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Oct 23, 2017

World Superbike: More From The Event At Jerez

Action from the Supersport 300 World Championship race at Jerez. Photo courtesy of Dorna WSBK Press Office.

 Double Jerez win sealed by Champion Rea

KRT man wraps up a successful Round 12 in Spain with another win and is joined on podium by Ducati pair Melandri and Davies

At the Pirelli Spanish Round it was triple World Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) who took the victory in Race 2 on Sunday to complete a fine weekend at the Circuito de Jerez. A commanding performance in a restarted WorldSBK race at the resurfaced 4.423km Spanish track gave Rea maximum points - as he was joined on the podium by Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) and Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati).

Northern Irishman Rea therefore notched a double win at a venue where he had not previously scored a victory before the Round 12 weekend, the KRT man riding in a confident and relaxed manner having wrapped up an unprecedented third successive title three weeks ago in France. Rea went from ninth on the grid to first place by the end of the first lap, overtaking Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) cleanly at the second attempt to remain at the front from early in lap 2.

Rea did not look back from there and crossed the line 2.7s seconds ahead of Melandri, who got the better of his teammate Davies in the final stages of the race. The result gave Kawasaki the 2017 WorldSBK Manufacturers’ title.

There were good battles throughout the field behind the front runners with Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) finishing fourth and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) fifth. Van der Mark was sixth after leading on the first lap and having had a clash with Melandri early in the race.

Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) was seventh, after a good battle with 2014 World Champion Sylvain Guintoli - who returned to action on the Kawasaki ZX-10RR this weekend. Frenchman Guintoli will also ride for Kawasaki Puccetti Racing at the final round of the season in Qatar next month. Leandro Mercado (IODARacing) and Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) completed the top ten.

Davide Giugliano (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) was given a ride through penalty after speeding in pit lane having been forced to return to his garage due to an issue midrace. He eventually finished 17th, after suffering a DNF on Saturday. Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) was 18th after he crashed out on the first lap of the restarted race.

A red flag had been shown after first lap incidents in the initial race, which saw Davies and Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) both down at turn two and then Dominic Schmitter (eighty one HPC-Power Suzuki Racing) needing assistance from medical staff at trackside after crashing heavily on the Suzuki GSX-R1000.

Davies’ team worked hard as the riders prepared for a restart 20 minutes after the original race had begun, with the Ducati Panigale R requiring some quick repairs in order for the Welshman to return to the starting grid for the second getaway. Laverty was also due on the grid for the restart however he had to return to pit lane for another tweak to his Aprilia RSV4 RF just before the second start - as his tough season continued. He eventually restarted from pit lane and was ultimately unable to finish the shortened 19 lap second race.

The last round of the 2017 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship – the Acerbis Qatar Round – takes place from Thursday 2nd November to Saturday 4th November, under the floodlights in the desert at the Losail International Circuit.

P1 - Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team)

"My bike today was incredible, we made a big change over night with the front of the bike and it gave me all the confidence and on the brakes. I needed a very good first lap but my pace was incredible, I have no words. I want to thank the whole team, the bike today was incredible"

P2 - Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati)

"It was a tough race, I was trying to fight for the win but I knew Jonny was going to do so well. I tried to pass the other riders but it was hard and I spent too long with van der Mark, he took some hard lines. After this I lost so much time and I knew I would't be able to catch Jonathan. It's hard because we knew we had the pace."

P3 - Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati)

"It was an interesting race. We got another good start and made it count in the first couple of laps, I tried to stay with Jonny and in the end we couldn't do it. With the championship so close between me and Tom, I didn't want to make any risks but overall I am really happy."

WorldSSP: Victory for Caricasulo in southern Spanish sunshine

Italian comes out on top in stunning battle

In the penultimate WorldSSP race of the season on Sunday in Spain it was Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) who clinched a scintillating victory, crossing the line just 0.065s in front of Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda), with the podium completed by Anthony West (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing).

It was a superb 19 lap contest around the resurfaced 4.423km Circuito de Jerez with Caricasulo and Cluzel contesting the lead in the early laps and their battle would continue to the last corner of the race, with the Italian just holding off the Frenchman for a breathtaking win.

