Press releases from the series organizers, World Superbike and World Supersport teams after Sunday's races at Portimao:
Sykes pulls away and wins race 1 to extend points lead
Portimao (Portugal), Sunday 6 July 2014 - An enthralling 20 lap race 1 saw Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) emerge victorious at a cloudy and overcast Portimao to claim his 7th win of the season and the 21st of his WSBK career.
At the start it was Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea that took the holeshot, leading for the opening three laps before Sykes and Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) overtook him into turn one at the start of lap four.
By half distance the constant swapping of positions had allowed reigning champion Sykes to stretch his lead to 3 seconds, before seconds later the white flag was waved to indicate that rain was beginning to fall.
Behind the leader five riders that included Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team), Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team), and Sylvain Guintoli, Leon Haslam on the second of the Pata Honda’s slowly began to close the gap, giving the fans a six rider group battling for the podium places.
Leon Haslam collided with Chaz Davies, both riders able to remount with Davies later retiring. Haslam eventually finished 11th.
At the front Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) had elevated himself to 2nd and began to quickly reduce the gap to Sykes before he responded to retain a lead of 2 seconds until the flag. Guintoli made his return to the podium in 2nd ahead of compatriot Baz, with Marco Melandri 4th.
Jonathan Rea faded to a lonely 5th ahead of Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) who passed Ducati’s Davide Giugliano and his team mate Eugene Laverty on the final lap to finish 6th.
Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike Team) and David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) were never more than 0.1s apart for the entire race with Salom, eventually coming out on top by 0.014s on the line to claim the EVO honours.
Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) crashed out after improving from his lowly grid position whilst Fabien Foret (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki), Geoff May (Team Hero EBR), both Grillini Kawasaki riders Bryan Staring and Sheridan Morais, Peter Sebestyen (Team Toth BMW) and Chaz Davies all retired.
Results: 1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 20 Laps/91.840 km in 34'45.568 average 158.529 kph; 2. Guintoli (Aprilia) 2.539; 3. Baz (Kawasaki) 3.175; 4. Melandri (Aprilia) 4.042; 5. Rea (Honda) 7.791; 6. Lowes (Suzuki) 14.772; 7. Giugliano (Ducati) 14.877; 8. Laverty (Suzuki) 14.941; 9. Salom (Kawasaki) 26.018; 10. Barrier (BMW) 26.032; 11. Haslam (Honda) 33.041; 12. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 38.385; 13. Canepa (Ducati) 42.237; 14. Russo (Kawasaki) 47.908; 15. Andreozzi (Kawasaki) 1'03.502; 16. Yates (EBR) 1 Lap; 17. Rizmayer (BMW) 1 Lap;18. Davies (Ducati) 5 Laps; NC. Staring (Kawasaki); RT. Sebestyen (BMW); RT. Morais (Kawasaki); RT. Elias (Aprilia); RT. Foret (Kawasaki); RT. May (EBR); SH. Badovini (Bimota) 34.442; SH. Iddon (Bimota) 38.246.
Rea wins an unpredictable race 2
Portimao (Portugal), Sunday 6 July 2014 - The second race of the day at Portimao was held in tricky conditions as the rain which began during the Supersport race continued to fall at the Portuguese circuit.
Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) romped home after a reduced race distance of 18 laps as the winner after Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) and his team mate Marco Melandri collided at turn five in the closing stages. Guintoli was able to remount eventually finishing 7th.
Behind Rea, Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) was a lonely 2nd with Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team) snatching the final podium spot from Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) and Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) after an enthralling final few laps in which 3rd position changed several times. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) finished sixth.
Race one winner Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) finished race two a lowly 8th after dropping back through the pack. He was passed on the penultimate lap by the recovering Guintoli who salvaged 7th at the flag. In the EVO battle the honours in race 2 went to Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia), the Frenchman finishing 11th overall.
Results: 1. Rea (Honda) 18 Laps/82.656 km in 34'55.154 average 142.024 kph; 2. Giugliano (Ducati) 6.817; 3. Davies (Ducati) 8.676; 4. Lowes (Suzuki) 9.740; 5. Haslam (Honda) 11.289; 6. Baz (Kawasaki) 11.808; 7. Guintoli (Aprilia) 14.169; 8. Sykes (Kawasaki) 17.164; 9. Laverty (Suzuki) 26.406; 10. Elias (Aprilia) 30.168; 11. Barrier (BMW) 41.820; 12. Morais (Kawasaki) 47.434; 13. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 50.045; 14. Staring (Kawasaki) 1'17.436; 15. Russo (Kawasaki) 1'24.500; 16. Andreozzi (Kawasaki) 1'30.563; 17. Salom (Kawasaki) 1'34.242; 18. Canepa (Ducati) 1'34.647; 19. Rizmayer (BMW) 1'47.422; RT. Melandri (Aprilia); RT. May (EBR); RT. Yates (EBR); NS. Sebestyen (BMW); SH. Badovini (Bimota) 26.263; SH. Iddon (Bimota) 33.831.
