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Jul 31, 2011

Updated: Double Victory For One World Superbike Rider At Silverstone

Carlos Checa (7) leads Eugene Laverty (58) and Leon Camier (2).
FIM Superbike World Championship
Silverstone Circuit, Great Britain
July 31
Race Two Results (all on Pirelli tires):

1. Carlos CHECA, Spain (Ducati 1098R), 18 laps, 38:03.361
2. Eugene LAVERTY, Ireland (Yamaha YZF-R1), -2.274 seconds
3. Marco MELANDRI, Italy (Yamaha YZF-R1), -3.675
4. Max BIAGGI, Italy (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), -3.960
5. Leon CAMIER, Great Britain (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), -4.405
6. Sylvain GUINTOLI, France (Ducati 1098R), -10.958
7. John HOPKINS, USA (Suzuki GSX-R1000), -11.387
8. Leon HASLAM, Great Britain (BMW S1000RR), -11.496
9. Michel FABRIZIO, Italy (Suzuki GSX-R1000), -12.247
10. Ayrton BADOVINI, Italy (BMW S1000RR), -19.705
11. Jakub SMRZ, Czech Republic (Ducati 1098R), -19.753
12. Maxime BERGER, France (Ducati 1098R), -21.582
13. James TOSELAND, Great Britain (BMW S1000RR), -27.235
14. Mark AITCHISON, Australia (Kawasaki ZX-10R), -30.702
15. Jon KIRKHAM, Great Britain (Suzuki GSX-R1000), -42.579
16. Fabrizio LAI, Italy (Honda CBR1000RR), -43.420
17. Roberto ROLFO, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-10R), -2 laps, DNF, retired
18. Troy CORSER, Australia (BMW S1000RR), -6 laps, DNF, retired
19. Alex LOWES, Great Britain (Honda CBR1000RR), -11 laps, DNF, retired
20. Joan LASCORZ, Spain (Kawasaki ZX-10R), -12 laps, DNF, mechanical
21. Noriyuki HAGA, Japan (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), -14 laps, DNF, retired


World Championship Point Standings (after 18 of 26 races):

1. Checa, 343 points
2. Biaggi, 281
3. Melandri, 272
4. Laverty, 208
5. Haslam, 158
6. Camier, 146
7. Fabrizio, 141
8. Badovini, 118
9. Guintoli, 109
10. Haga, 99
11. Lascorz, 97
12. Rea, 94
13. Smrz, 93
14. Sykes, 84
15. Corser, 62
16. Ruben Xaus, 44
17. Berger, 36
18. Rolfo, 34
19. TIE, Hopkins/Aitchison, 20




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

Weather conditions: Scattered clouds.
Temperature: Air: 18 23 °C, Track: 23 38 °C
Number of riders participating: 21 from 12 teams
Fastest lap Race 1: Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) 2:06.045 min
Fastest lap Race 2: Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia Racing) 2:05.525 min


Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport leaves the Silverstone race weekend with mixed emotions. At the last race weekend before the summer break, factory rider Leon Haslam (GBR) secured the squad another top five finish in the 2011 season of the FIM Superbike World Championship. On the other hand, Troy Corser (AUS) had to retire from the second race due to a technical issue. In the championship standings, Leon is fifth (158 points) and Troy is still 15th (62 points). In the manufacturer standings, BMW lies fourth with 194 points.

Two BMW riders were again successful in the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup race: BMW Motorrad Italia Superstock Team rider Lorenzo Zanetti (ITA) celebrated a podium, finishing second. 17 years old German Markus Reiterberger (GER) from the Garnier Alpha Racing Team secured another top ten result finishing sixth.

BMW Motorrad Motorsport congratulates Erwan Nigon (FRA), Sébastien Gimbert (FRA) and Damian Cudlin (GBR) from Team BMW Motorrad France on the fourth place on its debut at the prestigious Suzuka 8-Hour race. The result catapulted Team BMW Motorrad France 99 to the top of the Endurance World Championship standings, with just two rounds of the series remaining.

