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Aug 15, 2011

More From This Past Weekend's Various Races

John McGuiness (4). Photo by Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press International, courtesy of John McGuinness
Up and down day for McGuinness at UGP

John McGuinness endured a mixed bag of results at Saturday's Ulster Grand Prix with strong rides in the two Supersport races offset by misfortune in the Superbike events. His best result came in the opening Supersport race where he took a good sixth but he was looking good for a top five finish in the feature Superbike race only for a holed radiator to force him to retire on the final lap.


Returning to Dundrod for the first time since 2009, John placed inside the top 12 in all of the qualifying sessions with his best position being 8th on the Honda TT Legends machine in the Superbike class but after Thursday's Dundrod 150 Superbike race was cancelled due to rain, he had to wait until Saturday for his first race.

Conditions were again patchy to begin with so John rode a sensible race in the 6-lap Superstock event to finish 10th on his regular Padgetts Honda machine and he then switched to the Supersport bike for his first outing on the 600 since the TT. It proved to be his best result of the day and a series of 124mph+ laps saw him finish in a more than strong sixth place.

It was then on to the feature Superbike race where John was part of a four-strong group battling for second place after Bruce Anstey surprised them all from the second wave to lead on time. There was little to choose between John, Guy Martin, Gary Johnson and team-mate Keith Amor but, after lapping at close to 131mph, John's fine ride, and any hopes of a podium finish, were ended on the final lap when a stone kicked up by one of the riders in front of him put a hole in the radiator and forced him to retire at Deer's Leap.

Undeterred, John was then back out on the Supersport machine where it looked like he'd secured another 6th place after battling with Anstey and Amor only for the duo to sweep by on the final third of the lap, pushing him back to 8th. It looked like his day was over as the Honda TT Legends team were unable to repair the Superbike machine in time for the second race start but the organisers allowed John to take to the track at the back of the field and, despite the time lost, he fought his way through the pack to claim a well-earned 17th place, entertaining the hordes of road racing fans in the process.

Talking later, John said; "It's been a bit of a mixed bag for me today but I've enjoyed the racing and it's been good to be back at Dundrod. The Superstock race was a bit patchy so I rode at a pace I was happy with whilst the 600 races went really well and I was happy with both how I was riding and the results. We just lost the tow to the leading group and if it wasn't for that, I'm sure I could have run with them as the lap times were very similar. It was a bit more difficult on the big bike and having not ridden one here since 2007 it took me a while to find my feet and get up to the pace of the other riders."

"By the time of the first Superbike race though I wasn't far away and I was really enjoying it, going as fast as the leaders and running right with them. On the last lap though, the bike started to slow and I had to retire, which we later found out to be due to a hole in the radiator. We changed the engine and the radiator and the team did a mega job repairing it but we were just a few minutes too late to get on the grid so I spoke to the organiser and asked if could just go out at the back of the pack and show the fans that we didn't come here not to do our job. I actually enjoyed it in a bizarre way, just riding round with no pressure and pulling a few wheelies just like Graeme Crosby did back in the 1980s so I had a bit of fun! Like I say, a mixed day but an enjoyable one and we'll be back again in 2012 and hope for a bit better fortune."

It's now back to World Endurance duty for John with a two-day test session planned at Le Mans, France later this month.




More, from a press release issued by Keith Amor's publicist:

Strong day at the Ulster for Amor

Keith Amor overcame a difficult start to the day to record two strong podium finishes at Saturday's Ulster Grand Prix, taking second and third in the two Superbike races. Riding the Honda TT Legends Superbike, Amor was running with the leading pack in both races and backed this up with a brace of top six results on the KBMG Racing Honda's.

Despite difficult weather during qualifying, Keith was able to claim pole position for the Supersport class, 3rd in the Superbike and 10th in the Superstock, a drying track seeing a number of riders put in fast laps during the final stages of the latter. With Thursday's Dundrod 150 Superbike race being halted after just one lap due to rain, a race he pulled out of after the warm-up lap, Keith's first race in anger would be the Superstock race on Saturday.

Difficult conditions again greeted the riders on race day morning with parts of the circuit wet and parts dry so Keith used the Superstock race primarily as a familiarisation session and, despite having a major scare when he lost the front end on a damp patch in fourth gear, he brought the bike home in a solid fifth place. Conditions improved considerably for the following Supersport race and Keith completed the first lap in 2nd place. There was little to choose between the leading pack with only three seconds between the top six but, having been shuffled back to fifth, Keith got caught out by a rain shower at Leathemstown on the final lap and crashed out, fortunately without injury.

