Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after Sunday's races at Portimao:
Rea maintains remarkable Portimao podium run
Pata Honda rider Jonathan Rea took his seventh career podium finish at Portimao in Portugal today by taking third place in race two of the sixth-round World Superbike championship event.
The first 22-lap race was won by Marco Melandri after 26-year-old Rea retired on lap nine with a technical problem. On the same lap, his Pata Honda team-mate, Leon Haslam, also retired – a result of the injury he sustained in a practice crash at Assen in The Netherlands at the end of April.
Starting from 14th place on the grid, Haslam had battled up to tenth before pulling into the pits in discomfort, unable to ride his Honda CBR1000RR in the way he wanted. The 30-year-old opted to withdraw from race two to concentrate on improving his fitness for the next round at Imola in Italy in three weeks.
Starting from the front row of the grid, Rea got a superb start to race two and, from second place, closely tracked eventual race winner, Eugene Laverty, until half race distance when his rear tyre performance began to fall off.
Rea was passed by Sylvain Guintoli but held on to take third place, his seventh podium finish at the 4.592km Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, to maintain his record of at least one podium finish every year since his full World Superbike debut in 2009.
Jonathan Rea – DNF and 3rd
It’s been a frustrating weekend, yet again, but we have a podium to take away from it and I’m quite happy to get back into the podium way. I set a really good pace in the first part of race two and the bike felt really good but, as soon as the grip dropped, the electronics were playing havoc. I can’t turn the traction control up because I slow down even more and, if I turn it off, the bike becomes unrideable. We’re just waiting for some more input, but it hasn’t come yet, which is frustrating. Race one was also disappointing because we’re just having too many mechanical problems this year. It was frustrating to go through that when I was fighting in the top five and two good circuits for us have now been and gone and we haven’t been able to capitalise. Imola is another strong circuit for us, so hopefully we can be back up here again. I want to thank Chris [Pike – crew chief] and everyone who keeps digging deep and working hard, and all the fans for their support, which means a lot at the moment when we’re finding it tough.
Leon Haslam – DNF and DNS
A tough weekend, really, when I’ve been struggling with power in the leg. The knee bend was pretty good, but I just struggled in race one with fatigue in the rest of my body. I couldn’t use my leg properly, so the manhandling of the bike that’s needed round here was done pretty much using my upper body. You don’t realise how much you use your legs on the bike until you can’t use one of them! It’s a little frustrating, but I got eight or nine laps in before I was completely done, and I managed to pass a few people, like Leon Camier, who finished fourth. We’ve made progress from Donington and we have another three weeks until Imola. We’ve also been keeping up to speed on the electronics, which will be useful in the races to come. We haven’t made many chassis changes because a lot of the problems are from me not being able to push through the pegs. I just need to get a bit more strength back in the leg.
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
Leon went out in race one and was immediately quite aggressive, getting up into the top ten. Eventually he dropped positions again and finally had to come in. He’s not in a good condition yet and needs to recover some more but I’m quite sure that in Imola we can have another go at it. Jonathan was in fifth position when he had another mechanical problem and this is not good. I can only apologise again for the problem he had with the bike because this is not how things should be. Luckily in race two he was able to get a podium after fighting for the lead and then for second place. That gives us something positive to finish the weekend, but we still need to understand the problems we’ve had lately, and work on them. We can look forward to Imola but, for sure, we have work to do.
APRILIA – BRILLIANT DOUBLE WIN
AT PORTIMÃO LAVERTY WINS RACE 2 AHEAD OF TEAM MATE GUINTOLI.
SYLVAIN GUINTOLI STRENGTHENS HIS LEADERSHIP IN THE RIDER CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS.
-APRILIA DOMINATES THE MANUFACTURER CHAMPIONSHIP
Portimão, 9 June 2013 - An absolutely brilliant weekend for Aprilia as they take a fantastic double win on the Portuguese Portimão track: in Race 2 Laverty won ahead of his team mate Guintoli, who strengthens his hold on the championship leadership, thanks in part to the second place he took in race 1. With this victory Laverty clinches third place in a world championship that is quickly becoming an Aprilia branded event. Only hard luck kept the spoils from being even richer. In fact, in Race 1 Laverty was held up by a technical problem while leading a race at a pace impossible for his rivals to match.
In a Race 1 full of surprises, Eugene Laverty took the lead in the sixth lap, widening the gap in front of the pack. Only a technical problem stopped his progress in the eleventh lap. The rest of the race was centred on Sylvain Guintoli's great comeback, skilfully looking after his tyres during the first laps, keeping a consistent pace after the halfway point of the race until reaching the lead. A long battle with Melandri ended only under the chequered flag, with Sylvain overtaken by the rider from Ravenna by only 7 thousandths of a second.
The script for Race 2 had Eugene Laverty running away from the first lap, highly motivated to redeem himself and supported well by his RSV4. His pace soon overcame Rea's tenaciousness, while Sykes, hindered by repeated technical problems which had begun during the warm-up lap, was forced to withdraw. Another clever race by Guintoli, careful and focused on race distance, so much that he overtook Melandri first and then Rea with surgical passes. The pair of official RSV4s crossed the finished line alone, with Laverty ahead of Guintoli.
