2018 Brno WorldSBK Saturday Press Releases

Press releases after qualifying and the first WorldSBK race at Brno:

#CzechWorldSBK – Day 2: History maker Rea grabs sweet sixtieth win at Brno

Reigning champion triumphs in Czech return and opens 81-point gap in title battle

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) celebrates making history in style

When the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship last graced the flowing hills of the Automotodrom Brno, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was a promising 25-year-old with 10 race wins to his name, no world championships. The contrast this Saturday, six years later, was startling: the KRT rider led a perfect race to take his sixth race win of the season, winning more WorldSBK races than any other rider in history, as the big 60 put him above the legendary Carl Fogarty.

Around the longest track in the season, it was fitting for the action to be more extended than usual. Rea overtook teammate Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) at the start, but crashes from Jordi Torres (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team) forced a red flag and race restart – twice, due to technical issues on the grid.

At the third time of asking, with the race length now down to 16 laps, Sykes defended his position at turn 1, but Rea was in front a couple of corners later, keeping Sykes behind and jetting off. The Northern Irishman was also helped by the action behind, with Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) putting Sykes under pressure. Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) also joined the fight, swapping positions several times with his teammate in a thrilling battle.

Rea went untroubled from this point forward, leading a composed ride to the finish line. He was the only rider managing laps times under two minutes, keeping a 4-5 second gap from his closest pursuers. The defending champion has now opened an 81 point gap over Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), who took a top eight today, as his championship pursuit becomes even tougher.

Behind the leader, Melandri finally got the best of Sykes in lap 4, taking his best result since Phillip Island in February with second. It’s the fifth podium for Melandri at Brno in WorldSBK, and a fantastic comeback after a difficult Donington weekend. Sykes crossed the line in third, two seconds off the Italian.

The rostrum was finally just not close enough for the Yamaha riders, with van der Mark beating Lowes to fourth place. Both men will sit at the front of the grid in Race 2, a fantastic opportunity to move their personal tussle to podium fighting positions tomorrow.

A thrilling battle for sixth midway through the race saw Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) emerge triumphant and back into the top positions. He got the best of teammate Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia), who still managed to beat Davies in the final laps for seventh.

Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) netted himself another top 10 finish. Still not 100%, the Brit has managed to come in ninth at the flag, ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) in tenth, the first independent rider at Brno. Yonny Hernández (Team Pedercini Racing) confirmed his good form at the Czech circuit, returning to the WorldSBK paddock in eleventh after missing the UK Round.

P1 - Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)

"It was nice to take my 60th win in a race like that, I was so happy and my guys gave me an awesome bike. I want to say a big thanks to KRT for bringing us to the test here - that gave us a big advantage and meant this weekend was more calm, and we could understand our Pirelli tyres and base set-up. The race was perfect, they don't come like that a lot and its incredible, 60 race wins is a huge story that I've had, each and every one is special and I couldn't do it without my team."

P2 - Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati)

"It was a very good race, as I expected it was difficult, as the track was warm and the grip was quite low after three to four laps. We had a lot of understeer and lost the grip, so it was hard to not push too much. But I had a look and I saw Jonny was gone, so I just tried to check my gap with Tom from my pit board. and tried not to make a mistake, it was a long race but I will try to do better tomorrow."

P3 - Tom Sykes (Kawaskai Racing Team WorldSBK)

"Today is Jonathan's day, it's a fantastic achievement and I want to say a big congrats to him, to get 60 is some achievement! But unfortunately we didn't have the pace to match him, and tomorrow is another day. We really struggled with understeer today, but we didn't lost too much once the pace settled, but initially I couldn't dig the front in. Third is the best I could do today, it's great to have all the support in the Czech Republic, great to have the podium here and hopefully tomorroe we can have a lot to cheer about."

#CzechWorldSBK at Automotodrom Brno: Race 1

1. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)

2. Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) +5.381

3. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +7.336

Rea Takes 60th Win And New Record

Jonathan Rea (KRT) won the opening WorldSBK race at the Automotodrom Brno and in doing so smashed his way to a new record total of 60 race wins in his WorldSBK career, surpassing the 59 race victories taken by Carl Fogarty. Tom Sykes (KRT) finished third in today’s race, having extended his Superpole record to 45 earlier in the day.