Standings (Round 8 of 13): 1. Sykes 284; 2. Guintoli 241; 3. Baz 236; 4. Rea 235; 5. Melandri 192; 6. Davies 159; 7. Giugliano 140; 8. Laverty 121; 9. Elias 115; 10. Haslam 115; 11. Lowes 111; 12. Salom 74; 13. Canepa 46; 14. Camier 30; 15. Guarnoni 26; 16. Barrier 17; 17. Scassa 16; 18. Foret 14; 19. Morais 14; 20. Corti 13; 21. Andreozzi 10; 22. Allerton 6; 23. Bos 5; 24. Staring 5; 25. Goi 5; 26. Russo 5; 27. Toth 2; 28. Fabrizio 2; 29. Lanusse 1. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 301; 2. Aprilia 273; 3. Honda 235; 4. Ducati 207; 5. Suzuki 179; 6. BMW 53; 7. MV Agusta 13.
PODIUM JOY FOR JACK FLASH
CIA INSURANCE HONDA’S Jack Kennedy was jubilant after taking his maiden podium finish second place in the eighth round of the World Supersport Championship at Parkalgar in Portugal.
Jack said: “I am so happy with that. Everything was working right and I felt good. Leading the race was a great feeling and then when the rain came out I knew I could get on the podium so I took it very easy.
“Second place is a dream come true and it sets us up well for the break and to come back for a strong end of season. Thank you to CIA Insurance, PTR, Honda, Megabikes, Dawn International and all my sponsors for supporting me, this is the start of things to come.”
Raffaele De Rosa took a well deserved fourth place in the race that was red flagged due to rain, with the results being taken as the riders crossed the line for the 12th time. Nacho Calero took a confidence building 20th on his CIA Insurance Honda.
The next round of the Championship is at Jerez in Spain on September 7th.
CIA Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “It was a fantastic ride by Jack. In my opinion he’s unlocked the door and can go from strength to strength now and show what he and his CIA Insurance Honda are capable of. We will be working hard during the summer break to make sure he has the best bike on the grid when we come back racing.
“Raffaele chose a different rear tyre to Jack and it wasn’t quite so good. Saying that it was a great ride by him to get fourth and his second best result in the class after his podium at the opening round.
“Nacho will be fully fit for Jerez. He has been encouraged by the performance of Jack and Raffaele and wants back in the points for Jerez – a home round for him. He has the ability and the bike to do it and we’ll be pulling out all the stops to achieve that.”
FILM TAKES 11TH FROM LAST ON GRID
CORE’ PTR HONDA’S Ratthapark Wilairot took a good 11th place from starting last on the grid at the eighth round of the World Supersport Championship at Parkalgar in Portugal.
Film was penalised to the back of the grid for a rider infringement during qualification.
Film said: “Starting from the back of the grid was very difficult, I had many slower riders in front of me. My lap times were good enough for sixth or seventh and this is our real position. I must think and learn from my mistake in qualifying to make sure it does not happen again. I will come back for the last four races determined to score a podium, we have the speed for this.”
The next round of the Championship is at Jerez in Spain on September 7th.
Core’ PTR Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “Film was penalised in qualifying and had to start from the back of the grid. He put in a strong performance to finish 11th from there.
“Now we have the summer break and then we go to Jerez in good shape to help him join Jack and Raffaele in the hunt for podium finishes.”
PORTIMÃO: GUINTOLI SECOND AND MELANDRI FOURTH IN RACE 1
APRILIA'S CRUSHING SUPERIORITY IN RACE 2 THWARTED BY SYLVAIN AND MARCO'S CRASH
Portimão, 6 July 2014 – A Sunday with plenty of upsets and surprises closed out the World Superbike Portuguese weekend. Race 1, which started under threatening clouds, had Marco Melandri starting off well and Sylvain Guintoli holding onto fifth place during the initial phases of the race. A few drop of rain then threatened to put an end to it all with Sylvain decidedly fast and Marco slowed by a drop in grip at the rear. The rider from Ravenna continued to push anyway, barely missing a podium finish, while his team mate made up ground and took advantage of the difficult track conditions to come back and take second place.
The conditions worsened in Race 2, forcing the riders to use rain tyres and settings. With the distance reduced to 18 laps, both Marco and Sylvain were cautious for the first part of the race, increasing their pace lap after lap and, after a series of preparatory passes, they found themselves behind Rea who was trying to pull the pin at the front.
With a consistent gap in terms of race pace, the Aprilia riders were closing in for the final attack. Unfortunately in turn 5 during the 13th lap, Guintoli braked on the inside of Melandri but slid, taking Marco down. This was an unfortunate collision that brought Marco Melandri's race to an end, while Sylvain was able to restart and finish in seventh place.
Marco Melandri: “It is really a shame. After almost making it onto the podium in Race 1 I had the right pace to redeem myself in Race 2. Unfortunately it went as badly as it could and I'm sorry about that because I could have had a really good comeback. It was definitely a lost opportunity, but it is also confirmation of the fact that my team and I are continuing to work together with our sights set on the highest prize. We'll have a chance to redeem ourselves in the coming rounds”.
