2009 SBK World Superbike Championship, Nurburgring, Round 11 of 14
Ben Spies, Yamaha World Superbike Team (1st, 2nd) - "The first race was tough, Rea and I battled a bit for the first couple of laps and Nori got away so I had to reel him back in, using a lot of my tyre to do that. When I got to him I knew he was really strong in the first few corners so I slowed the pace a bit and controlled him through there. With three laps to go we pulled the pin and got back down to some fast laps.
Ben Spies heads to Imola in two weeks time having taken the lead in the World Superbike Championship with an 18 point advantage over demoted Haga with six races remaining. Team mate Tom Sykes leaves Germany sitting in eighth place in the standings just 12 points behind seventh position rider Carlos Checa.
Ben Spies Re Signs with Yamaha for 2010 and 2011
Laurens Klein Koerkamp, Racing Manager Yamaha Motor Europe said – “We got to know Ben this season in our Yamaha World Superbike Team as a very talented, professional and dedicated person whom we are thrilled to continue working with. Not only is the relationship between Ben, the team and Yamaha in general very successful but also it’s a pleasure to work with him. This early agreement permits Yamaha and Ben Spies to now fully focus on their 2009 World Superbike campaign in their challenge to achieve their first World Superbike Championship titles together.”
Lin Jarvis, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing said – “We are truly excited about the prospect of Ben’s arrival into our future MotoGP program. Ben is doing a great job for Yamaha in his first season in the World Superbike Championship. He is in great shape to challenge for the title this year and we will be rooting for him at the remaining four events this season. Ben’s primary mission is to win both his and Yamaha’s first World Superbike title. After that when Ben eventually makes the move to the MotoGP championship we will be ready for him and, in line with the new MotoGP regulations, we will create a place for him within the Yamaha satellite team and give him the support he needs for his next challenge.
Ben Spies: "I am very happy to say that I will remain a part of the Yamaha family and will continue in the WSB series for 2010. This is an exciting period of my racing career and I look forward to even more. Yamaha has been great in the warm welcome that I have received entering the world level and I want to thank them for all they have done, and giving me their trust for a next career step into MotoGP in 2011."
Race Preview: The Ring gets ready to Rock & Roll with renewed Haga-Spies duell
The Nurburgring circuit is one of the most spectacular in the world, with its 5.137 km layout offering numerous unique features. Each lap is made up of 17 curves, some of which, in particular the three after the start-finish line, are extremely tricky from a technical point of view, while the track surface is exceptional in both wet and dry conditions.
World Superbike has been to the Nurburgring three times: twice before the track underwent modifications (1998-1999) and then last year. The winners were Aaron Slight (Honda) and Pierfrancesco Chili (Ducati) in 1998, while the following year Ducati scored a double with Carl Fogarty and Troy Corser. Nine years later the German track was witness to another double win, this time by Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia), who pulled off this incredible feat just two weeks after breaking his collarbone in the previous US Round at Miller Motorsports Park.
STAR WARS – The memories of Haga’s amazing performance twelve months ago could be just what the Ducati rider needs to galvanize him into action, as he arrives in Germany in a similar position due to his recovery from the injury he suffered two races back at Donington. The Japanese rider will have to be on top form indeed to hold off his closest rival Ben Spies, who is currently on the crest of a wave with three wins in the last four races. There are just 7 points between the two at the moment and the German Round could see a sensational changeover at the top. Ducati Xerox team-mate Michel Fabrizio could also play a key role in proceedings this weekend. Not only is the young Italian in the midst of the title battle, albeit 53 points behind Haga and 46 behind the Texan (with 200 points still up for grabs), but team strategy could also play a major role. At Brno he unwittingly took Spies out of the action thus allowing Haga to keep the championship lead, but in Germany he could easily take away points from the American with careful race tactics.
APRILIA ON THE MOVE – After the last round Max Biaggi and Aprilia will now surely be key players at the German track. The win at Brno helped to boost morale in the Italian team and even though it came at a circuit where the RSV4 had already been tested, it goes without saying that the four-cylinder machine from the Noale factory is making major progress towards the top in its return season in WSB. Biaggi raced here last year and can undoubtedly give the right indications to the Aprilia engineers to get the RSV4 machine to the top this time around.