Triple World Champion Jonathan Rea was in imperious form in taking his record number of race wins to a new high. It was not an easy task after having to face three starts from second place on the grid, in a race that was twice delayed and then finally run over 16 laps, not the planned 18. A red flag for a damaged section of air fence and then a false launch after the starting lights developed a fault, saw the race finally underway at 13.40.

Once off and running for real Rea put as much space as possible between him and the pursuing pack, in what turned out to be warm and dry conditions at the 5.403km long Automotodrom Brno. Jonathan took his historic 60th win by a margin of 5.382 seconds over Marco Melandri, who finished just under two seconds ahead of Tom.

Starting from his third pole position of the season, Sykes was the closest challenger to Rea in the early part of the 16-lap race. Tom held off all the challengers behind except Melandri to record his 106th career podium visit, and his sixth top-three finish of the season.

Today marks the exact halfway point of the 2018 season, with 13 of the 26 races planned for 2018 now completed. In the championship Jonathan leads Chaz Davies by 81 points – 270 to 189 - with Tom back into third place today on 179 points.

Donington podium finisher Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) started the race 15th on the grid after Superpole, but finished tenth, leading home a running flush of Kawasakis down to 13th place. Yonny Hernandez (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was 11th, Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) 12th and Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) 13th.

The second Brno race will take place on Sunday the 10th of June, at 13.00 local time in the Czech Republic.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “I am really happy. Of course it is hard to get super-ecstatic and go and start celebrating, although it is worth celebrating being the winningest rider in WorldSBK history, but we have another race to do tomorrow. I feel really fortunate to have this opportunity, riding a great bike and to be here every weekend. To win the 60th race in that fashion, being dominant, was really nice. I could ride to my pit board at some points, which was also nice. It was a huge team effort, especially after coming here to test after Assen and before Imola, because it was such a tight schedule. It made yesterday less stressful because the conditions were not good for anybody. We were not so worried, because we had done two full days at Brno where we had evaluated all set-ups. We put it together from there.”

Tom Sykes, stated: “The stops and starts were not ideal today and we have to be so careful not to burn the clutch. It was a bit of a scrappy start procedure but we eventually got underway in safe conditions and we made the best of our situation. I tried to go initially with Jonathan but I just could not get the bike through the middle of the turns, and gave away too much on the cutback. The front was under-steering and in hot conditions it looks like everybody was struggling. I was just following the front all the way around turn one and turn four and had a lot of warnings in that race, but we got the feedback through the Showa suspension and took a third place. It isn’t a perfect scenario but it is a lot better than some of the other guys, so we have to be grateful.”

Second place for Melandri in Race 1 at Brno with the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team, Davies 8th

The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team stepped back on the podium in Race 1 at Brno (Czech Republic), home of Round 7 of the WorldSBK Championship, thanks to Marco Melandri's second-place finish. The Italian, third in Superpole, had the lead within his sight before the race was red-flagged due to a crash by Michael Ruben Rinaldi (who then was able to restart) at turn 5, which damaged the air fences. At the second start, Melandri once again tried to hunt down Rea but some grip issues prompted him to settle for second place.

Similar difficulties, albeit on a bigger scale, penalized also Chaz Davies. The Welshman, despite fighting with his usual determination, raced in the leading group early on but was then forced to drop the pace, finishing in eighth position. Michael Ruben Rinaldi, on track with the Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team, started from the back of the grid at the restart, climbing back several positions to score points in 15th place.

The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team and the Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team will return to the track Sunday, June 10th, at 09:35 local time (CET) for a warm-up session before Race 2, which is scheduled to start at 13:00.

Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33) – 2nd

"After a difficult round, we managed to be competitive once again. It's always nice to be on the podium, but track conditions today were really tricky. We lacked grip and the bike understeered. At the first start we were right behind Rea, who made a couple of mistakes, but at the restart I knew it would have been harder because the temperatures rose further. Still, we can be happy because we managed a difficult situation quite well. We solved most of our issues, even though we still need to improve. Tomorrow, it'll be crucial to start well from third row and be fast early on, then anything can happen."