After this weekend the rider standings have Guintoli widening the gap up front, with 28 points over Sykes and 39 ahead of team mate Laverty. Aprilia continues to dominate the Manufacturer standings with a 42 point advantage in front of BMW, 44 ahead of Kawasaki, 141 over Honda, 149 above Suzuki and 171 in front of Ducati.
Eugene Laverty: “Race 1 seems to be cursed for us this year, especially on tracks like this one and Aragon where I had the right pace to take a double win. In any case I'm not one to complain. The important thing is to always start off with sights set high and to strike back when hard luck strikes. I was really trying hard for this win and I'm pleased to have been able to do it dominating from the first to last lap. I'm in the running for the Championship even with a few too many races with no points, but we are growing race by race and I'm confident about the upcoming rounds.”
Sylvain Guintoli: “In Race 1 I started off cautiously, trying to look after the tyres. This strategy helped me fight down to the last thousandths. It was a shame to have victory slip through my fingers, but I'm pleased with the way I managed the race. I had a few indecisions at the beginning of Race 1 but I quickly found my pace to finish the race well. After overtaking Rea I pushed to widen the gap, even risking a bit in the last turn, but unfortunately everything went well and we are leaving Portimão with some important spoils for the championship.”
A positive result for Team SBK Ducati Alstare and Carlos Checa in race 2 today at Portimao
Portimao (Portugal), Sunday 9 June 2013: the sixth round of the 2013 World Superbike championship brought a solid result for Team SBK Ducati Alstare and rider Carlos Checa today at the Portimao circuit, with the Spanish rider closing race two in sixth position.
Race 1 – race one began under cloudy skies (air 18˚C, track 27˚C). Carlos, starting from seventh on the grid, immediately gained a position to place himself in the chasing group together with Baz and Camier. He was able to maintain a strong pace during the initial stages, lapping with similar times to the leaders. At the mid-race point Checa was lying seventh, a position that he held until three laps from the end when a drop in the level of grip caused him to lose a couple of positions. The Spaniard thus crossed the line in ninth position. Ayrton, tenth on the grid, unfortunately lost a few positions in the first laps but then climbed back up to tenth position towards mid-race. Having maintained this position for the entire second half of the race, the Italian rider was unfortunately forced to retire during the penultimate lap due to a technical problem regarding the fuel line.
Race 2 – conditions were similar for the second race. Carlos made another strong start, positioning himself sixth through the first turns. Lapping with a much faster pace than in race one, the Ducati Alstare rider was able to hold fifth position from mid-race right up until the penultimate lap when Davies, at an advantage as far as top speed is concerned, was able to sneak past along the straightway. Carlos crossed the line in final sixth position, a demonstration of improvement both in terms of his physical condition and regarding the chassis. Ayrton also got away well, fighting with Cluzel through the first laps and lying tenth by mid-race. In the final stages he was able to make up another two places to close the race in eighth position.
Carlos Checa: “In race 1 I was able to keep pace with those ahead of me for the first six or seven laps. From mid-race on I started to gradually lose some grip and that, combined with a tired left shoulder in the final stages, unfortunately prevented me from maintaining seventh position to the line. We made small changes before race 2 and as a result the bike was much easier to ride, especially when it came to changing direction. It was the first time I was able to maintain a good pace for the entire race and I’m very happy with the result. I want to thank my entire team that has worked so hard every weekend up until now, I appreciate all that they are doing – this sixth position motivates us to continue to improve in the next races.”
Ayrton Badovini: “The DNF in race one was pretty frustrating of course. In race 2 we used the bike in a different configuration but I had more trouble with rear grip. Now we need to start working in preparation for Imola where I hope to be able to score better results. My compliments go to Carlos who completed a very strong second race today.”
Francis Batta, Team Manager: “Today was a positive day; the result in race 2 shows us that Carlos’ physical condition has improved thanks to the physiotherapy treatment he has been receiving both in Barcelona and at the Clinica Mobile. The bike is also responding well to recent developments and we’ll continue to work tirelessly towards the podium.”
BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team - WSBK - Portimao - Races
BMW Motorrad added another circuit to the list of tracks it was victorious at in the FIM Superbike World Championship. The BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team and factory rider, Marco Melandri (ITA), celebrated victory in the first of today´s races at Portimão (POR). It was Marco´s second and the team´s fourth victory of the season. In race two, Marco struggled with rear tyre wear issues and finished 12th. His team-mate Chaz Davies (GBR) finished a difficult first race in sixth place. For race two, he and his crew improved the set-up of the BMW S 1000 RR which meant Chaz felt more comfortable and finished fifth. After six rounds of the 2013 season, Marco is fourth in the riders championship with 156 points, directly followed by Chaz who is fifth with 133 points. In the Manufacturers´ classification, BMW climbed back up to second place with 211 points.
