's still second in the Championship and his home round is next so we can look forward to that. Mathew was unfortunate as his clutch failed while in the points but he is riding better and better and will get the reward his commitment deserves soon."
Jules finishes fifth at Brno
PTR HONDA'S Jules Cluzel took a hard earned fifth place at the eighth round of the World Supersport Championship at Brno in the Czech Republic.
PTR Honda's Ronan Quarmby was enjoying one of his best ever races in a close sixth place when he crashed out on the 15th lap and forced the race to be red flagged. He was awarded sixth on count back.
Riders PTR Honda's Martin Jessopp started from pit lane and ended up 23rd. He is already looking forward to his home round - the ninth round of the Championship - at Silverstone next on August 5th.
Jules: "That was a tough race and I am glad to have finished with points in fifth place. Right from the start I did not have as much grip as I expected. I tried my best to stay with the leaders but I must be happy with fifth, it was the best I could do today."
Martin: "On the start the clutch went but there was a red flag and the boys put a new clutch in while the track was tidied up. I just missed the start of the race from pit lane but at least I got out there. I caught three slower guys and then just ran on my own for the rest of the race. Silverstone is next and is my home round; I've had good results there in the last couple of years. It is so much easier knowing where you are going and I really enjoy Silverstone so I cannot wait."
Ronan: "I was enjoying the race and fighting in the top six with my teammates. I do not know what happened with the crash but I have hurt my back and I am very sore. As a precaution I am having it checked by medics now."
Simon Buckmaster, PTR Honda Team Manager: "Jules struggled for grip all race but he kept in there and got good points for fifth. Martin had to start from pit lane after a problem and showed determination to finish the race. Ronan was riding really well but high-sided and crashed out of the race, causing the red flag. He still scored sixth which is a good result for him and while he walked away from the crash he has hurt his back and is being checked out now for any injuries."
WBSK Brno FIM Cup Superstock1000 - Team Italia leads in the championship after La Marra seizes 2nd place. Savadori closes 17th with a fever
The rain once again mixed up things for team and riders, and La Marra interpreted the new conditions perfectly since the warm-up, putting up a great race.
Staring led at the start but La Marra, who started 7th, climbed back and after the first lap he was already ahead of poleman and championship leader Barrier.
Staring pulled away quickly, while Barni Racing Team Italia rider tried to close in with a series of fast laps. Barrier, however, crashed during lap 3, and La Marra decided not to take too many risks and bring home important points for the championship, which he now leads after today's 2nd place.
Savadori faced a tough race in ill conditions. He got stuck in the middle of the pack, closing in 17th position.
FIM Cup Superstock 1000 Round#6 Brno
1) Staring; 2) La Marra +6"577; 3) Guarnoni +32"390; 4) Brown +34"106; 5) MCFadden +38"007…17) Savadori 1'45"415
1) La Marra 94pt.; 2) Barrier 75pt.; 3) Staring 70pt.; 4) Savadori 67pt.; 5) Guarnoni 62pt.
Eddi La Marra (Barni Racing Team Italia #47) 2nd, + 6"577
"I'm so happy about today's result. I rode well and had fun. When I realized I couldn't catch Staring, I opted to defend my 2nd place. I'm sorry Barrier crashed out, I always prefer to face my opponents on track until the end. The championship has still a long way to go, and I hope I can confirm today's result in Silverstone."
Lorenzo Savadori (Barni Racing Team Italia Panigale1199 #32) 17th, + 1'45"415
"I'm sorry but the flu brought me down today. It's a shame, because the bike worked perfectly. I lost contact with the leaders, but I'm sure I can climb back in Britain."
Cristiano Migliorati (FMI Technical Coordinator)
"Eddi proved his maturity, bringing home important points without getting greedy about a possible victory, and now he leads in the rankings. Savadori was brave to get on his bike despite being far from his 100%. He fought hard, and even finishing the race was a great result for him today."
Disappointing day in Brno for Honda
The Honda World Superbike Team endured a frustrating and disappointing day at round nine of the 2012 World Superbike championship at the Automotodromo Brno in the Czech Republic today.
Jonathan Rea crashed out unhurt in the closing stages of race one while fighting for a podium finish and crossed the line in 12th place in race two after fighting rear grip issues throughout the 20-lap encounter.
His team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama also crashed out of race one after tangling with another rider – both were uninjured. The Japanese rider then had a technical problem which forced his retirement after just four laps of race two. Both outings at the 5.403km Brno circuit were won by Marco Melandri.
Jonathan Rea – DNF and 12th
It’s been a really frustrating weekend because this is one of my favourite circuits and the feeling was not like in previous years – it felt completely different. We worked hard all weekend and got quite close in race one. The conditions were unpredictable at the start, but I found a rhythm and some pace and was battling for the lead. Tom Sykes ran wide and I was on the inside when he cut back and I got ejected, which was unfortunate because we were in a good podium position. In race two I felt something wrong with the bike from the very start. I just had no grip from the rear, but we’ll have to look at the data to confirm that it was just the tyre. I suffered a massive loss of grip on the edge, under acceleration, and tried a lot of different styles to see if anything worked, but it was all I could do to hang on to 12th place. The results are not what I want to go racing for and I’m really disappointed about the weekend. The l ast few races I’ve felt like I’m on a race winning package but this weekend was definitely below average.