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 8th

"It was a tough race. Initially I felt quite OK but, as the temperatures increased, the grip went away really quickly after just a couple of laps, and then after mid-race the rear grip was very low so I had to take more risks and I struggled also with the front. I did everything I could to make it to the finish line in a decent position. We need to look into these issues further to understand what caused them and how to improve because, once we get the old feeling back, I know what we're capable of."

Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team #21) – 15th

"I'm sorry for the crash, because we were competitive. Fortunately, the red flags allowed me to get back to the pits and the crew did a great job to get the second bike, which had a different setup, ready. We scored one point starting from the back of the grid, which is something important for the morale of the whole team. We'll try to bounce back tomorrow, without making mistakes."

Stefano Cecconi, Aruba CEO and Team Principal

"It was a two-sided race. On the one hand, Marco regained his feeling with the bike after a difficult round and was able to ride constantly at the front; on the other hand, Chaz was penalized by some clear issues despite a good start. Both gave their all, as usual. Now it's up to us to put them in the condition to fully express their potential tomorrow, and we'll work hard towards this goal."

Pata Yamaha Teammates Battle for Grip in the Brno Heat


Pata Yamaha Official World SBK team riders Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes celebrated the MOTUL FIM World Superbike Championship’s return to the Automotodrom Brno after a six-year absence with an intense two-way battle round the flowing Czech circuit. It was Donington double race winner van der Mark who emerged the winner of the two, securing the fourth spot ahead of Brit Lowes in fifth. The two were not each other’s only protagonists, as hot track temperatures dropped the grip levels dramatically and two race re-starts provided further challenges for the YZF-R1 riders.

Dutchman van der Mark began race one from sixth on the grid after a strong qualifying performance and began to hunt down the front pack. Making the most of the diminishing grip levels, van der Mark was able to catch up to teammate Lowes and Italian Marco Melandri who was applying pressure to Tom Sykes for the second position. The Dutch Yamaha rider was ultimately able to get ahead of his teammate towards the end of the race following a fierce fight between them to secure fourth, placing him on the front row for tomorrow’s Brno WSBK race two.

Pata Yamaha’s Lowes made a good start to his Brno race, immediately in striking distance of the podium in pursuit of the front-runners in the opening laps. A fierce pace in the early stages and increased track heat was eventually matched by his teammate, the two engaging in an exciting Yamaha battle for fourth. As the grip levels dropped off, Lowes was unable to maintain the pace he wanted, bringing his R1 home in fifth and taking valuable information to step up from the front of the grid tomorrow in race two.

Michael van der Mark

Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team

“We had a good Superpole, I was happy with my lap and qualifying tyre, sixth was not a bad place to start. In the first race start I was making my way to the front then we had a red flag, it was lucky as we had some problems with the rear. For the second start I changed some things on the bike and felt quite strong - I was making my way to the front, but after a few laps I started to struggle with the front, and it was only getting worse and worse. I managed to close the gap to Alex and pass him and I finished fourth but for sure we have to fix the problems on the front to be able to fight for the podium tomorrow.”

Alex Lowes

Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team

“Ultimately I’m disappointed with fifth as I felt I had a better pace than that this weekend. In the race the temperature rose on the track and I think it took everyone by surprise and the lap times were quite slow. I just did the best I could; and we have a lot of information for tomorrow. I’m disappointed for now but looking to improve for tomorrow!”

Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team Principal

“A strong effort from both Michael and Alex today, but we didn't quite have the performance here at Brno that we hoped for, especially in these higher temperatures. Both guys struggled from a lack of grip compared to the top guys. They both raced really hard, Alex chose a different spec tyre to the rest of the field, but it’s not clear whether this was a step better or worse in terms of overall race distance performance. We start from first and second on the grid tomorrow, we saw how hard they raced together today, so assuming its hot again tomorrow we want to give the guys more to fight with and put the best second race together that we can.”

Laverty and Savadori bring home double points haul in Brno Race 1

Brno Circuit 09 / 06 / 2018

Superpole and Race One Report #CzechWorldSBK

Eugene Laverty and Lorenzo Savadori scored P6 and P7 in Race 1 on Saturday, after a red flag and botched restart at the Brno Circuit.

A turn 5 crash on lap 4 between other riders resulted in dangerous track conditions, and brought out the red flags. The field pitted and awaited the restart. Officials announced a quick restart procedure, however a technical fault with the starting lights forced the start to be aborted, and riders had to take their grid places again for the resumption of the race.