Next up was the feature Superbike race where Keith led at the end of the opening lap although a charging Bruce Anstey, who'd started from the second wave, pushed him back to second. In a slightly confusing race, the leading four on the road of Keith, Guy Martin, Gary Johnson and William Dunlop were never more than inches apart but Anstey was able to utilise the clear track he had in front of him and lead comfortably on time. So, although Keith crossed the line in second, just 0.1s behind Martin, he actually finished in third place.

After taking sixth place in the second Supersport race, after a good dice with fellow Honda riders Anstey and John McGuinness, Keith then fought a hard battle with Dunlop and Cameron Donald in the second Superbike race. Martin was able to open up a 3s lead at the head of the field but, after running slightly wide at the hairpin on lap 2, Keith regrouped to grab second on the final lap and ensure his 2011 Ulster Grand Prix ended with his best result of the day.

Speaking later Keith said; "All in all it's been a good day but the weather's made it frustrating for everyone and although I haven't been far away, I think I'd have been closer to the race wins had it been bone dry all day long. The Superstock race was really tough and the tyre choice was a complete lottery which could be seen in the different variations people had fitted but, unfortunately, I made the wrong choice and a full wet front wasn't the way to go. I had a few major slides and the one at Lougher's when I was flat out in fourth was as close as I've come to coming off without it actually happening! After that I just brought the bike home but in the first Supersport race, a sudden rain shower caught me out - I got to Leathemstown and there were no flags out to warn me. Both wheels just went from under me and I ended up going straight over the bars."

"After that, the day could only get better and that's exactly what happened. The big bike was absolutely flying and I was really pleased to be fighting it out at the front. Like I say, if it had been totally dry, things could have been different but I just went as hard as I felt I could, given the damp spots, so second and third was a pretty good return. Guy's choice of an intermediate front was hooking up better than my cut slick so his opening lap, where he got a break, was what sealed him the win as we were all running a similar pace after that. In the second Supersport race, the handling of the bike was faultless but we just didn't have the top end speed to run with the boys at the front. The mixed weather fried my brain a bit during the day as we were constantly having to alter our tyre choice but it was the same for everyone and I think we all put on as good a show as we could. I've got to say a massive thanks to all the Honda boys for giving me a superb Superbike and to my own team for doing a great job with the Superstock and Supersport bikes - we've had a pretty good day so can't complain."

Keith now has a couple of weeks break before he heads to Le Man, France for a two-day session with his Honda TT Legends World Endurance team.




More, from a press release issued by Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing Team:

BLUSENS BY PARIS HILTON RACING RIDERS IN TOP SIX IN CZECH REPUBLIC

Brno. After going through a hard time during the free and qualifying practices both Gadea and Viñales did a good race during which every rider battled tooth and nail. Gadea got a tremendous launch which put him in the lead while Viñales was gaining ground back lap after lap. They eventually missed the podium but they achieved a positive result for the team and the championship ranking.

33 SERGIO GADEA (5º, +11.144): " Crossing the finish line in the top five is always positive but I would be lying if I told you I was entirely satisfied with this result. I got a very good lauch which put me in the lead straightaway with the option to battle for the podium but finally I didn't make it. Both the team and I will carry on working to achieve what we want. Now we have to focus on the next round at Indianapolis and try to meet our goal."

25 MAVERICK VIÑALES (6º, +11.473): " The first part of the race was definitely very good and we rode pretty well. I fought my way back up and put myself in the pack which were chasing the top three. Then when Terol dropped out I was in the position to have a serious option on the podium but I had a technical problem with the shift which didn't allow me to climb up the podium steps. Anyway it's a good result especially taking into account the fact that we could take advantage neither of the final free pratcice nor the whole warm-up. Perhaps if I had the chance to take advantage of all the practices I could have got closer to the top riders but I insist on the fact that it is a good result."




More, from a press release issued by QMMF Racing Team:

Better lap times and better race results

for Mishal Al-Naimi and Ricky Cardús

With better lap times and better final results, QMMF Racing Team riders Ricky Cardús and Mishal Al-Naimi ended the Czech Grand Prix in Brno on a higher and more encouraging note. Mashel Al-Naimi, who bravely battled within a tight group of riders at the beginning of the race, took 30th place and saw his best result of the season so far as a stepping stone for further improvements in the near future. His Spanish team-mate Ricky Cardús fought with other riders throughout the race, and even though he found it difficult to maintain his flow and rhythm with slower riders around him, he also managed to score his best lap time of the weekend on the way to 22nd place.

