More From This Past Weekend’s Various Races (Updated)

More From This Past Weekend’s Various Races (Updated)

© 2013, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

“Bol d’Or” and IDM: joy and disappointment for BMW Motorrad HP RaceSupport. A retirement and a podium at Magny-Cours, domination at Lausitzring: it was a busy and exciting weekend for the BMW teams and riders. Munich, 22nd April 2013. In action at two big events, BMW Motorrad HP RaceSupport had a busy weekend. The legendary 24-hour “Bol d’ Or” race at Magny-Cours (FRA) ended with a combination of joy and disappointment for the specialists from Munich, while the HP RaceSupport-backed BMW teams in the International German Motorcycle Championship (IDM) started the season in style at Lausitzring (GER). The 77th edition of the renowned “Bol d’Or” marked the season opener of the 2013 FIM Endurance World Championship. In the top league of the series, the Superbike class, BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent aimed to start its title campaign with a top result and accordingly a decent points haul. The #99 BMW S 1000 RR was ridden by Sébastien Gimbert, Sylvain Barrier (both FRA) and Karl Muggeridge (AUS), the replacement for team regular Damian Cudlin (AUS), who was on duty in the IDM. But the trio was unable to finish the tough 24-hour test, as the team was forced to retire after a crash in the sixth hour of the race left the RR too damaged to continue. Gimbert and Barrier worked hard in the first quarter of the race to make up time lost to a minor crash for Barrier during his first relay. The French duo were running in third and starting to close the gap to the leaders as the race passed the five-hour mark. Former World Supersport Champion Muggeridge took over from Barrier for his first relay aboard the #99 RR, but encountered a brake problem at the end of the ultra-fast Golf straight and ran straight on at Adelaide. The Australian had no option but to lay the bike down before hitting the tyre wall. Despite suffering such a high-speed crash, Muggeridge ran with the bike all the way back to the pits. Gimbert took to the track once the crash damage had been repaired, but was forced to return to the pit box after experiencing problems on his first lap. Following further inspection of the bike by the team’s technical staff, the decision was made to withdraw from the race on safety grounds. “We’re not sure what caused the problem for Karl, but he couldn’t have picked a worse place to crash”, declared Team Principal, Michael Bartholemy. “You’re coming off the fastest part of the track and braking heavily for the slowest corner and I can’t imagine what it’s like to suddenly encounter a brake problem there. It was a big crash and one that Karl was lucky to walk away from. The mechanics did their best to get the bike back out, but it was damaged to the point where safety was an issue, so we had no option but to withdraw. I don’t want to talk about bad luck; if you want to be world champions you must make your own luck and be competitive at every circuit. We need to learn from this.” Despite this setback, BMW Motorrad HP RaceSupport had reason to celebrate at Magny-Cours. In the Superstock class of the Endurance World Championship, partner squad Franks Autowelt Racing Team secured a second place on the podium. The German squad of Team Principal Rico Penzkofer also got sixth overall with Pedro Vallcaneras (ESP), Jason Pridmore (USA) and Steve Mercer (GBR) aboard the Superstock version of the RR. The trio started 17th and fought their way to the top. With only a few hours to go, they took the lead in the Superstock class, but a stop-and-go penalty for overtaking under Safety Car conditions dropped them back to second. So in the last hour, the team decided to play it safe, not to take too many risks and to bring home this second place on the podium. “Of course it would have been nice to win this race, but we still have to be satisfied with our performance,” said Penzkofer. “We did the 24 hours once again without any problems and our BMW S 1000 RR ran perfectly. Also our new Dunlop tyres were great. Furthermore, it’s not bad to be second after 24 hours of racing! That’s something special!” At the IDM season opener at Lausitzring, the BMW riders seamlessly continued last year’s successes. They claimed five of the six possible podium positions in the closely fought IDM Superbike class. “Man of the day” was the rider Damien Cudlin, who also races for BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent in the Endurance World Championship. The Australian won both races on the BMW S 1000 RR of the RAC Racing Team. Erwan Nigon (FRA) and Markus Reiterberger (GER), both racing RRs for the Van Zon-Remeha BMW Team, also jumped on the podium. Reigning champion Nigon finished second and third, while youngster Reiterberger started his first full IDM season with a third and a fourth place. Cudlin’s teammate Kevin Valk (NED) came home fifth in both races. It was also a successful IDM debut for the brand new BMW HP4, which is fielded by the Wilbers BMW Racing Team this season. The bike is equipped with the electronic