Race one was an exciting thriller. After starting from fourth place on the grid, Marco improved to second soon after the start, right behind leader Tom Sykes (GBR). He dropped back to third place on lap three when Eugene Laverty (IRL) overtook him. Halfway through the race, Laverty was forced to retire, and almost simultaneously, Marco took the lead from Sykes. Over the next few laps, Sykes was pushing from the back and the gap to Sylvain Guintoli (FRA) in third declined. Entering lap 17, Sykes passed Marco with a close manoeuvre and the Italian BMW factory rider had to take evasive action and leave the track to avoid a collision. As a consequence, he dropped back to third but began to catch up straight away. On lap 19 of 22, Marco overtook Sykes and Guintoli to take the lead, however the Frenchman fought back successfully. Entering the final lap, Marco retook the lead. It was hard work for Marco to defend it, but in the end he crossed the finish line with an advantage of 0.007 seconds in front of Guintoli - the fourth closest finish ever in the history of the Superbike World Championship. Chaz, who started from 12th place, lost two positions at the start and had to fight battles in the middle field during the beginning stages of the race. Over the course of the race he gained positions as his race pace was close to the leaders, but he was too far back to fight for the podium and he finished in sixth place.
In race two, Marco experienced excessive wear on his rear tyre from the very beginning. During the early laps he was able to hold third position, but from the eighth lap onwards he started to drop back. Without the correct level of grip, he was unable to fight back against his competitors and lost positions and after 22 tough laps he finished 12th. Meanwhile Chaz was feeling a lot better on his RR in comparison to race one. He made a good start and improved from 12th to eighth soon after the start of the race. He overtook Davide Giugliano (ITA) on lap three to take seventh place and then fought a long battle with Giugliano and Carlos Checa (ESP). On lap 12, he improved to sixth place by passing the struggling Marco, and on the penultimate lap Chaz overtook Checa to secure fifth place before the chequered flag.
In the fourth race of the 2013 FIM Superstock 1000 Cup, Sylvain Barrier (FRA) from the BMW Motorrad GoldBet STK Team celebrated his second win of the season and retook the lead in the Rider´s classification. After his heavy crash in yesterday´s qualifying session, the team worked all night to repair the BMW HP4 and their hard work was well rewarded. Today, Sylvain once more proved the potential of the new bike by dominating most of the race. His team-mate Greg Gildenhuys (RSA) defied the pain caused by his fractured left heel and collected important points finishing 12th.
Result Race 1: 1st / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:43.440 min (lap 4)
Result Race 2: 12th / Gap to 1st: 0:45.429 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:43.134 min (lap 2)
“To win in race one was not easy because at the beginning I was struggling a lot with the traction but after ten lap this improved and it was easier for me so I got closer to the front again. When I was leading, it was very difficult, because it was very windy so it was hard to stay in front. When Tom passed me, he closed the line. Maybe he thought he was in front of me but he just pushed me out of the track. When I came back, I did not have any plan so I just pushed as much as I could. I tried to overtake Tom very quickly because Sylvain was very fast and tried to pull away. When I caught Guintoli I took the opportunity to pass him. The last lap is very difficult to explain, it was just very close and I pushed as much as I could. I am so happy and thank you to everyone at BMW. In race two, I could certainly have been on the podium but instead the rear tyre began to vibrate from lap two onwards. From lap three I started losing grip and then the tyre deteriorated. As a consequence the whole bike started to vibrate and it was difficult to ride. I did the best I could do in that situation. Now I am looking forward to Imola.”
Result Race 1: 6th / Gap to 1st: 0:16.610 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:44.253 min (lap 2)
Result Race 2: 5th / Gap to 1st: 0:17.552 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:43.645 min (lap 2)
“Race one was kind of frustrating. My start was not particularly good and for the first few laps I was in the wrong company and I lost a lot of time. It did not ruin my race but it did not allow me to finish in a position that we were capable of. In the middle of the race, my pace was not too far off the guys in front so it would have been nice to have gone away with them. In the closing stages, we had a drop of performance as we started to lack a little bit of grip, also in the front where we were using the harder front tyre for stability purposes. For race two, we took a couple of gambles as honestly we did not have a lot to lose. We changed the front and the rear tyre and also changed the suspension a little bit. And in fact race two was much better than the first. I was much happier with the bike even if I did not quite have the grip that I wanted, especially on the first two laps. But then I found some grip from lap three onwards. Again, we have learnt something a little bit too late which is frustrating but in general we showed a better performance in race two, even if it not was good enough. So I would say that I am `semi-happy´.”
Andrea Buzzoni (General Manager BMW Motorrad WSBK):
“The day started very well with the victory in the Superstock class and it bettered itself thanks to the fantastic performance of Marco in race one, where he won by a fraction. In race two, due to a problem with the rear tyre, Marco couldn't finish better than 12th place but still gained four points. We are quite disappointed with this result because Marco was able to be on the podium but the circumstances did not allow him to do his best. Chaz had a tough Saturday with the crash, which had some physical consequences. Nevertheless he had two great races: he was sixth in race one and fifth in race two, very good results given the position he started from. In the Superstock class, Sylvain took the lead in the riders´ ranking with today´s victory while Greg, despite his fractured foot, gave his best and gained his first points”
Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“Today was a day of mixed emotions for us. For BMW it was nice to win two of three races. Firstly, the Superstock team was successful with Sylvain and then we won the first of the Superbike races with Marco. The job done by all the guys after Donington has paid off as we improved the bike and we were able to give Marco a more competitive package that he used in the best possible way. We must congratulate him for what he has done. It was a good decision to test after Donington. Even if we have seen during the races that we are still missing some stability and that we need to further improve for the future, overall I must say that at least with Marco the package was quite competitive. Chaz had to pay the price for his grid position. In race one, he lost time when he had to overtake other riders. In race two, he was more confident from the beginning and he was able to catch up the guys in front of him. Fifth place is a good result when starting from 12th on the grid. Also with him we have to work on the machine. We have to improve his feeling with the RR and to make sure that in Imola he will be able to show his potential. Race two for Marco we would prefer to forget. We experienced unexpected severe wear on the rear tyre and now we have to analyse the hardware and the data in order to understand the reason of these not common issues.”
