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Sep 20, 2010

Updated: More From Last Weekend's Various Races

Andrea Iannone (29) in action at Motorland Aragon.

FTR MOTO and the FIMMCO Speed Up Team completed a hat-trick of victories in the Moto2 World Championship as Andrea Iannone scored his third runaway win of the year in Sunday's 12th round at the inaugural Motorland Aragon, Spain Grand Prix.

The Italian rider recorded his fifth pole position of the year before leading the 21-lap race from start to finish and finishing more than six seconds clear of Julian Simon of Spain. Gabor Talmacsi gave the FIMMCO Speed Up Team further cause for celebration as the Hungarian took a first podium finish of the year with third place on his M210.

Iannone commented: "We've had two difficult races before Aragon so this is perfect for the team. It's very satisfying to get pole position and to win and the best reward I can offer the team for their work."

Iannone's victory leaves him third in the World Championship with five races remaining, four points behind Simon in second place while Talmacsi moved up to sixth place after his podium finish. Karel Abraham finished in 18th place on the Cardion AB Motoracing's M210 while Alex Debon still suffering with an injured shoulder finished 22nd on the Aeroport de Castello-Ajo Team M210.

Luckless wild card Kev Coghlan was forced out of the race on the opening lap after impressing with the fourth fastest time in Friday's practice and eventually qualifying in 13th place.

"It's great to see Andrea get a victory to add to those at Mugello and Assen," said FTR's Steve Bones. "He's regularly shown the promise but different circumstances have delayed the third win until now.

"For Speed Up to get two FTR M210s on the podium is fantastic, Gabor has been tremendously consistent all season and Sunday's third place could well lead to him challenging for a first victory soon. It was disappointing for Kev Coghlan and the Monlau guys, a fuel starvation issue was enough to end their hopes of what would probably have been a top 10 finish."

Bones concluded: "The feedback from the riders regarding the new parts they tested and raced at Aragon was very positive and development will now continue before the teams head off for Japan, Malaysia and Australia next week."

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

Outgoing world champions Ben and Tom Birchall from Mansfield scored three top four results in round six of the Eastern Airways Battle of Britain F1 Sidecar championship at Anglesy over the weekend and remain in third place in the overall rider standings but have reduced the deficit between themselves and Alan Schofield - who holds second place - to just four points with two rounds (six races) remaining.

The Mitchells of Mansfield supported brothers were at a slight disadvantage as they were first timers at the North Wales circuit but it didn't take them long to learn the intricacies of the undulating and exciting 1.550-mile coastal circuit and despite a slipping clutch they were able to post the second fastest lap time in qualifying to begin their races from a front row grid position.

The weather took a turn for the worse and Saturday's first race was held in heavy rain but this didn't appear to bother the Mansfield pair who shot off the line to establish a four second lead on the first lap. By lap four they were into the back markers and weaved their way safely through to gradually extend their lead to over 13 seconds and cross the finish line for a convincing victory over 13.6 seconds ahead of Reeves and Cluze.

"We were happy to qualify in second place after riding with a slipping clutch although if we hadn't had that problem we could have done better" said Ben. "We changed the clutch in between practice and the first race and ended up winning. The bike ran well and the Avon tyres were spot on, we also put in the fastest lap of the race so we were really happy with the result."

The weather on Sunday was even worse with a blustery and menacing wind accompanying the driving rain. As the lights went out for the start of race two, Ben and Tom were quick to anticipate the start and led the riders around the first part of the course. But as they approached the spectacular corkscrew they were overtaken by Reeves and Cluze and as they exited onto the paddock straight they were caught out in the treacherous conditions, spun the outfit and were left stranded in the middle of the track. They were quick to restart but rejoined way down the field almost in last place.

Undeterred, Ben got his head down and began to reel in the riders ahead picking them off one by one until they moved back up into fourth place on lap seven of the scheduled 14.

But as he was lining up Clark and Graham for third place the red flag brought the race to an early end and the Nottinghamshire riders had to be content with fourth place.

"The treacherous conditions caught me out," said Ben. "We spun and were very nearly at the back of the field when we rejoined. We had got up to fourth when the race was stopped otherwise I think we could have got to the podium."

The rain abated in time for the last of the three races and Ben and Tom slotted into second place. They took a gamble on intermediate tyres but it began to rain again mid race and that impeded their progress, allowing Reeves and Cluze to pull away and establish a five second lead. Although they posted the fastest lap of the race on the final circulation they were unable to catch the leaders and finished in second place, the gap reduced to just three and a half seconds.

"It is harder to race in drying conditions than when it's really wet. It began to rain again half way through the race so the intermediate tyres went off a little bit. But towards the end it began to dry out again and we were able to post the fastest lap of the race on the last lap. I would like to say a big thank you to Avon Tyres; they pulled out all the stops and have been great all weekend."

The Birchall brothers remain in third place overall and are now only four points away from the runner up spot. They are 91 points behind Reeves who leads the series but with six races and 150 points still up for grabs it is still mathematically possible for the Mansfield pair to take the title.

The penultimate round is at Donington Park on October 24 when Ben and Tom will be chasing a hat trick of wins to edge nearer to their rivals ahead of the final showdown at Mallory Park on October 31.

