2012 Portimao World Superbike And World Supersport Sunday Post-Race Press Releases
Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams, as well as the WSBK organizers, after Sunday's races at Portimao in Portugal:
Jules takes victory in Portimao thriller
PTR HONDA'S Jules Cluzel enjoyed a brilliant victory after a race-long fight at the front of the 12th round of the World Supersport Championship at Portimao in Portugal - taking PTR's tally of wins to five out of 12 races in 2012.
Ronan Quarmby, starting 20th, finished a superb ninth in the race on his PTR Honda. Martin Jessopp on the Riders PTR Honda also improved on his qualifying of 29th, taking 22nd at the chequered flag. Four PTR riders finished in the top 10 with the Bogdanka bikes of Sam Lowes in fifth and Mathew Scholtz in 10th.
The final round of the World Championship takes place at Magny Cours in France on Sunday 7th October.
Jules: "That was one of my hardest races so I am really happy to win. I had big problems braking at the start of the race but then I calmed myself down and really concentrated. Then at the end I relaxed for the last three laps and was able to do good lap times. For me the target was to do my best and win if I could, I was not thinking about the Championship. I will be more relaxed now the title is decided for my home race at Magny Cours and will want a good result as I think I will have a lot of fans coming to watch. "
Ronan: "That was a good result after what has been a really tough weekend for me. Starting 20th I got a bad start and was 24-25th. I got up to seventh, and finished ninth and I am happy with it, it is decent points. There is one more round and I want to qualify better. Today though, it has been a great race, my PTR Honda has been amazing and I am happy."
Martin: "I don't know what happened but right from the start I couldn't get down the gears and on the first two laps I ran off the track twice. The only way round it was to brake very early into every corner and that didn't help me to get a good result - which was always going to be difficult from 29th on the grid."
Simon Buckmaster, PTR Honda Team Manager: "Jules did everything he could to win the race. Kenan did what he had to do to win the Championship. PTR has secured the runners-up spot and we hope to win the last race and come back fighting next year and win the title. Ronan gave himself a lot to do by not qualifying well but rode a great race and did a good job. Martin had trouble with gear selection - but it was always going to be difficult from 29th on the grid. He stuck to his task and finished which is credit to him."
Lowes fifth at the damp Portimao
BOGDANKA PTR HONDA's Sam Lowes finished fifth in the penultimate round of the World Supersport Championship at Portimao in Portugal, with the delayed race held in dry but damp conditions after a morning downpour. The Briton remains in fourth in the overall standings, just eight points from third position.
World Supersport rookie, Mathew Scholtz on the other Bogdanka PTR Honda, equalled his best result of the season after finishing the race in tenth position, to move himself five places up, to 19th, in the overall standings.
After making up four places on the opening lap, Bogdanka Honda PTR's Adrian Pasek retired from his World Supersport debut with six laps to go after gathering important experience over the course of the weekend. The last round of the 2012 season will take place in two weeks time at Magny Cours in France.
Sam Lowes: "I didn't have the best of starts but the bike was feeling good and I was doing well early on. A few laps in I had a big moment and nearly crashed in the last corner and hurt my shoulder. It took me a long time to recover and I lost some time. I was struggling a little bit at the end but other than that it's been good so it's not that bad. It was unlucky to have the race in a bit of strange conditions as the track wasn't very good after the rain and the lap times were a lot slower than in practice; but I'm looking forward to Magny Cours already and want to end the season on a high."
Mathew Scholtz: "The track was damp early on so I took it easy. My start wasn't too good. I think I dropped back to around 18th place but slowly started to make my way up to tenth position. I was catching others in some parts of the track but losing a bit of time elsewhere, so I stayed in tenth until the end and I'm really happy about equalling my best result of the year after crashing out in Germany. I'm really looking forward to Magny Cours, which will be another new circuit for me. I hope I can end my first World Supersport season with the best result of the year there."
Adrian Pasek: "I couldn't finish the race, so the end result wasn't perfect, but the main thing was that I could get plenty of experience under my belt this weekend. I had a small problem with the brake leaver as well as changing down the gears, but I've also made a few mistakes and went out of the track a couple of times. It was very damp at the start but I've started really well and made up a few places. I was alone from then on and it was difficult to keep a consistent rhythm on my own. In the end I retired as the guys fighting for the championship were getting close, so I didn't want to get in their way, but it's OK. I've learned a lot and know where I need to step up and what to expect if I want to make my way to World Supersport in the future. There's a lot of work ahead of me but I'll work hard over the winter and will see where that takes us."
Simon Buckmaster, Bogdanka PTR Honda Team Manager: "Sam didn't get a great start and had a really big moment on the last corner early on. He hurt his shoulder in that moment but he rode a determined race to finish, even though he couldn't make up the ground he had lost. We go to the last race to see if we can get third in the Championship and end on a high. Mathew did a really good job all weekend and it is great to see him have a solid weekend and another top 10 finish."
