Jul 1, 2012
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by David Swarts
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Marco Melandri (33).
FIM Superbike World Championship
Motorland Aragon, Spain
July 1, 2012
Race Two Results (all on Pirelli tires):
1. Marco MELANDRI, Italy (BMW S1000RR), 20 laps, 39:59.200
2. Eugene LAVERTY, Ireland (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), -0.042 second
3. Chaz DAVIES, UK (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), -0.446
4. Max BIAGGI, Italy (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), -0.484
5. Jonathan REA, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), -6.611 seconds
6. Leon HASLAM, UK (BMW S1000RR), -7.491
7. Carlos CHECA, Spain (Ducati 1098R), -9.325
8. Tom SYKES, UK (Kawasaki ZX-10R), -10.444
9. Ayrton BADOVINI, Italy (BMW S1000RR), -10.828
10. Davide GIUGLIANO, Italy (Ducati 1098R), -10.925
11. Michel FABRIZIO, Italy (BMW S1000RR), -21.955
12. Maxime BERGER, France (Ducati 1098R), -22.046
13. Sylvain GUINTOLI, France (Ducati 1098R), -22.486
14. Lorenzo ZANETTI, Italy (Ducati 1098R), -42.801
15. Hiroshi AOYAMA, Japan (Honda CBR1000RR), -49.144
16. David SALOM, Spain (Kawasaki ZX-10R), -50.961
17. Niccolo CANEPA, Italy (Ducati 1098R), -60.863
18. Leandro MERCADO, Argentina (Kawasaki ZX-10R), -74.149
19. Norino BRIGNOLA, Italy (BMW S1000RR), -113.388
20. Loris BAZ, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), -1 lap, pitted
21. Leon CAMIER, UK (Suzuki GSX-R1000), -3 laps, DNF, retired
22. John HOPKINS, USA (Suzuki GSX-R1000), -17 laps, DNF, mechanical
World Championship Point Standings (after 16 of 28 races):
1. Biaggi, 248.5 points
2. Melandri, 200.5
3. Rea, 183
4. Checa, 175.5
5. Sykes, 172.5
6. Haslam, 142
7. Laverty, 126
8. Guintoli, 110
9. Giugliano, 94
10. Davies, 78
11. Smrz, 75.5
12. Fabrizio, 73
13. Badovini, 57
14. Camier, 56.5
15. Berger, 48.5
16. Aoyama, 37.5
17. Canepa, 33
18. Zanetti, 30
19. Baz, 19
20. Joan Lascorz, 17
21. Hopkins, 11
22. TIE, Mercado/Salom, 9
24. TIE, Peter Hickman/Matteo Baiocco, 7
26. Bryan Staring, 6
27. Mark Aitchison, 3
More, from a press release issued by Infront Motor Sports:
Biaggi and Melandri share the wins again at MotorLand
MotorLand Aragon (Spain), July 1st 2012 Like last year Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) and Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) scored a win apiece in the eni FIM Superbike World Championship round today, after two classic races unfolded during each 20-lap contest. Biaggi now has 20 career wins to his credit, Melandri seven.
There was drama aplenty in warm conditions, but raceday temperatures had cooled from the fiery intensity of the first two days, a factor that played a part for some riders in their final fortunes. Strong winds also affected the riders today, but the abiding memory of all will be a superb second race in which Melandri held off the attentions of not only Biaggi, but also two other Aprilia riders, Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) and Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Racing Aprilia). Davies had to catch up the leading trio in a forceful run to the front and was rewarded with his first career podium to add to his fourth place from race one.
Biaggi secured a tight win by only 0.278 seconds from his great rival Melandri. This was Biaggi's fourth win of 2012, and his third in a row. The top two were well clear of the battle for third, which eventually went to Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) from Davies, even though he took it in bizarre circumstances after Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) was deprived of what looked like a sure podium place when Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) lost the front and his machine, which then hit Sykes' rear wheel, and both riders fell.
Max Biaggi: "It was a nice race. I saw I could stay in the lead. The tyres are always a problem here and it's very difficult to keep the pace, but we were working good all weekend to be comfortable with the tyres moving around. There were only two riders in front, we tried to overtake each other and understand where and what was possible to do at the end. The result could have been the other way around but this time I did it so I'm happy."
Marco Melandri: "I was struggling to pass Laverty and Sykes and then I had to push a lot to catch Max who was leading. When I was there I tried to take him but it was not easy. In the end he passed me quite easy because he was faster than me, but it was a good result anyway. BMW and the team have been working very well and we will try and win race 2."
Carlos Checa: "We always fight until the end, you never know! Today for sure we were lucky because we were not in the best position so to be here was quite a surprise. Hopefully Badovini and Sykes are OK after their crash, but I'm quite satisfied for the final result. It's my home race and it was difficult to be in front fighting for the win today."
Results: 1. Biaggi (Aprilia) 20 Laps/106.880 km in 39'51.188 average 160.911 kph; 2. Melandri (BMW) 0.278; 3. Checa (Ducati) 9.462; 4. Davies (Aprilia) 10.827; 5. Laverty (Aprilia) 15.708; 6. Fabrizio (BMW) 27.597; 7. Haslam (BMW) 29.032; 8. Giugliano (Ducati) 39.374; 9. Camier (Suzuki) 40.887; 10. Berger (Ducati) 41.440; 11. Canepa (Ducati) 42.056; 12. Guintoli (Ducati) 42.369; 13. Zanetti (Ducati) 42.669; 14. Aoyama (Honda) 48.010; 15. Hopkins (Suzuki) 49.752; 16. Rea (Honda) 54.590; etc.
