Aug 5, 2012
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by David Swarts
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Race Two winner Sylvain Guintoli (center), runner-up Loris Baz (left) and third-place finisher Jakub Smrz (right).
FIM Superbike World Championship
Silverstone Circuit, England
August 5, 2012
Race Two Results (wet race, all on Pirelli tires):
1. Sylvain GUINTOLI, France (Ducati 1098R), 8 laps, 19:42.051
2. Loris BAZ, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), -0.881 second, crash
3. Jakub SMRZ, Czech Republic (Ducati 1098R), -1.671 seconds, crash
4. Eugene LAVERTY, Ireland (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), -19.045
5. Maxime BERGER, France (Ducati 1098R), -22.116, crash
6. Carlos CHECA, Spain (Ducati 1098R), -23.736, crash
7. Chaz DAVIES, UK (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), -24.690
8. Marco MELANDRI, Italy (BMW S1000RR), -26.197
9. Jonathan REA, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), -26.861, crash
10. John HOPKINS, USA (Suzuki GSX-R1000), -27.194
11. Max BIAGGI, Italy (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), -29.243
12. Tom SYKES, UK (Kawasaki ZX-10R), -30.328, crash
13. Michel FABRIZIO, Italy (BMW S1000RR), -32.746
14. Hiroshi AOYAMA, Japan (Honda CBR1000RR), -34.905
15. Niccolo CANEPA, Italy (Ducati 1098R), -35.849
16. Lorenzo ZANETTI, Italy (Ducati 1098R), -40.091
17. Leon HASLAM, UK (BMW S1000RR), -58.530, crash
18. Ayrton BADOVINI, Italy (BMW S1000RR), -1 lap, DNF, crash
19. Davide GIUGLIANO, Italy (Ducati 1098R), -2 laps, DNF, crash
20. Leon CAMIER, UK (Suzuki GSX-R1000), -4 laps, DNF, retired
21. David SALOM, Spain (Kawasaki ZX-10R), -7 laps, DNF, mechanical
22. Norino BRIGNOLA, Italy (BMW S1000RR), DNS
23. David JOHNSON, Australia (Kawasaki ZX-10R), DNS
24. Brett McCORMICK, Canada (Ducati 1098R), DNS
World Championship Point Standings (after 20 of 28 races):
1. Biaggi, 274 points
2. Melandri, 263.5
3. Sykes, 222.5
4. Checa, 220.5
5. Rea, 203.5
6. Haslam, 170
7. Laverty, 160.5
8. Guintoli, 122.5
9. Fabrizio, 108.5
10. Giugliano, 106
11. Davies, 99.5
12. Smrz, 92.5
13. Baz, 78
14. Badovini, 73
15. Berger, 67
16. Camier, 65.5
17. Aoyama, 41.5
18. Zanetti, 34
19. Canepa, 33.5
20. TIE, Joan Lascorz/Hopkins, 17
More, from a press release issued by Infront Motor Sports:
Baz and Guintoli celebrate despite the weather
Silverstone (Great Britain), August 5, 2012 A remarkable day, thanks to the ever changing British weather conditions, saw two French riders on top at Silverstone in round ten of the eni FIM Superbike Championship in front of a weekend crowd of 42,000. In the first race SBK rookie Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) became the second youngest rider ever to win at this level, with the nineteen-year-old, who started the season in the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup, overcoming the changing conditions to win a close run thing.
In the second race a rider who parted way with one Ducati team at the recent Brno round and found a berth in the Pata Racing Team - Sylvain Guintoli - posted his second win of the year on a Ducati 1098R in horrendous conditions after a delayed and shortened race two.
The biggest names were all left struggling in both qualifying and races as the track conditions shifted from dry and sunny to fully wet, and everything in between. Points leader Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing) was a non-finisher in race one, then only 11th in race two. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) is now only 10.5 points from Biaggi after finishing seventh and then eighth. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) was eighth and 12th at his home round, Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) was fifth and sixth, despite crashing late in race two, then being included in the results on the lap count back.
Baz won after weather conditions played an ever-changing role in the first 18lap race of the day. The first attempt to run it was halted after two separate crashes, and the restart was declared wet, but with a mostly dry track surface visible over the length of the circuit. Light rains came and went as the lead changed a bewildering number of times, but with a few laps to go the rains got even heavier and rider movements forward and back got even more frenzied. Over the line for the last time, Baz won by 0.383 seconds, with BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet duo Michel Fabrizio and Ayrton Badovini second and third respectively and Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) fourth. As Badovini crossed the line he fell on the edge of the track and the following Rea also crashed into Badovini's machine, but after each had crossed the line. Checa was fifth, but championship leader Biaggi was a late faller and he no-scored.
