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Jul 29, 2013

More From This Past Weekend's Various Motorcycle Road Races

CIV/Italian Superbike Championship: Sebastien Gimbert (7) on his BMW S1000RR at Imola.
Imola, Italy - 28 July 2013: Sébastien Gimbert was disappointed to leave Imola with no points, after two mechanical issues saw the 35-year-old French rider fail to finish in both races this weekend.

Rounds seven and eight of the CIV Superbike Championship at Imola marked Gimbert's return to racing, after fracturing the ulna and radius in his left arm in a qualifying crash at Vallelunga just two months ago. With temperatures hovering around 40°C on both days, the Frenchman couldn't have chosen more physically demanding conditions in which to make his racing return.

Despite the heat, and the missed rounds at Misano as he recovered from his injuries, Gimbert was immediately back on the pace at Imola, qualifying his Michelin shod BMW HP4 in ninth position for yesterday's opening Superbike race.

A good start in race one was negated when the former French Superbike Champion couldn't downshift to second gear and ran off track in the final chicane, re-joining the race well down the field. Gimbert soldiered on, making up places on the opening laps, but continued to struggle with downshifts, which eventually led to him losing the front and crashing out at the final chicane on the second lap.

Determined to make amends with a strong finish in today's second Superbike race, Gimbert was left frustrated when he lost power from the engine and was left with no other option but to retire once again from the race.

Gimbert will return to action with BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent at the 8 Hours of Oschersleben in August, the third round of the Endurance World Championship, before returning to Italy in September for the final two rounds of the CIV Superbike Championship at Mugello.

Sébastien Gimbert: Race 1 - DNF, Race 2 - DNF
"I came to Imola looking for a win on my return to the championship after injury, but the bike had other ideas this weekend. In race one I couldn't downshift going into the last chicane on the opening lap and I lost ground after running off track. I tried to continue, but on the second lap it happened again and I went into the chicane one gear too high and 20 km/h too fast, lost the front and that was that. We made some changes to the gearbox overnight and I was looking forward to making amends in the second race today. Things were looking good from the start, but then the bike suddenly lost power and I had no choice but to retire. I think the high temperatures today maybe caused the engine to overheat, which triggered the electronics to shut it down as a precaution. I'm disappointed not to have finished in either race, but now I need to put this weekend behind me and focus on my return to the Endurance World Championship at Oschersleben next month."

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

Yoshimura Suzuki's Takuya Tsuda, Nobu Aoki and Josh Brookes finished second in the Suzuka 8-Hour World Endurance Championship race in Japan on Sunday, despite a crash and a 30-second time penalty; as Team Kagayama - former World 500cc GP Champion Kevin Schwantz, Nori Haga and Yukio Kagayama - put its GSX-R1000 on the third step of the podium.

And making it three Suzuki GSX-R1000s in the top four of Japan's most-prestigious motorcycle event - won by Musashi RT HARC PRO's Takumi Takahashi, Leon Haslam and young 20-year-old Dutchman Michael van der Mark - was reigning World Endurance Champions Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT) with Vincent Philippe, Anthony Delhalle and Julien Da Costa taking the championship lead after two rounds.

Yoshimura Suzuki finished on the same 214th lap as the winners and also set the second-fastest race lap-time of 2'09.144. The fastest race lap of 2'08.827 was set by FCC TSR Honda's Ryuichi Kiyonari, who crashed just before the half-way stage.

Team Kagayama finished-up just one lap behind on 213, with SERT on 213, Yamaha France GMT94 on 212 and Honda Team Asia on 211 laps.

A huge crowd of 61,000 flocked into the circuit at Suzuka to see Japan's finest riders mix-it with some of the top riders from World Endurance, World Superbike and domestic championships, plus Suzuki's 1993 World 500cc GP Champion Schwantz, who proved, at the age of 49, he can still put-in fast and consistent lap-times.

Yoshimura Suzuki's Tsuda, who started from second place on the grid, took the lead from the start from pole-setter Katsuyuki Nakasuga (Monster Energy YART) in the 36th Coca-Cola Zero Suzuka 8-Hours race; and set the early pace until Nakasuga took over; and then Musashi's first rider on track, Takahashi, shortly afterwards.