Hiroshi Aoyama – DNF and DNF
Not such a nice Sunday. In the first race, another rider crashed into me so I crashed, too, and that was not so good. In the second race the conditions were better so we wanted to try some things on the bike to get a better position, but after the fourth lap the bike stopped in turn one, so finally we could not do anything. It was not really a happy end to the weekend, but we had more of a positive feeling yesterday so I hope that this is a good direction for us to follow. Now I go to race at the Suzuka 8-hour but when I come back at Silverstone I hope we can be stronger again.
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
It’s been a very disappointing day. Race one started wet and began to dry quickly and unfortunately, Hiroshi had a crash with another rider. Jonathan was fighting for the podium until the end and things were looking good. He crashed too after trying to go for a little gap that Tom Sykes left open. In race two, Hiroshi had a technical problem early in the race and Jonathan suffered a lack of rear grip, which meant he was unable to fight for anything and he finished 12th. All in all, it’s a day to forget but we’ll come back strong and try to make thing better for Silverstone.
CHECA (ALTHEA RACING) SCORES RACE 2 PODIUM IN TODAY’S SBK ROUND AT BRNO
Brno (Czech Republic), Sunday 22nd July 2012: a day of highs and lows for the Althea Racing team and its riders Carlos Checa and Davide Giugliano today at the Czech track of Brno. At a track that is traditionally not so kind to the Ducati, Checa obtained an impressive third and fourth place finish in the day’s two SBK races while for Giugliano is was a more difficult day; he crashed in race one before closing race two in eleventh position.
Race 1 – Mixed conditions for race 1 caused confusion on the grid as riders did not know whether wet, intermediate or slick tyres would be best suited to the tricky conditions. In the end Carlos opted for slicks while Davide went with a wet and at the end of the opening lap both were up front, Davide in second place, followed by Carlos, third. While Giugliano fought with Sykes for first position, Checa battled it out with the chasing pack, with riders including Baz and Smrz. Unfortunately on the third lap Davide’s tyre choice proved to be a wrong one and he crashed out, putting paid to what would have surely been a great race for him. At a certain point Carlos lost a couple of positions but quickly caught back up, passing Melandri and then Berger and Baz to move into third place. In the final stages of the race Althea man Carlos was battling with Melandri for the final podium spot and if it had not been for Rea’s unfortunate crash right in front of him, the Spaniard would have surely achieved his goal. He had to settle for final fourth position, recording the fastest lap of the race on the very last lap and collecting the Pirelli Best Lap Award as a result.
Race 2 – Once again both Althea men got away well and were in fourth (Carlos) and fifth (Davide) place at the end of lap one. By lap three Checa had passed Laverty, moving into third place. From there he started to push to catch leaders Sykes and Melandri but unfortunately the two leaders had a slightly better pace and the Spaniard had trouble sticking with them. He was nevertheless able to hold his position until the finish line, earning himself a third place finish and valuable championship points.
After only a few laps Davide started to suffer due to a lack of grip at the front, and the problem only worsened as the race progressed. As a result, he was unable to keep with the leading pack and lost several positions. He lost more ground in the final phases but was able to cross the line, in eventual eleventh place, and score a handful of useful points in the process.
After this ninth round, Checa lies in fourth position in the championship standings with 204.5 points while Davide is ninth with 99 points. Ducati slips to third place in the manufacturer’s championship with 276.5 points, behind BMW and Aprilia.
“We knew it would be hard at this track so I think we can be happy with third and fourth place finishes today. Despite the difficulties on the grid and at the start of race 1, I was able to stick with those ahead of me and maintain a good pace. I admit I had my doubts on the grid because there is no way of knowing whether conditions will change during the race but we made the right tyre choice. Having said that it was hard - I had trouble catching and then passing those in front. So, all things considered, and bearing in mind that Rea crashed in front of me on the last lap, final fourth position wasn’t so bad. Then, in race 2, I started to lose grip in the final stages. There was no way I could keep up with Tom and Marco but I’m pleased that I was able to stay close and take third place. The team has worked really well together and it’s also thanks to the harmony in the garage that I was able to take these results today.”
“What a pity about race 1. It was my mistake because on the grid we were deciding which tyre to use and I didn’t want to go out on slicks. It was the wrong decision and after a couple of laps it was impossible to ride and I crashed. It’s a shame because I felt really fast and though I don’t know whether I could have fought for the win, I could surely have been a podium contender. In the second race I had grip issues right from lap two onwards. It became increasingly difficult to manage the situation and I lost a lot of ground. I thank my team for all their hard work this weekend because, even if we didn’t take the results that we wanted, we know that was have the pace and are competitive. Let’s see what we can do now in the upcoming races.”
Parkes back on podium at Brno
Broc Parkes finished third in today’s eighth round World Supersport encounter at the Automotodromo Brno in the Czech Republic after a thrilling three-way battle for victory.
The race was won by Fabien Foret following a red flag, which stopped the race with 13 of the scheduled 18 laps completed. Parkes was battling with Kenan Sofuoglu at the time, the Turkish rider finishing in second place.
