Aug 6, 2012
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Max Biaggi (3).
MAX BIAGGI DEFENDS HIS LEAD IN THE WORLD SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP DESPITE THE DIFFICULTIES AT SILVERSTONE.
FOURTH PLACE FOR EUGENE LAVERTY IN RACE 2 AFTER STRUGGLING IN THE FIRST PART.
Silverstone (UK) It was a complicated Sunday at Silverstone for the Aprilia Racing Team, but it ended with Max Biaggi's leadership intact. There was no escape from the weather for World Superbike on race day, confirming the unpredictability seen earlier in the weekend.
Race 1 started under dark clouds but track conditions influenced all the riders to choose slicks. In the brawl that broke out on the slippery asphalt, Max Biaggi managed to claw his way into sixth position, only to suffer an unfortunate crash just a few kilometres from the end of the race.
Race 2, on the other hand, was wet, with increasingly hard rain until it was finally red flagged during the tenth lap. Max's race was starting to take a turn for the better, with the Corsair's feeling improving lap by lap. The interruption, due to oil and petrol on the track, led to the finishing order being decided based on the eighth lap raced, which had Max Biaggi in eleventh place, with half points awarded.
"In Race 1 I brushed onto the white line and the bike got away from me, a passable mistake. It was a shame though, because the sixth place I was defending was a good position, considering the conditions. In my opinion stopping Race 2 was the right decision, you could see oil or petrol on some of the turns and it was too dangerous. My lead has been cut in half that's the outcome of the weekend, so now we'll focus on Moscow where we're starting from scratch on a track that is new to everyone".
Disappointment for Eugene Laverty, despite a good fourth place in Race 2. In fact, the rider from Toomebridge was penalised by the race suspension that came when he was fighting for the podium and recovering important seconds on his rivals. Eugene's feeling in the wet was very promising, while in the first race he struggled and gritted his teeth to take tenth place.
"In the first race we had a few problems, but the important thing was to finish and take some points home. In Race 2 the set-up on my RSV4 wasn't working very well with damp asphalt, but when the heavens opened my pace increased as well. I recovered several positions and I could have improved even more but the race was called. The rules were enforced correctly, although I think they could have considered the next lap as they had done initially".
More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:
Baz Scores Brilliant First Win And Another Podium
WSBK, Silverstone, Great Britain
Loris Baz took his Kawasaki Racing Team Ninja ZX-10R to a race one victory and then second place in race two at Silverstone, on a day when Tom Sykes defended his third place in the points table.
Baz won an incredibly confused first race, which was delayed as the weather went from reasonably dry to wet, after pushing his way to the front of a group of riders who were running slick tyres on a damp surface. Risking a lot but riding assuredly Baz ignored that fact that this was only his 11th race start at this level of competition, and he became the second youngest rider in SBK history to win a full SBK race.
In race two, his 12th career SBK race, Baz finished second in strange circumstances. Running on wets on a track that got wetter and eventually covered in both oil and fuel from other rider's machines, Baz hunted down early leaders Sylvain Guintoli and Jakub Smrz. When in the lead on lap ten Baz was to fall but the race was stopped soon after, and thanks to the count back rules, it as called a result after only eight laps, placing Loris second overall. Half points were awarded, so Loris got ten points and not the 20 he would have normally been awarded, with race winner Guintoli getting 12.5.
For Sykes the promise of much at Silverstone was washed away by the weather and simple bad luck. Having had his bike rebuilt before raceday his set-up in race one did not last all the distance, and his lap one lead ended up as eighth place. In race two he fell on oil or fuel, which had been spilled on a wet track and with many other riders he persuaded Race Control to stop the race. He would finally be classified 12th.
Most importantly for Tom, his main championship rivals also had tough days so he kept third place overall. He is now 51.5 points behind the leader Max Biaggi, and 41 points behind second place rider Marco Melandri.
Kawasaki Team Pedercini Superbike rider David Salom was 15th and then a retiree in race two. His team-mate at Silverstone David Johnson fell in the first attempt to run race one, and did not start the real race one or race two.
Superstock 1000 FIM Cup rider Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS) was only 0.2 seconds from the win after a strong ride from the Frenchman and a great fight from Bryan Staring (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) put him third. In the points Staring is third, Guarnoni fourth, with three rounds remaining.