After the first hour, Yoshimura Suzuki held third position with Team Kagayama fourth and SERT seventh. Three hours in, Team Kagayama moved into second position as Aoki was given a stop-go penalty for allegedly infringing pit-lane speed; and then Brookes suffered a get-off. But the Australian held onto the bike, kept it running while picking it up ; and finished his full stint (one of four) - a move that earned him even more respect from the team and his new team-mates.
Yoshimura then fought its way back into second place ahead of Team Kagayama at the four-hour stage ; a position the team held until the flag; and as the rain started to fall and darkness closed-in, Yoshimura Suzuki stayed-out on track with its original tyres and chose not to 'Pit' to change to Wets - as several other teams chose to.

Takuya Tsuda:

"I went into the race as a first rider and I know this first hour is very important for the result. Luckily I grabbed the holeshot but I was passed by Takumi Takahashi after about 40 minutes. Our bike, developed by Nobu Aoki mainly and myself with set-ups, was good and the Bridgestone tyres were also good, but I couldn't use the hard tyre for high track temperatures. I feel very frustrated to not able to win, but I also feel happy to be in second place for our team and our staff. I understand my weak points from the race and I would like to be a faster rider and return to the Suzuka 8-Hour next year!"

Nobuatsu Aoki:

"I am very sorry that I was given a penalty for speeding in the pit-lane. It gave Takuya and Josh a lot of pressure. When I jumped onto the bike, I didn't touch the speed limiter switch. It is stupid mistake! Especially for Josh, who managed to catch-up with the front runners again and was pushing hard, which is maybe why he crashed."

Josh Brookes:

"It's a great feeling, but I'm a little disappointing for my mistake in the race, because I know the Suzuka 8 Hours is great race and very important in all aspects for the manufacturers, sponsors and fans. When I crashed, I didn't let-go of the handlebars; I was dragged by the bike. It was like a trophy you don't want to let go of! I tried so hard, it is a great honour to be here as part of the team; and I'd like to come back again. Thank you to everyone at Yoshimura for this. The bike was perfect and I know we could have won had it not been for a mistake."

Yukio Kagayama:

"I am very happy for we got on the podium! The Dunlop tyres worked perfectly and the Suzuki GSX-R1000, powered by the Yoshimura engine, gave an awesome performance. Plus, our team-staff made no mistakes in endurance pit-work. Our team was supported by many small sponsors, so I really appreciate them and would like to thank them. I'm very happy to have Kevin-san on the podium and Nori has supported me a great deal! I think so many people came to Suzuka because of Kevin and that Nori was riding our Suzuki. I hope that Suzuki, Honda Yamaha and Kawasaki - all manufacturers - put power into motorsports again like in the 1990's. It feels unbelievable to be on the podium with my hero Kevin Schwantz!"

Kevin Schwantz:

"I know this race is not easy to win. But this time Yukio made a very good team. This was the only condition that I asked of him coming to Japan to enter this race again. He has changed his Japanese Superbike team to a World Endurance top contender. Yukio's effort was great! I tested so many tyres and set-ups for bike and we found a lot of potential. In the race, I only did one stint but I really enjoyed racing with the young Japanese riders. We got third place for the race and thank you to every one of our team staff. Yukio said to me 'You are my idol!,' but I would like to say to Yukio 'You are a Superstar!"

More, from a press release issued by Yamaha Racing:

Yamaha Closes on World Endurance Title Following Suzuka 8 Hrs Challenge

The Monster Energy Yamaha Austria Racing Team took another step closer to the World Endurance title yesterday, moving to second in the standings after taking valuable championship points in the gruelling Suzuka 8Hr race. Three-time All Japan Superbike champion Katsuyuki Nakasuga had put the Yamaha YZF-R1 on pole position for the race for the second year running, giving himself and riders Broc Parkes and Josh Waters the best possible start. The Yamaha France GMT94 team also delivered a strong performance to move into third in the overall standings after an impressive fifth place finish in the race.