WATCH OUT FOR HONDA – The Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team have had an up and down season so far but at least they have seen the rise of Jonathan Rea, the only winner for the Japanese manufacturer this year and surely one of the men to watch in WSB in the future. Rea is a true fighter and the German track, which he is familiar with after racing here in Supersport, is another chance for him to shine. Carlos Checa has shown signs of a renaissance in recent races, while over in the Stiggy Racing Honda camp Leon Haslam aims to put in another solid performance to become top Honda man ahead of Rea. Further possible surprises could come from Shane Byrne (Sterilgarda Ducati), who is having an excellent second half of the season.
BMW PLAY AT HOME – The BMW Motorrad men showed major improvement at Brno, with Troy Corser and Ruben Xaus both capable of getting onto row 2 in Superpole and the Australian bringing home the best result of the season for the team with a fifth place finish. The German squad is working hard to close the gap on the frontrunners, and with their home round ahead BMW obviously want to make a good impression. It hasn’t been an idle summer for Kawasaki either as the Paul Bird Motorsport team raced successfully in a BSB round at Brands Hatch, giving an opportunity for Broc Parkes to try out some new material, while the injured Makoto Tamada remained at home to recover for the race. Over in Suzuki Alstare the Belgian squad cannot count on their top rider Max Neukirchner, who was injured again in Imola testing. After racing singleton at Brno, Yukio Kagayama will be flanked by Karl Muggeridge, released from his contract by the Celani team, which will not be present in Germany.
Points (after 10 of 14 rounds): 1. Haga 326; 2. Spies 319; 3. Fabrizio 273; 4. Rea 206; 5. Biaggi 200; 6. Haslam 180; 7. Sykes 150; 8. Checa 145; 9. Byrne 134; 10. Smrz 132. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 412; 2. Yamaha 362; 3. Honda 306; 4. Aprilia 207; 5. Suzuki 133; 6. BMW 87; 7. Kawasaki 53
British Riders Rea and Sykes revel in Friday rain at Nurburgring
Both Ducati Xerox riders were well up in the timesheets. Michel Fabrizio was in fourth place while Noriyuki Haga shrugged off any residual damage from his recent injury to take fifth, three-tenths behind his team-mate. Sterilgarda Ducati’s Shane Byrne also came off his 1098 machine during the session but was able to post the sixth quickest time of the day, ahead of Leon Haslam (Stiggy Racing Honda), Jakub Smrz (Guandalini Ducati) and Ryuichi Kiyonari (Ten Kate Honda). Italian Luca Scassa made up the top 10 with a confident performance in the damp conditions on his Kawasaki Pedercini ZX10R.
For the moment championship challenger Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike) is down in 13th place as he gets to grips with another circuit he has never raced on before, one place ahead of Brno winner Max Biaggi on the first of the Aprilias, the Italian focusing on setting up the bike for tomorrow’s decisive sessions. Suzuki Alstare’s stand-in rider Karl Muggeridge was fifteenth quickest but would surely have improved had he not crashed out five minutes from the end.
Times: 1. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 2'11.278; 2. Sykes T. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 2'11.781; 3. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 2'12.086; 4. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 2'12.354; 5. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 2'12.635; 6. Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 2'12.819; 7. Haslam L. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 2'12.979; 8. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 2'13.089; 9. Kiyonari R. (JPN) Honda CBR1000RR 2'13.215; 10. Scassa L. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 2'13.238; 11. Cooper R. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 2'13.391; 12. Checa C. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 2'13.550; 13. Spies B. (USA) Yamaha YZF R1 2'13.898; 14. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 2'13.928; 15. Muggeridge K. (AUS) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 2'14.073; 16. Baiocco M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 2'14.075
Noriyuki Haga: “It’s been good to get back into things yesterday and today, also I did my best lap in Superpole. The bike is really good for the feeling. I like this track but it’s my first time here with Ducati so this is a good result. I needed a result like this for the championship battle, tomorrow I will just try and do my best.”
