Press releases from this weekend's WorldSBK round at Jerez:
Double Jerez win sealed by Champion Rea
KRT man wraps up a successful Round 12 in Spain with another win and is joined on podium by Ducati pair Melandri and Davies
At the Pirelli Spanish Round it was triple World Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) who took the victory in Race 2 on Sunday to complete a fine weekend at the Circuito de Jerez. A commanding performance in a restarted WorldSBK race at the resurfaced 4.423km Spanish track gave Rea maximum points - as he was joined on the podium by Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) and Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati).
Northern Irishman Rea therefore notched a double win at a venue where he had not previously scored a victory before the Round 12 weekend, the KRT man riding in a confident and relaxed manner having wrapped up an unprecedented third successive title three weeks ago in France. Rea went from ninth on the grid to first place by the end of the first lap, overtaking Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) cleanly at the second attempt to remain at the front from early in lap 2.
Rea did not look back from there and crossed the line 2.7s seconds ahead of Melandri, who got the better of his teammate Davies in the final stages of the race. The result gave Kawasaki the 2017 WorldSBK Manufacturers’ title.
There were good battles throughout the field behind the front runners with Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) finishing fourth and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) fifth. Van der Mark was sixth after leading on the first lap and having had a clash with Melandri early in the race.
Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) was seventh, after a good battle with 2014 World Champion Sylvain Guintoli - who returned to action on the Kawasaki ZX-10RR this weekend. Frenchman Guintoli will also ride for Kawasaki Puccetti Racing at the final round of the season in Qatar next month. Leandro Mercado (IODARacing) and Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) completed the top ten.
Davide Giugliano (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) was given a ride through penalty after speeding in pit lane having been forced to return to his garage due to an issue midrace. He eventually finished 17th, after suffering a DNF on Saturday. Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) was 18th after he crashed out on the first lap of the restarted race.
A red flag had been shown after first lap incidents in the initial race, which saw Davies and Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) both down at turn two and then Dominic Schmitter (eighty one HPC-Power Suzuki Racing) needing assistance from medical staff at trackside after crashing heavily on the Suzuki GSX-R1000.
Davies’ team worked hard as the riders prepared for a restart 20 minutes after the original race had begun, with the Ducati Panigale R requiring some quick repairs in order for the Welshman to return to the starting grid for the second getaway. Laverty was also due on the grid for the restart however he had to return to pit lane for another tweak to his Aprilia RSV4 RF just before the second start - as his tough season continued. He eventually restarted from pit lane and was ultimately unable to finish the shortened 19 lap second race.
The last round of the 2017 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship – the Acerbis Qatar Round – takes place from Thursday 2nd November to Saturday 4th November, under the floodlights in the desert at the Losail International Circuit.
P1 - Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team)
"My bike today was incredible, we made a big change over night with the front of the bike and it gave me all the confidence and on the brakes. I needed a very good first lap but my pace was incredible, I have no words. I want to thank the whole team, the bike today was incredible"
P2 - Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati)
"It was a tough race, I was trying to fight for the win but I knew Jonny was going to do so well. I tried to pass the other riders but it was hard and I spent too long with van der Mark, he took some hard lines. After this I lost so much time and I knew I would't be able to catch Jonathan. It's hard because we knew we had the pace."
P3 - Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati)
"It was an interesting race. We got another good start and made it count in the first couple of laps, I tried to stay with Jonny and in the end we couldn't do it. With the championship so close between me and Tom, I didn't want to make any risks but overall I am really happy."
Rea Wins As Kawasaki Takes Manufacturers’ Championship
Kawasaki won the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship Manufacturers’ title today after Jonathan Rea (KRT) won his second race of the weekend. This was Rea’s 14th victory in his third consecutive championship-winning season. Tom Sykes (KRT) could not find optimal rear traction in race two at Jerez and he finished fifth.
At the conclusion of a successful Jerez weekend Kawasaki’s third successive Manufacturers’ Championship arrived one round early, and is now added to the 2017 Riders’ Championship for Rea and the Team’s Championship for the Kawasaki Racing Team.
The second race was started on schedule at 13.00 but was almost immediately halted and restarted after clash between two riders brought out a red flag. Over a reduced race duration of 19 laps, Rea was not to be denied and set a new lap record of 1’40.640, to secure his second win of the Jerez weekend.
