Press releases after the races in Imola:
WorldSBK Race 2 and WorldSSP300 races cancelled due to weather conditions in Imola
Track conditions curtail competition on Sunday at the Pirelli Italian Round
Following severe rain on Sunday in Imola, and after lengthy delays, the decision was finally made to cancel WorldSBK Race 2 and WorldSSP 300 races of the Pirelli Italian Round at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola. With the heavy rain failing to stop, conditions deteriorated and therefore Race Direction and the Safety Commission took the difficult decision to cancel Sunday’s races in order to guarantee riders’ safety.
Unfortunately, this signals an early end to the fifth WorldSBK round of the season, which currently sees Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) with 263 points leading the WorldSBK championship standings followed by Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in second position and Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) in third position. In WorldSSP300 Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) maintains the lead with full points after having won both the first two races of the 2019 season.
The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship will return into action at Circuito de Jerez Angel Nieto for the Acerbis Spanish Round from 7th June – 9th June 2019.
#ITAWorldSBK - Day 3:
WorldSBK Tissot Superpole Race got underway before rain curtailed competitions
Rea takes Tissot Superpole Race as Davies beats Bautista
The first race of the third day of action at Imola was the Tissot Superpole Race, which provided fireworks once more. On a damp but drying circuit, there was drama before the race even started, as Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) missed the warm up lap and was forced to start from pit lane. The 2013 WorldSBK champion had work to do in the early stages.
With the race underway, Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) got the jump from pole position, whilst Race 1 winner Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) went side-by-side with the Welshman, having to wait his turn at Turn 2. Championship leader Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) was third whilst Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) held fourth.
With the race settling down, a mistake from Chaz Davies at the final chicane allowed Rea and Bautista to get ahead of him. Davies now had to put in the hard work all over again, as the reigning champion began to pull out an advantage.
Like in Race 1, a big battle unfolded for fourth place, this time with Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) leading the battle from Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing), Alex Lowes and Haslam, who had once again dropped down the order after a combative couple of laps from the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team riders.
Toprak Razgatlioglu however wouldn’t stay in the fight long, as he began to drop back through the field, with his Superpole Race tyre not able to go the distance. Similarly, Alvaro Bautista, who had also opted for the same compound, began to drop back towards his teammate and with just five laps to go at the second part of Rivazza, Davies squeezed down the inside.
Then, the two dominant forces of WorldSBK in the past four seasons - Rea and Davies – went head-to-head in terms of lap times, right on lap record pace and both having to keep the pace up right until the end. The gap momentarily came down to below a second, but Davies was unable to get on terms with Jonathan Rea, whilst Bautista rode answerless in third position.
Down the field, there were some phenomenal rides, with Tom Sykes rocketing up the order and making short work of those in his sights. Soon, he was ahead of Jordi Torres (team Pedercini Racing) with just one lap to go and his attention turned to toppling Toprak, who was now losing time hand over fist. Another stunning ride was completed by Tommy Bridewell (Team Goeleven), who blitzed through the order on the opening lap to get to 11th place from his row six starting place.
However, at the front, Jonathan Rea took the win, his second of the season and his first in the Tissot Superpole Race. Davies and Bautista came home behind him, whilst Michael van der Mark took his best Imola result. Lowes was back inside the top five, with Leon Haslam placed in sixth. Razgatlioglu was caught but not passed by Sykes, as they finished seventh and eighth respectively, whilst Jordi Torres was ninth. Markus Reiterberger (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) completed the top ten.
Less than a second back, super-substitute Tommy Bridewell was 11th, a stunning ride from the British rider. Wildcard Lorenzo Zanetti (Motocorsa Racing) was in 12th, ahead of Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) Hector Barbera (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) and Michael Ruben Rinaldi (BARNI Racing Team) completing the points.
Rea Doubles Up Before Rain Stops Play
Jonathan Rea added to his Saturday race win with another decisive victory in the ten-lap Tissot-Superpole race today. Leon Haslam battled hard once again and was sixth. Persistent heavy rain caused the cancellation of all further track action after the WorldSSP race had been completed, hence the scheduled final Imola WorldSBK race did not take place.
The Autodromo Nazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola provided another race winning chance for four times champion Rea, but only one opportunity, due to the decision to stop all further track action after the weather conditions turned.
Rea took his chance to win on Sunday in both hands and finished 2.141 seconds ahead of Chaz Davies. He led across the line every lap, as he had done on Saturday, and took his tally of WorldSBK race wins at Imola to nine.
After his breakthrough win on Saturday, Rea’s victory today also netted him more points and he reduced the previous advantage of championship leader Alvaro Bautista, who finished third in the Superpole race.
Haslam found some of the same issues today that he had under braking on Saturday, but worked hard to finish sixth and score more championship points.
In the championship standings Jonathan, in second place overall, has reduced the championship lead to 43 points. Leon is fifth and has a total of 108 points after five rounds.
