Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after Sunday's races in Moscow:
Jules second in Russia; moves to second in Championship
PTR HONDA'S Jules Cluzel took a strong second place at the 10th round of the World Supersport Championship at Moscow in Russia, to move up to second in the World Championship standings.
Ronan Quarmby on his PTR Honda, starting from 16th, got up as high as ninth before dropping back in the final stages to 13th. Riders PTR Honda's Martin Jessopp took a good 19th with his pace increasing as the race progressed and he has plenty of positives to take to the next round at the Nurburgring in Germany on Sunday, September 9th.
Jules: "I tried to follow Kenan and as the gap grew bigger, I thought I would see what happens to him, maybe he had used his front tyre? He got faster for the last six-seven laps though. The good thing is I finished in a good position; it was easy to finish second and I am really happy to be second in the Championship. Thank you to my PTR team as they work hard to improve my bike all the time. I really enjoy riding my PTR Honda."
Ronan: "It was a hard race starting from 16th and I finished close to the top 10 and took some points. I'll want a big improvement at the next round and I aim to be back at the sharp end fighting for the podium again as it is our aim to go for top six in the Championship."
Martin: "I am happy enough with the end result without being in the points if that makes sense. I was boxed in at the first corner but once I settled in I really tried to ride my bike like a 600. I was doing my best to let go of the brakes and ride it how Sam and the other boys do. I started doing it at the end of race and was going past and catching the guys in front. The result doesn't represent how hard I worked to adapt my style to the 600. It was a good second half to the race and I need to work on the first half now."
Simon Buckmaster, PTR Honda Team Manager: "Jules rode a great race. Congratulations to Kenan on winning; we will do our best to beat him in the last three races as the Championship is not over yet. Ronan got good solid points in a tough race from 16th on the grid; we will go to the next round and keep trying to push for top six in Championship. 19th was a strong ride for Martin. He kept improving all weekend and can go to Nurburgring more confident and get in the points."
Lowes twelfth in Russia
BOGDANKA PTR HONDA's Sam Lowes finished twelfth in the tenth round of the World Supersport Championhip in Russia after jumping the start and battling through the field after a drive through penalty. The Briton is now third in the overall standings with three rounds still to go.
Mathew Scholtz achieved his goal of finishing inside the top ten after putting in another solid performance to leave Moscow Raceway with a tenth position. Bogdanka Honda PTR's Andrzej Chmielewski retired from his debut World Supersport race after running off track despite a good start. The next round will take place at the Nurburgring in Germany in two weeks time.
Sam Lowes: "I was feeling confident ahead of the race after a solid weekend here in Russia but jumped the start and had to come in for a ride through penalty. I went back out and did my best to salvage some points but it's disappointing for this weekend to end that up. We won't keep fighting until the end though, so I'm already focused on the next round in Germany."
Mathew Scholtz: "My start wasn't very good. I dropped down to 16th place but then I just slowly made my way up to the tenth place. The race pace I was running, I could've definitely finished a little bit higher up. Hopefully in Germany I can get a better start and finish even higher."
Andrzej Chmielewski: "I'm not sure what to say. I had a good start and made up a few positions but couldn't keep the pace of the group I was in and dropped back a bit. I made a mistake and ran off the track but remounted and kept going. I knew I was going to get lapped soon, so I decided to pull in and not cause any troubles to the leaders. It was still a great experience and I really enjoyed riding a Supersport bike and working with the Bogdanka Honda PTR squad."
Simon Buckmaster, Bogdanka PTR Honda Team Manager: "There is no argument, Sam jump started. After that he kept pushing and made the best job of the situation and is still third in the Championship - all we can do now is try to win the last three races, it is not over yet. 10th is Mathew's best result of the season and he continues to improve - we are looking forward to seeing more of his potential."
A DISAPPOINTING RACE DAY FOR CHECA AND GIUGLIANO (ALTHEA RACING) AT THE MOSCOW RACEWAY
Moscow (Russia), Sunday 26th August 2012: team Althea Racing did not have the kind of day it was expecting today at the new Moscow Raceway. The two Superbike races were marked by a series of collisions and DNFs; unfortunately both Carlos Checa and Davide Giugliano crashed out of race 1 but were able to ride around the incidents in race two to score solid points with a fourth and sixth place finish respectively.
Race 1 – starting from pole on a still wet track (after rain earlier in the day), Carlos was in fourth place at the end of the first lap while his team-mate Davide made a strong start, moving into seventh through the first corners and into fifth after the first lap. All of the riders took it easy through lap one as they got to grips with the damp track conditions. On lap two Giugliano passed his team-mate to take fourth place and started to chase down the leading group composed of Sykes, Haslam and Laverty, overtaking the latter a few corners later. Unfortunately contact between Checa and Rea on the same lap left the Spaniard on the ground, forcing him to return to the garage; a real pity in a race where the podium was well within reach. From lap six Davide battled first with Laverty and then with Rea and was in third place on lap eight, positioned between the aforementioned pair. Rea crashed towards the middle of the race, leaving Eugene and Davide to fight it out between themselves but sadly it wasn’t to last as a crash for Giugliano on lap 13 left him out of the running. He too found himself on the gravel, putting a premature end to what would have surely been a great race.