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

Outright lap record and hat-trick for Farquhar at Oliver's Mount

Ryan Farquhar rounded off his 2010 road racing season in fine style at the weekend when he not only took a hat-trick of victories at Oliver's Mount, Scarborough but also claimed the outright lap record. The KMR Kawasaki rider was in superb form in both the wet and dry and was able to take the Darran Lindsay and Phil Mellor trophies as well as a new lap record, the first man ever to lap the 2.41-mile woodland circuit in less than 1m45s. The success meant he ended the year with a staggering total of 52 road racing victories to his name and an overall tally of 58, 6 more wins having been attained on the short circuits, an amazing achievement indeed.

Ryan signalled his intentions from the off and he comfortably took a win in his Superbike heat on Saturday, also lapping within a whisker of Guy Martin's outright lap record. Next up was the opening 125cc/450cc race and Ryan had a race long battle with Ian Lougher, the Welshman eventually coming out on top on his 125cc Honda by just 0.25s. He didn't have to wait long for his first race win though and he dominated the first Superbike race to win by over 4 seconds and it was here where he claimed the outright lap record with a stunning lap of 1m44.932s. Win number 2 came shortly afterwards with a 7-second victory on his ER6 650cc Kawasaki win in the first leg of the Minitwins.

Sunday dawned wet and windy, which meant his outright lap record would remain intact, but there was still plenty of racing to be done, his first race of the day being the second leg of the Minitwins. Speeds were considerably down on the previous day and Ryan was sitting comfortably in second behind Dean Harrison when the red flag came out so he had to settle for second on this occasion although he was able to claim the overall victory on aggregate time, picking up the Phil Mellor Trophy for the first time in his illustrious career.

There was no rest for Ryan and he was back on the grid for the second leg of the Superbikes and he was more dominant in the wet than he had been in the dry, his eventual winning margin being 10.6s, the victory on this occasion giving him the Darran Lindsay Trophy and his 22nd at Scarborough this year! With his ZX-10R Superstock machine working perfectly, Ryan was favourite for the feature Gold Cup race but a sluggish start saw him back in third at the end of the opening lap and despite his best efforts, this was where he finished and he had to give best to Lougher and race winner Ian Hutchinson. Ryan then completed his weekend with another second place to Lougher in the second leg of the 125cc/450cc race.

Speaking later, a pleased Ryan said: "I'm over the moon to have claimed the outright lap record this weekend and I must admit I was quite pleased when I saw the rain on Sunday as I knew no-one would be able to take it back off me! I was near record pace in my heat, which quite surprised me, but I just rode as hard and as steady as I could in the race so to get the record and become the first man to dip below the 1m45s barrier is really pleasing and a great way to end the season."

"Winning both the Darran Lindsay and Phil Mellor trophies was equally pleasing as they were both great riders who gave a lot to the sport and whilst it would have been nice to have taken the Gold Cup too, I just didn't get a good enough start. It's always difficult here to make back time if you don't get the start and even more so when it's wet but I can't complain, the two Ian's rode really well. It's been another fantastic year for myself and the team and I just want to thank all my sponsors and supporters who have been 100% behind me all year long. We've had a lot of success and enjoyed some great races and if it wasn't for them none of it would have been possible. I'm looking forward to the winter break now and will be back to do it all again next year!"

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

Solid weekend at Scarborough for McGuinness

John McGuinness made his annual trip to Oliver's Mount, Scarborough at the weekend and the Morecambe man put in his usual solid performances around the 2.41-mile woodland circuit. Armed with just his Padgetts Honda Superstock machine on this occasion, John was able to finish in the top five in all three of his races and once again thoroughly enjoyed his weekend on the North Yorkshire coast.

With Saturday playing host to some dry, sunny weather, John got his weekend underway with third place in the Superbike heat and lined up on the front row of the grid for the 8-lap race later in the day. A good start saw him up to third at the end of the first lap and although he got shuffled back to fifth, firstly by team-mate Ian Hutchinson and then by Michael Pearson, he enjoyed a good dice with the latter and eventually took a hard fought fifth place, also posting his best ever lap around the public road course, a lap of 1m45.796s making him the fifth fastest rider ever in the history of the event.

Sunday saw a lot different conditions, heavy overnight rain leaving the circuit extremely damp and regular drizzle meant it was going to be a difficult day for everyone. The second leg of the Superbikes saw John have one of his best rides in the wet on the roads for a long time and he took a fine fourth place in the 8-lap race only defeated by Ryan Farquhar, Ian Lougher and Hutchinson. He then completed his weekend with another fifth place, this time in the feature Gold Cup race.

During the course of the weekend, John was also part of the Parade laps, celebrating both 60 years of the Gold Cup races and 21 years of the Steve Henshaw Gold Cup, joining the likes of Carl Fogarty, Mick Grant, James Whitham and Phillip McCallen in entertaining the large crowd in attendance.

Speaking later, a happy John commented: "I always enjoy coming to race at Scarborough and this weekend has been no exception. It was 1996 when I first came here and I still have as much fun now as what I did then so it's great to see another big crowd turn up. I haven't ridden a 1000cc bike here since 2005 but I was soon on the pace and enjoyed every one of my three races. It was obviously a shame that the weather spoilt things a bit on Sunday but, from my own perspective, it was one of my best rides on the roads in the wet for a long time. I lapped quicker than I've ever done here this weekend and finished in the top 5 in every race so I can't complain. It was also a privilege to be part of the celebrations in the Parade laps and, overall, it's been a good weekend for everyone. We all love coming here and will be back again next year to do it all over again!"

John now turns his attention back to the short circuits with the next round of the Metzeler National 1000cc Superstock Championship taking place at Silverstone this next weekend, September 24-26.
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