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Sep 29, 2013

eni FIM Superbike World Championship Race Two Results From Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (Updated)

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
eni FIM Superbike World Championship
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Monterey, California
September 29, 2013
Provisional Race Two Results (all on Pirelli tires):

1. Eugene Laverty, Ireland (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 26 laps
2. Davide Giugliano, Italy (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), -0.112 second
3. Marco Melandri, Italy (BMW S1000RR), -2.051 seconds
4. Tom Sykes, UK (Kawasaki ZX-10R), -2.304
5. Sylvain Guintoli, France (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), -2.959
6. Jules Cluzel, France (Suzuki GSX-R1000), -10.187
7. Toni Elias, Spain (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), -17.789
8. Roger Hayden, USA (Suzuki GSX-R1000), -20.602
9. David Salom, Spain (Kawasaki ZX-10R), -22.055
10. Michel Fabrizio, Italy (Honda CBR1000RR), -23.472
11. Leon Haslam, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), -24.118
12. Blake Young, USA (Suzuki GSX-R1000), -29.563
13. Mark Aitchison, Australia (Kawasaki ZX-10R), -32.565
14. Danny Eslick, USA (Suzuki GSX-R1000), -51.777
15. Niccolo Canepa, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), -65.824, crash
16. Vittorio Ianuzzo, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-10R), -83.892
17. Glenn Allerton, Australia (BMW S1000RR), -1 lap
18. Ayrton Badovini, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), -8 laps, DNF
19. Chaz Davies, UK (BMW S1000RR), -24 laps, DNF, retired
20. Federico Sandi, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-10R), DNF

World Championship Point Standings (after 24 of 28 races):

1. Sykes, 361 points
2. Laverty, 338
3. Guintoli, 337
4. Melandri, 319
5. Davies, 259
6. Loris Baz, 180
7. Fabrizio, 177
8. Jonathan Rea, 176
9. Giugliano, 169
10. Cluzel, 160
11. TIE, Leon Camier/Badovini, 114
13. Max Neukirchner, 84
14. Haslam, 83
15. Carlos Checa, 80
16. Sandi, 47
17. Elias, 38
18. Aitchison, 29
19. Iannuzzo, 26
20. Ivan Clementi, 18

24. TIE, Hayden/Fabrizio Lai/Young, 8

33. TIE, Eslick/Kosuke Akiyoshi/Noriyuki Haga, 2

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

Laverty wins after an intense race-long battle

Laguna Seca (US), Sunday 29 September 2013 – Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) has won the second race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in spectacular fashion in front of 41.175 excited spectators. After passing Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Team) at Turn 5 with two laps to go, the Irishman made the exact same move on Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) on the following lap, breaking the spell that was holding the Brit at the front for most of the race.

Eugene Laverty: “It was not an easy race. I'd like to thank my team because they made some set-up adjustments to my bike that worked perfectly. I pushed to the limit on the last lap, Davide (Giugliano) and Tom (Sykes) were really strong but I'm happy for the win. It was an unexpected result, but now I'm now second in the standings ahead of two very different rounds. I would like to dedicate this win to my track engineer Marco Bertolatti, who’s just become father."

Sykes, on the other hand, tried everything he could to defend his position under braking, but once he lost the lead he was passed by both Giugliano and Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet), crossing the line in fifth place. The works BMW rider successfully stayed ahead of the Championship leader for third, while Giugliano did the best he could to snatch his first WSBK race win, eventually settling for second.

Tom Sykes: “It was great to win yesterday and I led for a long time today but that was the first time we have struggled all weekend. We were six or seven tenths off our best times in the same track conditions and we have to think about why that was. We know what our potential was here again today. We can keep improving and we have a couple of good circuits coming up so we will move on with confidence. In less than a week’s time we will be in France and doing it all over again.”

Sylvain Guintoli did not manage to catch the leading pack to be in contention for the win, but the end result today helped him stay in touch with Sykes in the standings, as he ended up fifth ahead of fellow Frenchman Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki), Toni Elias (Red Devils Aprilia) wildcard Roger Hayden (Michael Jordan Motorsports Suzuki) and David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team).