On the restart both riders were attacking, Eugene holding strong in P7 while Lorenzo followed in P9. With good changes made in the red flag period they showed a much improved form, with Eugene passing Davies for P6 on lap 7, and Lorenzo passing Camier for P8 on lap 9. Lorenzo then followed up with a move on Davies for P7 on lap 12. Eugene eventually led Lorenzo home to take P6 and P7, scoring a total of 19 points for Milwaukee Aprilia in another positive double points finish.

With starting positions of P3 and P4 from rows 1 and 2, the riders will have another big opportunity in Race 2 to build on the team's growing form, and to deliver a strong points haul in the leading group.

Race 2 at #CzechWorldSBK starts at 13:00 CET (GMT +1) on Sunday 10th May

Shaun Muir - Team Principal

"We've made a big step forward at Brno, we've now got both riders on the large diameter tyre which clearly worked for Lorenzo at Donington, and they have both been working on that this weekend. Eugene didn't make it to Superpole 2 initially but that was a benefit to him, as he made some big progress in the Superpole 1 session.

The race was good for both riders and they were competitive, Eugene and Lorenzo were close to each other for the whole distance and only finished a few seconds from fourth and fifth place, which was encouraging.

We start P3 and P4 tomorrow for Race 2 so we are aiming for a top 6 finish for both riders. If we can achieve that then it will round off a good weekend and give us encouragement before we go to America."

Lorenzo Savadori #32 - Aprilia RSV4-RF

Superpole 2 result: 1'58.300 - P7 on grid

Race 1 result: P7 - 9 points

Best lap: 2'00.632

Race 2 grid: P4 - Row 2

"Today was not so bad, I had a little problem at the start with the clutch, and on the third restart it was really difficult to get away. I lost some places there and I had to push to make a gap, but the bike had quite a good rhythm.

I struggled with the front for some of the race and I chose a different tyre to most of the other riders, so that is an area we can work on for tomorrow. I fought with Davies for a few laps which I enjoyed and I was able to pass him near the end for P7, which gives us more good points.

I want to find more feeling in front for Race 2 and push a lot more. The bike is better on full fuel now and the bigger tyre works well for me, so I hope from P4 on the grid we can have another strong race."

Eugene Laverty #50 - Aprilia RSV4-RF

Superpole 2 result: 1'58.187 - P5 on grid

Race 1 result: P6 - 10 points

Best lap: 2'00.535

Race 2 grid: P3 - Row 1

"Today was a pleasant surprise for us after a difficult time in Free Practice yesterday. This morning practice was really strong though and the qualifying went really well. In Superpole I was getting stronger and stronger, and P5 was a good result.

The red flag period in the race helped us because I struggled in the first part with the settings on a full fuel load. They weren't quite right initially, but when I pitted the guys made some good changes to the front of the bike and I was then able to push a lot more.

Tomorrow we hope for an even better result, we know what we need on a full fuel tank now, and starting P3 gives us a good shot at scoring some big points in Race 2."

A complicated Race 1 for Gulf Althea BMW at Brno

Brno (Czech Republic), Saturday 9 June 2018

The first Superbike race of the seventh WorldSBK round played out today at the Brno track, but it proved a complicated one for the Gulf Althea BMW Racing team, rider Loris Baz crashing before eventually finishing in eighteenth place. The squad’s STK1000 rider Alessandro Delbianco has qualified eighth for tomorrow Superstock race.

Superpole2: having qualified directly for today’s second phase of the Superpole, Baz completed a couple of laps on the race tyre before returning to the garage to put in the qualifying solution. A fast lap with said qualifier (1’58.389) saw him position eighth, which meant a third row start for race one.

SBK - Race 1: in warm and sunny conditions, Baz got away well from eighth on the grid. He started to give chase to Savadori and Davies immediately ahead of him, but on lap three the race was brought to a halt with the red flag after another rider crashed. The race restarted (twice in fact, due to an issue with the starting lights) and Loris was once again lying ninth during the opening phase. Losing some ground due to a lack of grip, the Frenchman was running eleventh mid-race. Unfortunately though, a crash on lap twelve relegated him to eighteenth place; Baz was nevertheless able to continue and conclude his race, but the final position remained the same, so eighteenth for him today.