Jonathan Rea: “I put a pretty good lap in at the start and thought it was enough so I rolled off a bit, but all credit to Nori, that was a really good lap. The bike’s working really well here, I’m glad the guys didn’t fall asleep on holiday during the summer break! We’ve come back with some development parts on the bike. I really love this circuit, but I can sleep solid tonight and look forward to things tomorrow.”
Leon Haslam: “We’ve had a tough mid-season and the last race at Brno wasn’t one of the best so to bounce back after the break with a front row start – I’ve only had one this year – is really good. I’ve really got to grips with this new circuit, which I’ve never been to, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
Michel Fabrizio: “I’m not particularly satisfied with fourth position on the grid. It was a bit difficult because we made some changes to the bike in the afternoon session and were only able to find the right set-up in the second Superpole run. But it’s OK, the others are looking really strong, even the two guys next to me on the grid, so it’ll be a good battle tomorrow.”
Troy Corser again notched up a row 2 position on his BMW S1000 RR machine, confirming the German manufacturer’s upward trend, while Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing) and Carlos Checa (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) completed the front two rows. The first Kawasaki, the ZX-10R of Makoto Tamada was on row 3, while Yukio Kagayama placed his Suzuki Alstare BRUX GSX-R1000 on the fourth row.
Superpole Times: 1. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 1'55.489; 2. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1'55.749; 3. Haslam L. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1'55.776; 4. Fabrizio M. (ITA)Ducati 1098R 1'55.927; 5. Spies B. (USA) Yamaha YZF R1 1'55.938; 6. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 1'56.296; 7. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'56.440; 8. Checa C. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 1'56.699; 9. Sykes T. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 1'56.406; 10. Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 1'56.663; 11. Nieto F. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 1'56.670; 12. Tamada M. (JPN) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'56.683; 13. Kagayama Y. (JPN) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1'56.901; 14. Smrz J. (CZE)Ducati 1098R 1'57.091; 15. Parkes B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'57.098; 16. Lagrive M. (FRA) Honda CBR1000RR 1'57.293
Ben Spies (19) passed a determined Haga (41) in Race One and held him at bay right to the finish.
Spies Bests Haga in Heads Up Race One Fight
There was another terrific battle for fifth between Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing), Leon Haslam (Stiggy Racing Honda) and Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox), who finished in that order. Troy Corser scored a positive eighth place for BMW, with the Australian running in fourth for much of the race before dropping away in the final stages. Stand-in rider Karl Muggeridge brought the first Suzuki Alstare BRUX machine home in 12th, but both Kawasaki riders were forced into retirement. Makoto Tamada was involved in an incident shortly after the start together with John Hopkins (Stiggy Racing Honda), and they were both taken to Adenau hospital for checks for slight concussion.
Ben Spies: “It was a good race, I didn’t get a great start and I lost a little bit of time to get past Rea, while Nori got away a little bit and I really had to move to catch him. When I got Nori we passed and re-passed. It was tough because he was extremely fast in the first section. The bike started moving around quite a bit and then with three laps to go it was time to put the hammers down and go.”
Noriyuki Haga: “I’m not so happy, I wanted to win and I felt sure I could win that race. I tried to overtake Ben everywhere but in some parts he was quicker than me and in some parts my bike was quicker than his, but I couldn’t get past him, he was a little faster than me so I had to settle for second place. “
Carlos Checa: “Yesterday qualifying wasn’t so good but we knew we had a good pace and a good feeling with the bike. I didn’t feel so well this weekend either. My start wasn’t good, but we had the pace during the race. And starting from behind it was fun, a good fight until the end with Johnny. So it’s quite positive and I’m very happy.”
Superbike Race One Results: 1. Spies B. (USA) Yamaha YZF R1 39'04.818 (157,737 kph); 2. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 3.850; 3. Checa C. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 6.990; 4. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 7.109; 5. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 12.825; 6. Haslam L. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 13.243; 7. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 14.223; 8. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 14.382; 9. Sykes T. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 17.206; 10. Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 26.547; 11. Lagrive M. (FRA) Honda CBR1000RR 27.388; 12. Muggeridge K. (AUS) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 30.968; 13. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 31.069; 14. Kiyonari R. (JPN) Honda CBR1000RR 31.188; 15. Kagayama Y. (JPN) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 40.165; 16. Scassa L. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 54.897
Ben Spies (19) caught leader Jonthan Rea (65) with 3 laps to go in the 2nd Race, but the Brit had the speed and defensive lines that allowed him to keep his lead and the win.