Mashel Al-Naimi 30th
"It was a hard race for me. After the warm-up this morning, we changed our tyre selection once again, which was good because I was able to do my best lap time in the race. I managed to hang on to the group in front of me for a little while, but these riders were very fast and started to open a gap after five or six laps. I couldn't find a good line after that and it was difficult to maintain the pace. I still scored my best result so far this season, but it is not enough I hope to improve more and get an even better result in the next race!"

Ricky Cardús 22nd
"I was very motivated when I started, but unfortunately, I lost my rhythm a little bit, partly because other riders were disturbing me and for the other part due to my own riding. It took me a long time to get ahead of the slower riders surrounding me, and on one occasion I had to brake when another rider crashed right in front of me, which also cost me a few seconds. But no excuses our main problem was the same as always, that we need better lap times to qualify closer to the front of the starting grid. I did my best lap time of the weekend in the race!"




More, from a press release issued by FTR MOTO:

FTR MOTO RETAINS THIRD PLACE AFTER CZECH REPUBLIC ROUND

FTR MOTO remains in third place in the Moto2 World Championship after six of its M211-mounted riders finished in the top 20 in Sunday's 10th round at the Brno circuit in the Czech Republic.

Promising 22-year-old Spaniard Esteve Rabat (Blusens-STX) battled from 18th place on the grid to finish seventh for his fifth top 10 finish of the year. Simone Corsi took ninth place and the Ioda Racing Project team rider continued his run of being the only rider to score points in every round in 2011.

Corsi's team-mate Mattia Pasini finished in 11th place in the 20-lap race at the 3.355-mile circuit while HP Tuenti Speed Up's Pol Espargaro, 20, missed a World Championship point by less than a second as he crossed the finish line in 16th.

Espargaro held off fellow M211 rider Ratthapark Wilairot (Thai Honda Singha SAG) as the Thailand rider took 17th and American Kenny Noyes (FOGI/GP Tech) took 20th place for the second successive round and looks forward to his home round at Indianapolis in two weeks, hoping to score his first points of the campaign.

Speed Up's Valentin Debise finished 21st, losing out to Noyes by 0.081s, as Santiago Hernandez (SAG Team) took 27th with Anthony West, on the MZ-FTR, 29th. Luckless Tommaso Lorenzetti (Aeroport de Castello), Max Neukirchner (MZ-FTR) and Blusens-STX rider Yonny Hernandez all crashed out, escaping injury.

"The Brno race for the 12 riders on FTRs again followed a similar pattern to previous races," explained FTR's Steve Bones. "From the 10 races so far we've had a rider in the top seven in every one of them.

"Of late it's been the newcomers to the class that have started to show their potential with Yonny Hernandez and Esteve Rabat showing substantial improvements from qualifying to races in the last two races, a month ago in Germany and today at Brno. Simone Corsi continues to demonstrate excellent consistency and it would be great to see Kenny Noyes move on just that little bit and get in the points in the American round on the FOGI/GP Tech M211."




More, from a press release issued by Kenny Noyes' publicist:

Big Improvement Brings Sunday Cheer For Kenny Noyes

After two frustrating days of practice for Kenny Noyes at Brno, race day saw a complete turnaround of the Avintia-STX rider's fortunes. A minor modification to his FOGI-Racing FTR in the morning warm up completed the last part of the puzzle for Kenny, and the American came away with his faith restored in his ability to be competitive in the ultra-competitive Moto2 class.

Kenny made fantastic progress from the start of the race. In the first four laps, the American had made good 12 places, crossing the line in 20th after starting 32nd, passing three riders in a single maneuver at one point. He eventually had to let Ratthapark Wilairot and Michele Pirro go, but he held his place at the front of a large group fighting for 19th, finishing the race in 20th just behind Jordi Torres.
Kenny now heads to Indianapolis for his home Grand Prix at Indianapolis with confidence restored in his ability and keen to make up for the mistakes he made during the first days of practice. His goal at the US round of Moto2 is improve his qualifying, the Achilles heel that is leaving him with so much work to do during the race. With a better qualifying position, Kenny will finally be able to reward his Avintia-STX team with the points that they and he deserve.


Kenny Noyes
20th, Fastest Lap: 2'04.638

Kenny said, "Brno was just like Germany, where race day was the best part of the weekend. I had some pretty fun battles and got in with a good group, but we're starting a little far behind. It seems like we're a day late with our feeling at the moment, and that's something I've really got to work on."

