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Jun 30, 2013

eni FIM Superbike World Championship Race Two Results From Imola

Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari.
eni FIM Superbike World Championship
Imola, Italy
June 30, 2013
Race Two Results (all on Pirelli tires):

1. Tom SYKES, UK (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 21 laps, 37:51.947
2. Jonathan REA, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), -5.032 seconds
3. Sylvain GUINTOLI, France (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), -10.201
4. Marco MELANDRI, Italy (BMW S1000RR), -13.120
5. Chaz DAVIES, UK (BMW S1000RR), -13.630
6. Loris BAZ, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), -23.949
7. Leon CAMIER, UK (Suzuki GSX-R1000), -25.420
8. Michel FABRIZIO, Italy (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), -36.511
9. Leon HASLAM, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), -40.184
10. Ayrton BADOVINI, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), -41.100
11. Jules CLUZEL, France (Suzuki GSX-R1000), -47.888*
12. Carlos CHECA, Spain (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), -52.182
13. Max NEUKIRCHNER, Germany (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), -56.352, ran off track
14. Federico SANDI, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-10R), -75.992
15. Noriyuki HAGA, Japan (BMW S1000RR), -85.210
16. Eugene LAVERTY, Ireland (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), -17 laps, DNF, crash
17. Davide GIUGLIANO, Italy (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), -19 laps, DNF, crash
18. Vittorio IANNUZZO, Italy (BMW S1000RR), -19 laps, DNF, crash

*includes five-second penalty

World Championship Point Standings (after 14 of 30 races):

1. Sykes, 235 points
2. Guintoli, 229
3. Laverty, 190
4. Melandri, 182
5. Davies, 154
6. Baz, 136
7. Rea, 125
8. Fabrizio, 120
9. Giugliano, 99
10. Camier, 80
11. Cluzel, 77
12. Neukirchner, 60
13. TIE, Checa/Badovini, 59
15. Haslam, 42
16. Sandi, 28
17. Clementi, 18
18. Iannuzzo, 15
19. Niccolo Canepa, 11
20. Lundh, 10

More, from a press release issued by SBK Press Office:

Sykes new Championship leader after Race 2 win

Imola (Italy), Sunday 30 June 2013 - Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) completed a fantastic double-win at Imola, his second in 2013, to become the new Championship leader. The Hudderfield-born rider has led every single lap of Race 2 to cross the line as the winner for the 10th time in his WSBK career and, thanks to his 5th first place finish of the year, to equal the number of individual wins he was able to achieve in the last two seasons combined. After the disappointment of the first race, Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) redeemed himself to end up a lonely second ahead of works Aprilia rider Sylvain Guintoli.

Fourth place Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) edged his team mate Chaz Davies for fourth place at the very last lap, while Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) won the battle for sixth ahead of Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki). Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Aprilia) managed to pulled away in the end for from a still recuperating Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike) and fellow Italian Ayrton Badovini (Team Ducati Alstare) for 8th.

Today's second race saw two potential protagonists out of contention in the early stages, as Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Aprilia) crashed at Turn 7 during the second lap, while trying to keep Sykes' pace, and Eugene Laverty fell off his bike at Turn 18, on lap number six.

Race 2 results: 1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 21 Laps/103.656 km in 37'51.947 average 164.247 kph; 2. Rea (Honda) 5.032; 3. Guintoli (Aprilia) 10.201; 4. Melandri (BMW) 13.120; 5. Davies (BMW) 13.630; 6. Baz (Kawasaki) 23.949; 7. Camier (Suzuki) 25.420; 8. Fabrizio (Aprilia) 36.511; 9. Haslam (Honda) 40.184; 10. Badovini (Ducati) 41.100; 11. Cluzel (Suzuki) 42.888; 12. Checa (Ducati) 52.182; 13. Neukirchner (Ducati) 56.352; 14. Sandi (Kawasaki) 1'15.992; 15. Haga (BMW) 1'25.210; etc.

Standings - provisional (round 7 of 15)*: 1. Sykes 235; 2. Guintoli 229; 3. Laverty 190; 4. Melandri 182; 5. Davies 154; 6. Baz 136; 7. Rea 125; 8. Fabrizio 120; 9. Giugliano 99; 10. Camier 80; 11. Cluzel 77; 12. Neukirchner 60; 13. Checa 59; 14. Badovini 59; 15. Haslam 42. Manufacturers: 1. Aprilia 289; 2. Kawasaki 259; 3. BMW 237; 4. Honda 138; 5. Suzuki 122; 6. Ducati 96.

* Possible updated results could be defined by the International Disciplinary Court which is dealing with the appeal lodged by Aprilia Racing Team and rider Sylvain Guintoli, following the decision taken by the FIM Stewards in Monza (Italian Round, last 12 May) to cancel the drop of position sanction (from third to fourth place in race 2) imposed by the Race Direction on rider Tom Sykes.