Melandri secured his third win of the season after a spectacularly tight fight against three other riders. Second was Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing) who lost out by only 0.042 seconds. Immediately behind, Davies held off the attention of Biaggi to take his first ever podium in the championship, as the top four were only 0.484 seconds apart after 20 laps. Behind the leading quartet Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) went fifth after recovering from another bad start, with Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport), Checa and Sykes in basically the same group for most of the race.
Marco Melandri: "I have no words actually! After race 1 I was a little disappointed so I tried to get a win in race 2, it was not easy because the wind was very strong. Eugene started to lead the race and was very fast, suddenly with three laps to go Max passed me and when I passed him back I went wide then Chaz passed me. We were running so wide and so fast and I had no plan for the last lap! To win here has been beautiful."
Eugene Laverty: "It was close with Marco on the last lap, he got the better of me. Still it's nice to be back on the podium after Assen and Monza where we were top 3, and where I think we have belonged in the last three rounds but where we had small electronic problems that held us back. But we're back where we belong, which is fighting for race wins. The second race was a really good battle, we made some changes and I was much happier."
Chaz Davies: "What a race! I didn't get off to the greatest start and the first couple of laps weren't good either but I put my head down and got to fourth. I tried to keep chipping away and eventually caught the top 3. I had a great race, enjoyed every moment of it. I was really surprised to be on the podium but I knew we had the pace."
Results: 1. Melandri (BMW) 20 Laps/106.880 km in 39'59.200 average 160.373 kph; 2. Laverty (Aprilia) 0.042; 3. Davies (Aprilia) 0.446; 4. Biaggi (Aprilia) 0.484; 5. Rea (Honda) 6.611; 6. Haslam (BMW) 7.491; 7. Checa (Ducati) 9.325; 8. Sykes (Kawasaki) 10.444; 9. Badovini (BMW) 10.828; 10. Giugliano (Ducati) 10.925; 11. Fabrizio (BMW) 21.955; 12. Berger (Ducati) 22.046; 13. Guintoli (Ducati) 22.486; 14. Zanetti (Ducati) 42.801; 15. Aoyama (Honda) 49.144; 16. Salom (Kawasaki) 50.961; etc.
Points (after 8 of 14 rounds): 1. Biaggi 248.5; 2. Melandri 200.5; 3. Rea 183; 4. Checa 175.5; 5. Sykes 172.5; 6. Haslam 142; 7. Laverty 126; 8. Guintoli 110; 9. Giugliano 94; 10. Davies 78; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Aprilia 266; 2. Ducati 247.5; 3. BMW 242; 4. Honda 189; 5. Kawasaki 178.5; 6. Suzuki 63.5.
After an accident delayed the eventual running of the full 18-lap Supersport race, Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Lorenzini) crossed the line first but was demoted four places in the final results because of a coming together between him and eventual second place rider Fabien Foret (Kawasaki Intermoto Step). The final race winner was Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda) after Sofuoglu was penalised for not dropping the regulation three places during the race. It was Lowes' second win of the year and it puts him second overall in the championship, after PTR Honda rider and pole man Jules Cluzel had crashed out early on.
Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki Lorenzini) scored his first podium in this class in third, with Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products) fourth and Sofuoglu fifth. Another South African Ronan Quarmby (PTR Honda) was sixth.
Results: 1. Lowes (Honda) 18 Laps/96.192 km in 37'14.284 average 154.990 kph; 2. Foret (Kawasaki) 1.446; 3. Morais (Kawasaki) 4.322; 4. Parkes (Honda) 5.924; 5. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 6.377; 6. Quarmby (Honda) 16.333; 7. Iannuzzo (Triumph) 19.948; 8. Metcher (Yamaha) 22.663; etc.
Points (after 7 of 13 rounds): 1. Sofuoglu 117; 2. Lowes 101; 3. Cluzel 84; 4. Foret 83; 5. Parkes 66; 6. Baldolini 54; 7. Morais 53; 8. Quarmby 44; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Honda 156; 2. Kawasaki 151; 3. Triumph 76; 4. Yamaha 60; 5. Suzuki 6.
Bryan Staring (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) took his first win in the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup class today, front-running to take a final advantage of eight seconds and setting a new lap record of 2 minutes 01.446 seconds along the way. Runner-up was MRS Kawasaki rider Jeremy Guarnoni, who passed long-time second-placed man Lorenzo Baroni (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) in the closing stages. Fourth was Barni Racing Team Ducati Panigale rider Eddi La Marra. Championship leader Sylvain Barrier is now only a single point ahead of La Marra after he and Luca Savadori collided early in the race and Barrier eventually retired.
Results: 1. Staring (Kawasaki) 12 Laps/64.128 km in 24'28.928 average 157.163 kph; 2. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 8.073; 3. Baroni (BMW) 11.320; 4. La Marra (Ducati) 14.630; 5. Reiterberger (BMW) 15.911; 6. Coghlan (Ducati) 24.471; 7. Bussolotti (Ducati) 28.367; 8. McFadden (Kawasaki) 28.914; etc.