"My FOGI FTR feels pretty good now, but we're lacking a bit of traction because my corner speed is down. If I can push a little faster through the corners, we should be able to get off the exit a lot better and make up some real ground."

"The goal for Indy is to come out with a clear idea on Friday, then follow it up with a good job on Saturday so we start off much further up the grid. My Avintia-STX team have been awesome, and we're getting real close now to finishing in the points, which is where I know we belong."




More, from a press release issued by AGP Racing/ItalTrans Moto2 Team:

Mixed feelings in the Italtrans garage a performance as expected in qualifying and warm-up, but a race that only partly rewarded the squad for the work done.

Claudio Corti (41'43"635 14th) "In the warm-up our set-up was very efficient. So, great expectation for the afternoon's race. Unfortunately, we had to tackle an unexpected deficit in acceleration the bike didn't react as we wanted, and as always had done in the previous sessions".

Robertino Pietri (42'06"291 - 25th) "A good start but, midway through the race, I almost lost it two times. So, I slowed down a little, allowing me a few laps to understand what was going on. Then I went back to my rhythm, but had already lost time. Anyway, I'm satisfied with the job done we did a good work, and we are progressing".

Claudio Macciotta (Technical Director) "Both bike proved to have a good set-up, but Claudio's engine suffered a quite appreciable increase of the temperature of the colling water that weakened the power unit. We'll study our data to understand why".

Luigi Pansera (Team Manager) "I must admit that a better result was expected from the race. We are progressing, and a clear sign of it is what we got in qualifying and warm-up. But the race is the key point, a we got it just partially".




More, from a press release issued by Ryan Farquhar's publicist:

Mixed bag of results for Farquhar at Ulster GP

Ryan Farquhar endured one of his most frustrating Ulster Grands Prix ever at the weekend when a win in the Supertwins race was offset by a mixture of results in the other classes. Problems in qualifying meant that he started a number of races low down on the grid and although he scored a brace of top eight finishes in the Superbike and Supersport races, the KMR Kawasaki rider was left to ponder what might have been.

Thursday's Dundrod 150 race saw Ryan enjoy a good battle with Wayne Hamilton in the Supertwins race but, just as they'd started their fourth lap, the red flag came out due to rain falling at various parts of the circuit. Subsequently, the results went back to the end of the second lap and that meant Ryan was awarded second, just 0.656s adrift of Hamilton. The feature Dundrod 150 Superbike race was next, finally getting underway at 7.30pm, and despite starting from the fifth row of the grid, Ryan was amazingly up to second at the end of the first lap. However, no sooner had the riders started their second lap then the red flag came out to stop the race due to further rain falling and the race was ultimately abandoned as time ran out.

Onto Saturday's Ulster GP and a good start in the Superstock race saw Ryan up to 4th at the end of the first lap, despite another lowly start position, and this soon became 3rd half way round lap two. However, it soon became apparent to Ryan that his choice of a wet front tyre wasn't going to work in the drying conditions and, after a number of slides, he retired at the end of the lap. With conditions considerably better for the following Supersport race, Ryan then took a hard fought 8th, just ahead of fellow Kawasaki rider Ian Lougher.

Another rain shower meant that Ryan started the Supertwins race on wet tyres and in the early stages it was another battle with Hamilton. This time though Ryan was in front and when they caught a group of slower 250cc riders, Ryan used his experience to get through cleanly and seize control with his task being made slightly easier as Hamilton crashed out. Ryan eventually took the win by over a minute, also taking the lead on the road, and it proved to be a great race for the team with Adrian Archibald taking second and newcomer Jamie Hamilton taking fourth.

Ryan was then back out on his Superstock machine for the feature Superbike race and, despite the speed advantage of the Superbikes, he took a strong 8th place, not too far behind a similarly mounted Michael Dunlop. However, upon arriving back at the paddock, it soon became apparent there was a problem with the bike and a broken radiator meant that Ryan's racing for the day was over.

Speaking afterwards, a philosophical Ryan commented: "It's definitely been a bit of an up and down meeting for me and, aside from the Supertwins races, it's been heavy going - just as it looked like I might be able to get a good result, something's come along to prevent it! In all the years of racing I've done at the Ulster, it has to be the most problematical qualifying I've ever had with all manner of things going wrong whether it be the weather, a poor tyre choice or something else! Still, I got stuck in during Thursday's races and was right with Wayne when the red flag came out in the Supertwins race so, with no time to re-run the race, I had to settle for second. I was way back on the fifth row for the Superbike race but made a really good start and got by everyone bar Guy Martin who was so far ahead by the time I'd got up to second I couldn't even see him! I felt comfortable out there but another red flag came out just as another podium looked to be on the cards."