Loris Baz: "It is really special to win and to win in England because I raced here in BSB last year for a while. I would also like to thank Kawasaki for believing in me. We made no mistakes in race one and finished up front. I think in the dry we are also really fast and we can fight for the first five or seven places. I chose the slick tyre because it was the best choice in race one. The conditions in race one were crazy for a while and early on I was missing some grip but when I saw the rains coming I pushed hard even though it was quite wet but I stayed on the bike and I am really happy, as you can imagine, for this victory. I want to thank all the team and we are also thinking of Joan Lascorz, because this victory is for him now. As for race two it was amazing to be here inside the top three again. The start of race two was not so wet so I just tried to keep my tyres, and then it started to move back up to Kuba and Sylvain, passed them both and them before falling, I think it was the right decision to take the race results back to lap eight because there was a lot of fuel on the track for two laps, and a lot of water. I am really happy and thanks to all my crew and Kawasaki again."
Tom Sykes: "The general conditions in race two I was very annoyed about. For sure there was some contamination on the track, it was very greasy and I saw it for two laps and had tried to get the race red flagged. Lots of people crashed and it was red flagged on the lap I crashed. Now, lots of people have been put in the results from previous laps. It could have been worse today but I am disappointed that we did not come away with more points when we could have done. We are still third in the championship so we will just forget this one and move on."
More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:
Sofuoglu Top Kawasaki Rider In England And Still Championship Leader
WSS, Silverstone, Great Britain
Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Lorenzini) left Silverstone with his championship lead trimmed a little after finishing in a battling fifth place, with two other top Kawasaki riders just behind him.
Kenan had been pushed off track early in the 16-lap contest and had to work hard to get close to the leading pack of four, but he was unable to close that gap and settled for fifth place. His injured left knee joint was not the problem in the race that he feared it may be.
Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki Lorenzini) improved on his qualifying position to get seventh place after a strong ride through the field, and he now sits sixth overall.
Kawasaki Intermoto Step rider Fabien Foret was sixth in the race after not finding a perfect set-up due to weather conditions in qualifying and practice. he remains in the championship hunt in fourth place.
Romain Lanusse (Kawasaki Intermoto Step) scored 14th place and MSD R-N Racing Team India rider Florian Marino was 19th, despite getting a ride through penalty for jump-starting. Joshua Day (GoEleven Kawasaki) and Kawasaki rider Dan Linfoot (MSD R-N Racing Team India) failed to finish.
Kenan Sofuoglu: "My knee was OK but in the early laps some riders touched each other and I almost crashed, then had to run straight on. When I got back on I think I was in about 20th position. Then I pushed hard to come back. But the problem is that we did not make a real dry session all weekend so my bike was not really set-up for dry conditions. I pushed as much as possible but I made lots of risk. I tried to close up to the front and I think I did so for a while, but there was not enough time. I eased it a bit on the last two or three laps. Anyway, only fifth but we made points and we can look forward to the next race."
Sheridan Morais: "I had a good race really, to come back from 15th to seventh was not bad but I think we could have done a bit better had the conditions in practice not been so tricky this weekend. I am happy with the setup given that situation so the guys did a really good job again. I think we could have changed one or two small things but we did the best we could have. I am happy and really grateful to all the guys involved."
Fabien Foret: "I have to admit that because of the conditions in practice we were running late in settings and so on. Also, starting from where I was starting from I gambled on a soft tyre, but it was just the wrong choice. I finished where I finished because of that, but it is all ifs and buts. It cannot always be like it was in Brno so let us move on to Russia and try for the same as Brno."
More, from a press release issued by Bel-Ray:
Bel-Ray's teams competing in World Superbike and World Motocross were in action this past weekend with events taking place in the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom.
Mother Nature reared her ugly head this past weekend at the World Superbike round held at the famous Silverstone circuit in the United Kingdom. The heavy showers caused a red flag condition in the first race and delayed the start of the second.
Bel-Ray backed Team Althea racer Carlos Checa rode conservatively in an effort to score points and maintain his hopes for a repeat world championship. Teammate Giugliano was able to score points in the first race despite racing with an injured right hand from a crash that occurred in Friday qualifying.
Checa spoke about his conservative approach to the day following the race. "The conditions today, especially in race 1, were dangerous; racing in the wet with slick tires 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. Anyway, we've made up a few points in the standings and now we have to concentrate on the Russian round."
Giugliano was disappointed that he could not finish as well as he hoped and discussed this following the race. "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."
With ten rounds of the series completed, Checa is fourth and Giugliano tenth in the overall series' standings. The series will take a three week break before returning to action in Russia on August 26th.