A disappointing race for Team Ducati Alstare, as both Niccolò Canepa, who running 4th, and team mate Ayrton Badovini suffered crashes, while Welshman Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) had to pull in due to a technical problem on the second lap.

After today's results, Sykes is still the Championship leader with a 23 point advantage over Laverty who has jumped to second position in the overall standings. Guintoli is now third, a point behind his team mate while Melandri is now 42 points short from the lead.

Results: 1. Laverty (Aprilia) 26 Laps/93.860 km in 36'44.555 average 153.272 kph; 2. Giugliano (Aprilia) 0.112; 3. Melandri (BMW) 2.051; 4. Sykes (Kawasaki) 2.304; 5. Guintoli (Aprilia) 2.959; 6. Cluzel (Suzuki) 10.187; 7. Elias (Aprilia) 17.789; 8. Hayden (Suzuki) 20.602; 9. Salom (Kawasaki) 22.055; 10. Fabrizio (Honda) 23.472; 11. Haslam (Honda) 24.118; 12. Young (Suzuki) 29.563; 13. Aitchison (Kawasaki) 32.565; 14. Eslick (Suzuki) 51.777; 15. Canepa (Ducati) 1'05.824; 16. Iannuzzo (BMW) 1'23.892; 17. Allerton (BMW) 1 Lap; RT. Badovini (Ducati); RT. Davies (BMW); RT. Sandi (Kawasaki).

Standings (Round 12 of 14): 1. Sykes 361; 2. Laverty 338; 3. Guintoli 337; 4. Melandri 319; 5. Davies 259; 6. Baz 180; 7. Fabrizio 177; 8. Rea 176; 9. Giugliano 169; 10. Cluzel 160; 11. Camier 114; 12. Badovini 114; 13. Neukirchner 84; 14. Haslam 83; 15. Checa 80; 16. Sandi 47; 17. Elias 38; 18. Aitchison 29; 19. Iannuzzo 26; 20. Clementi 18; 21. Canepa 12; 22. Salom 12; 23. Lundh 10; 24. Hayden 8; 25. Lai 8; 26. Young 8; 27. Reiterberger 7; 28. Allerton 6; 29. Uprak 5; 30. Smrz 4; 31. Stauffer 4; 32. Ercelik 3; 33. Eslick 2; 34. Akiyoshi 2; 35. Haga 2. Manufacturers: 1. Aprilia 460; 2. Kawasaki 415; 3. BMW 390; 4. Honda 225; 5. Suzuki 212; 6. Ducati 152; 7. Yamaha 4.

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

Fabrizio moves forward at Laguna

A change to the front end of his Pata Honda CBR1000RR helped Michel Fabrizio secure a top ten finish in today’s second 12th-round World Superbike championship race at Laguna Seca in the USA.

As in yesterday’s opener, the 29-year-old Italian started from 13th place on the grid but his crew had raised the front end of his machine following this morning’s warm-up which allowed him eventually to overhaul his Pata Honda team-mate Leon Haslam. His result also moves him to seventh in the championship standings, one point ahead of injured Pata Honda rider Jonathan Rea.

Haslam himself started from 12th on the grid after electronics gremlins hampered yesterday’s Superpole 2 and the 30-year-old British rider suffered further engine management problems which restricted him to 11th place at the end of today 26-lap race.

The Pata Honda team will re-group at Magny-Cours in France in just three days to prepare for the penultimate round of the 2013 World Superbike championship next weekend, 4-6 October.

Michel Fabrizio – 10th

Starting from the fifth row was difficult but after the changes that we made after warm-up this morning, my confidence in the front was much better and I was able to do 1m24s laps in the race, so I was very happy. I felt much more comfortable on the bike and although the result is not perfect I think I could have finished higher with a better starting position. I am happy that we were able to make these steps forward after the problems earlier in the weekend.

Leon Haslam – 11th

It’s been another frustrating race day and I was more than a second a lap slower than the times I was doing yesterday. I had a lot of traction control problems and not so much grip from the rear. I was also suffering a little from the affects of yesterday’s crash, but it’s definitely not what we were looking for. My pace yesterday was good for top four or five but I wasn’t close to that, so it’s not been good.

Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator

Leon had problems yesterday so we tried to make some changes in warm-up this morning. The grip level was down a bit so we made more alterations for the race. We still need to check the data but he had some problems in the race and could finish no better than 11th. Michel got tenth after some changes to his bike that were in the right direction. They allowed him to do some decent lap times and at least race the bike, but there is clearly still more work to do.

More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Sykes Leaves America With An Extended Points Lead

WSBK, Laguna Seca, USA

Tom Sykes added a fourth place in race two today to his race one victory to take a 23-point advantage away from the 12th round of the series, as David Salom scored a strong ninth place.

Sykes was leader of the second race at Laguna for 21 of 26 laps but in the final two circuits he got passed by three riders and had to settle for fourth place. He had been fighting unexpected traction issues exiting corners for most of the race and rode well to stay in the lead for so long, but he was unable to make the most of his machine's performance as he could not get the power to the ground as he wanted.

His first race win on Saturday added to his 13 points for fourth today take Tom to a leading total of 361 points, with two rounds and four races remaining – the first next weekend in France at Magny-Cours.

The overall team performance at Laguna was strong as it was a new track for Tom and his team to face, while most of his top rivals had been here many times before. With regular team rider Loris Baz missing through injury David Salom’s ninth place in race two today was a good result for a rider more used to racing in the Supersport World Championship. He improved all weekend and rewarded his opportunity to race in SBK with good points scores.

Sykes and new second place rider in the championship Eugene Laverty are now tied on seven race wins apiece, as Tom looks to Magny-Cours next Sunday to repeat the race victory he took there last season on the Ninja ZX-10R.

Mark Aitchison (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) scored 13th today with his team-mate Federico Sandi an early retiree.

Tom Sykes: “It was great to win yesterday and I led for a long time today but that was the first time we have struggled with grip all weekend. We were six or seven tenths off our best times in the same track conditions and we have to think about why that was. We know what our potential was here again today. Overall, we have extended our championship lead but it would have been nice to taken that second podium! We can keep improving and we have a couple of good circuits coming up so we will move on with confidence. In less than a week’s time we will be in France and doing it all over again. We have worked hard and well all race weekend and took a win on Saturday.”

David Salom: “I had a good second race today and the finger I hurt yesterday when I hit a trackside marker gave me no real pain. The team worked very hard to make the bike suit me this weekend, it worked well in the Sunday race and I got a top ten finish. I enjoyed the race and the weekend, finishing both races in the points, and the work the team did was perfect. I have been happy with the experience.”

Guim Roda, KRT Team Manager: “I would like to congratulate the all the team on the job this weekend. They all made great efforts to keep the momentum up and head to Magny-Cours with our target really alive. David Salom made a great job the first time for him on the KRT ZX-10R Ninja and at Laguna Seca; better from him was impossible. Regarding Tom's weekend, we are so satisfied with his performance. All had been perfect until the last laps of the second race. We have to be very proud of the job Tom did and thanks to him for keeping calm during those critical moments of pressure. He took away a great haul of points, which are all really important. Compared to Davies, Melandri and Guintoli, all of whom knew the track well, it was Tom’s first time here. We have to be very happy to beat those three guys and take away more points than them. Only Laverty scored more points than us so we have to say congratulations to him. We have special thanks for Kawasaki America who got involved in SBK here and to Kawasaki Europe and Japan, Motocard, Elf, Leo Vince and all our sponsors. They are helping in all our efforts to make a great season become unforgettable.”

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

A disappointing race result for Team SBK Ducati Alstare in today's Superbike race at Laguna Seca

Monterey (USA), Sunday 29 September 2013: Team SBK Ducati Alstare was unfortunately unable to secure the kind of results it had hoped for in the second Superbike race taking place today at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in California, USA; substitute rider Niccolò Canepa crossed the line in fifteenth place, having rejoined the race after a small crash, while injured Ayrton Badovini unfortunately ended his race in the gravel.

After yesterday’s difficult race, in which Ayrton concluded in ninth position and Niccolò crashed out, the Ducati Alstare riders again lined up in fourth (Niccolò) and ninth (Ayrton) position on the grid for today’s second race of the weekend. Conditions were once again warm and sunny and, unlike yesterday, the 26-lap race ran uninterrupted from start to finish.