"I put it all behind me for Saturday's race and was hopeful that the Superstock race could give me my best result. The track was quite wet on the warm up lap so I swapped from intermediates to wets but as soon as we went out on the first lap, I could see the track was drying so thought we could be in trouble. I started to get some major front end slides so much so that I thought I had a puncture but the tyre must have overheated due to the conditions so it wasn't safe for me to continue and I had to pull in. I rode as hard as I could in the 600 race and enjoyed a good battle with Wayne Hamilton and Ian Lougher and then regrouped for the Supertwins race. It was wet again so I went for the wets and this time they were the right decision and I was able to keep out of trouble and stay out front. It was a great race for all of the team with Adrian and Jamie finishing 2nd and 4th and if he hadn't had to start from the back of the grid, it could have been a clean sweep of the podium as Jamie was riding so, so well."

"The Superstock bike was up against it in the Superbike race so, again, I rode as hard as I could, but towards the end of the race, steam started to come up from the bike and it turned out the radiator had gone so that was me done for the day. It was certainly a tough day for everyone but we all did the best we could and I think the fans would have gone home happy."

Ryan now heads to the Manx Grand Prix where he'll have three rides on Roger Winfield's 500cc Paton, 350cc Honda and GS1000 Suzuki. He'll also be supplying Shaun Anderson with a 650cc ER6 Kawasaki for the Supertwins race. Practice gets underway on Saturday August 20th.




More, from a press release issued by Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

MotoGP RACE REPORT: GRAND PRIX OF CZECH REPUBLIC

Stoner expands points lead with victory; Three Americans in top eight heading to Indy

INDIANAPOLIS, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2011 - The mission will be simple for reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Aug. 26-28 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway: Beat Casey Stoner or maybe kiss the World Championship goodbye.

The annual round of the MotoGP World Championship at Indianapolis will take on even more importance after Stoner rode away to victory on his Repsol Honda in the Czech Republic Grand Prix on Aug. 14 at Brno, expanding his lead over Lorenzo to 32 points. Lorenzo finished fourth on his Yamaha.

There are only seven races remaining in the season, including the Red Bull Indianapolis GP, and Lorenzo's chances of a second consecutive world title are slipping away.

"The championship is now even more difficult for us, but that doesn't mean it is finished," 2009 Red Bull Indianapolis GP winner Lorenzo said. "There are still a lot of points to be played for, so we must focus on winning the most races we can. Now we must forget this race, which is probably one of the worst this season and possibly in my MotoGP career."

Stoner earned his sixth victory of the season, beating Repsol Honda teammate Andrea Dovizioso to second by 6.532 seconds. Marco Simoncelli put a season of crashes behind him to earn his first career premier-class podium, finishing third on the San Carlo Honda Gresini machine.

"We knew we could make a strong podium challenge today, but we didn't really expect the race win," said Stoner, who qualified third. "After such a hard weekend it's fantastic to come out with a comfortable win."

Stoner's path to victory became easier when pole sitter and Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa fell from the lead on Lap 3. Stoner had just passed Lorenzo for second when 2010 Red Bull Indianapolis GP winner Pedrosa skidded into the gravel trap, and Stoner then worked to expand his lead every lap.

Then Lorenzo, Dovizioso and Simoncelli started a spirited exchange for second. Lorenzo was one of only two riders in the field who used the hard Bridgestone front tire, with the extra hard tire the preferred option of 15 riders. Front tire wear hurt Lorenzo over the closing laps.

All three American riders finished in the top eight heading to their home race. Ben Spies placed fifth on his Yamaha Factory Racing machine despite suffering from a pinched nerve in his neck. 2006 World Champion Nicky Hayden was seventh on his Ducati, with Colin Edwards eighth on his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine.

American John Hopkins didn't make his second start of the season on a Rizla Suzuki due to two broken fingers suffered in a crash during practice Saturday morning.


POINTS

Riders: Stoner 218, Lorenzo 186, Dovizioso 163, Rossi 118, Pedrosa 110, Spies 109, Hayden 103, Simoncelli 76, Edwards 75, Aoyama 70, Barbera 62, Abraham 46, Elias 43, Bautista 39, Crutchlow 34, Capirossi 29, De Puniet 19, Hopkins 6, Akiyoshi 3.

Manufacturers: Honda 260, Yamaha 217, Ducati 127, Suzuki 45.


