Carlos Checa, the master of Imola, takes another race win.
SBK World Superbike Championship, Round 2 of 14 Imola Italy
Checa Doubles at Imola World Superbike to Overtake Biaggi's Points Lead
Imola (Italy), Sunday 1 April 2012 – Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) was a force to be reckoned with once more at Ducati’s home circuit, and he duly posted his desired double in the FIM Superbike World Championship races in front of 81,000 fans at Imola. The final result of his winning labours is that he is now leading the championship, but only just, from Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing) and double second place finisher Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) with the English rider having his best results since his win in Germany last year.
Sykes takes Tissot-Superpole win number two in two attempts
Imola, Saturday March 31st – The best possible starting position was taken by Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) for the second round in succession after he set a new track best of 1 minute 46.748 seconds in Superpole 3. This was Sykes’ fourth career Superpole win and the second at Imola, as he took the pre-race prize on the previous model of Ninja ZX-10R here in 2010. Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing Ducati) was second, after a late charge from Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) was ultimately unsuccessful. Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) was fourth and first BMW rider in the final pre-race rankings, while Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) made it to the head of the second row, fifth overall. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) went sixth at his home circuit.
Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) was seventh but suffered a very fast high-side crash, walking away after a heavy impact on the tarmac. The last place on the second row went to Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Racing Team).
Some big names missed out on the optimum starting spots on the first two rows, as Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing) experienced a technical issue in Superpole 2 that held back his final push and went to 11th on the grid, while early fast man Jakub Smrz (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert Ducati) was only one place up on the Irish rider, tenth.
Lorenzo Zanetti (PATA Racing Team Ducati) made his team proud with a fine ninth at his home race, while a troubled second superpole session saw Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Ducati) run off track and then finally crash, finishing 12th on the grid. Leon Camier (Crescent Fixi Suzuki) was top Suzuki rider, 15th.
Tom Sykes: “To get two Tissot-Superpole wins on the roll is fantastic. I dug deep after the second Superpole because I knew the times would be fast. On my fastest lap in Superpole 3 I had a lot of feedback from my Kawasaki. A couple of times I arrived past the limit, but the feel was good so I could finish with a good lap. A few of us have very consistent race pace so there will be a big fight over full race distance.”
Sylvain Guintoli: “I am happy with our work this weekend. This circuit for Ducati is fantastic, it is a brilliant track and took me about two years to learn it. I am just getting used to it and enjoying myself here so I think tomorrow will be a good race. There should be a be a big fight and I am going to do my best to take the first victory for the team.”
Carlos Checa: “I feel quite good after practice and third position is positive, considering that Tom did a really good lap time and I could not get that kind of lap. We expect our pace to be much better in the race. We are in a good starting position for the race and I think we have good pace for the race tomorrow.”
Leon Haslam: “It’s been a good weekend so far and we have been making progress with the BMW in the past few weeks. My leg is getting stronger day by day but in the evenings it is a little bit sore. To be fair, on the bike it is not that much of a problem. By Assen, the next race, I think I will be fully fit.”
Times: 1. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'46.748; 2. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 1'47.221; 3. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 1'47.423; 4. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 1'47.458; 5. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'47.611; 6. Melandri M. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1'47.642; 7. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1'47.643; 8. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'47.740; 9. Zanetti L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1'48.108; 10. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 1'48.137; 11. Laverty E. (IRL) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'48.299; 12. Giugliano D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1'48.650; 13. Berger M. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 1'48.267; 14. Canepa N. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1'48.382; 15. Camier L. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'48.415; 16. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1'48.631; etc.
World Supersport 600
Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda) secured pole at Imola after the final session was halted and restarted with just a few minutes left on the clock. Lowes’ time of 1 minute 51.436 seconds is a new track record in the class. As the final chance came for one fast lap Lowes overhauled long time leader on the time sheets Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki DeltaFin Lorenzini). Morais’ team-mate Kenan Sofuoglu pushed himself to third despite recent left knee and right foot injuries. Fourth was class rookie and Imola novice Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda) with Ten Kate Racing Products Honda rider Broc Parkes fifth. Phillip Island podium man Fabien Foret (Kawasaki Intermoto Step) took sixth place.
Times: 1. Lowes S. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 1'51.436; 2. Morais S. (RSA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'51.901; 3. Sofuoglu K. (TUR) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'52.028; 4. Cluzel J. (FRA) Honda CBR600RR 1'52.100; 5. Parkes B. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 1'52.167; 6. Foret F. (FRA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'52.264; 7. Tamburini R. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 1'52.406; 8. Roccoli M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 1'52.743; etc.
The new Ducati 1199 Panigale draws blood in Superstock at its first ever race!
Eddi La Marra (Barni Racing Team Italia) will start from pole in Sunday’s Superstock 1000 race after setting the fastest time in the second qualifying session on the brand-new Ducati 1199 Panigale. Lorenzo Baroni (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet STK Team) was originally credited with second but cut the chicane and was docked that lap, promoting Markus Reiterberger (Team alpha Racing BMW) to second, with Baroni now third. The front row line-up has been completed by Baron’s team-mate Sylvain Barrier. The top Kawasaki runner was MRS team rider Loris Baz, fifth.
