Yamaha teammates Rossi and Lorenzo garnered the top 2 steps of the Losail podium.
MotoGP Wolrd Championship, Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar, Round 1 of 18
Rossi Wins Qatar MotoGP Season Opener after Stoner Crashes Out
Losail, Qatar, Sunday 6 April - Reigning MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha) won the opening race of the 2010 season under the night lights of the Losail desert circuit after pole sitter Casey Stoner (Marlboro Ducati) lost the front end of his GP10 machine on the sand cover track at lap 4 while pulling out a substantial lead. Yamaha team mate Jorge Lorenzo moved up in the closing race laps to take away 2nd place from a hard battling Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) and Nicky Hayden (Marlboro Ducati).
The 2010 MotoGP riders assemble on the grid at Losail. Country boy Nicky Hayden wears his team hat Gomer Pyle style, still having not figured out to give it the visor the "cool guy" curve. CLICK TO GO BIG
Preview: Spectacular Qatar night race to kick off 2010 MotoGP season
Losail, Qatar, Tuesday 6 April - The 154-day long wait for the start of the new FIM MotoGP World Championship will come to an end on Sunday, when the floodlit Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar at the Losail International Circuit gets underway.
Not only will Valentino Rossi’s attempt to secure a record-equalling eighth premier class title begin, but a new chapter in the history of the sport will also commence with the first ever Moto2 race – the new intermediate category which replaces the 250cc version.
Little over three weeks have passed since the 17 MotoGP riders finished their pre-season preparations at the track, and it was Casey Stoner who signed off the third and final pre-season test as the fastest rider of the field. In doing so the Ducati Marlboro man broke reigning World Champion Rossi’s pre-season dominance, and will be aiming for a magnificent fourth straight season-opening race win at the track.
Rossi in night practice last week at the Losial circuit.
Fiat Yamaha rider Rossi is still seeking as first win under the floodlights (he has won daytime races at Losail in 2005 and 2006) and finished second last year, and the factory YZR-M1 has received a glowing assessment from the Italian in the lead-up to the first race, as it has done from team-mate Jorge Lorenzo. The Spaniard – last year’s Championship runner-up – will arrive at the first round still carrying the after effects of an injury that saw him at less than 100% at the test three weeks ago. Nevertheless he still managed to maintain a competitive check on the timesheet, and Lorenzo’s physical condition will no doubt be further improved.
Dani Pedrosa, last year’s third-placed Championship rider, has struggled in pre-season with his factory RC212V of the Repsol Honda team, but will be in much better physical shape for the opening race than last year, when he finished 11th after an injury affected pre-season. His team-mate Andrea Dovizioso was in good form at the Qatar official test with the third best time, and other factory riders Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro) and Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) will also be in the hunt for strong starts to their respective campaigns.
Monster Yamaha Tech3 duo Colin Edwards – who finished fourth in Qatar in 2009 – and Ben Spies have both enjoyed good pre-seasons, with the latter the best performing rookie. A host of other newcomers are making their premier class bows, such as 250cc World Champion Hiroshi Aoyama (Interwetten Honda MotoGP), Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki), Héctor Barberá (Paginas Amarillas Aspar), and Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini). Randy de Puniet of the LCR Honda team, Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini), and Pramac Racing pair Mika Kallio and Aleix Espargaró complete the 17-strong list.
New 600cc Moto 2
The event will also bring to an end a long wait to see the debut race of the Moto2 class. With an official 600cc 4-stroke engine supplied by Honda and tyres from Dunlop, the level of competition will be high amongst the 40 riders involved. Individual skill and talent will shine through, making Moto2 a truly challenging contest for its participants and a fantastic spectacle for observers.
Toni Elías (Gresini Racing) has placed his name on the list of early favourites with his competitive times in pre-season testing, but he is fighting to be fully fit after suffering a fracture in his left hand and right ankle in a fall at the final test at Jerez last week. Other riders with MotoGP experience lining up on the Moto2 grid include Yuki Takahashi (Tech3 Racing), Alex de Angelis, Niccolò Canepa (both RSM Team Scot), Anthony West (MZ Racing), Gabor Talmacsi (Fimmco Speed Up) and Roberto Rolfo (Italtrans STR).
Claudio Corti (Forward Racing) may be making his World Championship debut but the Italian has already made his name known in testing, as have fellow debutants Kenny Noyes of the Jack&Jones by Antonio Banderas team and Yonny Hernández of Blusens STX. And of course there is 125cc World Champion Julián Simón (Mapfre Aspar) whose form has been quick as well.
125cc Moto 3
The battle to succeed Simón will also begin in the eighth-litre category, where a number of riders will be fighting for the crown. Marc Márquez (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) was in fine form on his new Derbi machine throughout the official tests during the winter, finishing each of the three at the top of the timesheet, whilst British rider and 2009 World Championship runner-up Bradley Smith of the Bancaja Aspar team enters his fifth season in the 125cc class. Three other riders have also served notice of their statuses as strong candidates in Spaniards Pol Espargaró, Efrén Vázquez (both Tuenti Racing) and Nico Terol (Bancaja Aspar).
Sandro Cortese (Avant Mitsubishi Ajo), Randy Krummenacher (Stipa-Molenaar Racing), Tomoyoshi Koyama (Racing Team Germany) and Esteve Rabat (Blusens STX) all have experience in the category, and rookies such as Malaysian rider Muhammad Zulfahmi (AirAsia – Sepang International Circuit) and 2009 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup winner Jakub Kornfeil (Racing Team Germany), will also start their campaigns.
The 2010 FIM Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar takes place from April 9-11, with the opening practice session of the 125cc class starting the weekend at 8pm local time on Friday. The 125cc race takes place at 8pm local time on Sunday, with Moto2 at 9.15pm and MotoGP at 11pm.