Sylvain Guintoli: “In Race 1 I tried to take advantage of the first signs of rain. I was feeling good and had a good pace. But when conditions returned to normal the gap behind Sykes was too big and I had to settle for second place. In Race 2 both Marco and I were clearly faster than our rivals, but unfortunately on turn 5 Rea braked really early and I tried to go up the inside. Marco was on the outside and I lost the front end on a bump which took us both out. I'm really sorry for him and for the team. We had a good result within our grasp. It was simply race contact and unfortunately in these conditions it's easy to make a mistake”.
Romano Albesiano, Aprilia Racing Director: “That's how racing goes. We paid for the desire to win of two great riders. These things happen and obviously it's a shame because we could have brought home a great result and completely reopen the championship. The good thing is that we showed how fast we are thanks to the great work the entire team is doing. They took on a difficult situation in the best possible way, once again confirming how very competitive we are. The results achieved in Race 1 prove it, as well as Marco and Sylvain's extraordinary comeback in Race 2. We will definitely be protagonists in the championship through to the last race”.
Race One Win For Sykes As He Extends Championship Lead
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) scored a commanding win in the first race at the Portimao round of the FIM Superbike World Championship, with his team-mate Loris Baz (KRT) joining him on the podium in third. Despite finishing off podium in race two Sykes extended his championship lead to 43 points. KRT SBK Evo rider David Salom won the Evo class in race one.
With a dry race opening victory and then a wet weather affected eighth in race two Sykes had a day of contrasts but the final result was an increase in his championship lead, and a season victory tally of seven so far. Sykes joined Max Biaggi on a career total of 21 SBK race victories after Portimao.
For Baz a sixth in race two was as much as he could get when the weather conditions changed unexpectedly and the full wet second race, of only 18 laps, was completed. Added to his podium score from race one he still managed to score enough points to remain in third place in the championship, only five points behind the second place rider.
In the first race Sykes had an almost flag-to-flag win, powering ahead of all his opponents and even surviving a worrying time mid-race when the clouds that had gathered finally dropped light rain on the Portimao track surface. Sykes, with no other riders to judge pace on slowed for a time but after the rain stopped he carried on at full pace on his Ninja ZX-10R. In race two he simply did not have the required set-up to compete for a podium again in full wet conditions for all 18-laps and dropped from a long time second place to eighth.
Baz was third in race one after pushing up to second and having to drop back to fifth at one time as the very slight rain arrived. He got going again to go third but in race two he went on to finish inside the top six in the rain, despite not finding his own personal best machine settings.
David Salom’s race one was full of fight and desire and at the end he got the best of his Sylvain barrier to take yet another win in the Evo category. In race two, in the wet, he was unable to match the race one best and he finished 17th, two places off a point score. In the Manufacturers’ Championship Kawasaki still leads, by 28 points.
Laguna Seca in the USA will host the next round of the championship, in only a few days time, with raceday on Sunday 13th July.
Tom Sykes: “I enjoy winning races and the good thing is that the Ninja ZX-10R is giving me the feedback to be able to do this so I am very happy at the moment. I had a poor start in race one and it is a long race round here, long enough race to make some corrections. I am happy because we had a good gap then the rain started to come. When you are leading the championship and leading the race you do not want to do anything stupid and it was very difficult to calculate the levels of grip because in some parts of the circuit it was raining more heavily than in others. The team gave me great pit board signals and luckily the cloud disappeared with a good amount of laps left, to go so I could take an advantage again. In the wet conditions of race two we had some issues but I cannot be disappointed because we have shown great potential. Sometimes we are dealt these strange races and there was too much for me to lose today. Some other riders made mistakes and so I extended my championship lead compared to when we arrived here.”
Loris Baz: “In race one I saw the rain at one time and I did not know how strong it was so I did not take to many risks until the rain had gone. I am really happy because yesterday I was struggling to be inside the top eight on a race tyre and we found some good things in the morning warm up, so well done to the team. In race two we have been struggling a bit to find our best real wet settings but we have made progress in that area recently. In the beginning I was missing some feeling so I was waiting a bit and had some visibility issues. I am happy enough because I found a good pace. We have made a good step in the wet here and we lost almost nothing in the championship standings, as I am only five points from second place.”
David Salom “I had a very good race and a very good fight with Sylvain Barrier in the first race. I waited almost behind him and I tried a couple of times to see where to pass him on the last lap. Seven laps from the end my hand was in a lot of pain and it was not possible to move the bike as I wanted to. I went off line maybe four or five times but I gave it all on the last lap and won the Evo race. The team worked very hard on the bike and it was in good condition in the race. In the second race, in the wet, it was difficult for me. I did not have the confidence even though the bike is very good in those conditions so I could not go faster. The problem in the wet was me not the bike and I did not want to risk a crash and we still have a good advantage in the championship.”
Battling Podium For Sofuoglu in Portugal
Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Mahi Racing Team India) fought hard in the FIM Supersport World Championship race at Portimao and was rewarded with third place after the planned 18-lap race was shortened to 12 laps after a fall of rain.
Sofuoglu’s third podium of 2014 brought him to fourth place in the championship, one place behind Florian Marino (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) who finished his Portimao race in eighth. Marino is now ten points ahead of Sofuoglu with four rounds to go.