World Supersport - Sofuoglu wins, Lowes recovers to 2nd

Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) is back on the top step of the podium following a superb performance in the World Supersport race at Imola. The defending Champion led the entire, that was shortened to 14 laps after the technical problem occurred to Valentin Debise… (read more)

Race results: 1. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 14 Laps/69.104 km in 26'11.297 average 158.324 kph; 2. Lowes (Yamaha) 3.957; 3. Leonov (Yamaha) 4.409; 4. Zanetti (Honda) 6.435; 5. Vd Mark (Honda) 9.967; 6. Scassa (Kawasaki) 13.437; 7. Antonelli (Kawasaki) 14.112; 8. Marino (Kawasaki) 28.194; 9. Baldolini (Suzuki) 29.018; 10. Morais (Honda) 29.137; 11. De Rosa (Honda) 29.592; 12. Foret (Kawasaki) 29.763; 13. Kennedy (Honda) 29.957; 14. Rolfo (MV Agusta) 30.831; 15. Menghi (Yamaha) 39.902; etc.

Standings (round 7 of 14): 1. Lowes 140; 2. Sofuoglu 106; 3. Foret 85; 4. Vd Mark 73; 5. Zanetti 68; 6. Scassa 63; 7. Antonelli 55; 8. Kennedy 47; 9. Leonov 42; 10. Rolfo 40; 11. Marino 39; 12. Morais 36; 13. Russo 28; 14. Coghlan 22; 15. Ivanov 18. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 155; 2. Yamaha 148; 3. Honda 104; 4. MV Agusta 46; 5. Suzuki 19; 6. Triumph 6.

More, from a press release issued by Aprilia:




Imola, 30 June 2013 - At the end of a difficult and more than a bit unlucky weekend the Aprilia Racing Team leaves the Imola round with two podiums (Laverty third in Race 1 and Guintoli third in Race 2) as well as the leadership in the world Manufacturer championship.

In Race 1, won by Tom Sykes, Eugene Laverty took third place, beating Marco Melandri out in the battle for the podium. In the first race the excellent overall performance of the Aprilia bikes was confirmed by Davide Giugliano's second place, astride the Team Althea RSV4, and by Michel Fabrizio's fifth place on his Red Devils Roma RSV4. Sylvain Guintoli, on the other hand, was forced to retire early in the sixth lap, just as he was battling Sykes for second place. His withdrawal was forced by a technical problem with the engine that brought the French rider's race to an early end.

The second race followed the same script as the first with Englishman Tom Sykes immediately taking the lead. This time it was Eugene Laverty's turn to raise the white flag due to a crash without consequences for the rider in the fifth lap while he was in third place and trying not to fall behind Sykes and Rea. Guintoli, who was behind him, had no trouble holding Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies at bay, holding onto third place until the end.

Leading the World Championship Rider standings from the first round of the 2013 WSBK season, after the Imola round Sylvain Guintoli slips to second place due to Tom Sykes' double win. The Frenchman is now 6 points from the English rider's lead, while Laverty is lying in third place, stably but at more of a distance, with 45 points.
Aprilia strengthens its lead in the Manufacturer World Championship lead with 289 points in front of Kawasaki (259) BMW (237), Honda (138), Suzuki (122) and Ducati (96).

Sylvain Guintoli: “Race 1 was disappointing. Unfortunately at these levels these things can happen. In Race 2 I really pushed as hard as I could. When Eugene crashed I even tried to catch Rea who was in front of me, but I wasn't able to. I'm not really happy with third place, but it was really the most we could get today. The season is still far from over. There are tracks like this one and Donington where we're weaker, but there are others where we will definitely be key players. The important thing is never to fall too far behind the leaders”.

Eugene Laverty: “The result in Race 1 was definitely encouraging. We managed to improve the bike a lot between yesterday and today, even during the warm-up session. For Race 2 I expected a second step forward, but unfortunately from the beginning I had some problems with the bike that cost me a lot at some points of the track. To stay in the race I had to take some risks and that led to my crash. It was a mistake on my part. I'm disappointed because I know that we're stronger than what we demonstrated today”.

More, from a press release issued by Pata Honda Superbike Team:

Rea returns to Imola podium

Jonathan Rea finished on the podium for the second time in three races this afternoon, finishing as runner-up in the second of today’s two seventh-round World Superbike championship races at Imola in Italy.

Second place for the 26-year-old Pata Honda rider from Northern Ireland made up for the disappointment of crashing out of today’s 21-lap opener, which was won, like race two, by British rider Tom Sykes.

