Press releases from the World Supersport and World Superbike teams after Sunday's races at Imola:
Rea wins again after dominating race one in Imola
Imola (Italy), Sunday 11 May 2014 - The sun continued to shine at Imola as the first race of the day got underway in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd.
From the start it was Pole Position setter Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) who immediately took the lead ahead of the Aprilia Racing Team duo of Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli. Chaz Davies (Ducati Racing Team) moved up to second at the end of lap one and as the laps progressed a number of riders in the leading group would run off track in their efforts to keep up with the flying British duo at the front.
By half distance Rea had moved clear of the chasing pack with a lead of almost two seconds. Behind the leader a four rider fight involving Davies, Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), Sylvain Guintoli who had worked hard to bridge the gap after an off track excursion at the chicane on lap 2, Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) became more intense with every corner.
Giugliano slid out of contention on the twelfth lap, the Italian clearly annoyed as the front end of his Ducati went away from him.
At the flag and after 19 exciting laps it was Rea who took back to back wins ahead of Davies and Sykes, who complete the race one podium. The Ulsterman now sits second in the standings, with only ten points to make up from the leader Tom Sykes.
In the EVO battle, Leon Camier (BMW Motorrad Italia) came out on top, finishing comfortably ahead of David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Luca Scassa (Team Pedercini Kawasaki). Ivan Goi (Barni Racing Team) and Niccolo Canepa (Althea Racing Ducati) crashed without injury.
Results: 1. Rea (Honda) 19 Laps/93.784 km in 34'14.829 average 164.307 kph; 2. Davies (Ducati) 4.511; 3. Sykes (Kawasaki) 6.492; 4. Baz (Kawasaki) 8.434; 5. Guintoli (Aprilia) 9.134; 6. Melandri (Aprilia) 14.925; 7. Laverty (Suzuki) 19.973; 8. Lowes (Suzuki) 21.582; 9. Elias (Aprilia) 28.781; 10. Haslam (Honda) 31.245; 11. Camier (BMW) 40.996; 12. Salom (Kawasaki) 55.372; 13. Scassa (Kawasaki) 55.899; 14. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 1'04.402; 15. Andreozzi (Kawasaki) 1'23.074; 16. Foret (Kawasaki) 1'23.324; 17. Morais (Kawasaki) 1'36.763; 18. Corti (MV Agusta) 1'36.942; 19. Sebestyen (BMW) 1'43.545; 20. Toth (BMW) 1'43.819; RT. Giugliano (Ducati); RT. Fabrizio (Kawasaki); RT. Yates (EBR); RT. Canepa (Ducati); RT. Goi (Ducati); NS. May (EBR); SH. Iddon (Bimota) 55.174; SH. Badovini (Bimota).
Rea takes double and becomes championship leader
Imola (Italy), Sunday 11 May 2014 - Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) once again made the best start as race two, but unlike race one, Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) and Davide Giuglino (Ducati Superbike Team) who also started from the front row, made equally impressive starts to ensure that they were in contention from the beginning.
The race two pace was a lot higher than the earlier encounter as Rea lapped at almost lap record pace on his first flying lap.
Reigning champion Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) started slowly but was soon up to 4th after displacing Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) who in turn had moved ahead of race one podium finisher Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team).
As the race progressed and with Rea out in front by over 5 seconds, Davies and Guintoli together with Sykes and his fellow Kawasaki rider Loris Baz, were involved in an intense battle which raged until the final lap.
At the flag Rea took a double victory ahead of Davies, who clung on to his second podium of the day and Guintoli who fought hard to finish 3rd. Thanks to the 13th race win and the first double since Assen 2010, Rea elevates himself to the championship lead for the first time ever.
Loris Baz got the better of his team mate Tom Sykes to claim fourth, with Davide Giugliano putting the disappointment of his race one crash behind him with a solid 6th.