Patrick Jacobsen was fifth in the race at Portimao riding his Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres Ninja ZX-6R machine and he is ranked seventh in the points, tied with another rider.
For Roby Rolfo (Kawasaki Team Go Eleven) the Portuguese round delivered a ninth place in the race and the same position in the championship with four rounds left.
Roberto Tamburini (San Carlo Puccetti Racing Kawasaki) was a retirement from the race in pitlane, while his team-mate Alessandro Nocco (San Carlo Puccetti Racing Kawasaki) was a strong 12th.
Christian Gamarino (Kawasaki Team Go Eleven) placed 17th in the race and Tony Covena (Kawasaki Ponyexpres Intermoto) ran out 18th, with both just missing points scores.
There now follows a long two-month break in the WSS championship calendar, with the next competitive outing being in Jerez, Spain, on September 7th.
Kenan Sofuoglu: “I was running very strongly when they stopped the race. When Michael van der Mark started to pull a gap I decided to pass Jack Kennedy and try to catch Michael. I ran off twice trying to do it but I came back each time. With five laps to go I had a fast pace but then they stopped the race and because of that I could not even finish second. After a hard time in the last couple of races a podium is not so bad. We cannot say we are completely happy because we were focused to win this weekend but sometimes things do not got to plan.”
Rea takes fourth victory of season at Portimao
Pata Honda rider Jonathan Rea took victory in a shortened, wet second race in round eight of the 2014 World Superbike championship at the Autodromo Internacional Algarve in Portugal today.
The 27-year-old British rider was never headed in the race, which was reduced from a scheduled 20 to 18 laps after rain fell on the 4.592km Portimao circuit. At mid-race, Rea saw a comfortable lead reduced by the two factory Aprilias but they both crashed out on lap 13, leaving the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP rider to cruise home almost seven seconds ahead of Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies.
The win marked Rea’s eighth podium at Portimao in the seven years that SBK has been visiting the circuit, but it was his first victory here. It followed a fifth place in the first 20-lap race, won by Tom Sykes, in which Rea was badly affected by low rear grip after leading on the opening laps.
His Pata Honda team-mate Leon Haslam finished fifth in the wet race two, after a strong challenge for the final podium position faded in the closing two laps. The 31-year-old was taken out of race one by another rider but remounted to finish in 11th place at the flag.
There is a quick turnaround for the World Superbike championship, which reassembles next weekend for round nine at the Laguna Seca Raceway in California, USA before an eight-week summer break.
Jonathan Rea - 5th and 1st
I was really disappointed after race one because we had good pace in warm-up this morning; but I’m not sure if it was the tyre or not because we had changed nothing on the bike. When I heard the rain coming on my motorhome roof as I watched a bit of the Tour de France ahead of race two, I started getting a little bit giddy and singing as I was getting changed! I knew that it was a chance for me. I tried to do my own race from the front but I saw from my lap board that the Aprilias had better pace at the middle point of the race. The track had started to dry out a bit and we were really suffering with corner exit but, although the conditions were a great leveller for all riders, it’s nice to take a win. I’d prefer to take it in the dry and we can’t get too excited because it’s a wet win; but we’ll take them any way we can and it’s 25 points not just for me but for the whole team. They’re consistently working so, so hard to bring the package to the front, and they gave me a really great, user-friendly CBR to ride today, so I’m really happy for them.
Leon Haslam - 11th and 5th
It's been a frustrating weekend because we've made some progress but we were able to translate that into results today. I had a problem on the qualifying tyre in Superpole and that left me in ninth place on the grid which wasn't ideal. I was going OK in race one but Chaz [Davies] cut back across the line after he ran wide in turn five and that was the race done really. In the wet, I felt I could challenge for a podium in the middle part of the race but it didn't work out that way and I think that fifth was not a good reward for the effort we've put in here.
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator
Jonathan took the lead at the start of race one but immediately his grip dropped and he finished fifth, which was a bit disappointing. I think that with a better tyre he could have been on the podium. He had a start-to-finish win in race two and he rode really strong. Unfortunately for them, the Aprilias retired but we gained some points back on the championship leaders so we’ll just keep chipping away. Leon had some bad luck in race one when another rider caused him to crash but he fought back for some points. He was fighting for third in the second race but had to let it go and he finished fifth. But it has been his strongest weekend with us so far and we’ve found a way up in the wet and the dry so we’re looking forward to Laguna.
Lowes stars for Voltcom Crescent Suzuki at rain soaked Portimao
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki racer Alex Lowes put on a superb display of determination to finish fourth in the eni FIM Superbike World Championship’s race two at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve today.
Starting from 11th on the grid the British racer initially got off to a tricky start for the shortened 18 lap contest, spinning off the line in the wet conditions and arriving 13th into the opening corners. Head down, Lowes put his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R to work, closing on the nearest riders to claim ninth by the second lap. As the rain abated and the lap times quickened he continued his charge. Lap 12 saw both Aprilia's collide, promoting Lowes to sixth and in the mix of a four bike pack challenging for third. Bettering three riders on lap 15 he took a chance at the podium before a slight mistake saw him briefly back in fifth. Repeating the move on Honda’s Leon Haslam on the penultimate lap, Lowes brought his Suzuki across the line for a well-deserved fourth place.