Rea had got the perfect start to race one, taking the holeshot before running wide at the second chicane of the 4.936km Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari. He rejoined the race in eleventh place and had battled his way up to challenge for third before crashing out unhurt with two laps remaining.

His Pata Honda team-mate, Leon Haslam, took two top ten finishes today, completing his first race since breaking his leg badly at Assen in mid-April. The 30-year-old was tenth in race one and followed it up with ninth place in the second outing, battling right to the end of 21 very tough laps.

Jonathan Rea – DNF and 2nd

Really mixed emotions today. We had really good pace all weekend, but not enough for Tom [Sykes] today, who seemed like he had something in reserve, especially when it got hot this afternoon. I pulled a big ‘holey’ in race one and thought “I’m gone here”, but I had a big vibration the whole race on the brake disc, so I couldn’t push the front like I wanted. I made a mistake on the first lap, but made a lot of ground up and then unfortunately crashed when I was pushing for the podium with a couple of laps to go. In race two I just rode my ass off and made zero mistakes. In the first five laps I couldn’t go with the two guys ahead, so they gapped me and by half distance, Tom had eked out a lead tenth by tenth. I need to work with my crew to make the bike better with a full fuel load and fresh tyres. But it’s clear that we’ve addressed some of the problems we’ve had when the tyres drop. We can leave Imola with ou r heads held high because we’ve addressed some of the issues we had earlier in the season and we look forward now to Moscow.

Leon Haslam – 10th and 9th

You know, if I’d sat it out since my injury and got two top ten results like that on my first race back, I’d be pretty happy, so I’m feeling OK. I know where I’m struggling – I still can’t weight the pegs like I want, but I managed to pass a few people in the second race like Badovini and Cluzel and Checa. So I’ll take that as my start point. I’ve got some testing to do for the 8-hour, a few more weeks of training, then Moscow and we’re still really only halfway through the season. Step by step we’re getting back to where we should be, so I’ll take those two top tens as a big positive for the weeks ahead.

Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator

Jonathan got a really good start in race one but ran off a couple of corners later and had to start over again from further back. It was all running fine until two laps from the end when he pushed a little too hard and crashed. In race two he got another decent start but rode pretty much alone, but we’re quite happy to take a second back home. Again, we’ve had a good race and a bad race, so I hope we can head to Moscow for two good ones. Leon had two quite good races and for us that was quite a breakthrough. He was able not just to complete two races but to fight for positions. He’s still not 100% and if he can ride top ten in that condition, things will only get better. He’s getting more happy with the settings on the bike as well so, with some weeks before Moscow, we can look forward to him being fitter. It was a good day for him.

More, from a press release issued by Team SBK Ducati Alstare:

Eighth and tenth for Badovini and Team SBK Ducati Alstare in today’s SBK races at Imola

Imola (Italy), Sunday 30 June 2013: unfortunately, after making a positive start to the race weekend, Team SBK Ducati Alstare and riders Ayrton Badovini and Carlos Checa experienced a difficult day today at the Imola circuit. Badovini concluded the day’s two Superbike races in eighth and tenth position, Checa eleventh and twelfth.

Race 1 – Ayrton, eighth on the grid, lost a couple of positions through the first laps and was lying twelfth by lap five, followed by his team-mate Carlos, thirteenth. The Italian was able to pass Haslam during the course of the next lap, and then Baz to place himself ninth by mid-race. His fastest laps arrived during the second half of the race but unfortunately, due to a gap of roughly six seconds that had opened up between him and the group immediately ahead of him, Ayrton was unable to improve much further on his position, thus concluding the race in final eighth position. Carlos, suffering from grip issues from early on, rode a solitary second half of the race, maintaining his position to cross the line in eleventh place.

Race 2 – As in race one, and on hotter tarmac (54°C) with respect to race one, Ayrton lost a little ground in the opening stages, to position himself eleventh by lap five. For the entire second half of the race he chased down Cluzel, managing to pass the Frenchman through the very last corner to cross the line in final tenth place. Carlos, thirteenth on the grid, made up a position through the first laps but was unable to catch those in front due to rear traction problems. He finished the race in twelfth position.

Carlos Checa: “This weekend has been hard. Honestly I expected to take a step forward here at Imola but it didn’t go as we’d hoped. We’ve made a series of changes over the weekend but they haven’t brought the desired results. I had problems with grip at the rear of the bike in both races and it was difficult to change direction. I’m disappointed and sorry for the team that has worked so hard again this weekend. We definitely have a lot of work to do during the upcoming tests in order to understand how to improve…”

Ayrton Badovini: “Up until yesterday everything was going really well but today temperatures were a lot higher and so there was less grip, not a lot of traction. The first race wasn’t bad but I lost too much time at the start unfortunately. We made some small changes for race two but the track was even hotter and it was even more difficult. I’m not happy with today’s results because I really thought I could do better but in general I can say that I’ve made a small step up with my bike this weekend. I want to thank all the fans who came here to support us today. They can be sure that we’ll continue to work hard in testing over the coming days.”