Niccolo Canepa had a technical failure in the closing laps as it looked certain that he was heading to the best classified award in the EVO category. His retirement handed that accolade once again to Leon Camier (BMW Motorrad Italia).
Results: 1. Rea (Honda) 19 Laps/93.784 km in 34'14.255 average 164.353 kph; 2. Davies (Ducati) 4.095; 3. Guintoli (Aprilia) 5.546; 4. Baz (Kawasaki) 6.285; 5. Sykes (Kawasaki) 7.147; 6. Giugliano (Ducati) 22.054; 7. Elias (Aprilia) 25.811; 8. Haslam (Honda) 26.127; 9. Laverty (Suzuki) 26.306; 10. Lowes (Suzuki) 33.046; 11. Melandri (Aprilia) 37.788; 12. Camier (BMW) 42.415; 13. Salom (Kawasaki) 52.114; 14. Scassa (Kawasaki) 59.001; 15. Foret (Kawasaki) 1'04.364; 16. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 1'18.512; 17. Andreozzi (Kawasaki) 1'34.487; 18. May (EBR) 1 Lap; 19. Toth (BMW) 1 Lap; RT. Canepa (Ducati); RT. Morais (Kawasaki); RT. Fabrizio (Kawasaki); RT. Sebestyen (BMW); RT. Yates (EBR); RT. Corti (MV Agusta); NS. Goi (Ducati); SH. Badovini (Bimota) 42.284; SH. Iddon (Bimota) 51.220.
Rea delivers dream double for Pata and Honda at Imola
Pata Honda rider Jonathan Rea rounded off a perfect weekend on his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade at the fourth-round World Superbike championship event at Imola in Italy today.
The 27-year-old British rider comfortably won both of today’s races at the 4.936km Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari from pole position, setting the fastest lap in each of the two outings. He now leads the championship by four points from fellow Brit Tom Sykes.
Rea got superb starts in both 19-lap races and was never challenged, with Chaz Davies and Sykes joining him on the podium in race one. Davies and Sylvain Guintoli were second and third respectively in the second race.
Rea’s Pata Honda team-mate Leon Haslam finished tenth in race one and eighth in race two, battling hard in both outings after a promising start to the Imola event. He will join Rea and other World Superbike riders for an official one-day test at the Imola crcuit tomorrow.
Jonathan Rea - 1st and 1st
It’s been a great weekend for me! I couldn’t have imagined doubling up coming here. But I knew we’d be strong because it’s a circuit I really enjoy and one that the bike goes really well at. To cap it off, it’s also been a perfect weekend for the team with Lorenzo [Zanetti] winning his first World Supersport race so massive congratulations to him. Mikey [van der Mark] was on the podium and he’s leading the championship, too. It’s a shame we have a test tomorrow because I think everybody in the team deserves to go and really enjoy the night and savour this moment but it’s back to work tomorrow! We’ll try to make the bike better and go to Donington hopefully to keep this ball rolling. I’m really enjoying riding right now and I want to thank everyone who’s put t he work in. Not just the track staff here but the guys back at base in Nieuwleusen [Netherlands]. It’s also the home round for our sponsors, Pata, so a big thanks to them, too.
Leon Haslam - 10th and 8th
We’ve made a step but from free practice yesterday morning we’ve lost about a second a lap. From being able to do high 47s and low 48s on old, used tyres, we’ve only been able to do high 48s today, dropping into the 49s. I was quicker on an 18-lap harder tyre on Friday than I was in both races today. So, for me it’s not been a good weekend, but it’s been fantastic for the team. You always want to beat your team mate, but it’s good that the bike is capable and for me that’s a positive. Also a one-two in Supersport is mega for the team but it probably adds a little frustration from my side because it could have been good for me. We’ve got a test here tomorrow so we’ll hopefully be able to figure some things out and find out what changed from yesterday. I know Donington well and that the bike can work well there, so hopefully I can start my season there!