The Circuito de Jerez Angel Nieto in Spain will be the venue for the next round of the championship, between 7 and 9 June, but first there will be a two-day test at Misano, between 29 and 30 May.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “It was a really positive weekend, to get my feeling with the bike here and be able to really get the maximum out of it. To pick up two race wins makes me really happy. I want to thank all the team for always believing and keeping on pushing. We never stopped believing that this weekend was a perfect opportunity for the chance to win. With our form here in the past, the way our bike works here and the way I ride - it was our chance. So we had to take it and I did, in both races. That was positive but unfortunately race three was cancelled because of the weather which came in. I completely understand and I am sure we will get our chance again.”
Leon Haslam, stated: “I had exactly the same problem as in race one. I could not pass, could not follow the guys. When I had a gap I could go really fast. Compared to Jonathan we are losing under braking but on a positive note, in cornering, in the exits, and how I adapted my style in other areas, we made good steps. Jonathan is very good here and I knew it was going to be a tough weekend trying to adapt my style with the things I have struggled with, but it was a lot harder than I expected. We will take a fifth and a sixth.”
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) was again the top Independent team rider, scoring seventh place today in the ten-lap race. He is now eighth in the championship, mostly thanks to his Saturday race podium finish at Imola. Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was 11th today, putting him in overall 11th place. Hector Barbera (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) was 14th in the Superpole race, and is now 21st in the championship rankings after two rounds.
Double podium in the Superpole Race at Imola for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team with Chaz Davies and Álvaro Bautista second and third: Race 2 cancelled due to the bad weather
The fifth round of the Superbike World Championship, held at the Imola circuit this weekend, was hit by bad weather this afternoon, which led to the cancellation of all track activities. After the rain began to fall more intensely, Race Direction decided to send the riders out for a lap in the Safety Car and then get them to line up on the grid for an evaluation of the track conditions. After consultations with the riders, the right decision was taken to cancel the second race which had initially been scheduled for 14:00 CET.
In the morning, the ten-lap Superpole sprint race took place on a dry track, and this saw a double podium for both Aruba.it Racing – Ducati riders, Chaz Davies and Álvaro Bautista, who finished second and third at the flag behind Rea. While championship leader Bautista struggled to keep the pace of the Kawasaki man, Davies immediately powered into the lead from pole position, but a mistake at the Variante Bassa at the end of the opening lap dropped him down to third. Chaz then managed to pass his team-mate, setting fastest lap and the new circuit record on the way, but he was unable to close the gap separating him from Rea.
Following the Imola results, Bautista still has a firm grip on the leadership board with 263 points, 43 more than Rea, while Davies lies in sixth with 85 points. The next race in this year’s Superbike World Championship – the Spanish Round – will be held in four weeks’ time at Jerez de la Frontera from 7 to 9 June.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7) – 2nd / -
"It’s a bit of a shame we never got the chance to do race 2 here at Imola but unfortunately in the wet this track has quite a few limits. Imola is not a normal circuit, and with these ups and downs you get a lot of standing water especially in the corners and these conditions meant that they had to cancel today’s race. It was the right decision, but I’m sorry for all the fans who stayed here in the rain all afternoon just to see us race. The positive thing is that we managed to do the sprint race, and judging by the result, it was a pity not to have been able to do the full-length second race. After a tough start to the season, I’m starting to see the light and my feeling with the Panigale V4 R is improving all the time. I go home from Imola knowing that I’ve made a lot of progress in view of the next races."
Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing Ducati #19) – 3rd / -
"Unfortunately the bad weather affected the second race, and it was raining really hard. The track conditions were dangerous, with a lot of water in some parts and streams crossing the track. It was too risky for the riders and it was the right decision to cancel the race. We feel really bad about that because we know that there are a lot of Superbike fans here, but rider safety is the most important aspect. Having the support of all the Ducatisti is incredible and even though I didn’t win a race, it was one of the best weekends in my entire career because I really felt their support. For this reason, I feel a bit sorry for them, but I think they will understand the situation.”
Solid Sprint Race for Van Der Mark and Lowes as Rain Stops Play in Imola
Pata Yamaha WorldSBK riders, Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes, both showed improved pace in today's Superpole Sprint Race in Imola, which they finished in fourth and fifth places respectively. It proved a more difficult outing for the two GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK riders, however. Sandro Cortese capped off what has been his toughest WorldSBK weekend to date with a 13th place finish, while Marco Melandri opted for the wrong set-up and finished the 10-lap race in 17th position. Torrential rain at the Imola circuit forced the cancellation of WorldSBK Race 2 on safety grounds.