Honda CBR600RR riders Sam Lowes and Jules Cluzel finished in fourth and fifth places respectively.
Today was Parkes’s second visit to the podium in 2012 and his first since the opening round of the championship in his native Australia back in February. He remains in fifth place in the points standings.
Broc Parkes – 3rd
It was a good race, actually, and I felt comfortable going with Fabien and Kenan all the way through. The guys made quite a big step with the CBR and I feel we’re closer power-wise now. I felt quite quick at the start of the race and got stuck with Kenan a bit, but then he found a good pace so I stayed behind him and saw that Fabien was coming back to us quite quickly. Finally, we all arrived together but unfortunately we had the red flag. But I felt really strong, even towards the end of the race when I still had quite a lot of tyre left. I think we could have battled for the win but, for me, it’s all positive because I feel confident again.
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
From the start we were fighting for the podium today and, in the end, also for the win. We got third but it could have been second or even a win, but the race was red-flagged. Well done to Broc and to his team – it was a really positive race and hopefully we can take this momentum on to Silverstone.
Melandri reels in Biaggi after assured double win
Brno (Czech Republic), July 22, 2012 – Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) made a real play for the 2012 eni FIM Superbike World Championship title today by putting in a double win of the highest quality, overcoming Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) in both 20-lap contests at the classically sculpted Brno circuit. This was Melandri’s first double as an SBK rider and the first double for the official BMW team. In front of a three-day crowd of 63,129 and despite rain appearing in the morning, Melandri started from the second row in each race to overhaul long time leader Sykes. The English rider was full of fight at one of his favourite tracks, particularly in race two, but could not contain Melandri, who successfully pegged back the championship lead of Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing) to a much more manageable 21 points, while in a historic day for BMW the German squad now heads the Manufacturers’ standings, by two points from Aprilia.
Melandri worked his way through from a mid-pack position in a race that started with many wet patches on the circuit, but finished in blazing sunshine. Sykes finished second and his team-mate, 19-year-old French rookie Loris Baz third, after a confident early few laps in tricky conditions. Any chance Sykes had of getting back at Melandri for the win was dashed when he and Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) collided entering a corner near the end of the race and Rea crashed out spectacularly. Checa was fourth and Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing) fifth, with Biaggi a distant sixth. Another great ride came from Maxime Berger (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing Ducati) who led for some time in tricky early conditions and finished the race ninth at his team’s home round.
Marco Melandri: “It was an amazing race. At the beginning everyone was careful because it was wet and they were on slicks. Then I was seventh or eighth but was catching the other guys and all I had to do was keep my rhythm. When I went in front with one lap and a half to go I just had to keep pushing without thinking of the others because I knew I was faster than them.”
Tom Sykes: “It was a shame to not lead the lap that counts, but I’m happy to be back on the podium with Kawasaki. At Brno you spend a lot of time on the side of the tyre but we did a great job and came away with 20 points. Unfortunately we gambled at the beginning of the race with a softer front tyre so I wasn’t able to attack the corners from 10 laps onwards, and when Marco passed me I had no answer.”
Loris Baz: “It’s great and I can’t believe it! The race was just perfect for me, I knew we had a good pace in the wet so just tried to do the best possible. Then my race pace was quite good compared to the other guys, we just had some problems with the front. The last lap was not easy but I am really happy, the team did a great job”.
Results: 1. Melandri (BMW) 20 Laps/108.060 km in 41'59.808 average 154.383 kph; 2. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1.360; 3. Baz (Kawasaki) 1.948; 4. Checa (Ducati) 2.494; 5. Laverty (Aprilia) 3.832; 6. Biaggi (Aprilia) 7.139; 7. Haslam (BMW) 11.293; 8. Fabrizio (BMW) 11.945; 9. Berger (Ducati) 18.988; 10. Smrz (Ducati) 19.117; etc.
Melandri scored a historic double after winning the second 20-lap race, but only by a fraction. The Italian rider made a final pass on long time leader Sykes on the final lap and had just enough of a gap in the final few corners to make sure the English rider would finish runner-up, if by only 0.140 seconds. Checa had an eventual third place finish with championship leader Biaggi a lonely fourth. Laverty won a duel for fifth with Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Racing Aprilia) and Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) but was unhappy not to be able to challenge for a podium place.
Marco Melandri: “I’m living in a dream, it’s a first time for me to get a double win! It’s something amazing at this track where nobody expected these results. It’s also fantastic to see BMW leading the constructors’ championship and it makes me very proud. No one expected we could catch Max and I’m still 21 points behind him in the table but we have to think day by day and today I’m enjoying my day!”
Tom Sykes: “It’s fair to say we made another big leap forward this weekend, but unfortunately Marco spoiled my day yet again. Hopefully payback is on its way! It was a big improvement compared to what everyone expects from us. Marcel and the team made a small change for race 2 and it played its part in keeping me consistent throughout the race so it was nice to prove a few people wrong.”
Carlos Checa: “Overall it was a good weekend. Race 1 was very complicated in the middle of many riders so fourth position was a good result. In race 2 I started third behind Marco and Tom but till the end I was able to keep my position. Considering this track and that we lose a lot in acceleration overall they are good results for us.”