CAMIER GETS FIXI CRESCENT SUZUKI’S BEST RESULT
Team Suzuki Press Office - June 9.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki's Leon Camier fought his way to fourth place during today's first race at the eni FIM Superbike World Championship event at Portimao in Portugal; his and the team's best result of the year so far.
Starting from 12th on the grid, Camier was down in 15th place at the end of the first circulation after an incident with another rider forced him off the track. He began his fight up the field and passed many riders as he moved into the top 10 on lap five with a double overtaking manoeuvre on the brakes at the end of the start/ finish straight. Camier continued his progression through the pack and after Jonathan Rea and race-leader Eugene Laverty were both forced to retire with bike problems, Camier moved up to fourth place by the end of lap 11. He held this position for the remainder of the race and recorded consistent times that saw him finish only just over nine-seconds behind eventual race winner Marco Melandri. Camier's result was his and FIXI Crescent Suzuki's best result of the season so far and shows the race potential of the Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R. Unfortunately for Camier, he didn't fare as well in race two when a simple mechanical issue on lap 12 caused the Englishman to retire from the race as he was making progress through the field and was closing on the fight for sixth place.
Jules Cluzel had two very impressive performances today as he brought his FIXI Crescent Suzuki home comfortably inside the top-10 in both races. Starting from the middle of the third row, Cluzel was ninth at the end of lap one in the first race and struggled to find a rhythm early on as he was relegated to 12th, but the Frenchman re-grouped and made his way back up to ninth on lap 11; a position he held until the 20th lap when he passed Carlos Checa to move into eighth and hold that place until the chequered flag. In race two Cluzel's team made some setting changes to help the rider and his performance and lap-times improved as he held a consistent pace throughout. He gave chase to race-one winner Melandri and passed the Italian on lap 14 to move up to seventh, after which the FIXI Crescent Suzuki man was under pressure from Davide Giugliano, but Cluzel managed to put some space between him and the Aprilia and brought his machine home in a creditable and impressive seventh.
Both of today's races were held in cloudy conditions with track temperatures reaching a high of 27°C during the first race. Melandri took victory in race one by one of the smallest margins in Superbike history as he led Championship leader Sylvain Guintoli over the line by just 0.007 seconds. Race two saw Laverty make amends for his race one retirement by racing to the win ahead of his team-mate Guintoli.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki will now head back to the UK before it prepares to travel to the next round of the series, which is scheduled for Imola in Italy on Sunday June 30th.
"I got an ok start in the first race and made a bit of progress, but as I went past Haslam on the inside - and was well past him! - he let the brake off in the turn and punted into me. I lost some time and dropped back some places and had the job of trying to catch-up and get through the field, so from 15th to fourth is a pretty-good result. The bike felt good, I felt like I could pass really well; and the speed of the FIXI Crescent Suzuki has definitely improved. This showed on the straight because I could exit on the last turn and keep the momentum going so I could pass at the end of the straight, which I haven't been able to do before, so I was really happy about that. At the start of the second race I had a problem with the electronics and the bike didn't pull away as it should. I made a few places up, but didn't feel quite as strong as I did in the first race, but I kept pushing and I was getting in a good rhythm when a problem with the bike didn't allow me to continue. I was hoping that I could have made up some more places, because I could see the group in front coming back to me, so I think that fourth or fifth was achievable, but we will never know now!"
"I'm pleased to have finished both races inside the top-10. The first one was really hard and in the early part of the race I had very little feeling from the rear tyre and I nearly high-sided a few times in the first two laps. After this I tried to come back step-by-step and at the end my pace was not so bad and I finished eighth. In the second race we tried to improve the setting and I think we found something because the first 10-laps - when I was behind Leon - I was able to follow him and my pace was better than the first race. I think I was faster in every lap and that was a good step forward. I would still like more grip on the rear and I need to do more laps on a used tyre to learn more about how it works at the end of the race. It's been a good weekend and we have made some steps; now we will go to Italy and carry on working there to go further forward."
Paul Denning - Team Manager:
"We've made some positive steps forward this weekend and Leon's performance in the first race; coming from 15th at the end of the first lap to fourth at the end - and not losing any time at all to the leaders over the last 12 laps of the race - is a very encouraging sign for the future. A very simple gear-linkage failure in race two was disappointing for everybody involved and robbed us of what looked like a top-six place.
"Portimao has been a challenging circuit for Jules in his first ride on the GSX-R here, but he rode two solid races, particularly in the second race when we tried a setting which will hopefully give us a more solid base to work from for the next rounds.
"The bike and Leon were strong last year in Imola and we will be going there with high hopes to turn the improved potential from this weekend into better race results."