Times: 1. La Marra E. (ITA) Ducati 1199 Panigale 1'50.403; 2. Reiterberger M. (GER) BMW S1000 RR 1'50.734; 3. Baroni L. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1'50.743; 4. Barrier S. (FRA) BMW S1000 RR 1'50.819; 5. Baz L. (FRA) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'51.160; 6. Savadori L. (ITA) Ducati 1199 Panigale 1'51.770; 7. Bussolotti M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1'52.056; 8. Massei F. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR 1'52.459; etc.
Riccardo Russo (Team Italia FMI Yamaha) won the Superstock 600 event by a large margin of 2.534 seconds after 11 laps of front running action at Imola. The series regular was unchallenged at the end, with Nacho Calero Perez (Team Trasimeno Yamaha) second and closing but still well down at the flag. A distant third was EAB Ten Kate Junior Team Honda rider Michael van der Mark. As this is the first round the points positions are a mirror image of the race positions, with Russo on 25, Calero Perez on 20 and van der Mark on 16. Fourth spot in race and championship went to wildcard rider, Nicola Jr. Morrentino (Elle 2 Promotion Yamaha).
Results: 1. Russo R. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 21'04.967; 2. Calero Perez N. (ESP) Yamaha YZF R6 2.534; 3. Van der Mark M. (NED) Honda CBR600RR; 4. Morrentino N. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 10.627; 5. Egea S. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R6 11.049; 6. Chesaux B. (SUI) Honda CBR600RR 11.219; 7; Morbidelli F. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 19.334; 8. Casalotti S. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 20.789; etc.
Carlos Checa on the top step with his Althea team owner Bevilacqua, together with Sykes and Haslam.
Double for Checa but championship fight tightens up
Race Day, Sunday April 1st, 2012 – Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) was a force to be reckoned with once more at Ducati’s home circuit, and he duly posted his desired double in the FIM Superbike World Championship races in front of 81,000 fans at Imola. The final result of his winning labours is that he is now leading the championship, but only just, from Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing) and double second place finisher Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) with the English rider having his best results since his win in Germany last year.
Carlos Checa: “It’s a big family here for me and I feel like I’m at home, sharing these emotions with all the people! Five times winning here is also very special. We worked very well this weekend, and it helps us to go ahead in the championship. Of course after two wins, my position is getting better, but anyway I just want to think about today and the fantastic moment and the job we did. Thanks to the team, Ducati and all the fans
Tom Sykes (56) lead the starts of both races from Pole, with Carlos Checa (7) quickly slipping into second and following for 2/3rds the race, then easily passing for the race win in thr closing laps.
Tom Sykes and his Kawasaki Racing Team Ninja ZX-10R once more made great progress in the SBK class, taking two second place finishes at Imola and staying within six points of the championship lead. Having started from pole after blitzing the previous track best in Superpole qualifying Sykes was to leave Imola with the new lap record on raceday as well, a 1’47.552 lap set while trying to keep eventual double race winner Carlos Checa behind him. Tom was not able to perform that feat as 2011 champion Checa turned up the heat but even in the cool conditions on raceday, Tom was able to defend his second place, particularly in race two.
Tom has won an SBK race on the Ninja before, last year in Germany, but this can be considered his best weekend so far in many ways, as he took not only two consistent second places in dry conditions, but the best results to date. His total of podiums on the Ninja ZX-10R now is four, three coming in 2012.
Tom Sykes: “I think it was a very good weekend for myself and Kawasaki. The ZX-10R has been great, we had pole position and two seconds in the races so I don’t think we could have asked for much more. Carlos has done a great job today, we had no answer, he was able to preserve the tyre that bit better than us. That’s something we need to work on but the big picture is that we’ve got a hatful of points again. If we continue like this I’ll be very happy.”
BMW Motorrad has reached another milestone: Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport celebrates its first double podium in the FIM Superbike World Championship. At the second round of the 2012 season at Imola (ITA), factory rider Leon Haslam (GBR) proved that his injured right leg is nearly not affecting him anymore on his BMW S 1000 RR. He finished third in both races and thus collected 32 points on this race Sunday, more than any other BMW rider before. His team mate Marco Melandri (ITA) was sixth and tenth respectively. Overall, Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport collected 48 points this weekend, more than ever before.
Leon Haslam: “It was a tough race, the top 3 got away again and I had to pull them back. I got comfortable behind Tom, thought I could have a go at him towards the end. Every time I pushed I got a little bit of chatter and kept losing my line, and had a few big moments on the last few laps, but he rode real good, and Checa rode a fantastic race once again. It was the first-ever double podium for BMW so I’m happy about that and we’ll take what we’ve learnt here to Assen. The ankle is a bit sore and I hit a couple of kerbs but for Assen I’ll be 100%.”
Max Biaggi missed the podium twice today, and his Championship points lead after Phillip Island, by narrow margins on each occasion. In each 21-lap race he had to give best to the impressive Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) who is still riding with screws in his foot after his big crash in Australia in late February. This was Haslam’s personal best weekend for BMW as well, on a day of significant happenings for riders, teams and manufacturers.
Biaggi come up against a few difficulties, starting from the Superpole yesterday, the Corsair gave it his all, managing not to lose sight of the front runners. Especially in the second race, after gathering important information during Race 1, Max and his team were able to close the gap with the leading riders, just barely missing the bottom step of the podium. Two fourth places are good spoils to take home from a championship point of view in the second race of the season on an historically difficult track.
“We couldn't have done any better than we did today – concluded Max – and the maths show it! Two identical placings, just off the podium, that I can say I'm fairly satisfied with. My only regret is for Race 2 because my team and I were able to make some improvements compared to the first, but unfortunately not enough to stay in the top three. We knew it would be difficult for us here and the low temperature didn't help. Now we're concentrating on Assen and how to react in order to make trouble for the leaders”.