The experienced West worked his way up into a front group of five riders and was able to secure third place by a comfortable enough margin from fourth placed PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) in the end.

At the Pirelli Spanish Round standings leader Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) ultimately produced a controlled and professional ride to fifth place, picking up crucial points after two crashes earlier in the weekend in Spain.

In the absence of the injured 2016 World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) Mahias has opened up a 20 point advantage at the head of the standings with one race remaining in Qatar early in November.

Sheridan Morais (Kallio Racing) is now out of contention for the title, the South African having a tricky race, taking the holeshot off the line from third on the grid before dropping out of the top ten in the early running and then making his way back up to sixth.

The top ten was completed by Niki Tuuli (Kallio Racing), Rob Hartog (Team Hartog - Jenik - Against Cancer), Gino Rea (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) and Christian Gamarino (BARDAHL EVAN BROS. Honda Racing).

The race results saw Yamaha confirmed as the Winning WorldSSP Manufacturer for 2017 as the GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team secured the Team’s title.

Meanwhile, for Estonian rider Hannes Soomer (WILSport Racedays) 15th place was enough to give him the FIM Europe Supersport Cup title.

Stefan Hill (Profile Racing) crashed out at turn 10 early in the race, then with 9 laps to go Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) went down at turn 13 and would retire shortly afterwards. Kyle Smith then also crashed at turn 13 at the end of the race, meaning a DNF for the GEMAR Team Lorini man.

P1 - Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team)

"I am so happy, the whole team did a good job, we had a perfect bike the whole race. I was pushing 100% in the last two laps and it was really hard to battle with Jules and in the end I was able to win and we are really happy."

#JerezWorldSBK: WorldSSP Race

1. Federico Caricasulo (ITA) Yamaha

2. Jules Cluzel (FRA) Honda +0.065

3. Antonthy West (AUS) Kawasaki +1.652


WorldSSP300: Hendra takes the victory as Garcia secures the title

Title battle goes down to the wire as Garcia takes the victory

One event rider Galang Hendra Pratama (Team MOTOXRACING) has made history as he secured his first race victory, as the Indonesian secured the win over the line at the Circuito de Jerez in an 11 lap thriller. Marc Garcia (Halcourier Racing) finished in fourth position, which was enough to be crowned 2017 FIM Supersport 300 World Champion.

Garcia had a terrible start off the line in one of the most important race starts of his life, whilst Coppola was down in 10th position on the opening lap, but Spanish rider Garcia was able to bounce back instantly in the opening laps and sit in a championship winning position.

However Coppola was not taking this challenge lying down, and the Italian made up nine places in the first six laps to be back in contention for the title and the victory. In classic WorldSSP300 style there was an eight rider battle for the victory following Ana Carrasco (ETG Racing) being forced to enter pit lane following a jump start.

The final three laps were all about the title fight, and the duo crossed the line joint on points as Scott Deroue (MTM HS Kawasaki) was able to get into the lead on the penultimate lap. But the final lap was anyone’s call and the championship was decided over the line. As the race to the line was secured by Galang Hendra (Team MOTOXRACING) ahead of former championship contender Deroue, Coppola took third over the line but this wasn’t enough to secure the crown. Garcia took fourth position over the line and as a result took the title by one singular point.

Relive the stunning WorldSSP300 2017 season all with the WorldSBK VideoPass, as the inaugural championship has delivered some stunning races.

P1 - Galang Hendra (Team MOTOXRACING)

"This is a very fantastic race for me, it was the first race in Jerez, I had some problem and in Jerez I was able to do well. The team did a fantastic job and I am very happy for this result."