Results: 1. Melandri (BMW) 20 Laps/108.060 km in 40'12.837 average 161.228 kph; 2. Sykes (Kawasaki) 0.140; 3. Checa (Ducati) 6.801; 4. Biaggi (Aprilia) 9.840; 5. Laverty (Aprilia) 11.775; 6. Davies (Aprilia) 11.950; 7. Haslam (BMW) 12.547; 8. Baz (Kawasaki) 13.088; 9. Camier (Suzuki) 18.141; 10. Fabrizio (BMW) 25.332; etc.
Points (after 9 of 14 rounds): 1. Biaggi 271.5; 2. Melandri 250.5; 3. Sykes 212.5; 4. Checa 204.5; 5. Rea 187; 6. Haslam 160; 7. Laverty 148; 8. Guintoli 110; etc. Manufacturers: 1. BMW 292; 2. Aprilia 290; 3. Ducati 276.5; 4. Kawasaki 218.5; 5. Honda 193; 6. Suzuki 72.5.
A red flag incident on the startline led to two starts for the 18-lap FIM Supersport Championship race at Brno, but even more drama was to come when the race was halted by another red flag a few laps from the end. Even though Fabien Foret (Kawasaki Intermoto Step) had just been passed by Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Lorenzini), the French rider won on the count back to the previous lap, with Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda) third. Fourth was Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda) with Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda) fifth and Ronan Quarmby (PTR Honda) sixth, despite being the rider who crashed out.
Results: 1. Foret (Kawasaki) 13 Laps/70.239 km in 27'02.236 average 155.872 kph; 2. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 0.128; 3. Parkes (Honda) 0.434; 4. Lowes (Honda) 4.650; 5. Cluzel (Honda) 7.725; 6. Quarmby (Honda) 11.384; 7. Morais (Kawasaki) 11.934; 8. Cruciani (Kawasaki) 12.253; etc.
Points (after 8 of 13 rounds): 1. Sofuoglu 137; 2. Lowes 114; 3. Foret 108; 4. Cluzel 95; 5. Parkes 82; 6. Morais 62; 7. Baldolini 54; 8. Quarmby 54; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 176; 2. Honda 172; 3. Triumph 83; 4. Yamaha 66; 5. Suzuki 6.
Bryan Staring (Pedercini Kawasaki) won his second consecutive Superstock 1000 FIM Cup race after splashing through the rains in unstoppable fashion at Brno. He left Eddi La Marra (Barni Racing Team Italia Ducati) to break away from a group behind to try and hunt him down, but as the danger approached Staring upped the pace and finished 6.5 seconds up on La Marra. MRS Kawasaki rider Jeremy Guarnoni finished third, albeit 32 seconds behind Staring. Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) fell and no scored, which means that in the championship fight La Marra is now the leader.
Results: 1. Staring (Kawasaki) 12 Laps/64.836 km in 27'22.582 average 142.099 kph; 2. La Marra (Ducati) 6.577; 3. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 32.390; 4. Brown (Ducati) 34.106; 5. McFadden (Kawasaki) 38.007; 6. Massei (Honda) 38.412; 7. Bergman (Kawasaki) 39.584; 8. Jezek (Ducati) 39.940; etc.
Points (after 6 of 10 rounds): 1. La Marra 94; 2. Barrier 75; 3. Staring 70; 4. Savadori 67; 5. Guarnoni 62; 6. Baroni 56; 7. Reiterberger 55; 8. Bergman 49; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 110; 2. Ducati 107; 3. BMW 103; 4. Honda 46; 5. Aprilia 16.
KTM European Junior Cup
Lukas Wimmer took the victory in the fifth round of the KTM European Junior Cup at Brno, his second race win of the season so far. He was only 0.295 seconds ahead of Spaniard Gaston Garcia and just over a second up on third place rider, Javier Orellana. Wimmer now has 70 points and the championship lead, Orellana is second on 62 and Christian Vidal has 48 points, in third, sharing that total with Jean Francois Demoulin.
Results: 1. Wimmer (KTM) 7 Laps/37.821 km in 16'14.885 average 139.663 kph; 2. Garcia (KTM) 0.295; 3. Orellana (KTM) 1.223; 4. Demoulin (KTM) 1.616; 5. Odegard (KTM) 8.411; 6. Pasek (KTM) 9.852; 7. Vidal (KTM) 15.100; 8. Patterson (KTM) 18.969; etc.
Points (after 5 of 8 rounds): 1. Wimmer 70; 2. Orellana 62; 3. Vidal 48; 4. Demoulin 48; 5. Garcia 45; 6. Wielebski 36; 7. Pasek 35; 8. Odegard 29; etc.
Coppa dei Due Paesi (Two-Nations Cup)
Denis Sacchetti (SD Rider Team Kawasaki) took a clear win in the Coppa dei Due Paesi race at Brno, from Olmo Spigariol (Way of Life Kawasaki). Third, and first of the Russian riders, was Sergey Vlasov (Yakhnich Motorsports Yamaha) from team-mate Dakota Mamola. In the championship Sacchetti has 45 points, Vlasov 27 and Mamola 26.