Rea has now scored 52 race wins in his WorldSBK career, making him equal second best of all time alongside another three-time champion, Troy Bayliss. He also scored his 110th World SBK podium with his race two win, taking him one place above Carl Fogarty, and making him the third most successful WorldSBK rider in that ranking.
Having reached a total of 100 race podiums in WorldSBK on Saturday, Sykes was unable to add to it with his fifth place today, fighting against an unexpected lack of rear traction. He still set strong lap times and fought all the way to finish just six seconds from the win. Tom is tied on points for second place overall with Chaz Davies, with one round to go. He is ranked third in the points table as he has fewer wins in 2017 than his rival.
The final round of the season takes place under the floodlights of Losail, Qatar, with races behind held on Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th November.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “Kawasaki won the Manufacturers’ Championship today and it is not just the bike, the rider, the management, the crew chief, it is every single person inside the team and at the factory race department in Japan. Everyone has made this result and I am super-proud to be a part of it. In the race I had a really nice hash tag on my dash today for a little bit more motivation on the grid. My mechanics were building me up right before I left the grid and I knew today I had to go. I feel like I steered the bike around today. The win came from my crew chief Pere Riba because he asked me to trust him with some front geometry changes and a front tyre change. It was awesome.”
Tom Sykes, stated: “Kawasaki has had a great run in the past few years and certainly they have a great team together which helps them reach their goal. For the manufacturer, to get this title is probably as special as the riders’ championship. Today they got their prize for their effort. Fifth was not what I was looking for today. I was struggling with the bike set-up today if I am honest I could not find the rear traction. I just tried some things while riding the bike and finally it was OK to keep the lap times in the low to mid 1’41s. That is as fast, or faster, than yesterday but for whatever reason I just could not get that grip on the rear. It is something so, so small but unfortunately you spend a lot of time on the side of the tyre here.”
Double podium for the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team in Race 2 at Jerez: Melandri is 2nd, Davies 3rd
The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team stepped on the podium with both its riders in Race 2 at Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), with Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies respectively in second and third position.
The Italian, who was forced to retire in Race 1 while he was leading, climbed back from 10th position on the grid, matching the winner’s pace once he had a clear track in front of him. The Welshman, second in Race 1, was initially involved in a contact that resulted in a crash before the race was red-flagged. At the restart, Davies rode another solid race to tie the score with Sykes in the fight for second position in the championship, where he’s leading due to the higher number of wins.
After twelve rounds, Davies (363 points) and Melandri (301 points) are respectively 2nd and 4th in the championship. The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team will resume action at Losail (Qatar) for the last round of the season, scheduled for November 2-4.
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33) – 2nd
“Today’s second place, at the end of such a hard race, feels almost like a win to me. Starting in 10th, I knew it would have been hard to climb back through the field. Rea had the pace to pull away by himself, and I wanted to stay with him from the very start. I was recovering positions quickly, but then I lost time with VD Mark after a contact at turn 5. We could have tried to hunt down Rea together, but it turned into a fight that made us lose time. After that, all I could go for was second place, but it felt good to finally be able to fight with Chaz until the very end. I’m confident ahead of Qatar, we’re still improving.”
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 3rd
“I’m really happy with today’s result, to get on the podium twice wasn’t easy for us. I think we did the best we could this weekend. It was clear it wasn’t going to be an easy round for us since Friday morning, the new tarmac threw us a bit of a curveball and we had all sorts of obstacles to jump over, but we reacted quite well. It would have been a tall order to fight for the win today, but the main goal was to take some points off from Sykes and now we’re exactly even, so I’m satisfied with that. In 2016 we did really well in Qatar so I hope to start from where we left off last year.”
Stefano Cecconi, Aruba CEO and Team Principal
“To see both Marco and Chaz on the podium at the end of a difficult round makes us proud. Together with the whole team, they showed great determination, putting up a show and finishing strong. We’ll start over from here to take full advantage of our potential in Qatar and finish the season on the top step of the podium.”