Loris Baz: "At the beginning it was full dry and I was missing grip but when I saw the rain coming I kept pushing to the front. It was hard at the end because it was wet, but I stayed on the bike and I'm really happy. A big thanks for the team and our thoughts go out to Joan Lascorz."
Michel Fabrizio: "It was the craziest race but I'm very happy to be on the podium. I don't know what clicked in my head! We have to be happy with the first podiums this year for our team, and my team-mate was here with me as well so it's a great result! I feel sure I was in a position to win, but there was only one problem, Baz!"
Ayrton Badovini: "It's incredible! Finishing without a bike is crazy! I'm happy because I started from 18th position, but with these conditions I could push and I saw that the conditions were changing. A great result for me and my team."
Results: 1. Baz (Kawasaki) 18 Laps/106.236 km in 40'46.128 average 156.349 kph; 2. Fabrizio (BMW) 0.383; 3. Badovini (BMW) 0.459; 4. Rea (Honda) 0.539; 5. Checa (Ducati) 1.012; 6. Haslam (BMW) 2.619; 7. Melandri (BMW) 6.123; 8. Sykes (Kawasaki) 9.170; 9. Giugliano (Ducati) 19.022; 10. Laverty (Aprilia) 19.087; etc.
Guintoli was declared the winner of an eight-lap second race after the rains fell so hard that three rider fell on the same part of the track, and the red flag was shown. Half points were awarded to the top 15 riders. Baz had been in the lead on the lap that the flag was shown but he had fallen shortly before, so on the countback he was credited with second. Third went to long time second place rider Jakub Smrz (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert) with Aprilia Racing rider Eugene Laverty, who was 16 seconds behind rain master Guintoli when the flag went out, fourth. Maxime Berger (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing Ducati) was fifth, Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Aprilia) was eventually classified seventh.
Sylvain Guintoli: "What a day, what a last couple of weeks actually! It's been an up and down road after Brno, but I've just bounced back quickly with the Pata team and Ducati. I made the wrong choice of tyre in the first race, but in race 2 I went from zero to hero! I was really angry with myself at the start then when the rains came I eased off for the podium because I didn't want to go from zero to zero! It's my first win with Pata and hopefully there are many more to come!"
Loris Baz: "A fantastic weekend, in the beginning it was not so wet and I was saving the tyres for the big rain to come, but Kuba and Sylvain were fast. I passed them then I crashed without doing nothing because there was fuel and oil on the track. A big thanks to the team, they are doing a great job, also Kawasaki!"
Jakub Smrz: "I'm really happy because it was a tough Sunday for us. I was taken down in race 1 and we were still fixing the bike and had no time to get new parts. In race 2 it was good, I was together with Sylvain, we were fast but there was so much rain that I just crashed without doing nothing. I'm happy that they counted the end of the race one lap before and this is the first podium for me this year."
Results: 1. Guintoli (Ducati) 8 Laps/47.216 km in 19'42.051 average 143.799 kph; 2. Baz (Kawasaki) 0.881; 3. Smrz (Ducati) 1.671; 4. Laverty (Aprilia) 19.045; 5. Berger (Ducati) 22.116; 6. Checa (Ducati) 23.736; 7. Davies (Aprilia) 24.690; 8. Melandri (BMW) 26.197; 9. Rea (Honda) 26.861; 10. Hopkins (Suzuki) 27.194; etc.
Points (after 10 di 14 rounds): 1. Biaggi 274; 2. Melandri 263.5; 3. Sykes 222.5; 4. Checa 220.5; 5. Rea 203.5; 6. Haslam 170; 7. Laverty 160.5; 8. Guintoli 122.5; 9. Fabrizio 108.5; 10. Giugliano 106; etc. Manufacturers: 1. BMW 316; 2. Aprilia 302.5; 3. Ducati 300; 4. Kawasaki 253.5; 5. Honda 209.5; 6. Suzuki 75.5.