Race 2 – fortunately the track had dried out completely in time for race 2. This time Carlos didn’t get away particularly quickly and was sixth through the first corners, followed by his team-mate Davide, seventh. On lap five Carlos lay seventh, Davide eighth and both were struggling to catch the leading group that were able to gain precious tenths along the straightway. Carlos finally got past Biaggi and at the mid-race point, when Biaggi and Haslam crashed out, the current champion was able to start pushing from fifth to catch Laverty ahead of him. Carlos crossed the line in final fourth position, narrowly missing the incident that saw Rea and Laverty hit the gravel on the last lap. In the final stages Giugliano lost a little ground due to tyre wear and rode a solitary final few laps; he nevertheless pushed as hard as he could to the line, closing in final sixth position.
At the end of round eleven Carlos is still fourth thanks to the 233.5 points that he has accumulated up until now. Davide has earned 116 points so far which put him in tenth position. Ducati is still third in the manufacturer’s standings with 322 points to the 334.5 of Aprilia and 361 of BMW.
“We did what we could and that’s how it went. In the first race we chose slick tyres – it would have been impossible to finish the race on rain tyres. It was a pity for the crash – I was fighting with Johnny for the position, he came too close to me, didn’t leave me room and I lost the front when he touched the handlebar. We had to build the bike from the rolling chassis for race 2 as there were some problems with my bike after the crash. I had similar sensations to yesterday but had real difficulty on the straight – it was extremely difficult to pass, or even get close enough to attempt to do that.”
“I’m sorry for race 1. I was fast, one of the fastest on track at that point and I didn’t realize in time that the front tyre had started to suffer very early on, finding myself on the ground before I could do anything. In the second race I decided to stay calm in the first half and try to control the tyre wear but when I wanted to start pushing, from mid-race on, the front tyre wasn’t performing and it only got wrose in the later stages. I hope that in the next races, with a little less of a straight, we might do better because here you can see that it was very difficult.”
Melandri soars to the lead after Moscow thrillers
Moscow Raceway (Russia), Sunday 26 August, 2012 – After winning race two at the all-new Moscow Raceway Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) took the lead in the eni FIM Superbike World Championship for the first time in 2012, following up a second place finish in race one in perfect style. Melandri reversed the opening race finishing order as he beat Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) by less than one second in the second intense 25-lapper in front of 32,500 enthusiastic fans. Sykes’ race 1 win was his second of 2012, following on from his success at Monza in May.
Melandri had been stung by a wasp on his left leg in the first race but battled on to his podium finish, then recovered well enough to take an important lead after race two that now gives him an 18.5 point advantage over the long time championship leader, Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team). Biaggi had been third in race one but no-scored in race two.
The enthusiastic and thoroughly entertained Russian race fans judged the first ever SBK event in their country a real success, even if many of the top names were to lose points after several high profile but largely injury-free crashes. Biaggi had a collision under braking with Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) in race two and neither rider finished, which means that Melandri now has 308.5 points to Biaggi’s 290, with Sykes third on 267.5.
Sykes scored the first win after a faultless display of front running at a high pace. Despite damp patches on the track surface from earlier rain, his instant speed from second on the grid kept him away from the troubles many other top riders endured behind him, with crashes helping Melandri finish second. Biaggi overhauled his team-mate Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) on the very last lap to take third place and what would prove to be important points. Potential podium riders Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati), his team-mate Davide Giugliano, Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Racing Aprilia), Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) and Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Racing Team Ducati) all crashed out, with Haslam also falling then restarting to finish sixth after clashing with Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Aprilia).
Tom Sykes: “Carlos made history yesterday with the first pole but like I’ve said all season I would certainly trade my pole for a race win and today that’s happened. Myself and Kawasaki have gone down in the history books by winning here, the race went very smoothly for myself, we did a lot of work yesterday on race tyres and today has paid off with full points.”
Results: 1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 25 laps/98.275 km in 41'07.852 average 143.359 kph; 2. Melandri (BMW) 8.878; 3. Biaggi (Aprilia) 12.603; 4. Laverty (Aprilia) 13.027; 5. Fabrizio (BMW) 29.582; 6. Haslam (BMW) 30.587; 7. Canepa (Ducati) 32.170; 8. Zanetti (Ducati) 34.704; 9. Hopkins (Suzuki) 40.366; 10. Salom (Kawasaki) 41.143; etc.
Melandri was never under serious threat after he eventually took the lead in the second race, heading up Sykes by less than a second after another 25-laps of drama and incident. Sykes had been too preoccupied with the riders behind him to read his pit signals at one time and he missed out on a late chance to attack Melandri again. Davies was third after the three riders in front of him on the last lap were affected by a highside from Laverty. The Irish rider was to retire but Rea recovered from his collision with Laverty’s machine, and subsequent crash, to go seventh. The following Checa was pushed off track and dropped back to finish fourth. Leon Camier was a strong fifth for the FIXI Crescent Suzuki team, after some woes in qualifying and a heavy crash in practice.
Marco Melandri: “It’s been an awesome day for me because race 1 was very tough, so finishing second was for me like a win. But in race 2 I felt very good, my crew chief made a small modification on the bike and I felt very confident from the beginning. About six or seven laps to go, my rear tyre was sliding a lot but was working perfectly with my BMW. I’m so happy because this year we are doing a great job.”