In race two there were five different manufacturers in the top five places, and all six were represented in the top eight positions, which once again proves how close and exciting SBK racing is in its 25th anniversary year. With the top three riders now covered by only six points, the next round at Assen is eagerly anticipated.
The teams will remain in Imola for an official test on Monday 2 April.
Carlos made a very quick start and was immediately up in second position, behind Sykes who seemed to have an even stronger pace than the Spaniard. The Althea rider did all he could to stick with the Kawasaki and when he saw that the Englishman was suffering a little through certain sections of the track, he took the tactical decision to pass and break away. On lap eleven Carlos took the lead and from that point he slowly built up an advantage, crossing the finish line in first position with a 3.2 second advantage over Sykes, second. Carlos recorded the fastest lap of the race; the 1m47.877 assured him of the Pirelli ‘best lap’ award. Sykes had his best ever dry-race performance on the Kawasaki in second place, with Haslam and Biaggi disputing the final podium place. It went to Leon Haslam, by a second from his Italian rival.
Tom Sykes turned his Pole position into big race leads at the start of both Race One and Race Two ahead of Biaggi, Checa and Haslem - seen behind in the distance. But Checa would quickly reel him him in both races and pass for the lead at mid race.
Tom Sykes: “The plan was to get a good start in race one and we had a very clean launch in the Kawasaki. In the first nine laps or so it was just Carlos and I and saw there was a big gap behind us. Carlos rode a great race, hats off to him, and he knew exactly what he was doing.
Starting fourth on the grid, Leon Haslam slipped his BMW back two positions in the early stages of race one. He was soon back in fourth and began to chase third placed Max Biaggi (ITA). Halfway through the race he had closed the gap to the Italian and the two started to fight an exciting battle for the podium. With five laps to go, Leon passed Biaggi and he defended this third place to the finish line. Marco started sixth, but at the end of lap two, he had an issue while shifting down and was forced to ride straight into the pit lane entrance. He rejoined the race in 16th position and started an impressive catch-up, regaining ten positions and he finished sixth.
Fifth was Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing) but just behind him Melandri and Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Racing Team) finally passed long-time fifth place runner, Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Racing Team Ducati). Zanetti was a still-impressive eighth.
Carlos Checa: “Another incredible day, one more that I will never forget! At the beginning of race one I could see that Sykes had a very strong pace but I stuck with him. When I realized that he was beginning to have trouble in certain places, I took the opportunity to get past him. Then I was able to build a small advantage which meant I could finish comfortably ahead. It was all an unknown today with the much colder conditions, we didn’t know what tyre to use but we took the risk of using that which we’d tested during the practice sessions (but on a much warmer track) – it was a risk but it paid off. The second race was very similar to the first. I made a small mistake near the beginning but was then able to find my rhythm. I thank my team, the sponsor and of course the fans – it’s always great to win in Italy and I thank the spectators with whom I share these great emotions.”
Genesio Bevilacqua, General Manager di Althea Racing: “A fantastic result as far as the classification is concerned, with Carlos winning two races that we knew would be no easy feat today. We’re fighting with what we have available to us and are pretty satisfied, but of course we’re worried about another eventual increase in weight and the air restrictor. I was also very happy to see Davide’s great performance in the second race. His weekend was unfortunately conditioned by a lot of bad luck. We’re still looking into exactly what happened in the second race when he was up in fifth position but I hope we can continue to put in performances that match the rider’s obvious ability.”
Race One Results: 1. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 38'06.264; 2. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10R 3.206; 3. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 5.593; 4. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 6.519; 5. Laverty E. (IRL) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 24.662; 6. Melandri M. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 27.261; 7. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 27.384; 8. Zanetti L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 28.299; 9. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 34.067; 10. Canepa N. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 35.724; 11. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 36.738; 12. Berger M. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 37.257; 13. Hopkins J. (USA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 50.418; 14. Mercado L. (ARG) Kawasaki ZX-10R 53.623; 15. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 53.942; 16. McCormick B. (CAN) Ducati 1098R 54.139; etc.
Sykes (66) fights to hold off Haslam on the BMW.
Checa played a strong second card at Imola to take his first double win of 2012, 1.9 seconds ahead of Sykes and the hard-charging Haslam. The second race got off to a similar start for Carlos, who was second, behind Sykes once again, at the end of the opening lap. On lap seven he battled with Biaggi and then a few laps later with Haslam. On lap 14, having closed the gap between himself and raceleader Sykes, Checa got past the Englishman and took control of the race. His strong pace allowed him to break away from the chasing pack and take the second race win of the day. Checa won with a 1.9 second advantage over Sykes in second; Haslam once again closed in third place. With today’s victories, Carlos becomes the rider to have won more races than any other at the Imola track – he has celebrated on the top step of the podium five times at this circuit.
Sykes set a new lap record of 1 minute 47.552 seconds to try and escape Checa on lap 7, but he could not manage the pace over race distance, before Checa easily caught past and pulled out the lead, leaving Tom to have to fight hard to keep 2nd place. "In race two I had a lot of pressure from Leon and Biaggi certainly in the last third of the race so I was forced to dig a little bit deep and it paid off. I heard Leon’s engine there for a few laps but I found I had a little bit of a gap on the last lap so second position was good. Overall I think it has been a very good weekend for myself and Kawasaki. The Ninja ZX-10R has been great again - pole position, and two seconds in the races - so I do not think we could ask for much more.”