Results: 1. Sacchetti (Kawasaki) 9 Laps in 19’28.235; 2. Spigariol (Kawasaki) 2.258; 3. Vlasov (Yamaha) 3.444; 4. Mamola (Yamaha) 12.263; 5. Prasek (Yamaha) 12.529; 6. Dusek (Yamaha) 19.049; 7. Sangiorgi (Honda) 19.625; 8. Prosenik (Yamaha) 23.010; etc.
Points (after 2 of 3 rounds): 1. Sacchetti 45; 2. Vlasov 27; 3. Mamola 26; 4. Biliotti 25; 5. Vostarek 22; 6. Spigariol 20; 7. Sangiorgi 16; 8. Buccheri 14; etc.
Official Tyre Supplier
"The two World Superbike Championship races on the Brno circuit confirmed that the selection of solutions we decided to bring to this round was definitely the right one, especially considering the fact that the weather conditions turned out to be quite unpredictable throughout the entire weekend. Specifically, Sunday was marked by brief showers and rather low temperatures for this time of year. In fact, Race 1 was held with an asphalt temperature of 22°C and a few sections of the track which were completely wet, while for Race 2 there was a temperature of 19° but completely dry asphalt. Both of the SC0 compound solutions for the rear were popular with the riders, particularly the brand new R874 in an oversize 200 inches profile which was chosen by about 70% of the riders. My compliments to Marco Melandri and the entire BMW Motorrad Motorsport team for the fine work they have done these past few days, moving into the manufacturer leadership. I would also like to compliment Kawasaki for their excellent placements both in Superbike and in the Supersport and Superstock 1000 classes. This year the Championship has once again proven to be very exciting: at five rounds from the end there are four riders and four teams who are very much in the running for the world title." - Giorgio Barbier, Racing Director Pirelli Moto
Pirelli BEST LAP Awards:
SBK Race 1 – Carlos Checa (Althea Racing), 2'00.741 (Lap 20)
SBK Race 2 – Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), 1'59.728 (Lap 2)
Total BEST LAP (SBK): Checa C. (Althea Racing) 6, Biaggi M. (Aprilia Racing Team) 4; Melandri M. (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 3; Sykes T. (Kawasaki Racing Team) 3; Guintoli S. (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) 1
WSS – Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products), 2'04.011 (Lap 7)
Total BEST LAP (WSS): Lowes S. (Bogdanka PTR Honda) 2; Foret F. (Kawasaki Intermoto Step) 2; Parkes B. (Ten Kate Racing Products) 2; Lanzi L. (Prorace) 1; Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki Lorenzini) 1
Stk1000 – Robbie Brown (DMC Racing), 2’14.253 (Lap 10)
Stk600 – Gauthier Duwelz (Team MTM Racing), 2'06.855 (Lap 8)
REA AND AOYAMA OUT OF LUCK AT BRNO
Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) had a tough day of competition in the 2012 FIM Superbike World Championship races at Brno in the Czech Republic, after a collision with another rider while in a podium position in race one and then fighting hard against traction issues to take a top twelve finish in race two. Marco Melandri (BMW) won both races at Brno, to close the gap to championship leader Max Biaggi (Aprilia) significantly.
Rea had been sixth in Superpole qualifying, a good result considering his recent lack of track data at Brno, and he looked set for a possible podium place until he fell while trying to pass race leader Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) at the apex of a corner when Sykes had started to drift wide, three laps from the end. The riders collided, Rea fell and Sykes carried on to score second. Rea was 12th in race two after he experienced a severe lack of edge grip and his combined Brno results dropped him to fifth overall in the championship standings.
Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) was taken out in race one when Leandro Mercado (Kawasaki) fell under braking and both bike and rider pushed Aoyama wide, eventually causing him to fall. In race two a technical issue prevented Hiroshi from finishing the race. He is now 17th in the standings.
In the championship contest Biaggi has 271.5 points, Melandri 250.5 and Sykes 212.5. Carlos Checa (Ducati) has 204.5 and Rea 187.
Next round is at the evocative circuit of Silverstone on Sunday 5 August.
PARKES ON THE PODIUM AS LOWES SCORES WELL
Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda) put in a podium performance at the eighth round of the FIM Supersport World Championship, taking third place in the Czech Republic to boost his confidence for the final few races of the season and his overall points total.
Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda) was one place behind Parkes in fourth in a dramatic race at Brno, but Lowes is still the closest challenger to championship leader and second place rider today, Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki).
The race was started then red flagged because of a start line incident and in the restart eventual race winner Fabien Foret (Kawasaki) put in a front running performance until the 14th lap, when Sofuoglu passed him, with Parkes right behind. At that point sixth place rider Ronan Quarmby suffered a big highside, and with his machine stranded on the track and almost on the racing line, the race was red flagged. With results going back to the 13th lap, Foret was declared the winner, Sofuoglu second and Parkes third. It was Broc’s second podium finish of the season.
Lowes worked hard to get to a top four place at what is not one of his favourite circuits and he is now 23 points behind Sofuoglu in the current rankings, 137 to 114. Foret is third on 108 and Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda), who was fifth today at Brno, sits fourth on 95. Parkes is fifth on 82.
Quarmby was credited with sixth in the classification today because of the count back of one lap rule in a red flagged race and that score puts him eighth in the points.