Results: 1. Melandri (BMW) 25 laps/98.275 km in 40'14.677 average 146.516 kph; 2. Sykes (Kawasaki) 0.976; 3. Davies (Aprilia) 4.213; 4. Checa (Ducati) 5.954; 5. Camier (Suzuki) 13.568; 6. Giugliano (Ducati) 15.173; 7. Rea (Honda) 23.125; 8. Badovini (BMW) 23.696; 9. Baz (Kawasaki) 23.884; 10. Zanetti (Ducati) 24.096; etc.
Points (after 11 of 14 rounds): 1. Melandri 308.5; 2. Biaggi 290; 3. Sykes 267.5; 4. Checa 233.5; 5. Rea 212.5; 6. Haslam 180; 7. Laverty 173.5; 8. Guintoli 127.5; 9. Fabrizio 119.5; 10. Giugliano 116; etc. Manufacturers: 1. BMW 361; 2. Aprilia 334.5; 3. Ducati 322; 4. Kawasaki 298.5; 5. Honda 221.5; 6. Suzuki 93.5.
The fine weather that welcomed the Supersport racers to the Moscow Raceway provided perfect conditions for Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Lorenzini) to win his third race of the season and extend his championship lead to 33 points. The Turkish rider had Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda) as a shadow for most of the race but his pace at the end was enough to draw him over five seconds ahead at the flag. An amazingly popular third place for Vladimir Leonov (Yakhnich Motorsports Yamaha) was a pleasing spectacle for the new Moscow Raceway crowd. Fourth was Sofuoglu’s team-mate Sheridan Morais, with Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products) fifth. In the championship Sofuoglu has 173 points, Cluzel 140 and the luckless Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda) 138, after he jump started and dropped to 12th in the race following a ride-through penalty.
Results: 1. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 22 laps/86.482 km in 36'13.935 average 143.213 kph; 2. Cluzel (Honda) 5.022; 3. Leonov (Yamaha) 13.018; 4. Morais (Kawasaki) 16.504; 5. Parkes (Honda) 32.568; 6. Foret (Kawasaki) 33.854; 7. Antonelli (Yamaha) 34.377; 8. Talmacsi (Honda) 34.471; etc.
Points (after 10 of 13 rounds): 1. Sofuoglu 173; 2. Cluzel 140; 3. Lowes 138; 4. Foret 128; 5. Parkes 109; 6. Morais 84; 7. Quarmby 70; 8. Baldolini 67; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Honda 217; 2. Kawasaki 212; 3. Triumph 96; 4. Yamaha 89; 5. Suzuki 6.
Coppa dei Due Paesi (Two-Nations Cup)
Maxim Kiselev (Dialen Honda Russia) won a wet final round of the Coppa dei Due Paesi by an impressive margin of 7.661 seconds after an early tussle with the other leading riders. He eased away from his Russian compatriot Sergey Orlov (Yamaha) to record his first win. Dakota Mamola (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha) was third in the race, just behind Orlov, with Slovakian rider Janez Prosenik (Japi Racing Team Yamaha) fourth. In the final championship rankings Denis Sacchetti (SD Rider Team Kawasaki) won the cup itself, 56 points to 42, ahead of Mamola. Fallen rider Sergey Vlasov lost any chance of the title thanks to his fall and ended up third overall, on 29 points.
Results: 1. Kiselev (Honda); 2. Orlov (Yamaha); 3. Mamola (Yamaha); 4. Prosenik (Yamaha); 5. Sacchetti (Kawasaki); 6. Eremin (Kawasaki);
Final Points: 1. Sacchetti 56 (2012 winner); 2. Mamola 42; 3. Vlasov 29; 4. Kiselev 25; 5. Biliotti 25; 6. Vostarek 22; etc.
Official Tyre Supplier
"The eleventh round of the World Superbike Championship held today for the first time in history in Russia, on the brand new Moscow Raceway circuit, was marked by some particularly winning races, once again shuffling the cards and upsetting the general standings. Before analysing the races I would like to offer my compliments to Infront and the Russian organisation for their hospitality and the quality of the circuit and its infrastructure: asphalt with a lot of grip, good drainage and a layout which even the riders liked a lot. As concerns the Superbike races, from the Superpole sessions on Saturday we could see how the tyres Pirelli brought for this round were capable of placing all the riders in conditions to be able to battle for the podium and victory: in fact, the first six spots on the starting grid went to six riders on bikes from different manufacturers. In particular, the rear SC1 mid-soft R302 solution confirmed the excellent performance which had already been seen on many other circuits where we’ve raced this season. This is why it was chosen by just about all the riders for both races, even in Race 1 which had been declared a wet race. My sincere compliments to Tom Sykes who quite deservedly won his second race of the year, doing justice to his 7 Superpoles of the season, as well as to Marco Melandri who, by winning Race 2, is the new ranking leader, although with three rounds left to go in the Championship anything could still happen with 4 riders still very much in contention for the world title. Congratulations also go to Vladimir Leonov and Yakhnich Motorsport team for the excellent podium earned in their home race and all the participants in the Two Countries Cup who gave us a heated and winning Championship which Denis Sacchetti deservedly won." - Giorgio Barbier, Racing Director Pirelli Moto
Pirelli BEST LAP Awards:
SBK Race 1 – Leon Haslam (BMW Mottorad Motorsport), 1'36.729 (Lap 13)
SBK Race 2 – Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport), 1'35.794 (Lap 10)
Total BEST LAP (SBK): Checa C. (Althea Racing): 6, Biaggi M. (Aprilia Racing Team): 4; Melandri M. (BMW Motorrad Motorsport): 4; Sykes T. (Kawasaki Racing Team): 3; Guintoli S. (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing): 1; Baz L. (Kawasaki Racing Team): 1; Ayrton Badovini (BMW Mottorad Italia Goldbet): 1; Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport): 1
WSS – Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda), 1'38.167 (Lap 12)
Total BEST LAP (WSS): Lowes S. (Bogdanka PTR Honda): 2; Foret F. (Kawasaki Intermoto Step): 2; Parkes B. (Ten Kate Racing Products): 2; Cluzel J. (PTR Honda): 2; Lanzi L. (Prorace): 1; Morais S. (Kawasaki Lorenzini): 1
APRILIA RACING WSBK - Moscow Race
COMPLICATED WEEKEND FOR THE APRILIA RACING TEAM AT MOSCOW RACEWAY.