#JerezWorldSBK: WorldSSP300 Race

1. Galang Hendra (INA) Yamaha

2. Scott Deroue (NED) Kawasaki +0.026

3. Alfonso Coppola (ITA)Yamaha +0.038

WorldSSP300 Championship Standings Pirelli Jerez Round

1. Marc Garcia (ESP) Yamaha (139 points)

2. Alfonso Coppola (ITA) Yamaha (138 points)

3. Mika Perez (ESP) Honda (111 points)



More, from a press release issued by Dorna WSBK Press Office:

Michael Ruben Rinaldi crowned STK1000 Champion

Rinaldi becomes 10th Italian to take the crown

21 year old Italian Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team) secured the European Superstock 1000 Championship in style, at the Pirelli Spanish Round. In just his second full season in the series, Rinaldi has had a stunning season in 2017, taking the title at the final round and securing four victories overall.

First joining the WorldSBK paddock in 2014, Rinaldi joined the European Superstock 600 class and was able to gain a top 11 finish in the class, which is renowned for its close and competitive nature. Taking a best result of fifth around his home circuit of Imola, he made the switch from Yamaha to Kawasaki for the 2015 season. In a difficult season for the Italian, he was able to end the season as runner up despite three races outside of the points. Taking his debut win around Jerez, it was clear he had got into his stride on the European scene.

Making the step up into the European Superstock 1000 class for 2016, Rinaldi was team-mate to the title contender Leandro Mercado and was able to learn a lot in his rookie season. Ending in top six in the standings, the 21 year old took six top ten finishes including two podium appearances. With another learning year behind him, he entered the 2017 season ready to fight for the victory.

Beginning his season with a clear outlook on how he is set to take on the series, he dominated proceedings at MotorLand Aragon. Taking pole position and the race win around the Spanish circuit, it marked not only the first victory of the season but also the 21 year olds debut victory in the class. Crossing the line over 3.5s ahead of his rivals, his championship contention was stamped early on.

Three more pole positions followed the stunning opening round – at Imola, Donington Park and Misano – and just one finish outside of the top two so far in 2017. Unable to stop the flying Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) around the TT Circuit Assen, Rinaldi was able to bounce back around Imola, before crashing out in the UK at Donington Park. Locked in a stunning battle in the Italian heat of Misano, Rinaldi showed the grit and determination it takes to be a championship contender, and fought until the end with compatriot Marco Faccani (Althea BMW Racing Team), but took second position.

Following the summer break, the Ducati rider took the victory in front of the German fans around Lausitzring, in a dramatic race which saw him stretch out his title advantage ahead of the final three races following Razgatlioglu’s crash. Struggling to keep up this pace as the series made its return to Portimao, a string of disappointing results followed which meant the fight went down to Jerez and he took sixth position, which was enough to take the title by eight points.

Send your congratulations to Rinaldi using #RinaldiChamp.

Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati):

"It was worth the wait, the last three races have been very difficult but yesterday we found our way. It was just unlucky we broke some parts of our engine yesterday so I started low on the grid. But I was able to go up and up in the race and for me this championship is unbelievable. I want to thank everyone who has stayed behind me and supported me."

STK1000 Race at Jerez

1. Markus Reiterberger BMW

2. Illia Mykhalchyk Kawasaki +5.078

3. Toprak Razgatlioglu Kawasaki +6.251




More, from another press release issued by Dorna WSBK Press Office:

Garcia crowned inaugural WorldSSP300 Champion

Spaniard comes out on top as title comes down to the wire

Marc Garcia (Halcourier Racing) has marked his name in the history books as he has become the very first FIM Supersport 300 World Champion, taking fourth postion in a tense battle around his home circuit of Circuito de Jerez.

At only 17 years old, the Spanish rider has dreamt of being crowned a world champion his whole life, and following the introduction of the WorldSSP300 series for 2017 his dream has become a reality following a stunning season of racing action. Fighting tooth and nail each round for the victory, Garcia proved his determination once more to take the title here in Spain.

Graduating from the Red Bull Rookie’s Cup in 2016, the Yamaha rider spent three seasons in the feeder class and was able to learn many valuable lessons over these seasons. In a cup in which it is hard to stand out, he ended his first season in the top ten of the standings- finishing and scoring points in every race. 2015 led to his first victory around MotorLand Aragon, as he continued his consistency for the season, ending in the top four. Fourth again in 2016 saw him take the double victory in Brno, as well as one around the Red Bull Ring in Austria, and it was now time to move on.