Lowes Just Misses Out on Race 2 Podium in Jerez
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team rounded off a superb weekend in Jerez by completing another double top-six finish in a dramatic restarted Race 2, on a gloriously sunny Sunday at the penultimate round of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship. Alex Lowes rode one of his best races of the season, showing incredible pace in the latter stages to charge to fourth and miss out on the podium by just 0.650s. His teammate Michael van der Mark led in both the original and restarted race, getting involved in a number of spectacular battles with the leading riders before crossing the line in sixth after suffering from a loss of rear grip late on.
Lowes started Sunday's Race 2 from pole position following on from his fourth-place finish in Race 1 on Saturday. When the lights went out, he made a good start and settled in behind his teammate van der Mark in second before the red flag was shown on the opening lap. In the restarted 19-lap race, Lowes entered the first corner in second behind van der Mark in a carbon copy of the original start. The teammates battled together on the opening lap before Jonathan Rea passed them both for the lead, with Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies also getting past Lowes, as the 27-year-old patiently took his time to find a good feeling with his harder option front tyre, whilst battling with the top riders in the championship. The British rider had focused on working on his late-race pace the whole weekend, realising that the abrasive new surface at Jerez would reward consistency in the latter stages. Lowes completed a 21-lap race simulation in FP2 on Friday, a strategy that clearly helped as halfway through the race he was able to improve his lap times and from fifth, started to close down the riders ahead of him.
On lap 11 his teammate ran wide after contact with Tom Sykes and Lowes needed no more invitation, with the 2013 British Superbike Champion taking advantage to pass van der Mark and then setting his sights on closing the two-second gap to the podium battle ahead of him. Relentlessly he hunted down the top 3 riders in a blistering display of riding but, unfortunately for Lowes, he just ran out of laps, eventually crossing the line in fourth only 0.650s behind Davies in third and 4.624s off the race winner. This result means Lowes has 226 points and retains fifth in the championship standings with just two races remaining and he is confident he will be in the hunt for the podium once more at the final round in Qatar.
Completing a Yamaha 1-2 on the grid, van der Mark got a blistering start from second in the original race and led until the red flag appeared. In Race 2 he managed to grab the holeshot again, leading for the majority of the first lap before Rea passed him. He then became involved in one of the best battles of the season with Melandri, with both riders passing each other repeatedly in an enthralling fight that lasted for more than five laps. The 24-year-old Dutch rider got the better of the Italian, until Sykes made contact with him in Turn 9 with nine laps to go, forcing him wide and letting Melandri through.
Soon afterwards he made a small mistake as he started to suffer from a lack of rear grip, allowing Sykes through and dropping down to sixth, but the 2014 World Supersport champion once again rode maturely to ensure that, despite struggling in the last few laps as his grip issue worsened, he brought his Pata Yamaha R1 home in a superb sixth to add to his fifth-place finish in Race 1. This sees van der Mark sixth in the championship standings with 210 points, just 16 behind his teammate, and full of confidence heading into the final round in Qatar.
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team return to action, keen to finish the year in the strongest fashion possible, at the final round of the season in Losail from the 2nd-4th November. Check out the Race 2 results.
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team - 4th +4.624s
"Honestly, my R1 was really good today! The first six laps I was too slow and couldn't find the front grip I needed but in the second half of the race I was quite strong. We worked really hard this weekend and I did the best I could, so we have to be happy. Two fourth places are nice and hopefully, we can get that podium I wanted in Qatar instead, but it has been a really good day and I have enjoyed it. I tried to work on my pace for the second half of the race, as I knew the new surface would come into play, so I have worked all weekend to make sure I was strong at the end of the race and tried to catch a podium that way. It obviously worked as my pace was strong, so I have to be happy with that and with the work the team has done because we had a plan and we carried it out and it worked pretty well., Unfortunately, it wasn't quite enough today but at the next race hopefully it will be. We have put the work in and we are starting to see some of the rewards for it. I am a racer, I want to win but I know that all of the races and the hard work we are doing now gives us more of a chance to do just that in future, and I look forward to seeing what we can do in Qatar!"