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator
Leon struggled today and was far away from his team-mate. We know he can be within a second or half a second of Jonathan but it was not his day. We changed some things for race two and he fought for a better finish. We have a test tomorrow and we’ll do anything we can to get him to the front with more confidence. It’s in there, and he’s a little fighter – he’s not giving up and neither are we. Jonathan has had an amazing double win. After his pole yesterday things were looking good and, after warm-up this morning, it was looking even better. The competition had no chance today and he’s now leading the championship, so big congratulations to the whole crew. I’m so happy for Jonathan, too, because he has stuck with us through some hard times and always believed in us.
GUINTOLI ON THE PODIUM AT IMOLA
Imola, 11 May 2014 - The Aprilia Racing Team leaves Imola with the third place Sylvain Guintoli took home in Race 2 which, together with his fifth place in Race 1, keeps the rider close to the top of the championship standings. Sylvain, coming off two wins and demonstrating consistent performance, now lies in third place in the championship, just 16 points behind the new leader, Rea, and 12 behind Sykes.
In the first race, after holding onto second place for much of the race, Guintoli suffered a drop in tyre performance which forced him to a more defensive strategy in the second part of the race. These are important points in a Championship which, after only four rounds, promises to be extremely well balanced. Sylvain's redemption came in Race 2 where he played a key role, staying in the leading pack from the start and finishing in third place in front of some of his fiercest rivals in the battle for the title.
Sylvain Guintoli: “It was a hard battle in both races. In Race 2 we managed to improve our pace quite a bit. I knew I would have to start off strong because we are struggling a bit at the moment in the second half of the race. I fought all the way to the end. I knew that the podium was within reach so I gritted my teeth and tried not to make any mistakes. A fifth and third place don't exactly make me jump for joy, but in any case they mean 27 points. I know that I put forth my best effort on this track. The test tomorrow is important because we'll be able to continue improving and looking for new solutions so that we can be incisive in any conditions”.
The weekend at Imola was decidedly disappointing for Marco Melandri who, after two days of positive sessions, was expecting to be strong in the races. Instead, his sixth place in Race 1 and eleventh place in the second match, despite two excellent starts, kept the rider from Ravenna out of the spotlight on the track at Imola.
Marco Melandri: “This was a very disappointing Sunday race day, definitely not up to our expectations which were quite high after such a good start to the weekend. Friday and Saturday were positive and it seemed like we were on the right track. This means that we still have a lot of work to do. I am quite capable of bringing home very different results, but that's how this sport is at these levels”.
MV Agusta Reparto Corse - YAKHNICH MOTORSPORT
9 – 11 May 2014
A huge disappointment overtook the team MV Agusta Reparto Corse - YAKHNICH MOTORSPORT at the home track. The first race of the Superbike was held in good weather conditions. Overcrowded stands of the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit created a unique festive atmosphere. Starting from the 21st position Claudio Corti hoped to get into the points zone, however, the legionary of the Russian team entered the first corner next to last. Mobilizing all his resources Claudio methodically overtook his rivals improving his position. The lap time of F4RR was inside the TOP-10 of riders from Superbike. Unfortunately, the mistake in the turn Acque Minerali brought to nothing all rider’s efforts. Again he got in the end of peloton and had to start fighting for the best position from the beginning. Claudio Corti saw the checkered flag from the 18th place.
In the second race Corti showed the great pace striving for his goal - to finish in the TOP-15. But breaking the radiator cost finish to Italian rider. Claudio had to return to the box.
Claudio Corti: «Difficult weekend. We expected the round wouldn't be easy but this nobody could imagine. Here, in Imola, on the home track, we knew how important for MV to show their best qualities. Dissapointment. In the first race I made a mistake in the turn Acque Minerali. This is the only reason we couldn't finish in the points zone. It was more than real. We should get into the TOP-15 in the second race but in the middle of the race I felt something strange was going on with the bike. There was a hole in the radiator and water flowed out. I saw the temperature of the engine rose to 140 degrees and I immediately went to the box. But we should keep fighting. This progect must live. We are waiting for a new engine in Sepang and we belive in it very much. The Superbike staff stay on this circuit as tomorrow we’ll have test. We’re going to test a new swingarm and some parts. We’ll see. I think we could improve the bike”.