Stoner Throws Down the Gaunlet
Friday April 9th - Ducati Marlboro rider, Casey Stoner, stamped his authority on the opening free practice session tonight in Qatar, finishing at the top of the timesheet and more than 0.5s ahead of his nearest rival, Fiat Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo. Despite playing down his chances of a fourth consecutive victory during yesterday's pre-event press conference, Stoner took charge from early in the session, with his fastest time of 1'55.500 coming on the 9th of the 17 laps completed during the hour-long practice. The winner of the last three MotoGP races in Qatar, all under floodlights, Stoner showed his rivals today that he has every intention of claiming his fourth consecutive victory in Sunday's 22-lap race.
CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) 1st (1’55.500) - "Today felt really good – we had a similar rhythm to the test and I didn’t feel to be pushing too hard. I had a really good feeling from the start and actually when we changed the setting I went faster but didn’t feel as good, so we need to work on that. This is obviously a good circuit for me but we’re taking things steadily. The target for this weekend is to take away some solid points and make a good start to the season. It is early days and we’re not getting carried away. We set some good lap times today but everybody else will improve so we have to work hard tomorrow and make sure we stay on the pace right through until Sunday night."
Jorge Lorenzo pipped his Fiat Yamaha teammate, and reigning World Champion, Valentino Rossi by just 0.002s to take second place on the timesheet with his final flying lap, but then crashed uninjured just as the session came to a close.
Andrea Dovizioso overcame the problems he has had with the Repsol Honda during pre-season testing, to finish the session in fourth place, just 0.095 ahead of Ducati Marlboro's Nicky Hayden.
Ben Spies, making his debut as a full-time MotoGP rider here in Qatar, was an impressive sixth fastest aboard the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 bike, finishing the session just 0.025s behind his fellow countryman and six places ahead of his more experienced teammate, Colin Edwards.
Alvaro Bautista was another rider who impressed on his MotoGP debut, as he took the Rizla Suzuki to seventh place on the timesheet, well ahead of his teammate, Loris Capirossi, who crashed uninjured early on in the session and eventually finished in 13th position.
Randy de Puniet, Mika Kallio and another MotoGP first timer, Hector Barbera on the Paginas Amarillas Aspar Ducati, rounded out the top ten.
Casey Stoner on Pole for Opening Race
Qualifying, Saturday April 10th - Casey Stoner gave himself the best possible chance of taking his fourth successive MotoGP victory in Qatar tomorrow, by qualifying his Ducati Marlboro Desmosedici on pole position. The Australian rider has topped every practice and qualifying session this weekend, holding off a late charge from reigning World Champion, Valentino Rossi, during qualifying to claim prime position on the grid for tomorrow's 22-lap Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar.
The brilliance of Stoner’s performance was not necessarily in his decisive lap - a 1’55.007 – but in the fact that he set a virtually identical time of 1’55.024 on race rubber with 16 laps already on the tyre. A minor gear shifter problem on a second softer tyre in the closing stages meant that he was unable to raise the bar as his rivals launched their usual late challenge for supremacy but it proved unnecessary as the gap behind him only closed to 0.355 seconds.
Casey Stoner (Ducati Marlboro Team) 1st (1’55.007) - "It is only the start of a very long season but it is the perfect start and I’m really pleased. This bike needs a little bit more time to set up because of the characteristics of the new engine so we’ll see how we go at other tracks but it definitely likes this circuit and the team have done a great job. Unfortunately my gear shifter got stuck coming out of turn two on what I’m sure would have been a faster. To have set a virtually identical time on the hard tyre is obviously encouraging for the race but the only objective here is to start the season on the right foot and take some solid points to Japan.”
Rossi, who topped the timesheet briefly during qualifying this evening, looked set to topple Stoner from the top spot with a late charge, but the Fiat Yamaha rider lost time in the final corner and was forced to settle for second place on the grid, 0.355s adrift of Stoner and his Ducati.
Valentino Rossi (Yamaha Fiat Team) 2nd : 1'55.362 Laps: 25 "I'm really happy about the work we've done today on our set up and now we have a good race pace with the hard Bridgestone tyres. With the soft one the rear is still sliding a little bit too much, but I think for the race we are okay. My final flying lap was very fast but then I had to pass a couple of riders in the final sector and I lost some time, but anyway we have a good grid position so I am happy. A strong start is going to be very important and we will have to push hard on the first lap to try to stay close to Stoner, who is always very strong here. Honestly I think it will be tough to beat him but we will try our best!"
Jorge Lorenzo secured the final spot on the front row of the grid with his final lap of the hour-long session, declaring himself fighting fit after his pre-season injury, but concerned about a lack of rear traction that had caused him issues during the qualifying session.
Randy de Puniet was the fastest Honda mounted qualifier this evening, finishing fifth fastest to head up the second row of the grid, where he will be joined by Loris Capirossi, who will celebrate his 300th Grand Prix start tomorrow, and fellow Honda rider, Andrea Dovizioso.
Colin Edwards got the better of fellow countryman, Nicky Hayden, to take eighth place, with the first of the MotoGP rookies, reigning 250cc World Champion Hiroshi Aoyama, joining the two Americans on the third row of the grid in ninth. Another MotoGP rookie, Ben Spies, rounded out the top ten for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team.
