Press releases from the World Superbike teams and series organizer after Sunday's incident-packed races at Laguna Seca:
Melandri heads Aprilia one-two in first race
Laguna Seca (California, USA), Sunday 13 July 2014 - After 25 thrilling laps, Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) has won the opening race of the day at Laguna Seca. The Italian rider adds another victory to his tally of 16 WSBK race wins reaching the likes of Giancarlo Falappa, Neil Hodgson and James Toseland.
Starting from Pole Position it was Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) who initially took the holeshot into turn one ahead of the works Aprilia duo of Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli who both passed the reigning champion at the end of lap one after Sykes made a mistake at the Corkscrew.
Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team) crashed spectacularly from 4th on lap two as the leading three began to edge away from the fast starting Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) who was promoted to fourth after the Ducati rider’s departure.
By quarter race distance the circuit lap record set in 2013 had been smashed and the top three riders had a comfortable gap over the chasing pack.
As the race entered the final third, the tense battle at the front intensified as Guintoli applied the pressure to his Italian team mate with Sykes watching the action unfold in front of him before the Italian broke away.
At the flag it was a rather spread out affair with Melandri taking the win, his 3rd of the season ahead of Guintoli and Sykes who claimed the final podium place.
Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) finished a solid 4th with Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) and Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) completing the top 6.
In the battle of the EVO riders it was David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) that took the honours coming home in a solid 10th with Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing Ducati) 11th and Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia) 12th.
Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) was classified 15th and took the final championship point on his debut for the Italian team.
Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) was a notable retirement as were Ayrton Badovini (Team Bimota Alstare), Aaron Yates (Team Hero EBR) and Peter Sebestyen (Team Toth BMW).
Results: 1. Melandri (Aprilia) 25 Laps/90.250 km in 35'07.782 average 154.143 kph; 2. Guintoli (Aprilia) 0.905; 3. Sykes (Kawasaki) 6.627; 4. Giugliano (Ducati) 13.574; 5. Elias (Aprilia) 13.855; 6. Rea (Honda) 15.575; 7. Haslam (Honda) 18.820; 8. Lowes (Suzuki) 20.184; 9. Baz (Kawasaki) 34.479; 10. Salom (Kawasaki) 37.463; 11. Canepa (Ducati) 45.440; 12. Barrier (BMW) 47.538; 13. Staring (Kawasaki) 49.750; 14. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 55.420; 15. Camier (MV Agusta) 58.449; 16. Andreozzi (Kawasaki) 1'08.922; 17. Rizmayer (BMW) 1'17.853; 18. May (EBR) 1'18.084; 19. Ulrich (Honda) 1 Lap; 20. Morais (Kawasaki) 3 Laps; RT. Pegram (EBR); RT. Sebestyen (BMW); RT. Yates (EBR); RT. Laverty (Suzuki); RT. Davies (Ducati); SH. Iddon (Bimota) 48.321; SH. Badovini (Bimota).
Sykes wins a hectic Race 2 at Laguna Seca
Laguna Seca (California, USA), Sunday 13 July 2014 - The second WSBK race at Laguna Seca was as hot on track as the air temperature as after two red flags and restarts, Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) came out victorious in the 7 lap sprint race that put an end to the ninth round of the 2014 eni FIM Superbike World Championship, which saw a total 49,408 attendants during the three days. Thanks to his 22nd career win, the reigning champion added one tiny point to his championship lead over Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team), second at the flag and now 44 points behind the reigning champion.
Tom Sykes: “The aim was to win the race. Obviously Race 1 was a big disappointment but we made a number of changes on the Ninja for Race 2. The bike felt OK, better than in the first race and then with every red flag we added little tweaks. What can I say, I got a fabulous bunch of guys working for me. My wife sent me some inspiration, I had some great pictures of my daughter which put a great smile on my face. I’m sure people watching back home enjoyed it as much as I did. I’ve got a few days to really enjoy myself here in California, I’ve got some big events coming up with Kawasaki and I can’t wait to go into summer break.”
Sylvain Guintoli: “This is not a loss. We were looking for some points, but Tom is very strong in a short race like this one. About the two red flags I thought maybe this is destiny, like it happened last year. In the first restart Tom was fast and I just tried to hang on to him, but in a seven lap race is very difficult, I just tried everything but I was never in a position to attack him. Once again I gave my best. These are two strong results, but for me are not enough. We have to work during the summer break to come back really strong.”
Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Championship) completed the podium of the second encounter, finishing on a high note in what has been his first ever visit to Laguna Seca.
From the first start it was Sykes who once again grabbed the holeshot into turn one and as the packed field sorted themselves out around the first few turns it was Guintoli and race one winner and team mate Marco Melandri who slotted himself into second and third ahead of the fast starting Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki).
Guintoli applied the pressure immediately and after following the reigning champion for a couple of laps made his move, taking the lead into turn 6 on lap 5 only to lose it straight afterwards as Sykes successfully fought back. Melandri also seized the moment to take advantage of an off line Guintoli to move into third as the battle at the front now raged between six riders after Davide Giugliano (Ducati SuperbikeTeam) and Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) looked to get in on the act.
Lap 11 saw the red flags shown after Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) suffered a spectacular crash at the Corkscrew. The British rider was taken to the medical centre for further checks but fortunately the reigning BSB Champion got away with no fractures.
After a short delay the race was restarted over 7 laps with grid positions decided by the race positions prior to the stop. That meant Sykes was still on Pole with the Aprilia duo of Melandri and Guintoli alongside. Row two for the restart saw Laverty, Elias and Giugliano.
When the race resumed the action was fast and furious but after only one completed lap the red flags were out again as Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike Team - EVO) crashed out on the start and finish straight. The Frenchman, who was conscious and alert, was taken to the Medical Centre for further checks that revealed a dislocated and fractured left subtalar joint.
However and at the third time of asking the race distance was completed with Sykes taking the win ahead of Guintoli and Jonathan Rea who completed the podium places after Marco Melandri crashed out of the lead, followed a short time later by Davide Giugliano who had been charging through the field. A disappointing end of the race for both Italian riders, especially for Melandri who looked capable of taking his second double win of the season.
Marco Melandri: “I got a perfect start in race one, even though I was a bit worried because Tom usually tries to pull away in the early stages. When he made a mistake at the Corkscrew I thought it was the right chance to push to the limit. I set my pace and kept focused, trying to avoid any mistake. It’s a shame about Race 2, at the third restart I made a couple of mistakes whilst shifting gears and I thought there was a gearing problem on my bike. I lost my concentration and when I realised it was all OK, I went too hot at the last turn. I’m really sorry for that, because I think the double win was within our reach, but I’m happy of the way we worked this weekend.”
Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) and Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) rounded out the top six whilst in the EVO category the best classified rider was once again David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) who finished a respectable 8th overall.
Results: 1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 7 Laps/25.270 km in 9'51.346 average 153.839 kph; 2. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1.014; 3. Rea (Honda) 2.793; 4. Laverty (Suzuki) 3.681; 5. Elias (Aprilia) 4.165; 6. Baz (Kawasaki) 7.160; 7. Haslam (Honda) 7.331; 8. Salom (Kawasaki) 15.061; 9. Andreozzi (Kawasaki) 15.674; 10. Camier (MV Agusta) 17.015; 11. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 18.338; 12. Staring (Kawasaki) 19.270; 13. Morais (Kawasaki) 20.040; 14. Pegram (EBR) 23.845; 15. Rizmayer (BMW) 25.592; 16. May (EBR) 26.688; 17. Ulrich (Honda) 31.893; RT. Giugliano (Ducati); RT. Melandri (Aprilia); RT. Canepa (Ducati); NS. Barrier (BMW); SH. Badovini (Bimota) 14.560; SH. Iddon (Bimota) 14.892.
Standings (Round 9 of 13): 1. Sykes 325; 2. Guintoli 281; 3. Rea 261; 4. Baz 253; 5. Melandri 217; 6. Davies 159; 7. Giugliano 153; 8. Elias 137; 9. Laverty 134; 10. Haslam 133; 11. Lowes 119; 12. Salom 88; 13. Canepa 51; 14. Camier 37; 15. Guarnoni 33; 16. Barrier 21; 17. Andreozzi 17; 18. Morais 17; 19. Scassa 16; 20. Foret 14; 21. Corti 13; 22. Staring 12; 23. Allerton 6; 24. Bos 5; 25. Goi 5; 26. Russo 5; 27. Pegram 2; 28. Toth 2; 29. Fabrizio 2; 30. Rizmayer 1; 31. Lanusse 1. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 342; 2. Aprilia 318; 3. Honda 261; 4. Ducati 220; 5. Suzuki 200; 6. BMW 58; 7. MV Agusta 20; 8. EBR 2.