Joining the Halcourier Racing squad as a One Event rider, Garcia has raced in every round of the WorldSSP300 season, but got off to a steady start as he was unable to finish his debut race around MotorLand Aragon, as he was forced to retire with a technical problem. Ready to fight back in round two at TT Circuit Assen, he was still finding his feet and took a top six finish as he was just behind the manic leading group.

Marc Garcia (Halcourier Racing):

"I am so happy to take this title and thank you to all my team, its unbelievable. I have no words to describe this feeling, I have been working so hard to achieve this for so long so I want to thank my family and my friends."

WorldSSP300 Race at Jerez

1. Galang Hendra Yamaha

2. Scott Deroue Kawasaki +0.026

3. Alfonso Coppola Yamaha +0.038

WorldSSP300 Championship Standings Pirelli Spanish Round

1. Marc Garcia (ESP) Yamaha (139 points)

2. Alfonso Coppola (ITA) Yamaha (138 points)

3. Scott Deroue (NED) Kawaski (111 points)



More, from a press release issued by Aruba.it Racing Ducati

Double podium for the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team in Race 2 at Jerez: Melandri is 2nd, Davies 3rd

The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team stepped on the podium with both its riders in Race 2 at Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), with Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies respectively in second and third position.

The Italian, who was forced to retire in Race 1 while he was leading, climbed back from 10th position on the grid, matching the winner’s pace once he had a clear track in front of him. The Welshman, second in Race 1, was initially involved in a contact that resulted in a crash before the race was red-flagged. At the restart, Davies rode another solid race to tie the score with Sykes in the fight for second position in the championship, where he’s leading due to the higher number of wins.

After twelve rounds, Davies (363 points) and Melandri (301 points) are respectively 2nd and 4th in the championship. The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team will resume action at Losail (Qatar) for the last round of the season, scheduled for November 2-4.

Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33) – 2nd

“Today’s second place, at the end of such a hard race, feels almost like a win to me. Starting in 10th, I knew it would have been hard to climb back through the field. Rea had the pace to pull away by himself, and I wanted to stay with him from the very start. I was recovering positions quickly, but then I lost time with VD Mark after a contact at turn 5. We could have tried to hunt down Rea together, but it turned into a fight that made us lose time. After that, all I could go for was second place, but it felt good to finally be able to fight with Chaz until the very end. I’m confident ahead of Qatar, we’re still improving.”

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 3rd

“I’m really happy with today’s result, to get on the podium twice wasn’t easy for us. I think we did the best we could this weekend. It was clear it wasn’t going to be an easy round for us since Friday morning, the new tarmac threw us a bit of a curveball and we had all sorts of obstacles to jump over, but we reacted quite well. It would have been a tall order to fight for the win today, but the main goal was to take some points off from Sykes and now we’re exactly even, so I’m satisfied with that. In 2016 we did really well in Qatar so I hope to start from where we left off last year.”

Stefano Cecconi, Aruba CEO and Team Principal

“To see both Marco and Chaz on the podium at the end of a difficult round makes us proud. Together with the whole team, they showed great determination, putting up a show and finishing strong. We’ll start over from here to take full advantage of our potential in Qatar and finish the season on the top step of the podium.”




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

Wild card starter Markus Reiterberger dominates the FIM Superstock 1000 European Championship at Jerez on his BMW S 1000 RR.

  • Jerez de la Frontera hosts the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship and the FIM Superstock 1000 European Championship.

  • Pole position, new lap record and commanding race win for Markus Reiterberger in the STK1000.

  • BMW riders also in action in Brazil.

  • Munich. The circuit of Jerez de la Frontera in southern Spain saw plenty of race action at the weekend. The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) held its penultimate round at the Andalucian track. At the same time, Jerez hosted the 2017 season finale of the FIM Superstock 1000 European Championship (STK1000). It was dominated by German BMW rider Markus Reiterberger who competed in the last STK1000 race of the year with a wild card. In South America, the BMW teams and riders have been in action in the SuperBike Series Brasil (BRSBK).

    MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship at Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.

    The 2017 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) held its last European round at Jerez de la Frontera (ESP) before heading to the season finale in Qatar in early November. It marked the home round for Althea BMW Racing Team rider Jordi Torres. The Spaniard struggled in Saturday’s race one and had to settle for 13th. In Sunday’s race, he achieved a top-ten result by crossing the line in tenth. His team-mate Raffaele De Rosa (ITA) had to retire in race one after a crash on the opening lap and was 13th in the second race.

    Jordi Torres: “We made some big changes to the bike between Saturday and Sunday so it behaved differently in race two, with corner entry a little easier and better feeling at the front. I overtook a few riders early on but in the end couldn’t do more than tenth. It’s not the result I would have wanted of course, particularly racing here at my home track, but we struggled with the new asphalt.”

    FIM Superstock 1000 European Championship at Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.

    It was the perfect dress rehearsal for Markus Reiterberger (GER) and the Van Zon-Remeha-BMW team in the FIM Superstock 1000 European Championship (STK1000). In preparation for their 2018 entry in the championship they competed with a wild card in the 2017 season finale at Jerez de la Frontera (ESP). Reiterberger dominated the action on his BMW S 1000 RR. In qualifying, he secured pole position by setting a new lap record. He then also delivered a fantastic race performance, taking the win with an advantage of over five seconds. Fellow BMW rider Federico Sandi (ITA / Berclaz Racing Team) was fighting with Reiterberger at the top but then dropped back in the closing stages of the race and eventually crossed the line in seventh. Marco Faccani (ITA / Althea BMW Racing Team) followed immediately behind in eighth.

    Markus Reiterberger: “It is an unbelievable feeling for me that we have won this race. We continued to make progress during the practice sessions. In qualifying, I was topping the time sheets for a pretty long time but then Mike Jones put in an extremely strong lap of 1:42.1. I honestly doubted that I could go faster than that but we put another fresh tyre on and I pushed to the limit. I went all-out on risk, the bike was working perfectly and I succeeded in securing pole position in this closely fought field. In Sunday’s warm up, we made another good step forward with the traction control and so we were well prepared for the race. I had a decent start and was in the lead but then Federico Sandi passed me. I watched him for some time and saw that I could go much faster than him, especially into the corners, so I overtook him again and then did a number of fast laps. I gave it all to build a gap. After three or four laps I had an advantage of over four seconds and in the end it was just about controlling it. It was a perfect weekend for us with pole position and the race win. Thanks to the entire team for giving me such a brilliant bike. We are a small team but we achieved a lot. This weekend was only about preparing for next year and so we all can be very satisfied.”

    SuperBike Series Brasil at Goiânia, Brazil.

    The SuperBike Series Brasil (BRSBK) held its seventh and penultimate round of the 2017 season at Goiânia (BRA). In the first of the two races, BMW rider Joelsu “Mitiko” (BRA / JC Racing Team) crossed the line in fourth place. His team-mate Davi Lara Costa (BRA) also claimed a top-ten result by finishing eighth. In the second race, fourth place went to Danilo Lewis (BRA) on his Tecfil Havoline Racing Team RR. “Mitiko” was fifth on that time and Lara Costa came home in ninth place.



    More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

    West Scores Brilliant Third Place

    After qualifying sixth in Superpole on Saturday Anthony West (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) completed his Jerez WorldSSP weekend with a podium finish. Axel Bassani (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) struggled with an injured ankle and starting from 18th place on the grid and ended up 14th.

    In his first WorldSSP ride for the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team West proved his versatility and pace with a battling ride to third place after 19 laps. He had been down in eighth place, after getting caught out from his sixth place starting position, but within only eight laps he had caught up to the third placed rider PJ Jacobsen.

    Passing on lap 12 and pushing forward again, West ended up only 1.652 seconds from the win, scoring 16 championship points. He will ride for the team again at the final round of the season. West is eighth in the championship table.

    After injuring his ankle in a practice crash Axel Bassani (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) started the race in 18th place and finished it in 14th, scoring two points as a stand-in rider for the injured Kenan Sofuoglu.