Circuit Record: Casey Stoner (Ducati - 2008), 1’55.153, 168.193 Km/h
Best Pole: Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha - 2008), 1’53.927, 170.003 Km/h
Toni Elias rode through the pain barrier this evening to claim pole position for tomorrow's first ever Moto2 World Championship race. The former MotoGP rider crashed heavily during the final pre-season test in Jerez and arrived in Qatar on crutches following surgery on a fractured ankle and hand. The 27-year-old Spaniard had to have painkilling injections ahead of qualifying, but the pain was forgotten as he parked his Gresini Moriwaki on the number one spot in parc ferme at the end of the 45-minute timed session.
Reigning 125cc World Champion, Julian Simon, secured second place on the grid aboard his Mapfre Aspar RSV machine, just 0.006s ahead of former 125cc rival, Stefan Bradl. Another former MotoGP rider, Alex De Angelis, secured fourth position, with the result that four different chassis manufacturers will be represented on the front row of the Moto2 grid in Qatar.
A late charge by Yuki Takahashi secured the Japanese rider fifth place on the grid, ahead of Jules Cluzel, Raffaele De Rosa and the elder statesman of the Moto2 class, Alex Debon. With 41 riders on the grid, the first ever Moto2 race promises to be an exciting affair.
Marc Marquez will start the first 125cc World Championship race from pole position aboard his Red Bull Ajo Motorsport Derbi, after holding off the challenge of fellow Derbi rider, Pol Espargaro. Nico Terol qualified his Bancaja Aspar Aprilia in third place, just ahead of the second Tuenti Racing Derbi of Efren Vazquez.
Randy Krummenacher finished qualifying fifth fastest and will head up the second row of the grid, in front of Tomoyoshi Koyama, Sandro Cortese and Alexis Masbou.
Runner up in last year's 125cc World Championship, Bradley Smith has struggled throughout the Qatar weekend with machinery problems, but the British rider managed to salvage ninth place on the grid with his very last lap in the timed session. Esteve Rabat rounded out the top ten aboard his Blusens STX Aprilia.
Stoner begins pulling away from Pedrosa and Rossi on the opening race laps before crashing.
Sunday Race Night
Valentino Shines in the Dark after Stoner Crashes Out
Race Night, Sunday April 11th - The five-month wait for the start of the 2010 MotoGP World Championship came to an end on Sunday evening at the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar, and an eventful opening race at Losail did not let fans down as Valentino Rossi took victory, with Jorge Lorenzo making it a Fiat Yamaha one-two and Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) taking third.
It was an exciting start that saw Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) shoot up from seventh on the grid to lead the field into Turn One, and as the opening laps unfolded the Spaniard, Rossi, poleman Casey Stoner (Ducati Marlboro) and his team-mate Nicky Hayden commenced a battle at the front. A difficult weekend ended in grave disappointment for Mika Kallio (Pramac Racing) as he crashed out early on, and as the action on the track continued to develop there was to be another Ducati to suffer a premature end to its race.
Before the fist lap had ended former 3-time Losial MotoGP winner Casey Stoner brushed his way inside Rossi diving into a turn and began pulling away from the Wolrd Champ and the rest of the field at around half a second per lap, just as Casey had dominated Saturday qualifying. Within just a few laps Stoner had pulled out a big lead and was looking uncatchable when the factory Desmosedici GP10 lost its front wheel going into Turn Four on the fifth lap just after setting the fastest lap of the race , dramatically ending Casey race, thankfully without injury, after he had been the huge favourite to take victory at the circuit for the fourth successive year.
Stoner's fall on the slippery sand blown track elevated Rossi to first place, with Dovizioso and Hayden behind him in hot pursuit. Rossi’s Fiat Yamaha team-mate Lorenzo also started to climb, moving up to fourth at the midway point of the race. Pramac Racing’s remaining rider Aleix Espargaró was forced to retire after becoming the third rider to fall.
With the excitement building, Dovizioso started to challenge Rossi and at one point took the lead from the World Champion, only to see it reclaimed. Hayden then swapped places with Dovizioso as the pair intensified their fight for second and third position respectively. Then Lorenzo made his move and went through on Hayden before passing Dovizioso as well to move into second position as the riders entered the final lap, which delivered a grandstand finish in the battle for the final podium position.
Rossi crossed the line with just over a full second of an advantage on the rest of the field, Lorenzo took second as he showed little sign of the hand injury that had placed a question mark over his fitness. Dovizoso claimed third in a sprint for the line as he held off Hayden by 0.011s. Ben Spies (Monster Yamaha Tech3) was the highest finishing rookie with a superb fifth-placed finish having started in 11th place on the grid, as Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) and Pedrosa took sixth and seventh place respectively.
Ben Spies claimed a very creditable 5th in his first Yamaha MotoGP ride.
Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech3), Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) – in his 300th Grand Prix start – and Hiroshi Aoyama (Interwetten Honda MotoGP) all secured top-ten finishes, with Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team), Héctor Barberá (Páginas Amarillas Aspar) and Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) completing the 13 finishing riders. Rookie Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) suffered heartbreak on his premier class debut, crashing out late in the race when in 13th place having held his own for much of the contest.
Valentino Rossi - Position: 1st Time: 42'50.099 - "I got a fantastic start but I wasn't quite fast enough and was suffering on the straight. I lost some time passing Pedrosa and by then Stoner was quite far from me, I thought then that it was going to be hard to catch him! Then he made a mistake and crashed, which was bad luck for him but crucial for us. After that I expected it would be easier but in fact it was very hard to stay in front of Dovizioso, who was very strong. We had a good battle and then I did three or four laps at the maximum and was able to stay in front, but it wasn't easy! I haven't won at the first race since 2005 and these 25 points at this stage are like gold dust, it's a fantastic result for the team to make a one-two at race one. It's especially good to win here because it doesn't suit our bike, we worked very cleverly throughout the practices and this is the reward, so thanks to all my guys. We definitely have some work to do but this is a good base to start from. I ran out of fuel on the slow down lap, I think I used more than expected early on because I was sliding quite a lot, but it was very funny to come to Parc Ferme riding a scooter!"
Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 2nd Time: +1.022 - "Today I had to disconnect my brain and just ride with my heart, and I am so happy about this second place. My hand was a bit sore but the bigger problem was the rear sliding, and early on with a full fuel tank I found it quite hard. My plan was to take it quietly and not risk too much, but after a while the adrenalin built up and I couldn't do that, I had to ride at the maximum! Once I had less fuel it was easier and I started to get closer, but I was on the limit physically and with the bike, so it was quite risky! I made some good overtakes at the end and this is a fantastic result for our team, with Valentino winning as well. Now we go to Motegi, where I won last year, and I will be in better physical condition by then and ready to be even stronger."
1 25 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Fiat Yamaha Team Yamaha 165.8 42'50.099
2 20 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Fiat Yamaha Team Yamaha 165.7 +1.022
3 16 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda Team Honda 165.7 +1.865
4 13 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Marlboro Team Ducati 165.7 +1.876
5 11 11 Ben SPIES USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 165.5 +3.903
6 10 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 165.2 +9.322
7 9 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 164.7 +16.508
8 8 5 Colin EDWARDS USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 164.5 +19.867
9 7 65 Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 164.5 +20.893
10 6 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN Interwetten Honda MotoGP Honda 164.4 +21.100
11 5 58 Marco SIMONCELLI ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 163.8 +31.638
12 4 40 Hector BARBERA SPA Paginas Amarillas Aspar Ducati 163.7 +32.573
13 3 33 Marco MELANDRI ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 163.2 +40.780
19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 163.7 1 Lap
41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 162.7 15 Laps
27 Casey STONER AUS Ducati Marlboro Team Ducati 164.4 17 Laps
36 Mika KALLIO FIN Pramac Racing Team Ducati 156.1 20 Laps
Pole Lap: Casey STONER 1'55.007 168.4 Km/h
Fastest Lap: Lap: 5 Casey STONER 1'55.537 167.6 Km/h
Circuit Record Lap: 2008 Casey STONER 1'55.153 168.2 Km/h
Best Lap: 2008 Jorge LORENZO 1'53.927 170.0 Km/h
Shoya Tomizawa wins inaugural Moto2 Grand Prix at Losail
Qatar, April 11th - The Moto2 World Championship lived up to advance billing by providing close racing in the inaugural race under the lights of the Losail International Circuit outside of Doha, Qatar, and when it was over there was a surprise atop the podium in a class that promises to be both exciting and unpredictable.
The template had been set in qualifying when the top 13 riders were covered by a second and the top five were all on different chassis. What they had in common was Honda power, which propelled the 41 riders around the floodlit track in the historic inaugural event.
When the checkered flag was waved, late on a Sunday evening, Technomag-CIP’s Shoya Tomizawa rode into the history books as the first ever Moto2 race winner. Racing in only his 19th Grand Prix, the 19-year-old Japanese rider, on a Suter chassis with Honda power, took the lead on the sixth of 20 laps and held off the challenges of a determined quartet just behind.Tomizawa gained strength as the race progressed and pulled steadily away over the final six laps to win by 4.656 seconds.
Aeroport de Castello-Ajo’s Alex Debon (FTR) stole second from Forward Racing’s Jules Cluzel (Suter) six turns from the end of the race. Gresini Racing’s Toni Elias (Moriwaki), the pole sitter, finished fourth, with Roby Rolfo (Suter) fifth on the Italtrans S.T.R. machine.
Shoya Tomizawa, Technomag-CIP, 1st: “I can’t believe this, but I’m very, very happy because I can win and I can come here. I like the four-stroke feeling better than the two-stroke, but the four-stroke is very, very heavy and engine character is very, very strong. This is very, very nice. My team works very hard and my sponsors help a lot. This is so incredible I can stay here. This is so, so nice.”
Alex Debon, Aeroport de Castello-Ajo, 2nd: “Today’s race was very, very hard indeed, such a hard battle out there. I wasn’t sure, no one was sure how the bike would feel at the end of the race when it was low on fuel and the tires were gone as well. We just had to wait and see what was going to happen. A few of the maneuvers were quite hard. A few risks going on there, but in the end after a really difficult winter, when the team struggled hard to get here I want to thank my friends for helping him get here and for bringing Alex Debon back into the world championship. It’s just important to be on the podium in the first race.”
Jules Cluzel, Forward Racing, 3rd: “Obviously I’m very happy! It’s perfect to start the championship with a podium, last year I started in the same way, but afterwards I did some mistakes during the season. I think this experience helped me mature a lot. I know that the championship is long and we are 40 riders, so it’s really important to make points every race and as few mistakes as possible. During the race I pushed myself to the limit, I tried to do my best to follow Tomizawa, the winner of the race, but after crashing nearly three times I realised that it would be better to finish in third position.”
Shuhei Nakamoto, HRC Vice President: - “This evening we witnessed the first ever Moto2 race, an important event which marks the beginning of a new era of World Championship Grand Prix Racing. Last year Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) came to an agreement with the FIM and Dorna to be the sole supplier of engines for the newly-created class, and we are proud to play our part in this exciting series. I’d like to congratulate Shoya Tomizawa and the Technomag-CIP team on today’s historic win, and we can all look forward to many more closely-fought Moto2 races.”
Former World Superbike Champion James Toseland, on left next to winner Race one winner Ron Haslam and runner-up Max Biaggi, took his first podium since leaving Superbike for MotoGP 4 years ago.