STK1000 Qualifying: Delbianco used the 30-minute session to make further modifications to the set-up of his BMW with his technicians. The Italian set a 2’02.615 in the early part of the session, a reference that remained his best time overall and that saw him close in eighth position. Alessandro will therefore line up on row three of tomorrow’s race grid.

Loris Baz

"I crashed five laps from the end, but I was struggling from the start with the rear grip. An issue we’ve had at other tracks, but it’s even more evident here. I did a strong lap in the Superpole on the qualifying tyre but even then, the grip wasn’t great. In the race, we put a new tyre in for the restart and I tried my best to stick with those ahead but unfortunately lost the front. I was able to finish the race at least, not wanting to give up, but it’s a real shame that we’re not where we want to be.”

Alessandro Delbianco

“It’s been something of a complicated day, added to which is the fact we don't have any recent data for this track. So it’s taken us longer than usual to improve, but I’m confident that we’ll be able to find a solution tomorrow that can allow me to complete a good race here at Brno.”

Ninth place for Camier in combative Race 1 at Brno

Czech Round

Automotodrom Brno, Czech Republic

Leon Camier salvaged a ninth place finish in a fiercely fought Race 1 at Brno, the Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team rider continuing to get back to his best on board the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2.

Having qualified in tenth place in Superpole 2, Camier lined up on the fourth row for Race 1. After a cautious start, Camier was battling for a top ten position however four laps after the start of the race a red flag was called due to the air fence needing to be repaired following a rider crashing at turn 5. As a result, the race was restarted and a shorter 16 lap contest ensued.

After the restart Camier got a much better start the second time around, making up places and finding himself in an intense four way battle for a top-six place with Laverty, Davies and Savadori. Although he managed to get close to making up more positions in the final laps, Camier crossed the finish line in ninth place adding seven points to his championship tally.

It was a tough first WorldSBK race at Brno for Jake Gagne, the rookie managed to get a good start in the race and managed to gain some positions, however a technical issue on the fifth lap after the restart cut his race short.

Race 2 will take place at 1300 local time (GMT +2) tomorrow but before then, the morning Warm Up session takes place at 0935.

Leon Camier 2

I'm satisfied with how today went as I felt we got the most out of our current package for this circuit especially having missed the test here which meant we didn't have much time to find the right setup. In some areas in Race 1 we were quite strong, we just need to work on a couple of weak points to allow me to attack more in tomorrow's race. Injury wise, this race was a lot easier than Donington, the pain is quite manageable and is only an issue when I'm trying hard to pass other riders. We'll try making some tweaks to the Fireblade's geometry overnight to see if we can make a step tomorrow and challenge for the top six again.

- Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team

Jake Gagne 45

We made some good changes to the bike today as I wasn't too comfortable yesterday and right away in Race 1 I felt better on the bike and got a good start. Then we had the restart and my start the second time around really wasn't good and then I had some problems with the clutch which meant I couldn't complete the race. It's a shame but the good thing is we've now found a good setting for my Fireblade so I'm excited to see how we go in Warm Up tomorrow. It's another learning day and we'll go out and try do a better job in Race 2.

- Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team

Kervin Bos

Team Manager

Today we had some mixed results, on the one hand another top ten finish for Leon in the first race was promising, especially given he was able to fight for a top six position. Given our lack of testing here and his injury, this was a positive outcome, we just need to see if we can find a couple of tenths in our setting for the CBR1000RR to give Leon a better package for tomorrow. Unfortunately we had a technical issue with Jake's clutch, we'll analyse his bike to see if we can find the cause and regroup ahead of tomorrow. If we can make some slight improvements on both sides of the garage for Race 2, I think we can end the weekend strongly.

WorldSSP: Cortese clinches third Superpole of 2018

Yamaha lock out the front row as WorldSSP tackle hot conditions

Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing) takes home his third Tissot watch of the season

Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing) took his third Tissot Superpole of the season with a stunning final lap, running six tenths of a second faster than the riders preceding him and putting him in a perfect position to extend his championship lead.