Michael van der Mark
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team - 5th +10.120s
"I had a really good first start and took the holeshot but then the red flag came out and we had to wait. I had another good start in the restarted race, I was leading the first lap before Jonathan Rea got past me. I tried to follow him but I was struggling. I had a better feeling with the softer front tyre but I couldn't quite get the bike turned as well as the other guys. I had fought so hard to try and get the podium and I had some really nice battles but Marco Melandri made contact with me at Turn 9 and I ran wide, which allowed Alex to get past. I then made another little mistake and Tom Sykes got past me as well and I just couldn't quite match their pace. I tried so hard right until the end and it was difficult but we recorded another top-six finish and secured some good championship points. Hopefully, in Qatar, we can fight for the podium again and finish the season on a high. The team has made great progress this year! At the beginning of the season, we had some ups and downs and rounds where I was fast and others where Alex was fast. Now we come to every track and we are both fast, which shows how much amazing progress we have made and I think Qatar is a track that will suit the R1 as well, so hopefully, we can show our full potential there!"
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team Principal
"Another exciting race this afternoon here in Jerez and, once again, both the Pata Yamahas were fighting with the very best. Alex rode, for me, one of his strongest races of the year. We have had better results elsewhere but after a difficult start to the race, where he struggled with front grip and braking, he had to be calm and let the pace develop as the race wore on. To close down as much as he did on Chaz Davies, who dominated the races here last year, shows the progress that we, as Pata Yamaha and Alex himself, have made. Alex and his team should be very proud of their performance over the course of this weekend. Michael had an exciting race, really battling hard with the top riders in the championship. There were passes and re-passes and possibly because of this, or the fact that his rear tyre was used in the red-flagged race, in the restarted race he ran out of grip and, as Tom Sykes pushed hard late on in the race, he made the right choice to finish well and score good points. Well done to everybody at Yamaha, to the team, and to the riders! We are now in a position where the hard work is starting to pay off and we can begin to see ourselves as real contenders."
Spanish Round draws to a close for the Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team
Circuito de Jerez, Spain
The Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team has completed the penultimate event of the 2017 World Superbike season, with Takumi Takahashi and Davide Giugliano 15th and 17th, respectively, at the end of the shortened second encounter of the weekend.
The initial race was red flagged on the second lap after the crash involving Eugene Laverty and Chaz Davies at turn two immediately after the start. Just like yesterday, a new event of 19 laps was called by race direction, which got underway after a short break.
Giugliano got a good launch from row six and was thirteenth at the end of the opening lap. The Italian rider then lost a handful of places after having to avoid Savadori – who crashed in front of him and – dropped down to 18th, right behind his team mate Takumi Takahashi.
At the end of lap four, the Italian rider returned to the pits after experiencing some braking issues, before making his way back to the track on fresh tyres to collect some more data for the team.
Meanwhile, Takahashi was involved in a battle with Riccardo Russo, which lasted almost the whole encounter. The 27-year-old Japanese rider made a move on his rival with three laps to go and successfully defended his position to claim one more point in the series.
The final round of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship will take place at Qatar’s Losail International Circuit in a fortnight’s time.
Takumi Takahashi 72
In the first part of the race I could not make the most of the new tyres, so it took a while before I could improve my pace. I also experienced some arm pump, which surely didn’t help. I’m happy to have at least scored a point, even though I was aiming for a better result today. I really want to thank the team for their support and effort, it was a great experience to work with them this year and, who knows, maybe one day our paths will cross again.
- Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team
Davide Giugliano 34
Obviously this hasn’t been the type of end to the weekend we were looking for, especially after showing a little step forward this morning in warm up. I’m glad that I was able to avoid Savadori when he landed in front of me after coming off. But that obviously cost me time when slowing down to avoid him, although I was already having some braking issues that forced me back to the pits early on. We decided to get back on track with new tyres and I hope I was able to give some useful data to the team ahead of Qatar.
- Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team
Ronald ten Kate
It was an eventful race, no doubt. Many things happened today that prevented us from performing the way we wanted, and we definitely have to take a look back at all happenings in order to get back in the right direction for the season finale. Davide looked a bit more comfortable on the bike this morning but a braking issue put him out of contention for a finish in the points from early on. Hopefully the data we collected after he returned to the track will help us for the future. We want to again thank Takumi for his professionalism; it was great to have him with us and we know he gave his best in what was a quick transition to a very different series.