SBK Hannespre World Superbike Championship, Valencia, Round 3 of 13
Haslam/Suzuki and Haga/Ducati Take One Win Each In Spain
Valencia, EP, Sunday 11th April 2010 - Two action-packed races held under clear Spanish skies saw two different winners make their mark, Leon Haslam (Suzuki Alstare) in race one and Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) in race two. The races could not have been more different, with Haslam a clear leader in an uninterrupted contest, while Haga won an aggregate race two by only 0.025 seconds. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia) scored two podiums today, while James Toseland (Yamaha Sterilgarda) and Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati) also put in top finishes.
Crutchlow takes second Superpole in succession
Saturday 10th - Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha Sterilgarda) took his second Superpole of the year for Yamaha with a 1’33.615 at Valencia, leading a front row that will comprise of Cal, Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati), Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia) and Leon Haslam (Suzuki Alstare). Checa had been even faster around the 4.005km circuit today than Crutchlow was in Superpole 2, but not in the final Superpole session when the final grid places were determined, leaving Carlos second overall.
Crutchlow had set pole at the previous round in Portugal but this one was maybe even more of a surprise, as he had only been 15th in regular qualifying before Superpole started. The second row will be headed by Troy Corser on his BMW Motorrad Motorsport S1000RR, the best Superpole qualifying result for the German manufacturer in WSBK. Sylvain Guintoli (Suzuki Alstare), Jonathan Rea (HANNspree ten Kate Honda) and Lorenzo Lanzi (DFX Ducati) were ranged out behind Corser, with Lanzi crashing in the final section of Superpole, and sticking in eighth place. The top seven places featured machines from six of the championship’s seven manufacturers, after a day of incredibly close competition for grid spots.
Nori and the other Superbike riders stir up lunch at the Paddock Show pavilion.
BIG NAMES JUST MISS OUT
An intense Superpole 2 session saw some big names out of the final session, notably both factory Ducati riders, Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio, who went tenth and 11th respectively.
James Toseland (Yamaha Sterilgarda) missed Superpole three by one thousandth of a second, and starts ninth.
Max Neukirchner (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) had a major issue in Superpole 2 and had to pull off the track in a plume of smoke.
Michel Fabrizio set the fastest time in Superpole 1, the Suzukis of Leon Haslam and Sylvain Guintoli close behind him. The first four riders to miss the Superpole cut proved to Sheridan Morais, Andrew Pitt, Tom Sykes and Ruben Xaus, with Xaus 17th and only missing out on a higher starting place by one thousandth of a second.
CLOSE COMBINED QUALIFYING BEFORE SUPERPOLE FIGHT
Max Biaggi (Alitalia Aprilia) was the fastest man in the final regulation qualifying session, beating Carlos Checa (Ducati Althea) to second place by only 0.002 seconds. The provisional front row was the same as the first day, with Jakub Smrz (Pata B&G Ducati) and Shane Byrne (Althea Ducati) third and fourth. Fifth place went to Leon Haslam (Alstare Suzuki), with the top five separated by only 0.068 seconds. A remarkable 11 riders in total went within 0.258 seconds of each other in combined qualifying, and 18 riders were covered by a single second.
Cal Crutchlow: “I hope when we get to Silverstone I will have a reception like Carlos had here! We had a lot of pole positions in Supersport and had one here last year, so to come again and do it on the Superbike is really good. I feel we could have been quicker, but that is just me. If someone gets away at the front we could be in trouble so if we keep it a close race it should be good.”
Carlos Checa: “It is fantastic to be here in front of a home race crowd especially with the performance of this year, because I am feeling very strong with this bike. I really like this track and I hope to make a good race weekend. We worked quite well in practice and the bike works here. We are on the pace with the other people and it will be a very close race, I believe.”
Max Biaggi: “I feel good on the bike and Portimao was a good race for us last time out. I was happier for the team than myself. Back in Valencia we have not such good memories of last year but in the winter test we were pretty good, and now we are quite consistent with out lap times. Front row was the real goal because at this track it is very difficult to overtake. I think we have not such a bad pace and we will try our best. Our target is to put many heavy points on the table.”
Leon Haslam: “Our main objective was to get on the front row, and at Valencia there are such tight times, from front four to tenth place. We messed up a little bit in Superpole two, I used my qualifying tyre but got balked on my lap and had to use a second qualifier, which meant In the last part I was using a two or three lap old qualifier. I am feeling pretty good for tomorrow.”
Superpole Times: 1. Crutchlow C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 1’33.615; 2. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1198 1’33.840; 3. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 1000 F 1’33.860; 4. Haslam L. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’33.961; 5. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 1’34.059; 6. Guintoli S. (FRA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’34.073; 7. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR 1000 RR 1’34.235; 8. Lanzi L. (ITA) Ducati 1198 1’34.261; 9. Toseland J. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 1’33.988; 10. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1198 1’34.021; 11. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1198 1’34.100; 12. Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1198 1’34.246; 13. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 1000 F 1’34.273; 14. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1198 1’34.280; 15. Scassa L. (ITA) Ducati 1198 1’34’’730; 16. Neukirchner M. (GER) Honda CBR 1000 RR 1’34.394; 17. Xaus R. (ESP) BMW S1000 RR 1’34.756; 18. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’34’’894; 19. Pitt A. (AUS) BMW S 1000 RR 1’36.088; 20. Morais S. (RSA) Honda CBR 1000 RR 1’36.072; 21. Baiocco M. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’36.104; 22. Hayden R. (USA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’36.117; 23. Andrews S. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’36.329; 24. Iannuzzo V. (ITA) Honda CBR 1000 RR 1’36.524; 25. Resch R. (AUT) BMW S1000 RR 1’36.639
Haslem (91) takes over the lead from early race leader Troy Corser (11) on the factory BMW, followed by Biaggi, Toseland and Camier.
