Press releases from the series organizer and the World Supersport and World Superbike teams after Sunday's thrilling races at Jerez:
Melandri wins an exciting race 1
Jerez (Spain), Sunday 7 September 2014 – In one of the closest races of the season so far Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) has taken the win in race one at Jerez after a 20 lap encounter that saw the leading group of eight riders exchanging places at almost every turn in the early stages. Melandri scored his 4th win as factory Aprilia rider and the 17th of his career.
From the start it was the Aprilia duo of Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli who lead the pack with the Frenchman passing his Italian teammate at turn 3.
Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) took the lead at the end of the 4th lap and the two compatriots began to ease away. Not content with 2nd, Guintoli responded and retook the lead on lap 8 with the chasing pack, now led by Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) closing in.
Giugliano, who had been passed for 3rd by Melandri, crashed out at the start of the eleventh lap while reigning champion Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) also ran off the track at the end of the long back straight as he attempted to improve from 7th.
After running as high as 3rd on the opening two laps Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) crashed unhurt from 9th, he was followed a lap later by Loris Baz who went down after making contact with the back of Marco Melandri’s Aprilia.
At the flag it was all smiles in the Aprilia camp with Melandri coming home ahead of Guintoli with Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team) taking the final podium position in 3rd.
Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) was 4th with Tom Sykes and Eugene Laverty 5th and 6th respectively. Reigning Champion Sykes still leads the standings with now a 35 point advantage on Guintoli.
Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia) was just beaten to top spot in the EVO battle coming home in 10th overall just behind David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) who was 9th. Salom now extends his points advantage in the EVO category to 42 points.
Results: 1. Melandri (Aprilia) 20 Laps/88.460 km in 34'20.164 average 154.578 kph; 2. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1.397; 3. Davies (Ducati) 4.283; 4. Rea (Honda) 5.705; 5. Sykes (Kawasaki) 6.979; 6. Laverty (Suzuki) 7.342; 7. Haslam (Honda) 14.868; 8. Elias (Aprilia) 23.853; 9. Salom (Kawasaki) 25.886; 10. Barrier (BMW) 26.536; 11. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 41.308; 12. Andreozzi (Kawasaki) 46.672; 13. Morais (Kawasaki) 48.742; 14. Canepa (Ducati) 50.131; 15. Corti (MV Agusta) 1'03.677; 16. Rizmayer (BMW) 1'14.881; 17. May (EBR) 1'22.832; 18. Toth (BMW) 1'35.170; RT. Yates (EBR); RT. Baz (Kawasaki); RT. Lowes (Suzuki); RT. Giugliano (Ducati); RT. Staring (Kawasaki).
Melandri does the double, van der Mark clinches WSS title
Jerez (Spain), Sunday 7 September 2014 – Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) took his second double of the year today after another dominating performance at Jerez in race 2. The experienced Italian rider elevated himself into the lead in the final third of the encounter after overtaking his teammate Sylvain Guintoli, then he pulled away to secure the first position at the chequered flag. The former 250cc World Champion added another win to his tally to become the second most successful Italian race winner in the series after Max Biaggi.
Thanks to another second place finish, Guintoli has narrowed the gap to the top of the standings to 31 points as championship leader Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) was 3rd. The podium finishers were awarded with their trophies by Alfa Romeo Ambassador Jorge Lorenzo.
Completing the top six were Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team), Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team), and Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) while the best EVO classified rider was Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia) who finished 11th overall and comfortably ahead of 12th placed Sheridan Morais (Iron Brain Grillini Kawasaki) who scored on of his best results of the year.
Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) endured another difficult race as he was forced to retire at the end of lap 3 due to a technical problem. Both EVO points leader David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Alessandro Andreozzi (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) failed to make it to the finish line after falling off their respective machines.
There was jubilation for Team Toth BMW who achieved their third point scoring finish of the season courtesy of a 14th place finish by replacement rider Gabor Rizmayer.