Top ten for Jordi Torres at Jerez
Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), Sunday 22 October 2017
The penultimate round of the 2017 Superbike world championship came to an end today at the Jerez track in Spain. The Althea BMW Racing team and rider Jordi Torres crossed the line in tenth place, Raffaele De Rosa thirteenth.
Superbike - Race 2 - the two Althea BMW riders got away well, lying tenth (Torres) and twelfth (De Rosa) through the first corners but the race was stopped almost immediately when lap one crashes for other riders left dirt on the track. After a quick restart, Torres was lying twelfth after lap one, De Rosa 15th. A consistent pace allowed the Spaniard to make up three positions in the early stages, to place ninth on lap four. Losing a little ground in the latter part of the race, Jordi crossed the line in final tenth position. De Rosa made up one place in the first laps but struggled to maintain the kind of pace needed to reach those immediately up ahead of him. It became a somewhat solitary race for the Italian, who finished up in thirteenth place today.
After this penultimate round of the 2017 championship, Torres retains ninth place in the standings with 149 points while De Rosa has 48 points, and positions 16th.
“We made some big changes to the bike between yesterday and today. So it behaved differently in race two, with corner entry a little easier and better feeling at the front. I got past a few riders early on but in the end couldn’t do more than tenth today. It’s not the result I would have wanted of course, particularly racing here at my home track, but we struggled with the new asphalt. I hope I can make up for things at Losail, in the two last races of the season…”
Raffaele De Rosa
“I got away quite well but then at turn six there was a contact, Savadori crashed and I lost some ground as I tried to avoid going down too. From there I worked to catch the group ahead and was gradually catching them until about lap eleven, lying about a second a half behind. From there though I started to struggle to maintain the pace and my right arm was also hurting me. A pity because the first half of the race wasn’t bad. I always try to take the positives from each weekend anyway, and now we’ll try to end the season well in Qatar…”
WorldSSP: Victory for Caricasulo in southern Spanish sunshine
Italian comes out on top in stunning battle
In the penultimate WorldSSP race of the season on Sunday in Spain it was Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) who clinched a scintillating victory, crossing the line just 0.065s in front of Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda), with the podium completed by Anthony West (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing).
It was a superb 19 lap contest around the resurfaced 4.423km Circuito de Jerez with Caricasulo and Cluzel contesting the lead in the early laps and their battle would continue to the last corner of the race, with the Italian just holding off the Frenchman for a breathtaking win.
The experienced West worked his way up into a front group of five riders and was able to secure third place by a comfortable enough margin from fourth placed PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) in the end.
At the Pirelli Spanish Round standings leader Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) ultimately produced a controlled and professional ride to fifth place, picking up crucial points after two crashes earlier in the weekend in Spain.
In the absence of the injured 2016 World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) Mahias has opened up a 20 point advantage at the head of the standings with one race remaining in Qatar early in November.
Sheridan Morais (Kallio Racing) is now out of contention for the title, the South African having a tricky race, taking the holeshot off the line from third on the grid before dropping out of the top ten in the early running and then making his way back up to sixth.
The top ten was completed by Niki Tuuli (Kallio Racing), Rob Hartog (Team Hartog - Jenik - Against Cancer), Gino Rea (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) and Christian Gamarino (BARDAHL EVAN BROS. Honda Racing).
The race results saw Yamaha confirmed as the Winning WorldSSP Manufacturer for 2017 as the GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team secured the Team’s title.
Meanwhile, for Estonian rider Hannes Soomer (WILSport Racedays) 15th place was enough to give him the FIM Europe Supersport Cup title.
Stefan Hill (Profile Racing) crashed out at turn 10 early in the race, then with 9 laps to go Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) went down at turn 13 and would retire shortly afterwards. Kyle Smith then also crashed at turn 13 at the end of the race, meaning a DNF for the GEMAR Team Lorini man.
P1 - Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team)
"I am so happy, the whole team did a good job, we had a perfect bike the whole race. I was pushing 100% in the last two laps and it was really hard to battle with Jules and in the end I was able to win and we are really happy."