PODIUM QUOTES

CASEY STONER (Repsol Honda Team, winner): "We knew we could make a strong podium challenge today, but we didn't really expect the race win. As soon as the race got underway, I was having a good battle with Andrea, but this cost me a little time and I was afraid that Jorge and Dani would stretch away from me. But when I got past, I found I had plenty of speed to catch up, and the bike felt great. I passed Jorge and then Dani sadly crashed out, so I pushed to see if I could pull a gap and I was able to do so quite quickly. Then from this point, it was a matter of managing the race. I'm very sorry for Dani; he would have been hard to beat today. After such a hard weekend, it's fantastic to come out with a comfortable win. Tomorrow we'll be back on the 1000 for another day of testing, so I hope the weather stays dry for us!"

ANDREA DOVIZIOSO (Repsol Honda Team, second): "I'm really happy to be back on the podium. It's a good result after a difficult weekend, and second position is so important for the championship. In the warm-up, we made some small changes, and my feeling improved. I had good pace, and when Dani crashed, I tried to stay with Casey. But I made a mistake at Turn 13, and I almost went off the track. I lost contact, and from that moment Casey built a gap that was impossible to catch. I'm happy of how I managed the race, first with Lorenzo and then with Simoncelli, to maintain second position. We have demonstrated one more time that in the race we are there, and I'm really looking forward to Indy in two weeks time."

MARCO SIMONCELLI (San Carlo Honda Gresini, third): "I am really happy. I have been very strong this year, but it has been tough because we have had some difficult situations to deal with. Me and the team have never lost our faith though and finally the result has come, so I want to thank all of them, as well as Honda and anybody else who has maintained their belief in me. On the last lap today, I just wanted it to be over and nothing bad to happen, and thankfully it all worked out. I am really delighted. I didn't make a great start and had to pass Valentino, who fought back for three corners and I have the tire marks on my leathers to prove it. It was a nice battle even though it was short. I tried to attack Dovizioso at the end, but he was pushing hard and I decided to settle for the position because I knew Lorenzo was making up ground behind me."


AMERICAN RIDER QUOTES

BEN SPIES (Yamaha Factory Racing, fifth): "That was a hard race; I wanted to quit every lap past the ninth. I tried as hard as I could and didn't make too many mistakes. I just thought with Valentino coming behind me and being ahead in the championship, I've just got to keep on going until I fall of this thing. I didn't fall off and I finished, so it was a good result. Now it's the complete opposite; it's my right arm that's completely dead because that's all that was working in the race. Again I've got to thank the team; the bike was really good and definitely a podium bike. That was the hardest physical race I've ever done. We got it finished, put it behind us and we scored some points."

NICKY HAYDEN (Ducati Team, seventh): "It's been a really tough weekend right from when we got the bikes out of the crates from Laguna, but we chipped away at it. The guys have worked extremely hard, and we got better and better. We even made a change after the morning warm-up that actually helped a bit, although I didn't really understand it the first few laps, and the group was already gone. I held on and got seventh, which isn't fantastic. Still, the gap to the front is the closest it's been this season, which is positive. The bike was really good in a few places, but I was slow in change of direction and couldn't get the bike to finish the corner and was spinning the tire a lot. We also need to understand why I had the slowest top speed. It would've been nice to hang onto that front group a bit longer, but Colin pushed me all the way to the end. The work's far from over for this weekend, because we've got a big day tomorrow. Valentino tried some new parts on the front that they seem real happy about, so hopefully I can try those tomorrow."

COLIN EDWARDS (Monster Yamaha Tech 3, eighth): "I said yesterday that if I finished in the same position that I started that I would be pretty happy. I guess I am pretty happy, but it was not an easy race. I know I gave it my absolute maximum out there, but eighth position was the best I could do, but by no means was it a bad weekend. In the warm-up this morning, I had zero traction. So we made a small geometry change for the race, and it was definitely better. I had more grip, but the lap time was the same as this morning. All I kept seeing on my lap timer on the dashboard was 58.5, 58.5. It must have been like that for about 14 laps in a row, and at one point I thought it had broken. I just couldn't go much faster, and it seems we are lacking traction compared to the others. I was spinning the rear tire a lot, and right now our bike feels a little bit unforgiving. I was right on the back of Nicky for pretty much the whole race, but I couldn't do anything with him. Our lap times just didn't deviate at all, so I couldn't get close enough to him. It wasn't like he had more grip than me, but because we were doing the same pace I didn't get close enough to attack him."