MV Agusta Reparto Corse - YAKHNICH MOTORSPORT
4 round, race
9 – 11 May 2014
The 4th round of the Superbike World Championship ended. Despite the brilliant start and the first pole in this season the team MV Agusia Reparto Corse - YAKHNICH MOTORSPORT earned only one point. Inspired by the Saturday's victory Jules Cluzel and his staff couldn't even imagine that the race would be so hard. But this is a race and everything can happen. And its happened with Cluzel. Starting from the first place Jules could keep leading position during 6 laps. But on the 7th lap in the 7th turn he went to the gravel and could return only on the 8th place. During the rest laps he went to gravel several times but continued to fight hard for points. In this incredible race full of crashes and technical problems the French rider of the Russian team finished only fifteen. For Vladimir Leonov the race was also not very good. As a result of Saturday qualification Vladimir got the 9th place on the starting grid but on the first lap he has lost all positions. Like his teammate Vladimir tried to finish but repeatedly leaving the track he decided to return to the box.
Jules Cluzel: «My goal for today was to make a good start and stay in leaders as we always lose positions in the start. In the beginning it was not so bad although I can’t say I feel comfortable. Now I can’t say the reason but to the 7 lap my rear wheel completely destroyed. I tried to be calm and just finished the race”.
Vladimir Leonov: «It's terrible. I'm very upset! We've just found the right direction. Before warm up we tried the new clutch and it seemed to be better. Already in the beggining of the race I understood I couldn't use engine brake. This is not just the clutch problem, it's a number of reasons. I fought till the end but the bike was unpredictable on brakings so I went into the box to avoid the risk of the crash.»
Laverty salvages seventh on tricky day in Italy
A disappointing day for Voltcom Crescent Suzuki saw Eugene Laverty consolidate seventh place in this morning’s first race of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship at Imola in Italy, after a difficult weekend overall.
Struggling to adapt his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R to suit his style at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Laverty salvaged a seventh place finish in the day’s opening race after running a somewhat solitary yet consistent pace for the 19 lap duration. The Irishman looked to be set for a similar placing in the afternoon’s outing, before succumbing to the advancing duo of Red Devils’ Toni Elias and Honda’s Leon Haslam to eventually consolidate ninth.
Despite the setback of missing yesterday’s Superpole, Alex Lowes’ encouraging form continued in both of the day’s races. A strong start on his Suzuki GSX-R allowed the British racer to advance two places in the morning’s opening lap progressing further, due to a move on Haslam and a fall from Ducati’s Davide Giugliano, to claim eighth at the flag. The second race looked even more promising, matching his first race position before the half way stage, when a mistake while attempting a move on his teammate resulted in a trip to the gravel at turn 18, and a loss of five places. Lowes regrouped at speed and began hunting down the pack in front to take 10th with four laps remaining, his consistent pace and confidence on the bike deserving more than the time sheets reflected.
Honda’s Jonathan Rea dominated proceedings at the Imola circuit taking a double win, while the intermittent cloud left track temperatures pushing 10°C above the day’s 23°C high, the threat of rain dissipating as the second race began.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki will now remain in Imola to participate in official championship testing tomorrow, with a full day of activity from 09:00hrs local time, before returning to its UK base in preparation for the team’s home race at Donington Park in a fortnight’s time.
“A tough day and disappointing for both me and the team. The first race was bad, I could ride the bike but the second race was so bad after half distance that the bike felt unrideable, and we have to work to understand why we were so far away. We have a new strategy to work on tomorrow, to help our engine braking, which should be a good step and this is probably the best track to try it. The problem was highlighted so badly here that if we are going to improve it anywhere it’s going to be here. On to Donington and I’m determined to get back to the front group.”