EXTRAORDINARY APRILIA ONE-TWO AT LAGUNA SECA
MARCO MELANDRI DOMINATES THE AMERICAN RACE
SYLVAIN GUINTOLI FINISHES SECOND
Laguna Seca (California – USA), 13 July 2014 – The Aprilia RSV4s dominated Race 1 on the exciting Laguna Seca track in California to clean up in the American World Superbike round.
Off to an excellent start respectively from the second and first row, Melandri and Guintoli took the race lead in the first lap, taking advantage of an error by Tom Sykes at the “corkscrew”. The three immediately showed that they had a completely different pace than the rest and the progressively opened up the gap at the front. Before the midway point the two Aprilia standard bearers, with Melandri in the lead, progressively increased their advantage over Sykes until, in the second half of the race, Melandri set a pace that his French team mate was unable to keep, crossing the finish line first for the third time this season after his double win in Malaysia.
For his part Guintoli was able to maintain his lead over Sykes, taking an excellent second place.
On hand below the podium to comment on the triumph of the Italian bikes was Michele Colaninno, CEO of IMMSI and member of the Piaggio Group Board of Directors: “This is the victory of a team which has never stopped believing in results - a winning team in World SBK for five years in a row. Seeing the two Aprilia RSV4s flying by in front of everyone in this country and on this track which has such a great history is a great satisfaction, not only for me, but for the entire Italian motor sports community.”
Marco Melandri: “My start was great even if I was a bit nervous in the first laps since Tom usually tries to pull the pin straight away. When he made that mistake at the Corkscrew I thought that was the right opportunity to push it to the limit. I set my pace, staying focused and not making any mistakes. Only in the last few laps was I finally able to breath a little easier since I had gained a bit of an advantage over Sylvain. This was a great race. The RSV4 worked wonderfully and the team did an impeccable job.”
Sylvain Guintoli: “I gave 100% like I always do. I had a good pace and I didn't make any mistakes. In the first laps I was feeling good and I probably could have attacked Marco, but I preferred to stay behind him. From the halfway point on he was really fast. He rode very well and I wasn't able to match his times. This is a great result. We showed that the RSV4 is competitive even on a twisty circuit like this one. Now I'll be working with the team to try and be a little faster in Race 2.”
A disappointing outcome for the Ducati Superbike Team on race day at Laguna Seca
Monterey (USA), Sunday 13 July 2014 – a very difficult day for the Ducati Superbike Team and riders Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies today at Laguna Seca. Giugliano earned good points in race 1 thanks to a fourth place finish but he then crashed in the second. After a crash for Davies in the first race, he was declared unfit to participate in race 2.
Race 1 – Giugliano did not make the best start from fourth on the grid but quickly made up for lost time, passing a couple of riders during the opening lap to position seventh at the end of lap one. He quickly moved up the field to fourth position, after passing both Haslam and Rea and was closing in on the leading group when a braking issue began to affect the Italian rider’s lap times, meaning that he was unable to maintain contact with the leading group. He nevertheless held on to the fourth spot from lap four onwards, crossing the line just behind the podium sitters and taking some valuable points in the process.
Davies, from third on the grid, got away well and was lying fourth through the opening lap. Immediately up with the leading three riders, he was pushing hard when on lap 2 he suddenly suffered a highside out of turn 6 that threw him and his bike into the gravel. The British rider was transported to the circuit’s medical centre for checks. With Davies having taken a blow to the head, and despite the fact that he felt able to race, the medical team carried out a further examination prior to race 2 and decided that it was too risky to allow the Ducati rider to participate in race 2.
Race 2 – This second race was halted twice with red flags after crashes for riders Lowes and Barrier. In the end, the Superbike riders completed a second race comprising just seven laps, with Giugliano lining up in sixth place on the grid, according to the standings at the moment in which the previous race had been stopped.
Sixth through the first corners, the Ducati rider passed Rea and Elias and was lying third by lap two. Lapping with a very strong pace, which enabled him to record the best lap of race 2 (1’23.403), he went to make a move on Sykes who was just a few metres ahead of him. Unfortunately however, on entering the Corkscrew a small mistake forced him to take more of an inside line than usual, causing him to touch the kerb in the process. Giugliano unfortunately crashed as a result, and his race ended there.