Points (after 5 of 10 rounds): 1. Barrier 75; 2. La Marra 74; 3. Savadori 67; 4. Baroni 56; 5. Reiterberger 52; 6. Guarnoni 46; 7. Staring 45; 8. Bergman 40; etc. Manufacturers: 1. BMW 100; 2. Ducati 87; 3. Kawasaki 85; 4. Honda 36; 5. Aprilia 15.
KTM European Junior Cup
A fantastic finish to the EJC race saw local rider Javier Orellana win from pole man Lukas Wimmer by only 0.040 seconds after eight laps at the long and fast Motorland Aragon Circuit. Gaston Garcia and Christian Vidal, also local Spanish riders, followed on behind Austrian Wimmer. Jean Francois Demoulin was fifth and Artur Wielebski went sixth.
Results: 1. Orellana (KTM) 8 Laps/42.752 km in 18'38.964 average 137.544 kph; 2. Wimmer (KTM) 0.040; 3. Garcia (KTM) 6.630; 4. Vidal (KTM) 6.659; 5. Demoulin (KTM) 16.253; 6. Wielebski (KTM) 21.911; 7. Patterson (KTM) 21.979; 8. Kyee (KTM) 31.071; etc.
Points (after 4 of 8 rounds): 1. Orellana 46; 2. Wimmer 45; 3. Vidal 39; 4. Demoulin 35; 5. Wielebski 30; 6. Pasek 25; 7. Garcia 25; 8. Lewis 25; etc.
More, from a press release issued by Althea Racing:
PODIUM FINISH FOR CHECA (ALTHEA RACING) TODAY AT HIS HOME TRACK OF MOTORLAND ARAGON
Aragon (Spain), Sunday 1st July 2012: Althea Racing's Carlos Checa was very happy to score a podium finish at his home track of MotorLand Aragon today; he finished the first of two Superbike races in third position, cheered on by his Spanish fans.
Race 1 the track temperature for this first race was about 25 degrees cooler than for yesterday's Superpole, at about 32ËšC. Starting from seventh position on the race grid, Checa got away well and by the end of the first lap he was lying sixth, having already got past Haslam. Davide also started very fast and was in fifth place after one lap, thanks to a flying start from eleventh on the grid. Unfortunately after a few laps Davide's tyre performance began to drop and from that moment he was unable to keep pace with the leading group, losing positions as a result. Suffering even more in the later stages Giugliano crossed the line in eventual eighth place. Carlos held fifth position for the majority of the race, only a fraction of a second behind the third and fourth placed riders. These was contact between these two Sykes and Badovini on the final lap which left both of them on the ground. As a result it was Spanish rider Carlos Checa who took the final spot on the race 1 rostrum, very happy with having scored a podium finish 'at home'.
Race 2 in the second race Davide once again got away like a rocket and was sixth through the first corners, followed by Carlos in tenth position. Carlos began to make up lose ground and by the seventh lap he was into seventh position, behind Haslam and Sykes. Davide meanwhile lost a couple of positions and from eighth place battled it out with Rea and Haslam and, in the final phase, Badovini too. All of the riders in this chasing group were lapping with very similar times and at the end of a very hard-fought race, Davide closed in final tenth position, but only ten seconds behind the race winner Melandri. Carlos got past Haslam, taking sixth position but then he too had to spend the final stages of the race locked in battle against several riders including Rea and Sykes. Maintaining a good pace until the finish line, Checa concluded this second race in seventh position.
At the end of round 8, Checa climbs to fourth position in the general standings with 175.5 points while Davide is still ninth with 94 points. Ducati lies in second place in the manufacturer's championship with 247.5 points to Aprilia's 266.
"To close in the top five would already have been a good result today, so to reach the podium was pretty unexpected to be honest. It's always great to score this kind of result when you're racing at home. I thank all of my team for their hard work and also the public for their enthusiasm. We had a little luck at the end of race 1 I was sorry for what happened between Badovini and Sykes, and pleased they were unhurt. The second race went fairly well, in the sense that my rhythm was a bit better but I was unable to get past those ahead of me. They slowed me down a little through the corners and then I was losing out to them on the straight. It's difficult to race in these conditions, you have to force every manoeuvre, pushing so hard in the last part of the track to make up for what you lose on the straight."
"I think that if this was track was all corners, and no straight, Carlos and I could have finished first and second today. In the second race I had a better pace than in the first, and so even though I finished tenth, it meant I was only ten seconds from the winner, which is pretty good. We were all very close in race 2. I'm also satisfied that I came in as the second Ducati after the one ridden by the world champion Carlos, I don't think that's bad either. It wasn't easy today, Carlos and I have to battle just to stay in the middle, just to stay close to those with superior top speed. Anyway, I've taken some points and now we move on. I thank my team for all their hard work over the weekend."
More, from a press release issued by Effenbert Liberty Racing Team:
Already an unlucky race for the Liberty Racing with just the tenth place of Berger as best result. Guintoli closes its Spanish day with a twelfth and a thirteenth place. Kuba Smrz crashed at the start of race 1 and he did not take part at the second round.