Championship points leader Haga was taken out of the race in a fierce opening lap battle, when he and Rea made contact in a corner where their lines intersected and Haga went down, but Rea was able to continue on and take over the race lead. Haga choose not to remount his Ducati which appeared have suffered only minor damage, which in turn would hand Ben Spies the Championship lead and an 18 points adavantage between them at the end of the day.
Third place again went to Checa, ahead of Biaggi, who had another convincing run, this time to fourth, and Haslam in fifth. Corser was again one of the protagonists, with a sixth place finish for BMW. It wasn’t a particularly good day for Fabrizio, who added a ninth place in race 2 to his seventh earlier on, the Italian finishing behind Ryuichi Kiyonari (Ten Kate Honda) and Tom Sykes (Yamaha World Superbike). The final top-10 position went to Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki Alstare BRUX), while Kawasaki could only manage three points overall in the German race weekend, thanks to a thirteenth place in the second race by Broc Parkes.
Jonathan Rea: “I tried to ride my own race and mind my own business. I got a really bad start and had to get a bit aggressive with people in turn 1 because I had to regroup and come from a long way back. I had to put moves down quick, because I really messed up race 1 which was all my fault. We changed nothing in between, my guys sat me down and explained exactly what I had to do to win. I gave it all today, the package was really strong.”
Ben Spies: “The track was a lot cooler and it was definitely much quicker. I didn’t get off the line good and a bunch of people came round me in turn 1 and I lost almost two seconds to the lead. I came up to the front but by the time I got there I just didn’t quite have the rear grip to get out of the corners in the last five laps. Johnny was not making any mistakes so hats off to him for winning. It wasn’t my race, but we’ve got the championship lead now.”
Carlos Checa: “I did such a really great start I couldn’t believe it! Then I had a fight with Haga and Johnny passed me, he was quite strong. I tried to follow him until the end when I lost some metres. Ben also had some good pace and I saw that it was impossible to keep his pace but anyway third place is a good result for me and the team.”
Superbike Race Two Results: 1. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 39'01.561 (157,956 kph); 2. Spies B. (USA) Yamaha YZF R1 0.786; 3. Checa C. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 4.993; 4. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 8.191; 5. Haslam L. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 10.907; 6. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 17.152; 7. Kiyonari R. (JPN) Honda CBR1000RR 19.473; 8. Sykes T. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 19.721; 9. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 22.981; 10. Kagayama Y. (JPN) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 24.161; 11. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 29.367; 12. Nieto F. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 30.007; 13. Parkes B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX 10R 37.281; 14. Scassa L. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 47.883; 15. Iannuzzo V. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR 49.549; 16. Baiocco M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 49.635
Superbike Championship Points (after 11 of 14 rounds): 1. Spies 364; 2. Haga 336; 3. Fabrizio 289; 4. Rea 244; 5. Biaggi 224; 6. Haslam 201; 7. Checa 177; 8. Sykes 165; 9. Byrne 140; 10. Smrz 140. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 439; 2. Yamaha 407; 3. Honda 347; 4. Aprilia 231; 5. Suzuki 143; 6. BMW 105; 7. Kawasaki 56
World Supersport 600cc
Supersport 600cc Results: 1.Crutchlow C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R6 37'56.481 (154,348 kph); 2. Laverty E. (IRL) Honda CBR600RR 10.109; 3. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 10.250; 4. Roccoli M. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 31.980; 5. Foret F. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R6 34.575; 6. Aitchison M. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 34.724; 7. Pitt A. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 36.352; 8. McCoy G. (AUS) Triumph Daytona 675 36.391.