At the end of this ninth championship round, Davies is in sixth position in the general standings, with 159 points, while Giugliano is seventh with 153 points. Ducati lies fourth in the manufacturer’s classification with 220 points.
Quotes after the races:
Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team #34) – 4th, DNF
“Race one went quite well but unfortunately I wasn’t able to keep pace with the guys ahead of me. We had a small problem during braking, and I made a lot of mistakes because I didn’t have the right feeling when braking and this meant that I was going long in certain places. I lost some time because of this but final fourth place was not bad.
We were lucky that race 2 was stopped for the first time as we were having problems with the rear tyre that wasn’t giving me the usual level of grip. After the second restart I was catching up fast – I was the fastest guy on track and knew I had a chance to win. I reached Tom, and wanted to attack him through the Corkscrew but, to avoid contact with him mid-corner I had to go right over on the inside, touching the kerb which caused me to crash. A real pity, I thought we’d be able to do a lot more today.”
Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team #7) – DNF, DNS
“It was a strange crash as I didn’t feel like I was doing anything different to normal. The rear just came around on me and I fell awkwardly on my head. It seems as if the doctors made a decision based on the fact that I was dizzy and disorientated. A huge disappointment because I feel ok and wanted to race of course. Anyway it’s ultimately the doctors decision but a really disappointing end to what started out as such a positive weekend.”
Ernesto Marinelli (Ducati Superbike Project Director)
“Unfortunately today was a very difficult day. After two positive days we had very different expectations for today’s races. But this is racing and the important thing is that neither rider suffered any serious injury as a result of the crashes. Both Chaz and Davide had the potential to do well, and with this knowledge we will continue to work and prepare as well as possible for Jerez. The Team has worked well, we have to concentrate on improving off the line because we cannot allow ourselves to lose positions at the start. This weekend did not go as we had hoped but we will definitely not stop trying.”
Rea third in standings after Laguna podium
Pata Honda rider Jonathan Rea took his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP to third place in a truncated race two at round nine of the 2014 World Superbike Championship at Laguna Seca in the USA this afternoon. The two races were won by Marco Melandri and Tom Sykes with Rea’s Pata Honda team-mate Leon Haslam scoring two seventh place finishes.
Starting from tenth place on the grid after his Superpole crash yesterday, Rea got a good start to the first 25-lap race around the 3.610km Californian circuit. However, while running in fifth place, the 27-year-old ran wide at turn three and dropped to tenth before fighting his way back to sixth place at the flag.
Race two was red-flagged after nine laps with Rea holding seventh place but a second red flag was shown immediately after the restart. Lining up seventh on the re-formed grid for a seven-lap sprint, he got another good start and a bold move past Toni Elias in turn 10 secured his 40th World Superbike podium.
Haslam had matched his team-mate’s pace for most of the Laguna Seca weekend but front grip issues restricted progress for the 31-year-old in the first race, in which he finished three seconds behind Rea. The grip issue transferred to the rear of Haslam’s bike in race two and he was forced to settle for another seventh place finish.
Next week, both Pata Honda riders will fly to Japan to join other Honda CBR1000RR-powered teams in the prestigious Suzuka 8 Hours race on 27 July before an extended summer break, with the World Superbike Championship re-grouping for round ten at Jerez in Spain on 5-7 September.
Jonathan Rea - 6th and 3rd
I feel we should have been stronger in race one today, but that was a knock-on effect of my mistake yesterday in Superpole. But the red flags definitely helped me in race two by improving my grid position but they gave me a bike today that was pretty good. In the second part of the race, I felt like I had a bike that could compete right at the front had I been there from the first lap. Unfortunately, Laguna is really hard to pass at so I had to make some bold manoeuvres but I enjoyed it! It’s how I like to ride and I’m excited to leave here with a podium, which almost feels better than my race win last week in Portugal. I’m excited to go into the summer break and come back strong for the last part of the year.
Leon Haslam - 7th and 7th
In race one I felt pretty good – I got a good start but really struggled with front grip from lap one. I was hanging in there for a top five finish but in the last six or seven laps my pace dropped off quite a lot as I was really struggling with the front grip. In race two we didn’t change anything but the front grip came back and it was really good, but we struggled more with rear grip. On the three starts in race two the grip got worse and worse and I was over a second slower than I had been on a 20-lap tyre yesterday. We need to analyse why because the bike was the same and the boys have worked really well this weekend and we’ve been making good progress, especially on old tyres. To be that slow on new tyres in those re-starts was not what we wanted.