Gabor Talmacsi (PRORACE Honda) treated the Brno race as a home round and was 19 seconds from the winning time, in 12th place. The only remaining Honda points scorer was Valentin Debise (SMS Racing Honda) in 14th place today.
Raffaele de Rosa (Lorini Honda) was 16th, Balazs Nemeth (Racing Team Toth Honda) went 17th, and Imre Toth (Racing Team Toth Honda) 19th. Despite starting behind the pace car for the second start of the WSS race, Martin Jessopp (Riders PTR Honda) finished two places from last, in what was a lonely race for the most part.
Roberto Tamburini (Lorini Honda) and Pawel Szkopek (Bogdanka Honda PTR) crashed out of the race, while Massimo Roccoli (Kuja Racing Honda) and Mathew Scholtz (Bogdanka PTR Honda) each had to retire, Scholtz with a clutch issue.
HONDA RIDER COMMENTS:
Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team):
Race result: DNF / 12th Championship position: 5th
“It’s been a really frustrating weekend because this is one of my favourite circuits and the feeling was not like in previous years – it felt completely different. We worked hard all weekend and got quite close in race one. The conditions were unpredictable at the start, but I found a rhythm and some pace and was battling for the lead. Tom Sykes ran wide and I was on the inside when he cut back and I got ejected, which was unfortunate because we were in a good podium position. In race two I felt something wrong with the bike from the very start. I just had no grip from the rear, but we’ll have to look at the data to confirm that it was just the tyre. I suffered a massive loss of grip on the edge, under acceleration, and tried a lot of different styles to see if anything worked, but it was all I could do to hang on to 12th place. The results are not what I want to go racing for and I’m really disappointed about the weekend. The last few races I’ve felt like I’m on a race winning package, but this weekend was definitely below average.”
Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team):
Race result: DNF / DNF Championship position: 17th
“Not such a nice Sunday. In the first race, another rider crashed into me so I crashed, too, and that was not so good. In the second race the conditions were better so we wanted to try some things on the bike to get a better position, but after the fourth lap the bike stopped in turn one, so finally we could not do anything. It was not really a happy end to the weekend, but we had more of a positive feeling yesterday so I hope that this is a good direction for us to follow. Now I go to race at the Suzuka 8-hour, but when I come back at Silverstone I hope we can be stronger again.”
Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda):
Race result: 3rd Championship position: 5th
“I am really happy and first of all I would like to thank the guys in the team for working over the past couple of weeks to give me a bike to allow me to be at the front and in the battle for the win. That is where I want to be. We were a little bit unfortunate for the red flag, because I felt that I was saving my attack for the end. The tyres were still really good, but I am happy for the confidence to be with there again and it is important for me to be on the podium and fighting for wins again and we can look now to the end of the year and see what we can do.”
Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda):
Race result: 4th Championship position: 2nd
“I knew that this track was not good for me. It was my worst track last year, but to be fair I had quite good pace on Friday and good pace yesterday, even if we lost a lot of momentum with a few technical problems. Because of the less than perfect qualifying I had to pass some people and got in a battle with Cluzel, which frustrated me because he was my team-mate. By the time I got past him I was three and a half seconds behind, but in the next ten laps I only lost 0.5 seconds more. I had the pace to stick in there if not to beat them, but if you are there, who knows? Kenan actually got dropped to second after the red flag so it could have been a lot worse. Fourth is my joint worst finish of the year so it is not that bad really.”
Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda):
Race result: 5th Championship position: 4th
“I do not know what was wrong, but I never rode before with this lap time here in the race. Yesterday with the race tyre we did a really good practice. I did 11 laps in 2’04 low and for the race I could only do one lap on 2’04.7 and was in fifth place.”
Ronan Quarmby (PTR Honda):
Race result: 6th Championship position: 8th
“I was enjoying the race and fighting in the top six with my teammates. I do not know what happened with the crash but I have hurt my back and I am very sore. As a precaution I am having it checked by medics now.”
Roberto Tamburini (Team Lorini Honda)
Race result: DNF Championship position: 10th
“I had a highside crash because I touched the green part on the outside of one corner a little. I did not know when I opened the throttle and I went straight off. We will come back looking for a better result at Silverstone.”
Martin Jessopp (Riders PTR Honda):
Race result: 23rd Championship position: 38th
“I have had better meetings and I just struggled with it all weekend. This is was a track that I have really not gelled with. My clutch went after the first start and I came in and the boys managed to get one changed quickly but I just sort of missed the re-start of the race and had to go out behind the pace car. The rest of them were gone to turn two or three by the time I got out. It was a lonely race for me so I am looking forward to the next weekend.”
Mathew Scholtz (Bogdanka PTR Honda):
Race result: DNF Championship position: 36th
“I am very disappointed to retire out of a points scoring finish. I got away OK and was building my pace and effort and moving up through the race. I did not want to crash. My clutch then had a problem and I had to pull in. We have shown we can challenge for points and will be ready for Silverstone in two weeks time.”
Pawel Szkopek (Bogdanka Honda PTR):
Race result: DNF Championship position: Not classified
"I am frustrated to have crashed out early on as I think today I could have scored points. We have shown potential and I will do my best at the next round. Thank you for all the Polish support here at Brno, I only wish I could have scored a good result and I promise I will keep trying."