Van der Mark impresses in Portugal
Michael van der Mark finished fourth in today’s sixth round World Supersport championship race at the 4.592km Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal, getting his season back on track following two difficult races.
Starting from sixth place on the grid, the 20-year-old Dutch World Supersport rookie consolidated his starting position in the early laps but, with consistent lap times, he began to reduce the gap to the eventual winner, Sam Lowes and rivals Fabien Foret and Kenan Sofuoglu.
Just four weeks after breaking his foot at Monza in Italy, van der Mark caught the leading trio in the closing stages of the 20-lap race, at one point holding second place, before eventually having to settle for fourth, just half a second off the podium.
His Pata Honda team-mate, Lorenzo Zanetti, started from 24th place on the grid following a big crash during qualifying yesterday afternoon. The 26-year-old Italian battled hard, taking ten places to finish in 14th position, but left Portugal frustrated that he could not maintain the form showed in the previous two races.
Michael van der Mark – 4th
I think we have to be really happy with this result today. The start wasn’t that great and I lost a few places early on. I finally passed some guys and managed to settle into a really consistent pace. I couldn’t go any faster so just tried to do the same lap times all through the race. I could see the group in front and I knew that at some point they would start to fight for first position. I was hoping that, when that started, they would lose some time and they did. I kept doing the same lap times and made it up to the group. I passed them a few times but one time I went a little bit wide and Kenan [Sofuoglu] missed a gear and the others passed me again. I kept pushing but in the last lap I lost the front a bit, but after two disappointments at Monza and Donington, we are really happy with this weekend.
Lorenzo Zanetti – 14th
It was not a good weekend for me. I didn’t have a good feeling all the weekend and then the big crash in qualifying meant that I had to start from a long way back on the grid. I passed a few people but I couldn’t make the gap to the next group and could not really find a rhythm. I am disappointed with the result, of course, but Imola is one of my favourite circuits so I look forward to starting again there.
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
Lorenzo has had quite a difficult weekend. In the race he went from 24th to 14th, which was good, but he still didn’t have the pace to go with the front runners. For him it’s a weekend to forget, but I’m sure he will be back on form in Imola. Michael had a really good race with a very steady, consistent pace. Eventually he caught the front runners and he was even second at one time. He had a good battle and finished fourth but, coming from that far behind and closing that gap to the front, it feels like a podium. He did a really good job, which shows once again the potential that he has, so congratulations to him and his crew.
Kennedy Equals Best Ever Result In Portimao
Jack Kennedy put on a brave but determined display in the 6th round of the World Supersport championship at Portimao this afternoon.
Starting from 7th, the Rivamoto Honda rider made an impressive start and was soon up to 5th closing in on the podium battlers.
He eased his way up to 4th on lap three and then settled into a rhythm which enabled him to pull a small gap over the chasing group.
At the half way point, the top six had moved a couple of seconds clear and Jack became embroiled in a fight with Michael Van Der Mark and Sheridan Morais.
In some discomfort from his knee injury, Jack was unable to keep up the frantic pace at the front but rode remarkably under the circumstance to bring his CRB600cc home in 6th, equalling his career best result from Donington.
The result moves Jack up the overall world championship standings into an impressive 8th position overall in his debut World championship season.
Rivamoto’s other rider Edik Blokhin also had a good race finishing 26th.
Jack Kennedy – 6th position: “I got a good start and was up where we needed to be in the front group. When Van Der Mark and Morais came past I pushed to go with them. I held on for a few laps until I made a small mistake. Once I knew they had gone, I pretty much controlled the race by reading my pitboard. I knew there was a group behind but I really wanted 6th. I was lacking a bit of confidence and my knee was pretty sore but it’s been a great weekend. The Rivamoto Honda has worked well once again and the team have been fantastic.”
Jeremy McWilliams – Team Manager: “We are all stoked. Jack has once again delivered a great result and this time carrying an injury. I’m more excited though with how close we are getting to the front. Less than 10 seconds from the win at one of the toughest circuits that we go to gives us something to celebrate. The whole Rivamoto team have been brilliant, and to have two riders finishing is another good day.”
Nemeth Fails To Finish In Portimao
Balazs Nemeth failed to finish the 6th round of the World Supersport race in Portimao today despite showing some early race promise.
The Complus SMS Honda rider was classified as finishing 3 laps down and will now look forward to the next race in Imola, a track which should suit his smooth riding style.
Despite today’s disappointing result the team can take some heart that they are working well together which bodes well for the rest of the year.
Season best for Sheridan in Portimao
PTR HONDA'S Sheridan Morais continues to improve his results race by race, taking a season best fifth at Parkalgar in Portugal during the sixth round of the World Supersport Championship.
Qualifying third, Sheridan finished less than 10-seconds behind the winner after 20 hard laps, showing he is close to podium and race challenging pace.
Sheridan said: "I tried hard today and while fifth is not what we wanted, it is a step in the right direction and we can get our heads down and keep improving. For some reason we seemed to struggle for rear traction in the race, which we hadn't done in qualifying and warm up. We have proved we can challenge at the front and the results will come as we continue to work hard as a team."