CHECA (ALTHEA RACING) RETURNS TO THE PODIUM IN RACE 1 AT PORTIMAO THIS AFTERNOON
Portimao (Portugal), Sunday 23rd September 2012: another complicated race day for the Althea Racing team today at the ‘Autodromo Internacional do Algarve’. In race 1 Carlos Checa rode a great race to take his first podium since Brno while Davide Giugliano was robbed of his chance to do well after a collision early on in the race forced him to retire. In the second of the day’s races Giugliano was once again unlucky, suffering from presumed tyre problems while Checa was able to bounce back after a technical issue in the early stages to cross the line fifth.
After two hot and sunny days the Superbike paddock awoke to heavy rain and poor visibility on the Portimao track. After only a fifteen minute warm-up, the riders had little time to prepare for racing in these conditions.
Race 1 – the first race became a game of two halves. In the first ‘heat’ Davide was caught up in an crash when Melandri collided with him during the very first lap. He sustained an ankle injury but unfortunately the damage is not serious. Just a few laps later, as Carlos lay in fourth position, the red flag came out due to oil left on the track after a crash for Brignola. After a half-hour break the race (shortened to sixteen laps) was restarted, but without the participation of Giugliano. Checa immediately made up a couple of positions and then started his fight, first against McCormick and then Biaggi. On lap seven he got past the Italian and from that point the Althea rider put in a series of fastest laps, each quicker than the last, to close the gap between himself and leaders Guintoli and Sykes. Once past Guintoli, Checa continued to lap half a second quicker than Sykes and was up with him by the final stages. Despite his best efforts, and the fact he made the fastest lap of the race on the very last lap (1m56.4), he was unable to pass Tom, crossing the line in second place, 0.3 of a second after the Kawasaki rider.
Race 2 – at the end of the first lap the two Althea riders were eighth (Giugliano) and ninth (Checa). Due to the presumed traction control issue, Checa quickly lost a lot of ground in the early stages, finding himself fourteenth. Carlos deactivated and then reactivated the system and this seemed to solve the problem, allowing him to make up a lot of positions in what remained of the race. After a few laps Giugliano also slowed dramatically, due to what appeared to be a problem with the front of his bike; this meant that he returned to the garage, putting a premature end to his race. Carlos continued to gain ground throughout the rest of the race (he was tenth by lap five and seventh by lap ten). Thanks to a consistently fast pace that he was able to maintain to the line, the Spaniard closed race two in final fifth position.
At the end of this penultimate round, Checa is fourth in the standings with 278.5 points while Giugliano is eleventh with 125 points. Thanks to the results of race 1, Ducati now has 375 points and lies third in the manufacturer’s standings, with respect to the 394 held by BMW and the 422.5 held by Aprilia.
“Second position is very positive, considering the rain, and the fact that the race was stopped. It was difficult because Tom defended himself well and it was very risky to overtake. I had to be careful to control tyre wear as it was drying out later in the race of course. At the end I tried to improve my pace, and maybe I had better pace than Tom in the final stages but I could see no clear place to overtake. Anyway we are very happy, I thank my team that has done a great job all weekend; this is a great result. In the second race I was there with the leading group but then I had a problem and I couldn’t push, I didn’t know what it was but I deactivated and then reactivated the traction control and this seemed to solve it. I was able to catch up a lot of positions but it wasn’t easy, the bike wasn’t as easy to ride as it had been in the practice sessions. Considering all that happened I think fifth is a good result. Now we will concentrate on finishing the season in the best possible way at Magny-Cours.”
“We didn’t need that today. In the first race contact between Melandri and I left me on the ground. I have hurt my left ankle but luckily I was able to take part in the second race. Then in that race I could feel that there was a problem almost as soon as we began, the front of the bike was not right. After I lost a lot of ground over a couple of laps I came back to the garage. We changed the tyre and I went back out to test it and it was fine, so it looks like it was an issue with the front tyre. That was a pity because I really felt that I was capable of two strong results today – next time hopefully.”
Chaz Davies and ParkinGO: Unlucky In Portugal
Not a lucky day for Chaz Davies and ParkinGO on the Portuguese racetrack.
In race 1 Chaz couldn’t finish the race thanks to a multiple crash caused by other riders in lap 1.
In race 2, starting from 7th position, Chaz lost the rear only a few laps after the start when he was in second place and fighting for the top step of the podium.
Both races leave a bad taste to the team and rider but the satisfaction of being able to fight for the victory with their private bike, not provided of the last updates of the official Aprilias.
Giuliano Rovelli, Team Owner
Today we are lacking the satisfaction of a good result but team and rider have done the extra step to be able to fight for the top places.