A thrilling race long fight between three PTR Honda riders ended up in a man-to-man duel between eventual winner Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda) and Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda). The contest was so close that they touched on the final corners but the French rider was not to be denied and won the race by only 0.157 seconds. Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda) came from slightly behind the PTR runners to take third, 0.591 seconds back, while Ronan Quarmby (PTR Honda) hung in with the leading group almost throughout the restarted race and was an impressive fourth. Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Lorenzini) ran off track early on but recovered to score fifth place, ahead of two more Kawasaki riders, Fabien Foret (Kawasaki Intermoto Step) and Sofuoglu's Lorenzini team-mate, Sheridan Morais, who was seventh.
Results: 1. Cluzel (Honda) 16 Laps/94.432 km in 34'48.860 average 162.747 kph; 2. Lowes (Honda) 0.157; 3. Parkes (Honda) 0.591; 4. Quarmby (Honda) 2.068; 5. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 5.067; 6. Foret (Kawasaki) 19.484; 7. Morais (Kawasaki) 20.038; 8. Baldolini (Triumph) 23.169; etc.
Points (after 9 of 13 rounds): 1. Sofuoglu 148; 2. Lowes 134; 3. Cluzel 120; 4. Foret 118; 5. Parkes 98; 6. Morais 71; 7. Quarmby 67; 8. Baldolini 62; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Honda 197; 2. Kawasaki 187; 3. Triumph 91; 4. Yamaha 73; 5. Suzuki 6.
A race-long fight between Eddi La Marra (Barni Racing Team Italia Ducati) and Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki) finally went the way of La Marra, by only 0.241 seconds after ten intense laps at Silverstone. Spots of rain on lap one had no real effect on the track surface as La Marra and Guarnoni made a break, with eventual third place rider Bryan Staring (Pedercini Kawasaki) and fourth placed Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) having a real fight at the end. Fifth was British rider Kev Coghlan (DMC Ducati Panigale).
Results: 1. La Marra (Ducati) 10 Laps/59.020 km in 21'42.623 average 163.111 kph; 2. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 0.241; 3. Staring (Kawasaki) 3.054; 4. Barrier (BMW) 3.198; 5. Coghlan (Ducati) 7.920; 6. Bergman (Kawasaki) 12.551; 7. Jezek (Ducati) 15.888; 8. Mercado (Kawasaki) 19.155; etc.
Points (after 7 of 10 rounds): 1. La Marra 119; 2. Barrier 88; 3. Staring 86; 4. Guarnoni 82; 5. Savadori 67; 6. Reiterberger 62; 7. Bergman 59; 8. Baroni 56; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 132; 2. Kawasaki 130; 3. BMW 116; 4. Honda 52; 5. Aprilia 17.
A red flag after two laps of the first running of the Superstock 600 race made for a five-lap restart. Michael van Der Mark (EAB Ten Kate Junior Team Honda) led for a while but eventually a four-rider fight developed. Gauthier Duwelz (MTM Yamaha) fell and the win was taken by Riccardo Russo (Team Italia FIM Yamaha). Second in a dramatic final corner lunge was van Der Mark, third was wild card Lee Jackson (Chris Walker Race School Kawasaki).
Results: 1. Russo (Yamaha) 5 Laps/29.510 km in 12'45.692 average 138.745 kph; 2. Vd Mark (Honda) 0.600; 3. Jackson (Kawasaki) 0.708; 4. Schacht (Honda) 7.941; 5. Chesaux (Honda) 10.527; 6. Nestorovic (Yamaha) 13.294; 7. Morbidelli (Yamaha) 14.507; 8. Gamarino (Kawasaki) 17.355; etc.
Points (after 7 of 10 rounds): 1. Russo 147; 2. Vd Mark 144; 3. Duwelz 78; 4. Calero Perez 53; 5. Vitali 53; 6. Gamarino 49; 7. Schacht 48; 8. Nestorovic 47; etc.
KTM European Junior Cup
Jamie Patterson from Northern Ireland secured a win at Silverstone, just 0.327 seconds ahead of Connor Parkhill and Brandon Kyee seven seconds back on the winner. The five-lap race result means that in the championship Lukas Wimmer leads Javier Orellana 70 points to 62. Gaston Garcia was fourth at Silverstone.
Results: 1. Patterson (KTM) 5 Laps/29.510 km in 13'49.368 average 128.093 kph; 2. Parkhill (KTM) 0.327; 3. Kyee (KTM) 7.412; 4. Garcia (KTM) 9.573; 5. Pasek (KTM) 9.593; 6. Mikhalchik (KTM) 22.857; 7. Scarcella (KTM) 27.801; 8. Kaczmarek (KTM) 36.924; etc.