A similar determination delivered Lowes 10 points and a sixth place finish in the day's opening dry race. A great start saw him jump four places in the initial sector, holding seventh before dropping to 10th for the first half of the 20 lap race. Advancing to eighth after a two rider tussle on lap 11 as the white flags were waved, Lowes capitalised on an opportunity largely created by backmarkers to take sixth on his approach to the chequered flag.
Eugene Laverty leaves Portugal eighth in the championship after finishing eighth and ninth in this afternoon’s two races. A disappointing conclusion to his impressive weekend showing, the Irishman looked to be bringing home a top six finish on his Suzuki GSX-R in the midday contest, before the tangle with the backmarkers on the final stretch of the last lap cost him two positions.
As the rain enveloped the Portimao circuit for the final race of the day, Laverty struggled to retain his earlier position. Dropping to 13th after a difficult start, he improved to set his fastest lap of the race on the penultimate revolution, consolidating ninth position at the line.
A grey and overcast race day greeted fans at the Algarve circuit as the brooding clouds brought the rain in time for the second race, despite the pleasant 21°C temperatures. Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes and David Salom took the spoils for the two classes in the opening contest, while Honda’s Jonathan Rea was dominant in the second outing, BMW’s Sylvain Barrier claiming the late afternoon’s EVO victory.
Crossing the Atlantic in the next few days, Voltcom Crescent Suzuki prepares for its return to the United States and the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, as the Championship’s ninth round visits California on the 13th July.
“After crashing yesterday in qualifying and being on the fourth row I'm quite happy with two solid top six results. In the second race if I hadn’t made a little error I could have been on for a podium but I’m happy to come from where I started and to get fourth. We learnt some more about the GSX-R today - we now know where we still need to improve and also have some proof on where it is working well - which can help us to keep moving forward. I really want to say thanks to the whole team, they were in the garage until 1:30am last night fixing the bike after my crash yesterday; it would have been really nice to reward them with a podium so I’m sorry about that, but I’m now looking forward to next week. I can’t wait for Laguna, it’s another new track, but it’s tight and twisty so it should suit us well.”
“We were top four in every session apart from the three that mattered, Superpole and the two races! I’m very disappointed with race one, it was drizzling with rain and I was too scared to take risks and ended up in a low position. I lost two places on the last lap due to backmarkers but whether it was sixth or eighth, for me it wasn’t a good race. In the second race I didn’t have any feeling at all in the beginning, it came better in the end but it was too little, too late, so it was a poor day. We really had pace for the podium here so to walk away with an eighth and a ninth is not what we hoped for.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“Mixed emotions and mixed results sum up the team’s day at Portimao. We had a strong feeling that both riders could be competitive in the dry but in the first race we couldn’t make the lap time needed with the new tyre compared to the excellent times we made in warm-up this morning, which was strange because the fuel load, track temperature and weather conditions were identical - as it has been all year understanding how to make the bike to work well in the early laps is pivotal to the end result.
“Both Eugene and Alex had very strong pace towards the end of race one but by then it was too late and the fight for the podium is gone. The second wet race was a surprise after the beautiful weather we’ve had all weekend but a stunning performance from Alex from 13th on the first lap through to fourth and to get that close to the front runners and to the podium was a brilliant ride. Eugene’s wet race was very strange, much further off the pace than he would want to be in the first half of the race due to a lack of feel and confidence on corner entry but stunning pace and the fourth fastest lap overall as the race went on. Wet or dry we need to improve qualifying and improve our pace in the early laps; the answers aren’t clear how to do this but the team will keep working hard to fulfil our potential.”
Van der Mark extends championship lead in Portugal
Pata Honda’s Michael van der Mark goes into a World Supersport championship summer break with a healthy points lead after taking his fourth win of the season in round eight at the Autodromo Internacional Alrgarve in Portugal today.
Starting from second place on the grid, the 21-year-old Dutch ace took his Honda CBR600RR into the lead after six of a scheduled 18-laps and then controlled the race before rain brought out red flags on the 13th lap. Jack Kennedy on another Honda CBR600RR finished second today, ahead of Kenan Sofuoglu, who was third.
Van der Mark extended his remarkable podium run that has seen him finish no lower than second for the last seven races and, with his main championship rival, Jules Cluzel, failing to score today, he enjoys a 53-point lead at the top of the table.
His Pata Honda team-mate Lorenzo Zanetti finished in sixth place today, despite being fifth when the red flags emerged. The 27-year-old Italian dropped one position on a lap countback but still managed to close the gap to second place in the championship.
The World Supersport series now takes an extended nine-week break over the summer months, returning to Jerez in Spain on 5-7 September. However, both Pata Honda riders will travel to Japan this week to test for Honda in preparation for the prestigious Suzuka 8 Hour race which takes place on 27 July.