We would like to finish the season with another podium, result that we would all deserve after the hard job done during our first year in Superbike.
Rea returns to Portimao podium
Jonathan Rea maintained his superb record at Portimao in Portugal by taking second place in race two of today’s 13th and penultimate 2012 World Superbike championship round after the day’s opening encounter was disrupted by wet weather and red flags.
After heavy early morning rain at the 4.592km circuit, Rea had been sitting comfortably in second place after six laps of the opening race before oil on the track cause a red flag. A drying track in part two of the race, which was won by Tom Sykes, altered the handling of Rea’s CBR1000RR and he could finish no higher than sixth.
By contrast, his Honda World Superbike team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama, who was struggling before the red flags came out, changed his setting and found a better pace which took him from 17th on the grid for the re-start to eighth place at the flag.
Race two was run in dry conditions and Rea was in contention from the opening laps. Eventual race winner, Eugene Laverty, was able to pull a gap before Rea settled into second place, but the 25-year-old Northern Irishman closed the margin from four seconds to just 0.162s at the flag.
Aoyama, 30, was not able to repeat his impressive ride in race one with clutch problems forcing the Japanese rider out of contention with just nine of the 22 laps completed.
Jonathan Rea – 6th and 2nd
I guess we’ve got to be satisfied with the results today after we didn’t take advantage in Superpole yesterday. I felt really good in both races and in race one I was sitting pretty in second place feeling really comfortable when the red flags came out. Unfortunately, the track was drying for the second part, with zero standing water, but the bike was just too soft for the conditions, so I could only nurse it home. Race two was pretty good and my team gave me a CBR that I was able to compete with at the front. I got held up a little early on and Laverty opened a bit of a gap. When I got clear track in front of me I was able to reel him back in bit by bit but we ran out of laps in the end.
Hiroshi Aoyama – 8th and DNF
I didn’t have a good feeling in the first part of race one and I think we went in the wrong direction after warm-up. But after the red flag we had an opportunity to change the set-up and went the other way. It worked much better and I was able to pass some riders and fight for higher positions with the others. I had a not too bad race and I was excited to have another go in race two. Unfortunately, I had some technical problem so I was not able to finish the race.
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
Jonathan was comfortably in second place in the first part of race one before the red flag and it was possible for him to win at that point. He struggled on the drying track in the re-start and he finished sixth which was a little disappointing. Hiroshi rode pretty well in the second part – he was moving to the front so well done to him. He had a clutch problem in race two which was a real shame. Jonathan got a very good second place which wasn’t completely unexpected. We knew from yesterday that his race pace was quite good and I think, with another lap, he could have won it. He was strong, kept pushing and made no mistakes. It’s great to see him back on the podium so congratulations to him and to Chris and the team. This gives us hope that we can finish the season in style at Magny-Cours in two weeks.
Parkes misses out on Portimao podium
Broc Parkes rode to fourth place in today’s penultimate 2012 World Supersport race at Portimao in Portugal. The race was won by Jules Cluzel on a Honda CBR600RR with Kenan Sofuoglu finishing in second place and clinching his third World Supersport title. Fabien Foret was third.
Start from pole position, Australian Parkes battled strongly at the front in the opening laps, swapping the lead with Cluzel and Sofuoglu. It was only in the closing stages that he had to settle for fourth place, finishing less than 0.1s behind Foret and just missing what would have been his fourth podium of the season.
I got a pretty good start and felt comfortable in the early laps and I could go at the same pace as the others. We swapped places a few times and we all took our turns at the front but, as the race progressed, I still felt pretty good. Foret got past me and then I had a really big moment at the last turn which meant I just lost touch with the others. It was a shame because the bike felt really good today and I really felt we could have been on the podium again, which everyone would have enjoyed.
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
I must say Broc rode really, really well today and deserved much more than that fourth place. It was clear to see that the bike was lacking a bit of speed and the result was nothing to do with Broc’s riding. We’d like to apologise to him for that because I think he really deserved a podium today, so well done to him. It was also good to have Miguel Praia on our bike this weekend. His race didn’t work out so well today, but he’s a good guy to work with. We’d like to thank him for riding our bike and wish him the best for the future.
BMW Motorrad Motorsport - WSBK - Portimao - Races
It was a black Sunday for Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport at Portimão (POR). Factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA) crashed on the opening lap of race one. As he was lying on the tarmac, he was hit by the bike of Chaz Davies (GBR), who fell when trying to avoid him. As Marco’s was severe pain after the heavy impact, the Italian was taken to Portimão Hospital for precautionary checks. He returned to the team in the afternoon shortly after the second race. The examinations showed that he suffered no major injuries but has painful contusions on his back. His team-mate Leon Haslam (GBR) finished a more than difficult first race in 19th. In the second race he had to retire due to an electrical issue.