Leon Haslam:
Result Race 1: 4th / Gap to 1st: 00:07.116 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 2:06.417 min
Result Race 2: 8th / Gap to 1st: 00:11.496 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 2:06.328 min
"In race one I was really happy with the start. I was able to get myself into the position I wanted to be in and ran with the leaders. I was really pushing for the podium and battled to keep with Marco Melandri, but I was really struggling to pass him and stay in front. I was happy to be running close to the front and the lap times were OK. I just narrowly missed out on a podium. In race two I was having a few issues with the bike and I was forced to adapt my riding style to try and ride around it. I got to the point where I was able to run consistent lap times, but by then the leaders had gone. Now we have the summer break, so I am just looking forward to spending some time at home and preparing in the gym for the next races."

Troy Corser:
Result Race 1: 9th / Gap to 1st: 00:25.491 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 2:06.979 min
Result Race 2: DNF / Fastest Lap Race 2: 2:07.099 min
"In race one I got a great start. I actually had a little incident at the first corner I collided with another rider which did cost me a bit of time and to be honest I was lucky not to go down. I fought hard and managed to get to the front of the group and I felt well on the bike. The grip level dropped off as the race progressed, and it caused me to slide and spin the rear tyre. I just managed the situation the best I could and brought it home. In race two we had an issue with the bike which we are currently looking into. That sadly brought an early end to the race for me. We are not sure exactly why the issue occurred at the minute but it does seem bizarre at this stage because we only made minor changes between races. The changes we did make seemed to improve the package but sadly we couldn't take advantage of that. I have a couple of days off before going back to serious training. I still do not feel 100 per cent fit on the bike after my injury."

Bernhard Gobmeier (BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director):
"We leave Silverstone with mixed emotions. In the first race, Leon's lap times were good enough for a podium finish. After the second race, he complained about chattering. This didn't allow good lap times. Troy showed a really good performance in race 1 and demonstrated that he is back from his injury. In the second race he brought the bike back to the garage and retired early from the race as he had technical issues. We now will analyze the data and find out what the problem was. The entire squad in Stephanskirchen, Munich and at the race track has worked hard over the last couple of months. Everybody should now recover before we come back to our home race at Nürburgring."




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

A day to forget for the PATA Racing team, that after the Superpole was hoping in two great races performed by Noriyuki Haga. But the team leaves Silverstone without any scores but mainly because of the 2 bad luck events that kept the team away from a great round. During race 1 Nitronori's been protagonist of a good start that led him among the first positions. He fought with Checa, Laverty, Melandri, Hopkins and Camier until the ninth lap, when in the bagarre he lost the front tyre and ended his race. The japanese rider got back on the grid of the second race willing to make it up but at the end of the first lap suffered a breakdown and was forced to go back at the box.

Noriyuki Haga - Aprilia RSV4R #41 - "I'm sorry, we had the chance to hit a big result. I'm sure if it wasn't for the slip during race 1 I would have fight for the podium until the end. Unluckily the bike ended up damaged and we got back on track with the forklift . But after a few miles I had to give up. I just hope to be done with the bad luck and I'm only willing of hitting big during the last four rounds of this championship."




More, from a press release issued by Alstare Suzuki:

2011 Superbike World Championship
Round 9, Silverstone, GB
Sunday 31st July
Circuit: 5.902 kms
Crowd: 64,000(weekend)
Conditions: Dry, sunny/cloudy 20-23C (air), 31-38C (track)

TOUGH DAY FOR MICHEL

Team Alstare Suzuki rider Michel Fabrizio endured a tough time of it today at Silverstone. He crashed out of the first race and then suffered tyre problems almost from the start of the second and was forced to ride cautiously just to make the finish.

Spaniard Carlos Checa (Ducati) ran away with both races - his fourth double of the season - and took his his tally of victories to ten this year. In both today's 18-lap races, Eugene Laverty (Yamaha) took second, with team mate Marco Melandri third.

Michel - Race 1: DNF, Race 2: 9th
I am disappointed with how things worked out today. I think the crash in race one was probably a bit my fault. I highsided on lap one, maybe because I was pushing a bit too hard, a bit too soon. I hurt my right collarbone and gave my right hip and thigh a pretty good bang, so I was a bit battered and bruised for race two.
Because the track temperature was quite hot, we chose a hard front tyre for the second as we felt that a soft one would get destroyed too soon. But the front was a bit too hard and I just couldn't get any mid-corner grip after just a couple of laps. From then on, it was a struggle to maintain my position and when I got passed by a few riders I couldn't do anything about it. I kept pushing as hard as I could and finished a frustrating ninth place. It was a pity, because I had qualified on the second row of the grid and, as I know that my race pace is normally very good, I was looking forward to at least top four finishes and maybe even a podium. Racing is like this sometimes and I have to put today behind me, enjoy the upcoming break and then look forward to better times in the next round at the Nurburgring.