The Liberty Racing Team finished the Spain GP with a not good budget for the economy of the Italo-Czech team. After the start of race 1 Kuba SmrÅ¾, crashed down after a contact with Johnny Rea, forcing Guintoli out of the track, and restarting the race from the last positions. Despite the bad impact on the tarmac Kuba reported no serious injuries, but only painful contusions to the wrist and ankle, and he didn't run the second race, especially to be in perfect physical condition for the Czech GP, scheduled the weekend of July 22. The two French riders led a comeback race in parallel made several overtakes. At the end Guintoli closed on the twelfth place, instead the team mate Maxime Berger arrived tenth. On the podium rose respectively Biaggi, Checa and Melandri. In race two the Liberty Racing Team took to the track with only two of Ducati French. The first after a good start, seventh in the first corner, had achieved by the group of followers and was relegated to the thirteenth position under the checkered flag, with Berger twelfth. Melandri, Laverty and Davies are the heroes of the second round.
More, from a press release issued by Aprilia:
ALL ITALIAN VICTORY IN RACE 1 AND PODIUM IN RACE 2 IN SPAIN.
RANKING LEADER MAX BIAGGI RIDES A BRILLIANT RACE 1 AND FINISHES JUST SHORT OF THE PODIUM IN RACE 2.
SECOND PLACE FOR EUGENE LAVERTY IN RACE 2 AFTER FIFTH PLACE IN THE FIRST.
Aragon, 1 July 2012 The two Superbike races in Aragon Motorland resulted in good spoils for Aprilia Racing. An exciting Race 1, with Max Biaggi taking victory after a heated battle with Melandri, opened up the show for this World Superbike Spanish Sunday.
Getting off to a great start from the second spot on the starting grid, Max set a pace on the track which none of the other rivals except Melandri were able to maintain. From the halfway point of the race on positions were inverted frequently without either of the contenders leaving a gap behind the front runner. A perfect overtake by Max two laps from the end put an end to the competition: the rider of the Aprilia RSV4 with the unmistakeable number 3 on the fairing earned an advantage which was sufficient for him to cross the finish line first.
In Race 2 four riders fought the battle for victory. Melandri and Biaggi were joined by Laverty and Davies, launching a battle which ended with Max in fourth place, just short of the podium. The Corsair maintains the lead in the rider rankings, 48 points in front of Melandri and 65.5 ahead of Rea.
"We certainly didn't hold anything back commented Max Biaggi right after the race we were basically all in the same conditions, so there was no way to make the difference. I really had to give 100%, especially after the halfway point when the tyres started to lose grip and I had to be careful not to make any mistakes. After overtaking the last time in Race 1, the decisive overtake, I gained a few metres advantage and managed to win".
It was a positive Sunday for Eugene Laverty as well, with victory in Race 2 just out of reach, having to settle for second place. The Northern Irish rider, after complaining of a lack of grip in the first race, was able to improve enough to aim for victory in the second. Just 42 thousandths of a second separated him from the top step of the podium, a result which leaves Eugene quite satisfied.
Laverty's words confirm this: "I came here with the goal of getting on the podium and I achieved that. It was a shame for Race 1. I didn't have the grip to keep up with the lead pack and I finished fifth. Before the second race we made some changes that allowed me to ride significantly better, even enough to get out in front. In the last lap Marco overtook me where I didn't expect it, but second place is still an excellent result that lets me leave the difficulties of the last few rounds behind me".
More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:
Sykes And Baz Unlucky But Staring Wins For Kawasaki In Superstock 1000
WSBK, Motorland Aragon, Spain, 1 July 2012
Kawasaki Racing Team riders Tom Sykes and Loris Baz both lost valuable points scoring opportunities today due to simple bad luck and a crash from another rider that put Sykes out of a podium place.
Tom, who set a blistering new track best in Superpole on Saturday, found slightly cooler conditions today and despite losing some ground at one stage of the race he fought back to secure what looked like a safe podium finish behind the leading duo.
Sykes was taken out from behind when another rider crashed and his sliding machine took Tom's back wheel away from under him while at an extreme lean angle. The high-speed crash left Tom bruised but undamaged, but the same could not be said of his official Ninja ZX-10R machine. It had to be almost completely rebuilt due to the new-for-2012 single bike rules, which prevent riders from having two complete bikes in the pit box at any time.
Rapid and full repairs were made in time for Tom to compete in race two but high winds helped to keep him down in a final eighth place, despite lapping in fifth in the early laps.
Loris Baz found his own problems today, including the adverse effects of the high winds, but in each race he had some bad luck. He was run off track by crashing riders in front of him in the very first corner, and then his gear-linkage broke when he was about to get back into a points scoring position. In race two his quick shifter developed an issue but he carried on to the flag, finishing 20th. Leandro Mercado and David Salom (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) were also unfortunate on race day, with Salom just one place away from a point in race two at his home race in Spain and Mercado only 18th. Neither rider completed race one.
A class-leading 1-2 for Kawasaki in the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup race saw Bryan Staring (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) take his and the Ninja ZX-10R's first race win at this level, and be followed home in second place by another Kawasaki rider, Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS). Former Australian champion Staring led for almost the entire race and also took a new race lap record of 2'01.446 on lap five, as he finished over eight seconds up on Guarnoni. The young French rider in his turn rode hard and effectively to catch and then pass Lorenzo Baroni and score his first podium in this class. Jeremy is now sixth overall, on 46 points, with Staring seventh on 45.