Results: 1. Melandri (Aprilia) 20 Laps/88.460 km in 34'25.940 average 154.146 kph; 2. Guintoli (Aprilia) 2.845; 3. Sykes (Kawasaki) 6.097; 4. Davies (Ducati) 7.749; 5. Rea (Honda) 7.935; 6. Laverty (Suzuki) 10.510; 7. Baz (Kawasaki) 16.078; 8. Haslam (Honda) 16.098; 9. Lowes (Suzuki) 16.554; 10. Elias (Aprilia) 25.840; 11. Barrier (BMW) 36.839; 12. Morais (Kawasaki) 55.531; 13. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 55.980; 14. Rizmayer (BMW) 1'18.354; 15. Canepa (Ducati) 1'26.338; 16. Yates (EBR) 1'31.468; RT. Andreozzi (Kawasaki); RT. Toth (BMW); RT. May (EBR); RT. Corti (MV Agusta); RT. Giugliano (Ducati); RT. Salom (Kawasaki); NS. Staring (Kawasaki).
Standings (Round 10 of 12): 1. Sykes 352; 2. Guintoli 321; 3. Rea 285; 4. Melandri 267; 5. Baz 262; 6. Davies 188; 7. Laverty 154; 8. Giugliano 153; 9. Elias 151; 10. Haslam 150; 11. Lowes 126; 12. Salom 95; 13. Canepa 54; 14. Guarnoni 41; 15. Camier 37; 16. Barrier 32; 17. Morais 24; 18. Andreozzi 21; 19. Scassa 16; 20. Foret 14; 21. Corti 14; 22. Staring 12; 23. Allerton 6; 24. Bos 5; 25. Goi 5; 26. Russo 5; 27. Rizmayer 3; 28. Pegram 2; 29. Toth 2; 30. Fabrizio 2; 31. Lanusse 1. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 369; 2. Aprilia 368; 3. Honda 285; 4. Ducati 249; 5. Suzuki 220; 6. BMW 69; 7. MV Agusta 21; 8. EBR
A race long fight at the front involving 5 riders raged in Spain this afternoon as Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) became the 2014 World Supersport Champion in style by winning at Jerez as his closest championship rival Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) crashed out of the lead at the end of the penultimate lap.
Completing the podium were the Intermoto Kawasaki Ponyexpres team mates PJ Jacobsen and Florian Marino.
Jack Kennedy (CIA Insurance Honda), Kev Coghlan (DMC-Panavto Yamaha) and Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) rounded out the top 6 while former champion Kenan Sofuoglu (San Carlo Puccetti Racing) who had to start from the pit lane rode an incredible race to claim 3 points at the flag and had the accolade of the fastest lap.
Matt Davies (Aark Racing) finished 20th on his return to the World Supersport championship.
APRILIA DOMINATES AT JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA
IN THE TENTH ROUND OF THE WORLD SBK CHAMPIONSHIP IT'S A DOUBLE ONE-TWO FOR THE ITALIAN BIKES ON THE SPANISH TRACK.
MARCO MELANDRI WINS BOTH RACES IN FRONT OF TEAM MATE GUINTOLI.
Jerez de la Frontera, 7 September 2014 – Aprilia had no rivals at Jerez in the tenth round of the World SBK Championship. The RSV4s from Noale proved their superiority taking first and second place in both Race 1 and Race 2.
It was Melandri who earned both wins with authority and employing a similar strategy. In both Race 1 and Race 2 Marco found himself behind in the initial phases, sixth in the first race and fifth in the second. In both cases he skilfully and steadfastly came back, demonstrating undisputed superiority and an optimum feeling with his RSV4. This takes Melandri to five wins this season.
In both races Sylvain Guintoli took the lead early, trying to pull away from his rivals. Once overtaken by Melandri Guintoli confidently managed his position, finishing in second place twice to earn 13 championship points and close the gap behind championship leader, Sykes, whose advantage has now been reduced to just 31 points over Aprilia Racing's Frenchman.
The double win at Jerez also has an impact on the Manufacturers Championship: with the 50 points earned in Spain, Aprilia makes up 23 on Kawasaki which now places them just one point from the top spot in the championship standings.
Marco Melandri: “After the crash in Race 2 at Laguna Seca I was very disappointed because we could have taken a double win there. This weekend my team and I started off well straight away, changing very little on the bike and my RSV4 performed very well today. The second race was a bit more difficult because with the higher temperatures the track has less grip. I tried to be consistent even though I wasn't really fast at the beginning of the race, but I managed to maintain my pace steadily, making up places over my rivals. This was a great Sunday for me. Now I can relax for a few days before getting back on the track.”