Niccolò made a great start and was in fourth position through the first corners. At ease on the bike, he demonstrated a strong pace and was running with the leading group.

Unfortunately during the second lap, through turn two, Melandri’s pass forced him off line and, not wanting to lose ground, Canepa pushed hard on the front which caused the front to lock and the rider to crash. The young Italian was able to return to the track and continue the race but his gear shifter was broken and, from 18th position and 50 seconds behind, it was difficult to make up the lost ground. Lapping however with a consistently fast pace for the duration of the 26-lap race, he didn’t give up and was able to cross the line in final fifteenth position. Badovini, ninth on the grid, was lying thirteenth at the end of the opening lap. Ayrton demonstrated good pace in the initial stages of the race but during the second half he had more difficulty keeping up with those immediately ahead of him. During the course of the nineteenth lap, the Ducati Alstare rider went long at turn six, unfortunately crashing in the gravel in order to not hit the barriers. He was unable to return to the track and his race therefore came to an end there.

Ayrton Badovini: “I’m ok and haven’t done any more physical damage luckily, I just went straight and finished in the sand. Physically my foot wasn’t so much the problem, I was just getting tired because I haven’t been able to train properly in recent weeks. I want to thank the Clinica Mobile for all its help and support this weekend. I’m not happy because we’re worked on the bike but we haven’t been able to find the right set-up. We’ll need to work more on the set-up at Magny-Cours in order to understand which direction to move in.”

Niccolò Canepa: “It’s a pity about the race results, especially race 2 as I felt good and was keeping pace with those in front without too much difficulty. The changes we made this morning were very useful and the front of the bike gave me a good feeling. Unfortunately Melandri forced me a little wide through the second turn and, not wanting to lose ground, I pushed too hard and crashed. Luckily the bike was ok even if the gear shifter was broken, and I was able to return to the track and finish the race. Summing up the weekend I think we’ve done a good job here, considering our performance in the practices and qualifying. We were able to place inside the top five in several sessions, and qualify fourth. I think we’ve demonstrated this weekend that the bike can run up at the front and, if we had more time and more races during which to work, it would surely become easier and more enjoyable.”

More, from a press release issued by Aprilia:




Laguna Seca, 29 September 2013 – The determination shown in the Race 1 finale at Laguna Seca yesterday was almost a foreshadowing of the way Eugene Laverty would perform today. Rocketing to the front as soon as the red lights went off, the Northern Irish rider then found himself riding in third place behind the exhaust of Sykes and Giugliano in the first phase of the race. Eugene bided his time throughout the middle portion of the race, staying in contact with the leaders without taking any pointless risks, also taking into consideration the less than excellent grip.

Laverty's strategy paid off when four laps from the end he launched his attack on Giugliano for second place and then overtook Sykes two lap later. The grand finale had him controlling his rivals and flying across the finish in the lead. His seventh victory of the season and the third place in Race 1 take him to second place in the rider standings, 23 points behind Sykes with two more rounds (four races) left to go.

Thanks in part to Davide Giugliano's podium finish, an excellent second place ride on the Althea Racing Team RSV4, Aprilia strengthens their dominating lead in the manufacturer standings. The advantage in front of Kawasaki is now 45 points, 70 ahead of BMW, 235 over Honda, 248 above Suzuki and 308 in front of Ducati.

Eugene Laverty: “This was anything but an easy race. Yesterday I struggled quite a bit to keep up with the front runners and I managed to finish on the podium by overtaking twice in the last lap. I want to thank my team because we worked a lot on the bike and took a big step forward that allowed me to ride better in spite of the grip issues. I pushed hard from the first to the last lap and Davide (Giugliano) and Tom (Sykes) didn't make this win an easy one! This is a result that I really didn't expect which now takes me to second place in the rider standings, but we have two very different rounds ahead of us. I struggled last year at Magny Cours, but my RSV4 has grown a lot so things could change, whereas Jerez is our test track so I could have an advantage there. In any case I'll need to give 100% in every session for the next two weekends. I'd like to dedicate my win to my engineer Marco Bertolatti who became a father just a few hours ago.”