    In the championship Sofuoglu is in second place, now 20 points behind Lucas Mahias. According to his team, there is some possibility that the Turkish rider will be able to compete in the final round, despite fracturing his hip in mid-September at Portimao.

    The championship finale will be held under floodlights as usual, on Saturday 4th November, at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.

    Anthony West, stated: “My start was not too bad but I got stuck on the inside and everyone was quite aggressive in the beginning. I got dropped back after that and I lost contact with the very front group. I pushed hard to get back up there and ended up in third place with a few laps to go. I felt strong with the bike but it was difficult to catch the two guys in front. This was my first time on this bike so third was a good result for me. I did not want to push too hard and crash. I am happy the team gave me the opportunity to ride and I am happy to give the team back this podium result.”

    Axel Bassani, stated: “I struggled a lot in the beginning because starting near the back I had to fight with a lot of other riders. Then I finally found my pace and I was able to post similar lap times to the riders in front. My ankle hurt a bit and I also felt a small pain in my back. In the end I couldn’t do any more and I tried my best.”

    Michael Canducci (3570 Puccetti Racing FMI Kawasaki) was 11th today and now sits 14th overall. Part-time ESS rider Rob Hartog (Team Hartog Jenik Against Cancer Kawasaki) was an impressive eighth in Spain, in a field of 31 riders, 25 of whom finished the race.

    Series regular Gino Rea (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) was ninth at Jerez, Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) 19th, Kazuki Watanabe (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) 22nd.

    Lachlan Epis (Response RE Racing Kawasaki) finished 24th, improving five places on his qualifying position.

    Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) crashed at his home round, restarted, but was finally forced to retire in the pits.



    More, from a press release issued by Pata Yamaha:

    Lowes Just Misses Out on Race 2 Podium in Jerez

    The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team rounded off a superb weekend in Jerez by completing another double top-six finish in a dramatic restarted Race 2, on a gloriously sunny Sunday at the penultimate round of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship. Alex Lowes rode one of his best races of the season, showing incredible pace in the latter stages to charge to fourth and miss out on the podium by just 0.650s. His teammate Michael van der Mark led in both the original and restarted race, getting involved in a number of spectacular battles with the leading riders before crossing the line in sixth after suffering from a loss of rear grip late on.

    Lowes started Sunday's Race 2 from pole position following on from his fourth-place finish in Race 1 on Saturday. When the lights went out, he made a good start and settled in behind his teammate van der Mark in second before the red flag was shown on the opening lap. In the restarted 19-lap race, Lowes entered the first corner in second behind van der Mark in a carbon copy of the original start. The teammates battled together on the opening lap before Jonathan Rea passed them both for the lead, with Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies also getting past Lowes, as the 27-year-old patiently took his time to find a good feeling with his harder option front tyre, whilst battling with the top riders in the championship. The British rider had focused on working on his late-race pace the whole weekend, realising that the abrasive new surface at Jerez would reward consistency in the latter stages. Lowes completed a 21-lap race simulation in FP2 on Friday, a strategy that clearly helped as halfway through the race he was able to improve his lap times and from fifth, started to close down the riders ahead of him.

    On lap 11 his teammate ran wide after contact with Tom Sykes and Lowes needed no more invitation, with the 2013 British Superbike Champion taking advantage to pass van der Mark and then setting his sights on closing the two-second gap to the podium battle ahead of him. Relentlessly he hunted down the top 3 riders in a blistering display of riding but, unfortunately for Lowes, he just ran out of laps, eventually crossing the line in fourth only 0.650s behind Davies in third and 4.624s off the race winner. This result means Lowes has 226 points and retains fifth in the championship standings with just two races remaining and he is confident he will be in the hunt for the podium once more at the final round in Qatar.

    Completing a Yamaha 1-2 on the grid, van der Mark got a blistering start from second in the original race and led until the red flag appeared. In Race 2 he managed to grab the holeshot again, leading for the majority of the first lap before Rea passed him. He then became involved in one of the best battles of the season with Melandri, with both riders passing each other repeatedly in an enthralling fight that lasted for more than five laps. The 24-year-old Dutch rider got the better of the Italian, until Sykes made contact with him in Turn 9 with nine laps to go, forcing him wide and letting Melandri through.