Sylvain Guintoli: “Our goal here was to make up points on Tom and that's what we did. Last year I didn't do too well here so I wasn't expecting to be able to battle for the win in both races. I gave it my all, working hard to solve the problems we had during practice and pushing to the limit today. The next round is at Magny Cours, a track that I like and where I know I can count on support from our French fans to keep fighting for the Championship. With 100 points left on the table anything can still happen.”
Double sixth for Laverty in Jerez
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Eugene Laverty secured two sixth place finishes at the Circuito de Jerez in Spain for today’s eni FIM Superbike World Championship races with teammate Alex Lowes consolidating his qualifying position in ninth.
Laverty leaves the Championships’ final Spanish race in seventh position overall after a solid performance saw him mirror his grid position across the line in both of the day’s two races.
Despite a poor start to the morning’s action relegating him to 10th, the Irishman dug deep on-board his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R, his persistence paying off as, after a brief battle with Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes for fifth in the final quarter, the Irishman eventually claimed sixth place at the flag. The afternoon race saw the Suzuki rider away from the lights quickly, maintaining his position amongst the front group. Laverty moved to fifth on lap seven before a late challenge from Rea relegated him back, matching his finish from the previous race and awarding him 20 points for the day’s endeavours.
Reunited in action with his Suzuki GSX-R1000, Lowes’ got off to a blistering start in the opening contest; holding second as he crossed the line for the initial revolution, the British racer retained the final podium position for the opening four laps. Circulating in 10th for the middle stint of the race he eventually succumbed to the track’s greasy conditions at turn one on lap 14. The second outing saw Lowes sustain a steady pace, looking to challenge the two riders in front by lap 10 he eventually settled into a rhythm to bring his Suzuki home in ninth for seven championship points.
A cloudy and humid Jerez circuit greeted the fans and competitors for the 10th round of the Championship this morning. Aprilia’s Marco Melandri took victory ahead of his teammate in both of the day’s races, with Kawasaki’s David Salom and BMW’s Sylvain Barrier sharing the spoils in the EVO class.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki now heads back to its UK Headquarters to prepare for the next round of competition at Magny-Cours in France in a month’s time.
“Unfortunately today wasn’t as good as I’d hoped. Race one was really disappointing, we had a problem with the start off the line and dropped backwards, we made good progress but sixth wasn’t what we expected. In the second race we made a better start, and I think from start to finish it was the best race I could have possibly had but it was only good enough for sixth. We are going to put our heads together and try to figure out how to get back up on to the podium now because I want to be challenging the top three and improve our championship position.”
“It was a frustrating day and not the results we wanted but, as ever, I never give in and pushed hard on the GSX-R. I’m frustrated with the crash as I don’t really know what happened but the team worked really hard to make the changes needed for race two. If it wasn’t for the bad start I think we would’ve had a chance of running with Eugene in the second race, but I lost time getting caught up with Elias. I’m looking forward to the next round and will be working hard with the team to get back up there for Magny-Cours.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“The results today were below our target but at the same time both riders and the team gave it everything and different conditions just didn’t quite work for us. Eugene rode two very strong races - the first one massively compromised by a dreadful start - and was able to achieve two very solid finishes. The margins are so fine between the podium and sixth place that it’s a case of us continuing to work hard to make the GSX-R as adaptable as it can be to all circuits and all conditions so that we can achieve those targets.
“The greasy conditions caught Alex out in the first race, but he showed a lot of fight today and in the second race he learnt a lot and maintained a very consistent pace right to the end. Not the best day, but not the worst and as a step towards the future a lot of learning and good effort by the full Voltcom Crescent Suzuki team.”
Points Leader Sykes Takes A Podium Finish At Jerez
Tom Sykes scored fifth and then third place finishes at the Jerez round of the FIM Superbike World Championship on his Kawasaki Racing Team Ninja ZX-10R to maintain a strong championship lead with two rounds to go. His team-mate Loris Baz was on course for a first race podium until he collided with another rider, while David Salom in the SBK Evo class had a mixed day, but still enjoys a significant Evo championship lead.