damping system DDC. Stefan Nebel (GER) was sixth and seventh with his HP4. In race one, his teammate Lucy Glöckner (GER) also finished in the top 10, crossing the line in ninth place. “Once more, it has been a really exciting weekend for us,” explained Berthold Hauser, General Manager BMW Motorrad HP RaceSupport. “Congratulations to the team for securing this great podium finish in the Superstock class of the ‘Bol d’Or’. This is a good base for the team on its mission to defend the title in this category. Obviously we would have loved to be on the podium in the overall classification as well, as we have been back in 2011. Unfortunately it was not meant to be, even if the #99 RR once more was one of the fastest bikes in the field. But the team will keep their heads high and together we will work fully focused on preparing for the next races. Also last year, the team left Magny-Cours with empty hands, but was still fighting for the title at the season finale. It will be a tougher challenge this year as we have one race less, but we have full confidence in the squad’s fighting spirit and know-how. The results of the BMW teams and riders in the IDM have again been sensational. It is just great that they are dominating in the same way they did last year. With a season opener like that we cannot wait for the next races.” “We are also happy with the good debut of the BMW HP4 in this highly competitive Superbike category,” Hauser continues. “This result shows that we are heading in the right direction in further developing the DDC. Now, we will work intensively together with several teams and our specialists of the stock development on optimising this innovative electronic damping system for the requirements of Superbike racing with the aim to also see the HP4 on the podium soon.” More, from a press release issued by San Carlo Team Italia: Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas Circuit of the Americas (USA) April 19-21, 2013 MotoGP Moto3 – Unlucky race for San Carlo Team Italia FMI in Texas Fenati suffered technical issues after the red flag, 22nd position for Bagnaia. San Carlo Team Italia FMI struggled against luck during the Moto3 race at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5) fought hard to score points keeping a strong pace and posting his fastest lap with a 2’18.1. With 8 laps to go the race was red-flagged after a crash by Iwema. Unfortunately, in the new sighting lap Fenati was stopped by technical issues and could not restart the race. Rookie Francesco Bagnaia (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#4) managed to end the race in 22nd position and struggled with his relative lack of experience. His growth continues and he is optimistic about facing next race on a “friendly” track such as Jerez. “Early on I was doing a lot better than in Qatar, I made some good passes, came back from the grid and had fun. Unfortunately I had to stop after the red flag. These things happen in racing. The team worked hard and this is what matters. We’ll be ready in Jerez, a track that I really enjoy. Last year I won and I hope to fight at the front.” Francesco Bagnaia, 22nd, 11’57.500 (download HD photo ) “We still have some setup problems and we hope to solve them as soon as possible. I can improve a lot and everybody is working toward this goal. It was fantastic to ride on such a wonderful track. I can’t be happy about the result but in Spain my goal is to fight against the fastest riders.” Roberto Locatelli (FMI Technical Coordinator) “The weekend got off a good start but ended badly. Everybody put up a great effort, keeping the morale high. Luck defeated us more than our opponents, so we stay positive, ready to bounce back in Jerez. Romano can fight against the best riders, Pecco just need to focus on his growth. We believe in both riders, and are ready to tackle this challenge together.” More, from a press release issued by MAPFRE Aspar Moto3 Team: MAPFRE ASPAR’S JONAS FOLGER ONE STEP AWAY FROM THE PODIUM German rider places fourth and takes thirteen points. Teammate Eric Granado finishes twenty-third after a late crash. Today saw the first ever Moto3 race at the Circuit of the Americas, and it was split into two parts thanks to a red flag. An interval was called with 8 laps to go, due to a crash by Jasper Iwema. The first part of the race had seen few surprises, with Rins, Salom and Viñales at the front from the first row of the grid. The trio had been fastest in practice and in the race, but the stoppage caused the field to bunch up again. In a five-lap shootout, Salom and Rins fought for the win, whilst Viñales and Folger were slightly further back. In the end, Rins took the victory after a thrilling final lap, whilst Viñales and Salom completed a second all-Spanish podium of the Moto3 season. It is no secret that MAPFRE Aspar rider Jonas Folger had esperienced a tough weekend at the Circuit of the Americas, but despite this he was still able to put in a great performance. Yesterday he managed to qualify fifth, overcoming a lack of confidence with the front end. Today in the first part of the race he rode solo in fourth place. He was able to improve his front end issue in the break and was ready to consolidate fourth position when the Moto3 field set off again. The German rider was just one place off a podium finish, again taking valuable points for his World Championship tally. Teammate Eric Granado also had some fortune with the appearance of the red flag. The Brazilian had started poorly in the first part of the race, but found a good pace early on after the restart. His day was soured by a crash on the final corner of the race, which dropped him from a fight for points to 23rd place. 