Leon Haslem overtook Biaggi for third on lap 13 and then battled for the rest of the race with Tom Sykes (GBR) for second, holding off some late attacks from Biaggi. Haslam's BMW teammate Marco Melandri was lying in fifth for a long time in the second race, but due to some chattering issues he dropped back to tenth.
Thanks to a strong start, Checa's new teammat Davide Giugliano was up in eighth by the end of lap one and chasing down Melandri, immediately ahead of him. The Italian pair fought it out for a few laps, before both passed Laverty. On lap fourteen Giugliano was able to pass Melandri, positioning himself fifth where he remained until the final lap. Unfortunately it seems that in the final seconds of the race he ran out of fuel, and was thus unable to cross the line. The situation is under investigation by the team.
“It has been a good weekend," said Haslam afterwards, "We had a good first race and managed to get a podium position which was my first in Imola. I made a mistake in the beginning and third was the best result we could get. In 2010, Max beat me in the world championship here in Imola, so it was nice to win that fight for the podium. In race two I got a better start, but the top three got away again. I managed to catch up and I really did feel that I could beat Tom, but in the end I made a few mistakes again. Every time I pushed, I got a little bit of chatter and lost my line.
Overall, we are making progress and it is quite clear in which areas we still need to improve, but I am really happy with the first double podium for BMW. We definitely made some good steps and a big, big thanks to all the guys at BMW. We will certainly be celebrating tonight, but not too much, as we are testing tomorrow. My ankle was a bit sore after the second race, but for Assen I should be 100 percent fit again.”
Biaggi was fourth again, making the quartet of top finishers the same as in race one. Fifth this time around was Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) who did well to survive a trip across the gravel after tangling with sixth placed Laverty. Rea was fighting against muscle fatigue and bruising, which resulted from his big highside crash in practice. Jakub Smrz (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert) was a very close seventh. Leon Camier (Crescent Fixi Suzuki) rode to eighth place, the best finish for a Suzuki rider so far this season.
Marco Melandri ended up a more distant 10th plae in race two, “I think I could say that it was a negative day for me. We have been struggling with the gearbox and in race one I went straight into the pit lane entrance. Afterwards I was working hard to catch up. My pace was not too far from the top three guys. In race two I had quite a lot of issues with chattering, as was the case at Phillip Island. I could not push properly, and I destroyed the tyres so much more than in race one. I could not do anything. We do not know yet why the bike is changing. We will work on this tomorrow and I hope that we will be able to make some steps forward.”
Thanks to the 50 points earned today, Carlos has projected himself to the top of the rider standings with 75 points to Biaggi’s 71 and Sykes’ 69. Giugliano is seventeenth with 10 points. Ducati leads the manufacturer’s standings with 91 points to the 71 held by Aprilia, in second.
Race Two Results: 1. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 37'57.571; 2. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1.935; 3. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 2.969; 4. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 3.346; 5. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 18.925; 6. Laverty E. (IRL) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 21.180; 7. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 21.392; 8. Camier L. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R1000 23.797; 9. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 24.219; 10. Melandri M. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 25.599; 11. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 25.776; 12. Berger M. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 26.004; 13. Zanetti L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 31.172; 14. Davies C. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 33.837; 15. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 45.541; 16. McCormick B. (CAN) Ducati 1098R 50.807; etc.
Points (after 2 of 14 rounds): 1. Checa 75; 2. Biaggi 71; 3. Sykes 69; 4. Haslam 47; 5. Melandri 46; 6. Rea 40; 7. Smrz 30; 8. Laverty 29; 9. Guintoli 21; 10. Berger; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 91; 2. Aprilia 71; 3. Kawasaki 69; 4. BMW 63; 5. Honda 40; 6. Suzuki 15.
Fabien Foret (Kawasaki Intermoto Step) took a cool and professional win after 19 laps of competition, his first of the year, and the first for his team in 2012. Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda) went a close second and after many issues for some front-runners, Ronan Quarmby (PTR Honda) was third, albeit 17 seconds from the winner. Roberto Tamburini (Team Lorini Honda) finished fourth – by only 0.004 seconds – and the Power Team by Suriano Triumph of Vittorio Iannuzzo was fifth. In the championship, Foret has 45 points, Lowes 31 and Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki DeltaFin Lorenzini) in on 25 alongside Quarmby, after the Turkish rider was black-flagged for not taking a ride through penalty.
Results: 1. Foret F. (FRA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 35'44.653; 2. Lowes S. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 0.574; 3. Quarmby R. (RSA) Honda CBR600RR 17.266; 4. Tamburini R. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 17.270; 5. Iannuzzo V. (ITA) Triumph Daytona 675 22.953; 6. Leonov V. (RUS) Yamaha YZF R6 25.509; 7. Nemeth B. (HUN) Honda CBR600RR 30.042; 8. Antonelli A. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 32.429; etc.
Points (after 2 of 13 rounds): 1. Foret 45; 2. Lowes 31; 3. Sofuoglu 25; 4. Quarmby 25; 5. Iannuzzo 18; 6. Parkes 16; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 50; 2. Honda 36; 3. Triumph 19; 4. Yamaha 15.