The results weren’t great but today was a good race! I tried hard in the second race; I pushed right to the end. I ran off the track trying to pass Eugene, just locked the front and had to take to the gravel, which wasn’t great. I lost 13 seconds, so if it wasn’t for that I could have had a decent result but I tried my best and I’m going to keep on improving. I’m enjoying being in the Championship and I’m starting to understand the GSX-R a lot more. Now we can concentrate on the test and getting ready for the home race at Donington!”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“A tough weekend didn’t get a lot easier on race day here at Imola. Particularly for Eugene, we just didn’t find anything close to the right combination to allow him to ride as we know he can; two frustrating races for him and not too many positives to draw from them. For Alex the story is a little bit different. He reacted superbly and really supported the team when we had to withdraw the bike from Superpole qualifying yesterday, which obviously cost him some track time and a better grid position. In the races he found further improvements especially for race two, where the time sheets show that if he hadn’t run off the track and lost 12 seconds, he would have finished in sixth place. He has learnt a good amount over the course of the weekend and probably the most important day for us now will be tomorrow. We hope the weather will be kind and we get to run through some important changes and some important test items to get back to where we know the GSX-R can be!”
Double podium for Chaz Davies and the Ducati Superbike Team in today’s Imola SBK races!
Imola (Italy), Sunday 11 May 2014 – The fourth round of the Superbike World Championship, that took place today at the Imola circuit in Italy, proved to be a happy hunting ground for Chaz Davies and the Ducati Superbike Team who powered the 1199 Panigale to a second place finish in both of the day’s hard-fought Superbike races.
Race 1 – in cooler temperatures than yesterday (air temperature 22°C, track 30°C), Davies got away extremely well from fourth on the grid and by the end of lap one he was already lying second, behind Rea. During the first half of the race the Ducati Superbike man battled it out with both Sykes and Guintoli and although he lost his hold on second place for a few laps, he regained control when he got back in front of Guintoli on lap fourteen. In the final stages of the race Davies managed his tyres well and was able to increase his pace, lapping quicker than the other riders and building a gap between himself and the chasing pack. Chaz therefore crossed the line in final second place, his first podium of the 2014 season.
Giugliano did not make the quickest start and was seventh through the first laps. Starting to push to chase Melandri, Davide got past the Aprilia man on lap seven and then got into a rhythm which allowed him to close the gap between himself and Baz and Sykes, immediately ahead. Unfortunately on lap twelve, just when he was positioned right behind the two Kawasakis, the Italian rider crashed, losing the front of his bike. Unfortunately what could have been a great race for Giugliano came to a premature end.
Race 2 – Giugliano got away very fast, lapping third at the end of lap one. Unfortunately, after only five or six laps, the bike started to bounce which caused him to lose feeling during braking, slowing him down and making him lose a few positions. Chaz, who didn’t get as well as fast as he did in race 1, immediately began to push and made up for lost ground over the first half of the race, passing first Melandri and then his teammate Giugliano. At the mid-race point Chaz was up into fourth, while Davide, sixth, was forced to ride a prudent second half and was unable to attack; he nevertheless closed in a solid sixth position. Chaz, able to push harder than his rivals in the final stages, reached and passed first Sykes and then Guintoli to move into second place three laps from the end. Maintaining concentration right to the line, he passed under the chequered flag in second position. Chaz’s double podium is an important result for Ducati, racing at its home track in front of large crowds of fans and ducatisti.
At the end of this fourth world championship round, Davies lies in fifth position in the standings with 87 points, Giugliano is seventh with 69 points. In the manufacturer’s standings, Ducati is fourth with 113 points.
