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Mar 28, 2011

Updated: More From This Past Weekend's Various Races

Troy Corser (11).
2011 World Superbike Championship
Round 2, Donington (Uk), 27th March 2010, Races
Crowd: 51,000 (3-day). Circuit: 4.023 kms.
Conditions: Dry, overcast, 7-10C (air), 6-16C (track)


Troy endured a frustrating time in the second round of this year's Superbike World Championship at Donington Park today. Grip problems in both races prevented him from mounting challenges to the leaders and he ended 9th in race one and 13th in race two. The grip problems today have occurred before and the team have tried many different ideas, seemingly all to no avail. Troy and the team will be testing before the next round of the series, so they hope that they will finally find some solutions to these ongoing problems.

The conditions today were almost as bad as yesterday, but the wind was less strong so the cold was not as biting. Marco Melandri (Yamaha) won the first race, with Jakub Smrz (Ducati) second and Carlos Checa (Ducati) third. Checa then comfortably won race two - to make it three wins out of four this season - with Melandri second and Leon Camier (Aprilia) third.

Troy - Race 1: 9th, Race 2: 13th

The problems I had with grip today and the rear tyre spinning a lot are not new ones, so the two races here ended up being a bit frustrating, to say the least. I think that the reason why these problems do not show up in normal practice or qualifying is maybe because we do not tend to do race distances in those sessions.

When we are doing regular sessions we don't do more than about five or six laps at one time, so maybe we should try doing some long distances at one of our tests and see if we can replicate the problems. For me, I do not think that it is a suspension problem. The Ohlins front forks are working well and the rear shock is working overtime, so it's got to be somewhere else. I think the reason these problems do not trouble Leon as much as me is because we have different riding styles. He has the bike more upright than me, and I tend to use he side of the tyre more.

On the positive side, the gearbox is working very well, the power delivery is smoother and the throttle connection is better for sure.
See ya,

Race 1: Marco Melandri (ITA-Yamaha), 2 Jakub Smrz (CZE-Ducati), 3 Carlos Checa (ESP-Ducati), 4 Leon Haslam (GBR-BMW), 5 Jonathan Rea (GBR-Honda), 6 Noriyuki Haga (JPN-Aprilia), 9 TROY CORSER (AUS-BMW Motorrad Motorsport)
Race 2: 1 Checa, 2 Melandri, 3 Leon Camier (GBR-Aprilia), 4 Haslam, 5 Joan Lascorz (ESP-Kawasaki), 13 TROY CORSER (AUS-BMW Motorrad Motorsport)

Points: 1 Checa 91, 2 Melandri 72, 3 Haslam 53, 4 Biaggi 49, 5 Smrz 42, 6 Rea 38, 13 TROY CORSER (AUS-BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 16

More, from a press release issued by Gino Rea's publicist:

Gino Rea on the podium for Step Racing at his home round, Donington World Supersport

Step Racing Honda rider Gino Rea took a podium finish against the odds as he secured third place at his home round in Donington. He rode hard and aggressively despite a left thumb injury picked up in the previous round in Australia, but he could do nothing about runaway race winner Luca Scassa (Yamaha) or second place rider Chaz Davies (Yamaha).
Read MoreThe Donington weekend proved a very tough one for Gino and the Step Racing Team with problems and crashes throughout the practice and qualifying sessions. Loosing valuable track time caused uncertainty going into the race. Nonetheless, Gino and crew chief Andy Stone worked hard to get a set up that would allow the tyre to last race distance.

Gino started off strong from the second row of the grid with his trademark 'Speedy G' start, moving up to 3rd position. Setting the bike up to be strong towards the end of the race meant Rea couldn't hold the pace of the Yamaha's at the start and slipped back to 5th. At halfway point Gino was able to pick up his pace and after battling with Robbin Harms he was able to break away to secure third place in front of a home crowd.

Gino Rea (Step Racing Team Honda)

Race result: 3rd Championship position: 7th

"We got a bit lucky but that is racing. We went into the race a bit blind after we lost so much time in practice. We just wanted to get into the race and get some points in the bag after the DNF at Phillip Island. I do not know what to say about ending up third, it's just amazing. We had one problem after another so it was about time luck was on our side. Huge thanks to the team for all the hard work they have done this weekend, picking things up from some low points has been hard but we pushed through it. A podium at home in front of a home crowd is an incredible feeling and even more after the weekend we had. I hope everyone enjoyed the race, it's great to get support at my home race."