Superbike Race One: Haslam Runaway for Alstare Suzuki
Leon Haslam had a comfortable win in the end, after early leader Carlos Checa went out with a technical problem, and Max Biaggi could not make up the ground to get back into winning contention. James Toseland’s return to WSB in 2010 was marked by his first podium on his Sterilgarda Yamaha four, while BMW Motorrad Motorsport earned a great fourth place with Troy Corser, the highest ever SBK place for the team since entering WSBK last year. Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) fought through to fifth, but could not pass Corser in the final laps.
Haslem and Biaggi fighting to the finish is Race One.
SUPERBIKE Race 1: (Laps 23 = 92,115 Km)
Pos / Rider / Nat. / Team / Gap
1 / L. HASLAM / GBR / Suzuki GSX-R1000 / Team Suzuki Alstare / 36'47.723
2 / M. BIAGGI / ITA / Aprilia RSV4 1000 F. / Aprilia Alitalia Racing / 1.757
3 / J. TOSELAND / GBR / Yamaha YZF R1 / Yamaha Sterilgarda Team / 3.621
4 / T. CORSER / AUS / BMW S1000 RR / BMW Motorrad Motorsport / 4.209
5 / N. HAGA / JPN / Ducati 1098R / Ducati Xerox Team / 4.378
6 / J. REA / GBR / Honda CBR1000RR / HANNspree Ten Kate Honda / 9.834
7 / C. CRUTCHLOW / GBR / Yamaha YZF R1 / Yamaha Sterilgarda Team / 10.466
8 / L. LANZI / ITA / Ducati 1098R / DFX Corse / 16.080
9 / S. GUINTOLI / FRA / Suzuki GSX-R1000 / Team Suzuki Alstare / 18.382
10 / J. SMRZ / CZE / Ducati 1098R / Team PATA B&G Racing / 18.589
11 / T. SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki ZX 10R / Kawasaki Racing Team / 22.903
12 / R. XAUS / ESP / BMW S1000 RR / BMW Motorrad Motorsport / 25.203
13 / M. NEUKIRCHNER / GER / Honda CBR1000RR / HANNspree Ten Kate Honda / 25.676
14 / L. SCASSA / ITA / Ducati 1098R / Supersonic Racing Team / 26.606
15 / A. PITT / AUS / BMW S1000 RR / Team Reitwagen BMW / 43.797
Fastest Lap 2° Carlos Checa 1'34.750 152,169 Km/h
Haga, Biaggi and Checa battle for the lead in the 2nd half of Race Two, in the exact opposite order of when the Race had been red flagged earlier. With the final outcome to be decide on agregate overall times from both halves, the possible final race outcome changed constantly right until the checkered fell.
Superbike Race Two: Haga Wins A 2-Race Nail Biter for Ducati on Aggregae Times
Haga secured his first race win of 2010 after a tense fight with second place rider Checa and Biaggi. A two part aggregate race was required after a crash on lap four of the first heat brought out the red flags. Simon Andrews and Vittorio Iannuzzo both had heavy falls at high speed on the start/finish straight, but two fractures to Andrews’s left foot and heel were the final result.
The total time from the first three laps, and the time from a second heat of 20-laps were combined to find the final results. The margin of victory in the two-part race was 0.025 seconds between Haga and Checa, with Biaggi only 0.0299 from the win, in third place.
Haga overcame a dismal start and finsh in Race One, to return and win Race Two.
SUPERBIKE Race 2: (Laps 23 = 92,115 Km) Aggregate Results
Pos / Rider / Nat. / Team / Gap
1 / N. HAGA / JPN / Ducati 1098R / Ducati Xerox Team / 36'51.500
2 / C. CHECA / ESP / Ducati 1098R / Althea Racing / 0.025
3 / M. BIAGGI / ITA / Aprilia RSV4 1000 F. / Aprilia Alitalia Racing / 0.299
4 / L. HASLAM / GBR / Suzuki GSX-R1000 / Team Suzuki Alstare / 10.100
5 / J. REA / GBR / Honda CBR1000RR / HANNspree Ten Kate Honda / 12.811
6 / S. GUINTOLI / FRA / Suzuki GSX-R1000 / Team Suzuki Alstare / 13.459
7 / J. TOSELAND / GBR / Yamaha YZF R1 / Yamaha Sterilgarda Team / 14.845
8 / S. BYRNE / GBR / Ducati 1098R / Althea Racing / 14.861
9 / C. CRUTCHLOW / GBR / Yamaha YZF R1 / Yamaha Sterilgarda Team / 15.202
10 / J. SMRZ / CZE / Ducati 1098R / Team PATA B&G Racing / 18.071
11 / R. XAUS / ESP / BMW S1000 RR / BMW Motorrad Motorsport / 25.179
12 / T. CORSER / AUS / BMW S1000 RR / BMW Motorrad Motorsport / 26.116
13 / L. LANZI / ITA / Ducati 1098R / DFX Corse / 30.189
14 / L. SCASSA / ITA / Ducati 1098R / Supersonic Racing Team / 30.387
15 / T. SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki ZX 10R / Kawasaki Racing Team / 35.741
Fastest Lap: 8° Max Biaggi 1'34.632 152,359 Km/h
Lap Record: 2009 Noriyuki Haga 1'34.618 152,380 Km/h
Best Lap: 2009 Ben Spies 1'33.270 154,580 Km/h
Riders Championship Standings:
HASLAM 123, BIAGGI 105, CHECA 80, HAGA 79, REA 60, TTOSELAND 50, GUINTOLI 50,
FABRIZIO 46, CORSER 46, CRUTCHLOW 41, BYRNE 33, CAMIER 32, LANZI 26, SMRZ 20, XAUS 19.