Changes to the set-up of his R1 paid dividends for van der Mark in the sprint race, with the Pata Yamaha rider able to maintain a faster pace compared to yesterday. After a brief battle in the early stages, Van der Mark managed to pull away from the riders contesting fifth place, including Toprak Razgatlioglu, who’d denied the Pata Yamaha rider a podium finish yesterday. By the time he’d hit the front of the group, however, the gap to Alvaro Bautista and the last step of the podium was too big to bridge in the limited laps available and van der Mark had to settle for fourth at the line.
Although still suffering with the stomach bug that has caused him so many issues this weekend, it was a much stronger Lowes that lined up for the sprint race this morning. The Pata Yamaha rider was embroiled in the battle for fifth position from the start, eventually fighting his way to the front of the group and then pulling a gap on his pursuers. While disappointed not to have broken clear with his teammate earlier, Lowes was happy to add more points to his championship tally with a solid fifth place, after what has been a difficult weekend for the Briton.
The Imola weekend is one that Cortese will be happy to put behind him. The reigning Supersport World Champion struggled to find a good feeling with the bike and the track all weekend, which culminated in a 13th place finish in the Superpole sprint race this morning. Always upbeat in the face of adversity, Cortese is already looking forward to the next race in Jerez, a track he knows very well indeed.
Melandri was one of quite a few riders caught out by the changeable weather conditions ahead of the sprint race today. The GRT Yamaha rider opted to run a wet set-up on his R1, which left him at a distinct disadvantage when conditions for the 10-lap race remained dry. Combined with some unconnected issues in the race, it left the veteran Italian to finish in an uncharacteristic 17th position.
All four Yamaha riders will complete a two-day test in Misano ahead of the next round of the FIM Superbike World Championship, which takes place in Jerez over the weekend of 7 – 9 June.
Michael van der Mark
Pata Yamaha WorldSBK – P4 – Championship Position P4 – 134 Points
“We changed quite a lot on the bike for the Superpole Race and I immediately felt that the bike was better, especially in the areas we identified for improvement after Race 1 yesterday. This gave me a lot of confidence and my pace was a lot quicker compared to yesterday. I got a good start and had a little battle in the beginning, but that meant I just lost contact with Alvaro, who managed to pull a gap that I didn’t have time to close. But I had a good lead over the guys behind me and, while it wasn’t the most exciting race I’ve ever had, I was really happy with the feeling of the bike and my pace in the race. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the chance to take advantage of the improvements in Race 2 this afternoon, as it was cancelled due to the weather. It’s a shame because we wanted to race and everyone who’d braved the weather to be here wanted to see us race, but with so much standing water on the track it just wasn’t safe.”
Pata Yamaha WorldSBK – P5 – Championship Position P3 – 140 Points
"The bike felt great in the Superpole race. I had a good battle with the Leon and Toprak in the early stages of the race, before pulling a bit of a gap on them. My best laps were near the end of the race and I felt that, maybe, if I'd have got clear sooner then I might have been able to have a good battle with Michael. But for us to finish fourth and fifth on what has previously been a tough track for us shows just how much we've improved. It gives me a lot of confidence going forward, now that we've been so competitive at what was probably our worst track last year. I'm really happy with the weekend; I've been up against it a bit with the sickness, but I'm quite proud of myself for how I've dealt with it and come out of it with some decent points. A big thank you to all the fans that turned out over the weekend, but especially today. Luckily, they got to see the Superpole race and then a thrilling Supersport race, but it was a shame they missed out on Race 2 because of the weather conditions. We had a lot of rain in a short space of time and there was a lot of standing water on track. This circuit has a couple of third and fourth gear kinks, which are really fast, and that's exactly where the standing water was collecting. On a bike, surrounded by other riders at those speeds, it simply wasn't safe enough to race this afternoon, unfortunately."
GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK – P13 - Championship Position P9 – 64 Points
"Overall this was my toughest weekend in WorldSBK. From the start we didn't find the correct set-up and then there were the crashes, one on oil, one due to a technical problem and then, in Race 1, because of a mistake. But that's racing; sometimes when you have hard days then they are really hard and, anyway, I'd prefer to have all the problems in one race so that we can put them behind us and look forward to the test in Misano and the next race in Jerez, a track I like and one that I know very well. Imola, on the other hand, has proved a very difficult track. The rain meant it was impossible to race today, which is a real shame. I feel sorry for the fans, stood in the rain all day waiting for a race that was eventually cancelled but, while we all wanted to race, the decision was made on safety grounds and I think that was the right way to go."
GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK – P17 - Championship Position P7 – 79 Points
“I was really disappointed with the Superpole race this morning. We thought it was going to be wet, so we went with different settings in the bike, but when it turned out to be dry we didn’t have time to switch back to a dry set-up. Also, we had some other issues because of the confusion and, in the opening laps, I thought there was a problem with the bike and I wasn’t pushing. When I started to push a bit more, I started to struggle a lot, much worse than yesterday. I think if we were at a different track then we could have raced today despite the rain. The grip in the wet at Imola was quite okay but the problem here is the layout of the track and the proximity of the walls. With the poor visibility today, it was too dangerous to race. I’m a bit disappointed because the two sighting laps I did on the way to the grid felt okay, but it was not the right choice to race today. Sorry to the fans who braved the weather to be here today, but safety is important.”