The first three hours of the race saw the team showing their full performance potential, battling within the top three positions with the prospect of either a podium or a race win a very real possibility. The potential was to be hampered however when an oil leak was discovered during a rider change-over, costing the mechanics four laps to repair. Having got the bike back on track with a highly motivated Waters on board, the rain then fell, causing an extra pit stop to change from slick tyres to wets. Despite the issues YART still managed to secure eighth at the end, taking enough points to move them to second in the Championship on 46 points, just three behind the leaders.

Monster Energy Yamaha Austria Team Manager - Mandy Kainz -
"The one side of the bike was completely covered in oil at the rider change-over, the repair cost us four laps and unfortunately a potential place on the victory podium. Shortly before we had our regular rider change we sent Josh onto the track with slicks. Just one lap later came the big rain. This is called bad luck! Anyway, the team and the R1 again showed their strong potential and we are in a good place in the standings to fight for the title.”

The Yamaha France GMT94 Team were again extremely consistent with their performance, David Checa again impressing with a superb ride. Checa and teammates Matthieu Lagrive and Kenny Foray were on track to repeat their 2012 podium performance and were running within one minute of the front pack when the rain came down. Checa took a gamble to stay out on slicks but as the rain increased was forced to pit a lap later to change, resulting in a fifth place finish at the line. The result also gains valuable Championship points for the Yamaha France team, putting them in third in Championship on 42 points, four behind the Yamaha Austria team.

Yamaha France GMT94 Team Manager - Christophe Guyot -
"David Checa once again demonstrated his talent and motivation. Kenny Foray and Matthieu Lagrive have also provided a remarkable job. Unfortunately our gamble with tyres did not work. A podium would have been a nice reward for Michelin, Yamaha, our partners and our team. However, we scored valuable points for the Championship. Roll on next year to relive the excitement of this great race. Meanwhile, we are already focused on our next meeting, the 8 hours of Oschersleben."

The Championship will now move on to the Eight Hours of Oschersleben in Germany on August 17th.

Suzuka Eight Hours Results:
1. Musashi HARC-PRO (Takahashi, Haslam, van der Mark), Honda CBR1000RR.
2. Yoshimura Suzuki (Tsuda, Brookes, Aoki), Suzuki GSX-R1000.
3. Team Kagayama (Kagayama, Schwantz, Haga), Suzuki GSX-R1000.
4. Suzuki Endurance (Philippe, Delhalle, da Costa), Suzuki GSX-R1000.
5. Yamaha France GMT94 (Checa, Foray, Lagrive) Yamaha YZF-R1.
6. TOHO Racing with MORIWAKI (Yamaguchi, Itoh, Watanabe), Honda CBR1000RR.
7. Honda Team Asia (Tamada, Kamaruzaman, Takahashi), Honda CBR1000RR.
8. Monster Energy Yamaha Austria (Nakasuga, Parkes, Waters), Yamaha YZF-R1.
9. Honda Kunamoto (Yoshida, Hideo Kojima, Tokudome), Honda CBR1000RR.
10. R2CL (Giabbani, Shinjo, Buisson), Suzuki GSX-R1000.

2013 World Endurance Championship Standings:
1. Suzuki Endurance, 49 points.
2. Monster Energy Yamaha Austria, 46 points.
3. Yamaha France GMT94, 42 points.
4. SRC Kawasaki, 40 points.
5. MuSASHI HARC-PRO, 35 points.

More, from a press release issued by

Seven times for Kelsey

Georgetown, Texas rider Danny S. Kelsey posted seven critical wins during the seventh round of the CMRA Sprint Championship series hosted at Texas World Speedway in College Station, Texas. The event concluded the most grueling schedule the team has had to ever undertake with the event being the sixth event over the last 10 weeks.

Although the team normally uses Fridays to setup the team’s Pirelli shod GSX-R750 and GSX-R1000 during Lone Star Track Day events, Kelsey would only get eight laps on Friday as he was receiving a top performance award at his “day job” with Performance Facility Controls during a sales conference in Houston, Texas. Regardless, Kelsey was able to get to the track by 3:00 and got to put in a few laps and post a 1:45.2 after four laps of practice. This was a very promising sign as the team was deploying the first significant upgrades to the Dynojet and M4 Exhaust-equipped GSX-R1000 as a result of data gained during the Mid-Ohio and Barber AMA Pro events.