"Although it's a good result, we still have a lot of work to do to be able to win races so I hope we can continue progress for the next race at Assen. As far as my thumb injury goes, unfortunately it's a race against time. The tendons in my thumb will take a minimum of 8 weeks kept straight in a splint to recover, so I have another 4/5 weeks left; meaning I will race at Assen with the splint on, the same as I did this weekend."

The next World Supersport race will take place on 17th April at Assen, Netherlands.

More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:

Yamaha rider Marco Melandri provided an extraordinary performance to deliver his first race victory and second podium of the World Superbike season in Donington Park, England on Sunday, March 27. He maneuvered his YZF-R1 from a mid-pack start to win the first race, then returned for a strong second-place podium finish in the second race. Teammate Eugene Laverty was less fortunate in race one, suffering a significant crash on the fourth lap. Fortunately he was able to jump back on his bike in race two and complete the race in the points. Yamaha also fared brilliantly in World Supersport, with a 1-2 finish by Luca Scassa and Chaz Davies aboard a pair of YZF-R6s.

Melandri got straight down to business in Superbike race one, working his way through the pack to secure a well deserved first win of his WSBK career. From a less than perfect third-row grid position, he skillfully closed in on his adversaries, taking him into second by lap 17. Melandri then overtook Jakob Smrz for the lead with just two laps to go to the checkered flag. "I had a great win in race one," Melandri said afterwards. "I was just behind a very aggressive bunch of riders so I had to work hard to keep my rhythm and push through."

Melandri proved just as determined and consistent in race two, moving up to third just five laps into the event and proceeding to battle his way through for second on the podium. "Race two was a little more difficult," he admitted later. "I was suffering from a head cold and lost concentration a little midway. But I am very pleased to be on the podium again. We have been working very hard in preparation for today's races and we did very well; I had a lot of fun and I think we proved that we have a very good package. I'm looking forward to the rest of the season. Thanks to Yamaha, my team and my sponsors."

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

Gray skies and cold temperature today (11 degrees asphalt) at Donington Park in England for the second round in the World Superbike Championship. After the excellent performance in qualifying, Maxime Berger took off from the fourth row with the fifteenth time. After a pretty good start, the Supersonic Team rider took immediately a good rhythm and was about to pass some riders ahead of him when suddenly the rear wheel of his Ducati remove, fortunately Maxime was not hurt in the incident. A strange and unexpected incident caused by a defective rim. For the second round the temperature outside was higher and started under a pale sun. Unfortunately, the Supersonic Team rider was forced to retire due to the failure of the clutch. A weekend to forget but Maxime Berger and the team from Danilo Soncini will rebuild all for the next race which will take place at Assen in three weeks.

Superbike - Race 1 : 1) Melandri (Yamaha) - 2) Smrz (Ducati) - 3) Checa (Ducati) -

4) Haslam (BMW) - 5) Rea (Honda) - 6) Haga (Aprilia)....... Ret - Berger (Ducati)

Superbike - Race 2 : 1) Checa (Ducati) - 2) Melandri (Yamaha) - 3) Camier (Aprilia) - 4)Haslam (BMW) - 5) Lascorz (Kawasaki) ...........Ret) Berger (Ducati)

Danilo Soncini (Team Manager): "I am speechless. We were forced to retire in both races after only a few laps because of two incidents. Incredible that they have nothing in common with each other. The rear rim only used in a few races, while the clutch which forced us to withdraw in the second round had been tested and worked perfectly. An incredible bad luck that has ruined a weekend that had begun in the best way. Maxime did well in the tests and had a pace that would have allowed us to obtain good results. But that's racing. We will turn the page, look forward and get ready for Assen, where we want to do well and we know we have the chance."

Maxime Berger: "I'm disappointed and incredulous. I never had to stop twice for so two strange reasons. The ring broke and I was lucky because he broke into a slow corner. I found myself on the ground without knowing what happened. In race two after the start, the clutch started to give me problems, until he completely stopped me after the first lap. The tests went well; I had a good feeling with the Ducati and a pace that would allow me to win my first championship points. But we must not fall. The team did a great job here at Donington and with their help I am sure the results will come in the coming races."
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