Quotes after the races:
Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 2nd, 2nd
“These have been the best races of the season and undoubtedly my best race weekend so far, in that we’ve been consistently strong since Friday. It’s great to be on the podium and is the best way to thank Ducati and all of the guys, both in the team and the factory, for all of their hard work. Race 1 was difficult, Jonathan got away quickly and there was no way to stay with him but we had a good battle behind him. Race 2 turned out to be pretty similar. We chose a fairly standard setting today and I was able to ride really well. I can almost ride the bike as I would like, we just have a small problem with rear vibration to iron out but tomorrow, during the tests, we will also work on this and I’m sure we’ll be able to improve. I’m very pleased with the double podium of course and it confirms how much work has been done in Ducati over the last months, so I want to dedicate today’s results to Ducati and all the fans.”
Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team #34) – DNF, 6th
“It wasn’t the day that I’d expected but I have to look at the positives, or rather the fact that we’ve collected important data which we can use to improve and avoid problems in the future. Unfortunately a crash in race one compromised a race that hadn’t got off to a great start. I was catching up to those ahead quite quickly but then crashed and there was nothing to do about it. In the second I got away well, I was faster than Sylvain but, from the fifth or sixth lap I suffered a big drop and lost a lot of ground. Anyway, tomorrow we are here testing and will work hard to be more competitive at Donington.”
Ernesto Marinelli – Ducati Superbike Project Director
“We’re really pleased with Chaz’s results today; every time we go out on track we are able to improve and today’s double podium confirms this positive trend that we’ve seen in recent months. We’re still missing that final step, and this is why we’ll continue to work to be even more competitive, but we’re heading in the right direction. It was a real shame about Davide and the problems he had today. If it hadn’t been for the crash in race 1, he would have been able to reach the podium. His day didn’t go to plan but that is racing in the end. We will turn the page and, with optimism and faith, we’ll concentrate on the tests and the next round at Donington.”
Muresan Scores First H-Moto BMW Points Of 2014 In Imola With 8th At The Flag
Robert Muresan has scored H-Moto BMW’s first championship points of 2014 after a determined race long fight saw him claim 8th position in today’s FIM Superstock 1000cc Cup race at Imola today.
From the start Muresan was running 14th, but after settling into a rhythm, the hard charging Romanian fought his way into the top ten before a couple of decisive passes saw him claim not only his best result in the class, but also the best result for a Romanian rider ever.
Riccardo Cecchini also had an improved race compared to his qualifying performance and although still not 100% after his crash earlier in the weekend, he rode well to finish 22nd.
Robert Muresan - “We are very happy with today’s result and I am very happy with my H-Moto BMW team. The team works so hard and we did great job this race. We are very confident for the next rounds that we can continue to be the first BMW in the classification. This result is the best result ever for a Romanian rider, I thank the team, my family for all their support, and also the fans It was great to see so many people watching today. See you all in Misano.”
Riccardo Cecchini - “I was very sore during the race. I thought I could have done a bit better but the bike wasn’t feeling that great either. The next race is Misano so hopefully we can get a good result there.”
Lorenzo leads Pata Honda 1-2 at Imola
Lorenzo Zanetti won today’s fourth-round World Supersport championship race at Imola in Italy today, his debut victory in the series and the home race for both him and title sponsor Pata. His Pata Honda team-mate, Michael van der Mark, finished second.
Starting from the front row of the grid, 27-year-old Zanetti shadowed pole-sitter Kenan Sofuoglu, matching his times in the early part of the race before the Turkish rider was forced to retire with a technical issue at the end of lap 13.
Sporting a special helmet in tribute to the late, great Ayrton Senna, Zanetti brought his Honda CBR600RR home two seconds ahead of van der Mark, who was forced to fight his way to the front after starting the race from sixth place on the grid.
Van der Mark now leads the World Supersport championship on the same points total as Florian Marino, who finished third today. Zanetti is placed third in the series, which now heads to the UK for round five in two weeks’ time.