HASLAM EXTENDS HIS LEAD
In the championship, Leon Haslam’s fourth in the second of today’s races gives him 123 points to Biaggi’s 105 and Checa’s 80. Haga is on 79 points, in fourth place. After a sixth and fifth today, Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) is now fifth on 60 points, while Toseland and Sylvain Guintoli (Suzuki Alstare) are tied on 50 points. Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) had two no-scores leaving him eighth on the same 46 points as the ever-improving BMW of Troy Corser. Leon Camier led race two for Aprilia but fell for the second time today, scoring no points. Kawasaki Racing Team rider Tom Sykes went 11th and 15th, now sitting in 16th place overall.
Leon Haslam: “To make the break was a bit of a surprise, because I felt we could race the other guys, but for sure it would be a big battle to the end. But when I got to the lead I saw the lap times I was doing were not so great and I knew that Max and the others guys could go quicker, it had been proven. But I kept my rhythm and when I saw a small gap behind I pushed again and the gap became bigger and bigger. It’s great to win another race and leave with the championship lead.”
Noriyuki Haga: “I like Valencia a lot. I am Mr Valencia! Before the red flag in race two I made a good start and was in fifth position. In the restart I started from fifth and I kept a good pace. It was not easy to catch and pass the top two riders but in the last few laps I pushed hard and took the win. I was not thinking about the time difference I just knew I had to go at the front.”
Max Biaggi: “We had a very nice race in race two, just like the first one. The temperature went up a lot in the second race, which meant that the grip went down. Nori and Carlos were in front of me in race two and they deserved their places. I could not follow Haga in the last two laps because he was very fast but second and third at Valencia are two good results.”
Carlos Checa: “It was a good weekend; if not the first race then the second one, when I was battling right to the end. I thought I could control the second part of race two by sitting behind Max but then Nori arrived and broke up the group. I tried to catch him at the end but I could not make up the difference. Anyway I think it was a good result.”
James Toseland: “I think Max was slightly faster than me after half race distance in race one, but I was stronger where you can pass another rider, and that made it difficult for him to overtake. Once he did get past, he helped me take a couple of tenths of a second from my lap times and I kept ahead of Corser and Haga. I couldn’t do any more but we are getting better all the time.”
Lascorz Wins 600cc Supersport for Kawasaki, Takes Points Lead
Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Motocard.com) won his home race at Valencia, taking advantage when his rivals slowed to post the fastest lap of the race and make a break before mid-race distance had been completed.
A sometimes-tight battle for second saw Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) and Chaz Davies (ParkinGO Triumph BE1) go head-to-head, until Sofuoglu broke away with four laps remaining.
The struggle for fourth place went to local man David Salom (ParkinGO BE-1 Triumph). He passed Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda) in the later stages of the 23-lap race. At the top of the table, Lascorz now has 65 points to Sofuoglu’s 61.
SUPERSPORT Race: (Laps 23 = 92,115 Km)
Pos / Rider / Nat. / Team / Time / Gap
1 / J. LASCORZ / ESP / Kawasaki ZX-6R / Kawasaki Motocard.com / 37'32.610
2 / K. SOFUOGLU / TUR / Honda CBR600RR / HANNspree Ten Kate Honda / 3.193
3 / C. DAVIES / GBR / Triumph Daytona 675 / ParkinGO Triumph BE1 / 5.417
4 / D. SALOM / ESP / Triumph Daytona 675 / ParkinGO BE1 Triumph / 8.317
5 / E. LAVERTY / IRL / Honda CBR600RR / Parkalgar Honda / 10.757
6 / G. REA / GBR / Honda CBR600RR / Intermoto Czech / 38.866
7 / M. LAGRIVE / FRA / Triumph Daytona 675 / ParkinGO Triumph BE1 / 38.926
8 / A. LUNDH / SWE / Honda CBR600RR / Cresto Guide Racing Team / 50.902
9 / R. HARMS / DEN / Honda CBR600RR / Harms Benjan Racing / 56.653
10 / F. FORET / FRA / Kawasaki ZX-6R / Team Lorenzini by Leoni / 1'01.495
11 / M. PIRRO / ITA / Honda CBR600RR / HANNspree Ten Kate Honda / 1'06.573
12 / M. PRAIA / POR / Honda CBR600RR / Parkalgar Honda / 1'18.142
Fastest Lap: 7° Joan Lascorz 1'37.049 148,564 Km/h
Lap Record: 2009 Cal Crutchlow 1'36.865 148,850 Km/h
Best Lap: 2010 Eugene Laverty 1'35.658 150,720 Km/h
Riders Championship Standings:
1 LASCORZ 65, 2 SOFUOGLU 61, 3 LAVERTY 41, 4 DAVIES 33, 5 SALOM 32,
6 FORET 28, 7 HARMS 25, 8 REA 24, 9 PIRRO 21, 10 ROCCOLI 17, 11 FUJIWARA 15,
12 DISALVO 12, 13 LUNDH 11, 14 PRAIA 11, 15 LAGRIVE 9.
1000cc Superstock Race Badovini two from two
Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia) won his second race of the 2010 season today, by 3.080 seconds from Davide Giugliano (Team06 Suzuki) after Maxime Berger (Ten Kate Race Junior Honda) had crashed out of contention for second place. The final podium place was taken by Sylvain Barrier (Garnier Junior Racing BMW). In the championship, Badovini, on 50 points, leads Giugliano and Barrier, who are each on 29.