It was another difficult race for Sylvain Guintoli, dominator in Race 1 before the second red flag. After an imperfect start from the first spot on the grid thanks to winning Superpole yesterday, the Frenchman had to surrender the pace to Melandri and Giugliano. Relegated to fifth place, Sylvain struggled in the first part of the race to keep pace with the lead pack, finally settling into a good pace. However, the gap behind the four leaders kept him from improving his position, which repeats the result from yesterday but certainly does no justice to the performance demonstrated during the practice sessions. Sylvain is now lying third in the championship, just one point behind his team mate Laverty, a position that keeps him well in the running for the final victory.

Sylvain Guintoli: “To be honest this was a disappointing Race 2. I expected much more and, all things considered, the start was good. I felt like I could pass Tom and Eugene, but instead I came under attack from Melandri and Giugliano and dropped back behind the lead group. The pace was really fast and when you lose a few metres it's hard to make up that gap. Like yesterday, when I'm in the middle of the pack I'm lacking something. I'm unable to maintain the same pace that I can set when I'm riding by myself like I was in the first two starts yesterday. It's something I need to work on because we didn't make any changes to the bike compared to yesterday. I need to get focused again, I'm not lacking in speed since yesterday when I was out front I was able to be very fast. Magny Cours is coming up in just a few days and that's my home race where I hope to make up some important points”.

More, from a press release issued by Althea Racing:

A fantastic race for Giugliano who takes second at Laguna Seca!

The second race of the twelfth round of the World Superbike Champoionship took place today at the Laguna Seca Mazda Raceway in California. In yesterday’s race Davide Giugliano and team Althea Racing put in a solid performance, closing in sixth place, after a difficult race that was interrupted twice by red flags. After this morning’s warm-up, in which Giugliano recorded the fastest time (1’23”927), the race got underway at 2pm local time and ran over 26 laps on a dry track and in sunny conditions.

Having qualified sixth in yesterday’s Superpole, the Althea rider started today’s race from the second row of the grid. He made a good start and was lying in fifth place during the initial laps. On lap three Giugliano passed Davies to move into fourth position. By lapping fast and avoiding mistakes, the Althea rider was able to record the fastest lap of the race on lap seven (1’23”707), also passing Guintoli to move into third place. With grit and determination, Davide chased Laverty and at the mid-race point he was able to pass him and move up to second place. He held this position until the final stages. At two laps from the end of the race, Laverty passed both Giugliano and then Sykes, taking the lead, but the Althea rider didn’t give up and passed Sykes, positioning himself right behind leader Laverty. On the final lap Davide stuck with the factory rider but was unable to pass him, nevertheless closing the race in a fantastic second position.

It was one of the most thrilling races of the 2013 season and it was team Althea’s rider, scoring second place, who made it so spectacular. The next round of the World Superbike championship will take place in a week’s time at Magny-Cours in France.

Davide Giugliano: “I’m so very happy! It was an amazing race and I battled first with Sykes and then with Laverty. I think we have done a great job here at Laguna, both me and my team. We have obtained a great result after a few disappointing results in previous races and so this is very satisfying. We have demonstrated that when everyone works well together and with the right mentality anything is possible. I thank my entire team that has worked so hard this weekend and also my family and my girlfriend Claudia who is always here for me. Now we must continue like this. From now until the end of the season we hope to take more strong results. I thought it would be hard to be in the front but now I realise that I could have won this race. A mistake made out of inexperience and that will serve well on another occasion.”

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

Laguna Seca – Race 2.
Sunday, 29th September 2013.

Weather conditions: Sunny.
Temperature: Air: 24 °C, Track: 42 °C
Number of riders participating: 20 from 12 teams
Fastest lap Race 2: Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) 1:23.707 min (lap 7)

Another race day, another reason to celebrate: The BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team stepped onto the podium again in the second of the US-races at Laguna Seca. Factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA) finished an exciting race in third after only narrowly missing the podium in fourth yesterday. It disappointing day for his team-mate though, Chaz Davies (GBR), who had claimed a strong second place in yesterday’s race. Chaz crashed in the warm-up in the late morning. His crew did an excellent job in repairing the bike in the short time before the race but after three laps, Chaz had to retire due to a technical issue. Laguna Seca hosted the 12th of 14 rounds of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship. The team now travels directly to Magny-Cours, France, where the next round will be contested this coming weekend.