More, from a press release issued by Castrol Honda:

Difficult Silverstone for Castrol Honda

Castrol Honda endured a difficult weekend at the ninth round World Superbike event at Silverstone, with only one race finish and no championship points.

Both races were won by series leader Carlos Checa, who has extended his championship advantage over reigning champion, Max Biaggi, to 62 points as the World Superbike paddock heads into a month-long break.

Alex Lowes, who has deputized for injured Castrol Honda rider Jonathan Rea for the last two rounds, was unable to finish either race at Silverstone today. The 20-year-old from Lincoln in the UK crashed out of race one and was forced to pit in the second 18-lap encounter at the 5.902km Northamptonshire circuit.

His race-one crash meant Lowes was forced to use his spare CBR1000RR for the second outing, but a different setting on the machine left him unable to lap in contention.

On the other side of the garage, late replacement Fabrizio Lai looked set for championsh ip points in race one before a front-end crash ended his challenge. In race two, the Italian rider battled through to the flag but a points finish just eluded him.

Alex Lowes DNF & DNF

I can't really begin to express my disappointment, not just for myself, but for the whole team. After the test last week, I came to Silverstone with high hopes for an improvement over Brno, which was the first time I had seen the bike. It wasn't to be though and we just weren't able to find a setting here that gave me enough confidence in the front end of the bike. I've had a mega experience and it was great having Jonathan [Rea] around this weekend. He's hoping to be back on the bike for the next round and I'm sure he can get the results that the team deserves after all the hard work they've put in.

Fabrizio Lai DNF & 16th

In race one I thou ght I could get two or three points but I crashed. I used the soft tyre in the front but it did not last more than three laps, so I had to fight it for a long time. I had to use the second bike in race two, with the harder front. But the different setting with the other bike used up the rear tyre too fast. So it was not the results that I had hoped for, but I am happy to have this experience. It's disappointing for the team, because I would like to go faster, but it was not possible.

Ronald ten Kate team-manager

Not the results we wanted from the weekend, of course, but we still look forward. We have a test at Assen before the end of August, with quite some new parts to try on the bike that should allow us to go faster again. I'd like to thank Alex and Fabrizio for their efforts this weekend. Fabrizio's was a very last-minute booking for Silverstone and he's done quite well, considering it's his f irst time here and he hadn't seen the bike before he walked into the garage. It was nice to work with him. It's been a good weekend with young Alex, too, with a few ups and downs, of course. Race one was quite promising and he was going forward through the field. Unfortunately, the crash damage to his bike meant he had to use his spare in the second race and that had quite a different feeling. We've really enjoyed working with him and we wish him good luck in his BSB racing.




More, from a press release issued by Infront Motor Sports:

Checa's brilliance shines on at Silverstone

Silverstone (UK), Sunday 31 July 2011 World Championship leader Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) had a remarkable weekend in front of 64,000 fans at Silverstone, despite not expecting to be in full contention before arriving in the UK. In winning the first race Checa became the rider who gave Ducati 300 race wins in this championship, and added one to the total when he took his second win in a few hours. His race two victory was his tenth of the season. Checa is something of a century man, as he notched up 100 WSBK races in the second encounter and he was also the rider to give Honda its 100th win in WSBK, at Miller Motorsports Park in 2008.

He missed out on a Superpole victory but controlled the pace in each race, making a break away from early leader Eugene Laverty (Yamaha World Superbike Team) each time. Marco Melandri"ƒ(Yamaha World Superbike Team) was third in each race, moving closer to overall second place rider Max Biaggi"ƒ(Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team) who had a terrible opener but a much-improved second race.