Lorenzo Zanetti - 1st
It’s been an amazing weekend and it’s fantastic to win at my home race. I don’t have many words, but I want to thank everybody for all their work. I thought from Friday that I might be able to win, but I was under a lot of pressure for the race because it was my home race, and the sponsors’ home race! I was able to stay with Kenan [Sofuoglu] but after he pulled in I won the race and I want to dedicate the victory to Andrea Antonelli. This is for him.
Michael van der Mark - 2nd
Today was really good. We tried some things in warm-up this morning and were immediately faster than we’ve been all weekend so I was really looking forward to the race. The start was OK but I was a bit too fast with the clutch and I lost some places. In the first few laps it was difficult to pass the other riders and I made some mistakes. Also, the wind was quite strong and I had to change the braking points a little. When I got up into third place I was quite fast and matching the times of Kenan and Lorenzo. Unfortunately Kenan had to retire and Lorenzo won the race, but to finish together with my team-mate at Pata’s home race is just an incredible job.
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator
After a really good warm-up, when we found something for Michael, we were confident going into the race. He had to come from sixth place with some small mistakes and, in the end, he was second to his team-mate and he’s now leading the championship. Lorenzo was really strong and determined all weekend – he’s been on it from the start. He was chasing for the victory when Sofuoglu had some problem and had to pull in, but Lorenzo rode very well and got us a one-two. It’s really been a day to remember for the Supersport team!
BADOVINI WINS EVO CLASS IN RACE TWO
Team Bimota Alstare rider Ayrton Badovini finished today’s second World Superbike Championship as the top rider in the EVO class – a tremendous result in just the team’s third race weekend with the new BB3 bike. After a disappointing first race, due to electronic problems, Ayrton had a race-long battle with fellow EVO class rider Leon Camier in the second 19-lapper, before coming out on top by two tenths of a second at the flag. As the BB3 is awaiting its homologation, Ayrton’s superb performance is excluded from the official results, but nevertheless it shows that the bike is competitive and improving each time out. And, to underline this fact, Ayrton’s team mate Christian Iddon finished only two places behind, backing up his strong performance in race one, when he was second in the EVO class.
Ayrton Badovini - Race 1: DNF, Race 2: 12th overall, 1st EVO class
“Race 1 was not so good because I had some electronics problems and I pitted three times to try and get the problems sorted out. We fixed the problem in time for race two and I really enjoyed it because I was able to push hard right from the start and have good battles. Camier and I had a good fight but I was very determined to beat him – especially as this is my home race. It was very hard at the end of the race, but I definitely wasn’t going to let him get past me. To win the EVO class today was a very nice feeling, but I think that this is just the start and there’s a lot more to come. I would like to say thank you to my team and also to all my fans who gave me so much support this weekend.”
Christian Iddon – Race 1: 12th overall, 2nd EVO class, Race 2: 14th overall, 3rd EVO class
“Today was a very positive day and I am so much happier than yesterday. We made some changes to the rear shock and the bike was much better to ride. I felt that I could push hard and that’s what I did. We made a further adjustment for the second race, but possibly we went slightly in the wrong direction and I couldn’t push as hard as I did in the race one. But the important thing is that we have collected a load of valuable data and we can use that in the test tomorrow to try and improve the bike further.”
Francis Batta (Team Manager)
“I am very happy with our win in the EVO class today - it is reward for all the tremendous effort everybody has put in since this project started. Today was only our third race weekend and to get this kind of result so soon speaks about the strength of the Bimota BMW connection and all our hard work.I am very happy with Ayrton’s performance in race two – especially considering that he rode the bike without any electronics assistance! Christian is making good progress and his pace today was good enough for top three in the EVO class in both races. Although I am happy with today’s great results, my mind is on the future and with this bike I think our prospects are very good.”
Fifth place for day in Superstock 1000 Cup at Imola
Josh Day took his Agro-On WIL Racedays Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP to fifth place in today's third round of the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup at Imola in Italy. It was another good result that allows to the new team to take positives out of what was otherwise a difficult weekend.