After yesterday’s race, the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team analysed the data and further improved Marco’s and Chaz’ BMW S 1000 RRs. Chaz was fifth on the grid, Marco started from seventh. In the beginning, both riders were racing in the leading group but after three laps, Chaz returned to the garage. He felt there was an issue in the braking system and decided to retire for safety reasons. Until he retired, he was lying in fifth, not far behind the leader. Marco was running in fourth for most of the race, never being more than one second behind the top 3. In his typical manner, he started to catch up with the front group halfway through the race. He closed the gap with every lap and was soon directly within the closely fought leading group. In the exciting final stage of the race all top 4 riders were possible winners, Marco included. On the last lap, he overtook Tom Sykes (GBR) and took third on the podium. The race was won by Eugene Laverty.

In the riders’ championship, Marco is fourth with 319 points, 42 points behind the lead. Chaz follows in fifth with 259 points. In the team standings, the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team is second with 578 points and in the manufacturers’ classification, BMW is currently third with 390 points.

Marco Melandri:
Result Race 2: 3rd / Gap to 1st: 0:02.051 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:23.819 min (lap 12)
“Today was a quite positive day. It was not easy, even if I got the best result I could achieve. I want to thank my team; they did a very good job. Unfortunately during the first part of the races I struggled with the front, so I needed a long race to catch up with the guys in front of me. This was not possible yesterday as the race was not long enough. But today, I could push in the second half of the race and I got on the podium. There are still many points still available. It will not be easy, but I still want to win some more races.”

Chaz Davies:
Result Race 2: DNF / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:24.724 min (lap 2)
“It was very frustrating because the race looked like fun and for sure I would have been in the mix. The bike felt great so I think I would have certainly done my best and tried to win today. I think we would have had a good chance. With the bike, we had definitely made a step forward from yesterday but unfortunately we did not get to showcase it because we had an issue with the front brake system. After my crash in the warm-up, when I lost the front, we had to replace the brake system. During the sighting lap it felt like there is something not quite right with it, but on the warm-up lap and after the start it was fine. But then on the second or third lap, the issue came back. I basically had zero brakes and it was getting too dangerous so it was safer to stop. The guys will now check what caused the problem. Now we are heading to Magny-Cours, where my target is to again fight for wins and podiums.”

Andrea Buzzoni (General Manager BMW Motorrad WSBK):
“The fact that yesterday’s first race was reduced to 12 laps did not allow Marco to achieve the result he and the bike had the potential for. He is usually stronger than his rivals in the second part of the race when the tyres drop. This is what he also demonstrated today by finishing on the podium. Chaz had a great race yesterday and stepped on the second place of the podium. Contrary to that, he had to retire after three laps today due to an issue with the brake system. Thus he unfortunately could not achieve a result which potentially could have been similar to yesterday’s.

The positive part of the weekend is that we were twice on the podium with two different riders. But the gap to the front increased a little bit and this cannot leave us satisfied. Our task is not easy, we are 42 points behind the leader, and we have three riders in front of us in the rankings. Until the end of the season, the team must be as competitive as possible, to claim victories and podiums to score as many points as possible. We have to focus on our strengths to keep our performance level as high as possible.”

Stephan Fischer (Technical Director BMW Motorrad Motorsport):
“We obviously came here with certain expectations because it is a very technical circuit and we have two strong riders who know very well how to handle challenging tracks. We had the potential to achieve strong results. In addition, both riders knew the circuit from the past and we could see on Friday how quickly they got to grips with it again. It was also a promising fact that we soon had a strong pace on Friday. The races themselves have been a fantastic show with several riders fighting for the win until the very end.