Points (after 6 of 8 rounds): 1. Wimmer 70; 2. Orellana 62; 3. Garcia 58; 4. Vidal 54; 5. Patterson 53; 6. Demoulin 48; 7. Pasek 46; 8. Wielebski 43; etc.
More, from a press release issued by Honda Superbike Team:
Rea salvages points at chaotic Silverstone
Jonathan Rea took fourth and ninth place finishes in today's two tenth round World Superbike championship races at Silverstone in the UK. The races were won by two French riders, Loris Baz and Sylvain Guintoli, as Rea's Honda World Superbike team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama also finished in the points.
The changeable weather was always going to play a big part in today's racing and it duly intervened early in the first 18-lap encounter, which was red-flagged after two laps when rain began to fall.
Rea got away well in the restart but ran wide on to the grass at turn five on the opening lap, re-joining the race in last position. However, the 25-year-old fought his way back through the field to battle for the race win, eventually crossing the line in fourth place as he tangled with Ayrton Badovini, both crashing unhurt immediately afterwards.
The start of race two was delayed at the end of the warm-up lap and then declared wet, as rain threatened the 5.9km Silverstone circuit once more. On the re-start Rea had climbed to a top ten position from 13th place on the opening lap when the heavier rain arrived. He crashed at turn one on lap nine but remounted as other also riders crashed out, causing the race to be red-flagged at the end of the lap.
After several minutes of confusion because the race had not reached two thirds distance, the result was declared on a two-lap count-back, with half points awarded Rea in ninth place and Aoyama 14th.
Jonathan Rea 4th and 9th
Race one was just crazy but I enjoyed it because I knew it would be tough to race for a win, but we genuinely had a shot at it there! I got a bit wide at turn five on the first lap and the rear came round when I hit the kerb and I was dead last. But I never gave up and it was nice to be in the hunt for the win until the last corner, which gave me motivation for race two. That was really strange starting on full wets when the track wasn't completely wet it was difficult for everyone though. I was looking after my tyre at the beginning, which is why I was so far back, but when the monsoon came I started to push a little bit. My crash, like pretty much everybody else's out there happened on the rear tyre, which had no grip. There have been so many crashes in the wet like that this year - off the gas, at the apex it's getting a bit frustrating. Overall, we took points out of the championship leaders, so it's not bee n a bad job today. To come away with a fourth and a ninth is better than I expected last night, so we'll take these results and move on.
Hiroshi Aoyama 13th and 14th
The races were made a little bit complicated by the weather and we started the first race with slick tyres like everybody, but in the middle of the race we got some rain. It got quite difficult when the rain was heavier, but in race two we started on rain tyres and there was no water! This was also critical, then in the middle of the race there was too much rain and everybody started to crash. In some parts of the track there was fuel or oil and it was very, very slippery. I tried to stay on the bike and finished 12th but, in the end, the result was confirmed as 14th, which was a pity. The feeling was not so bad in the wet and the dry and for the next race we got to a new racetrack in Moscow, which I look forward to.
Pieter Breddels technical co-ordinator
It's been quite a hectic day thanks to the varying weather conditions. Race one was difficult and wet in the end, but it was incredibly exciting. At the end it started to rain a bit more and Jonathan moved to the front and was battling for victory, but ended up fourth, so well done to him. Hiroshi was quite fast in the beginning and at the end, but lost a bit of time in the middle. Race two was wet and Hiroshi didn't have enough pace. Jonathan was moving towards the front before he crashed. The race was red-flagged soon after and they went two laps back for the result. A fourth and a ninth is not so bad after all because we struggled quite a bit in the first two days.
More, from a press release issued by Althea Racing:
ALTHEA RACING'S CARLOS CHECA LIMITS THE DAMAGE IN TODAY'S DIFFICULT SBK RACES AT SILVERSTONE
Silverstone (UK), Sunday 5th August 2012: a very difficult day's racing for team Althea and riders Carlos Checa and Davide Giugliano with heavy rain showers that conditioned both of today's SBK races at the Silverstone track. Despite the less than ideal circumstances, current champion Checa was able to score some good results, crossing the line in fifth and sixth place, while Davide secured points in race one thanks to a ninth place finish.