After the penultimate round of the 2012 FIM Superbike World Championship on the Algarve coast saw a sunny Friday and Saturday, the conditions changed completely today and it rained heavily in the morning, making race one once more again this season a tyre lottery as the rain stopped shortly before the start. Marco opted for front and rear rain tyres on his BMW S 1000 RR, while Leon went out on a rain tyre on the front and an intermediate on the rear. He hoped for the track to dry up and to then have an advantage. Right after the start Marco was in the leading group but crashed on lap one while fighting for position. Leon was struggling with his intermediate rear tyre in the wet in the early stages of the race and fell towards the back of the field. He did not get the chance to catch up because after six laps the race was red flagged due to oil on the track.
After 45 minutes the race was restarted with grid positions determined by positions on track before the red flag. This meant that Leon was 20th on the grid. As the track was still wet he opted for rain tyres on both front and rear but again in the second part of the race Lady Luck was not on Leon’s side. He got a ride through penalty for a jump start and entered the pits after three laps. In the meantime conditions had bettered so he decided to change his rear tyre to an intermediate but this did not reap benefits as shortly afterwards light rain started again. On top of that he still had to take his ride through penalty. He did so after lap seven and finished the race in 19th. For race two the sun was shining again and conditions were dry. Leon started from fifth but lost some places. His bike then stopped due to an electrical issue. He pushed it back to the pits but had to retire when the race was in its third lap. Ayrton Badovini (ITA) of the BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet SBK Team finished the races in ninth and sixth, his team-mate Michel Fabrizio (ITA) was tenth and eighth.
In the Riders’ Championship, Marco is third with 308.5 points, 38.5 points behind leader Max Biaggi (ITA). Leon is seventh with 189 points. In the Manufacturers’ Standings BMW is second with 394 points, 28.5 points behind Aprilia. The races were won by Tom Sykes (GBR) and Eugene Laverty (IRL) respectively. In the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup race, Sylvain Barrier (FRA) from the BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet STK Team claimed another podium, finishing second.
Result Race 1: 19th / Gap to 1st: 1 lap / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:56.887 min
Result Race 2: DNF / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:52.843 min
“All weekend we felt so confident with the slick tyre and the race set-up and today it rained. Normally I like the rain, but today it was difficult. For race one I thought that it would dry up and we chose the intermediate rear tyre which was a bit of a gamble. But it did not dry up before the race was red flagged. As before the restart the track still had not dried much so we decided to go with the same as all the other guys, but I made a jump start.
Even before I had the ride through I had an issue with the bike in the wet so after I entered the pit lane twice the race was done for me. In race two we didn’t get the best start but the race pace was not so fast. It was more than two seconds slower than what I did yesterday on the same tyres. In addition we had a technical issue; it was nobody’s fault, but it was me again who had the bad luck. This is very frustrating.”
Result Race 1: DNF / DNR
Result Race 2: DNS
“Once more it was a very bad day for me. When Max Biaggi passed me I kept my inside line and I did not really see him. I just heard the sound of somebody touching the front of my bike and I went down and I felt something hit my back. I was very worried about my back, kidney or liver because it hurt very badly. Fortunately the medical exams show that everything is okay. Now it is a bit better because I took a lot of painkillers, but I still don’t feel very well.”
Bernhard Gobmeier (BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director):
“It was a really disappointing day for us. It started with a gamble on the tyres which, for Leon, we lost. In the second race, Leon had to retire early due to an electrical issue which we now will analyse closely. Regarding Marco, it was a racing accident due to the tricky conditions, with the result that he got hurt pretty bad by the heavy impact he suffered from behind. Nevertheless, we are very relieved that, according to preliminary investigations from the hospital, he escaped major injuries, except for some massive contusions. We hope that with some rest he will be fit again very soon. In the second race Leon had to retire early due to an electrical issue which we now will analyse closely. It was a tough day, but we will keep our heads held high. Our focus is now on the season finale in two weeks’ time at Magny-Cours. We will continue to work hard and will give our best in order to return to winning ways.”
Biaggi asserts his authority at penultimate round
Portimao (Portugal), Sunday 23 September 2012 – Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) scored a single podium for third place in race two at the eni FIM Superbike World Championship round in Portugal today, but two strong points scores saw him extend his overall lead as his other championship rivals found trouble. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) won his first race of the 2012 season in the second outing today, which went to all 22-laps duration.
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) started well, as he won the first race in front of 51,000 weekend spectators, but he had to retire with an engine failure in the second race. With Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) injured in the aborted first race, the Italian scored no points today.
The final result from Portugal, with one round and two individual races to go in France in two weeks’ time, is that Biaggi has a total of 347 points, 30.5 more than Sykes, while Melandri is 38.5 points adrift of Biaggi.