More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Sykes Takes The SBK Championship Lead After Double Race Win!

WSBK, Imola, Italy, 30 June 2013

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) continued his untouchable form from qualifying into both 21-lap SBK races at Imola and in taking his second ‘double’ of the year also he took the championship lead.

Sykes Takes The SBK Championship Lead After Double Race Win!
This was Tom’s second such double win in three rounds and with previous championship leader Sylvain Guintoli finally finding bad luck with a DNF in race one, and finishing third behind Tom in race two, Sykes now leads by six points after 7 of 15 rounds have been completed.

Sykes once more put in a perfect weekend, as he took both race wins, his sixth Superpole of the year, a new fastest lap in qualifying and a new lap record of 1’47.274 in race one. He has now scored five wins in 2013, more than any other individual rider. He also took his career total of SBK wins into double digits, with ten in total. In the championship table Tom leads Guintoli by 235 points to 229.

Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) was in poor physical shape after a very fast fall on Saturday in Superpole and fought hard to be ninth in race one, unable to push hard because of the pain. After more effective treatment in time for race two, Loris was more like his competitive self and made good use of the improvements his crew and Kawasaki had found with him in recent Aragon tests. He finished race two sixth and is still sixth in the championship, with 126 points.

Federico Sandi (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) proved to be 13th in race one and 14th in race two.

In the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup race the top Kawasaki rider was Lorenzo Savadori (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) who finished fourth, ahead of fellow Ninja ZX-10R riders Leandro Mercado (Pedercini) and Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki). In the points, Guarnoni is third overall, 25 points from the lead with half a season left to run.

Tom Sykes: “I have had two perfect weekends out of the last three events and for this I am truly happy. I enjoy this circuit so we have made the most of it. A perfect weekend so it could not have been any better. It is a special weekend for many reasons and also the incident last year with my 2012 team-mate Joan Lascorz. There was not one time on any lap when I have exited turn six and not thought about his accident. We are all thinking of Joan and I hope that this is a small, small tribute to him. Both the ZX-10R and myself have been working well. I have every single individual member of the Kawasaki staff and teams to thank, and our great technical sponsors. Without their help I would not be able to showcase myself so I truly am grateful. Hopefully now this is a beginning of a challenge but we will see how we go.”

Loris Baz: “The main problem for me in race one was the pain in my left shoulder after my big crash in Superpole but to be honest it was sore everywhere so I could not stay with the guys in front. I had great pain in my ankles so I cannot change direction fast and I cannot brake well with the rear brake. In race two it was better and I had some more effective painkillers. From the beginning I tried to stay with them and fight with them really hard behind Leon, then pushed hard in the middle of the race even though it was very tiring. I had good confidence with the bike and I am sure if I was 100% I would have been even closer to the front. But saving a top six position in these conditions was not too bad. I felt like I had done 80 laps at the end, I was just destroyed!”

More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad Motorsport:

Imola – Races.
Sunday, 30th June 2013.

Weather conditions: Sunny.
Temperature: Air: 25 – 28 °C, Track: 46 – 54 °C
Number of riders participating: 18 from 12 teams
Fastest lap Race 1: Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) 1:47.274 min (lap 13)
Fastest lap Race 2: Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) 1:47.507 min (lap 3)

The BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team concludes its home round at Imola (ITA) with both factory riders claiming their best results at the Italian track to date. Local hero, Marco Melandri (ITA) finished both of today’s races at the “Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari” in fourth on his BMW S 1000 RR. His team-mate Chaz Davies (GBR) claimed sixth and fifth respectively. After seven rounds of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship, Marco is fourth in the riders’ championship with 182 points, directly followed by Chaz with 154 points. In the Manufacturers’ classification, BMW is currently third with 237 points. Both races today were won by Tom Sykes (GBR). The BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team will stay at Imola and attend tomorrow’s official Dorna test.

At the start of race one, both BMW factory riders gained positions. Marco improved from seventh to fifth, Chaz from tenth to seventh. In the early stages of the race, both kept in touch with the front. When Sylvain Guintoli (FRA) had to retire on lap six, Marco took fourth, Chaz sixth. Until lap 18, Marco stayed close behind third placed Eugene Laverty (ROI), but the opportunity to overtake the Irishman did not arise. Then Marco was passed by the catching up Jonathan Rea (GBR) and slipped back to fifth, only to regain fourth after Rea crashed on lap 19. Marco then tried to overtake Laverty for third but went wide and ended up crossing the line in fourth. Chaz in the meantime was fighting quite a few battles over the course of the race, mainly with his fellow Brit Leon Camier. Chaz slipped back to eighth when Rea and Michel Fabrizio (ITA) overtook him, but on lap 14 the Welshman started to make his way back forwards and overtook Camier for seventh. After Rea’s crash, Chaz was sixth, defending this position until the chequered flag.