    Soon afterwards he made a small mistake as he started to suffer from a lack of rear grip, allowing Sykes through and dropping down to sixth, but the 2014 World Supersport champion once again rode maturely to ensure that, despite struggling in the last few laps as his grip issue worsened, he brought his Pata Yamaha R1 home in a superb sixth to add to his fifth-place finish in Race 1. This sees van der Mark sixth in the championship standings with 210 points, just 16 behind his teammate, and full of confidence heading into the final round in Qatar.

    The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team return to action, keen to finish the year in the strongest fashion possible, at the final round of the season in Losail from the 2nd-4th November. Check out the Race 2 results.

    Alex Lowes

    Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team - 4th +4.624s

    "Honestly, my R1 was really good today! The first six laps I was too slow and couldn't find the front grip I needed but in the second half of the race I was quite strong. We worked really hard this weekend and I did the best I could, so we have to be happy. Two fourth places are nice and hopefully, we can get that podium I wanted in Qatar instead, but it has been a really good day and I have enjoyed it. I tried to work on my pace for the second half of the race, as I knew the new surface would come into play, so I have worked all weekend to make sure I was strong at the end of the race and tried to catch a podium that way. It obviously worked as my pace was strong, so I have to be happy with that and with the work the team has done because we had a plan and we carried it out and it worked pretty well., Unfortunately, it wasn't quite enough today but at the next race hopefully it will be. We have put the work in and we are starting to see some of the rewards for it. I am a racer, I want to win but I know that all of the races and the hard work we are doing now gives us more of a chance to do just that in future, and I look forward to seeing what we can do in Qatar!"

    Michael van der Mark

    Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team - 5th +10.120s

    "I had a really good first start and took the holeshot but then the red flag came out and we had to wait. I had another good start in the restarted race, I was leading the first lap before Jonathan Rea got past me. I tried to follow him but I was struggling. I had a better feeling with the softer front tyre but I couldn't quite get the bike turned as well as the other guys. I had fought so hard to try and get the podium and I had some really nice battles but Marco Melandri made contact with me at Turn 9 and I ran wide, which allowed Alex to get past. I then made another little mistake and Tom Sykes got past me as well and I just couldn't quite match their pace. I tried so hard right until the end and it was difficult but we recorded another top-six finish and secured some good championship points. Hopefully, in Qatar, we can fight for the podium again and finish the season on a high. The team has made great progress this year! At the beginning of the season, we had some ups and downs and rounds where I was fast and others where Alex was fast. Now we come to every track and we are both fast, which shows how much amazing progress we have made and I think Qatar is a track that will suit the R1 as well, so hopefully, we can show our full potential there!"

    Paul Denning

    Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team Principal

    "Another exciting race this afternoon here in Jerez and, once again, both the Pata Yamahas were fighting with the very best. Alex rode, for me, one of his strongest races of the year. We have had better results elsewhere but after a difficult start to the race, where he struggled with front grip and braking, he had to be calm and let the pace develop as the race wore on. To close down as much as he did on Chaz Davies, who dominated the races here last year, shows the progress that we, as Pata Yamaha and Alex himself, have made. Alex and his team should be very proud of their performance over the course of this weekend. Michael had an exciting race, really battling hard with the top riders in the championship. There were passes and re-passes and possibly because of this, or the fact that his rear tyre was used in the red-flagged race, in the restarted race he ran out of grip and, as Tom Sykes pushed hard late on in the race, he made the right choice to finish well and score good points. Well done to everybody at Yamaha, to the team, and to the riders! We are now in a position where the hard work is starting to pay off and we can begin to see ourselves as real contenders."