Caricasulo Enjoys Perfect Weekend in Jerez as Mahias Extends Championship Lead
The GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team had an incredible Sunday at a hot and sunny Jerez for the penultimate round of the 2017 FIM Supersport World Championship. Federico Caricasulo had the 'perfect' weekend, starting from pole he won the race and set a new lap record in the process. His teammate Lucas Mahias had been the man to beat all weekend but had an issue with his front tyre during the race. Undeterred, he rode valiantly to finish in fifth and extend his championship lead to 20 points with just one round remaining in Qatar.
Caricasulo built on his brilliant podium last time out in Magny-Cours by pulling out all the stops on Sunday to complete the full racing triumvirate. Starting from pole position, the 21-year-old Italian was involved in an incredible race-long battle with Jules Cluzel, leading across the line for 18 of the 19-lap race and eventually coming out on top by just 0.065s to take his second victory of the season. It was a sensational performance and, in the process, he also managed to set the fastest lap of the race, smashing the previous record that had stood since 2013 with a 1:43.922. After this spectacular result, Caricasulo remains sixth in the championship standings but now with 105 points, just five points behind Jules Cluzel in fifth.
Mahias had his first chance to lift the WorldSSP title in Jerez and the French rider had shown blistering pace all weekend, topping every practice session along the way. After a small crash in SP2, he started Sunday's race from fifth on the grid but almost immediately started to suffer from an issue with his front tyre. Needing to finish second or higher to be crowned champion, he was understandably frustrated with his lack of front-end grip after the pace he had shown in practice. Despite this, Mahias (165 points) fought bravely to bring his Yamaha R6 home in a superb fifth position and extend his championship lead to 20 points, with just 25 up for grabs in Qatar.
After these results, the GRT team were awarded the 2017 FIM Supersport World Championship Team title and to cap off an amazing day, Yamaha also lifted the 2017 FIM Supersport World Championship Manufacturer's title thanks to the efforts of Mahias and Caricasulo plus, of course, Kallio Racing's Niki Tuuli and Sheridan Morais.
The GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team will now head to the final round in Qatar on the 2nd-4th of November with the goal of Mahias winning the Championship, in the process completing the clean sweep of WorldSSP titles. Check out the WorldSSP race results.
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team - 1st - 33:07.725
"I am very happy because we did a really good job! My team and my Yamaha R6 have been simply brilliant in Jerez, as you can tell by the fact we had the 'perfect' race weekend with pole position, fastest lap in the race and a new lap record, plus of course the victory...incredible! I have a great feeling with my bike and my team, plus I think we can improve even more in Qatar so that we can finish the year in the strongest way possible. I will try and do the same in Losail as we did here so that we can enter the 2018 season full of confidence!"
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team - 5th +7.248s
"It was a very difficult race because I didn't have a good feeling with the bike as I had an issue with my front tyre. That was very frustrating as I topped almost every session this weekend and yet in the race I finished in fifth, which was good for the championship but I wanted to win. I have a 20-point lead, which is great, and now I will try to win the championship in Qatar. I am delighted that we won the WorldSSP Team title in just our first year as an official Yamaha team, plus of course that we helped Yamaha win the Manufacturer's title too."
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team Manager
"It has been a fantastic day! We got most of the targets that we aimed for this weekend, not the championship yet, which is the most important, but we took a big step towards that too and we hope to win it in Qatar. Federico has been simply incredible, he and the team worked perfectly all weekend, starting from pole, leading for most of the race, winning and setting a new lap record, I can't ask for anything more! The team did a great job from Friday to give him a fantastic bike and he is very happy with the result and we are very happy for him as well. It was great to lift the Team title here thanks to the efforts of both our riders and of course, more importantly, Yamaha also won the Manufacturer's title! I say thank you very much to Yamaha for giving us fantastic support. We are very grateful to be the official team and to be a part of the Yamaha family. Lucas had an issue with the front tyre, so he didn't take any risks and secured this incredibly important result to extend his championship lead to 20 points with just one race left. Now we will try and win the championship in Qatar to make it a clean sweep of titles for us and Yamaha!"