At the start of race two both riders improved from their grid positions again. After the first lap, Marco and Chaz were lying in sixth and seventh respectively. After five laps, they had climbed up to fourth and fifth after Davide Giugliano (ITA) and Laverty had crashed. Until half way through the race, Marco stayed close behind third placed Guintoli, followed by Chaz. Marco’s gap to the front started to increase a bit, with Chaz coming closer and closer from behind. On the penultimate lap, Chaz overtook Marco to take fourth but on the final lap, positions between them changed again. The two BMW factory riders fought a close battle for fourth until the final corner, with Marco having a slight advantage in the end.

In the race of the 2013 FIM Superstock 1000 Cup, it was once again Sylvain Barrier on the BMW HP4 of the BMW Motorrad GoldBet STK Team to take the win. The Frenchman rode a clever and controlled race to celebrate his third victory of the season. In the riders’ classification, Sylvain has now 95 points and has extended his lead to 12 points. His team-mate Greg Gildenhuys (RSA) - who contested his first ever race in Imola - also put in a strong performance. Coming from 17th, he defied the pain in his fractured left heel to finish 10th, scoring important points.

Marco Melandri:
Result Race 1: 4th / Gap to 1st: 0:10.323 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:48.098 min (lap 2)
Result Race 2: 4th / Gap to 1st: 0:13.120 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:48.327 min (lap 3)
“On this track unfortunately our bike struggled. I don’t think that we had a chance to win today, so this result is the best possible. Race one has been very hard. I struggled a lot to change direction by shortly opening the gas which I normally do and, unfortunately, I couldn’t do better. While in the previous races I had issues with new tyres, here in Imola we struggled a lot with used tyres instead. The race was physically very demanding and at the end of the race I was really tired.

In race two we tried to solve the issue with some changes to the front suspension but the situation did not improve. The bike remained nervous and when I tried to push harder the bike moved more and more. In the last part of the race Chaz passed me and it was very difficult to get the fourth place back. If he had not made ??a mistake he probably would have been in front in the end. The positive point is that as a result of today I have reduced the gap to the Aprilia riders.”

Chaz Davies:
Result Race 1: 6th / Gap to 1st: 0:19.531 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:48.602 min (lap 3)
Result Race 2: 5th / Gap to 1st: 0:13.630 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:48.359 min (lap 14)
“Race one was difficult. I was not able to exit the corners as I wanted to. Everywhere else the bike seemed to be working okay but I could not get the bike under control as much as I would like on the corner exit. I either slided and then found grip what upset the bike or the acceleration was just not good enough. That cost me one bike length each time and I always had to push on the straights to catch that up again – until the next corner. In the end, the bike was easier to ride than in the middle of the race, the grip level was more consistent. It seemed as with the longer the race went on, the bike became better.

We used that knowledge to improve the bike for the second race. The bike was better and I was able to at least fight in a good group with Marco and at the end of the race I still had the guys on the podium positions in sight. The battle with Marco in the closing stages was fun. I passed him with two laps to go and held him off for one lap but then racing up the hill he got a really good drive and he passed back at the top of ‘Piratella’. Then in the last corner he went in a little bit too deep and I tried to cut back on the inside but I lost the rear unfortunately when I tried to pass him which was a bit of a shame but it was fun anyway. The only thing I am disappointed about is that I still lost too much time on the exit of slow corners. For some reason, I lost the grip earlier and could not open the gas as hard as I would have liked. It cost me some time on the straights so we really need to work on that tomorrow. At the test we will focus on that and I am confident that we will find something.”

Andrea Buzzoni (General Manager BMW Motorrad WSBK):
“This Sunday started very well with the victory in the Superstock class. Sylvain rode a perfect race, managing it cleverly. With this result he further increased his lead at the top of the ranking. It was also the first time we raced in Imola with the new HP4 with electronic damping system. This result shows the excellent work done by the team.

In the Superbike class it was a difficult weekend. The result achieved is not what we aim for, even if, on a track which is not favourable for the characteristics of our bike, we limited the damage. In the riders’ ranking, thanks to today’s result we reduced the gap to the Aprilia’ riders both with Marco as well as Chaz. Tomorrow we have a day of testing which we will use to try several new solutions. We have many ideas and the chance to test on a difficult track will be helpful to improve for the next round in Moscow.”

Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“We had expected a difficult weekend. We can sum up by saying that session by session we have improved our performance and that Marco was close to the podium in both races. This goes for Chaz as well regarding race two. But it is clear that our package on this track needs some improvement. Marco is not comfortable enough with the chassis, he is not able to enter the corners as quick as the other riders and this is an area we will work on during tomorrow’s test. Chaz improved session by session from Friday on; he has done a good job over the weekend. He also has achieved his best result on this track but we are sure that he can do better if we are able to offer him a better package. So we want to work hard with both riders and we want to improve our overall package. We need to keep making progress in order to have a strong second half of the season.”

More, from a press release issued by Althea Racing:

A crash for Giugliano in race two doesn’t take away from
his fantastic podium finish in race one

The seventh round of the 2013 World Superbike championship took place today at the Imola circuit in Italy. Thanks to his great performance over the last days Davide Giugliano started today’s races from the front row of the grid thanks to the third fastest time that he obtained in yesterday’s Superpole. In race
one the Althea Racing rider made a very strong start and led the race for a time before being passed by Sykes. Davide didn’t back down and stuck with the Kawasaki until the end, to score a fantastic second place finish. This marks the first podium of the season for him and for Althea Racing. Based on the results of race one, a strong second race was certainly on the cards. Giugliano made another fast start and was again able to stay with Sykes who immediately took the lead. Unfortunately however, during the course of the third lap, Davide had a fall at the Tosa turn, ending up in the gravel; he was unable to
rejoin the race. A bitter end but it doesn’t take away from the fact that the team were consistently frontrunners throughout the weekend, which will be remembered for Giugliano’s performance in Superpole and race one. The results are thanks to a maturity and competiveness that both the rider and technical staff of team Althea Racing have built up. The next round of the World Superbike championship will take place from 19 to 21 July at the Moscow circuit.

Davide Giugliano: “In race one we achieved a podium finish that really pleased us, also because it comes after the difficult Portimao weekend. It’s our first podium of the season and has really topped off three days in which we’ve been consistently among the first placed riders in the practices and in Superpole. In race two I wasn’t really pushing and was right behind Sykes when my bike suddenly lost traction at the Tosa turn and I found myself in the gravel, unable to continue. A real disappointment but this is racing and so we turn the page and look ahead, with more faith in our abilities.”

Genesio Bevilacqua: “It’s been a positive weekend. We proved that we’ve got a great set-up, that Davide has been able to really exploit in the best possible way. Our team has now reached the point of being able to get the best out of the RSV4. In race one we were extremely happy to score a podium finish while in the second Davide was again the only rider to be able to keep pace with Sykes. He wasn’t forcing things but nevertheless crashed and we haven’t yet understood why. Despite the crash, our rider has put on a great performance, and was able to not only fight against the factory riders but also aim for the win.”

More, from a press release issued by FIXI Crescent Suzuki:

Pair of sevens for Camier at a sunny Imola

FIXI Crescent Suzuki racer Leon Camier took a pair of solid seventh places from today’s two races at the seventh round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship at Imola in Italy.
Camier fought hard throughout both races and was involved in several battles during the two 21-lap events. In both races the Englishman was hampered by tyre chatter that caused him to struggle with controlling the power and entering the corners. He battled manfully over the full race distance before bringing his bike home in seventh and believes that without the issues he could have been fighting for a podium position today.

Jules Cluzel again showed his racing potential as he looked set for a top-10 finish in race two, before a small technical issue robbed him of the chance. He had fought his way up from 14th on the grid to inside the top-10, but he developed a handling problem and was unable to take advantage of his position as the race wore on. Cluzel lost a place to Leon Haslam and then went straight-on at the final chicane on the last-lap and lost another position to Ayrton Badovini, leaving the Frenchman in 11th at the chequered flag. Unfortunately for Cluzel he failed to finish race-one after crashing-out, when he again looked to be in a position to challenge for a place inside the top-10 on his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R.

Today’s two races were held in glorious sunshine with track temperatures heating up to 54°C. Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes followed up his Pole Position with two commanding wins that saw him move to the top of the championship.

FIXI Crescent Suzuki will stay at Imola for a day of testing, before it heads to Russia for the next round of the Superbike World Championship, which is scheduled to be held on Sunday 21st July.