After the first attempt at the race was stopped when a crashed machine blocked the circuit, a final five lap sprint determined the winner overall and Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) headed off his countryman Loris Baz (MRS Kawasaki) in a thrilling short race. The new Ducati Panigale 1199 placed third in its debut weekend, thanks to Eddi La Marra (Barni Racing Team Italia). Markus Reiterberger (alpha Racing BMW) was fourth, only 1.240 seconds from the win. In fifth, Pedercini Kawasaki rider Bryan Staring was well clear of sixth place man, Fabio Massei (EAB Ten Kate Junior Team Honda). Lorenzo Baroni (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) had to take a ride-through after cutting a chicane in the interrupted first race.
Results: 1. Barrier S. (FRA) BMW S1000 RR 9'25.462; 2. Baz L. (FRA) Kawasaki ZX-10R 0.700; 3. La Marra E. (ITA) Ducati 1199 Panigale 1.098; 4. Reiterberger M. (GER) BMW S1000 RR 1.240; 5. Staring B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX-10R 5.638; 6. Massei F. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR 11.703; 7. Coghlan K. (GBR) Ducati 1199 Panigale 13.079; 8. Savadori L. (ITA) Ducati 1199 Panigale 13.210; etc.
Points (after 1 of 10 rounds): 1. Barrier 25; 2. Baz 20; 3. La Marra 16; 4. Reiterberger 13; 5. Staring 11; 6. Massei 10; etc. Manufacturers: 1. BMW 25; 2. Kawasaki 20; 3. Ducati 16; 4. Honda 10; 5. Aprilia 5.
Sykes Quickest in SBK Monday Tests, Teammate LaLascorz Serioulsy injured
Imola (Italy), Monday 2 April 2012 - Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) set quickest time in the official one-day Superbike test session at Imola, the day after the World Championship round dominated by Carlos Checa (Ducati Althea Racing). The day was marred by a serious crash for his Spanish team-mate Joan Lascorz, in the section between the Tosa curve and Piratella. The 27 year-old from Barcelona was immediately given circuit medical assistance and then taken by helicopter to Bologna hospital with a probable fractured vertebra.
Testing new Pirelli evolution tyres Sykes lapped in 1 minute 46.609 seconds, the new outright best lap for the Imola circuit. The 27 year-old Brit improved on both the Superpole time that he had set Saturday as well as his personal best in the race.
Tom Sykes: “Obviously it’s been difficult with the circumstances of Joan, he was just starting to go strong. Overall I’m satisfied, and it rubs salt in the wounds from yesterday because if the temperatures had been a bit higher we could have had a better run. I’ve just done a run on race tyres and I beat the outright circuit record in 46.6, beating my best on qualifying tyres and knocking point nine off my lap record. The Kawasaki has got a good base setting and we know we’re going in the right direction.”
There was good news for the Honda World Superbike Team, which after a tough weekend, placed Jonathan Rea in second position with a time of 1'47”121. British riders also claimed the next two slots, with Crescent Fixi Suzuki man Leon Camier in third with a 1'47”238, and Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad) in fourth, one day after scoring a double podium. Max Biaggi was fifth on the Aprilia RSV4 ahead of the Ducati Althea Racing of Carlos Checa.
Times: 1. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'46.609; 2. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1'47.121; 3. Camier L. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'47.238; 4. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 1'47.257; 5. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'47.351; 6. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 1'47.430; 7. Melandri M. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1'47.779; 8. Laverty E. (IRL) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'47.848; 9. Canepa N. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1'47.989; 10. Giugliano D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1'48.011; 11. Salom D. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'48.066; 12. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1'48.149; 13. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'48.197; 14. Fabrizio M. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1'48.273; 15. Aoyama H. (JPN) Honda CBR1000RR 1'48.484; 16. Aitchison M. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 1'48.915; 17. Mercado L. (ARG) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'49.805; 18. Davies C. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'50.124; 19. Hopkins J. (USA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'50.378.
Broc Parkes (Honda Ten Kate Racing Products) went quickest in World Supersport testing, ending up with a new Imola best lap of 1 minute 51.102 seconds. The Australian was able to make up for the disappointment he suffered during yesterday’s race when he had to come into the pits to change his rear tyre.
Broc Parkes: “I’m really impressed with the time that I did, it’s the fastest I’ve ever been around here and quite a bit faster than the lap record so we can feel confident now. We’re really happy that we made some good steps, this is our first test for the whole year and the bike’s starting to feel like mine.”
Moving up to second quickest was Frenchman Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda) with a time of 1'51”431, ahead of Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda), who finished runner-up in Sunday’s race. Race winner Fabien Foret did not take part in the test on his Kawasaki Intermoto Step machine.
Times: 1. Parkes B. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 1'51.102; 2. Cluzel J. (FRA) Honda CBR600RR 1'51.431; 3. Lowes S. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 1'51.848; 4. Antonelli A. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 1'53.081; 5. Roccoli M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 1'53.230; 6. Toth I. (HUN) Honda CBR600RR 1'53.240; 7. Quarmby R. (RSA) Honda CBR600RR 1'53.358; 8. Day J. (USA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'53.443; 9. Scholtz M. (RSA) Honda CBR600RR 1'53.56; 10. Jessopp M. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 1'54.142; 11. Caiani T. (SUI) Honda CBR600RR 1'57.609; 12. Pasek A. (POL) Honda CBR600RR 1'57.918.