In the first 20-lap WSBK race Sykes moved up and down the order after missing a gear near the start, and had to work hard to overcome a less than ideal race set-up in cool conditions to finish fifth.
A strong recovery from Tom in race two, in which he finished third, saw him defend his championship leading status in determined fashion, with his 14th podium finish of the year leaving him now 31 points in the championship lead over Jerez double second place man, Sylvain Guintoli.
Baz, starting from pole in convincing fashion, was always a factor in race one until he fell shortly after double race winner Marco Melandri passed him into a hairpin and they touched at the apex. Loris went out for race two with high hopes again but despite a full effort he had to work hard to finish seventh. He battled strongly and won a three-rider battle over the line. Loris is now fifth in the rankings, five points from fourth place.
In the SBK Evo class David Salom won the first race-within-a-race on his Ninja ZX-10R, but was unfortunate to fall in race two, on the second lap. He is now 41 points ahead in the Evo class and ranked 12th overall in the SBK table.
The FIM Superbike World Championship calendar will now head to Magny Cours in France for the penultimate round, between 3 and 5 October.
Tom Sykes: “A lot of hard riding got me the podium in race two because physically it was really difficult. I had to use a lot of rider input. We made some changes in race two and came close to the front in third place. There was nothing more I could do and tried my hardest. I always thought this weekend could be a little bit uphill. Overall, I have to say I am satisfied, particularly as we had some misfortunes in race one. We did a decent job and we have not lost too much ground. I am very motivated and we have tried a lot of things this weekend. We will continue with our racing season and the guys have worked super hard to cater to my requests and needs here, so it was nice to repay them with a podium finish in race two.”
Loris Baz: “In race one I touched with Melandri on my handlebar - and that is racing sometimes. Maybe I did not give him enough space when I saw him. I thought he was going to take the corner straight away but instead he pulled the bike straight - maybe he lost the front or something - and then he touched my handlebar. It was a shame because I could have won that one. We did not change anything for race two but the bike did not feel the same and I am not sure what happened. We could have done something really good here and taken some good big but I lost some instead.”
David Salom: “Maybe with six or seven laps to go in race one I had no force left in my hand but I pushed to pass Barrier. The bike was sliding a lot but I did not use the throttle too hard and tried to ride smoothly. When Barrier ran wide on the final corner I could pass him back inside and take the Evo win. I was happy for the whole team, Kawasaki and everybody after race one, so it was a shame to fall in race two. Even with that, we took a bigger points lead in the Evo championship.”
Davies and the Ducati Superbike Team back on the podium in SBK race 1 at Jerez!
Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), Sunday 7 September 2014 – Today’s first SBK race at Jerez saw the Ducati Superbike Team celebrate a return to the podium with Chaz Davies. The British rider crossed the line in third place in race one, fourth in race two.
Race 1 – from second and seventh respectively on the grid, both Giugliano and Davies got away well, finding themselves together, in fourth and fifth place, through the opening laps. With a particularly fast pace in the initial stages, the Italian recorded the fastest lap of the race on lap two (1’41.939). On the very next lap, both Ducati factory riders were able to find a way past Lowes to move up into third (Davide) and fourth (Chaz) position. While Davies battled with Melandri, Giugliano gave chase to the two leaders, Guintoli and Baz. Although there were some traction issues for Davies in the second half of the race, he was able to manage the situation and cross the line in final third position, to score his fourth podium of the 2014 season. Unfortunately, on lap twelve, while pushing hard to reach those ahead of him, Giugliano lost the front of his 1199 Panigale and fell. Unable to rejoin the race, he was forced to retire.
Race 2 – Davies, having started well, was able to move up from eighth to fourth place over the course of only four laps. Positioned behind the two Aprilias and Sykes’ Kawasaki, Chaz maintained a strong pace for the entire duration of the race, despite being unable to close the gap between himself and the race leaders, concluding the race in final fourth position. Getting away fast once again, Giugliano was lying in second position after the opening lap, fighting with the two Kawasakis and the two Aprilias. Unfortunately, on lap four, a technical problem caused the rear of the bike to suddenly move, forcing the Italian rider to go off track and into the gravel, from where he was unable to rejoin the race.