Carlos Checa: "I didn't know it was my hundredth race, but it's most important I'm not 100 years old! It was also Ducati's 300th win, a fantastic weekend, and I will remember it for these many reasons. You never know, there are still many races to go and it's easy to lose points but now we arrive at some tracks where I feel more comfortable. I expected to have more trouble at Silverstone but we worked, planned and adapted well to make a perfect result. For sure now we go on holiday quite relaxed!"

Eugene Laverty: "I've got to be happy with 40 points. It's not a victory but two seconds are going to have to do. I was pushing for the win, in particular for my brother John who's laid up in hospital. It was a better second race for me, after Carlos rode away in the first one. For race 2 I changed the rear tyre, there was an improvement but every time I closed in on Carlos he reacted. The Yamaha has been working well around here, last year it did the double and me and Marco are on the podium this time round."

Marco Melandri: "It's been a good race, I changed the tyre for race 2 to get better grip on the left side, but the lap time at the beginning was faster so it was tricky for me to follow the leaders. After ten laps I started to get a better feeling with the bike and started to go faster than the guys in front of me. I caught Camier and Max was behind me but I really wanted this podium, a big thanks to all of my team."

Behind the riders in the front positions John Hopkins delivered on his Superpole status for much of raceday only fading towards the end of each contest, as a wildcard rider arrived with interest at this round. A brace of sixth places for Sylvain Guintoli put another privateer well in the mix, while local rider Haslam worked hard for his race finishes in the points. For the other main regulars, Michel Fabrizio"ƒ(Suzuki Alstare) had a high of ninth in race two, and Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Racing Team) was seventh in race one, having started 19th on the grid. Stand-in rider Alex Lowes (Castrol Honda) did not finish either race, Ayrton Badovini"ƒ(BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team)"ƒwas tenth on each occasion and his team-mate James Toseland battled hard in each race to finish 12th and 13th. Another comeback rider, Troy Corser, was ninth in race one.


Race 1

Carlos Checa took the total of Ducati race wins in WSBK history to 300 in race one. Early race leader Eugene Laverty was second and Marco Melandri third. Local hero Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) was fourth, while pole man and wildcard rider John Hopkins ending up fifth and well in the points. Sylvain Guintoli got into the top six ahead of Joan Lascorz, after early fast Pedercini Kawasaki rider Mark Aitchison crashed out. Aprilia Alitalia rider Max Biaggi was a disappointed 11th, his team-mate Leon Camier distraught at losing a podium place as his bike suffered a problem that held him back in 15th place.

Results: 1. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 38'06.477 (167,266 kph); 2. Laverty E. (IRL) Yamaha YZF R1 3.304; 3. Melandri M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R1 4.782; 4. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR; 7.116; 5. Hopkins J. (USA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 11.057; 6. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 21.899; 7. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 22.308; 8. Berger M. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 22.734; 9. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 25.491; 10. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 25.725; 11. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 25.844; 12. Toseland J. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 45.578; 13. Rolfo R. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX-10R 51.650; 14. Kirkham J. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R1000 57.310; 15. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'36.457; RET. Lai F. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR; etc.


Race 2

Points leader Checa made it ten wins in 2011 and in his 100th WSBK race no less, when he won the second 18 lap race at Silverstone, moving further ahead in the championship chase. Laverty took his four-cylinder bike to second, with his fellow Yamaha man Melandri was third but only after a tough battle. Biaggi was with Melandri in the final few corners but could not work a way past at the flag, taking a fighting fourth place. Biaggi's team-mate Camier was fifth, having been in a podium spot for most of the race. Wildcard Hopkins was pushed to seventh by the impressive privateer Guintoli.

Results: 1. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 38'03.361 (167,494 kph); 2. Laverty E. (IRL) Yamaha YZF R1 2.274; 3. Melandri M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R1 3.675; 4. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 3.960; 5. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 4.405; 6. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 10.958; 7. Hopkins J. (USA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 11.387; 8. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 11.496; 9. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 12.247; 10. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 19.705; 11. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 19.753; 12. Berger M. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 21.582; 13. Toseland J. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 27.235; 14. Aitchison M. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX-10R 30.702; 15. Kirkham J. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R1000 42.579; 16. Lai F. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR 43.420; etc.