AFTER A PODIUM FINISH IN RACE 1, MAX BIAGGI HAS A BAD CRASH IN THE NINTH LAP OF RACE 2.
EUGENE LAVERTY, AFTER A FOURTH PLACE FINISH IN RACE 1, CRASHES OUT WHILE BATTLING FOR THIRD PLACE IN RACE 2.
Moscow, 26 August 2012 – The first ever Superbike weekend on Russian soil ended in the worst possible way for the Aprilia Racing Team. In fact, both Max Biaggi and Eugene Laverty retired in Race 2 because of two crashes while they were battling among the leaders.
The Aprilia riders' competitiveness at the Moscow Raceway was quite clear during Race 1, with Max finishing on the third step of the podium and his team mate crossing the line right behind him.
In the second race Max Biaggi was making up positions following all the excitement after the start. During the ninth lap, while attempting to overtake Rea on the last braking section, Max collided with Haslam, who was just ahead of him, ending up on the ground. Neither the English rider nor the Corsair suffered physical injuries, but the crash cost Max important championship points.
“The crash was the last thing we needed – confirmed a disappointed Max Biaggi – Unfortunately, when I changed my line in the braking section I ended up on some dirty asphalt and I wasn't able to slow down. I saw Haslam drawing closer and tried unsuccessfully to avoid the collision. I apologised to him straight away. At first I thought he had been injured, but fortunately he assured me that he was OK. After the podium finish in the first race I wanted to stay up front. This really complicates the championship but it certainly isn't over yet”.
Poor luck also compromised the weekend for Eugene Laverty, who crossed the finish line with an excellent fourth place in Race 1 after battling for 25 laps in the leading pack. The second race was shaping up to be Eugene's moment to shine, once again at the foot of the podium and putting in an aggressive performance. Just as it seemed he had gotten the best of Rea, moving into third place, a sudden loss of grip led to the crash that forced him to retire. It was a cruel twist of fate that in no way jeopardizes the positive feedback on this weekend's progress.
“Race 1 didn't go too badly, considering the fact that we made the wrong choice for the rear tyre. In Race 2 I expected to have more grip but I didn't. On the contrary, after a few laps I was already struggling to maintain pace. From about the halfway point the front runners slowed down a bit so I was able to catch up with the group until a sudden loss of grip took me out of the game just two turns from the finish”.
Rea salvages seventh in Moscow
Jonathan Rea finished seventh in the second of today’s two inaugural World Superbike championship races at Moscow Raceway in Russia after looking like a podium contender in both.
The two races were won by Tom Sykes and Marco Melandri as the World Superbike championship visited the new 3.931km Moscow Raceway for the first time.
Rea crashed out of third place on lap 11 of the opening race when he selected a false neutral on his CBR1000RR Fireblade approaching turn 18. With little run-off at the left-hander, Rea’s bike crashed into the barriers causing enough damage to warrant his crew building a new race machine for the second 25-lap outing.
Again, Rea was dicing for a podium position on the final lap when rival Eugene Laverty crashed in front of him, leaving the 25-year-old from Northern Ireland with nowhere to go. Rea managed to get his bike re-started to take seventh place while rueing what might have been.
His Honda World Superbike team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama struggled for grip in the first race and finished 14th. In race two, the 30-year-old Japanese was hit twice from behind on the opening lap – first at the difficult turn five, which he survived but re-joined the race in last place. Aoyama had already passed one rider, but at the final corner he was hit again, crashing out with a bruised knee.
Jonathan Rea – DNF and 7th
It’s been quite a frustrating day because we had good pace in both races. In race one I was battling for the podium and had a false neutral in turn 16 so, with no engine braking, I lost the front. The guys had to build me a new bike from parts in the truck and luckily it felt pretty good for race two. I got a slowish start and could see that Sykes was pulling away but I thought I could go with him and Melandri and I had to get past Laverty. The bike felt really good, but I was losing a lot of ground on the straight. I got involved in another rider’s crash when he highsided in front of me but that’s part of racing. We can take some positives out of the day because my crew worked slowly and surely through the weekend and we got a bike that was capable of winning. Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot to show for it, so it’s been a tough weekend.