With limited track time on Friday, Kelsey decided to use the Solo 30 and Team 60 events held Saturday to ensure the performance of the team’s Suzuki motorcycles would be up to the challenge of the CMRA sprint competition on Sunday. The Solo 30 race was a solid win with Kelsey posting a 1:44.534 during the event on his GSX-R1000. Kelsey then was awarded his second win for Saturday’s events during the Team 60 event as he rode his GSX-R750 and posted the fastest lap of the race with a 1:46.994 despite using a Pirelli SC2 Diablo Supercorsa front tire with over 50 laps on it prior to the race.

Crew Chief Marcus McBain and Kelsey reviewed the data gained on Saturday and made some more changes on the GSX-R1000 to ensure maximum performance. After the brief Sunday morning practice sessions, Kelsey prepared for Breast Cancer Research Awareness Formula One qualifying. The rider wasted no time getting to business and posted the fastest lap of the weekend with a 1:43.369 on the second lap of qualifying.

Kelsey proceeded to take wins in B Superstock, A Superstock, Breast Cancer Research Awareness Formula One race, and B Superbike. This marked 30 consecutive Sunday wins for Kelsey which really underscores the amazing season he is having.

Danny Kelsey – Lead Rider

“It has been a lot of fun this run the last couple of months, but I am really looking forward to being home for a few weeks. I am ready to spend time at home with my wife and daughter without any racing. I am very thankful to all of our sponsors and supporters. After Formula One Qualifying Sunday morning, Marcus and I talked about the rest of the day and we agreed let’s just finish Sunday with no mistakes. We are all tired and need some rest. It is nice though to be able to still perform the way we have despite the tremendous amount of travel, work, and stress over the last couple of months.”

Marcus McBain – Crew Chief

“I am really proud of Danny and what he has accomplished. In the last 10 weeks, Danny has become a father, rode at six events where he did at least 100 laps each weekend, and he also has a “real job” where he also is a top performer. To be able to perform at the level he has with that much in his life really should show how great of a rider he is. We are all looking forward to a week or two away from the track, but I am sure that we will be fired up for the next race and ready to go racing within a few days!”

The team thanks KMC Controls, Dynojet, Pirelli, JRi Shocks, GP Suspension, Silkolene, M4 Exhausts, RS-Taichi Apparel, Moto Liberty, South Central Race Center, Motopia, DP Brakes, K’s Motorsports, Lone Star Track Days, Racing Engine Services, Hotbodies Racing, WRW Racing, Shoei Helmets, and Raceworx for their tremendous Support. Danny Kelsey and will be back in action August 24-25 at Motorsport Ranch in Cresson, Texas.

More, from a press release issued by KMR Kawasaki:

Wins continue for KMR Kawasaki

The KMR Kawasaki team's successful 2013 season continued on Saturday with both Jamie Hamilton and Connor Behan tasting victory at the Armoy Road Races. The duo were first past the chequered flag in the Supertwins and Senior Support races respectively whilst they also enjoyed excellent results in their other races, never finishing outside of the top six.

Hamilton maintained his 100% winning record in the Supertwins class although a lap record for team-mate on the day Jeremy McWilliams meant it was close at the end of the seven laps with just 0.082s separating the duo! He was also well on the pace in his three other races, taking fourth in the Supersport 600cc race, just a second behind Guy Martin, sixth in the Superbike race and fifth in the Grand Final where he set a new personal best lap around the 3-mile circuit at 102.822mph.

Behan was also in excellent form and, after taking a close second - by 0.106s - to Mark Hanna in the Junior Support race on board the 650cc ER6 Kawasaki, he then went one better in the Senior Support race to claim his first road race win on the 636cc Kawasaki. Aided by a new class lap record of 97.748mph, the Northwich youngster turned the tables on Hanna to cross the line first albeit by the tiny margin of 0.047s!

Speaking later, a delighted team boss Ryan Farquhar commented; "It's been a really good weekend, certainly one of the best of the year and with the weather being so good, everything's gone really well. I must admit, I was a bit apprehensive before the Supertwins race as I knew Jamie really wanted to win and with Jeremy being Jeremy, he wanted the same even if it was his first ever National road race! As it turned out the pair of them had excellent rides and there was hardly anything between them. With a 1-2 and a new lap record, it was a great result for the team."