Full wet conditions arrived on Sunday morning and they were to play a part in the race being halted because of an oil spill after a crash. A restarted race, over only 16 laps, was won by Sykes who scored his third win of the season and drew himself – temporarily - closer to championship leader Biaggi as a result. Max was fourth in the opening race after several incidents and changing fortunes as the race unfolded. Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) looked like he could pass Sykes at the end but was unable to in the final two laps, and he settled for second place. PATA Racing Ducati privateer rider Sylvain Guintoli scored himself another podium finish, in third place. A collision on lap one of the first start saw Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) crash after an attempted pass on Biaggi and he was taken to hospital for scans on a bruised kidney, missing out on any further Portimao action.
Tom Sykes: “I’ve got to start by thanking the team and Kawasaki, the boys made a big change in between the two parts and it was a different bike in the second rerun. I was so comfortable and much happier and was able to predict what the bike was doing. We got to the front and managed the tyres very well, racing with these guys was fantastic. It’s good for the championship but we’ll take it race by race.”
Results: 1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 16 Laps/73.472 km in 31'42.011 average 139.063 kph; 2. Checa (Ducati) 0.300; 3. Guintoli (Ducati) 2.732; 4. Biaggi (Aprilia) 11.564; 5. McCormick (Ducati) 11.771; 6. Rea (Honda) 11.792; 7. Baz (Kawasaki) 28.693; 8. Aoyama (Honda) 29.581; 9. Badovini (BMW) 31.507; 10. Fabrizio (BMW) 31.587; etc.
After a tense battle Laverty took his first victory of the season, and his first on an Aprilia machine, as he held off the impressive late charge of Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) by only 0.162 seconds. Eugene became the ninth rider in 2012 to win a race. Laverty had been a clear leader but in the final laps Rea put in a real charge at the undulating Portuguese circuit. Over three seconds behind the race winner, Biaggi was third and now carries a more than useful lead into the final round in France. His new main championship rival Sykes no scored.
Eugene Laverty: “I rode hard at the beginning to get a gap but Jonathan pushed me hard towards the end. The grip wasn’t there, which was evident in the lap time, but I just kept going towards the end. I managed to hang on. The win has been so long coming, the last time was Monza and of course this is the first for Aprilia, I’m ecstatic about it!”
Results: 1. Laverty (Aprilia) 22 Laps/101.024 km in 38'35.105 average 157.093 kph; 2. Rea (Honda) 0.162; 3. Biaggi (Aprilia) 3.766; 4. Guintoli (Ducati) 10.440; 5. Checa (Ducati) 20.153; 6. Badovini (BMW) 23.152; 7. Baz (Kawasaki) 27.314; 8. Fabrizio (BMW) 35.682; 9. McCormick (Ducati) 35.766; 10. Lanzi (Ducati) 38.311; etc.
Points (after 13 of 14 rounds): 1. Biaggi 347; 2. Sykes 316,5; 3. Melandri 308.5; 4. Checa 278.5; 5. Rea 255.5; 6. Laverty 241.5; 7. Haslam 189; 8. Guintoli 172.5; 9. Davies 156.5; 10. Fabrizio 133.5; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Aprilia 422.5; 2. BMW 394; 3. Ducati 375; 4. Kawasaki 356.5; 5. Honda 270.5; 6. Suzuki 130.5.
Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Lorenzini) won his third world championship by finishing behind the only man who could have caught him before the Portimao round, Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda). Cluzel gave his all to keep the title alive for another weekend but with so many changes of lead and position inside the top four riders today, nothing was certain until the very last corner when he had stretched out a winning lead. Fabien Foret (Kawasaki Intermoto Step) was third in the race, just less than a second from Cluzel. Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda) was fourth and Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda) fifth. In the rankings, with one round to go, Sofuoglu has a peerless 218 points, Cluzel 185 and Foret 160.
Results: 1. Cluzel (Honda) 20 Laps/91.840 km in 36'05.886 average 152.651 kph; 2. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 0.645; 3. Foret (Kawasaki) 0.969; 4. Parkes (Honda) 1.035; 5. Lowes (Honda) 3.905; 6. Morais (Kawasaki) 5.936; 7. Linfoot (Kawasaki) 22.555; 8. Baldolini (Triumph) 22.595; 9. Quarmby (Honda) 23.121; 10. Scholtz (Honda) 23.740; etc.
Points (after 12 of 13 rounds): 1. Sofuoglu 218 (champion); 2. Cluzel 185; 3. Foret 160; 4. Lowes 152; 5. Parkes 135; 6. Morais 94; 7. Baldolini 86; 8. Quarmby 84; 9. Iannuzzo 60; 10. Leonov 52; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Honda 262; 2. Kawasaki 257; 3. Triumph 115; 4. Yamaha 102; 5. Suzuki 6.