Points (after 9 of 13 rounds): 1. Checa 343; 2. Biaggi 281; 3. Melandri 272; 4. Laverty 208; 5. Haslam 158; 6. Camier 146; 7: Fabrizio 141; 8. Badovini 118; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 355; 2. Yamaha 320; 3. Aprilia 320; 4. BMW 194; 5. Suzuki 158; 6. Kawasaki 137; 7. Honda. 113.




More, from a press release issued by Althea Racing:

CHECA AND ALTHEA RACING CELEBRATE THE 300TH, AND ALSO 301ST, SBK WIN FOR DUCATI TODAY AT SILVERSTONE; CHECA INCREASES HIS CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD!

Silverstone (UK), Sunday 31st July 2011: the Althea Racing team and rider Carlos Checa had several reasons to celebrate today at the Silverstone circuit; the team has achieved the 300th Superbike race win for Ducati, followed by the 301st in race 2! The second race also gave the Spanish rider another reason to smile as it was his 100th Superbike start.

Checa made a strong start to race one and was fourth at the end of lap one. He fought with Haga for third position through the first laps and passed both him and Hopkins on the third. Giving chase to Laverty, he got past him on lap six to take the lead. By mid-race he had built up a two second lead over the Yamaha rider but did not slow his pace for anyone, continuing to put in some extremely fast lap times all the way to the line, to win with a 3.3 second advantage. Carlos also made the fastest lap of the race, obtaining his sixth Pirelli prize of the season.

The second race was also significant for the fact that is was championship leader Checa's 100th race in World Superbike. The Althea Racing rider was fifth at the first corner but up to second by the end of the first lap. In the initial stages he battled hard to reach leader Laverty and was able to get by him on lap six, just as he had done in race one. From that point on, he worked hard to slowly increase his advantage and he defended his position perfectly. He crossed the line 2.2 seconds ahead of Laverty, to take another 25 points for the championship.

Thanks to today's fantastic double win, Checa has extended his championship advantage to 62 points. He holds a total of 343 points to second-place Biaggi's 281. Ducati continues to lead the manufacturer's championship with 355 points to 320 of Yamaha and Aprilia.

Carlos Checa:
"It was a wonderful day. I didn't believe that it would be possible to win here, but we managed to do it twice over! To achieve the 300th win for Ducati is an important result and we are all very happy to have been able to repeat this in race two. I thank everyone involved, my team, Ducati and all the sponsors. I also heard that I have now completed 100 SBK races. I didn't know this but the important thing is that I still feel young and am not yet 100 years old! We have a good advantage for now but as we all know, it is hard to build up points and easy to lose them. We now head to tracks where I have had some good results in the past but we are taking it one step at a time; nothing is a given. It's been a fantastic weekend that I will remember forever. Now the team can go on holiday in a more relaxed state of mind."

Genesio Bevilacqua, General Manager dof Althea Racing:
"A double win that gives us great satisfaction. We've achieved two wins at just the right time and they help increase our championship advantage. A true demonstration of strength by our rider who made the most of everything we have given him on a technical level. I would like to underline that it has been a difficult weekend from a media point of view; I think that our rivals should clarify their declarations as they continue to insist that they believe us to be at an advantage when the opposite is in fact true. What we bring to the floor is our strength as a team, a great rider and a bike that has less acceleration. We also lose at least 12km/h of top speed at every track. I would therefore like to see more respect being paid when it comes to the hard work of our team and our rider. We will continue to work to achieve our objectives and Ducati's objective."

Ernesto Marinelli, Superbike Project Director in Ducati
"Today was a memorable day for Ducati and for everyone that has shared in the years of passion, races and wins. We have crossed a line that no other manufacturer has every reached 300 SBK wins"¦ And now 301"¦ In thanking all of the teams and riders that have made Ducati history, I also thank Carlos who, with his enormous talent, has added the victory that we needed in order to reach this milestone. Another big thank-you goes to Genesio and the entire Althea team for their passion, determination and professionalism that has led to such great results this year."




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

The Supersonic Racing Team returns home after Silverstone with two good finishes and twelve extra points.