Race 1- Althea Racing had to battle against the elements again today with a first race that was declared dry, before being red-flagged and restarted as a 'wet' race that became increasingly difficult over the course of the 18-laps. Carlos made a good start to the restarted race and was sixth at the end of lap one while Davide was ninth through the first corners, slipping however to seventeenth by the end of the first lap. During the next few laps both riders were able to recover; Carlos passed a group of riders, including Biaggi and Sykes, and took the lead by lap five and Davide was up to twelfth by lap eight, having been the fastest rider on track in the early laps. Carlos built up a three second gap between himself and the chasing group, made up of Sykes, Camier and Haslam but on lap eight it began to rain and he was forced to reduce his speed. He lost several positions as a result but, evaluating the conditions, he decided it was preferable to finish the race rather than risk a crash. The current world champion thus crossed the line in fifth position, behind a group of four riders who battled it out right to the line, with two of them - Badovini and Rea - crashing just a fraction of a second after passing the chequered flag. Davide, despite suffering from pain in his right hand as a result of a crash on Friday and dealing with a small technical problem with his boot, fought long and hard against Laverty before making up a few places in the final stages to cross the line in final ninth position.
Race 2 the second race started exactly as the first had done, with the start delayed due to instable conditions. The race was then declared wet, as a result of the damp track. This time all riders opted for rain tyres and this proved to be the right decision, as heavy rainfall arrived as soon as the race got underway. Carlos lost ground in the opening stages and was in fourteenth place at the end of the first lap while Davide lay in ninth. Both found a good rhythm and while Carlos moved up through the field to reach sixth position, Davide, now fourth, was pushing to close the gap between himself and Baz, third. Reaching a very slippery section of the track, that was perhaps oil-coated, Davide unfortunately crashed out on lap six, with team-mate Carlos suffering the same fate just two laps later. The race was stopped during the course of the ninth lap, and half points were awarded according to riders' positions at the end of lap eight, meaning that Carlos scored five points for his sixth place finish.
At the end of Round ten of the championship Carlos is now in fourth position in the standings with a total of 220.5 points. Davide is now tenth with 106 points. Ducati lies in third position in the manufacturer's standings with 300 points behind Aprilia (302) and BMW (316).
"The conditions today, especially in race 1, were dangerous; racing in the wet with slick tyres is obviously no fun for anyway, although it probably makes for exciting races for the spectators. Before the rain started to fall I was going really well but then once the rain came, and certain sections of the track became wetter than others, I lost a bit of confidence and slowed down a bit, thinking that maybe one or two guys would come past me but instead there were five or six of them! In the final stages, when I saw how the front group was pushing and how hard it was just to stay upright, I chose to stay put and follow them rather than push and take risks. Fifth isn't bad considering the conditions. In race 2 I lost some ground at the start but then managed to make that up again over the subsequent laps to arrive close to Berger who was in fifth. I saw some oil on the track and went wide to avoid it I put my hand up at that point to indicate to Race Direction that conditions were getting worse but then I fell. Anyway, we've made up a few points in the standings and now we have to concentrate on the Russian round."
"In race 1, I decided to take it easy for the first couple of laps to see what conditions were really like and then I started to push and felt quite comfortable. Unfortunately once I got up near to Badovini I had a problem with my boot and I couldn't change gear easily. In the second race I had a strong pace and was feeling quite happy in the now full wet conditions. I was there in fourth and felt I was in a position to push and try to catch Baz for third but at a certain point I unexpectedly crashed I don't know it if was just me pushing too hard or if there was oil on the track but anyway there was nothing I could do. It's a pity because I know I had the pace in that race and could have taken a good result."
More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad Motorsport:
Sunday, 5th August 2012.
Weather conditions: Cloudy with rain showers, thunderstorms and some sun.
Temperature: Air: 17 19 Â°C, Track: 27 34 Â°C
Number of riders participating: 23/21 from 13 teams
Fastest lap Race 1: Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet SBK Team) 2:06.764 min
Fastest lap Race 2: Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) 2:24.324 min
At the tenth round of the 2012 FIM Superbike World Championship, BMW Motorrad extended its lead in the Manufacturers' Classification of the FIM Superbike World Championship. In the Riders' Standings factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA) reduced his gap to leader Max Biaggi (ITA). Despite this Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport experienced a difficult Sunday with extra tricky conditions at Silverstone (GBR). Rain showers and thunderstorms made racing a lottery. Marco finished the difficult races in seventh and eighth respectively, securing important points. His team-mate, local hero Leon Haslam (GBR), was on course to win race one, but once again had bad luck and had to settle with sixth and 17th in the two races.