Hiroshi Aoyama – 14th and DNF
As a whole, I think we had quite a good weekend. We have been in better positions and our lap times have been positive. I was happy to have been in a competitive place and I wanted to make two good results in the races today. In race one, the tyre did not work at all and I could not finish any higher. In the second race somebody crashed into me twice. I had a big impact on my back in the crash and I found it quite difficult to breathe so I went to the medical centre. It was OK in the end and I have a big bruise on my knee from where my bike hit me. We’ll just think about the next race, which is at a track I do not know but I’ll try to learn it quickly and get closer to the front.
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
It has not been a fortunate day for us. In race one, the wet and drying track proved to be quite difficult for Hiroshi who didn’t have the grip or the confidence to push for a better position. Jonathan crashed even though he had the speed, which was a real shame. He made a great effort in race two, however, after one or two mistakes in the beginning. He found a rhythm and was battling for the podium right to the end but, because of Eugene’s crash, he also crashed. He picked the bike up and got seventh but he deserved to be on the podium, so it was not so lucky. Hiroshi was even less fortunate – he was hit twice. The first time he was able to stay on the bike but he got hit again at the last corner. Luckily, he’s not hurt but it could have been so much better for him. During the test and practices he showed real potential to get in the top ten but it just didn’t happen, so it’s been a tough day for us all.
CAMIER 5TH AS HOPKINS SCORES BEST RESULT
Team Suzuki Press Office - August 26.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki had a very profitable and encouraging first-ever Russian eni FIM Superbike World Championship race-day as both riders produced some excellent results in the 11th round.
Leon Camier scored a stunning fifth in race two after starting from 18th on the grid. He made a good start and was up to 13th by the end of the first lap, before picking his was way through the field to get into the top-10 by the 10th circulation. Camier continued to record lap-times that were comparable with the leaders and managed to avoid a big crash in-front of him, to bring his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R1000 home in the top-five. Camier finished 15th in race one after a gamble to use wet-tyres in the interchangeable weather didn't pay-off and he was forced to pit and change to slicks when the track dried out sooner than he thought and the expected rain never materialised .
John Hopkins raced to his best World Superbike result for the FIXI Crescent Suzuki team when he brought his machine home in ninth place in race one. Hopkins rode a solid race in the difficult conditions and steered clear of any crashes and incidents that marked the first WSB race at the 3'931m Moscow Raceway. Race two saw Hopkins again in the points as he finished in 12th to record his best haul of points in a weekend this year, from his injury affected season.
Today saw the inaugural World Superbike race to be held in Russia and the distinction of being the first winner went to Tom Sykes on a Kawasaki. The second race was won by Italian Marco Melandri on a BMW, a result that lifts him to the head of the world championship standings.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki will now make the long journey back from Moscow and begin its preparations for the next round of the season, which will be at the Nurburgring in Germany on Sunday September 9th.
"The track was pretty damp for race one and there was only about a two foot wide dry line round most of it. Because of my grid position, I knew that in order to pass people I would have to go off the dry line. That wouldn't have been possible on slicks, so I opted for wets instead. I also thought that the rain would come again, but when that didn't happen and the track dried out, I had no choice but to come into the pits and switch to slicks. That cost a lot of time and after my new tyres had been fitted I rejoined the race dead last. I pushed as hard as I could and ended 15th.
"Happily there were no difficult tyre choices to make for race two as the track was dry and the sun was out. I made a reasonably good start and then rode very aggressively, passing people on the outside as well as the inside. My FIXI Crescent Suzuki felt good and the only place I was really losing out was on the long back straight. At the end, my body was hurting and it was getting hard to concentrate, but I was pretty happy to take fifth place."
"It was a kind of frustrating day for me and it should've been much better. I started race one on slicks and probably rode a bit too timidly in the early stages and lost ground. Halfway through, I got stuck in a bit of a group and when the track dried out, it got dirty and caused a loss of grip. I kept the FIXI Crescent Suzuki upright and brought it home, which makes me reasonably happy.
"I was looking forward to race two, but unfortunately suffered with the same tyre issues that have bugged us all weekend. The bike was chattering a lot and I could only ride it at a certain level - which meant I couldn't finish any higher than 12th."
Jack Valentine - Team Manager:
"It was always going to be a difficult day and it wasn't helped by the slightly wet conditions at the start of the first race. Leon began on wets, but had to pit and change to slicks when the track began to dry and ended 15th. John started on slicks and rode steadily throughout the race and finished ninth.
"Fortunately the conditions were perfect for race two. Leon made a good start and began picking up places straightaway. His race pace was very good and he was doing equivalent times to the leaders. He kept his head down and finished a strong fifth, which is a tremendous result considering that he started from 18th place on the grid. It was a great ride and shows how good the FIXI Crescent Suzuki is at this high level of competition. Chattering on John's bike hampered his progress in race two, but he kept at it and managed to finish 12th.
"Today was Leon's second best result of the season but, considering his injury and his 18th place on the grid, I think it is an even better ride than his fourth place at Donington earlier in the year."
BMW Motorrad Motorsport - WSBK - Moscow - Races
Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport has reason to celebrate again: at the first ever Russian round of the FIM Superbike World Championship, factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA) took the lead in the Rider’s Classification by winning race two and finishing second in race one at “Moscow Raceway”. It is another milestone, as Marco is the first BMW rider to top this classification. In the Manufacturer’s Ranking, BMW further increased its lead. In addition, BMW Motorrad Motorsport claimed the fastest lap time in both races, with Leon Haslam (GBR) in heat one and Marco in race two. Nevertheless the team leaves the 11th round of the 2012 season with mixed feelings, as Leon had a difficult day. In race one he had a collision while fighting for second place, securing sixth at the flag. In race two he also had the podium in sight, when the back of his BMW S 1000 RR was hit by Max Biaggi (ITA) and both riders crashed heavily. Fortunately, Leon suffered no serious injuries.