4th Jonas Folger: “During the weekend we found it quite hard to adapt to the Circuit of the Americas. Despite this, we never stopped fighting in any of the practice sessions -nor in the race today. I have to admit that the break in the race benefitted us, because it allowed me to give some useful information to my team to make chances. With that, we took a step forward. In the end I finished fourth, and it was a shame I could not fight for the podium. We must be satisfied that we again took a lot of points, despite our problems. At the end of the weekend we improved our performance. I tried to give my best in both of the two parts, but perhaps in the second part I made a few mistakes when trying to stop the group from breaking away. That meant I couldn’t stick with Viñales until the final lap. Obviously we would have liked to have fought for the podium, but in Jerez I am sure that we will have a better weekend.” 23rd Eric Granado: “The first part of the race was difficult for me, mainly because I started badly. When I saw the red flag I felt fortunate, because it gave me a second chance. I started the second race with good pace and got up to sixteenth position. On the last lap, a rider went off track and then I clipped him as he came back on. That ran me onto the dirty part of the asphalt. I knew that my tyre rubber was dirty on the way onto the home straight, so I tried to brake as little as possible. Nonetheless, I still lost the front. It is a shame, because I think that I could have taken points today. After this performance I have to think positive and believe that the next race in Jerez will see us finish higher up. Despite the crash, I am satisfied that we improved our times.” More, from a press release issued by ItalTrans Racing: Grand Prix of the Americas Austin, April 21st, 2013 Race What has began as a nice Sunday ended in a way that nobody could imagine. Takaaki Nakagami who, the previous day, had got a second place, missing the pole just for a few tenth, in the Sunday’s warm-up confirmed his potential with an excellent third place. Julian Simon, who in qualifying had a harder time, in the warm-up set the eight time, and was confident that most of the problems, if not all, were solved. But a mechanical failure stopped Nakagami after only few laps, and Simon has been forced to slow down by a tire that drop in a erratic way. Julian Simon (42’47”377 – 20°) “Really a bad day. After six, seven laps, I suffered a strong chattering, and even a normal pace was difficult to keep, and in the last corner I struggled, so that I paid for it in all the following straight. Collecting points was out of our reach – we are evaluating all the possible reasons to understand what happened, and why”. Pierluigi Aldrovandi (Simon race Engineer) “A few problems were expected, but not so big, and not such erosion of the rear tire. Julian told us that he had chattering also on the straight but, in spite of a situation really difficult to manage he went on and was able to finish the race. We are really sorry, also because a good result would provide him with a much needed confidence”. Takaaki Nakagami (dnf) “I felt a strange feeling since the first moment – something was wrong with the clutch. It looked a problem similar to the one suffered in Qatar, when we could not gear down. I was forced to go wide, and out… so, at a point, I thought better to come in, and we decided to retire”. Claudio Macciotta (Nakagami race engineer) “We are checking everything to find out what happened. What a pity – Nakagami had such a good start…”. Luigi Pansera (team manager) “We had the same problem for the second time. We changed engine on Friday morning, after FP1. In FP2, in the afternoon, everything was OK. All right again on Saturday, and on Sunday morning… in the race, one more time the same problem. The situation, as far as the general standing is concerned, doesn’t change that much, but Takaaki, today, could have done a good step ahead. Simon had a problem with the tire, and could not do much. A difficult week-end, but we proved again that the team can do a great job, and are going to demonstrate it in Jerez”. More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki: Team Kawasaki SRC win second Bol d’Or in a row Newsflash, 22 April 2013 Team Kawasaki SRC won the 77th running of the Bol d’Or motorcycle endurance race at Magny-Cours over the weekend of 20/21 April. The Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R number 11 machine headed the race from start to finish and set a new race record with 808 laps completed. The team Kawasaki SRC machine