Race one started in dry conditions, although black clouds were already hanging over the track. At the start Leon took the lead, coming from fourth. But the race had to be red flagged during the first lap as it had started to rain and several riders crashed. More than half an hour later the race was restarted as a "wet race". The rain had stopped, but the track was still damp. Most of the riders opted for slicks, including Leon and Marco. Leon took the lead on lap two, but slipped back to second behind Carlos Checa (ESP) on lap five. After that the Englishman was involved in an exciting fight for the podium places, and fought his way back into the lead on lap 13. He was then able to open a gap to the rest of the field. However, the rain became heavier, making the conditions tricky for the riders on slicks, and second placed Leon Camier (GBR) crashed on lap 15. As the race continued in the rain, Leon was struggling with grip as the temperature of his rear tyre went down and he was not able to defend his lead against the closely packed field that was chasing him. He finished the race in sixth. Marco was struggling with the conditions from the start, but rode a steady race and crossed the line in seventh. Michel Fabrizio and Ayrton Badovini (both ITA) finished second and third respectively, so securing the first podium positions in the Superbike World Championship for the BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet SBK Team.
There was even more drama in race two. On the warm-up lap it started to rain lightly while a thunderstorm was getting nearer the track. The start was delayed and the race reduced to 17 laps. This time, Leon and Marco opted for rain tyres and, in fact, the rain became heavier with every lap and the conditions worsened. In addition on lap eight there was oil on the track causing one rider after another to crash. Leon also fell, but was able to continue. When the leaders were on their tenth lap the race was red flagged after several crashes. At this point, Marco was sixth and Leon had fought his way back to 14th. As some riders had not completed their ninth lap when the red flag was shown, the result was declared as the positions after lap eight. Marco was classified eighth and Leon 17th. Fabrizio was 13th, while Badovini also crashed on lap eight. For this race only half points were awarded.
In the Riders' Championship, second placed Marco now has 263.5 points and has reduced his gap to leader Biaggi to 10.5 points. Leon is sixth with 170 points. In the Manufacturers' Standings BMW now has 316 points and has extended its lead to 13.5 points over Aprilia. The races were won by Loris Baz and Sylvain Guintoli (both FRA).
Result Race 1: 6th / Gap to 1st: 00:02.619 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 2:07.524 min
Result Race 2: 17th / Gap to 1st: 00:58.530 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 2:27.850 min
"It was another bad race day. It wasn't the fault of the team or the bike. We could have won race one, but were unfortunate with the weather and the tyre. In race two we had an issue during the first half, and there was something strange with the centre of the tyre when it was dry. The more and more it rained the better the tyre became and I started to catch the guys again, but then I crashed on some oil. I was able to get back into the race and moved up to 14th, but then it was red flagged and the classification was based on the result after lap eight, so I was out of the points. It is really frustrating. They should have stopped the race before that."
Result Race 1: 7th / Gap to 1st: 00:06.123 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 2:07.596 min
Result Race 2: 8th / Gap to 1st: 00:26.197 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 2:28.664 min
"This day was actually unbelievable. The two races were completely different, but they were both equally as difficult. It was very important to finish today. Many young riders who are not involved in the championship fight were pushing very hard, so the races were not easy. However, I am so happy because we leave here without any damage and good points. Now I am looking forward to Moscow because the track is new for everybody. I just hope the weather will be more stable there."
Andrea Dosoli (Head of Race Operations):
"Overall we are happy because BMW increased its lead in the Manufacturers' Championship, and that was also thanks to the good job done by Michel Fabrizio and Ayrton Badovini. On top of that we reduced Marco's gap to Max Biaggi, but we would have preferred to achieve these results in a fair competition with proper track conditions. The conditions were extreme and dangerous for the riders. I am happy with the job done by Leon and Marco because they were able to manage two very difficult races. Marco realised under these extreme circumstances there was nothing to be gained by taking any unnecessary risk. He took the right decision in the fight for the World Championship. Unfortunately Leon crashed in the second race on some oil on the wet track, otherwise he would have been much further up in the results. In race one Leon deserved a better result because he was able to lead the race. We are sure he can soon achieve his target and get this top result he deserves."