From a technical point of view we have seen that the packages of our competitors and our package are very similar regarding the competitiveness. As a manufacturer, you now have to try to adapt the bike to the individual strengths of your riders so that they not only have competitive material available but can make best use of it. I think that succeeded in that very well today. Our bike was without a doubt capable of winning and Marco did a very good job in race two. He demonstrated to himself and to the team that we still have the chance to win the title. In the championship anything can happen. For sure our joy was tempered by the issues Chaz experienced today. It was a real pity, as Chaz was absolutely capable of winning in race two. He showed a very strong performance in the first race and for today we had further improved the chassis set-up. Now we have to analyse what exactly caused the issues in the brake system. As usual, we now directly shift our focus to the next race. There are still a lot of points to grab, everything is open.”

More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki News Service:


FIXI Crescent Suzuki's Jules Cluzel raced to sixth position and what he regards as his best weekend performance of the season so far at today's second eni FIM Superbike World Championship race from Laguna Seca in America.

Starting from eighth on the grid, Cluzel got a good start and had moved up into sixth by lap-three and on to the back of the hard-charging front pack. The Frenchman continued to push on - even setting the fastest lap of the race at one point on lap-four - and stayed in contention with the podium places for the majority of the race. He recorded fast and consistent laps as he continued to improve on his first visit to the 3,610m American circuit, delighted with this weekend's performance and is determined to take his form forward into his home race in France next week.

Blake Young again gave a very good performance on his debut weekend onboard the Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R, as he stood in for the injured Leon Camier. Young was 17th at the end of the first lap, but steadily made his way through the field as he grew in confidence. He made several passes before eventually getting up into 12th on lap-20. His performance in the latter part of the race was especially pleasing for the whole team as he recorded lap-times that were on-a-par with everyone above him in the classification, with the exception of the top-six riders.

Today's race was again held in warm and sunny conditions with track temperatures hitting 42°C, leading to a tight battle to the line which saw Eugene Laverty on an Aprilia take the victory, with championship leader Tom Sykes coming home fourth to strengthen his lead at the top of the title race. Today's results also saw the FIXI Crescent Suzuki team move into fourth-place in the World Superbike Team Standings.

FIXI Crescent Suzuki and the rest of the World Superbike field will now make an immediate return to Europe as the whole paddock heads across the Atlantic to France for the penultimate event of the season, which will take place at Magny-Cours next Sunday.

Jules Cluzel:

"I made a good start and a good first lap so I was able to catch up with the leader group and I was very happy about that. I enjoyed the first part of the race because I was one of the fastest guys out there; it was only the last corner to the first turn - across the start-finish line - that I was losing any time. This stopped me getting a good chance to fight for a podium, but it was still a good race and I think this has been my best weekend on the FIXI Crescent Suzuki so far this season. Laguna Seca is not an easy circuit, but I learned quite quickly and I really enjoyed it. I feel quite proud to have made this kind of result and many thanks to the whole team because they made a great job here and we had solid and consistent results."

Blake Young:

"I have had a really great weekend, but I'm a little bit disappointed I didn't get into the 1'24s; the guys worked super-hard and I would have liked to have gone a bit better for them. The FIXI Crescent Suzuki team has been great and what we ended up with at the end of the day was all smiles! We improved the lap-time from yesterday - which was good - and we had the same position so we can't really complain about that. I would have been good to be a bit further up, but it seemed we were getting there slowly, but surely; but at the end we just ran out of time. I want to thank all the guys on the team, Paul and everybody involved for giving me this opportunity to come out here and ride again - it's been great!"

Paul Denning - Team Manager:

"Sixth and 12th are not our best results of the season, but I am particularly happy with the efforts of both the team and the riders made today and the huge improvements we made compared to yesterday's race. If we forget Silverstone, I think today was Jules's best race of the year, based on his lack of circuit knowledge, the fact that it is a very physical track; and that we expected the nature of the track not to suit our bike especially well. We finished today the same gap from the winner after 26-laps that we did yesterday after 12-laps and only missed 0.3 seconds average on each lap to be right at the front - it was a great effort from Jules and his crew.

"Blake has fitted in with the team really well and despite not having a full-time ride this year he has clearly maintained his fitness and his level improved every time he went out on track. Two 12th places are probably better than what we would have expected and his lap-times in the second-half of today's races were comparable with everybody outside the top-six. It's been fun to have him in the team and I'd like to thank him for his efforts."
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