Bryan Staring (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) pushed himself ahead of long-time race leader Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) to score the win in Portugal, his third victory of the season, with Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki) pushing on to record third spot. In the championship Eddi La Marra (Barni Racing Team Italia Ducati) is now second by three points behind Barrier, after he finished fifth at Portimao. Lorenzo Savadori (Barni Racing Team Italia Ducati) was fourth today. Three riders can now win the title, Barrier, La Marra and Staring, although the Aussie rider is 22 points behind the lead.
Results: 1. Staring (Kawasaki) 12 Laps/55.104 km in 21'34.528 average 153.241 kph; 2. Barrier (BMW) 1.722; 3. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 3.839; 4. Savadori (Ducati) 6.249; 5. La Marra (Ducati) 6.444; 6. Bergman (Kawasaki) 12.990; 7. Massei (Honda) 16.963; 8. Mercado (Kawasaki) 19.648; 9. Reiterberger (BMW) 19.708; 10. Jezek (Ducati) 20.487; etc.
Points (after 9 of 10 rounds): 1. Barrier 133; 2. La Marra 130; 3. Staring 111; 4. Guarnoni 98; 5. Savadori 91; 6. Reiterberger 85; 7. Bergman 78; 8. Massei 71; 9. Coghlan 68; 10. Baroni 56; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 168; 2. Ducati 165; 3. BMW 161; 4. Honda 71; 5. Aprilia 17.
An early fight between UEM European Superstock 600 Championship rivals Michael van der Mark (EAB Junior Team Honda) and Riccardo Russo (Team Italia FMI Yamaha) was effectively over when Russo ran wide at mid race distance. Van der Mark now has a seven-point championship lead, with one round remaining in France. He has scored five race wins so far while Russo has scored four. Adrian Nestorovic (MTM Racing Yamaha) was a strong third in front of his team-mate Gauthier Duwelz at Portimao. In the championship, van der Mark has 194 points, Russo 187, Duwelz 91 and Nestorovic 74.
Results: 1. Vd Mark (Honda) 10 Laps/45.920 km in 18'19.861 average 150.303 kph; 2. Russo (Yamaha) 5.992; 3. Nestorovic (Yamaha) 6.055; 4. Duwelz (Yamaha) 7.133; 5. Morbidelli (Yamaha) 7.401; 6. Schacht (Honda) 10.991; 7. Gamarino (Kawasaki) 10.998; 8. Cecchini (Honda) 11.478; 9. Vitali (Yamaha) 11.779; 10. Mulhauser (Yamaha) 11.790; etc.
Points (after 9 of 10 rounds): 1. Vd Mark 194; 2. Russo 187; 3. Duwelz 91; 4. Nestorovic 74; 5. Vitali 66; 6. Schacht 65; 7. Morbidelli 63; 8. Calero Perez 59; 9. Gamarino 58; 10. Chesaux 50; etc.
Official Tyre Supplier
"Before analysing the Superbike races, Pirelli would like to congratulate Kenan Sofuoglu (on his return to the category) and team Kawasaki Lorenzini on their victory in the World Supersport Championship which rewards the rider’s excellent performance and the team’s consistent work throughout the season. But the Portimão round, the penultimate of the World Championship, was first and foremost an extremely important weekend in the Superbike class main feature which, despite the uncertain weather conditions, provided fans with two very heated and exciting races. In particular race1 was ridden on rain tyres by all the riders for both the first start, when the track was actually still quite wet, and for the restart after the race was red flagged to clean up oil left on the track by Brignola’s unfortunate crash. For the latter case, in spite of the track being almost completely dry and therefore not in ideal performance conditions for the wet solution, the tyres performed superbly and surpassed all expectations, allowing the riders not only to finish the race without problems but even to improve lap times as the race went on. Clear evidence of this is the best lap, realised by Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) during the last lap, at a time when the track had already quite completely dried off. Race2, on the other hand, was run on slicks. More specifically, almost all the riders opted for the oversized profile SC0 R874 solution which proved to be a valid alternative to the SC0 solution which was the standard selection here, as well as at Brno, Misano and Phillip Island. With a 30.5 advantage over the closest contender (Tom Sykes) and 38.5 over Marco Melandri, Max Biaggi has staked a strong claim on the title, but on several occasions Superbike has demonstrated just how unpredictable the races can be, so we will have to wait and see what happens during the final round which will be held at Magny-Cours in two weeks." - Giorgio Barbier, Racing Director Pirelli Moto
Pirelli BEST LAP Awards:
SBK Race 1 – Carlos Checa (Althea Racing), 1'56.477 (Lap 16)
SBK Race 2 – Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team), 1'44.578 (Lap 5)
Total BEST LAP (SBK): Checa C. (Althea Racing): 8, Biaggi M. (Aprilia Racing Team): 5; Melandri M. (BMW Motorrad Motorsport): 4; Sykes T. (Kawasaki Racing Team): 3; Guintoli S. (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing): 1; Baz L. (Kawasaki Racing Team): 1; Ayrton Badovini (BMW Mottorad Italia Goldbet): 1; Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport): 1; Laverty E. (Aprilia Racing Team): 1
WSS – Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda), 1'47.416 (Lap 6)
Total BEST LAP (WSS): Lowes S. (Bogdanka PTR Honda): 3; Cluzel J. (PTR Honda): 3; Foret F. (Kawasaki Intermoto Step): 2; Parkes B. (Ten Kate Racing Products): 2; Lanzi L. (Prorace): 1; Morais S. (Kawasaki Lorenzini): 1
STK1000 – Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS), 1’47.031 (Lap 6)
STK600 – Michael VD Mark (EAB Ten Kate Junior Team), 1'49.028 (Lap 7)
LAVERTY WINS IN PORTIMAO
EUGENE LAVERTY WINS HIS FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP RACE ON THE APRILIA RSV4 AT PORTIMAO.