More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki News Service:
FIXI Crescent Suzuki racers Leon Camier and John Hopkins had mixed fortunes during today's 10th round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship from Silverstone in England as inclement weather caused chaos in both races.
Camier looked like he would take a podium in the first race - which had already been red-flagged and restarted due to an earlier incident - as he moved up into second place with only four laps remaining, after an impressive race had seen him battle through the field to move into a top-three position. Unfortunately the conditions caught out the Englishman and he crashed in a wet part of the track. He tried to re-mount but was unable to continue, leaving him bitterly disappointed at what might have been. In the second race Camier had to take evasive action and get off the track as a mechanical issue made him head to the gravel and an early retirement. Camier had looked good on track all weekend and the Silverstone crowd rose to applaud his efforts as he walked back to the pits with little reward from his promising performances.
Hopkins scored his best result of the season so far during today's second race, as he continued his return to form. The event was started late due to rain beginning to fall over the 5,902m circuit, which increased as the race wore on. Hopkins made a solid start on his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R and was looking comfortable and smooth in the very tricky conditions. As the race progressed the rain got heavier, causing many riders to crash and the red flag being shown to stop the race. Although the race was ended early a result was declared and Hopkins finished in 10th to give him his first top-10 of the season. In race one he suffered an electrical fault and was forced to retire early.
Today's races were held in mixed and difficult conditions with crashes, red flags and unusual results being the order of the day. The first race was won by Frenchman Loris Baz on a Kawasaki, with his fellow countryman Sylvain Guintoli taking victory in the second event. Max Biaggi still leads the championship, with Marco Melandri now closing the gap to just 10.5 points after today.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki will next be in action at the new Moscow circuit on Sunday 26th August, when World Superbikes visits Russia for the first time, but Camier, Hopkins and the rest of the team will be on-hand at the Crescent HQ in Verwood, England tomorrow evening (Monday), for a very special open evening in honour of the team, that starts at 17.30 local time and is open to all fans and visitors.
"It's been a frustrating day really because I felt we had the pace in the wet or dry after setting the fastest lap of the weekend in free practice and the qualifying in second in the wet. These are both positive things for me and the team, but unfortunately the results didn't come today. It was very difficult conditions in race one and easy to make a mistake. I didn't think I did anything wrong, but the rear came round and high-sided me off, so that was it - which was really annoying as a podium was possible. In race two the bike felt all over the place in the drier conditions, but as it rained more the wet tyres worked better and it felt good. We had an engine problem early on and it meant that we couldn't complete the race, which, as I said, was very frustrating. Although I took no points this weekend, I'm not too disappointed because we had really good pace, the bike has improved and we showed we have a really good chance of getting results now."
"In the first race the conditions were quite tricky and I got banged-up a bit in the first couple of corners and dropped back quite a lot. We had made some set-up changes just before the race and they might have hindered us a bit, because I never really got to grips with it and I got stuck in a group lower down the order, but then unfortunately I had an electrical issue that put me out of the race, so that was a bit disappointing. In race two we were hoping it would be either full wet or totally dry. We took the gamble with wet tyres and it rained as we got to the grid so it was the correct choice. I got off the line well enough and had a good race from the start. Then it started to rain heavily and it was carnage out there, lots of guys crashed and we were all hydroplaning, which was a shame because I felt good out there before that and the FIXI Crescent Suzuki GSX-R was going really well and I am sure we could have finished higher than 10th. The bike had huge potential here this weekend, the engine was working strong, I'd made a break-through in confidence and was feeling good, but for one reason or another it didn't quite come together in the race, but it is what it is and that's how racing goes. The bike is a lot better now and that is something we can take forward into the remaining races."
Jack Valentine - Team Manager:
"It started off a good weekend with plenty of positives. Leon was running strong in all sessions despite the conditions and John showed signs of his old self as his confidence started to return and it was good to see him in the top-10. We qualified well and just missed out on the pole, but it was the team's first front row start of 2012, which was great at the home round for all our sponsors, guests and fans. The results on race-day were a bit disappointing, but we have shown that the team can now run at the sharp-end - where we should be - and we have made big steps this weekend on the engine side of things. Both riders said they were happy with the improved performance and as Leon showed, it helped him run up towards the front, which he hasn't been able to do up until now.
"We will now go back to the workshop and work on what we have learned this weekend with our engine partners Yoshimura, to try and find some more improvements for Moscow and try to continue in the same way there as we did here at Silverstone this weekend."