Michael van der Mark - 1st
We’ve been strong all weekend in all sessions and, together with Kenan [Sofuoglu], I think we have been a step ahead of the others here. My start was OK but I didn’t want to take all the risks in the first few corners. I was looking at the guys in front of me to see where I was stronger and I tried to pass them one by one. Kenan made a mistake so I passed him and then I got past Jack. I knew I had a good pace for the race and the others would struggle to follow my rhythm and in the end I saw that Jules [Cluzel] wasn’t in the points any more so I slowed down a bit. I guess I was quite lucky that the rain came at the same point and the red flag came out, which made the win a little bit easier. But I think I could have won anyway because we have been so strong all weekend. I want to thank the team again fo r giving me such a good CBR from the first session, it was really fast and had really good handling.
Lorenzo Zanetti - 6th
If you look on paper at the results, then sixth place at my worst track is not so bad. But when I look back at the race I am a little angry and frustrated because all weekend I had a good rhythm but, like in Misano, I lost a lot in the first five laps. Both times I have been stopped aggressively by Marino because we are fighting in the championship. When I got past and I could ride alone, my rhythm was really good and I could match the pace of Michael. I think that if I hadn’t been held up at the start, maybe I could have been closer to the podium. This is racing of course and then I was put back a place for the red flag, so fifth became sixth. But my compliments to Mikey and the team – they did a great job and I hope to be back strong in September to fight for the podium.
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator
Lorenzo was sixth and maybe it should have been a fifth, but for the red flag. Of course, we always want to battle for the podium but we can be reasonably happy because this is definitely not his favourite circuit. Third place in the championship is still a target for him after the summer break. Michael fought his way to the front and was extending his lead before the rain arrived. In the end he won while his closest rival did not score today and this is a great cushion to go into the break with. Compliments to his team as well for sticking with plan A as far as tyre choice is concerned. They all did a great job this
Both Ducati 1199 Panigale bikes on the podium in today’s second SBK race at Portimao!
Portimao (Portugal), Sunday 6 July 2014 – The Ducati Superbike Team celebrated its first ‘double podium’ of the season at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal today, when factory riders Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies crossed the line in second and third place respectively in this afternoon’s second Superbike race.
Race 1 – Cloudy skies and lower temperatures with respect to yesterday, with a track temperature of 28°C for race 1. From third on the grid, Davies was lying fourth through the first corners. Lapping in sixth position for the best part of ten laps, the British rider was hot on the heels of Guintoli and Rea. He had just passed Rea to move into fifth place on lap twelve when contact with Haslam unfortunately resulted in a crash for both riders. Chaz returned to the garage to repair the footpeg and handlebar that were damaged in the crash. The Ducati Superbike rider then returned to the track for the final laps to check that there were no further problems resulting from the collision, concluding therefore in final eighteenth position.
Giugliano, eighth on the grid, dropped a couple of positions through the first corners. Pushing hard to make up lost ground during the initial stages, he battled with Laverty, passing him on lap four to move into eighth place. In the second half of the race he fought hard against Laverty and Lowes, moving up to sixth position before conceding one place in the final stages, to cross the line seventh.
Race 2 – The day’s second race, run in the rain, was shortened to 18 laps due to full wet conditions. The Ducati Superbike pair held their starting positions through the first couple of laps, lying third (Chaz) and eighth (Davide). In the first half of the race, Davide gradually increased his pace and was able to pass first Haslam and then teammate Davies to take fifth by lap seven. Continuing to gain confidence in the tricky conditions, he began to close the gap between himself and Sykes, passing the Kawasaki rider only a couple of laps later. Lapping in fourth place by lap twelve, a collision between the two Aprilia riders meant that Giugliano moved up to second place. He managed the final phase of the race perfectly, crossing the line second and taking his second podium finish of the 2014 season.
In the opening laps, Chaz battled against the two Aprilias but lost a few positions towards the mid-race point, lying seventh on lap nine. During the second half of the race the British rider was able to get into a good rhythm and particularly enjoyed the final hard-fought laps, in which he battled it out with Lowes and Haslam, passing both to move into third place three laps from the end. Lapping a few seconds behind his teammate, Chaz pushed hard, maintaining third position to the line while also recording, on the very last lap, the fastest lap of the race, in 1’54.118.
The last time two Ducati riders took to the podium together was in 2012, at Misano, when Giugliano closed third behind then teammate Carlos Checa, second.
As round 8 draws to a close, Davies is in sixth position in the general standings, with 159 points, while Giugliano follows, seventh, with 140 points. Ducati lies fourth in the manufacturer’s classification with 207 points.
Quotes after the races:
Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team #34) – 7th, 2nd
“I’m really pleased. After race one I was confident that I could make a strong second race, also if it were dry, inside the top five at least. After a few problems in warm-up this morning, in race 1 we worked out what we needed to do for race 2 and although that race then turned out to be wet, that turned out to be ok too. You always have to be a bit careful in the wet of course, so I took it easy through the opening laps, it was tough because visibility wasn’t great. Then I started to get into a rhythm and pass a couple of riders. In the final stages I eased off a little, as I didn’t want to make any mistakes. I’m really happy to have closed second, and also very pleased for Ducati, my technicians here at the track but also everyone working back in Borgo Panigale, thanks everyone!”
Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 18th, 3rd
“It really means a lot to get a podium in the wet, something I’ve not achieved before, not in Superbike nor Supersport, and for Davide to be there too is really an important result for Ducati today. Race 1 wasn’t easy, I didn’t feel that the bike was quite right. Things were beginning to improve though, and got interesting right when the incident with Leon took place. It was simply a racing incident, I was slightly wider than usual and he saw the gap and went for it… We’d planned to make changes for race 2 if it had been dry, but in the end those changes worked in the wet. It was going ok in the early stages, I struggled a little before starting to build my pace. After the Aprilias went down, I just put my head down and went after the podium. I really enjoyed the final lap, though I was truly on the limit - it also turned out to be the fastest lap of the race. We will definitely go to Laguna Seca in high spirits now.”
Ernesto Marinelli (Ducati Superbike Project Director)
“We’re extremely pleased with this double podium, something we’ve not seen since 2012. I think it’s a nice gift to the Ducatisti who never stopped believing in us, even when things were not going so well. This is another sign of our growth, and crowns the hard work of all of our guys in Ducati, the team and riders who always give their all. This weekend we’ve introduced several components, including new ECU software. All of the material has worked well and both Chaz and Davide are pleased, a sign that the work carried out by our development team and test rider Matteo Baiocco at home is going in the right direction. The result helps and we’ve collated a lot of data that means we will be even more determined when we arrive in Laguna Seca next week.”
Muresan Masters Drying Portimao Track To Finish 12th
A 14th position on the starting grid starting didn’t hamper H-Moto BMW’s Robert Muresan, the Romanian rider excelling with wet but drying track conditions to finish 12th at the end of an unpredictable 14 lap FIM Superstock 1000cc race at Portimao earlier today.
World Superbike Championship, SBK, Autdromo Internacional do Algarve, Portimao, Portugal06 Jul 2014
After making a good start, Robi immediately found himself in the fight for tenth and after swapping positions for the entire race duration was satisfied to add 4 more points to his championship tally.
In the early part of the race it appeared that the talented Romanian could challenge for the top eight but as the race settled into a rhythm and the track began to dry the BMW rider rode smart to salvage another solid result, and cement his 13th position overall in the standings with two rounds remaining.
World Superbike Championship, SBK, Autdromo Internacional do Algarve, Portimao, Portugal06 Jul 2014
Robert Muresan – “Considering the conditions for the race 12th isn´t so bad. We gambled with a wet set up which cost us when the track began to dry but it´s another 4 points which is good for the championship. Our team is a small team and doesn´t have the backing of some of our rivals so it limits our ability to test during the season. Hopefully our results are making people take notice as we have a lot to give. The next race after the break is at Jerez, my favourite track so I hope we can get a better result there. Thank you to the entire H-Moto Team, to all our sponsors and to the fans.”
AYRTON AND CHRISTIAN LEAD THE EVO CHARGE
Team Bimota Alstare riders Ayrton Badovini and Christian Iddon finished first and second in the EVO class in race 2 at the eighth round of the World Superbike Championship at the Autodromo do Algarve today. But not only did they take first and second in the race, but Ayrton’s lap times consistently matched some of the riders in the Superbike class – pretty impressive considering that he had started from the fifth row of the grid. Christian also put in a string of ‘Superbike equivalent’ lap times as he and Ayrton continued the remarkable progress of the BB3 racebike.
The team tried many different setting this weekend and made a big step forward in the development of the bike and are now looking forward eagerly to the next race weekend and improving the bike even further.
Ayrton Badovini – Race 1: 3rd (EVO), Race 2: 1st (EVO)
“I am not so happy with Race 1, because I didn’t have much feeling for the rear tyre and that made the race not so easy. It was my choice, so maybe I didn’t get it quite right. Race 2 was a wet race and I had a good feeling about the bike straightaway. As the race progressed I became more and more confident and my lap times improved – on par with some of the riders in the Superbike class. We had changed the bike set-up for Race 2 and although it wasn’t perfect it felt pretty good and made the conditions easier to manage. I know it sounds strange, but I enjoyed the race, despite the rain, and it was great to finish the top EVO bike. We are learning more and more about the bike every time we go out and I am happy that we are making progress and looking forward to the next race.”
Christian Iddon – Race 1: 4th (EVO), Race 2: 2nd (EVO)
“I felt that Race 1 was a really strong race for me and I am really happy because my lap times were consistently good. I think I could’ve won the EVO class, but I had a couple of false neutrals and that slowed me down a bit. It felt good to be fighting with the top EVO boys though and it just shows how much progress we have made. Race 2 started wet and when the track was fully wet, the bike was brilliant! The lap times were coming easily and I was enjoying myself. I had a false neutral going into turn 1 and lost some places but fought back and recovered them again. As the track dried a bit, the bike became harder to ride and I began to have some problems with grip. Without that I feel sure that I would’ve been able to challenge for the top EVO spot, and maybe even take it!”