    More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:

    Caricasulo Enjoys Perfect Weekend in Jerez as Mahias Extends Championship Lead

    Race

    The GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team had an incredible Sunday at a hot and sunny Jerez for the penultimate round of the 2017 FIM Supersport World Championship. Federico Caricasulo had the 'perfect' weekend, starting from pole he won the race and set a new lap record in the process. His teammate Lucas Mahias had been the man to beat all weekend but had an issue with his front tyre during the race. Undeterred, he rode valiantly to finish in fifth and extend his championship lead to 20 points with just one round remaining in Qatar.

    Caricasulo built on his brilliant podium last time out in Magny-Cours by pulling out all the stops on Sunday to complete the full racing triumvirate. Starting from pole position, the 21-year-old Italian was involved in an incredible race-long battle with Jules Cluzel, leading across the line for 18 of the 19-lap race and eventually coming out on top by just 0.065s to take his second victory of the season. It was a sensational performance and, in the process, he also managed to set the fastest lap of the race, smashing the previous record that had stood since 2013 with a 1:43.922. After this spectacular result, Caricasulo remains sixth in the championship standings but now with 105 points, just five points behind Jules Cluzel in fifth.

    Mahias had his first chance to lift the WorldSSP title in Jerez and the French rider had shown blistering pace all weekend, topping every practice session along the way. After a small crash in SP2, he started Sunday's race from fifth on the grid but almost immediately started to suffer from an issue with his front tyre. Needing to finish second or higher to be crowned champion, he was understandably frustrated with his lack of front-end grip after the pace he had shown in practice. Despite this, Mahias (165 points) fought bravely to bring his Yamaha R6 home in a superb fifth position and extend his championship lead to 20 points, with just 25 up for grabs in Qatar.

    After these results, the GRT team were awarded the 2017 FIM Supersport World Championship Team title and to cap off an amazing day, Yamaha also lifted the 2017 FIM Supersport World Championship Manufacturer's title thanks to the efforts of Mahias and Caricasulo plus, of course, Kallio Racing's Niki Tuuli and Sheridan Morais.

    The GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team will now head to the final round in Qatar on the 2nd-4th of November with the goal of Mahias winning the Championship, in the process completing the clean sweep of WorldSSP titles. Check out the WorldSSP race results.

    2017 Federico Caricasulo

    GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team - 1st - 33:07.725

    "I am very happy because we did a really good job! My team and my Yamaha R6 have been simply brilliant in Jerez, as you can tell by the fact we had the 'perfect' race weekend with pole position, fastest lap in the race and a new lap record, plus of course the victory...incredible! I have a great feeling with my bike and my team, plus I think we can improve even more in Qatar so that we can finish the year in the strongest way possible. I will try and do the same in Losail as we did here so that we can enter the 2018 season full of confidence!"

    Lucas Mahias Profile 2017 Lucas Mahias

    GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team - 5th +7.248s

    "It was a very difficult race because I didn't have a good feeling with the bike as I had an issue with my front tyre. That was very frustrating as I topped almost every session this weekend and yet in the race I finished in fifth, which was good for the championship but I wanted to win. I have a 20-point lead, which is great, and now I will try to win the championship in Qatar. I am delighted that we won the WorldSSP Team title in just our first year as an official Yamaha team, plus of course that we helped Yamaha win the Manufacturer's title too."

    Filippo Conti

    GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team Manager

    "It has been a fantastic day! We got most of the targets that we aimed for this weekend, not the championship yet, which is the most important, but we took a big step towards that too and we hope to win it in Qatar. Federico has been simply incredible, he and the team worked perfectly all weekend, starting from pole, leading for most of the race, winning and setting a new lap record, I can't ask for anything more! The team did a great job from Friday to give him a fantastic bike and he is very happy with the result and we are very happy for him as well. It was great to lift the Team title here thanks to the efforts of both our riders and of course, more importantly, Yamaha also won the Manufacturer's title! I say thank you very much to Yamaha for giving us fantastic support. We are very grateful to be the official team and to be a part of the Yamaha family. Lucas had an issue with the front tyre, so he didn't take any risks and secured this incredibly important result to extend his championship lead to 20 points with just one race left. Now we will try and win the championship in Qatar to make it a clean sweep of titles for us and Yamaha!"

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