In a season marked by the tiny margins separating all the top riders, Cortese was overcome early on by Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team), with the Swiss rider taking the lead in his first lap and keeping it until Cortese’s amazing run, with 50 seconds to go before the checkered flag. The Swiss rider couldn’t improve his lap time at the end, however he returns to the front row ins second, and could put up a thrilling battle tomorrow.

The front row will be completed by Jules Cluzel (NRT), second in the standings, setting up the top-end fight for tomorrow. They will come under intense pressure from Raffaele De Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag) however, with the Italian adamant to claim a fourth successive podium. He will start in fourth despite a late crash, leading row two ahead of the two GRT riders. Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) had the better of his teammate Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) this time, taking fifth on the grid, with the Italian in sixth.

Row three will see Ayrton Badovini (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag) putting his F3 675 on the grid in seventh, in front of Anthony West (EAB antwest Racing) in eighth, and Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) in ninth. The top ten on Saturday was completed by Thomas Gradinger (NRT) in tenth place, with Kyle Smith (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) and Hikari Okubo (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), through from the Superpole 2, in eleventh and twelfth respectively.

Can Cluzel or Cortese snatch their third win of the season? Or will a third rider overcome their dominance?

Pole Position: Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing)

"I feel really good, I had a crash yesterday and we didn't know where we were with our pace and this morning I felt good again. I was quite surprised when I saw the lap time. I made some mistakes in my first exit, but I was still fast so I kept calm and tried to have a clean line. When I saw the lap time I thought 'ok this should be OK for the pole'!"

#CzechWorldSBK WorldSSP at Automotodrom Brno: Tissot-Superpole

1. Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing)

2. Randy Krummenacher (BARDHAL Evans Bros. WorldSSP Team) +0.604

3. Jules Cluzel (NRT) +0.653


Brno (Czech Republic) 9 June 2018

The seventh round of the Supersport world championship sees a return to the Brno track in the Czech Republic, following a five-year absence. Randy Krummenacher, having set the third fastest time in yesterday's timed practice sessions, gained direct access to today's Superpole2. The session got underway at 15.05 local time, with a track temperature of close to 40°C. The Bardahl Evan Bros. rider headed out on track and immediately set what wold be his best time, stopping the clock on 2'03.274. Krummenacher, clearly pleased with the result, hopes to achieve a significant result in tomorrow's race, which will get underway at 11.30 and can be seen on Mediaset, Eurosport and Servus TV channels.

#RK21: "I'm pleased with this second place, it's important to start on the front row. I feel good physically, after the last two rounds in which I struggled after having a serious virus. Now I feel ready to fight for important results. Today, in the early laps, I had a great sensation with my bike and quickly set my best time. After I came into the pits, I tried to make another fast lap but I didn't have the same good feeling with the bike. The sensation was down to a lack of grip, which prevented me from lowering my time any further. It's OK anyway, I'm pleased and confident ahead of the race. Thanks to my team for their hard work and commitment every weekend, and thanks to the sponsors too of course, for supporting me in this title chase."

Morais And Okubo Ready To Compete At Brno

Kawasaki Puccetti Racing riders Hikari Okubo and Sheridan Morais both made it into Superpole 2 qualifying at the Automotodrom Brno today, with Sheridan finishing up ninth on the grid for Sunday’s race and Hikari 12th.

In warm and sunny conditions today Sheridan worked his way to a good race-long set-up to be ready for Sunday’s 16-lap WorldSSP race, but lost out on a chance of taking a second row start in Superpole 2.

Hikari made a lot of changes between his Friday and Saturday set-ups, finding enough benefit today to go make it into Superpole 2, and earn a fourth row grid position.

In what is Sheridan’s fourth weekend for the team this year, he is now ready to face the race as the second highest Kawasaki qualifier. On Sunday he will be looking to post his best result of the year, which is currently a seventh place at Motorland Aragon, and move up from overall 15th place in the standings.

Okubo is determined to make a strong finish in the Brno race, having missed out on points in previous races, and only scoring in two rounds so far. He is currently 19th overall.