BMW Motorrad Motorsport - WSBK - Brno - Races
Another historic race Sunday for Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport: at the iconic “Automotodrom Brno” (CZE), as the Bavarian team reached another two milestones. For the first time ever BMW is leading the Manufacturers’ Classification of the FIM Superbike World Championship, and for the first time BMW won both races of a World Championship weekend. Factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA) rode his BMW S 1000 RR to victory in both of today’s heats. Also for him it was the first time ever to climb on the top step of the podium twice on a Sunday. In this season so far, Marco now has five victories under his belt, more than any other rider in the championship. His team-mate Leon Haslam (GBR) finished both races in seventh.
Race one started with tricky conditions. After it had rained throughout the night and the morning, the clouds cleared one hour before the start. In the early stages of the race, the track was partly wet and partly dry, making tyre choice a difficult task. Both Marco and Leon opted for slicks. At the start, Marco improved from fifth to second and Leon from seventh to sixth, but after lap one they were eighth and ninth respectively. With slicks on their RRs it was difficult for them in the mixed conditions. Halfway through the race Leon was seventh and Marco eighth. While Leon kept struggling with grip and fought for seventh, Marco was able to start an impressive fight back. Lap by lap he made up positions and with three laps to go he was third, chasing the leading pair of Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea (both GBR). On the penultimate lap Marco took the lead and opened up a small gap of a second to cross the line as the winner.
In race two conditions were dry and consistent. Leon catapulted himself from seventh to third at the start and took second place on lap two directly in front of Marco, with both riders battling in the tight field of frontrunners. Leon went on the grass and slipped back to sixth, while Marco took second. From then on, the Italian chased leader Sykes. He reduced the gap with every lap and briefly took the lead for the first time on lap 14, only to slip back behind Sykes again. For the rest of the race the pair had a nail biting battle with the lead changing several times. At the beginning of the final lap, Marco got himself in front again and defended the lead until the chequered flag. Leon was on course for fifth, but had a false neutral on the final lap so slipped back to seventh.
In the Riders’ Championship, second placed Marco has reduced his gap to leader Max Biaggi (ITA) to 21 points. Marco now has 250.5 points to his tally. Leon is sixth with 160 points. In the Manufacturers’ Standings BMW took the lead with 292 points, two points ahead of Aprilia. BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet SBK Team’s rider Michel Fabrizio (ITA) was eighth and tenth, his team-mate Ayrton Badovini (ITA) retired in both races.
Result Race 1: 1st / Fastest Lap Race 1: 2:00.778 min
Result Race 2: 1st / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:59.748 min
“I am living my dream today. Securing my first double victory here in Brno on this race track is something special for me. I am so happy because I already have five victories this season and nobody expected that. Race one was already amazing. At the beginning the conditions were very difficult as it was wet. As we were riding with slicks we just tried not to lose too many positions, but in the first few laps I struggled a lot. While I was trying to improve my position I made two mistakes because I still was not feeling comfortable. When I saw I was eighth I said to myself I needed to be quiet and keep my rhythm to catch the front guys. It was not easy to overtake them, but when I took the lead with one lap to go I knew I just needed to keep pushing as much as I could. I knew I was faster than the others.
“Race two was even more difficult, as Tom was having a great race and I had to spend a lot of energy trying to catch him. The tyre was working very well today, and I was able to keep the gap very small. Every time I tried to pass Tom he was braking so hard that it was nearly impossible. Once I finally passed him, I made a mistake and Tom passed me back. It was really tough to catch him again. Actually I did not expect to win, but doing that here twice today is just amazing. Seeing BMW leading the manufacturers’ championship is unbelievable and it makes me proud. I was also able to close the gap to Max in the riders’ championship. But the season is still long, and we plan race by race. I want to thank everybody at BMW Motorrad and in the race team who work so hard every day and put so much effort in the project. It was so unbelievable and emotional to see them smiling and happy. Now I just want to celebrate this result.”
Result Race 1: 7th / Gap to 1st: 00:11.293 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 2:01.399 min
Result Race 2: 7th / Gap to 1st: 00:12.547 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 2:00.298 min
“At the beginning of race one the conditions were tricky, but it was the same for everyone. However, we had some major issues. I really struggled with grip and then from about five laps on I had chatter. I managed to change my style towards the end of the race to get seventh position back from Michel Fabrizio but it was quite difficult.
“In the second race, the bike was feeling good. When Marco and I were battling I went on the grass. and lost a lot of places. I was happy with the bike and we should have beaten Eugene Laverty, but on the last lap I got a false neutral and lost two places. The main thing is overall I felt a lot better in this race, and now we are looking forward to Silverstone, a track that is always good for me.”
Bernhard Gobmeier (BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director):
“It was a fantastic Sunday. Initially it seemed as it would be another weather and tyre lottery, but this time we relied on our intuition and chose the right tyres for both riders. Marco’s races were fantastic. In race one, he fought his way from eighth back to the front in a brave manner, and also in race two he impressively showed his and the bike’s potential. Congratulations also go to Leon. Compared to last year, he was able to improve enormously on this track where he has always struggled in the past. Unfortunately he had a small technical issue on the last lap of race two, otherwise he would have been fifth. Overall it was an amazing team effort. The squad did a perfect job. A big thank you to everybody for their hard work at the circuit and back home to make these next milestones possible.”