Yamaha Motor Europe Road Racing Manager
“it’s been a weekend of mixed fortunes for the two Yamaha teams here in Imola. Michael and Alex have had a solid weekend at a track that, in the past, has not been overly kind to us. Michael was unlucky to miss out on a podium finish in Race 1 yesterday but, as his pace in the Superpole race this morning showed, the podium was a realistic target had Race 2 gone ahead this afternoon. It’s been a difficult weekend for Alex, as he’s had quite a debilitating illness to deal with, but I have to commend him on his resilience and the fact that he still managed two strong results despite his physical condition. What Michael and Alex’s results in Imola have illustrated quite clearly is the step forward we’ve taken with improving the consistency of the R1, to the point where we are now competitive even at tracks where we’ve struggled in the past. For Sandro and Marco, it’s been a difficult weekend here in Imola, for different reasons. Sandro lost a lot of track time as a result of the crash on Friday and, as a result, he never really found a good feeling with the bike or the track. Marco, on the other hand, is still struggling with the same issues he’s had since Thailand, which means he hasn’t been able to realise his full potential. However, we are confident that we can resolve these issues during two days of testing in Misano later this month and that Marco will be back where he should be next time out in Jerez.”
Race cancelled due to rain: shortened Sunday race day for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team at Imola.
Tom Sykes and Markus Reiterberger finish the Superpole race in eighth and ninth positions on their BMW S 1000 RR superbikes.
Heavy downpour leads to cancellation of the second race in the afternoon.
Marc Bongers: “We can draw the positive conclusion that our race pace is very good.”
Imola. Sunday’s race day at Imola (ITA) was much shorter than planned for the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) and the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. Tom Sykes (GBR) and Markus Reiterberger (GER) claimed eighth and tenth positions in the morning’s Superpole race. Race two in the afternoon had to be cancelled due to heavy rain.
The track was already moist during morning warm-up. This was the very first session in rainy conditions with the new BMW S 1000 RR for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team, as all previous tests and races had taken place in the dry.
The weather conditions for the morning’s Superpole race were changeable, with dry spells. Sykes gave an impressive recovery performance: he had to start from the pit lane, in last place, due to his tyre pressure being slightly too low on the grid. Sykes ploughed through the field on his RR, moving up so far that he was able to cross the line in eighth position. Reiterberger ended the Superpole race in tenth place. A heavy downpour began just as the grid formed up for the second race. The start was delayed and then the race was finally cancelled an hour and a half later.
Quotes after Sunday at Imola.
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “After this weekend, we can draw the positive conclusion that our race pace is very good. However, yesterday's technical problems and Tom being demoted today meant that we weren't able to make the most of it. I understand the decision made by race control and the riders that it would have been too dangerous to start the race in the afternoon, although it would have been good for us to ride in the rain, as that would have helped us prepare for the future. Overall, we take a positive attitude from Imola as we head to the next race.”
Shaun Muir, Team Principal BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “The summary of the day is that we proved again that the BMW S 1000 RR is getting very quick now. We have a good pace and I was looking forward to a dry race. In the Superpole race, Tom unfortunately had to start from pit lane. He did the sighting lap to the grid on race tyres. Due to the low temperatures, the tyre pressure slightly dropped below the limit. We will adapt the procedures to avoid this in the future. Tom’s race then was very positive. With his lap times he could have been battling for fourth position which is a fantastic position to be in. Markus went with a different tyre scenario. He was one of only four riders to opt for the SCX tyre. It was a gamble and he would have been very, very good if that would have worked out but unfortunately he lost the tyre before the race was finished. But anyway, we are happy with the top ten for Markus. Overall we can say after this weekend that we are now showing that with its pace the bike can be fast now at many circuits. We can carry this forward and it’s also important that we will have a test at Misano before Jerez because we once again have many things to test.”
Tom Sykes: “We just had a little bit of bad luck. The tyre pressure was finally correct but on the grid it was a little bit low because I made a slow lap to the grid. The BMW S 1000 RR chassis was working very well. I made obviously a lot of passes in ten laps. Sure, I’m a bit disappointed but we’re making progress all the time; the team works very hard and I am sure we will have some good fortunes soon. For now it has been a strange day, another race cancelled due to safety conditions, and now we are moving on to the next race where I hope the package can also be competitive. So keep working and hoping we will get the result we’re all working forward very soon.”