Superstock 600 - Fourth victory of the season for San Carlo Team Italia with Marco Faccani, who dominates in Portimão
The Italian collects the fourth victory in five races and extends his lead to 34 points. Tucci, sixth, also enjoyed a strong race
San Carlo Team Italia's triumphant season in the European Stock 600 championship did not come to a halt in Portimão. After Aragon, Imola, and Misano, Marco Faccani once again offered a masterful performance to win in Portimão his fourth race out of five. Andrea Tucci also cemented the team's top status in Portugal, taking sixth in a hard fought race and keeping his hopes alive for a top-three finish in the championship.
Starting from second position after missing his third consecutive pole position by only 23 thousandths of a second, Marco Faccani (Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R #5) had to climb back after a difficult start that saw him drop back to fourth. After that, however, he showcased his talent with a quick and fierce comeback: during the second lap, he made a double pass and took fastest lap with a 1'48"766. With a clear path in front, he quickly built a four-second margin over Wayne Tessels (second) and Federico Caricasulo (third) to seize his fourth victory of the season and extend his lead over Tessels to 34 points with only 50 left for grabs in Jerez and Magny Cours.
Andrea Tucci (Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R #44) also brought San Carlo Team Italia's colors to the top of the field, taking sixth on the finish line and showing his determination with a good series of overtakes. The CIV Superstock 600 champion thus collected 10 points and is fourth in the rankings, only 3 points away from the top three.
San Carlo Team Italia will resume action on September 6 in Jerez, second to last round of the European Stock 600 championship.
Marco Faccani (San Carlo Team Italia - Kawasaki ZX-6R #5) 1st
"Another fantastic victory and a memorable weekend. It wasn't easy though. At the start I had to take a risk, but fortunately it was the only one in the entire race. Then I tried to pull away and gave my best in the first five laps, as Caricasulo and Tessels' pace made me worry. We also struggled in T4, so I had to build a gap in order to not be passed on the straight. I was able to secure a good margin, and defend it until the checkered flag. I'm happy, we just need to keep it up!"
Andrea Tucci (San Carlo Team Italia - Kawasaki ZX-6R #44) 6th
"I'm not too satisfied, I thought I could do better in the race. Our pace was quite good, but I didn't have the best feeling on the bike. It's unfortunate, but we still collected some positives ahead of the last two races. We're closer to the top compared with Imola and Misano, and my competitiveness came quite easily. So I'm hopeful for the last leg of the season, I'll head to Jerez with even more determination".
Cristiano Migliorati (Sporting Director - San Carlo Team Italia STK600)
"The whole team is speechless, as we're facing a situation we wouldn't have believed at the start of the season, which exceeds our wildest expectations. Faccani is showing maturity and total control over his emotions, which allows him, together with his extraordinary talent, to collect results like this. We can go on holiday with a good margin thanks to this victory. We can count on a good lead, so we can start to make some calculations to avoid mistakes in the next two races. As for Tucci, he's not 100% a 'whole' with the bike, so he cannot express his talent to the max yet. He has grown in the past two races though. It's just a shame he missed the fourth place in the final meters, but this is racing. We're confident he can again race at the top in September, once the championship resumes".
Fernandez takes another European Junior Cup stunner in Portugal
Round six of the 2014 ‘Pata European Junior Cup powered by Honda Racing’ served up another treat at the Autodromo Internacional Algarve in Portugal yesterday, with Augusto Fernandez taking his fourth win of the season in another photo-finish.
The Spanish rider crossed the line just four thousandths of a second ahead of Angelo Licciardi from Belgium with Fernandez’s title rival Javier Orellana taking third place, a further 0.026s behind.
To add to the thrilling finish in Portugal, in typical European Junior Cup style, the first eight riders across the line at the end of the race were covered by 0.5s – all on identical Honda CBR500R machines.
It was Orellana who started the 10-lap race at the 4.592km circuit near Portimao from pole position but none of the leading group of nine riders was able to make a break for victory.
No fewer than six riders took their turn to lead at various points of the race but it was Fernandez who took the chequered flag to extend his lead at the top of the EJC points table to 27 points over compatriot Orellana with two rounds to go.
“It was a fantastic race, but really hard!” said Fernandez after the race. “I think we had about 10 riders fighting for first position. But I am very happy to take my fourth win this season, and my second consecutive. Now we have a little bit more of a lead in the championship and the next race is in Jerez, my home track, so let’s see what happens.”
Pata European Junior Cup, powered by Honda Racing – round six
AIA Portimao, Portugal – result (10 laps):
1 Augusto Fernandez (ESP) 20m49.381s
2 Angelo Licciardi (BEL) +0.004s
3 Javier Orellana (ESP) +0.026s
4 Illan Fernandez (ESP) +0.054s
5 Jesper Hubner (SWE) +0.065s
6 Mike Perez (ESP) +0.182s
7 Josh Harland (GBR) +0.465s
8 Hannes Soomer (EST) +0.525s
9 Stefan Hill (GBR) +1.143s
10 Alex Wisdom (USA) +19.528s
Championship points after six of eight rounds:
1 A Fernandez 129, 2 Orellana 102, 3 Licciardi 64, 4 I Fernandez 63, 5 Marc Miralles (ESP) 62, 6 Hubner 51, 7 Perez 50, 8 Harland 47, 9 Soomer 42, 10 Paolo Grassia (ITA) 35.
Next round: Jerez, Spain – 5-7 September