Luca Marconi outperformed his qualifying position to take a point with 15th. He led home his PTR teammates David Linortner and Matt Davies in 16th and 17th respectively. Nacho Calero in 19th scored a decent result.
The next round of the Championship is on Sunday 30th June, at Imola in Italy.
Simon Buckmaster PTR Honda Team Manager: "A season best fifth for Sheridan is going in the right direction. We always look to find more from the bike at all times. We need to work hard and so does Sheridan.
"We have tried hard with Luca all weekend and he is back in the points. His next race is at home and we want him back in the top 10.
"David made a mistake and just dropped out of the points to finish 16th. Matt got a decent start, made some mistakes in the opening laps and fought back. It equals his best result and he continues to improve. A points scoring finish is just round the corner for him.
"Nacho got the top 20 result we predicted and now we will work with him to make that a consistent result. With all PTR racers now showing promise and growing with experience, the team is looking forward to getting back on track at Imola and making more improvements."
Portimao: top 10 for Iddon, Rolfo retired
Portimao, 9th June 2013
Dificult race at the “Autodromo International de Algarve” for the MV F3 675 of the ParkinGO MV Agusta Corse team, ridden by Roberto Rolfo and Christian Iddon, both starting respectively from 13th and 16th position on the grid.
After two great starts the race has finished differently for both riders. Roberto Rolfo out of the race 4 laps to the end due to a technical problem, Christian Iddon 10th , pushing hard till the end his MV F3 675 and doing a great comeback as promised.
I have done a good start but on the fourth lap I have done a mistake missing the chance to climb to 6th position and losing my concentration. I have taken longer than expected to ride with a good pace again and the faster guys were already gone. Apart from that, I am happy with the bike and the race I have done.
Top ten result is not bad at all if we think that every weekend is a new start for us, with little information on our hands. The fact that we have a good pace in the race is good in one side but it’s a pity in the other. If we had better positions in the grid we would be really strong. I am very confident for Imola. Every race for us is a big step ahead.
I have retired four laps to the end but I had problems already before.
Everybody has started to pass me and I could feel I was slow. At the end it seems it has been a technical problem but we will know more when the mechanics have analyzed better the engine.
It’s really a pity because even though I had this problem, I was in tenth position and I had the speed.
Till that moment the race has been constant. I have done a good start, and I managed to be for a bit with the top group. Afterwards, to tell you the truth, I have lost rhythm and lost slowly the group up until I had the problem that made me retire from the race.
Final balance: we have lost points but the information and the feeling with the bike have taken another step forward. At Imola we will be more competitive.
Davies Races Hard In Portimao
After a career best 17th on the grid yesterday, Australian youngster Matt Davies was as equally fast in today’s 6th round of the World Supersport championship in Portimao, Portugal, missing out on 15th position and his first championship point by just over 10 seconds at the flag.
Matt, who is the youngest ever full time rider in the championship, rode his PTR into a fantastic 17th position after a 20 lap battle saw him get the better of many more experienced rivals including Vladimir Ivanov who he overtook on the final lap.
He was perhaps too steady in the opening laps after not making the best start, but as we have come to expect, Matt is a racer and he proved that today.
Today’s result is not only a great result for Matt, but also for his experienced PTR crew who have been working solidly throughout the season.
The hard work will continue and at the end of the month, Matt will look to claim his first points of the season at the iconic Imola circuit in Italy.
Gyorfi Taken Out In Portimao On Opening Lap
The 4th round of the FIM Stock 1000cc lasted less than a lap for H-Moto BMW rider Alen Gyorfi.
The Hungarian who had qualified in 19th at the Portimao circuit was optimistic of a good showing after making some changes in the morning warm up.
Unfortunately for Alen, he was mid pack going into turn 5 and was collected by a stricken Christoffer Bergman who was the first to fall.
Despite the non finish, the H-Moto BMW team are pleased with the progress that they have made this weekend and look forward to a strong result in round 5 at Imola, Italy in a fortnight.
Melandri and Laverty share the wins, Guintoli extends his lead
Portimao (Portugal), Sunday 9 June 2013 – Round 6 race day at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve was a mix of great performances and big disappointments for some of the protagonists of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship. Today's winners Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) and Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) experienced some tough luck when not on top: the Irishman was leading Race 1 before a technical problem ruled him out of contention, while Melandri had to face an excessive rear tyre wear to eventually end up 12th in the second race.
Tom Sykes wasted an opportunity for a repeat podium finish by crashing out of Turn 2 during the sighting lap of the last race. The Englishman showed he had what it takes to fight for the win later on, as he set the new lap record despite being way out of the battle for points. With a second and a third place in the two races Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) boosts his points tally to 213 to increase the gap in the points to 28 over Sykes and 39 on Laverty.
Even though a slight improvement between the two races – still not matching early expectations - as per the application of FIM Regulations art. 188.8.131.52.3 Ducati will see the removal of the air restrictors on their 1199 Panigale R, starting from the next round at Imola (June 28-30).
Marco Melandri won Race 1 following a close battle in the closing stages with Sylvain Guintoli, that ended up with just a 0.007 gap between the two at the finish line – 4th smallest margin for victory ever in a WSBK race. A perfect exit out of the last corner was just not enough for the Championship leader to snatch victory over the Italian.