Markus Reiterberger: “This morning's warm-up was the first time that we had raced in the rain with the new RR. I had a pretty good feeling. The conditions were changeable for the Superpole race. It was mainly dry, with some wet spots and we took the risk to opt for the Supersoft tyre. Unfortunately, tyre wear was quite heavy towards the end but I managed to cross the line in tenth place. We had to wait a long time to find out whether we would have a second race or not. It would have been important for us to gain some experience in the rain but the decision to cancel made sense from the point of view of rider safety, as it was really at the limit. Overall, we learned a lot at Imola and we will check out a lot of things during testing to help us continue to make progress. Thanks to the team for their hard work. We will all work hard together to reap the benefits of this work.”
Bad weather strikes again as rain causes Race 2 cancellation at the Italian Pirelli WSBK Round.
After snow in Assen forced Race Direction to reschedule the Dutch race program, cancelling the Superpole race, today the rain in Imola caused Race 2 to be delayed and ultimately cancelled, along with the rest of the day’s racing activities, due to the track conditions.
Ryuichi Kiyonari, sixteenth in the 11am Superpole race which was held in essentially dry conditions, was disappointed to miss out on the chance to race in the wet after a solid performance on a damp track in this morning’s warm-up saw him set the sixth fastest time, but he agrees on the fact that safety always comes first.
Team-mate Leon Camier followed the Superpole Race from the Moriwaki Althea Honda Team garage before heading home to Andorra. In the coming days, he will undergo further medical tests to check the condition of his left shoulder after a blameless crash in yesterday’s qualifying session left him with ligament damage.
Ryuichi Kiyonari 23
Superpole Race 16th Race2 cancelled
“I have to say it’s a pity to miss out on the opportunity to try and race in the wet as this morning, in warm-up, I felt very good on the bike on the damp asphalt and could ride quite fast. I was looking forward to trying to get an even better result in the race. Having said that, I understand that sometimes one has to comply with decisions that are hard on you, especially if they are taken with safety in mind. If something bad were to happen, it’s impossible to go back in time, so at the end of the day I think that cancelling the race was the right call”.
Imola SBK race day conditioned by rain
Imola (Italy), Sunday 12 May 2019
The Althea MIE Racing Team and rider Alessandro Delbianco have concluded round five of the Superbike world championship at the historic Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit in Imola, crossing the line in eighteenth place in the sprint race.
During the morning’s warm-up, run on a damp track, Delbianco proved confident, finishing the short session in third place. At 11am it was time for the 10-lap Tissot Superpole race, which took place in dry conditions. Sixteenth in the initial stages, the Italian struggled to find a good rhythm, losing contact with the group in front of him and passing under the chequered flag in eighteenth position.
Heavy rain began to fall at 1.30pm, just 30 minutes before race 2 was set to begin. The start was inevitably delayed but Race Direction ultimately decided to cancel the race due to the track conditions.
After the first five rounds of the 2019 championship, Delbianco positions twentieth in the standings with four points.
“In the sprint race, I struggled a little less than yesterday but it was still a difficult one. I’m sorry we didn’t have chance to run the second race though. In my opinion, we could have gone ahead with it, but other riders were of a different opinion. Anyway, that’s that and now we look ahead to the next round at Jerez.”
HEAVY RAIN STOPS IMOLA ROUND!
The so predicted rain has come to the Imola circuit since the early hours of the morning!
The warm up took place in wet conditions, with rain tyres. The rider of Team Go Eleven did not want to risk too much, entering with a very conservative map for the low amount of water on the track. However, he immediately found the right feeling with the V4-R by Go Eleven.
Warm Up: P 14 2'02.547 + 3.844
Just before the start of the Superpole Race grey clouds gather on the Santerno track; a few drops of rain fall, then a shy sun comes out that allows the riders to complete the 10 laps scheduled on a dry track. Tommy Bridewell starts really aggressive, immediately recovers some positions, overtakes Melandri with a hard and precise entry and settles in P 11. In the last laps he launches in pursuit of Reiterberger's BMW recovering tenth on tenth. With a few more laps the English rider could have finished the top 10.
Well so anyway, big step forward compared to the day of Saturday.
Superpole Race: P 11 T. Bridewell + 26.820
Race 2 was (unfortunately for the show) canceled due to heavy rain!
Before the start was delayed, then a delegation of riders was taken along the circuit to understand the real conditions; finally the Race Direction decided to let the riders enter the grid, which after the alignment lap would have given their opinion on the safety conditions of the track. Unfortunately, 5 minutes from the green light, some protagonists have deemed it too risky to compete; so Race 2 was canceled.
Tommy Bridewell would, however, have been ready for the challenge, given also the intensity of the rain decreased significantly before entering the grid.
A huge applause to the very warm Italian audience (over 72,000 spectators in these extreme conditions!) That remained in the stands until the last second, hoping to enjoy the show in pure Superbike style!
Denis Sacchetti (Team Manager):
"We are all very sorry for what happened on Friday morning to Eugene, we really don't need this misfortune! Fortunately the operation on the right wrist went very well, better than expected and I hope to see him very soon on track.