Hikari Okubo, stated: “I spent a lot of time thinking after free practice on Friday and watching the video playback of the sessions. That helped me study this track, so this morning I made a big change to the setting of my bike and my riding style. The time was not that good but I had a good feeling to be able to push from Superpole 1 to Superpole 2, so I was happy. It was my mission today to enter Superpole 2. I tried hard to both push and keep some margin of safety, so I ended up 12th on the grid. It is not very good, but maybe the best possible this weekend. So tomorrow morning I will try some more set-up changes to be ready for the race and I will aim for a top five.”

Sheridan Morais stated: “It was a positive day because we made good headway with the motorcycle set-up and it is handling better. In qualifying I was disappointed with P9 but the third row is still not a bad position to start from. I felt we could have gained a lot in qualifying but I messed up a little bit by trying to follow somebody else. But now I have a bike I can do a lot of fast laps on, so I am just looking forward to the race tomorrow.”

Anthony West (EAB antwest Racing Kawasaki) was top Kawasaki qualifier at Brno in WorldSSP, eighth, one place ahead of Morais. Rob Hartog (Team Hartog Against Cancer) was 15th after Superpole 1 and makes a start from the fifth row of the grid.

Luigi Morciano (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) was 20th on the grid, Wayne Tessels (Chromeburner Wayne’s Racingteam MTM) 25th and regular rider Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) 26th. Javier Ezequiel Iturrioz (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) was 28th in Superpole 1.

Smith & Irwin make strides in Brno qualifying

Posted on 9th June 2018

CIA Landlord Insurance Honda’s Kyle Smith pulled it out of the bag with 2nd position in Superpole 1 today at the Automotodrom Brno taking him through to Superpole 2.

Smith went on to qualify in 11th place despite sliding off unhurt at the end of the SP2 session at the wide and flowing Czech circuit and will start the 16-lap race from the 4th row of the grid tomorrow.

Smith said: “I think another positive day for me as we have progressed from yesterday and we have been faster, the pace is not a million miles off. I’m just a bit disappointed with the crash in qualifying but it was on a personal best lap and I was pushing. I think there is still room to improve on the set up. Slowly but surely it feels like we are getting there so I’m pretty excited for the race tomorrow.”

Teammate Andrew Irwin improved once again in the Superpole 1 session getting down to the .05s for the first time this weekend. Irwin qualified in 17th position and is looking to challenge well inside the points at his first visit to the fast 5.043km circuit.

Irwin said: “Today I think we took another step, I feel that there was more in the second run. The first laps I did weren’t perfect but it was one of them that just doesn’t work out the way you want it to sometimes. 17th on the grid is not the worst qualifying, it’s not the best either but I’ll take that and I think tomorrow in the race we can definitely get some good points.”

CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “Great job by Kyle he did enough in SP1 to go through. Because we had to use two tyres in SP1 we only had one for SP2. On that last lap Kyle looked to be on a good run where he could get on the third row but he slid off at turn 10. We will work with Ohlins to make a little setting change to improve that corner entry so he can run it in faster. It is a front end circuit here, a lot of people have been caught out. Definitely Kyle Smith being back with CIA Landlord Insurance Honda is good for all of us, he is doing a great job. It’s also good inspiration for Andrew who made a big step in SP1. At one point it looked like he had a chance to go through to SP2 but he’s still learning, we need to find that bit more. He is always good on race day, good on the first lap and another good start will see him fighting in the points and looking for the top ten. With Kyle we have to be realistic at this stage it’s his first race back with us but we’re looking to be in the fight for sixth. Let’s see what happens and look forward to a great race for both riders and the whole CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team.”

GRT Yamaha Official WSSP Secure Second Row in Brno Qualifying


The GRT Yamaha Official WSSP Team riders faced a challenging qualifying day in Brno today, working hard to put their 2018 YZF-R6s on the second row of the grid for tomorrow’s round seven of the FIM World Supersport Championship race. Frenchman Lucas Mahias will start from fifth and teammate Federico Caricasulo will start from sixth. Fellow GRT rider Alfonso Coppola takes 15th.

2017 World Champion Mahias didn't enjoy the fastest of qualifying sessions, and worked hard with his team hunting for an extra edge to bring him closer to the front of the pack. The dropping grip wasn't so much of an issue for him, he was able to make small improvements, finally settling for 5th for tomorrow’s race.