Courageous Cluzel claims podium at Jerez
PTR Honda·Sunday, October 22, 2017
A brave perfomance delivered CIA Landlord Insurance Honda's Jules Cluzel a stunning second place podium in the World Supersport race at Jerez today. Cluzel gave a faultless performance controlling second position behind race leader, Caricasulo and despite courageous last lap moves from the hard riding Frenchman, the Italian held his position crossing the line ahead of Cluzel by just 0.065s in the 19 lap contest.
Cluzel said: “It was a good weekend, I enjoyed it. It was a shame because we had the possibility to win. We had two places where we were losing time but I was so strong in all the race and finally I tried in the last sector which was my strongest sector. I tried in turn 11 because the last turn is always risky, it depends on the braking of the guy in front and I know Caricasulo will try really hard in the last turn so I think 'just go'. When I go in he turned early compared to normal so I had no place to go. He's lucky I try to be as clean as possible because we both had the possibility to crash or maybe I would make him crash. The lucky thing he lost the front a little bit in turn 11 and I had another chance in turn 12 which is a nearly full fourth gear turn but when I went on the kerb I lost the front so I had to close again which put me on the wrong side of him for the last turn so I had no more chances. I want to say that we continue to make a strong season with zero mistakes. We lost what Caricasulo took off us in the first race. It is a shame because this would have made the Championship a different story.”
Hikari Okubo pushed through with a determined ride from 20th to finish well inside the points in 13th position.
Christoffer Bergman improved upon his starting position of 21st on the grid only missing out on a points finish by 0.1s in 16th place.
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager, Simon Buckmaster said: “It was a really great race, a superb battle. I am really happy for all of us as a team to have such a fantastic result and give us the chance to challenge for second in the Championship. We are up to third in the Championship, 10 points behind Sofuoglu in second who unfortunately can't ride. Fair play to Mahias who is now going to win the Championship. I am really proud of the whole CIA Landlord Insurance Honda team and everybody at PTR, it was a superb effort. We have only one more chance to win a race this season. Like Jules said we have made zero mistakes and it's true that if Caricasulo hadn't taken him out in Australia the Championship would look very different. As PTR we have finished second in the World Supersport Championship three times, we really wanted to be first this year as CIA Landlord Insurance Honda but let's see if we can finish second again and cap off a really good season for us.”
“Hikari didn't put together a consistent weekend but he rode much better in the race. We have one more chance for him to equal or better his best finish but to do that he needs to concentrate and focus for the whole event, qualify well and put together a really good race.”
“Unfortunately Chris didn't get a good start today but he was only just outside the points in 16th and again we have one more race to get a good top ten finish for him.”
West Scores Brilliant Third Place
After qualifying sixth in Superpole on Saturday Anthony West (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) completed his Jerez WorldSSP weekend with a podium finish. Axel Bassani (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) struggled with an injured ankle and starting from 18th place on the grid and ended up 14th.
In his first WorldSSP ride for the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team West proved his versatility and pace with a battling ride to third place after 19 laps. He had been down in eighth place, after getting caught out from his sixth place starting position, but within only eight laps he had caught up to the third placed rider PJ Jacobsen.
Passing on lap 12 and pushing forward again, West ended up only 1.652 seconds from the win, scoring 16 championship points. He will ride for the team again at the final round of the season. West is eighth in the championship table.
After injuring his ankle in a practice crash Axel Bassani (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) started the race in 18th place and finished it in 14th, scoring two points as a stand-in rider for the injured Kenan Sofuoglu.
In the championship Sofuoglu is in second place, now 20 points behind Lucas Mahias. According to his team, there is some possibility that the Turkish rider will be able to compete in the final round, despite fracturing his hip in mid-September at Portimao.
The championship finale will be held under floodlights as usual, on Saturday 4th November, at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.
Anthony West, stated: “My start was not too bad but I got stuck on the inside and everyone was quite aggressive in the beginning. I got dropped back after that and I lost contact with the very front group. I pushed hard to get back up there and ended up in third place with a few laps to go. I felt strong with the bike but it was difficult to catch the two guys in front. This was my first time on this bike so third was a good result for me. I did not want to push too hard and crash. I am happy the team gave me the opportunity to ride and I am happy to give the team back this podium result.”