"I went out on Connor's bike to take the Newcomers round and again in a couple of parade laps and the set-up just didn't feel right so we made a few changes prior to the race and it paid dividends as was able to take his first Senior Support race win. He almost made it a double in the Junior race and both of them were very close races so to take first and second was an excellent effort once more. All in all it's been a good weekend and all of the riders did well so we can now look forward to the Mid-Antrim next weekend. Jamie's been riding the Superstock bike since the TT but I'm hoping to have the Superbike back out on the grid and that will be great for all concerned."

The team now heads to the Mid Antrim 150 road races with the meeting taking place on Saturday 3rd August.

More, from a press release issued by KWS Motorsports:

KWS Riders Swap Podium Positions at Miller Motorpsorts WERA National

Starting into the second half of the WERA National Challenge Series at Miller Motorsports Park. Fast lap times from the start of the weekend saw great racing and battles for positions right to the checkered flag. It was also a doubleheader weekend for the National points races, with lots of points up for grabs.

The first race on Saturday was the A Superstock race. The green flag dropped and the riders raced down the long front straightaway battling for positions going into turn 1. As they came around on the first lap the leader had a started a small gap with Sean Dwyer and Luie Zendajas nose to tail trying to get into the draft. They went at it the whole race with Zendajas Just edging out his team mate to take the second and third spots on the podium. The final race of the day was the WERA Superbike 8 lap race which also saw many of the Masters Of the Mountain riders joining the WERA National regulars for a vary stacked field. The race was going as expected with riders settling into positions until lap 4 when the red flag came out. After a few minutes for clean up, it was decided to have a full restart of the 8 laps. Another great battle for positions continued throughout the race, but lap times started to drop with so many laps on the same tires and track temperature's in the 120's. Dwyer took the checkered flag in sixth postion with Zendajas a few spots back in ninth.

Sunday was a new day with much cooler temperatures and track conditions more favorable for faster lap times. The A Superstock race was first up again. As everyone went out for the sighting lap, large drops of rain started to come down. The race started and again saw a great battle with Dwer and Zendajas battling with each other as well as the leader. With the rain continuing to come down and starting to dampen the track everyone was being a little cautious of how hard to push their motorcycles. Coming onto the front stretch on lap three Dwyer had taken the lead, just as they crossed the finish line the race was red flagged for the weather and called complete.

The results reverted back a lap which saw Dwyer taking the second place postion with Zendajas in third. The rain continued to fall even harder which brought out a race delay in order to let it go by and resume racing. With this delay the 8 lap races of the day were shortened to 4 laps. Finally at close to 5:30 the WERA Supebike race went underway. The shortened race was even more of a battle with riders being aggressive to gain positions. Dwyer and Zendajas were able to improve from Saturday with fifth and seventh place finished respectively.

The next stop on the schedule is NOLA, September 14 & 15. Dwyer will be looking to hold onto his 3 point lead in A Superstock while Zendajas will work on his success with the fastest lap from last year's NOLA round to increase his current third place points standings.

Luie Zendejas - "I can't thank Micheal Godin enough for bringing such a well set up bike to this round. My KWS Motorsports, Millennium Technologies,, Knights Armaments Suzuki GSX-R 1000 was on pace this week. Coming all this way and going home with two podiums is a good way to end the weekend. Special thanks to Mike Fitzgerald (Thermosman Suspension) for the magic set up, and Julio Ruiz of Liquid Sky Sports ( for keeping us looking fresh with their top end apparel. Next stop NOLA!!"

Sean Dwyer - "Miller is probably my favorite track on the WERA National schedule, so I was looking forward to this race. We started with the settings that Thermosman had made for last year, and the bike was absolutely on rails. I was able to just concentrate on riding and we ended up improving our pace from last year by 1.5 seconds per lap on basically the same package. It was fun battling with Reese Wacker and Luie Z all weekend, as well as some fast locals who were pushing hard. We ran up front consistently and I'm stoked on the races. I can't thank the team and sponsors enough for giving me such a good bike and getting us out here, also big thanks to Mike and Nick for spinning the wrenches. I'm ready for NOLA. Let's go!"