- MAX BIAGGI STRENGTHENS HIS WORLD SBK LEAD.
- APRILIA INCREASES THE GAP IN THE MANUFACTURER CHAMPIONSHIP.
Portimao (Portugal), 23 September 2012 – At the end of an exciting weekend Max Biaggi, Eugene Laverty and the entire Aprilia Racing Team head home from Portugal having strengthened the leaderships that they boast in all of the World Superbike standings and with the satisfaction of Laverty's first championship victory astride the RSV4.
The Aprilia domination had already begun in Race 1. Declared a "Wet Race" due to the heavy showers that fell on the Portimao track all morning, letting up only just after the start, the first race saw Max Biaggi confidently taking the lead after just a few laps. But in the sixth lap, with the ranking leader firmly in command, the race was red flagged due to oil on the track after a crash. The changed track conditions at the restart created some difficulties both for Max, who gritted his teeth and crossed the finish line in fourth place, and for Laverty, relegated to 13th place, with the victory going to none other than Tom Sykes, who at that point was Max's nearest rival in the race for the title after a crash which put Marco Melandri out of commission.
Complete redemption came for Aprilia in Race 2 with two RSV4s on the podium. The victory went to Laverty who, getting out front early at the start, led all 22 laps of the race. Biaggi battled hard for the podium with Leon Camier and the 16 points he earned with third place give him a 30.5 point advantage over the nearest contender (Tom Sykes) and 38.5 over Melandri.
With this result Aprilia also strengthens its lead in the manufacturer standings, now boasting 28.5 points over BMW, 47.5 over Ducati and 66 over Kawasaki.
Max Biaggi: "Two really hard races, strange from certain points of view. In Race 1 the conditions were completely different from the practice sessions and even in Race 2 on a dry track the grip wasn't the best. Considering these difficulties and a lot of contact with the other riders, I'm happy with a fourth and third place which reconfirm my lead in the standings. Now we'll begin preparations for the last round in Magny Cours, as always putting forth our best effort".
Eugene Laverty: "My first win with and for Aprilia came on my favourite track with a lot of my fans trackside, who I'd like to thank. Grip in Race 2 wasn't perfect. I tried to push hard right away to gain an advantage and then I was able to maintain it to the end. This year we had some difficult moments, like we had in Race 1 today, but we're finally showing our potential with some good progress at the end of the season".
CAMIER ROBBED OF PORTIMAO WSB PODIUM
Team Suzuki Press Office - September 23.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki's Leon Camier looked like taking his second podium of the season during today's final race at the eni FIM Superbike World Championship from Portimao in Portugal only to see his hopes disappear in the closing stages.
Camier started from ninth on the grid and had made his way up to sixth by lap-three. He continued to close the gap on the leading riders as the race progressed and was in a position to challenge championship leader Max Biaggi when the race entered its final few laps. Camier tried to make a pass on the Italian, as the Aprilia rider ran slightly wide, but Biaggi didn't see Camier on his inside and cut back across, accidently hitting the FIXI Crescent Suzuki man. Camier stayed on-board and gave chase again, before making another attempt to get past Biaggi, he succeeded briefly, but couldn't make the pass stick, so continued to line up the Italian for another attack. Unfortunately disaster struck for Camier before he had the opportunity as a transmission issue forced him into the pits and retirement from the race at the start of the very last lap - ruefully wondering what might have been.
In a disjointed and difficult first race, Camier was again looking menacing as he sat in eighth place and within touching distance of the riders in front, but due to an incident in the wet conditions the race was red flagged. A rider crashed on one of the many damp patches that were a result of the torrential rain that had fallen earlier and a re-start over 16-laps was ordered. Camier couldn't quite find his rhythm in the second staging of the interrupted race and after a five-way battle for eighth place; he eventually finished in 11th on his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R.