Supersport 600cc Points (after 11 of 14 rounds): 1. Crutchlow 210; 2. Laverty 188; 3. Lascorz 138; 4. Sofuoglu 128; 5. Foret 99; 6. West 96; 7. Pitt 94; 8. Aitchison 71; 9. McCoy 71; 10. Roccoli 62. Manufacturers: 1. Yamaha 235; 2. Honda 231; 3. Kawasaki 149; 4. Triumph 85; 5. Suzuki 3
European Superstock 1000
Superstock 1000cc Results: 1. Simeon X. (BEL) Ducati 1098R 22'13.426 (152,558 kph); 2. Berger M. (FRA) Honda CBR1000RR 2.763; 3. Fores J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX 10R 5.649; 4. Giugliano D. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 6.620; 5. Corti C. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 7.085; 6. Beretta D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 7.353; 7. Antonelli A. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R1 12.097; 8. Jezek O. (CZE) Honda CBR1000RR 12.338
Points (after 7 of 10 rounds): 1. Simeon 155; 2. Corti 115; 3. Berger 102; 4. Fores 100; 5. Barrier 67; 6. Beretta 66; 7. Jezek 56; 8. Giugliano 38; 9. Baz 35; 10. Savary 30. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 155; 2. Honda 128: 3. Suzuki 117; 4. Kawasaki 100; 5. Yamaha 84; 6. MV Agusta 21; 7. Aprilia 12
European Superstock 600
Superstock 600cc Results: 1. Lonbois V. (BEL) Yamaha YZF R6 18'53.030 (146,897 kph); 2. Petrucci D. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 1.096; 3. Bussolotti M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 1.383; 4. La Marra E. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 1.512; 5. Karlsen F. (NOR) Yamaha YZF R6 1.794; 6. Rea G. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 7.404; 7. Guittet B. (FRA) Honda CBR600RR 10.811; 8. Kerschbaumer S. (AUT) Yamaha YZF R6 15.917
Points (after 7 of 10 rounds): 1. Petrucci 122; 2. Lonbois 114; 3. Rea 98: 4. Bussolotti 96; 5. Guarnoni 83; 6. La Marra 68; 7. Kerschbaumer 59; 8. Guittet 56; 9. Litjens 38; 10. Chmielewski 35
The Doctor Makes a House Call at Misano
After the boiling heat of the last two days the temperature today was brought right down by a strong wind, which meant track conditions were quite different to how they had been so far. Rossi, starting from pole, dropped to third at the start whilst Lorenzo narrowly escaped a pile up, which claimed three other riders. The Spaniard then got in front of the Italian for a few laps as Dani Pedrosa and Toni Elias battled it out for the lead, but on lap five all changed as Rossi moved into second, passing both his team-mate and Elias, and Lorenzo despatched Elias a few corners later to take third.
Rossi was flying by now and took the lead next time around, gradually opening out a gap as Lorenzo struggled to get by Pedrosa. It took the gutsy 22-year-old six laps to overtake his compatriot and by the time he was through Rossi was two seconds clear and Lorenzo had to settle for second and his tenth podium of the season. Rossi, who lives just 10 km from the track, eventually crossed the line 2.416 seconds ahead, taking his eleventh career win on Italian soil and his sixth of the season to a rapturous welcome from his passionate fans.
The gap from Rossi to Lorenzo is now 30 points, whilst Yamaha lead both the Teams and Manufacturers standings by large margins. There is now a four-week break to the next round, at Estoril in Portugal, with four races remaining in total.
Preview: Misano up next as MotoGP returns to Europe
Although World Champion Valentino Rossi has a special relationship with Mugello this is his true home event with the Misano circuit lying just 14km from his beloved hometown of Tavullia. The Italian maestro will again enjoy massive support from the home crowd as he attempts to repeat his 2008 victory at this event and get his title defence immediately back on course after his Indianapolis disappointment.
Rossi’s Indy DNF was the first time he has failed to finish a MotoGP race since Valencia at the end of the 2007 season, but he is unlikely to dwell on his Sunday crash for too long as he focuses on increasing the 25 point advantage he holds over his talented young Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo with five rounds to go.
For Lorenzo his championship dream has been revived by the results at Indianapolis, with the Spaniard bouncing back spectacularly from two consecutive DNFs at the previous two rounds to take a superb victory and halve the deficit at the top of the standings. The man from Majorca won the 250cc race at Misano two years ago from pole position and last year he was second in the MotoGP race.