took an early grasp of the race when, in practice, Grégory Leblanc set the best lap overall putting his Ninja, shared with Kawasaki World Superbike star Loris Baz and debutant tider, Jeremy Guarnoni, on pole position. Ahead of the chasing pack from the opening hour – and using Pirelli Diablo Superbike tyres throughout – the three riders made a super-human effort to secure the top step of the podium in the world famous race that is equally gruelling for man and machine. Leblanc proved that qualifying was no chance happening by being consistently the fastest rider on track and setting the top lap individual time with a terrific 1’40’’663 circulation. As emphatic as this was, it was matched by a winning margin that saw the team a whole nine laps ahead as they crossed the finishing line. At the end of the race, Gilles Stafler of the SRC team was full of praise for such a historic success. Gilles Stafler : “I’m really delighted tonight because we made the perfect race. The riders did a fantastic job and showed that they were young yet professional. The team didn’t make any mistakes during the race and pitstop and this new distance record shows how strong we were.” Grégory Leblanc : “A second win in a row it’s just fantastic. We made the perfect race an it’s a great pleasure to share this victory with the team Kawasaki SRC and with Loris and Jeremy of course. Tonight i’m sore but finally it’s a sweet feeling”. Jeremy Guarnoni : What can I say ? It’s just fantastic. For my first time in a factory team I climb on the top spot. For sure it may have been predictaed but racing it’s not always easy. I’m really proud of what we achieved and, at the end, I can say that we took the victory that we deserved. Loris Baz on loan from the Kawasaki World Superbike team said: “The Bol was amazing. We knew we had a really good bike and a really good team. Even in road racing it is impossible to say that for sure you will win but in a 24-hour race it is even more impossible, because anything can happen. We made a good start and we were in front from the beginning. Really soon all the other favourite teams started having problems; it ended up as three teams fighting for the win. Racing at night was hard, when you have to keep pushing and concentrating at the same time. That is why I like Endurance racing. At one time you have to push really hard, then take more care, then push again. There is a lot of thinking involved. There was a lot of media attention because this is a really big race. We are the youngest ever team to win the Bol d’Or. Endurance is something special because anything can happen it is really a team race. There are a lot of emotions when you win because you are fighting and working all through the 24 hours, so you have to make a lot of good things happen.” More, from a press release issued by Yamaha Racing: Yamaha Score Second and Fourth in 77th Bol d’Or with the YZF-R1 The Monster Energy Yamaha Austria Racing Team (YART) kicked off their 2013 Endurance World Championship Challenge in style yesterday with a hard fought second place finish at the season opening Bol d’Or race at the Circuit de Nevers in Magny Cours. YART weren’t the only Yamaha YZF-R1 in contention for honours with the Yamaha France GMT94 team’s David Checa, Kenny Foray and Matthieu Lagrive battling for first position for nearly 20 hours and looking like favourites until a small issue cost valuable time, leaving them to eventually settle for fourth just off the podium. Podium winners YART arrived in France with only Broc Parkes and Igor Jerman after third man Josh Waters was ruled out with injuries sustained from a crash in last week’s British Superbike round at Thruxton. With limited time to find a replacement rider Sheridan Morais was flown in from South Africa, arriving on Thursday having missed the first free practice sessions and having never ridden the Yamaha before. Despite the late arrival the team were able to qualify ninth on the grid for the race. With perfect performances from all three riders and also from the Yamaha R1 they were a constant threat form the start and have put themselves into 2013 Endurance World Championship title contention with 100 points. They now prepare for their next outing in Japan for the 8Hrs of Suzuka on 28th July with riders Broc Parkes, Igor Jerman and Katsuyuki Nakasuga. “It’s been a really tough race, we didn’t know what to expect this weekend with Josh out and Sheridan drafted in at the last minute,” commented Broc Parkes. “The team was faultless; we didn’t have one thing go wrong. I’m dog-tired now, at 5am I was in a world of hurt! I had really good pace in the second part of the race and both the boys stepped up their pace as well. Suzuki was catching a little bit but we kept covering the gap. Second place is awesome, its really positive for our first race and the also the Championship. We’re looking forward to the future; bring on Suzuka!” “All the best came at the end! The weekend started horribly, we were told on Monday that Josh was unable to race,” said YART Owner Mandy Kainz. “We planned to come without a spare rider and treat the Bol d’Or as practice time. There