After ten of twelve rounds, Davies lies sixth in the championship standings, with 188 points, while Giugliano is eighth with 153 points. Ducati holds fourth position in the manufacturers’ standings, with 249 points.
Carlos Checa, 2011 world champion and Ducati “ambassador” was also on track at Jerez today. Just before the start of race 2, the Spanish rider completed a lap of honour in front of the Superbike crowd on board a 1199 Panigale with a special livery dedicated to him.
Quotes after the races:
Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 3rd, 4th
“I’ve been coming here to Jerez for about fifteen years and have never reached the podium; it’s always been a tough track for me and so of course I’m very pleased with today’s result. In race one, the bike was really behaving well in the opening stages and I was able to make some fast laps but then, from about lap eight onwards, it became increasingly difficult to manage the drop in grip. We made a few changes to the rear to try to improve the ‘skatey’ feeling that we had in race 1 but, to be honest, it wasn’t a lot better in race 2. Our pace wasn’t bad but we didn’t have enough in the second half of the race with which to make consistently fast lap times. But, all in all, a third and a fourth, at what I consider to be one of my weakest tracks, is a good result and I’m really happy. I think these results will give us confidence for the final races of the season.”
Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team #34) – DNF, DNF
“Today was a really difficult day. In race one we made a good start and I thought I would be able to score a good result. The conditions this weekend have been particularly tough and it hasn’t been easy to understand the limit. We want to win and feel we are getting closer to this result each weekend, I’m giving it 150% and so there is always a risk. I’m obviously disappointed but looking at the positives, we have been consistently there with the fastest guys this weekend and this is fundamental – it can only give us confidence and spur us on to continue to fight. I want to be finishing the races in a strong position and not on the ground obviously. We made a few small changes for race 2 and my feeling improved but unfortunately when I tried to push, to reach those up front, a technical problem caused the rear of the bike to shift unexpectedly and I was forced off track into the gravel. We’re looking at the data to understand exactly what happened…”
Ernesto Marinelli - Ducati Superbike Project Director
“Today’s races were 50% positive with, on the one hand, Chaz’s podium in race 1 and fourth place in race 2, results that confirm our competitiveness. The heat has been a big problem for us but the developments made in recent months have meant that we now suffer less than at the start of the season. On the other hand, two DNFs for Davide, after great results during practice, are not a positive of course. In both races his pace matched those of the leaders and his desire to win is undeniable, as is his talent. But to be up front, he still needs to ride too close to the limit and in these conditions the risk of crashing is always just around the corner. We need to continue to work to give him the margin that he needs in order to be able to ride more calmly. In race 2 a technical problem caused the rear of his bike to move dramatically, meaning that he ended up in the gravel. Once home, we will analyse the situation carefully to understand the cause of this.”
Michael van der Mark takes World Supersport title in style
Pata Honda rider Michael van der Mark is the 2014 FIM World Supersport champion after winning today’s ninth round race at Jerez in Spain.
Starting from pole position, the 21-year-old Dutch rider got a good start but ran wide going into turn one at the 4.423km Jerez circuit. There followed 19 laps of nail-biting racing between van der Mark, his championship rival Jules Cluzel and Florian Marino, who finished in third place today.
Cluzel had to finish ahead of van der Mark in order to keep this year’s championship alive and the French rider rode hard to stay ahead of the Pata Honda CBR600RR.
Van der Mark knew what was required, however, and took the lead at the most important time of the race with just two laps remaining. However, Cluzel pushed too hard at the end of the penultimate lap and crashed out at the last corner, leaving van der Mark to complete his victory.
The win today is his fifth World Supersport triumph of the season, giving him an unassailable 76-point lead in the series with two rounds remaining. Today also marked the 10th world championship for the Ten Kate Honda Racing partnership and the 10th World Supersport manufacturers’ title for Honda with its various incarnations of the remarkable CBR600RR machine.
Van der Mark’s Pata Honda team-mate, Lorenzo Zanetti, began today’s 19-lap race from second place on the grid but was unable to maintain his pace as grip levels dropped. The 27-year-old Italian eventually finished in sixth place but moved up to fourth in the championship standings.