Tom Sykes: "We are far from happy because we had a fantastic test last week and learned a lot. We came here this weekend and were very strong, even in hot conditions, and I could do good lap times for a long time. I was confident for today's races but unfortunately the winds came along and that looks like it has pushed us over the edge again on the front traction side. We were already critical but we had the best of he situation this weekend. I was expecting a good result on the Ninja ZX-10R, but we could not do anything about it. We were still heading for the podium in race one but unfortunately someone tried a silly manoeuvre in race one and it has cost me dearly, and Kawasaki, because we could have been sitting top three in the championship still without that. The boys in the team did a fantastic job and the bike was ready when the pitlane opened for race two, so credit to them, but it is not the ideal situation for any of us to be in. Al my boys put together a top bike for race two it was just unfortunate that with the windy conditions we were just not able to deliver. That mistake by another rider has upset me a bit and put us back but I am sure with a test tomorrow we can keep working and we will get there. I am confident we can come strong."
Loris Baz: "We were just unlucky today. I was pushed wide in the first corner so that was the first piece of bad luck. Riders crashed in front of me to I had to go straight. My race pace was quite good and I think I could have finished 11th, but then my gear linkage broke a few laps in. I had to come in then. My pace was good in race two but the wind was quite difficult it made it hard to find a solution to it. I wanted to lean off more to pull the bike into corners but when I did the wind caught my body and made it even worse. I had a few laps to sort it and then the shifter broke so it is just bad luck. It is nothing we have done wrong, just bad luck."
Bryan Staring: "We had a lot of firsts in the race and it was a great race for me. I worked hard with the team and this is our second year together in Europe. I love the circuit here in Spain and everything came together for us in the race. We made some fantastic lap times and we were able to win the race so it was incredible for all of us."
Jeremy Guarnoni: "A very good result for us as it is a new thing for me to be in the podium in Superstock 1000. I am now there with my MRS team and I have to be so happy for the race result we all took. I had some contact with Sylvain Barrier and I tried to push and push to get to Lorenzo Baroni and then pass him for second. I am happy for Bryan and Lorenzo also, because it was a very good race."
More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad Motorsport:
Weather conditions: Light clouds with strong winds.
Temperature: Air: 22 25 Â°C, Track: 32 41 Â°C
Number of riders participating: 23 from 13 teams
Fastest lap Race 1: Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 1:58.251 min
Fastest lap Race 2: Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 1:58.950 min
It was an exciting and very successful Sunday for Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport at Motorland AragÃ³n (ESP). The squad not only celebrated another victory in the FIM Superbike World Championship, but also a second place on the podium and two more fastest race laps. Factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA) won race two after being second in race one, setting the fastest laps in both races on his BMW S 1000 RR. In much cooler conditions than on the previous days, Leon Haslam (GBR) had bad luck with a wrong tyre choice for race one but fought strong battles in race two. He finished seventh and sixth respectively. With these results, the two riders collected 64 points in total for the squad another team record for BMW Motorrad Motorsport.
In the early stages of race one, Marco caught up with the leaders after starting fifth. On lap four, he had improved to second place, one and a half second behind race leader Max Biaggi (ITA). Marco gradually closed the gap, setting the fastest race time on lap six. Less than halfway through the race he was already directly behind Biaggi and the two of them started a nail-biting battle for victory, breaking away from the rest of the field. Marco took the lead on lap 12, but was passed by Biaggi again one lap later. On lap 15 Marco again got to the front, but on the penultimate lap Biaggi was able to bounce back. He crossed the finish line as winner, 0.278 seconds ahead of Marco. Leon, who started fourth, slipped back to eighth through the first corners and as he was struggling with grip he could not catch up again and crossed the line in seventh.
The second race was even more exciting. From start to finish, three or four riders were fighting at the very top, Marco being one of them. The lead changed between Biaggi, his team-mate Eugene Laverty (GBR) and Marco. For the closing stages of the race, Chaz Davies (GBR) joined the trio in the fight for the win. In the 16th of 20 laps, Marco slipped back from P1 to third, but during the intense battle he worked his way back and took the lead again in the final lap, defended attacks from Laverty and Davies and crossed the finish line scoring his third victory of the season. Leon had a good start and was fighting at the front at the beginning, being third after the first lap but he then ran off the circuit briefly and fell back to fourth. From then on he was involved in a strong battle with Jonathan Rea, Tom Sykes (both GBR) and Carlos Checa (ESP), finishing the race in sixth.
In the Riders' Championship, Marco has improved to second with 200.5 points, 48 shy of leader Biaggi. Leon is sixth with 142 points. In the Manufacturers' Standings BMW lies in third with 242 points, 24 points adrift of leader Aprilia. Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport stays at Motorland AragÃ³n and will take part in tomorrow's official Infront testing at the venue.
BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet SBK Team's rider Michel Fabrizio (ITA) was sixth and 11th in today's races. His team-mate Ayrton Badovini (ITA) retired in race one and was ninth in race two. In the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup, Lorenzo Baroni (ITA) from the BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet STK Team finished third on the podium. Markus Reiterberger (GER) of Team Alpha Racing crossed the line in fifth on his RR.