Axel Bassani, stated: “I struggled a lot in the beginning because starting near the back I had to fight with a lot of other riders. Then I finally found my pace and I was able to post similar lap times to the riders in front. My ankle hurt a bit and I also felt a small pain in my back. In the end I couldn’t do any more and I tried my best.”
Michael Canducci (3570 Puccetti Racing FMI Kawasaki) was 11th today and now sits 14th overall. Part-time ESS rider Rob Hartog (Team Hartog Jenik Against Cancer Kawasaki) was an impressive eighth in Spain, in a field of 31 riders, 25 of whom finished the race.
Series regular Gino Rea (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) was ninth at Jerez, Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) 19th, Kazuki Watanabe (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) 22nd.
Lachlan Epis (Response RE Racing Kawasaki) finished 24th, improving five places on his qualifying position.
Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) crashed at his home round, restarted, but was finally forced to retire in the pits.
WorldSSP300: Hendra takes the victory as Garcia secures the title
Title battle goes down to the wire as Garcia takes the victory
One event rider Galang Hendra Pratama (Team MOTOXRACING) has made history as he secured his first race victory, as the Indonesian secured the win over the line at the Circuito de Jerez in an 11 lap thriller. Marc Garcia (Halcourier Racing) finished in fourth position, which was enough to be crowned 2017 FIM Supersport 300 World Champion.
Garcia had a terrible start off the line in one of the most important race starts of his life, whilst Coppola was down in 10th position on the opening lap, but Spanish rider Garcia was able to bounce back instantly in the opening laps and sit in a championship winning position.
However Coppola was not taking this challenge lying down, and the Italian made up nine places in the first six laps to be back in contention for the title and the victory. In classic WorldSSP300 style there was an eight rider battle for the victory following Ana Carrasco (ETG Racing) being forced to enter pit lane following a jump start.
The final three laps were all about the title fight, and the duo crossed the line joint on points as Scott Deroue (MTM HS Kawasaki) was able to get into the lead on the penultimate lap. But the final lap was anyone’s call and the championship was decided over the line. As the race to the line was secured by Galang Hendra (Team MOTOXRACING) ahead of former championship contender Deroue, Coppola took third over the line but this wasn’t enough to secure the crown. Garcia took fourth position over the line and as a result took the title by one singular point.
Relive the stunning WorldSSP300 2017 season all with the WorldSBK VideoPass, as the inaugural championship has delivered some stunning races.
P1 - Galang Hendra (Team MOTOXRACING)
"This is a very fantastic race for me, it was the first race in Jerez, I had some problem and in Jerez I was able to do well. The team did a fantastic job and I am very happy for this result."
Garcia crowned inaugural WorldSSP300 Champion
Spaniard comes out on top as title comes down to the wire
Marc Garcia (Halcourier Racing) has marked his name in the history books as he has become the very first FIM Supersport 300 World Champion, taking fourth postion in a tense battle around his home circuit of Circuito de Jerez.
At only 17 years old, the Spanish rider has dreamt of being crowned a world champion his whole life, and following the introduction of the WorldSSP300 series for 2017 his dream has become a reality following a stunning season of racing action. Fighting tooth and nail each round for the victory, Garcia proved his determination once more to take the title here in Spain.
Graduating from the Red Bull Rookie’s Cup in 2016, the Yamaha rider spent three seasons in the feeder class and was able to learn many valuable lessons over these seasons. In a cup in which it is hard to stand out, he ended his first season in the top ten of the standings- finishing and scoring points in every race. 2015 led to his first victory around MotorLand Aragon, as he continued his consistency for the season, ending in the top four. Fourth again in 2016 saw him take the double victory in Brno, as well as one around the Red Bull Ring in Austria, and it was now time to move on.
Joining the Halcourier Racing squad as a One Event rider, Garcia has raced in every round of the WorldSSP300 season, but got off to a steady start as he was unable to finish his debut race around MotorLand Aragon, as he was forced to retire with a technical problem. Ready to fight back in round two at TT Circuit Assen, he was still finding his feet and took a top six finish as he was just behind the manic leading group.
Marc Garcia (Halcourier Racing):
"I am so happy to take this title and thank you to all my team, its unbelievable. I have no words to describe this feeling, I have been working so hard to achieve this for so long so I want to thank my family and my friends."