In the continued absence of Ducati’s Casey Stoner, who is due to return at the round after Misano in Estoril, the Fiat Yamaha team will again expect the principal threat to come from Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa who sits fourth in the standings, 71 points behind Rossi and 46 behind Lorenzo. Pedrosa was in great form over the Indianapolis weekend, until a crash when leading the race hindered his progress and he ended up tenth, but he does not have a brilliant record at Misano.
There is an intriguing battle for fifth place in the standings between Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Colin Edwards and Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso, with the American currently edging it by just three points. Misano is not Edwards’ favourite track and he knows Dovizioso will be desperate for a good result on Italian soil, so he will be determined to spoil the party.
One rider going into this round on a massive high is San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Alex de Angelis, who proudly rides at his home event on the back of a well-deserved first MotoGP podium at Indianapolis. That result could not have come at a better time for the San Marino rider who is still looking for a team for 2010.
The home fans will also be getting behind the likes of Rizla Suzuki’s Loris Capirossi and Hayate Racing’s Marco Melandri, who sit eighth and tenth in the standings at present, whilst ninth placed LCR Honda’s Randy de Puniet will battle through the pain of his ankle injury in order to try and get a decent points haul at what is a home event for his team boss Lucio Cecchinello.
The Ducati riders will also be keen to keep the Ducatisti fans happy on ‘home turf’ with Nicky Hayden looking in better shape after his first podium result for the Italian factory arrived at his home GP at Indianapolis. With Mika Kallio continuing to temporarily ride as a substitute for Stoner alongside Hayden in the works team, the impressive Aleix Espargaró gets another substitute ride on the satellite Ducati with Pramac Racing.
Rossi On Pole at Misano
As the session drew to a close it looked as though Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa had snatched pole from Rossi with a decent 1’34.560 effort, but the Fiat Yamaha rider found another level in the closing seconds to deny the Spaniard.Completing the front row, Rossi’s team-mate Jorge Lorenzo also marked his best time at the end of the hour, but he finally fell half a second short of his title rival. Lorenzo will need to be at his very best if he is to improve on his second place result in last year’s Misano contest.
The second row of the grid is headed by San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Toni Elías who lapped with a similar pace to Lorenzo and he will be desperate for a good performance on Sunday as he fights for his future in the premier class.
No one can make fun of himself better than the Doctor, himself. After crashing out while leading the US MotoGP at Indianapolis last week, Valle showed up at Misano this week with a "donkey" painted on his helmet and nicknamed himself ' The Flying Donkey."
Right at the start of the race there was drama - and heartbreak -when Alex de Angelis (San Carlo Honda Gresini) misjudged his line and speed into the first corner and crashed out of his home contest, and into with American Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), who in turn then took out Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro) sliding into him. No one was injured, but all 3 riders were out of the race
Lorenzo did his very best to stay with his illustrious team-mate over the course of the 28 lap contest, but he himself got held up behind Dani Pedrosafor another 5 laps. The factory Honds just had to much poer o the strainght s and couldn't be passed there, while Jorge's higher cornering speed was continuously block by Dani. Pedrosa finally ran wide enough in a corner that Jorge could finally slip though, but by that time Rossi had checked out and Jorge could not reel the Doctor back in.
In the fial half of the race Repsol Honda’s Pedrosa could not match the pace of the powerful Fiat Yamaha pair, eventually crossing the line ten seconds behind Lorenzo to complete the podium.
Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) and Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) had a fierce fight behind the rostrum finishers, with Dovizioso eventually coming out on top by two-tenths of a second for his third fourth place finish in a row.
The top ten was rounded off by early race leader Toni Elías (San Carlo Honda Gresini), Mika Kallio (Ducati Marlboro), Marco Melandri (Hayate Racing), Chris Vermeulen (Rizla Suzuki) and James Toseland (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), whilst temporary Pramac Racing representative Aleix Espargaró did very well in eleventh place in just his second MotoGP race.