Hopes were high for the team’s two Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP-mounted riders, Day and Kyle Smith, who qualified in seventh and eighth places respectively. American Day (main picture) rode well to take fifth place after 14 laps of Imola’s 4.936km Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, but Smith crashed out of contention, remounting to finish in 16th place at the flag.
In the European Superstock 600 championship race on Saturday evening, Italian rider Kevin Manfredi put in a dazzling ride on his Honda CBR600RR machine after starting from 15th place on the grid. The diminutive Italian carved his way through to sixth place before crashing out on the penultimate lap of the 12-lap race.
His New Zealand team-mate Jake Lewis finished just outside the points in 16th place but the team’s third rider, Harry Stafford, was taken to hospital after a qualifying crash left him with a broken nose and a right arm fractured in three places.
The Superstock championships now have a six-week break before re-assembling for the second Italian round at Misano on 20-22 June.
Josh Day – Superstock 1000 FIM Cup, 5th
“We’ve had a good weekend and the bike is beginning to feel like it’s mine every time I get on it. We made quite a bit of headway with suspension so we didn’t lose so much time in the practice session. It really paid off with good qualifying and a good race result. We didn’t chase a set-up this weekend, just did laps and got a feel for the bike and the track conditions. The race was a bit up and down, but I was happy with fifth; thanks to the whole team and we’ll just see how it goes at Misano.”
Kyle Smith – Superstock 1000 FIM Cup, 16th
“We struggled with set-up a bit but finally got a decent setting for qualifying. In the race I had some problems which were pushing me into corners and eventually it pushed a bit too far. It’s a problem that we’ve had in testing, but not during a race before. I hope we can fix it for the next race and be up there again.”
Kevin Manfredi – European Superstock 600, DNF
“I really enjoyed the weekend until the last moment. I had a good race and I had fourth place in sight, which would have been a good result after my qualifying. Unfortunately, I crashed so I was very disappointed to be unable to bring the bike home, but I just wanted to keep pushing. I’m sorry for the team but we will try to come back stronger at Misano.”
Jake Lewis – European Superstock 600, 16th
“It’s not a great result, of course, and I was unhappy that I could not finish higher. Imola is a difficult circuit and I haven’t really gelled with it, either last year with the European Junior Cup, or this year on the CBR. I’ll have to hope for a better result next time.”
DMC Panavto-Yamaha: not easy weekend in Imola
It was a tough weekend for DMC Panavto-Yamaha, as both riders left the track and weren’t able to score any points for the team although pill was sweetened with huge progress shown by Alexey Ivanov. Russian dramatically improved his lap times in Imola. Unfortunately he came back to the pits just five laps before the end of the race because soft tires of his bike were completely worn out.
At the same time, Coghlan chose hard tires and this fact should help Scot to finish the race among leaders, but unfortunate crash on the first lap didn’t allow Coghlan to realize his plan. In contrast to his usual good start, Coghlan lost some time from the beginning of the race. Now team has to discover how could it happen.
Kev Coghlan: "I had bad start and trying to make up too much time too soon. Seen a chance to get under van der Mark when he ran a bit wide but forced it too much. Stupid mistake and should have known better. Just want to apologize to all the team who worked so hard all weekend! They deserved the podium that we could have easily achieved today. Also to all the fans who have been showing so much support, I will try to make it up to them at Donington".
Vladimir Ivanov, engineer of DMC Panavto-Yamaha: «At first we thought Kev had not so good acceleration from the start because the first gear is so long. But we found out it has no concern with bad start. Kev was one of the few who rode on hard tires and with very competitive speed. I am sure he would finish the race among leaders.
As for Alexey, he doesn’t like Imola circuit that much. However he found very good pace, improving more and more with each lap. But in the middle of the race situation became dangerous because of the tires. Anyway, Alexey left the track in a fighting mood. I am confident that next race he will be able to surprise everyone with his speed!»