After a rain shower in the morning the track was still damp when the grid formed for race one. It was therefore declared a wet race, but as the skies were already clearing up, both Marco and Leon went out on slicks. At the start, eventual winner Tom Sykes (GBR) took the lead, while Leon improved from fourth to second and Marco held his fifth position. Leon kept fighting at the top but ran off the track on lap five and slipped back from second to fifth. Marco was seventh at that point. As the race went on, several riders crashed, the two BMW factory riders moving up the field. On lap 17 Leon was in a podium position again, being third in front of Marco, but when Leon tried to pass second placed Chaz Davies (GBR) on lap 19, they made contact and Leon crashed. Davies had gone wide and Leon tried to take his chance to go through on the inside, but the two riders collided. Leon jumped back on his BMW S 1000 RR and rejoined in sixth position. Marco profited from the collision and took second between leader Sykes and third placed Davies. He brought his bike home in that position unthreatened while Leon finished sixth. After the podium ceremony, Marco had to go to the Clinica Mobile medical centre because a wasp had stung his left knee during the race, causing massive swelling and pain. He was treated with an injection and was ready to go for race two.
In the opening stages of the second heat, both BMW riders were part of an exciting fight for podium positions when Leon’s race ended abruptly and painfully. Entering the last corner of lap ten, he was hit from behind by Biaggi and both of them crashed heavily. Leon was taken to the medical centre, as he was feeling dizzy and had severe pain in his leg. The examinations showed that he had no serious injuries. Marco meanwhile kept fighting at the very top and took the lead from Sykes on lap 15. He defended it to the chequered flag and celebrated his sixth victory of the season.
In the Riders’ Championship, Marco is leading with 308.5 points, 18.5 more than second placed Biaggi. Leon is sixth with 180 points. In the Manufacturers’ Standings BMW now has 361 points and has extended its lead to 26.5 points over Aprilia. BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet Team’s Michel Fabrizio (ITA) finished fifth in race one but crashed in the second one. His team-mate Ayrton Badovini was eighth and 12th.
Result Race 1: 2nd / Gap to 1st: 00:08.878 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:36.949 min
Result Race 2: 1st / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:35.794 min
“It is an unbelievable day. To win here at the first ever round of the Championship in this country is something special and I am just very, very happy. This morning it was cloudy and raining a little bit, so it was not easy. Race one was very tough at the beginning with the slick tyre in the wet and the fact that a wasp stung my leg made it even more difficult. It was a very tough race and to finish second was like a win for me. For race two the team made a small modification to the bike and I felt very good from the first lap. Once I saw Biaggi was out I understood I had the chance to try to get a win and I did. I was worried a little bit about my rear tyre, but it worked perfectly with my BMW. The team once more did a great job. Thanks to everyone.
We are now leading the Rider’s Championship but we take it race by race. We have no time to think about defending our lead, because six races are a lot and anything can still happen. We have to stay focused and work hard and if I have the chance to fight for a win I will try to get it. For me it is important to have fun at every race and I cannot race without trying to do my best. Overall I am so happy. We had some bad luck in the past, but now we are working very well but you never know what will happen in the last races. I also want to thank the Clinica Mobile. They helped me a lot, not only with the sting but also with the back problem I had all weekend.”
Result Race 1: 6th / Gap to 1st: 00:30.587 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:36.729 min
Result Race 2: DNF / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:36.205 min
“In race one I felt pretty comfortable. I made the start that we wanted. Conditions were quite tricky so I didn’t want to push too much. Early on in the race I made a mistake and ran off the track and I dropped back a few places. I rejoined and managed to work my way back up into the top three. I got stuck behind Chaz who was a bit quicker on the straight so I had to make the move in the twisty section. He kept running quite wide in one of the turns and I made my move, but he closed the door and we collided. It was frustrating because I felt pretty comfortable and was taking it quite easy in that position and I even thought that we might have the chance to pulling Tom back in at one point but again it was not meant to be. Still I managed to get sixth place, even with the crash.
In race two I also felt pretty good. I had the same pace as Marco and Eugene who I was racing with. I was losing out at one corner which leads on to the long straight, so I found it quite difficult to pass. When Marco came through I felt as though Eugene was holding me up a little bit. Then going into the end of the back straight Max must have made a mistake and that was it - race over. It was just bad luck. It’s kind of the story so far this season. I had a little bang to my head and have a sore leg, but nothing that will stop me from racing in Germany and I’ll be fit and strong by then.”
Bernhard Gobmeier (BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director):
“It has been a weekend of mixed feelings from day one. We had good lap times in practice, but then some difficulties in qualifying. However, it was important to start from row one and two on the grid. Due to the rain, the track conditions were difficult in race one. Marco rode a very intelligent race: He waited and attacked at the end. Position two was the maximum that was possible. Race two was fantastic as well. Marco first saved his tyres and then gave everything at the end. Unfortunately, Leon had bad luck in both races. In race one, he collided with Chaz Davies, and in race two he was hit by Max Biaggi. That was unnecessary; and otherwise Leon would have been on the podium as well. We are now leading both championships. Now we have to continue to concentrate, work steadily and hard. The season is not over yet and our lead is minimal, and a lot can happen in the remaining six races.”