Meet our newest Fast Dates World Superbike Calendar Kittens - Chrissy Blair and Torunn Sivesind
March 28th - Have we got a treat for you! Meet beautiful new supermodel and FastDates.com Calendar Kitten Chrissy Blair (above), a Los Angeles native who will be joining us as at the Miller USA World Superbike round May 25-28th to star in our shoot of the next Fast Dates World Superbike Calendar. We'll also have Chrissy working on race day as one of the front row starting grid girls for either SBK, Max or Carlos.
This is Friggin' Huge! And Troy likes them! Larger 120/70 ZR17 Front and 200/55 ZR17 Rear
New Pirelli Diablo SuperCorsa SC TiresS Debut at Imola WASK in1000 Superstock
Tires will be used from this year in the SC2 compound version by the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup riders
Autodromo Enzo and Dino Ferrari (Imola), 30 March 2012 – The newest member of the Diablo family, introduced in a world sneak peek during EICMA 2011 at the first flagship Pzero Moda Store which opened last September in Milan, are ready to hit the track. The new tyres will take centre stage at the Autodromo Enzo and Dino Ferrari at Imola for the first Superstock 1000 FIM Cup race. In fact, from this year all the riders in this category will use the SC2 compound version of the new Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SC tyres in sizes 120/70 ZR17 for the front and 200/55 ZR17 for the rear.
Pirelli will introduce this new tyre gradually into the top racing world with only the SC2 compound version first in the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup and only in the specified sizes. At the beginning of 2013 Pirelli will also make the SC0 and SC1 compounds available for the SC version as well as 150/60, 160/60, 180/55, 180/60, 190/55 sizes for the rear and 110/70 for the front in order to extend use of the new tyre to national championships.
The new Diablo Supercorsa SC, destined solely for competition use, is the evolution of Pirelli's most victorious racing supersport product: first made in 2007, in just four years the Diablo Supercorsa won 65 victories in 18 countries and it has raced in more than 60 national and international open tyre championships in 9 countries. In fact, the new Diablo Supercorsa SC is the highest performance street legal racing tyre ever made by Pirelli, designed to hold precise racing lines on straight stretches as well as curves. It provides a profile which favours handling, less wear during track use, unparalleled grip and unprecedented racing performance.
"Simply excellent tyres", was the enthusiastic comment from Troy Bayliss, the Superbike champion who had the opportunity to test them on the Yas Marina track in Abu Dhabi a few weeks ago."These tyres in the SC2 compound brought me back to an absolute total racing feel. I know Pirelli quality well, but this time they've managed to astonish me. Good job, Pirelli!" A feature which was particularly appreciated by the Australian rider is the extraordinary capacity to attack curves in braking with extreme neutrality until reaching the apex, guaranteeing grip and an absolute level of stability in subsequent acceleration.
An untreaded track version of this new 17-inch SuperCorsa will also be used to replace, next year, the current 16.5-inch tire/wheel combinations currently used in the World Superbike Class, both because it has the same or better contact patch when cornering, and it reduces team costs in having to buy different diameter wheels from production bikes.
The new Diablo Supercorsa SC has an exclusive and aggressive single element tread design, which is repeated six times on the tyre surface. The result is that the “naked” area of the slick shoulders is 24% wider compared to the previous Diablo Supercorsa, increasing contact area and grip. The long longitudinal grooves which reach the tyre's shoulder from the central area of the profile ensure even wear even in the most severe use.
The 200/55 ZR17 rear tyre has been completely redesigned and, compared to its predecessor from last year, has a profile which is 3 mm wider to increase the contact area, grip and rapid descent to a leaning position. However, this made it necessary to use a new structure which is able to provide greater resistance to deformation. This is why the rear tyre now has a carcass made from an innovative high module fibre, patented by Pirelli and developed in WSBK, with a considerably lower deformation index than the fibre normally used in street tyres. The result is a new carcass which is more rigid, both at the centre and in the shoulder area. This provides greater resistance to the stress created by aggressive cornering or when accelerating early out of turns with the bike still in a leaning position. The new carcass helps the bike achieve better performance each time the weight shifts from the front to the rear and vice versa, a characteristic which is even more evident as the lean angle increases.
The new Diablo Supercorsa SC 120/70 ZR17 front tyre, on the other hand, has a 4 mm wider profile than last year's tyre which favours greater control and support in high speed curves and better support during braking, as well as making the ride more intuitive and holding the line more precisely. The harmony of the front and rear profiles therefore ensures greater handling and agility.
The new tyre has also been available from January in the race replica SP (Sport Production) version, for now only in the sizes which will be used by the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup riders. Then, at the beginning of 2013, in addition to the SC range for professional use on the track, Pirelli will also expand the SP street legal range with the 180/55, 190/50 and 190/55 for the rear. Compared to the compound version, the Diablo Supercorsa SP offers a dual blend rear tyre in order to better adapt to street use, as well as more regular wear which favours mileage.
On track action with the new 1199S at the Yas Marina Circuit is like a virtual reality gamer experience.
World Press Launch Track Ride
Ducati 1199S Panigale Superbike
Excerpted from the upcoming new book The Ducati Corse World Superbikes by Alan Cathcart and Jim Gianatsis
Bottom line first. After spending a complete day riding Ducati’s radical new 1199 Panigale around the sun-drenched 5.50km Yas Marina Formula 1 circuit in Abu Dhabi – the venue for the world press launch, and a sort of modern Arabian version of the Monaco GP track, lined by six-star hotels and glitzy high-rises, as well as guard rails and concrete walls protected for us by airfence – it’s hard not to conclude the Italian manufacturer hasn’t only reinvented the twin-cylinder motorcycle by endowing it with technology worthy of a MotoGP bike, it’s also gone and shot everything else in the sportbike marketplace clean out of the water. This is the new benchmark for the Superbike category. Forza Italia! Continued....