Leon Camier:
“For some reason the tyre span on the rim today and there was nothing more that I could do, because I was pushing so hard and adapting my style to try and cope with the chatter. In the parts of the track where I didn’t have chatter I was really fast and I think I could have caught the guys in front and challenged for the podium, but when I got to the points where the bike had chatter there was nothing more I could do and I was so limited. On a positive note though we did a good job this weekend and without the problems we were strong. I think electronically we still need to improve, we’ve got it working really well with what we’ve got, but we need to try and come up with some better strategies that will help me put more power to the ground. “

Jules Cluzel:
“I am really disappointed with the whole weekend in general because we never found a fast lap and maybe in race one it should have been my best performance of the weekend, but I went straight on twice and the second time I crashed because I could not find the gear, but I think my race-pace was good enough for eighth or ninth. Race two felt worse for me and I fought with Haslam and Badovini. I passed them both, but in the middle of the race I had a strange feeling on the front and it had some big movement and I was quite scared because it was in the fast turn, so I slowed down a little bit. On the last lap I went straight in the final chicane because I couldn’t get first gear and lost a place. I am not enjoying this weekend and I hope that in the test tomorrow we can find some good improvements.”

Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“This weekend didn’t bring the team quite the results we were hoping for, but it certainly wasn’t through a lack of trying by the crew or the riders. Leon rode hard all day, but over race-distance we just lacked a bit of performance and consistency, especially on the slow-corner exits, and this made it tough for him to live with the fastest riders. We are frustratingly close to challenging the top-five, our rhythm on average is half-of-a-second away from the factory BMWs and we’ll keep working hard to make sure that we can make both of the riders’ jobs easier and allow them to extract the full potential out of the GSX-R over race distance.

“Jules had a tough day, he improved a lot on race day – as he always does – but a first race crash and an unfortunate technical issue in the second race robbed him of what could have been a top-10 finish. We have work to do and we’re excited about getting into it, starting with the test here at Imola tomorrow.”

More, from a press release issued by Pirelli:

On a Kawasaki fitted with Pirelli Diablo Superbike SC0 tyres on the rear and SC2 on the front Tom Sykes takes a double win at Imola breaking the record for both the track fast lap and the race fast lap

With 46° asphalt temperatures in race 1 and 54° in race 2, all 18 riders of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship on the starting grid opted for the softer compound of the Diablo Superbike on the rear and almost all opted for the medium compound on the front, providing a good show for the many fans who came out to watch at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo and Dino Ferrari

Imola (Italy), 30 June 2013 – The new 17 inch Diablo Superbike tyres in SC0 soft compound continue to be the option for the rear preferred by the riders on the starting grid in the Superbike class. On a Sunday characterised by asphalt temperatures between 46° and 54°, the new standard soft compound tyres (therefore currently available for purchase on the market by any biker who wants to ride on the track) once again demonstrated their excellent qualities in terms of performance, contributing to the show put on by the riders during the Imola weekend.

Imola was definitely a 'green' weekend with the manufacturer from Akashi pulling a hat trick, taking a fabulous double with with Tom Sykes and the Kawasaki Racing Team in the top class, the top step of the podium in both Supersport with Kenan Sofuoglu and he MAHI Racing Team India and in Superstock 600 with Alessandro Nocco on his Kawasaki ZX-6R for San Carlo Team Italia, only missing out on the podium in Superstock 1000 where Sylvain Barrier won for team BMW Motorrad GoldBet STK.

Tom Sykes was undoubtedly the matador of the weekend since he not only won both races, but put the fast lap on the boards for them as well, winning both Pirelli Best Lap Awards at stake and, above all, breaking the absolute track record during the last Superpole session on Saturday using the same SC0 soft compound tyre used by the riders in the races, in addition to the race fast lap record in race 1.

In the Superbike class the Emilia Romagna weekend stars were also Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing), who rode to the second step of the podium in race 1 but was unable to repeat the performance in race 2 due to a crash, Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team), third in race 1 but also stopped by a crash in race 2, and Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) and Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) respectively second and third in race 2. With his double win Tom Sykes is now the new leader in the general standings with 235 points, overtaking Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli who is at 229, trailed from a distance by team mate Eugene Laverty at 190 points and Marco Melandri at 182.

The vast majority of Supersport riders also chose the soft SC0 development solution for the rear, whereas the unanimous choice from the front fell to the soft blend standard SC1. In an extremely heated race the Turkish rider triumphed on his Kawasaki, followed by Sam Lowes and Vladimir Leonov, each astride a Yamaha YZF R6 for team Yakhnich Motorsport. The Russian team's English rider leads the standings with 140 points followed by today's winner, Kenan Sofuoglu with 106 points and Fabien Foret with 85.

In the lower Superstock classes the podium was completed by Niccolò Canepa (Barni Racing Team) and Ondrej Jezek (SK Energy - Fany Gastro), respectively second and third in the 1000 class, and as Franco Morbidelli (San Carlo Team Italia) and Christian Gamarino (Team Goeleven) in the 600.