Parkes fifth as van der Mark withdraws from Moscow
Broc Parkes finished fifth in today’s tenth round World Supersport race at the all-new Moscow Raceway in Russia. The race was won by Kenan Sofuoglu, with Honda rider Jules Cluzel second.
Parkes’s Ten Kate Racing Products Honda team-mate, Michael van der Mark, who was given a wildcard ride for this Russian round, did not take part in the 22-lap race. The young Dutch rider, who competes in the European Superstock 600 championship, crashed during practice yesterday, cracking his left collarbone.
Parkes got a good start to today’s race from fourth place on the grid but during the early laps the 30-year-old Australian realised that his softer front tyre would not have the durability to allow him to battle for the podium.
Broc Parkes – 5th
The start was OK but we just chose the wrong front tyre for the race. It went off a lot quicker than we expected in the warmer conditions today and there was just nothing I could do. The track was still pretty dirty and after a few laps the tyre was gone. It was all I could do to get it to the finish which was a bit upsetting because we missed a podium again today.
Michael van der Mark – DNS
Before the crash yesterday everything was going really well. We were improving in every session and I was feeling really happy about how things were going. The bike felt good, the times were coming, but we just had some bad luck with the crash. I wanted to race here so much but it just wasn’t possible. Things like this happen sometimes but I’m really happy about my debut. I’ll have an operation to fix my shoulder when I get home and try to get fit for Nurburgring so I can continue the fight for the Superstock 600 title.
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
It’s a shame for Michael that his first Supersport adventure ended in a crash which kept him out of the race, but I’m sure he has learned a lot during his wildcard experience. We were hoping for a little bit more than fifth place for Broc but he had some problems with the front tyre. We were just off the pace and we’re a little bit puzzled with what went wrong. However, we’ll look at everything and try again at Nurburgring in two weeks.
REA UNLUCKY AGAIN BUT SHOWS TRUE GRIT
FIM Superbike World Championship rider Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) found misfortune in each 25-lap race at the new venue of Moscow Raceway, falling in race one when a gearchange was missed and then being knocked off near the end of the second race, when another rider highsided right in front of him. Rea had been sixth after a normal three-part dry superpole qualifying, starting from the second row in each race.
The Russian SBK races were won by Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) and Marco Melandri (BMW) respectively, with Melandri now pushing himself to the championship lead after Max Biaggi (Aprilia) failed to finish in race two.
The first superbike contest started with many damp patches on the track surface, and was declared ‘wet’ after earlier rains. A mainly dry racing line was evident on the 3.931Km circuit in Russia from the beginning, however, with most riders opting for slicks front and rear. Rea had gone from sixth on lap one to third on lap 11 before he fell out of contention when he found a false neutral and lost the front.
In race two, held in much brighter and dry conditions, Rea was competing for a podium place with Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) on the last lap when Laverty lost the rear mid-corner, with Jonathan riding right behind. He had no chance of escape and for the second race weekend in succession Jonathan had an unavoidable direct collision with an opponent’s stricken machine. Rea got back onto his damaged CBR1000RR and finished the final lap seventh, despite having no right footpeg assembly.
In the points table Melandri has 308.5 points, Biaggi 290, Sykes 267.5, Carlos Checa (Ducati) 233.5 and Rea is still fifth, on a slightly increased total of 212.5, despite his bad luck in Russia. He now goes to Brno to test Casey Stoner’s Repsol Honda MotoGP machine.
Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) had a great showing in pre-race testing in Russia last Wednesday and carried on that improvement all the way through until the first race dawned with damp patches of tarmac around the circuit. He carried on despite not having an optimum tyre choice and scored two points for 13th place. In race two he got tangled with two other riders and fell on the first lap. Hiroshi had qualified a more than respectable 12th and is now 18th in the overall standings.
The next race is at the iconic Nürburgring in Germany, on September 9.
CLUZEL SECOND IN THE RACE AND THE CHAMPIONSHIP
Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda) went from pole position on the grid to second in the 22-lap FIM Supersport World Championship race at a warm and sunny Moscow Raceway. The French rider formed a leading duo with eventual race winner Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) early in the race, but in the final few laps a lack of front tyre grip forced Cluzel to slow or risk crashing at a very important section of the season, with three individual races now left to run.
Jules finished five seconds down at the flag, with local WSS regular Vladimir Leonov (Yamaha) delivering a third place treat to the 32,500 local fans who had travelled to the well-appointed new Moscow Raceway track some 100kms from the city centre.
Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda) who was third in qualifying, was the leader into turn one and then for the first two laps, but he had made an accidental jump-start and was punished with a ride-through penalty. This dropped him to 30th position when he rejoined on lap four, but he battled through to record a 12th place finish, and score some points.
Sofuoglu extended his championship lead after his third win of 2012, with the Turkish rider now 33 points ahead of Jules and 35 ahead of Sam.
Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda) found the same front tyre grip issues as many other riders on race day as he dropped back from a potential podium according to his form in the early laps to fifth place at the finish, some 32 seconds behind the winner.