MotoGP SUPPORT CLASS WINNERS

Moto2: Andrea Iannone, Italy, Speed Master Suter. American Kenny Noyes finished 20th.

125cc: Sandro Cortese, Germany, Intact-Racing Team Germany Aprilia.


NEXT RACE

Red Bull Indianapolis GP, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Aug. 26-28, Round 12 of 18.


2011 Red Bull Indianapolis GP tickets: 2011 Red Bull Indianapolis GP tickets are on sale now.

To buy tickets, visit www.imstix.com, call the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700 or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area or visit the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street. Ticket office and phone hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.

The 2011 Red Bull Indianapolis GP is scheduled for Aug. 26-28 at IMS.

Race Day general admission tickets cost $40, with Friday general admission $10 and Saturday general admission $20. A three-day general admission ticket is $60. A Friday-Saturday general admission ticket is $25.

Children ages 12 and under will be admitted free any of the three days of the event when accompanied by an adult with a general admission ticket.

Race Day reserved seat prices will start at $70.




More, from a press release issued by KTM:

Red Bull MotoGP Rookie Joe Roberts snatches first race victory at Brno

Fourteen year old American Joe Roberts on Saturday won an all or nothing dash to the finish on Saturday in the first of two Red Bull MotoGP Rookies races on the Brno circuit in the Czech Republic.

It was the young rider's first podium in the competition and he won in front of Arthur Sissis of Australia and Tomas Vavrous of the Czech Republic.

The race was a two-part affair after the original start was red flagged when rain started to fall, calling in the riders who were out on slicks. The 14-lap race was then restarted after riders had changed tires and all that remained was a five-lap race to the finish on the tricky and undulating traditional MotoGp circuit.

The American rider went into the lead in the shortened race and in the third lap and charged ahead on the rain-drenched circuit. It was only Sissis that could stay with him and the Australian looked like taking the glory. But Roberts engaged in a tight battle for the win in the closing stages of the race and managed to slip by Sissis just before the home straight, picking up enough drive to propel him over the finish line. The wet race was also good for Sissis as he now regains control of the overall standings in what is a two-rider competition between him and Lorenzo Baldassarri of Italy for the title. Baldassarri finished in sixth.

Joe Roberts said the result had turned around after his weekend. He said he wasn't able to find his rhythm the first time they were out on the track and was in last place. "I wasn't happy that it rained but then on the sighting lap I realized there was quite a lot of grip. I just had to go for it. Arthur passed me at the last corner but as I saw him go wide I had the chance to cut it tight and go for the line."

Riders have just two more races, one of which is tomorrow Sunday on the Brno circuit, to conclude the season. Sissis goes into the second race at Brno with a 4-point lead on the 14-year-old Italian rider. All riders in the competition, which grooms and prepares riders for a career in to racing, are onboard identical KTM 125 machines.

Results Race One (of two Brno)

1, Joe Roberts (USA) 12 minutes 41.800 seconds
2, Arthur Sissis (AUS) +0.030
3, Tomas Vavrous (CZE) +1.508
4, Stefano Valtulini (ITA) +1.560
5, Xavier Pinsach (ESP) +3.292
6, Lorenzo Baldassarri (ITA) +4.662
7, Hafiq Azmi (MAS) +7.265
8, Javier Orellana (GBR) +9.453
9. Philipp Oettl (GER) +13.197
10, Kevin Argino (ITA) +13.327



Alan Techer wins at Brno in nail-biter Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup at Brno

French rider Alan Techer emerged the number one rider in a 12-man dash for the finish in the second of two Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup races on the Brno MotoGP circuit in the Czech Republic this weekend, delivering one of the most thrilling finishes so far this season.

Czech rider Tomas Vavrous and Scott Deroue of the Netherlands picked up the minor places but the real drama came when championship and race leader Arthur Sissis of Australia crashed on the final lap throwing open the race for the title, which will now be decided between him and Italian Lorenzo Baldassarri in the final single race at Misano Italy. After Sissis recording a DNF on Sunday Baldassarri now has a narrow six-point lead in the title race.

"It was the most incredible race," said Techer. "So close, we were touching at almost every corner. I didn't get a good start and I just had to fight my way through. Then in the last three laps it was a battle between me, Tomas, Scott and Arthur. We thought Arthur (Sissis) had got away on the last lap but he crashed and it was between the three of us at the last corner. I opened the gas as early as I could through the last corner, I had a bit of a slide but I hung on and won."