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator
Leon had a good start in race one and was doing OK but the front grip went and he couldn’t do the lap times any more. Race two was a bit hectic but he had no rear grip and was a long way off his lap times from the weekend. We’re just investigating whether it was something with the tyre because all weekend he was matching Jonathan’s times, which was encouraging. Jonathan also had a good start to race one but in his eagerness to catch the front runners he ran off the track at turn three and rejoined back in tenth place. He got back to sixth but was very close to the guys in fourth and fifth. The red flags in race two led to a seven-lap sprint but he got another really good start and then passed Elias with a nice move for third. We’re really happy with that and we’re third in the championship a nd still in touch with second. That’s a good way to go into the summer break.
Fourth for Laverty after a dramatic day at Laguna Seca
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki racer Eugene Laverty finished fourth in this afternoon’s dramatic sprint race climax to the eni FIM Superbike World Championship weekend at Laguna Seca in America.
After a strong battle to fourth in the opening stint of the day’s second race, two red flags saw Laverty resigned to a seven lap sprint race aboard his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R. A difficult start dropped the Irishman to seventh at the first turn but Laverty dug deep to regain his earlier position, moving through the front pack in the opening three laps before retaking fourth on the penultimate lap to claim 13 points.
Starting strongly in the first race - running sixth and battling for fourth – Laverty suffered a technical issue resulting in a trip through the gravel at turn two on lap eight and an eventual early retirement five corners later.
After a tough start to the day, Alex Lowes rode to a brilliant eighth position in race one - having suffered a big accident in warm-up. His Voltcom Crescent Suzuki team worked tirelessly to build a new GSX-R in the hour-break before the commencement of the opening contest, and the British racer repaid the effort by jumping three places from his starting position to bring home eight points.
Race two saw Lowes holding 10th for the opening 10 laps and looking to progress to the top six, before a crash at The Corkscrew brought out a red flag and the end to his weekend.
A bright and blustery day saw the California track bathed in 21°C sunshine for the opening action, as Aprilia’s Marco Melandri saw off his teammate for the victory. Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes eventually took the win in the second outing with his teammate David Salom taking the EVO prize for both races.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki now looks to enjoy the long summer break while returning to its UK headquarters in preparation for the first of the four remaining rounds, as the World Championship returns to Jerez, in Spain, on Sunday 7th September.
“We have put in a lot of good work all weekend but race one was over before it started, we had a technical problem and managed a few laps hanging in there but the bike was on its way out, so on lap eight it was done. In race two I managed to hang in with the front guys even when our bike isn’t as strong with a full fuel tank and new tyres. Then the GSX-R started to feel really good and I knew I could come towards them but the red flag came out. The restarted seven lap sprints don’t really suit us as we are always better at the end of the races. We as a team had the potential for podiums today, the guys worked so hard this weekend so we all deserved it before the summer break - fourth was not really the reward we were looking for.”
“It’s been a difficult, painful day and I’m disappointed with its conclusion. I got a good feeling and understanding with the GSX-R today and my team have done a great job this weekend so it’s a shame we couldn’t come away with more. I’m looking forward to the summer break it will give me the time to recover and continue my training so we can come back strong and ready to fight in Jerez.”
Jubilant Sykes Wins Race Number Eight
The ninth round of the FIM Superbike World Championship, at Laguna Seca in the USA, saw Tom Sykes secure a podium place in race one and then follow it up with his eighth race win of the 2014 season, to extend his championship leading advantage once again. Loris Baz scored good points in each race and David Salom (KRT SBK Evo) won both SBK Evo contests to put himself into an even more commanding lead in the Evo class.
With Sykes third in race one his team-mate Baz was unable to join in the podium celebrations this time around, going ninth in the first 25-lap race and then finishing up race two in an improved sixth place, after three starts which were the result of two red flag incidents.
On a very busy raceday Sykes had a strong run in the first race, with only a small lack of rear traction keeping him in third position, rather than challenging for the race win. He had started from pole and was leading the race before he ran wide into The Corkscrew section, went off track and was passed by Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli. He could not quite get back on terms and finished third, for his 12th podium of the year.
In race one Loris Baz was unhappy with his overall set-up and he was unable to get up to his usual competitive pace throughout. He was ninth in the final results, with the KRT SBK Evo Ninja ZX-10R of
David Salom in tenth place and only three seconds behind Loris. Salom was top Evo rider with his top-ten race finish.