For More Go to: Ducati 1199 Panigale Introduction & Specifications
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Eni becomes Title Sponsor and Official Supplier
of the FIM Superbike World Championship
Imola (Italy), 31 March 2012 – Eni, the multi-
national integrated energy company becomes Title Sponsor as well as Official Supplier of the FIM Superbike World Championship. This was announced by eni and Infront Motor Sports today at a press conference in Imola. The first SBK round in Europe marks the start of this partnership, which complements eni’s previous role of technical partner alongside teams, riders and manufacturers. As a consultant to eni, the ISA International Sports Agency brokered the agreement with Infront Sports & Media, the parent company of WorldSBK promoter Infront Motor Sports.
Stephan Herth, Executive Director Summer Sports at Infront Sports & Media, said: “With eni, the FIM Superbike World Championship has won a leading international brand for its Title Sponsor role. This partnership will benefit both partners and further escalate the profile of the series, particularly as eni – as one of the biggest energy brands worldwide – is in a prime position to globally implement its sponsorship involvement.”
Paolo Flammini, CEO of Infront Motor Sports, declared: “We are particularly proud to welcome eni amongst the sponsors of the FIM Superbike World Championship in the role of Title Sponsor. I believe it is very important to underline that the collaboration between eni and Infront Motor Sports will not only be developed in Marketing aspects of the partnership, but also through the implementation of technological collaboration. Eni in fact will become the Fuel and Lubricant Supplier of Superbike, Supersport and the Superstock classes. This role will enable eni, as well as manufacturers and teams taking part in World Superbike and the other support categories, to make use of important opportunities for technological and commercial development.”
Thanks to its new status as Title Sponsor of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship, eni will be in the advantageous position to test its products in an authentic environment and exchange its experience with manufacturers present on the motorcycle market in a technological challenge of the highest level.
Operating in 79 countries around the world, the eni brand is well positioned to maximise on its Title Sponsorship on a global level. Superbike, as the leading international production-based motorcycle series, is like no other in terms of exciting, unpredictable racing and accessibility. Eni will take advantage of this opportunity to connect with consumers and fans in an emotional ambiance and activate its Title Sponsorship all round – onsite at the circuits, in petrol stations or via various online channels.
Eni will follow World Superbike and other racing competitions on eniwebracing.com, the new site dedicated to bike racing enthusiasts throughout the world.
The Official SBK
These SBK Yearbooks are the Best Books Ever about World Superbike
They feature wesome color photography of the riders, bike and racing action. The feature a deailed revue of the past season in pictures and stactics, awith a detailed look at the bikes and riders.
Plus a technical look data all the bikes, a preview of the upcoming season's Championship!
We buy this every year ourselves and highly recommend it!
SBK 2011 Video Game
Meet 2012 Calendar Kitten
The Devil Made Us Do It!
Testing the Ducati Diavel in Italy
Sudco High Performance & OEM Replacement Parts
High Speed - the Movie
The best motorcycle racing movie ever made! Filmed on location at the World Superbike races , this an exciting romantic drama staring beautiful British actress Sienna Miller.
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LA Calendar Bike Show
Edelweiss High Alpine Motorcycle Tour
NARROW TWISTIES AND HAIRPIN TURNS ARE SOME FEATURES OF THIS HIGH ALPINE MOTORCYCLE TOUR.
If you’re looking for a one week get-away to the most demanding roads in the Alps, this motorcycle tour is made for you! Experience the excitement of serpentine roads, mammoth mountains, and Alpine, Disney-like villages on the roads between Munich, Germany and the Grossglockner Pass in Austria!
A session of Alps Riding Training will acquaint you with traffic rules and how best to negotiate those hairpin turns. On our first day of our motorcycle tour we ride from Munich to the Grossglockner Pass where we contend with our first switchbacks. Jagged rock formations that soar to the sky are framed by twisting, well-maintained roads, that you can see for miles while climbing the next pass. Our second day brings you to a riding loop through the Dolomites, a region in the Italian Alps noted for its spectacular scenery.
Day three delivers the road you’ve come to Europe to ride: Stilfser Joch/Passo di Stelvio. Often referred to by European motorcyclists as “the Mother Road,” this pass has 39 switchbacks on one side and 48 on the other! Set your own pace with your new found friends on this tour. Sweeping through three countries; Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Austria, the next day’s ride will thrill you with its spectacular views and a fabulous Edelweiss picnic, served in a beautiful area surrounded by the soaring peaks of the Alps. On your last riding day, you visit Neuschwanstein, the fairy tale castle of King Ludwig. This week goes by quickly, but the memories will stay with you for a lifetime!
SoCal Motorcycles Open House Saturday April 14th
with FREE 2012 Fast Dates Superbike Calendar Giveaway
Special Displays, Discount Pricing, Venders, Bike Show
515 West Lambert Road, Brea, (L00000os Angeles) CA 92821
Paul Bird Motorsports enters MotoGP with CRT Bike for James Ellison
Wednesday 4th April 2012
New Era Beckons For PBM UK
Cumbrian James Ellison returns to the Grand Prix arena for the first time since 2006 this weekend where he will kick off a brand new era for the Paul Bird Motorsport Team. PB Motorsports previously ran the factory Kawasaki Team in World Superbike
The 31-year-old from Kendal will be in action in the opening round of the MotoGP World Championship in Qatar where he will race the PBM UK Aprilia ART as part of the Claiming Rules Team (CRT) category.