KWS Motorsports ( is proudly sponsored by: Millennium Technologies, Ballistic Performance Components, Pit Bull, Leo Vince Exhaust, Motion Pro, VP Race Fuels, Bazzaz Performance, Yoyodyne, Worldwide Bearing, K&N Filters, Cox Radiator Guards, Zero Gravity Windscreens, Spider Grips, CP-Carrillo, Web Camshafts, and Motul Lubricants.

Luie Zendejas ( is proudly sponsored by: KWS Motorsports, Riders Discount, Millennium Technologies, Ballistic Performance Components, Thermosman Suspension, Knights Armaments, Dark Horse Foundation, Infinite Labs, Liquid Sky Sports, Five Ten, Storm Endurance Sports Bicycle Shop, Andrew Swenson Designs, Drippin' Wet, Pit Bull, Dunlop Tires, VP Racing Fuels, Leo Vince Exhaust, Bazzaz Performance, Arai Helmets, Alpinestars, Oakley, Ice Box Cryotherapy, Web Cams, CP-Carrillo, Motion Pro, K&N Filters, Cox Radiator Guards, Zero Gravity Windscreens, Worldwide Bearings, Spiegler Brake Lines, Spider Grips,and Motul Lubricants.

Sean Dwyer is proudly sponsored by: KWS Motorsports, Riders Discount, Millennium Technologies, Ballistic Performance Components, Thermosman Suspension, Andrew Swenson Designs, Drippin' Wet, Pit Bull, Dunlop Tires, VP Racing Fuels, Leo Vince Exhaust, Bazzaz Performance, Arai Helmets, Alpinestars, Oakley, Web Camshafts, CP-Carrillo, Motion Pro, K&N Filters, Cox Radiator Guards,Zero Gravity Windscreens, Worldwide Bearings, Spiegler Brake Lines, Spider Grips, and Motul Lubricants.

For Information:

More, from a press release issued by John McGuinness' publicist:

Solid finish for McGuinness at Suzuka 8-Hour

John McGuinness was back in action for the Honda TT Legends team at the weekend, contesting the second round of the Endurance World Championship at Suzuka, Japan where along with team-mates Michael Rutter and Simon Andrews, he finished 22nd at the end of the 8-Hour race.

The prestigious event again saw an ultra-competitive field with some of the world’s best riders and machines on track and after two busy days of practice and qualifying, John and the team qualified in 29th place. With hot and humid conditions throughout, the team-mates were very evenly matched as they all posted lap times in the 2m12s bracket, Andrews the quickest at 2m12.604s, Rutter on 2m12.808s and John recording 2m12.954s.

The race got underway at 11am on Sunday in sweltering 36°C heat and Rutter took the first stint around the 5.8km circuit moving the team up to a strong 16th. Andrews then took over but halfway through his stint he had to make an unscheduled pit stop due to clutch problems and with the clutch replaced within 14 minutes, John took to the track with the team now having dropped down the order. For the remainder of the race, John and his team-mates made steady progress through the field and, despite suffering a rear wheel puncture, they’d moved up to 25th place as the race entered its final hour. John had the honour of completing the race and although he had to pull in to switch to wet tyres when rain began to fall, he brought the bike home in a solid 22nd place. Sadly though for the team, the result meant they failed to add to their points tally despite their valiant efforts.

Speaking later, a disappointed but philosophical John commented’ “It’s been a tough weekend and to come away with no points is really disappointing as we’ve all worked really hard. There wasn’t much between us during qualifying and 2m12s laps were pretty respectable given the unbelievable quality of field so we were more than hopeful of climbing up the leaderboard during the race.”

“We had a good fuel strategy and we were looking good for seven stops but we had a few issues – the clutch and the flat tyre – that meant we gave minutes away which were impossible to get back. We were outside the top 50 so to come back to 22nd is a great effort but I just felt we deserved a bit more. On the plus side, this is my third Suzuka 8 Hour but it’s the first time I’ve done the final stint and that was pretty special. The atmosphere here really is fantastic and the Japanese fans have been superb throughout.”

The next round of the Endurance World Championship will be the Oschersleben 8 Hour in Germany on the weekend of August 17-18.