The drama of the 14-lap race on the high speed and gently undulating Brno circuit was intensified because no one had a real advantage until the final lap. Then Sissis pulled away, seizing the advantage while the others behind him jockeyed for positions and he had a 30 second advantage going into the final lap. Then the young Australian's world fell apart when he was too hard on the throttle three corners from the finish and he ended in the gravel on the side of the track.

The young Dutch rider Deroue was at the forefront of the battle for the minor places and was frequently in the lead in the closing stages of the race before Sissis took control. Vavrous, a veteran Rookies competitor, said it had been his toughest Rookies race. "There was no planning, no tactics, it was just race as hard as you can at every corner. We were touching everywhere. On the last lap I was determined not to crash but I was also determined to get on the podium."

Fifteen year olds, James Flitcroft of Britain and Italian Stefano Valtulini, rode well and finished fourth and fifth ahead of Cup leader Baldassarri who will have his chance to convert his result into a title victory on September 3 in Misano. Rookies all compete on KTM 125 machines.

Race 2

Race Two Sunday

1, Alan Techer, France, 31 minutes 25.716 seconds
2, Tomas Vavrous, Czech Republic, +0.034
3, Scott Deroue, Netherlands +0.203
4, James Flitcroft, Britain +0.520
5, Stefano Valtulini, Italy +0.603
6, Lorenzo Baldassarri, Italy +0.638
7, Ivo Lopes, Portugal, +0.802
8, Florian Alt, Germany, +0.849
9, Philipp Oettl, Germany +0.963
10, Brad Binder, South Africa +1.023

Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Standings
1, Lorenzo Baldassarri, Italy 192
2, Arthur Sissis, Australia 186
3, Alan Techer, France, 152
4, Philipp Oettl, Germany, 121
5, Tomas Varvrous, Czech Republic, 103




More, from a press release issued by Birchall Brothers Racing:

THREE SECOND PLACES AT CADWELL FOR BIRCHALL RACING

Despite a misfire with the LCR 1000cc Yamaha outfit, Mansfield sidecar racers Ben and Tom Birchall came away from Cadwell Park with 60 championship points under their belts for three solid second places in round five of the Eastern Airways British Sidecar championship at the weekend which put the team up to third place in the overall standings with three rounds remaining.

Qualifying on Saturday was close with the Mitchells of Mansfield supported brothers denied pole position by a tenth of a second. But they began the first race from a front row grid position and shot off to a good start getting the hole shot into turn one ahead of Reeves/Cluze. They maintained the lead throughout the first half of the 10-lap race but were finally overhauled by Reeves/Cluze on lap six. Although Ben and Tom were very close they were unable to get past the championship leaders and had to settle for second place at the flag, just 0.8 of a second adrift.

Sunday saw the outfits line up for race two but a red flag halted proceedings on the first lap. At the restart Ben and Tom were not so quick off the line being third into turn one. But as they headed down Park Straight they moved up into second position to give chase to Reeves/Cluze who had the lead.

With the bike suffering a misfire and down on power, despite their best efforts Ben and Tom were unable to catch Reeves who pulled clear to take the win with Birchalls coming home in second place with a seven second advantage over Lawrie/Neave who finished in third place.

The final race was delayed due to an accident involving a solo rider and consequently due to lack of time the sidecar race had to be reduced to nine laps instead of the original 12.

As they finally got underway it was Ben and Tom who got the hole shot into turn one but they were soon overhauled by Reeves/Cluze who were keen to take their third win of the weekend. The race was a close run affair between the top two outfits with the Birchalls following in Reeves' tyre tracks. On the approach to the mountain Ben moved alongside Reeves on a couple of occasions but was unable to make the move stick and had to settle for second place once again at the end of an exciting and enjoyable race between the two rivals.

"We were plagued with a misfire for most of the weekend," said Ben. "But we eventually rectified the fault in time for the last race and it showed in the lap times. We were very close to Tim (Reeves) throughout the race but yellow flags prevented us from taking the advantage at the end of Park straight. It seemed that every time we approached that section of the course the yellow flag was out and we were unable to make a pass. But it was a cracking race and we were lapping within a 10th of a second of each other throughout the nine laps and really enjoyed ourselves.

"We were pleased to have the support of some of our sponsors for the Cadwell meeting this weekend, Mitchells of Mansfield, NAPIT and John Lawson who all enjoyed their time with us. We were keen to bring them a win but sadly that eluded us this time."

The team now move on to the next round of the World championship where they hold second place in the rider standings. They are busy preparing the outfit for the journey to Oschersleben in Germany for the penultimate round of the championship which is due to take place over the bank holiday weekend of August 27/28.
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