The works Aprilia team's race outcome was well saved by the Frenchman, following team Eugene Laverty unfortunate retire on lap 12, consequence of a technical problem he sustained while he was on the lead. Tom Sykes - the only first row starter to finish the race - completed the podium with a solid 3rd place, after losing some ground from the top in the final part. Best result so far in the season for Leon Camier and the FIXI Crescent Suzuki Team, as the tall British rider finished 4th ahead of a sore Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) and Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma Aprilia).
Camier's team mate Jules Cluzel got the better of Carlos Checa (Team Ducati Alstare) on the last lap, finishing 8th. Pata Honda Team's unfortunate first race of the day saw Jonathan Rea retiring due to a technical problem and Leon Haslam pulling in after losing the feeling in both arms, as the 30 year old from Derby was trying to compensate the lack of strength in his injured left leg.
Race 1 results: 1. Melandri (BMW) 22 Laps/101.024 km in 38'12.447 average 158.645 kph; 2. Guintoli (Aprilia) 0.007; 3. Sykes (Kawasaki) 4.224; 4. Camier (Suzuki) 9.479; 5. Baz (Kawasaki) 12.057; 6. Davies (BMW) 16.610; 7. Fabrizio (Aprilia) 21.350; 8. Cluzel (Suzuki) 22.337; 9. Checa (Ducati) 23.662; 10. Sandi (Kawasaki) 1'26.995; 11. Iannuzzo (BMW) 1'27.119; 12. Clementi (BMW) 1'29.096; 13. Neukirchner (Ducati) 3 Laps; RT. Badovini (Ducati); RT. Laverty (Aprilia); RT. Haslam (Honda); RT. Rea (Honda); RT. Lundh (Kawasaki); RT. Giugliano (Aprilia).
Eugene Laverty is the winner of Race 2 at Portimao. The Irishman, back on the podium after the Italian round at Monza, managed to score his 4th victory of the season: of the seven wins achieved so far in his WSBK career, six of them came in the second race of the day.
Eugene Laverty: “Race 1 seems to be cursed for us this year, especially on tracks like this one and Aragon where I had the right pace to take a double win. In any case I'm not one to complain. I was really trying hard for this win and I'm pleased to have been able to do it dominating from the first to last lap. I'm still in the title chase even with a few too many DNFs, but we are growing race by race and I'm confident about the upcoming rounds.”
The only rider able to keep up with the winner, at least in the first half of the race, was Jonathan Rea. The Ulsterman was edged out of 2nd place in the closing stages by Sylvain Guintoli, who completed the third one-two for the official Aprilia team in 2013 - after the total domination of Round 1 at Phillip Island.
Tom Sykes, following a very early crash during the sighting lap at Turn 2, managed after several attempts, to make his way back to the pits, from where he started the race. Towards the end of Lap 1 the Englishman had to pull in again but, after returning to the track for the third time, with no chances left for a top-15 finish, Sykes showed an incredible pace and even set the new lap record in 1'42.475.
Tom Sykes: “I expected the first race to be just as close as it was but I was struggling a little bit with race performance. Portimao is not one of my strongest circuits and still we could fight for the win. In race two the fall was my fault because in turn one on my out lap I ran over the kerbstone on the inside. We had made improvements on the bike for race two and we proved that was the case because we went on to break the lap record. I feel I have let a few people down but I do not want to be too hard on myself as it is the first mistake I have made for a long time.”
The works Kawasaki team had something to cheer anyway, as Loris Baz finished fourth ahead of Chaz Davies, a tenacious Carlos Checa and Jules Cluzel. An excessive rear-tyre wear forced Marco Melandri to ride defensively to a 12th place at the flag. The issue that hampered the performance of the Italian rider is currently being analysed by Pirelli. A technical problem is the reason behind the withdrawal from Race 2 by Leon Camier on the twelfth lap.
Race 2 results: 1. Laverty (Aprilia) 22 Laps/101.024 km in 38'02.051 average 159.368 kph; 2. Guintoli (Aprilia) 4.107; 3. Rea (Honda) 5.853; 4. Baz (Kawasaki) 15.306; 5. Davies (BMW) 17.552; 6. Checa (Ducati) 18.366; 7. Cluzel (Suzuki) 29.392; 8. Badovini (Ducati) 38.359; 9. Giugliano (Aprilia) 39.321; 10. Fabrizio (Aprilia) 44.603; 11. Neukirchner (Ducati) 45.339; 12. Melandri (BMW) 45.429; 13. Sandi (Kawasaki) 1'16.310; 14. Lundh (Kawasaki) 1'16.375; 15. Iannuzzo (BMW) 1'18.303; 16. Clementi (BMW) 1'24.259; NC. Sykes (Kawasaki); RT. Camier (Suzuki).
Standings - provisional (round 6 of 15)*: 1. Guintoli 213; 2. Sykes 185; 3. Laverty 174; 4. Melandri 156; 5. Davies 133; 6. Baz 119; 7. Rea 105; 8. Fabrizio 101; 9. Giugliano 79; 10. Cluzel 72; 11. Camier 62; 12. Neukirchner 53; 13. Checa 50; 14. Badovini 45; 15. Haslam 29; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Aprilia 253; 2. BMW 211; 3. Kawasaki 209; 4. Honda 112; 5. Suzuki 104; 6. Ducati 82.