were no riders available who are good but with no contract. Then finally we found Sheridan but he was back at his home in South Africa. He left Wednesday night and arrived Thursday afternoon and missed first free practice! I have to say the riders’ performance was incredible, especially Broc. They did not make a single mistake in 24hrs and showed real patience when it rained and was 5 degrees. The Yamaha R1 ran so well also with not a single issue, we didn’t lose so much as a screw all weekend. Finally we finished 799 laps and in second place. Over 3500km we kept all the power for the last hours with our fastest race lap being our 660th, this says a lot. It’s been a perfect start to the season, now we concentrate on Suzuka with Broc, Josh and Katsuyuki.” “Endurance can be like this,” said GMT94 rider David Checa. “There is no shame to be the fourth. We had the potential to win and that’s the most important. Our Yamaha R1 worked really well and my team also. I am looking forward now to going to Suzuka. ” “It was a nice battle with the SRC Kawasaki Team”, commented GMT94 Team Manager Christophe Guyot. “There were 63 seconds between us with five hours left to race. I can imagine the disappointment of everyone who follows us, the riders, and everyone working to help us win like Yamaha, Michelin and all our partners. We had never experienced this problem with the R1 before. That’s why took us some time to troubleshoot it before we could replace the failed sensor. On the positive side, we were competitive both on the track and in the pits, and we scored valuable championship points.” 2013 Bol d’Or Top Five: 1 / SRC KAWASAKI / LEBLANC -BAZ-GUARNONI / KAWASAKI ZX10R / 24:00:20.917 / 808 / – 2 / MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA – YART / JERMAN-PARKES-MORAIS / YAMAHA R1 / 24:00:20.946 / 799 / 9 Tr. 3 / SUZUKI ENDURANCE RACING TEAM / PHILIPPE-DELHALLE-DA COSTA / SUZUKI GSXR1000 / 24:01:37.733 / 797 / 11 Tr. 4 / YAMAHA France – GMT 94 – MICHELIN YAMAHA / CHECA-FORAY-LAGRIVE / YAMAHA R1 / 24:01:52.005 / 793 / 15 Tr. More, from a press release issued by Paul Bird Motorsport: Hernandez In The Points Again As Laverty Impresses In Texas Following on from a superb performance in the opening round of the MotoGP World Championship in Qatar earlier this month, the Penrith-based PBM MotoGP team of Yonny Hernandez and Michael Laverty were equally impressive in round two which took place at the brand-new Circuit of the Americas at Austin in Texas this weekend. 24-year-old Colombian Hernandez, from Medelln, followed up his 14th place finish in Doha with another important points scoring finish with 15th place at the American track with 31-year-old Laverty, from Toome in Northern Ireland storming his way through the field to clinch 16th place at the flag just missing out on a point. With the circuit providing a level playing field for all of the Claiming Rules Teams (CRT) class, straight away, Hernandez, in only his second season in MotoGP, stated his intentions when he was fastest aboard the Rapid Solicitors and Aprilia ART in the opening Free Practice session after posting 11th time overall. Laverty was once again aboard the revolutionary brand new PBM-chassised Rapid Solicitors and Aprilia and just as he did in the opening round, gradually upped his pace throughout the weekend to qualify in a brilliant 17th place out of the 21 riders who qualified as Hernandez started one place in front of him in 16th. Into the 21-lap race and Hernandez slotted into 13th place in the opening laps whilst Laverty made a mistake and ran off the track on lap one meaning he had to battle his way through from dead last. As Hernandez scrapped it out with the prototype bikes of Ben Spies (Ducati) and Bradley Smith (Yamaha) for 12th place, Laverty was charging through the field and by lap nine was up to 17th position with Hernandez now having a lonely ride in 14th. Hernandez consolidated his position as second of the CRT bikes as Laverty, now up to 16th, set about closing the gap to fellow CRT rider Randy de Puniet who in turn, was starting to slowly close down Hernandez. Laverty saw off the challenges of Hector Barbera and Hiroshi Aoyama to secure his fourth place in the CRT class but in front of him, Hernandez was slowing and with two laps to go, surrendered 14th place to de Puniet. For the final couple of laps, the two PBM riders held station and crossed the line in 15th and 16th place respectively and in doing so, took third and fourth place in the highly-competitive CRT class to ensure a 100% finish rate for Paul Bird’s team after the opening two rounds. Michael Laverty: “I’ve got to be happy with this weekend but I’m left wanting more as a mistake on the opening lap when I selected a false neutral put me off track and dead last. I fought back through to 16th and fourth CRT so it’s a big improvement on Qatar. My goal for this weekend was to hassle the FTR Kawasakis and in the race I caught, passed and pulled a gap on them all so I would say we exceeded our target for round two. We have taken a big step forward with the PBM bike, time was always against us coming into the season but now we are making