Brno: Two brilliant performances waiting for the home race.
Brno, 22 July 2012
After a difficult Superpole yesterday, today Chaz Davies and ParkinGO MTC Racing found themselves busy at race 1 due to the unpredictable track conditions. Race 2 with a dry circuit, Chaz has done a brilliant performance on his Aprilia RSV4 getting a great result.
Wet race start but with partially dry track, Chaz Davies has had difficulties to reach the best at the top, finding himself looking for the race pace. At the end, the lack of references and battles that kept him busy made him finish in a nevertheless great 11th place.
In race 2 the ParkinGO MTC Racing rider has battled from the start with aggressive surpasses and incredible fights.
From 12th on the grid, the British rider has been able to improve to a brilliant 6th position that gives him the 10th place in the general standings with 93 points.
Is not a bad day but I can really say it has been great either. I had podium pace but the strange weather conditions have given me a few problems. I have learnt a couple of interesting things about the bike this morning, that will help me and will give me an advantage in the future.
As for the result, I don’t even know where did I finish at the end, maybe 10th, 11th or 10th.
In the second race I felt more confident as well thanks to the dry conditions of the track. The performance of the race wasn’t great as I was missing some settings, due to lacking 45 minutes yesterday. At the end 6th position is not bad at all, perhaps not what I was expecting, but I am quite satisfied of the job done this weekend; we will see in Silverstone.
CAMIER AND FIXI CRESCENT SUZUKI 9TH AT BRNO
Team Suzuki Press Office - July 22.
Leon Camier raced to a confidence-building ninth place in the second race of the ninth round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship at Brno in the Czech Republic today.
Camier started from 13th on the grid and made up two positions on the first lap before moving into the top-10 on lap 16 around the 5,403m Czech circuit. Camier then made his way past Michel Fabrizio on the next lap and held out to take a deserved ninth after all his hard work this weekend. He was also in the points in race one, as he steered his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R to 14th place in the very difficult conditions that faced the riders in the first 20-lap event.
John Hopkins had a tough afternoon, but can take consolation from finishing both races in the points for the first time this season, as he continues his push back to full race fitness. Hopkins brought his FIXI Crescent Suzuki GSX-R home in 15th in race one and went one place better in the second event to record a safe and solid 14th. He will now continue to improve his fitness before the next round, which will see him racing in Britain for the first time since his epic BSB battle last season.
Today's first race was held in very difficult conditions after a rain-storm soaked the Brno track, but by the time the race started it had dried considerably and most riders chose to use slick tyres in the damp - but drying - conditions. Marco Melandri on a BMW won race one and repeated the feat in the second event - which was held in warm and sunny conditions - to close the gap at the top of the championship to current leader Max Biaggi.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki will next be in action at the team's - and Camier's - home WSB event of the season, when the World Superbike series heads to Silverstone in England for round 10 on Sunday August 5th. Before that though, Camier will be representing the Yoshimura Suzuki squad at the prestigious Suzuka 8-hour in Japan next weekend.
"Conditions were very tricky at the start of the first race and the track was pretty wet. Because we all knew it would dry out, we all chose slicks, but that made the opening laps a bit difficult. After my experience in Assen, I was a bit nervous in the wet and wasn't confident enough to push too hard. I know that I need to improve my confidence in these kinds of conditions. I made a bad start in race two and then started making up places before too long. It was a case of just bashing my way through and once I managed to get past Rea and Smrz, I set about trying to catch Fabrizio. Once I got past him, I went after the group ahead, but ran out of laps before I could improve my position. In the second race my FIXI Crescent Suzuki felt good and so did I. It was very encouraging to be able to run with the fast guys and if I had made a better start I'm sure I would've been challenging for a top four or five position."
"The conditions in the first race were definitely not easy. I started from the inside of the track which was the wettest part and so had to be careful at the beginning. Even so, the bike still span up a few times. I got caught in a group towards the back of the field and managed to hit the wrong button on my traction control and turned it off by mistake. I then put in some decent laps, but by then it was too late.
"The track was much better for race two. I got a good start, pushed hard and kept my head down. I was battling with Smrz and Rea and trying everything I knew to get past them, but I began to struggle with edge grip. As the race wore on, my tyre was gone, so I settled for a finish and some points. The results today were not what I wanted or expected, but were better than some before."
Jack Valentine - Team Manager:
"Both riders went out on slicks in race one, which was the right choice of tyres because the track was drying out. Leon was a bit tentative at the beginning and that cost him places and that was more or less the same situation for John. I am very disappointed with the first race and think that the results would've been better if both riders had been able to manage their onboard electronic control system better. Leon ran a really good second race and would've finished higher up if he had made a better start. He picked riders off and that was good to see. John complained of edge grip and that prevented his progress. I am really pleased about all the work done by the FIXI Crescent Suzuki team since Aragon. The bike's acceleration has improved and now Leon and John can slipstream other bikes - something they couldn't do before. We're going straight back to the workshops and we'll be putting in the same amount of work to try and find further improvement."