Teammate Caricasulo enjoyed a similar Saturday to Mahias, pushing hard but finding it challenging to break in to the front row in Brno qualifying with his YZF-R6. Caricasulo and Mahias will work hard in the morning warm up to see if any further solutions can be found to improve their pace.

WSSP rookie Coppola continues to impress with a confident and calm approach to the 2018 World Supersport Championship. A good effort in SP1 saw him secure his 15th spot on the grid for tomorrow’s race.

Kallio Yamaha’s Sandro Cortese took the top honours in qualifying to put Yamaha on pole position with an impressive 6/10ths of a second gap to second

Lucas Mahias

GRT Yamaha Official WSSP Team

“Today is again a difficult day for me and for the team, also again we face the same challenges of the last three races. Our speed needs to be higher. For sure here in Brno it is going to be a difficult race, I am working a lot with the team to improve the chassis and electronics and we will try our best with the materials we have. During the QP the track was not so grippy. I hope for the race a little less temperature and a little more speed.”

Federico Caricasulo

GRT Yamaha Official WSSP Team

“It has not been the easiest weekend for us here in Brno. It is not so easy to find the best set up to have an advantage here, so it is challenging to be higher in qualifying. Tomorrow it will be better if it is not so hot for the race, but anyway we will work hard in the morning to see if we can find something to hep us be

Filippo Conti

GRT Yamaha Official WSSP Team Manager

“Today was not the day we expected. We have had a difficult weekend so far. Fifth and sixth are not our normal places, with the temperature becoming hotter it is more difficult for us to find the bike setting and we struggle a lot. For both riders this is the same. The team are working very hard to find the right solution during the warm up and thinking of the race, Lucas and Federico will work their hardest to make the best of the situation. I’m happy that we have two riders that always try their hardest so we know that we will receive the best results possible in the circumstances. Thanks to all the team for their hard work and Yamaha.

Alfonso made a very good job, the rider and the team are improving a lot, they had a good qualifying and we are confident that they will continue to do their best tomorrow.”

WorldSSP300: Hendra Pratama flies to first WorldSSP300 Superpole

Indonesian puts his YZF-R3 in P1 for Sunday ahead of Deroue and Carrasco

Yamaha stormed to their first pole position of the season as they are back on top form

After dominating both Friday practice sessions, Galang Hendra Pratama (BIBLION YAMAHA MOTOXRACING) continued his brilliant form into Saturday with his first pole position in the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship. He will lead the line ahead of Scott Deroue (Motoport Kawasaki) and Ana Carrasco (DS Junior Team).

This is not just Hendra Pratama’s first Tissot Superpole, but also the first pole for a non-European rider in WorldSSP300. It also confirms the improvement in performance by the YZF-R3, with two Yamaha bikes in the top 5.

Deroue was on course to beat the Indonesian in sector 1 on his final lap, but traffic on track left the Dutchman in second, three tenths of a second behind. He will start in front of championship leader Carrasco, however, who made the front row despite a technical issue in the closing minutes of Superpole 2. Her Ninja 400 stopped after completing just 3 laps, but her time of 2’17.991 was enough to put her into third.

Leading row two will is Walid Khan (Nutec-Benjan-Kawasaki), who recorded the fourth fastest time, ahead of Manuel González (Pertamina Almeria BCD Junior Team by MS) in fifth, and Dorren Loureiro (DS Junior Team) in sixth, in search of his second podium of the year.

Third row, meanwhile, will see Nick Kalinin (GP Project Team) in seventh, returning brilliantly to WorldSSP300 action after his Imola crash. Eighth on Saturday was Glenn van Straalen (KTM Fortron Racing Team), with Koen Meuffels (KTM Fortron Junior Team) and Jan-Ole Jahnig closing the top ten in ninth and tenth.

It’s lights out in race five of the season tomorrow, Sunday at 14:20 local time (12:00 GMT))!

Pole Position - Galang Hendra Pratama (BIBLION YAMAHA MOTOXRACING)

"I didn't expect to get the pole position here, so I am very happy with the result. For tomorrow I want to focus more, and I will push in the top group."

#CzechWorldSBK WorldSSP300 at

Automotodrom Brno: Tissot-Superpole 2


2. Scott Deroue (Motoport Kawasaki) +0.308

3. Ana Carrasco (DS Junior Team) +0.595

Round Number: 

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