Gabor Talmacsi (PRORACE Honda) overcame his front tyre drop-off issues well and finished a season-best eighth, having only joined the class at Misano in round six. He is now 14th overall. Roberto Tamburini (Lorini Honda) was ninth and Mathew Scholtz (Bogdanka PTR Honda) tenth as he continues to gather experience in this tough class of racing. He had been 12th on the grid.
PTR Honda rider Ronan Quarmby moved up and then down the race order in Russia, finishing a disappointed 13th after taking a top four at the previous round in the UK.
A top 18 finish was the reward for Valentin Debise (SMS Racing Honda) in Russia, with Martin Jessopp (Riders PTR Honda) immediately behind and Balazs Nemeth (Racing Team Toth Honda) 20th.
Federico D’Annunzio (Lorini Honda) scored 22nd place, Imre Toth (Racing Team Toth Honda) was 24th and Danilo Marrancone (Kuja Racing Honda) 25th from 28 finishers. With local wildcards in evidence, 34 riders started the Russian round.
HONDA RIDER COMMENTS:
Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team):
Race result: DNF / 7th Championship position: 5th
“Quite a frustrating day really because we had good pace in both races and was vying for the podium. In race one I had a false neutral in turn 16 so with no engine braking and the brake on I lost the front. The barriers at this circuit are so close to the track that my bike was completely broken, so my guys had to build me a new bike for race two from parts from the truck. Luckily the bike felt pretty good, but in race two I got off to a slow-ish start and could see that Sykes was pulling away. I felt I had to get past Laverty. My bike was feeling pretty good but I just lost so much ground in the straight. We should have stood on the podium in race two, but I got involved in another rider’s crash. He highsided in front of me and I had nowhere to go, but hit his bike, but that is part of racing. We can take some positives out of today because my crew worked very calmly and we got a bike today that was capable of winning. We do not have much to show for it, so it was a tough weekend. I am excited now to get the opportunity to ride a GP bike again. I feel very sorry for Casey being injured but to get called up to test one of the best bikes in the world is a dream come true.”
Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team):
Race result: 13th / DNF Championship position: 18th
“I think we had quite a positive week in the run-up to race day. We got into superpole and then we made it to the second session as well. But in the first race on Sunday somehow I did not get any grip in that kind of conditions and I think we chose the wrong tyres. In the afternoon, in the first lap two riders crashed into me so we could not make a result. Bit we had some progress this weekend, which is good. We made some steps.”
Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda):
Race result: 2nd Championship position: 2nd
“For me that was a good race, but I am a little disappointed because at the end I wanted to pass him but he was so strong on the last seven or eight laps, and I was losing the front because my tyre was used up a lot. I enjoyed the race and it was good to follow Kenan and do my best, but if I tried to do any better and stay with him near the end for sure I would have crashed. Because of this I am happy with this result of second and going second in the championship.”
Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda):
Race result: 12th Championship position: 3rd
“They held us for a long time on the line and my clutch started to bite a little bit, but the jump start was 110% my mistake. I knew as soon as I entered the first corner there would be a penalty so I took it as early as possible, dug in and tried to make the best of a bad situation. It was hard to be consistent when coming through a pack because there are not that many places to overtake here. It is a World Championship so you do not just come up on other riders and then pass them. My pace was as good as most riders, but I would have not beaten Kenan today. I may have been able to have a better go if I had been with him. The championship is difficult now but you can look at it two ways. I have had my upset here and now I am just going to dig in. The pressure is off so I am just going to try and win all three races now.”
Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda):
Race result: 5th Championship position: 5th
“The front tyre, from the start, did not feel really good and I don’t know exactly why. Even from half distance the tyre was completely gone so I was just trying to finish. I knew the tyre was gone and I just tried to really keep my position and finish the race. Some other guys had the same problem. Unfortunately we missed the podium, but we got some points so we can go to the next one and see what we can do.”
Gabor Talmacsi (PRORACE Honda):
Race result: 8th Championship position: 14th
“My front tyre was really worn at the end, but we expected this. For the race we took an unknown set-up because we had a few problems yesterday, so we went a bit risky. I am very happy because I took my best finish of the year and it proves we are going in the right way. I have a better feeling now. I had stopped racing for one and a half years so now I am very happy.”
Mathew Scholtz (Bogdanka PTR Honda):
Race result: 10th Championship position: 24th
“My start wasn't very good. I dropped down to 16th place, but then I just slowly made my way up to the tenth place. The race pace I was running, I could've definitely finished a little bit higher up. Hopefully in Germany I can get a better start and finish even higher.”
Ronan Quarmby (PTR Honda):
Race result: 13th Championship position: 7th
“It was a hard race starting from 16th and I finished close to the top 10 and took some points. I'll want a big improvement at the next round and I aim to be back at the sharp end fighting for the podium again as it is our aim to go for top six in the Championship."
Martin Jessopp (Riders PTR Honda):
Race result: 19th Championship position: 38th
“I am happy enough with the end result without being in the points if that makes sense. I was boxed in at the first corner, but once I settled in I really tried to ride my bike like a 600. I was doing my best to let go of the brakes and ride it how Sam and the other boys do. I started doing it at the end of race and was going past and catching the guys in front. The result doesn't represent how hard I worked to adapt my style to the 600. It was a good second half to the race and I need to work on the first half now.”