Valentino Rossi - Position: 1stTime: 44'32.882 - "This is a great feeling! It's taken me some time to get used to Misano and view it as a 'home' race because Mugello is so special to me, but I can honestly say that winning here today, in front of everyone dressed in yellow and with 46s everywhere, is a great emotion and I want to thank everyone for making it so special. Today I had to go quite carefully with the full tank at the start and I took some time to get to the front but once I was there it was great and my bike felt fantastic. We didn't expect to be this competitive here but it's been a perfect weekend, so I have to say a huge thank you to the team for a brilliant job. Since Indianapolis, when I made that mistake, we have been so focused and concentrated and everyone deserves this result. I was the 'flying donkey' today! I am happy that we are going into a month without racing with these memories and this points lead, but as we saw in Indy everything can change quickly so we will be fully focused once again in Estoril
Results MotoGP: (28 laps = 118.328 km)
World Championship Positions:
250cc GP to Barberá
There was also a superb fight for the last podium position between title candidates Álvaro Bautista (Mapfre Aspar) and Hiroshi Aoyama (Scot Racing Team) on the final lap – and it was a Spanish rider who succeeded in that contest too, albeit by just six-thousandths of a second. That result means Bautista now trails Aoyama by 13 points at the head of the standings.
Mike di Meglio (Mapfre Aspar) completed the top five after appearing to concede ground right at the end. There was home heartbreak for World Champion Marco Simoncelli, meanwhile, as he crashed out on lap twelve when fighting for the race lead, later citing a traction control problem for the accident in which he appeared to lose the rear end before hitting the ground.
Results 250cc (26 laps = 109.876 km)
Pole Position: Hiroshi AOYAMA 1'38.867 153.879 Km/h
World Championship Positions:
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New 2010 Ducati Sport Tourer
Word is the current Multistrada 1080 will be dropped from the Ducati line because the ugly duckling is no longer selling well. We think this would be unfortunate as it is still a great bike, and if you remember we named it FastDates.com's Bike of the Year back in 2004 when it was first introduced. We own a Multistrada ourselves, and even convinced Edelweiss Tours to add it to their bike group as a more nimble and lightweight alternative to the big BMW GS1200R and then we rode one across 5 European counties in 6 days on their High Alpine Adventure tour. We think Ducati should still keep the Multistrada in its line up, but give it a face lift, a fixed windscreen, a more comfortable saddle for touring, and lower the price below $10,000 more in line with its smaller 620cc sister in the Ducati line.
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Parkes was taken out of the first attempted start of the day, in an incident in which his team-mate Tamada was also knocked off by another rider. The Japanese star was undergoing medical checks for a mild head knock when the race was started for a second time. Parkes restarted race one on his spare bike, but fell on lap three.
In the second race of the day, again over 20 laps, Parkes had to ride with a less than ideal set-up on his rebuilt bike and finished with only three points to show for his efforts. Tamada was prevented from riding in race two by the event medical staff; despite feeling he was able to compete at full fitness.
In the standings, Parkes is still 18th overall, with Tamada 27th after another tough weekend for the determined duo.
Broc Parkes: “The races didn't go our way at all. In race one I was knocked off my bike by another rider early on. I was able to restart on my second bike but I wasn't comfortable with the settings and lost the front after running wide early on in the restarted race. In race two, I wanted to get some points in and to make up for race one but having had three crashes over the weekend, it meant that my bike set-up wasn't perfect, so I really struggled with rear grip, so I wasn't able to improve on my starting position. I want to put this weekend behind me and to focus on a good result in Imola at the next round.”
Makoto Tamada: “I was happy with the bike set-up and my qualifying position this weekend but had some very bad luck once again which meant I was not able to finish a race. I had a good feeling on the bike with the swing arm improvements and the braking stability was also much better. In race one I was forced to run on by someone in turn one and was hit again from behind by another rider, which put me out of the race. I didn't suffer any serious injuries but knocked my head a little. I was taken to hospital as a precaution and for further tests but I was hoping that I could make a full restart for race two. But this wasn't to be, despite me feeling OK. I was declared unfit by the doctor so had to watch the race from the garage which was really disappointing for me and the team as they worked really hard to repair my bikes in time for race two. All I can say is that I'm looking forward to some better luck for the Imola race in a few weeks time."
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