Result Race 1: 2nd / Gap to 1st: 00:00.278 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:58.251 min
Result Race 2: 1st / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:58.950 min
"It is just amazing. To win here is beautiful. I just want to say thanks to my guys, because we made another small step with the bike. In race one we had a good battle and I just missed a little bit of speed in the end to try to beat Max. In the beginning I first had to overtake Eugene Laverty and Tom Sykes. Then I had to push hard to catch up with Max who was leading. Once I was there, I tried to overtake him, but it was not easy as I struggled with my rear tyre. When I was in front, I would have preferred to make it difficult for him to pass me back, but he overtook me quite easily. He was faster than me and on the last lap it was hard for me to follow him. It is always nice to be on the podium, but I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed after race one.
So in race two I put all my effort to get the win. It was not easy because the wind was very strong and the Aprilia guys were pushing hard. In the beginning, Max could not go as fast as in race one and for me it was similar. Eugene was very fast and suddenly with only a few laps to go, Max overtook me. I passed him back but went wide and so Chaz and Eugene went past me. They were riding so strongly and so fast that it was not easy. For the last lap I had no plan, because when racing against those guys you cannot think about a plan because they try to pass you at every corner so I just tried to find a good place for braking at the end of the straight. To win was so amazing. Now we will try some more things in the test tomorrow and keep working in this direction for the next races."
Result Race 1: 7th / Gap to 1st: 00:29.032 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:59.933 min
Result Race 2: 6th / Gap to 1st: 00:07.491 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:59.343 min
"In race one we went for the wrong tyre. In the warm up in the morning the race tyre we had chosen only lasted seven laps so we made a last minute gamble to choose the hardest tyre which we had not really run over the weekend. We knew that the pace would not be so good in the beginning but hoped that it will be good at the end. My lap times stayed the same but I just had zero grip. It was the wrong choice. We missed out there because I felt we could have definitely challenged Carlos Checa for a podium in race one.
In race two I had a better start and felt pretty good but then ran off the circuit and lost a lot of time. I pushed again and got back up to battle with Carlos and Tom Sykes and a few other guys but ran off the circuit again. Every time I went a little bit deeper on the brakes I really struggled. I was pretty happy to finish ahead of Sykes and Checa but I felt that we had a good enough pace, especially at the end of the race, to be in the leading group; there were just too many mistakes."
Bernhard Gobmeier (BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director):
"It was a great start to the second half of the season for us. Again we proved that we are very competitive. It was also important to see that we were fighting at the very top in both races. In race one, we unfortunately chose the wrong tyres for Leon due to the changing temperatures but overall we are very happy. Marco did an outstanding job, as did Leon in race two. In addition to that we had the fastest lap in both races. I am particularly delighted that we can welcome the new General Director of BMW Motorrad, Stephan Schaller, with these results. A big thank you to both riders and crews; the whole team did a great job."
More, from a press release issued by Honda:
FIM SUPERBIKE / SUPERSPORT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
ROUND 08 SUNDAY JULY 01 MOTORLAND ARAGON, SPANISH ROUND
Weather: Dry, warm, windy
Temperature: Ambient 22/25 degrees C / Track 32/41 degrees C
REA NOW THIRD OVERALL AFTER TOUGH WEEKEND IN SPAIN
Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) had
never raced at Aragon before today, but qualified
sixth in Superpole for the Spanish round of the
2012 FIM Superbike World Championship, before his
race day fortunes changed somewhat. A first
corner crash in race one, after a collision with
other riders, saw him fall, then restart and eventually finish 16th.
In race two Jonathan battled through from ninth
at one stage to go fifth at the flag, the first
rider behind a leading group of four that
contained race one winner Max Biaggi (Aprilia)
and race two victor Marco Melandri (BMW).
The two 20-lap races were held in windy
conditions, with relatively moderate temperatures
compared to the opening day on Friday when it was
in the high 30s. Down in 14th in the first
qualifying session on that day Rea moved to 11th
in combined qualifying, shortly before Superpole.
He finished up on the second row, showing good
improvements in machine set-up and rider
experience around the 5.344Km circuit in northern
Spain. With two good starts better results could
have come along for a rider who has scored two race wins in 2012 so far.
In the championship rankings Biaggi has 248.5
points, Melandri 200.5 and Rea 183.
Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team)
missed Superpole by two places, qualifying 18th
from 23 riders. On race day he scored points in
each 20-lap contest, in 14th and 15th places
respectively. He is still trying to find an
optimum set-up for his needs and looks forward to
finding improvements for the next round, at Brno
in the Czech Republic, on Sunday 22 July.
LOWES WINS AS CLUZEL'S LUCK DESERTS HIM
Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda) won his second
Supersport World Championship race in peculiar
fashion at Motorland Aragon, as he crossed the
line in second place after 18-laps of close and
combative racing, but was awarded the race win
when the leader Kenan Sofuoglu was punished with
a drop of position to fifth. Lowes and the other
riders in the original top five moved up one place as Sofuoglu was demoted.
Lowes was aware the situation and the likely
penalty Sofuoglu faced for not making the
required drop in track positions before the end
of the race and Sam reduced his pace near the end
to take the 25 points and move back to second in
the championship table, now only 16 points behind
leader Sofuoglu. Lowes had been only fifth in
qualifying, but found improvements in race pace
at the right time and was in determined mood
throughout, moving up from seventh on lap one to
the lead before Sofuoglu re-passed him.
For Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda) an impressive pole
sitter, a fall on lap three put him out of the
points, dropping from second to third behind
Lowes. At the top of the championship Sofuoglu
has 117 points, Lowes 101 and Cluzel has an unchanged 84.
The first attempted running of the Supersport
race was started on time then almost immediately
halted for a serious looking accident when Mathew
Scholtz (Bogdanka PTR Honda) and Yves Polzer
(Yamaha) collided on the start line. Scholtz
suffered a concussion, but walked away while
Polzer was immobilised on track then taken to
hospital for checks, with no serious injuries
finally resulting from the collision.
The restarted race, getting underway half an hour
behind schedule, went on for all 18 planned laps
and Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda)
secured an eventual fourth place, after
Sofuoglu's penalty was taken into account. The
Australian rider was sixth in qualifying and is
fifth in the championship rankings, the third
highest ranked Honda rider as the 13 round season
crossed over the halfway point.
Ronan Quarmby (PTR Honda) had one of his better
days in 2012, finishing sixth after qualifying
only 11th. He is now eighth in the championship
and confident he can move up again. Gabor
Talmacsi (PRORACE Honda) was a determined ninth
today, easily his best finish in the two races he
has competed in so far in 2012.
Raffaele de Rosa (Lorini Honda) and his team-mate
Roberto Tamburini (Lorini Honda) were 13th and
15th respectively; the last Honda points scorers
on show today. Tamburini is now tenth overall, on 39 points.
Imre Toth (Racing Team Toth Honda) retired in the
pits while his team-mate Balazs Nemeth fell when
moving through the field. Martin Jessopp (Riders
PTR Honda) was unable to ride after falling in
practice, aggravating existing injuries and being
prevented from starting. Valentine Debise (SMS
Racing Honda) did not complete the first lap in
the attempted first race start. Pawel Szkopek had
to retire with clutch issues on his Bogdanka PTR
Honda as he continues to recover from leg injuries.
HONDA RIDER COMMENTS:
Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team):
Race result: 16th / 5th Championship position: 3rd
"In race one I was taken out. Unfortunate, but I
want to make that clear because I have just
watched the footage back and the some TV guys
said I made a mistake, which was completely not
the case. I could have come in because there was
no chance of making points, but I stayed out to
find a rhythm because I still did not have a good
rhythm going into the race. We found some things
out just by riding around, which was good. So we
made some changes for race two, the temperature
increased and I was able to run at a much better
case. There were just two riders who were so
difficult to pass. It was clear that when I did
get past I would be able to go, but their only
mission was to ride defensively so I wasted quite
a lot of time passing, but I could go forward
when I had clear track and I could get my head
down. The bike was working pretty good, but I had
some braking issues. But he front end is really
good and I have a lot of confidence."
Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team):
Race result: 14th / 15th Championship position: 16th
"I came here with a lot of motivation because we
are in the half point of the season. We struggled
a lot in the first half of the year and I wanted
to have a good rhythm ever time on track, but it
was another difficult weekend for me. Until now I
have never felt full confidence with the bike. If
it was easy we would have found it by now, but it
is proving not so easy to fix. I think if we can
get things going well then we can follow that
direction. The team works a lot to thanks to them
and I hope soon now we can find a solution for the races."
Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda):
Race result: 1st Championship position: 2nd
"I'd like to say a massive thank you to my team.
It was difficult in the end because I knew Kenan
had a penalty and I was actually in first
position, but I rode my race and it was good.
Already yesterday I knew I had a good race pace
and just needed to get a good start from fifth
and then hang in there. I just put my head down
and got into my rhythm. I took my time because I
knew it was going to be a long race. We're back
in second overall, and I'm looking forward to
fighting for more victories and the championship.
We've got Brno next which I like a lot and
Silverstone which is my second home race, so I'm
really looking forward to that."
Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda):
Race result: DNF Championship position: 3rd
"I am really disappointed because I lost points
on a day it was possible to take points from
Sofuoglu. We had good pace and before the race I
felt good on the bike. I was surprised to lose
the front and now we must understand why. It may
have been windy or the fuel load; I will work
with my team to discover the cause so we can
learn from this. Anyway, this is racing and it
happens sometimes, now I will focus on the next round and doing well there!"
Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda):
Race result: 4th Championship position: 5th
"I struggled a bit today. I tried to stay with
the front guys the whole race, but I could only
just keep it there at the beginning. When I
caught back up they'd group again and just go. It
was disappointing because I couldn't attack
anywhere. Unfortunately we didn't get the result
we wanted because I was here to battle for a
podium, not fourth or fifth, but that's racing. I
think we need to work on where we put the power
in the engine because we're not getting the best
out of it at the moment. I want to be back
battling at the front, so we'll work hard during
the test tomorrow and prepare as well as we can for the next race in Brno."
Ronan Quarmby (PTR Honda):
Race result: 6th Championship position: 8th
"I am happy with sixth. I just had to ride
controlled and think about what I was doing for
the whole race. Well done to my PTR Honda team on
helping me this weekend. I find this track
difficult and struggled right from the off but
this is a much better result than last year and
we can go to Brno with a bike that is handling very well indeed."