John Hopkins made a strong showing during his first races at the 4,592 Portuguese circuit, as he continued with his improvement over the demanding layout. In the second race - held in dry and sunny conditions - he made a good start from 19th on the grid and was up into 14th by lap-three. Hopkins continued to push for the remainder of the race and finally brought his FIXI Crescent Suzuki GSX-R home for a safe and creditable 11th position, one place better than the 12th he secured in race one, where he too was in the battle for eighth with Camier and three other riders. Hopkins coped well with the difficult conditions in the first event and was unlucky not to pick up a top-10 result for his hard work.
Today's races saw two different winners as Tom Sykes triumphed in race one, with Eugene Laverty on an Aprilia taking victory in the second event. Max Biaggi retained, and increased, his championship lead, with Sykes in second and Marco Melandri - who crashed in race one and was unable to participate in race two -now in third in the title chase.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki will next head to France, as the championship draws to a close, for the final two races of the season at Magny Cours on Sunday October 7th.
"The FIXI Crescent Suzuki worked really well in the morning warm-up, which took place in fully wet conditions, so I was quite happy about riding the bike in the same conditions in race one. When the race was restarted, the track was not completely wet and it began to dry out in some places. The settings we had just didn't work as well as we hoped and I had to get round as best I could.
"Fortunately, race two was dry. I attacked right from the start and moved up the field. It took a bit of time to get past Guintoli, but once I had overtaken him I set about Biaggi. It was a close battle - close enough for us to make contact - and I really believed I could find a way past, make it stick and take third spot. I had a few problems with the gearbox during the race and then the bike locked up on me with two laps to go and I had to take to the run-off. I tried to keep going, but it happened a couple of times more and nearly spat me off, so I had no choice but to pull out. I'm happy though because the bike has come on a lot in the recent months and I now know we can fight with the best."
"Although the results are a bit average and I'd have preferred better ones, I'm quite happy with today. The first race was very tricky and if there hadn't been a red flag it would've taken place in full wet conditions and that would've been easier to manage. Once the track started drying out, conditions worsened and it was pretty difficult to get round - especially towards the end when the tyres had completely gone.
"I got a good start in race two, but got bumped off the track by another rider and lost quite a few places. After that I kept my head down and went as hard as I could for a finish. This was my first time at Portimao. It's a pretty hard track to learn, but this weekend we found some good information on the bike and that makes me very happy about the future."
Jack Valentine - Team Manager:
"It probably sounds a bit funny, but this has been a very productive and fantastic weekend for us and it's been a good day for the team, because we've proved that we can be competitive and run with the best. I am very pleased because all the hard work the team has put in is showing dividends and it is a huge boost to our morale. It was great to see Leon fighting with Biaggi in the second race and this shows that the FIXI Crescent Suzuki is a genuine challenger. If it hadn't been for the problem, I think we could've had another podium. The conditions in race one were hard for everybody and our bike settings didn't work as well as we wanted, but even so, we learnt something and found some good directions for the future. Both riders brought their bikes home in the points, but I'm sure the results would've been better if the race had taken place in the wet, instead of half-and-half.
"John rode solidly in both races today and had some fun again and that's good to see. Even though Leon failed to finish the second race today, the team are on a high, all really pumped up and looking forward to the next round. We want to show that our recent form has been no fluke and we'll be going all-out for podiums at Magny-Cours."
WSBK - Team Italia keeps title chases open in Portimao
Savadori and La Marra finish in the Top 10. Russo is second, Vitali ninth. Both titles will be decided in Magny Cours
In the FIM Cup Superstock1000, after a wet warm-up, the race was delayed and declared dry in the afternoon. La Marra got off a good start, but was soon joined by Barrier who took full advantage of having tested on this track earlier this week. The Frenchman showed a pace no one could match, pulling away from Staring, Guarnoni and La Marra.
The Italian suffered tire wear and was passed by Guarnoni and his teammate Savadori, who fought back with a constant pace.
Both Barni Racing Team Italia riders closed in the Top 5, respectively in fourth and fifth position, while Staring won the race ahead of new championship leader Barrier (+3 on La Marra).
In the UEM European Championship Superstock600, Russo and VD Mark gave a great duel early on during the race. During lap 4, the Italian went wide, allowing the Dutchman to win his fifth race of the season. Russo got second place, and is now 7 points behind his rival.
Vitali was author of a good comeback after staring in 13th place, closing in ninth position after battling against Schacht, Gamarino and Cecchini.
Cristiano Migliorati (FMI Technical Coordinator)
"We lost the lead in the Stk1000, but we couldn't do much more today against a really well-prepared opponent, who lapped nearly all week on this track. In the Stk600 the gap got just a little wider. We must congratulate VD Mark and his team, who proved once again to be tough to beat. Still, we head to the season finale to win both titles. Hopefully we will."
WSBK will race in Magny Cours on October 6th and 7th.