It was a very positive weekend for the Supersonic Team and Maxime Berger at the Silverstone circuit. The Frenchman completed both races in the points. In the first race, Maxime took his best result this year, earning the eighth place ahead of riders such as Max Biaggi and Troy Corser. In race two, the changing weather conditions reduced the effectiveness of tire choices, Maxime achieved a twelfth place. The exceptional performances from this weekend, the amount of gained points collected today proves the determination from the French rider and the team from Danilo Soncini. Now World Superbike goes on vacation and the next meeting is scheduled at the Nurburgring on the weekend of 2-3-4 September.

Maxime Berger: "I really enjoyed the first race. After a good start I found myself in a group of four to five riders and we fought side by side to overcome. I forced my pace several times, but then I decided not to risk a fall and I finished eighth. My best result ever in World Superbikes. In race two, the track temperature was warmer; the bike was sliding a lot from the tyres. I tried to keep a good rhythm and I could be in the top ten, but when I was about to pass Lascorz, his bike started to lose water from the radiator. The water came on the visor of my helmet and my windshield and I had to turn off the gas losing some positions. Remains the satisfaction of having the best results this weekend and finally brought home a good amount championship points. I have to thank once again my team to give me a real fast bike. Now I will take a few weeks vacation and get ready for the remaining four races of this championship."




More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Lascorz Seventh In Race One, Luckless In Race Two

WSBK, Silverstone, Great Britain, 31 July 2011

Joan Lascorz rode brilliantly in race one from 19th place on the grid to take seventh place, and was only stopped in race two by a water leak caused by a collision with another rider.

Lascorz made short work of passing other riders in the midfield once he had recovered from a start that saw him 19th on lap one, then get to seventh place on lap ten of 18. He maintained this placing to the flag, to go 11th in the championship, on 97 points.

In race two Lascorz collided with James Toseland as three riders ran off track in the first lap, and unknown to Joan his machine lost all its coolant water. He went out on lap seven when his bike overheated.

Tom Sykes was forced to miss the race on Sunday at Silverstone, being unable to start due to the beating his body had taken in a free practice crash on Saturday. Sykes is now concentrating on getting himself fit and ready for the next round, at the Nürburgring on September 4.

Pedercini Team rider Mark Aitchison was running well in race one when a problem with his brakes saw him run wide and then fall, but he scored two points for 14th in race two. His team-mate Roberto Rolfo was 13th in race one, but retired from race two.

Joan Lascorz: "We had one good result and one unlucky one, but my bike felt even better in the second race than the first one. It was unfortunate that Toseland collided with me because his footpeg went into a water hose on my bike and it ran the cooling system dry, which meant I could not finish. I think I could have had a top six if that had not happened. I was seventh in race one and that is not so bad having qualified 19th. We have to improve in qualifying but it is good to know that I can make a good race pace on the bike when things work out."

Tom Sykes: "I woke up feeling like I had been run over by a bus and because we do not want to cause any further potential damage to my ankle we decided not to race. I also have a lot of pain and stiffness in my neck, back and shoulders. After qualifying on the fourth row because I could not make it into Superpole, I was not going to get anything too much out of this weekend, and the risk was a little too much. I do not want to speculate on my ankle injury until I see a specialist tomorrow."




More, from a press release issued by Team Pedercini:

Warm weather conditions today in Silverstone for the ninth round of the World Superbike Championship. Thanks to yesterday's strong performances in qualifying and Superpole, Mark Aitchison lined up on the third row of the grid today. Roberto Rolfo missed Saturday's Superpole by just one second and he started from the fifth row in today's 18-lap races.

Aitchison battled hard in race one and with strong determination, smart riding and aggression he was able to reach the eighth position. Unfortunately, due to some brake problems, he crashed during the eleventh lap ending his race in the gravel. For race one Rolfo decided to use soft tyres. After a good start he went on to battle and make up places, but unfortunately in the last laps the tyres started to lose grip and he obtained the thirteenth final position. In race two Aitchison fought in a group of three riders for ninth place, but towards mid-race he started to experience the same brake problems he suffered in race one.

Mark was forced to reduce his race pace ending in fourteenth position. Rolfo's start was not so fast but after a few laps he was forced to re-enter the box to change his bike's sprocket. Roberto rejoined the race but was one lap down and so preferred to retire.