Martin Jessopp (Riders PTR Honda):
Race result: DNS Championship position: 37th
"I am disappointed not to race, but I just knew
it wasn't possible. I gave it a go in warm up,
but couldn't move or tuck I on the bike so there
was no way I was able to ride. I woke up stiffer
than yesterday - my coccyx is really sore. There
is a three week break before Brno so I will be back and fighting fit for that."
Mathew Scholtz (Bogdanka PTR Honda):
Race result: DNF Championship position: 33rd
"The bike cut off at the start and I tried to
warn everyone at the back, but one rider didn't
see me and hit me from the back. Luckily I don't
have any broken bones. I'm in a bit of a pain,
but I'll be fine for Brno. It's a track I know
and I've actually won in another class there in
the past so I'm really looking forward to the next round."
Pawel Szkopek (Bogdanka Honda PTR):
Race result: DNF Championship position: Not classified
"We had a problem with the clutch which meant I
had to pull in after three laps. It's a pity
because only 19 riders finished the race and we
could've got some points today, but that's
racing. More importantly, it was a good return to
action following my injury. I got up to speed
pretty quickly and was competitive all weekend
long, which is a big confidence boost ahead of my
home race at Brno. We have a bit of a break now
and I'll be working hard on getting back to full fitness."
More, from a press release issued by FIXI Crescent Suzuki:
Top-10 for Camier and FIXI Crescent Suzuki in Spain
FIXI Crescent Suzuki's Leon Camier raced to an impressive ninth place in the first race of today's eighth round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship from Motorland Aragon in Spain.
Camier started from 14th on the grid and got off to a great start to make his way to 10th by the end of the first lap. He was involved in a race-long battle with several other riders that saw the group of them swapping positions as the race progressed. Camier was in 11th as the final lap started, but a two-rider collision in-front of the FIXI Crescent rider on the Yoshimura-powered Suzuki, saw him benefit and bring his machine home for a tough but deserved - ninth place. In race two Camier again got a good start and was up into 10th place early on. Unfortunately a technical issue with his bike forced him to enter the pits and retire at the end of lap 17.
John Hopkins had another frustrating day, after a number of mistakes in his first race at the 5,344m Motorland Aragon circuit cost him valuable places and a mechanical fault also forced him to retire from race two after nearly four-laps. Hopkins got a good start in the first event and by lap four had moved up to 12th place from 21st on the grid. Unfortunately he made a number of mistakes in the closing stages that cost him dearly, before he eventually took the chequered flag in the 15th and final points scoring place. Race two saw him have to exit the track at turn-16 on lap four and call an early end to the day's proceedings. Hopkins was very disappointed with the results, but can take some solace that he was able to complete the weekend, in very difficult conditions, with no after-effects of the injuries that have also hampered his season so far.
Today's races were held in much cooler conditions than have been experienced this weekend. Race one saw track temperatures almost 30Â° lower than on previous days, with it warming up slightly for the second event. Max Biaggi on an Aprilia took victory in race one to extend his World Championship lead, with Marco Melandri emerging victorious on a BMW in race two.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki will now return to the UK, before it heads off across Europe for the ninth round of the season, which is due to be held at Brno in the Czech Republic on Sunday 22nd July.
"The funny thing is that I felt that I was riding really well today. I was all over most of the other riders in the turns and on the brakes, but was losing out on acceleration out of the slow corners. On the back straight, I was losing somewhere between three and five tenths-of-a-second and that's hard to make up in this level of competition.
"The wind was quite strong today and it affected our braking points and it was easy to overshoot the corners - especially the slow hairpin at the end of the back straight. I am really happy with the chassis of my FIXI Crescent Suzuki and I feel that the electronics have improved quite a bit recently. If we can improve the acceleration out of the turns and get a bit more power, I think that our bike is capable of competing with the best."
"On a day like today, it's hard to say much at all. I didn't make a great start in the first race, but managed to settle into some kind of rhythm. As the race wore on, I made a few mistakes and ran off the track a couple of times and at this level, it's so hard to get back into contention. I managed to get into the points, but I felt it should've been better.
"In race two, the bike felt slow, more or less from the start, and then it got worse, so I had to pull in. You get days like today in racing sometimes, but it's never easy to deal with when the problem is not of your own making. I am sure the team will work hard to make sure it doesn't happen again."
Jack Valentine - Team Manager:
"You never know what racing is going to throw up. I know we're better than our current results, so it's up to all of us to put in the hard work and get better. We have to improve our qualifying position, so that both riders have a better chance in the races.
"Once Leon got his head down in race one, he was lapping as good as almost anybody and was very consistent. He used a hard tyre to be strong at the end of the race, but it cost him in the early part. He was on course for a solid 11th place, but got gifted 9th when Badovini and Sykes tangled and crashed - the way things are at the moment, I'll take that result! John made a good start in race one, passing Leon after his team-mate made a small mistake in turn one. He was over-riding the bike, trying to make up for the acceleration deficit in the corners, but that wore the tyre out, which caused some mistakes and a drop down the order. Both riders failed to finish the second race because of mechanical problems. That disappoints me and shows us there's a lot of hard work to be done. I'm sure we'll solve the problems and come back stronger."