Michael van der Mark - 2014 World Supersport champion
I can’t believe it right now! It’s been a long journey to get here and since I started racing 10 years ago it’s been my dream to be world champion. I can thank my family and especially my father who has done so much to help me. He isn’t here – he has his own race today – so good luck to him! I also want to thank all my sponsors because maybe some of them you don’t see on the bike but they have always supported me. Also my 80-year-old trainer who keeps me fit and strong! Last but not least, the team has done an amazing job. This year they gave me an incredible CBR to ride with an amazing set-up. Last year we struggled a lot but this year we have shown that if everything fits together we can be world champion.
Lorenzo Zanetti - P6
I’m not very happy because the weekend was going well and we had a plan for the race. I got a good start, I waited for the tyre to come good but I seemed to lose the grip three laps before the other guys. I will have to look forward to the last two races and try to make sure this problem does not happen again. I think I had potential for a podium today and I wanted to finish on the podium when Mikey won the championship. But congratulations to him on his victory today, he has really ridden well this season.
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator
The Supersport race was really exciting from the first lap to the last and the front three were overtaking each other throughout. Michael kept it together and finished first to win our 10th world championship. We’ll have a party tonight but I would like to pay special tribute to the team – not just Michael’s crew but the whole Supersport team. I know how hard they worked over last winter and they made it possible for the CBR to go faster. Lorenzo was really aggressive today and was fighting at the front but when the grip dropped he had some problems and he dropped back to sixth.
Two Podiums For Kawasaki Riders As Sofuoglu Scores Points
Kenan Sofuoglu (San Carlo Puccetti Racing) battled the disadvantage of starting from pitlane in the 19-lap WSS race at Jerez and finished 13th but Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres riders Patrick Jacobsen and Florian Marino finished second and third respectively.
A successful day for some Ninja ZX-6R riders was topped by the double podium of Jacobsen and Marino. Until the final lap Marino looked like his race-long pressure and determination to lead the pace would pay off, until Jules Cluzel crashed trying to pass him.
Florian had to run wide and new world champion and then race winner Michael van der Mark and Jacobsen passed by, to finish ahead of Marino on the podium. In the championship Marino is now second, with Jacobsen sixth.
Starting from pitlane Sofuoglu, riding for a new team this weekend, also found some unexpected issue with chatter he had not experienced in practice. Even though he set the fastest lap of the race on lap two, with a 1’44.849, he could only score three points. He is now seventh in the championship with two rounds to go.
Roberto Rolfo (Team Go Eleven) put himself seventh in the race, while Alessandro Nocco and Roberto Tamburini (San Carlo Puccetti Racing) finished ninth and tenth respectively.
Christian Gamarino (Team Go Eleven) secured a point for 15th, the last Kawasaki rider to do so. Tony Covena (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) was 18th. Next round is in France, at Magny Cours, on October 5.
Kenan Sofuoglu: “I think getting some points is the best result we could make. I cannot say it was easy for me because this year we have had too many hard situations and this time it was starting from pitlane. Now I am in a new team and today I had a real chatter problem. I do not know why but I think it is because I have not had the chance to do so many laps on my new bike. I think it is the different character of the engine and electronics because after a few laps I had some issues entering corners. We cannot say that finishing 13th was a good weekend for us but it was nice to work with this team.”
KENNEDY TAKES FABULOUS FOURTH
CIA INSURANCE HONDA’S Jack Kennedy enjoyed a race long battle for the podium, eventually finishing fourth at the ninth round of the World Supersport Championship at Jerez in Spain.
Jack finished the race less than 1-second behind winner and new World Supersport Champion Michael Van Der Mark. Jack said: “That was a hot hard race and while I am disappointed not to be on the podium, fourth is not so bad. We were all pretty evenly matched. I am starting to pull together some good consistent results – but I definitely want to get back on the podium next time.”
Nacho Calero enjoyed racing in front of his home crowd, coming home 22nd. Raffaele De Rosa crashed out of ninth on the ninth lap, ending his hopes of a podium finish.
The 10th and penultimate round of the World Championship is at Magny Cours in France on Sunday, October 5th.
CIA Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “That was a great race to watch and Jack was right in the fight from the start to the finish. Fourth is his second best result in the class but we all would have liked another podium. He has the bike, team and desire to make that happen at the last two rounds.