In race two, finally held over only seven laps after two restarts after red flag accidents, Tom was sitting behind leading rider Melandri when the Italian rider fell, giving Tom a lead from lap two that he would maintain to win by over a second. Sykes now leads by 44 points in the championship standings, over Sylvain Guintoli. Baz’s set-up and overall performance improved in race two and he is currently fourth in the championship, only eight points from third place.
After race two Salom was once more the top classified Evo rider and he had his best individual race finish of 2014 with eighth place. David has scored in every single race bar one and he now leads the Evo class by 37 points with four rounds and eight races remaining. In the manufacturers’ championship Kawasaki leads by 24 points.
After an unusually long summer break, only punctuated by an official test session at Portimao between 21 and 22 July, the championship has its next appointment at Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, on September 7th.
Tom Sykes: “An eighth win of the year and one more point ahead in the championship. I knew this circuit would be difficult for us after last year, and then again after race one this year, so if you had offered me that deal last night I would have taken it. I thought my points gap may have been reduced after this round. I ran a bit wide at the Corkscrew on lap one of race one but the bike was working well, just not well enough to win. The guys who finished ahead of me have a great track record here, have ridden so many times in GPs and both did well last year. I was happy with everything in race one but in the pure performance of rear traction we gave away too much. In race one you can talk about having a strategy but in race two, with all the red flags and a short race it was a case of go big! I was motivated after race one and the bike was working well. We made changes for the first attempt at race two and we improved it, and then for the first restart it was better again and then for the final part we made another change and it was better again. I am very happy to have extended my championship lead and a great pleasure to take the win. I can go into the summer break very relaxed and very motivated.”
Loris Baz: “We have been strong in all rounds this season but this one was not the same. We saved some points and we are still not so far from the riders immediately in front of us in the championship. I am not sure what was wrong in race one but from lap two until the end I could not enter the turns, could not exit the corners the way I wanted. I cannot understand why because we have changed the bike settings a lot. I have tried to change my style but our result is very similar and it is very strange. In race two we found some things that worked better for us but not quite enough. It was a strange weekend but we made a recovery in race two and for sure it was better than race one.”
David Salom: “Two Evo class wins today but every race the competition gets stronger, so it is not easy. In the championship we have more points over our main competition going into the summer break. It was a very difficult weekend in practice here because I could not do one very fast lap but in race one I did not get a good start but I pushed the whole race. I needed to keep my concentration and winning was a very good end result for us. Race two was very short but we won our part of it again and now we have a bigger lead in the Evo class.”
SUPER EVO 1-2
Team Bimota Alstare riders Ayrton Badovini and Christian Iddon equalled their best results of the season in the second race of the World Superbike Championship at Laguna Seca today. In a race best by red flags Ayrton and Christian kept their cool and stormed to a perfect 1-2 in the EVO class. Not only did they dominate the EVO class, but they also finished 8th and 9th in the overall standings.
Ayrton Badovini – Race 1: N/C, Race 2: 1st (EVO)
“In the first race we had a small fuel pump problem and I was forced to pull into the pits and get it fixed. In fact, I pitted twice, but after the second time, I was able to ride normally.
I didn’t have a very good feeling about the bike set-up in Race 2, but when it was red flagged we had a chance to make some changes to the bike and it definitely felt better. We then had another red flag and this time we took the opportunity to change the tyre and try one with a different compound. This gave me a better felling straightaway and I could push much harder. I had a good fight with Christian and although he led me for four laps, I managed to pass him on the last lap and take first position in the EVO class.
The first race was not such a good result, but I am very, very happy with the second.”
Christian Iddon – Race 1: 4th (EV0), Race 2: 2nd (EVO)
“Race 1 was quite difficult. We had made a small change to the front but I couldn’t feel what was going on with it. I rode as hard as I could, but couldn’t push any harder because I didn’t know what the front end was doing.
Race 2 had lots of starts and each time I was at the front – or thereabouts – of the EVO group. The last restart was the best for me and I was really enjoying leading the EVO charge. I really thought that I was going to win the EVO class, but then I made a small error at Turn 5 and Ayrton passed me. Having led the class for most of the race, it was a bit hard to take getting beaten on the last lap. This afternoon, the bike has been really good and that is thanks to all the guys – they have been brilliant!”