inroads with our base settings for the chassis and electronics, and I believe we can take another step forward in Jerez as we now have a clear direction on where we need to improve.” Yonny Hernandez: “I had a much better start in this race and made up three places in the first lap. I was able to battle with two prototype riders, Spies and Smith, for almost half the race, but then my rear tyre performance dropped and I could not maintain the lap times. I am happy with the first half of the race but disappointed that I could not defend the second CRT position that I was in for most of the race. It was good to score another point and I want to thank the team for all their hard work.” Phil Borley, Technical Director: “It’s been another good weekend for Paul Bird Motorsport. Yonny has been fast all weekend and it was great to see him challenging some prototype riders for almost half the race on his ART bike. Possibly, the harder rear tyre may have been a better option for his final position, but we will use the knowledge gathered from this race for future improvement. Michael has also had a good weekend with a strong race, after a missed gear on the first lap negated his qualifying and race start advantage. We are pleased with the performance of our PBM bike and after this race have a better understanding of where future development should be focussed.” Paul Bird, Team Owner: “That was a fantastic weekend for us and all credit to the riders and team. We have had four races, scored World Championship points in half of them and had a worst finish of 17th on a brand new bike which we’ve built ourselves so all things considered, it’s been phenomenal really. We are climbing unchartered mountains with this project and I couldn’t be happier with the results and especially the attitude and performance of the riders.” Round three of the MotoGP World Championship takes place at Jerez in Spain on Sunday 5th May. For more information, please visit the team’s brand new website and More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki News Service: SERT CLAIMS BOL D’OR PODIUM AFTER CRASHING Defending World Champions Suzuki Endurance Racing Team staged a heroic race from the back of the field to finish third in the opening round of the 2013 World Endurance Championship at Magny-Cours in France today. Team riders Anthony Delhalle and Vincent Philippe both crashed the team’s Suzuki GSX-R1000 less than four hours into the 77th Bol d’Or, with Philippe refusing to be stretchered into the ambulance so he could get the damaged machine back to the pits for repairs. Early race leaders and pace-setters SERT plummeted down the leaderboard as the team technicians – who initially thought the race was over for them after watching TV footage of Philippe being stretched to the ambulance – frantically rebuilt the bike. New 2013 SERT rider Julien Da Costa eventually rejoined the race just inside the top 40 and started an amazing comeback through the field that saw the Le Mans, France-based team claim the final podium position on 797 laps, 11 adrift of race winners SRC Kawasaki and just two behind runners-up Monster Energy YART. In a race that saw intermittent rain at the Nevers Circuit, necessitating a wide choice of Dunlop wets, intermediates and slick tyres, SERT settled into a fast pace through the night into Sunday morning, carving through the field and setting the second-fastest lap of the race – 1:40.722 – in the process. The only team to better this was the winners with a lap of 1:40.663; these were the only teams to get under 1:41.000. Despite the two unscheduled pits stops for repairs, SERT ‘pitted’ 28 times and took a total of 32.349 minutes. In comparison SRC Kawasaki came in 26 times with a longer overall time of 35.852 minutes. Third-placed Monster Energy YART pitted 30 times with a time of 35.737 minutes. Bol d’Or 24-Hour Results: 1 SRC Kawasaki (Kawasaki) 808 laps, 2 Monster Energy YART (Yamaha) 799, 3 SERT (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 797, 4 Yamaha France GMT 94 (Yamaha) 793, 5 Junior Team LMS Suzuki (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 788, 6 Franks Autowelt (BMW) 788, 7 Team R2CL (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 785, 8 National Motos (Honda) 784, 9 Team Motors Events (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 783, 10 Starteam PAM Racing (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 782. More, from a press release issued by KMR Kawasaki: KMR Kawasaki powered by Vauxhall (Northern Ireland dealers) Hamilton gives KMR Kawasaki winning start to 2013 season The KMR Kawasaki powered by Vauxhall (Northern Ireland dealers) team got their 2013 road racing season underway at Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough on Sunday and it proved to be a winning start with Jamie Hamilton taking two victories in the Supertwins class. The Ballyclare rider led both races from start to finish for his first wins around the 2.43-mile woodland venue and backed this up with an excellent third in the solitary Superbike race after earlier winning his heat race. Having his first outing in three years on a Supersport