Ellison, a former World Endurance champion and double European Superstock champion, has spent much of the winter helping the Penrith-based squad develop the bike which is the start of a long-term MotoGP project and will see an all-British bike and team set to take on the world in future years.
However, in the meantime, they go into Sunday's race under the floodlights at the Losail track with work very much in progress and looking to match the pace of the leading CRT bikes at the opening round of the 18-race championship.
In addition to the team's MotoGP commitments in 2012, PBM UK are fielding former MotoGP racer Shane 'Shakey' Byrne and 125cc GP wild card Stuart Easton as part of the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki British Superbike Championship Team and reigning Metzeler National Superstock 600 champion, Keith Farmer on a Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki ZX-10R in the Metzeler National Superstock 1000 championship this season.
James Ellison: "I'm really excited to be back in Qatar as I love the circuit and it's even more special that I'm here to be part of MotoGP. Being honest I never thought it possible to get a second chance so of course I am extremely grateful to Paul Bird and the whole PBM UK team for this opportunity and I can promise that I will give no less than 100% in every session and hope that I can repay them in some way. It will be a tough battle for sure with the relative lack of time we've had on the bike to date but we are a strong team and I'm sure we'll fight hard to make up for lost time. One request though: dim the lights please!"
Paul Bird: "This is an historic time for us as we embark upon the latest phase of the team's development in MotoGP and one which we are very excited about. We have raced as wild cards in GPs on many occasions in the past but to be part of the MotoGP elite is very special for us. This year is all about learning for us and James has done a great job with the team so far, but we know we have a very long way to go yet. The idea is to become more competitive as the season progresses and to challenge the front-running CRT bikes."
More information including bike, team and rider profiles, race calendar etc can be found at www.pbmuk.net. The official website of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship is at www.motgp.com.
Kawasaki's New Factory
World Superbike Team
Kawasaki Racing Team
A change in the backroom structure of the full factory supported Kawasaki Racing Team in 2012 means that not only will there be much more direct control from KHI in Japan, but the team’s European base also moves to Spain.
The team riders in World Superbike are England's Tom Sykes and Spain's Jason Lascorz.
A change in the backroom structure of the full factory supported Kawasaki Racing Team in 2012 means that not only will there be much more direct control from KHI in Japan, but the team’s European base also moves to Spain.
Logistical and race workshop operations are now run by a company called Provec, which is based in Barcelona. They have made the step-up from being front-runners in the WSS Championship for the past few years (most recently as the official Kawasaki team) to The Superbike FIM World Championship in 2012.
The Provec Racing Team has proven to be an outfit capable of challenging for the championship from its first appearances in Kawasaki green. In 2009 Joan Lascorz took the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R to overall 4th position in the Supersport FIM World Championship and in 2010 only an injury prevented Joan from challenging for the title itself all the way to the final round. Last year Broc Parkes took a WSS race win for the Spanish squad and his team-mate David Salom finished second in the championship.
Many experienced members of the 2011 KRT Superbike squad also joined with technical and management staff from Japan over the winter to ensure that the whole new-look KRT unit will arrive in Australia as a well-oiled operation, ready to take another step up through the 2012 season.
Tom Sykes Profile
One of a vast army of talented British riders to come into SBK racing in recent years, Tom Sykes and Kawasaki have joined the winning party in SBK already. As Tom enters his third straight season as a Kawasaki rider, and his second on the very latest Ninja ZX-10R, he does so in a new team set-up compared to previous years, with more direct factory control in evidence.
Name:Tom SykesRiding Number:66
Date of birth:19 August 1985
Place of birth:Huddersfield
Tom Sykes (26) has made a real impact on WSBK racing since his first wildcard rides in 2008, when he took a second place finish against the more established riders on home soil. He has not always been a four-stroke star, having preferred the feel of two-stroke real racing bikes in his early career.
Racing his grandfather’s 600 Kawasaki roadbike for a short time in the UK, just to understand how a four-stroke machine worked around a circuit, Sykes soon moved into the British Supersport Championship proper. He enjoyed almost instant success and was runner up in the 2006 season.
Paul Bird Motorsport picked up Tom for a season of BSB racing in 2007, and five podium places contributed to a fine top six ranking, in arguably the toughest domestic championship there is.
A year later and after posting race wins in the UK series for another team, and taking a podium in the British round of the World Superbike Championship, Tom was in a strong position to be signed for WSB full time in 2009.
A tough first year, marred by injury towards the end, was not in Tom’s pre-season script, but he did impress on occasion, and finished ahead of many bigger WSB names.
Last year it took some time for Tom and his team to get the very best out of the previous Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R, but after a victorious return to BSB racing for a one-off meeting at Brands Hatch the final few races brought strong double-digit points scores, and almost saw Tom back on the podium again.
For 2011 Sykes was retained to help develop and race the all-new Ninja ZX-10R, tasks which brought rewards as the bike was a force at a variety of different circuits, almost from the start of the year, and Sykes put in some dazzling qualifying performances that included a Superpole win and then a race victory in the wet at the German round. For 2012 expectation has only increased as Tom goes for more race wins and podium appearances.