* Possible updated results could be defined by the International Disciplinary Court which is dealing with the appeal lodged by Aprilia Racing Team and rider Sylvain Guintoli, following the decision taken by the FIM Stewards in Monza (Italian Round, last 12 May) to cancel the drop of position sanction (from third to fourth place in race 2) imposed by the Race Direction on rider Tom Sykes.
World Supersport – Sam Lowes winner of an exciting race
A thrilling and spectacular 4-way finale was the highest point of an incredible race, won by Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha) over Mahi Racing Team India duo of Fabien Foret and Kenan Sofuoglu. Thanks to his fourth consecutive win of the season, the Brit extends his Championship lead to 39 points on the defending WSS Champion. Rookie and potential podium finisher Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport) ended up in fourth place.
All four riders waited for the closing stages to give everything they had, but Lowes' last move at Turn 11 on Foret proved to be a successful one as the pole-sitter managed to stay on the lead up to the chequered flag, while the Frenchman and Sofuoglu kept contesting the remaining podium positions.
Van der Mark had his shot at the front in the closing stages, but once being passed back by the hungry trio he had to settle for an encouraging 4th, especially considering his fitness condition. Sheridan Morais (PTR Honda) and Jack Kennedy (Rivamoto Honda) mixed up front in the early part, eventually finishing 5th and 6th respectively despite a big gap from the front runners.
Race results: 1. Lowes (Yamaha) 20 Laps/91.840 km in 35'32.882 average 155.013 kph; 2. Foret (Kawasaki) 0.380; 3. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 0.502; 4. Vd Mark (Honda) 1.322; 5. Morais (Honda) 9.537; 6. Kennedy (Honda) 11.772; 7. Antonelli (Kawasaki) 13.535; 8. Scassa (Kawasaki) 13.953; 9. De Rosa (Honda) 14.728; 10. Iddon (MV Agusta) 18.756; 11. Leonov (Yamaha) 18.909; 12. Roccoli (Yamaha) 32.012; 13. Baldolini (Suzuki) 32.039; 14. Zanetti (Honda) 32.118; 15. Marconi (Honda) 33.152; etc.
Standings (round 6 of 14): 1. Lowes 120; 2. Sofuoglu 81; 3. Foret 81; 4. Vd Mark 62; 5. Zanetti 55; 6. Scassa 53; 7. Antonelli 46; 8. Kennedy 44; 9. Rolfo 38; 10. Marino 31; 11. Morais 30; 12. Russo 28; 13. Leonov 26; 14. Coghlan 22; 15. Ivanov 18. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 130; 2. Yamaha 128; 3. Honda 91; 4. MV Agusta 44; 5. Suzuki 12; 6. Triumph 6.
Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) has won today's FIM Superstock 1000 Cup race at Portimao to become the new leader in the standings with an only one-point margin over Eddi La Marra (Barni Racing Ducati). The reigning Champion led the race for the most part and successfully started to pull away from the chasing pack on Lap 5, as soon as Lorenzo Savadori (Team Pedercini Kawasaki), who was running second at that time, lost the front of his ZX-10R at Turn 14.
While Barrier managed to keep a comfortable gap to cross the line a lonely first, the remaining positions on the podium were contested by Eddi La Marra and Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki), as the Frenchman got side by side to edge the Italian on the final straight and eventually finish 3rd for a matter of 0.027 seconds.
Team Pedercini's Leandro Mercado was 4th with Niccolò Canepa (Barni Racing Ducati) and team mate Alessandro Andreozzi to follow. South Africa's David McFadden scored his best result of the season by finishing eight at his first race with newly joined Garnier Racing Team BMW after a close battle with Marco Bussolotti (Rider Promotion by T. Trasimeno BMW). France's Romain Lanusse (MRS Kawasaki) wasted an opportunity for a top-4 finish due to a crash on the ninth lap out of twelve.
Race results: 1. Barrier (BMW) 12 Laps/55.104 km in 21'19.450 average 155.047 kph; 2. La Marra (Ducati) 1.318; 3. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 1.345; 4. Mercado (Kawasaki) 10.781; 5. Canepa (Ducati) 15.500; 6. Lussiana (Kawasaki) 16.573; 7. Andreozzi (Kawasaki) 19.279; 8. McFadden (BMW) 21.707; 9. Bussolotti (BMW) 21.781; 10. Massei (Kawasaki) 22.769; 11. Jezek (Ducati) 24.200; 12. Gildenhuys (BMW) 25.233; 13. Ponsson (Kawasaki) 27.304; 14. De Boer (Honda) 32.087; 15. Suchet (Honda) 43.211; etc.
Standings:1. Barrier 70; 2. La Marra 69; 3. Canepa 63; 4. Guarnoni 60; 5. Mercado 49; 6. Savadori 33; 7. Lanusse 29; 8. Jezek 29; 9. Bussolotti 26; 10. Lussiana 25; 11. Andreozzi 15; 12. Bergman 15; 13. McFadden 13; 14. Magnoni 11; 15. Gildenhuys 10. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 81; 2. BMW 81; 3. Kawasaki 70; 4. Honda 8; 5. Suzuki 5.