“Nacho had a battle with a couple of other riders. It was unfortunate for Raffaele to crash out half way through the race as he was still in touch and showed how competitive he can be by being fastest in warm up. He will come back stronger for the next round.
“Congratulations to Michael VD Mark and Honda for winning the World Championship this weekend.”
Muresan & H-Moto BMW Scorch To A Spanish Top Ten
For the H-Moto BMW Team it was a welcome return to racing action in today’s penultimate FIM Stock 1000cc Cup at Jerez with Robert Muresan achieving another strong points finish in 10th in a shortened race due an initial first lap incident involving two other riders.
The weekend started well with Robi 4th overall on the combined classification after FP1 and FP2, the Romanian rider would eventually qualify 13th on the grid for the 15 lap encounter, only 1 second from a front row start. This in itself had the entire team smiling in the Spanish sun and with Robi feeling confident hopes were high for another good race.
When the lights went out Muresan made a good start and completed the opening lap 12th before gradually working his way forward to claim a hard fought top ten finish at the flag.
Robert Muresan: “Overall this weekend wasn’t bad although I think if Pirelli hadn’t changed the tyre this weekend that we could have been higher. We tested before the race with the SC2 tyre and we were much faster and also we understood its characteristics better. Nevertheless the whole team worked brilliantly and it was nice to be in the top 4 on the first day. The race was solid and we scored another top ten. I am looking forward to Magny-Cours, it will be cooler which will suit us and I really like the track. Thanks to the team and all my supporters.”
Today’s result consolidates Robi’s 13th position in the overall standings.
Pata Honda delivers strong Superbike results in Spain
Pata Honda rider Jonathan Rea took his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP to fourth and fifth place finishes in today’s two 10th-round World Superbike championship races at Jerez in Spain, retaining his third place in the series with just two rounds to go.
The two races were won by Italian Marco Melandri, with French rider Sylvain Guintoli taking two second places and series leader Tom Sykes scoring a third in race two but seeing his championship lead reduced.
Rea’s Pata Honda team-mate Leon Haslam finished seventh and eighth in the two 20-lap outings which were run in cooler, more overcast conditions than the earlier practice and qualifying sessions at the 4.423km Jerez circuit.
Following the cancellation of the Moscow round, the World Superbike championship will reconvene in one month’s time for round 11 at the French circuit of Magny-Cours.
Jonathan Rea - P4 and P5
I’m really happy with today because it was hard to have high expectations last night, knowing we had to make a big change. But when we reverted to the previous spec engine and made some changes to the front of the bike I was able to ride the way I like without having to change my style too much. Starting from tenth on the grid really didn’t help me to use the tyre to its full potential and gain lap times at the beginning; but in the end my pace was really, really strong in both races. We can take a lot of positives but, to be honest, we were chasing our tails a little earlier in the weekend.
Leon Haslam - P7 and P8
In race one I had a terrible start and struggled a bit. When we got to half race distance I think I went the wrong way with the buttons and made hard work for myself in the second half of the race. We made better steps in race two but I just couldn’t get past Loris [Baz]. I made a few mistakes but always caught him back within a lap. It was good to have a battle but it would have been nice to get by him and maybe get up to Eugene [Laverty]. But I was happy enough – we made good steps between the two races electronically. We knew this round would be tough but we’ve come away with two top eights and, even though I would prefer to fight with the next group, I enjoyed a battle so, all-in-all not too bad.
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator
Jonathan had quite a positive warm-up and the changes we made worked out well. He had a good start from tenth and then really got into the races. Fourth was a good result in race one and he was just a little short from another fourth in race two. With fourth and fifth, however, he is still third in the championship, so that’s good. Leon had a lonely seventh in race one but we matched the electronics better with tyre life for race two and he was able to battle until the end. The second race was actually better, despite finishing eighth, and I think he’ll be fighting in the top five by the end of the season.
Leonov 12th In Rivamoto WSS Race Debut At Jerez
With less than 4 hours track time Rivamoto Honda declared themselves happy after Vladmir Leonov claimed 12th position and 4 World Supersport championship points on their return to the series at Jerez this afternoon.
For Leonov it was the first race for several months, his first on a Honda and the first time he had ridden a bike with drive by wire fitted since 2010. Combine this with the limited track time across the weekend and the technical issue in qualifying at the result is even more impressive.