The Pirelli solutions chosen by the riders:

After being used at Monza, Donington and Portimão, the standard SC0 solution (R1261) of the new 17 inch Diablo Superbike was once again the unanimous choice for the rear in both races for the Superbike riders on the starting grid. The soft standard solution which made its début at Monza in the specific version with reinforced central section has proven to be the popular choice when asphalt temperatures rise above 25 degrees. Ideal for tackling smooth asphalt and high temperatures, it provides maximum contact area on smooth asphalt and maximum traction development at high temperatures, in addition to its greater performance stability under thermal decline. For the front about 2/3 of the riders opted instead for the standard SC2 (R982), a medium blend which is excellent for high external temperatures because it ensures the solidity and compactness of the tread band. The remaining 5/6 of the riders, including those on the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK team, opted instead for the standard R426 SC1 in soft compound which maximises the tread contact on the ground and the “presence” of the front.

In the Supersport class the SC0 Diablo Supercorsa SC0 in the S510 version, already seen in action at Monza and Portimão, was the most used solution for the rear. For the front, on the other hand, the undisputed star was once again the standard SC1 Diablo Supercorsa (P1177), chosen by all the riders.

Pirelli Best Lap Award:

The Pirelli Best Lap Awards, the prize that is assigned to the riders with the fast laps in the Superbike and Supersport races, were presented by Marketing Manager Italia Luca Zaccomer and by Product Manager Italia Davide Gerosa in the Paddock Show during the press conference that follows the podium at the end of Superbike race 1 and race 2 and the Supersport race.

The Superbike and Supersport rider who has earned the most “Pirelli Best Lap Award” titles at the end of the season will be elected “Best Lap Winner: fastest rider of the year” and awarded during the end of year ceremony. At the moment Tom Sykes leads the Superbike standings with 7 awards. In Supersport Sam Lowes is the leader with 3 best lap awards.

These are the riders who won the Pirelli Best Lap Awards in the seventh round of the season:

WSB Race 1 – Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), 1'47.274 (13th lap)
WSB Race 2 – Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), 1'47.506 (3rd lap)
WSS – Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport), 1’51.607 (11th lap)

The overall standings after the first seven rounds are as follows:

WSB: Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team): 7; Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team): 3; Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma): 1; Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK): 1; Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK): 1; Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) : 1

WSS: Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport): 3; Kenan Sofuoglu (MAHI Racing Team India): 2; Fabien Foret (MAHI Racing Team India): 1; Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport): 1

Comment from Giorgio Barbier, Pirelli Moto Racing Director:

“This was truly a perfect weekend for us, for the teams, for the riders and the fans who came to watch the races. As always the Superbike riders, as with all the eni FIM World Superbike Championship classes, did not disappoint our expectations in terms of show and fun. At Pirelli we are particularly pleased, first of all because we had the umpteenth demonstration of how the 17 inch tyres developed for 2013 not only perform better than their 16.5 inch predecessors, but they are also allowing the riders to achieve results which were unthinkable a few years ago. All we have to do is think about the circuit lap record Tom Sykes broke in Superpole 3, not with the super soft qualifying tyre which generally allows the riders to obtain better times, but incredibly with the standard SC0 tyre which was also used in the race. Therefore I would be remiss not to offer my compliments to Tom, but more in general to all the Kawasaki teams which practically monopolised the podium this weekend. As already happened last year, the bikes from the Akashi manufacturer will take the top ranks, setting a new bar in particular for Aprilia and BMW, who are in any case very competitive. The lower class and Cup of Nations races were also quite enjoyable. I think both the home viewers and the spectators here at the track had an exciting motoring weekend. We are now at the turning point in the Championship. All that's left is to see how the coming races will go, but I'm certain that, keeping with the philosophy that has always characterised the factory derivative championship, there will be plenty of upsets and fantastic shows. Our weekend will come to a close tomorrow with the official tests when the riders will be able to test various soft compound rear solutions that could prove to be important in the future, particularly on quite demanding tracks like Phillip Island.”

The 2013 Pirelli statistics for Imola round:

• Total number of tyres Pirelli brought: 4894

• Number of solutions (dry, intermediate and wet) for the Superbike class: 5 front and 6 rear

• Number of solutions for the Supersport class (dry, intermediate and wet): 4 front and 5 rear

Number of tyres available for each Superbike rider: 33 front and 40 rear

• Number of tyres available for each Supersport rider: 24 front and 27 rear

• Temperature in Race 1: air 25° C, asphalt 46° C

• Temperature in Race 2: air 28° C, asphalt 54° C

• Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli Diablo Superbike tyres: 289.2 km/h, in Race 1 by Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) at 6th lap.

• Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa tyres in Supersport: 255 km/h, Fabien Foret (MAHI Racing Team India), 13th and last lap.