Tommy was a surprise for us, getting on the bike Saturday morning, with a day less of work than others, and after just few completed laps to start a Superbike World Championship race, it takes courage! Furthermore he finished in 12th position, so hats off. I think it was a nice surprise!
In the Superpole Race he improved again, and I think he is a really talented rider.
I want to thank the spectators that always welcome us so splendidly here at Santerno, and I am sorry they could not even enjoy the challenge of Sunday Race 2, due to the heavy rain."
Tommy Bridewell (Rider):
"I am very happy with the performance we made in the Superpole Race this morning! The bike made big changes from yesterday's Race to today's Race and for me the feeling is much stronger and much better. I feel more confortable. Sure with more time we can be fast; it's a shame that they canceled Race 2, because my target was to fight for a podium! It's a shame, but also has been a fantastic experience, I very enjoy working with this Team and I hope we can make more races together!"
WorldSSP: Krummenacher beats in Caricasulo in head-to-head battle
The teammates continued to battle but an action packed WorldSSP race saw many riders in the mix
TIt was an action-packed WorldSSP race at Imola, which had drama, intrigue and battles scattered right the way through the 17-lap encounter. In a race that saw a group of five whittled down to the leading duo in the championship of Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) and teammate Federico Caricasulo, it was an exciting race that went down to a vintage WorldSSP final lap.
On the opening lap, it was a brilliant start from Jules Cluzel (GMT94 YAMAHA), who came from third on the grid to the lead, holding off pole-sitter Randy Krummenacher and Federico Caricasulo. A blistering start from Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was halted as Massimo Roccoli (Team Rosso Corsa) surged through from ninth on the grid to be fourth.
At the start of lap two, trying to make up ground, Mahias tried to get ahead of Raffaele De Rosa (MV AGUSTA Reparto Corse) on the front straight, cutting to the inside and pushing the Italian rider wide at Tamburello. Then, a raft of fastest laps came in from the leading five, with Caricasulo, Mahias and Thomas Gradinger (Kallio Racing) setting fastest laps in consecutive laps.
Mahias and Gradinger were starting to close the gap to the leading trio, as they got to work by taking advantage of the leaders’ hesitance in the tricky weather conditions. However, a mistake from Jules Cluzel on the exit of the Variante Alta meant that both Krummenacher and Caricasulo were able to get ahead. A few laps later, and Cluzel was once again wide at the same corner, now bringing the likes of Mahias and Gradinger into the fight.
However, drama was just around the corner, as a problem for Cluzel on the exit of Turn 22 saw Mahias collide with his fellow countryman, leaving Gradinger nowhere to go. With more than half race distance complete, Mahias remounted but now had work to do to try and make the most of a bad situation. This however was not bad news for the home fans, who saw Raffaele De Rosa hit the podium places.
As the leading duo were now alone, a thrilling last lap was in prospect, with Krummenacher right on the rear of Caricasulo. A slight mistake at Turn 7 from Caricasulo allowed his teammate to close in but it was a bigger mistake at the Variante Alta that allowed Krummenacher to get ahead on the run to Rivazza. A mistake from the Swiss rider at the last chicane almost cost him the win but he held on ahead of Caricasulo to take the win, ahead of De Rosa.
Unfortunately, a red flag was shown in the closing moments, with Massimo Roccoli suffering an enormous high-side crash at the first Rivazza. He was stretchered away and despite running as high as fourth in the race, left Imola empty handed.
Hikari Okubo (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) took a career-best fourth place ahead of home-hero Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing), Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing), Jules Cluzel and Mahias in eighth, with the top Honda rider being Hannes Soomer (MPM WILSport Racedays) in ninth, whilst Peter Sebestyen (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) was tenth.
Eleventh went to Jules Danilo (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda), with Loris Cresson (Kallio Racing), Kyle Smith (Team Pedercini Racing), Federico Fulligni (MV AGUSTA Reparto Corse) and Maria Herrera (MS Racing) completing the points.
P1 - Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team)
"It was a really hard battle today. Federico was very fast but I tried to change my strategy compared to Assen and it went well. I put him under pressure during the last lap and I used the moment when he did a mistake to pass him. I did the maximum I could and all went good. I am delighted with the victory and I want to thanks all my team for their big effort, and to the weather that stayed dry!".