From the start, the steps forward made by the team overnight were clearly evident as Vladamir was soon several places ahead of where he qualified and battling hard on the fringe of the top ten.
At the flag, and after an intense race long fight that saw him close to within 0.6s of the fastest race lap Leonov crossed the line to claim a well deserved 12th position on his Rivamoto race debut.
Looking ahead, Rivamoto make no secret of wanting to be back in the World Supersport Championship full time in 2015 and ask any parties that may be interested in collaborating to get in touch via email: email@example.com
Konstantin Zotov – Team Manager: “It was a really positive weekend for us, one that we really enjoyed. It was great to be back in the paddock. We improved session by session which was the initial target and in the race itself we were considerably faster than qualifying. We definitely found a good direction overnight and in the warm up and to be only 0.6s from the outright fastest lap of the race is encouraging. We want to be in Magny-Cours but at the moment we don’t have everything in place that we need to allow us to be there. From the team side of things we are trying everything we can to continue because we want to prove that we are still more than capable of top ten results. We can’t forget also that Vladimir had a tough job this weekend, not only had he not raced for 3 months but he had never ridden a Honda or a bike with drive by wire since 2010. We give credit to him and am pleased that he can show his ability to fight with limited track time in these circumstances. We want to stay in the championship and are looking at any possibility. Thanks to everyone this weekend both inside the team for their dedication and for the support that we received within the paddock.”
Vladamir Leonov: “It’s been a good weekend and I am happy to be back racing again. We found a better solution for the race but overall we just didn’t have enough time to make it perfect, especially with the issue in qualifying. Nevertheless the team did a great job and everyone is very motivated so a big thanks to them. In the race I got a good start and was involved with a lot of fighting but as I said we just needed a bit more time to improve things more. I hope that we can continue in France but right now I don’t know. Thanks again to the whole Rivamoto team and to everyone that supported us this weekend.”
European Junior Cup set up for thrilling finale
The Pata European Junior Cup powered by Honda Racing delivered yet another thrilling finish at Jerez in Spain today to tee up a spectacular finale when the series draws to a conclusion at Magny-Cours in Spain on 5 October.
Today’s winner, Britain’s Josh Harland, took victory over Belgian rider Angelo Licciardi by just 0.014s after ten laps of the 4.423km Jerez circuit on identical Honda CBR500R machines.
Licciardi in turn beat Illan Fernandez from Spain into third place by a further 0.061s, meaning the three podium finishers were covered by just seven hundredths of a second.
The thrilling race, in which series leader August Fernandez, also from Spain, could finish only in sixth place, means that the final round will come down to a fight between him and his compatriot Javier Orellana, who was fourth today.
The advantage is with Fernandez, who holds a 24-point and lead and needs to score only one championship point to secure this year’s European Junior Cup title, but no-one will bet against this one going down to the wire.
Josh Harland – winner
It’s great to get back on the podium here at Jerez and I’m really happy to do it with my first win in the European Junior Cup. It was a really amazing fight with the other two guys on the podium today. Now I want to take this momentum into the final round and do the best that I can there.
Pata European Junior Cup, powered by Honda Racing – round seven
Jerez, Spain – result (10 laps):
1 Josh Harland (GBR) 20m28.184s
2 Angelo Licciardi (BEL) +0.014s
3 Illan Fernandez (ESP) +0.061s
4 Javier Orellana (ESP) +0.252s
5 Mika Perez (ESP) +0.252s
6 Augusto Fernandez (ESP) +0.527s
7 Mario Lujan Soto (MEX) +0.567s
8 Sam Wilford (GBR) +0.577s
9 Hannes Soomer (EST) +0.1.292s
10 Jamie van Sikkeleru (NED) +1.705s
Championship points after seven of eight rounds:
1 A Fernandez 139, 2 Orellana 115, 3 Licciardi 84, 4 I Fernandez 79, 5 Harland 47, 6 Marc Miralles (ESP) 62, 7 Perez 50, 8 Jesper Hubner (SWE) 51, 9 Soomer 49, 10 Paolo Grassia (ITA) 35.
Next round: Magny-Cours, France – 3-5 October