Superbike Race one : 1) Checa (Ducati) 2) Laverty (Yamaha) - 3) Melandri (Yamaha) 4) Haslam (BMW) "¦.. 13) Rolfo (Kawasaki) "¦"¦ Ret) Aitchison (Kawasaki)

Superbike Race two : 1) Biaggi (Aprilia) 2) Melandri (Yamaha) 3) Checa (Ducati) 4) Fabrizio (Suzuki) "¦"¦..11) Rolfo (Kawasaki) 12) Aitchison (Kawasaki)

Roberto Rolfo : "For race one we had decided to use a very soft tyre but after only a few laps it was already very worn and I couldn't keep up the rhythm I'd found in the first laps. The bike moved around a lot and it was difficult to finish thirteenth. The second race didn't start badly but then I had to return to the garage to change the sprocket on my bike. My team changed it very quickly but I had lost a lap and so once back on track, in last position, I decided to return definitively to the pits. It was a difficult day and I hope to do much better the next time."

Mark Aitchison :"I think it is fair to say that today has been difficult for us. In race one I was running strong with the second group of riders but experienced some problems with a loss of front brake pressure. After battling with others in the middle part of the race, unfortunately I crashed on the front end when forced to use too much front brake trying to stop the bike. In race two we swapped to my spare bike as there was much damage to my number one race bike. After the start I settled into a good rhythm but after around 8 laps again I felt similar problems from the front brake and also some clutch issue. In any case I really enjoyed riding and racing closer to the front today and I hope we can keep improving for the Nurburgring. I want to thank all my team and my personal technicians who have done a great job again this weekend".




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

Samsung Crescent Racing's John Hopkins raced to fifth and seventh places today as a "Wild-Card" entry in the World Superbike Championship round at Silverstone in the UK.

Following his victory in Superpole yesterday - where he set a new lap record - the Suzuki GSX-R1000-mounted British Superbike Championship contender started both of today's races from Pole Position, going into the opening race full of fight and dicing for the lead in the early stages. But with a riding style that dictates use of the rear brake, disaster struck mid-way through race one for Hopkins when he suffered a rear brake issue, effectively ending hopes of a podium finish. But he still finished the race in an impressive fifth place.

In race two, Hopkins was at the sharp-end of the action, battling hard with WSBK title contenders Marco Melandri, Max Biaggi and Eugene Laverty.

John Hopkins:

"Boy that was a lot of fun. The first race was a bit of a disappointment with the rear brake pad issues, but I managed to alter my corner-entry and keep my focus to bag that fifth place. Race two felt better, but to keep with those factory bikes you really need to make up time on the brakes and on the gas out of the turns. I knew that would kill my tyre, so it was no surprise in the closing stages of race two when we started losing the times. Overall, I'm really pumped about this weekend. It's been huge fun and we've showed the World what the Samsung Crescent Suzuki team is really capable of. I've bagged my first-ever World SBK pole position, mixed-it-up at the sharp-end and enjoyed the racing immensely. A huge thanks to the whole team."

For team mate Jon Kirkham, a pair of finishes in the points was a positive step forward after struggling in qualifying yesterday. Finishing race one in 14th and going on to set faster times in race two - some 15 seconds faster over race distance - to come home in 15th signified solid progress, when other British Championship riders crashed out of contention.

Jon Kirkham:

"Not quite what I hoped for this weekend, but a pair of points-finishes in World Superbike is definitely something to be pleased with and you still can't beat the feeling of dicing with your heroes like Troy Corser. Crucially we were a day behind really: After my struggles in practice and qualifying - and an attempt to alter my riding style a little after seeing Hopper's times - I just reverted to my old self today and started to go much better. Anyway, the bonus to take away from this is that we've now got a lot of data for the Silverstone BSB round and I can go to Brands Hatch next weekend with plenty of confidence."

Team Manager - Jack Valentine:

"What a weekend. First we're fastest in practice, then on Pole position and then dicing for the lead, before rounding the weekend off with two great results and both riders in the points. This was always going to be a challenge, but thanks to the support from all of our sponsors, including Samsung and Fixi, we were able to show the World what we're capable of and leave Silverstone with our heads held high.

"Hopper rode two great races, JK demonstrated his ability to bounce back despite set-backs and crucially, we leave here with a great deal of data for the BSB round later in the year. Now we head to Brands Hatch this weekend coming full of confidence: A great team effort and huge thanks to the entire team."