machine, he also posted impressive results of fifth and sixth in the two 600cc events. There was further success for the team with new recruit Connor Behan enjoying a more than satisfactory debut not just with Ryan Farquhar’s squad but also at the circuit. The Northwich rider took the ER6 650cc Kawasaki to fifth and sixth in the Supertwins races whilst he also put in an excellent ride to claim third in the Senior race on the all new 636cc Kawasaki that he’ll campaign in the Irish Senior Support Road Race Championship. Unfortunately, third team member James Cowton was unable to contest the two Supertwins races due to a practice crash on another machine, damaged ribs keeping him out of action for the day Speaking at the end of the day, a pleased Farquhar commented; “It’s been a long and busy winter so it’s been good to finally go racing and for our first meeting, it’s been a successful outing. Jamie gave us our first wins of the season in fine style and he looked really comfortable out there on both the Supertwin and Superbike machines. He hasn’t ridden a Supersport machine since he last rode in the British Championship in 2010 though and it’s going to take him a while to get used to it again but he had two good rides today and got quicker each time he went out so he’s made good progress.” “Connor was having his first ever race at Scarborough and it’s not the easiest place to come to but he went about his day in the perfect manner and I was really pleased with how he applied himself. He was beating himself up a bit to begin with as he felt he should have been going quicker but you can’t rush things on the roads and we spent a lot of the day trying to find a set-up with the bikes that he was comfortable with. Again, like Jamie, he made good progress and to get two top six finishes in the Supertwin races, against some good opposition, was an excellent start.” “The only downside was James’ practice accident on the 250 as it meant he couldn’t ride our Supertwin machine but he’ll be back. Overall, it’s been a good day and it sets us up nicely for our first meeting at home, the Cookstown 100.” The Cookstown 100 road races take place next Saturday, April 27th whilst you can now keep up to date with all of KMR Kawasaki’s activities during the 2013 season at their new website, More, from a press release issued by John McGuinness’ publicist: McGuinness forced to retire from Endurance World Championship opener Morecambe’s John McGuinness and his Honda TT Legends team were forced to retire from the opening round of the Endurance World Championship at the weekend, the first time they’ve failed to finish one of the 24 hour races. Competing at the 24 Hour Bol d’Or event at Magny Cours, France, McGuinness joined team-mates Simon Andrews, Michael Dunlop and Michael Rutter and with all four posting similar lap times the combined times saw them line up in ninth on the grid with Rutter the unlucky rider to miss out in the race. With the race getting underway at 3pm on Saturday afternoon, John was given the responsibility of starting the race for the team and the first few hours saw him, Andrews and Dunlop do a sterling job and work their way up to an excellent third place as evening fell. Light rain added to the drama but whilst a few teams ran into issues, John and his team-mates kept everything together and were still running in a strong fourth as morning came. However, with a quarter of the race still to run, they encountered problems and Dunlop was forced into an unscheduled pit-stop, the team eventually diagnosing a problem with the heat exchanger. John re-joined the race but damage to the engine proved irreparable and he was forced to pull out and retire at the 18-hour mark, huge disappointment for all concerned. It brought to an end the team’s excellent run of seven successive finishes in the EWC and, as they enter their third year of competition, it also spelt their first retirement in a 24 hour race. Speaking later, a hugely disappointed John said; “We’re all gutted not to have finished and after practice and qualifying, we were looking really good. We were all pretty similar in lap times throughout the week and that consistency was paying dividends as we moved up into the top three. We slipped back slightly to fourth but were still having a great ride only for problems to get the better of us. The Endurance World Championship is a tough old game and we all know it’s never over until it’s over but for it to all go wrong when it did is tough to take.” “The whole team’s worked so, so hard and done so much work on the bike and I just feel for everyone that we’ve been forced to retire. I’m just gutted to be honest and it’s a tough one to take right now but, on the plus side, we were really competitive and were running close to our main rivals so we’ll look to build on that at the next round.” The next round of the EWC takes place at Suzuka, Japan on July 28 but John has plenty of racing between now and then and will be back in action on May 4-6 at Oulton Park, Cheshire for round 3 of the Pirelli National Superstock 1000cc Championship.

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