RANDY KRUMMENACHER TRIUMPHS AT THE IMOLA “ENZO E DINO FERRARI”
Imola (Italy) 12 May 2019
The fifth round of the FIM Supersport world championship has concluded at the challenging Italian “Enzo e Dino Ferrari” track. An action-packed race full of suspense, and one that saw Swiss rider Randy Krummenacher triumph. There had been doubts about the weather all weekend long, with heavy rain forecast in the early hours of this morning. At midday, the riders lined up under very cloudy skies but the Supersport race actually took place in predominantly dry conditions. The lights went out on 12.15 local time, the 17-lap race getting underway on time. Randy Krummenacher, who started from first place, starred in an incredible race. By the end of lap one, he was up into second place, behind Frenchman Cluzel. Krummenacher maintained second place until lap six, during which he moved into the lead, in front of team-mate Federico Caricasulo. The Swiss rider held the lead until lap eighteen, when he was passed by his team-mate. The final laps proved to be extremely hard-fought, the two Team Bardahl Evan Bros. riders the protagonists in the final battle. It was Randy Krummenacher who triumphed, bringing home his third win of the season and consolidating his position as championship leader, with 115 points and a 22-point lead over second-placed rider, team-mate Caricasulo.
A weekend of excellent results. The Swiss rider set a new circuit record, achieved the Pirelli Best lap with a time of 1’50.239, and of course a fantastic win.
#RK21: “It’s been a good weekend. After Friday’s crash, the team and I worked very hard, the team giving me a perfect bike that allowed me to score pole position. The race was hard because Federico Caricasulo was very strong. I decided to let him pass me and I planned to make a counterattack in the final stages. My strategy paid off and I was able to get past him on the very last lap to win the race. I’m really happy with both the race and how my season is going, but we still have seven races to go and so have to stay focused and continue to work to improve further. I want to thank my team, my family and everyone who came to support me here in Italy this weekend”.
Krummenacher Takes Victory in Incident Packed Imola WorldSSP Encounter
The battle for supremacy that has raged between the Bardahl Evan Bros. Yamaha Supported WorldSSP teammates, Randy Krummenacher and Federico Caricasulo, continued today in Imola, with the Swiss rider getting the better of a last lap battle between the two, to claim his third win of the season and to extend his lead at the head of the championship.
Krummenacher led the way in qualifying, smashing the lap record on his way to securing his second pole position start of the season ahead of teammate Caricasulo and GMT94 Yamaha Supported WorldSSP rider, Jules Cluzel.
It was Cluzel who took the advantage from the start to lead the field around the opening lap, with Krummenacher and Caricasulo in close attendance. Three laps in and the French rider had managed to pull out a small gap at the front, with the Bardahl Yamaha pair chasing hard behind to try and regain contact.
One lap later the leading trio were back together, with a significant gap back to the battle for fourth place between Kallio Racing Yamaha supported WorldSSP rider, Tomas Gradinger, and former Supersport World Champion, Lucas Mahias.
A mistake by Cluzel at the Variante Alta on lap seven was all the invitation Krummenacher and Caricasulo needed, with both diving past the Frenchman on the exit of the chicane, as Mahias and Gradinger finally made contact to make it a five-way battle at the front of the race.
This battle quickly became a two-horse race, as Mahias ran into the back of Cluzel at the final chicane at the end of lap 11 and crashed, taking the unfortunate Gradinger into the gravel trap with him and dropping Cluzel back to eighth as the GMT94 Yamaha rider was pushed off track.
Having shadowed Krummenacher for the first half of the race, Caricasulo made his move on lap 13, passing the Swiss rider to take the race lead. Krummenacher continued to put pressure on the Italian before returning the favour on the final lap and retaking the race lead. Caricasulo was unable to respond due to fuel starvation problems, but managed to make it to the finish line to claim second place at the chequered flag.
Cluzel recovered from the incident with Mahias to finish seventh, one place behind Kallio Racing Yamaha’s Isaac Viñales, who crossed the line in sixth. Loris Cresson picked up more championship points in 12th position.
Krummenacher now leads the WorldSSP standings with 115 points, 22 more than Caricasulo, with Cluzel in third with 78 points.
Bardahl Evan Bros. Yamaha Supported WorldSSP – P1 – Championship Position P1 – 115 Points
"I had to work hard for the win here, because Federico was really fast today. I changed a bit my approach in the race and let Federico past before then applying as much pressure as possible. A small mistake from him was all I needed to retake the lead on the last lap and from there I just pushed to my maximum and defended into the final chicane by braking really late and going in tight. I'm really happy with the win; it was a hard one so we need to continue working to improve, because we can improve, but we can also be happy with how we've performed this season, as three wins in five races is really nice."
Bardahl Evan Bros. Yamaha Supported WorldSSP – P2 - Championship Position P2 – 93 Points
"It was a good race, right up until the last lap, when I started to run short of fuel and the bike kept cutting out. It meant I wasn't able to respond when Randy came past me on the last lap, which was disappointing because I felt like I was riding as well as I did in Assen and that a second race win was possible today. I'm happy with the weekend, because we did a good job, but I'm obviously less happy to have missed out on the win today."
Career Best For Okubo At Imola
Kawasaki Puccetti Racing WorldSSP rider Hikari Okubo scored his best result to date with a fourth place finish after 17 laps of a sometimes bizarre race at Imola. His team-mate Lucas Mahias was looking for a podium finish until the rider in front of him missed a gear exiting a chicane. Lucas collided with his rival’s bike before falling but he restarted to score eighth place.
With rain clouds threatening overhead the WorldSSP riders set off in a race that would prove to be full of drama and excitement, with crashes, rain flags and finally a red flag all appearing as fortunes rose and fell. It was basically dry throughout, despite some very light showers appearing at times.
Hikari, who had qualified fifth, went from a lowly 12th on lap one to a final fourth place by a combination of determined riding and the misfortunes of others. His career-best fourth place saw him only 3.643 seconds behind the winner at his team’s home round.
After an epically determined push from 2017 World Champion Mahias in the early laps he was closing in on third place rider Jules Cluzel when suddenly the latter slowed coming out of the Variante Basso corner. Mahias could not avoid him and Lucas fell after hitting the tail section of his rival’s machine, restarting in 11th place.
A final position of eighth was no real reward for Mahias’ riding performance but he did score valuable points.
In the championship itself Okubo has moved up from fifth to fourth place with his new points total of 50, while Mahias is seventh on 40 points.
Okubo and Mahias will next compete at the Circuito de Jerez Angel Nieto, between 7 and 9 June, in the sixth round of the championship.
Hikari Okubo, stated: “I am so happy because I got my best result so far but if I got one more place I would have got a podium. There was a big mistake in the first lap of the race and I made a big drop, but I never gave up. That is the Japanese spirit. Sep-by-step I pushed so hard every lap and I could get to fourth position. Now I need to do one more step and next race I will try for the podium.”
Lucas Mahias stated: “My race was shaping up not so bad but finally the result is again not my real position. I think if I did not have this problem in the chicane I would finish on the podium. This was my target. I am really angry because Cluzel missed a gear. OK, it was still a good step today to be close to the podium positions before the problem, because race after race the bike set-up is getting better.”
Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was fifth at his home round, making this his best race of 2019 so far. Kyle Smith (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) still leads the championship-within-a-championship FIM Europe Supersport Cup, scoring more points today for his 13th place finish. He is now 16th in the overall WorldSSP championship classification.
Rob Hartog (Team Hartog – Against Cancer Kawasaki) just missed a point today for 16th place, with Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) 19th. Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team Kawasaki) retired at Imola and is now 17th overall.
Rain Stops Final Act Of Imola Weekend
After some intense and closely contested qualifying sessions Kawasaki’s many young WorldSSP300 championship hopefuls were primed and ready to fight for the race win at the old school parkland circuit of Imola. The arrival of heavy and persistent rain, however, brought about the inevitable cancellation of the planned 11-lap race today.
Until the enforced end to a typically exciting and popular event it had been a strong venue for many of the top Ninja 400 riders. Mika Perez (Scuderia Maranga Racing Kawasaki) was on pole with a new track best of 2’06.31 and reigning World Champion Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec) was third on the grid.
Championship leader Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGo Team) finished eighth in qualifying, one place up on perennial contender for trophies and titles, Scott Deroue (Kawasaki Motoport).
With Marc Garcia (DS Junior Team Kawasaki) and Robert Schotman (Motoport Kawasaki) tenth and 12th on the grid respectively there was no shortage of possibilities for a third Ninja 400 race win in succession, especially after Gonzalez had taken full points at both Motorland Aragon and Assen.
No fewer than 56 riders attempted to qualify, first in A and B qualifying heats and then - for those who miss out - the always thrilling last chance race on Saturday afternoon.
Now the entire WorldSSP300 circus has already packed its bags to go home early but they will reconvene happily for the Jerez round in Spain, between 7 and 9 June.
Mika Perez, stated: “Today we were unlucky again. After getting pole position, setting the circuit class record and showing we were the strongest, the race was cancelled due the heavy rain! Obviously I'm not happy because starting from the pole position I was in the right condition to make a good race. I was hungry to win my first race of the season but safety is the priority. The next race will be at Jerez, one of my home rounds. We tested there at the beginning of the season and I think it was very positive.”
Ana Carrasco, stated: “It’s a pity not to be able to make the race but the weather conditions have changed a lot from yesterday and the track was not in good condition. Apart from that, I am happy with the weekend. The team has worked very well and we have been strong in all the sessions. Thanks to all of them and to Kawasaki for the great job, we'll have to wait until Jerez to get back in the running.”
Manuel Gonzalez, stated: “It was a complicated time in Imola. We were eighth on the grid, but we have pace to be in the lead. The rain on raceday changed the panorama for everyone and they cancelled the race. See you in Jerez on June 7-9th.”
Scott Deroue, stated: “I was satisfied with Saturday at Imola because we were able to made a step in FP3 and then in Superpole. This is a difficult track but the feeling with the bike is getting better. I had hoped to make it a good race here.”