Results: 1. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 21'18.245 (146,719 kmh); 2. Giugliano D. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 3.080; 3. Barrier S. (FRA) BMW S1000 RR 4.693; 4. Magnoni M. (ITA) Honda CBR 1000 RR 5.971; 5. Baz L. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R1 9.169; 6. Antonelli A. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR 9.313; 7. Tutusaus P. (ESP) KTM 1198 RC8 R 9.705 ; 8. Barragan S. (ESP) Honda CBR 1000 RR 15.553; 9. Bussolotti M. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR 16.151 ; 10. Baroni L. (ITA) Ducati 1198 16.410…
Championship standing (after 3 Rounds of 13): 1. Badovini 50; 2. Giugliano 29 ; 3. Barrier 29; 4. Baz 27; 5. Berger 20; 6. Bussolotti 18; 7. Antonelli 18; 9. Tutusaus 14;10. La Marra 10
Manufacturers standing: 1. BMW 50; 2. Honda 33; 3. Suzuki 29; 4. Yamaha 27; 5. KTM 14; 6. Kawasaki 10; 8. Aprilia 9; 8. Ducati 6
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FOURTH-PLACED HAYDEN FLIES FLAG FOR DUCATI AFTER STONER CRASHED OUT IN QATAR
Qatar April 12th - Nicky Hayden got his 2010 season off to a flying start today with a thrilling battle for the podium under the Losail floodlights, flying the flag for the Ducati Marlboro Team after a crash for his team-mate Casey Stoner.
The Australian didn’t get the ideal start to the race from pole position as he was passed by three riders - including Hayden, who made a lightening start from ninth – but he quickly fought back to recover the lead by the third lap. However, a mistake just three laps later put paid to an otherwise perfect weekend, with Stoner having dominated every session.
Hayden kept pace with Valentino Rossi and Andrea Dovizioso, keeping the leader in sight whilst entering a fierce battle for second place. Jorge Lorenzo forced his way through in the later stages, with the American eventually missing out on third place by just 0.011 seconds to the Italian.
NICKY HAYDEN – (Ducati Marlboro Team #69) 4th
“Man! I really didn’t expect to be so tough in the race but the team made a couple of small changes that made a huge difference and right from the warm-up lap I felt good. I got a great start and Rossi didn’t seem a lot faster than me. In a couple of places he was getting away but I just tried to stay in there and learn something - it’s been so long since I ran at the front. If you offered me fourth place, two seconds behind Rossi, before the race I would have taken it but to be so close to the podium and not actually up there… it hurts. Still, it’s a long season and there are a lot of opportunities ahead of us. I’m sorry for Casey but fourth place with all the other heavies in there has got to be my best result. We got some good points in the bag so we’ll take it, get out of here and move on. Big thanks to the team and everybody at Ducati for sticking behind me and for all their hard work this winter. I hope I can repay them this year.”
CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team #27) DNF
"The bike bogged at the start so I didn’t get away well but I felt good and I was able to pass the other guys. Once I got to the front I started to get into my rhythm but I lost the front end a couple of times in long corners so I made the decision to try to ride a bit smoother and not put so much pressure on the front tyre with the full tank. Unfortunately that is what led to the crash because looking at the telemetry I didn’t have enough load on the front, so I guess in hindsight I should have stuck to the way I’d been riding all weekend. It’s my mistake and I apologise to the team because we’d done a great job this weekend and we leave empty handed. Having said that it’s not a complete disaster because we’ve found this weekend that the bike has improved in areas where we have struggled in the past – for example the rear grip was unbelievable - and we have a long, long way to go. I’m pleased for Nicky because he had a great race and I think we can both be confident and optimistic about the rest of the season with this bike.”
VITTORIANO GUARESCHI (Ducati Marlboro Team Manager)
Obviously we feel Casey's race should have ended differently tonight, we know that but unfortunately he crashed. Having said that I am happy to have seen Casey in such great form, leading the race just a couple of laps in despite not making a brilliant start. Then it was all over, which is a real disappointment, but the potential is there and the season is long. Nicky was fantastic. We have worked all winter to give him a package that works for him and he has repaid us. We didn't see his full potential in practice but the World Champion in Nicky came out in the race. I would have loved to see him on the podium, for him and for the whole team who have worked tirelessly, but anyway we can take huge satisfaction from his performance. We now travel to Japan with a great package and two riders who we know can fight for the podium.
Honda MotoGP Rider Quotes from Qatar:
Andrea Dovizioso, Repsol Honda: 3rd. “I’m really happy about this podium - it’s a great satisfaction. It was so important to begin the season with a good result and I hope this is just the start. Today’s podium is the result of the hard work done by Honda, the technicians, the team and myself during the winter. I have to thank Honda, Repsol and all the sponsors for having believed in me also when the results were not coming. In fact, today I really believed I could get second position and it was a pity that I couldn’t keep it until the very end. My start was not so good but the first five laps were crucial for me to recover positions and glue myself behind Valentino. My Honda was very fast on the straight and I could use this advantage to compensate for our weaker points on the track. I can say that I lost my race in Turn 10. We struggled in T3 for the whole weekend but tonight I understood that we lost so much in the long left hand turn - Turn 10. When Valentino overtook me I tried to re-pass him, but he overtook me again and then I didn’t have the possibility to get back by. I did a masterpiece in the last corner of the last lap where I overtook Nicky on the inside and then I used all the power of the RC212V to get to the line first. Tonight I raced with my heart, and this result is a good motivation for myself and everyone in the Repsol Honda Team.”
Randy de Puniet, LCR Honda: 6th. “All the weekend I was up there and I am very satisfied about this result. My start was not that bad, but with a bit of traffic I have got a little bit pushed out in the first corner. After that I lapped a smart race as my pace on race trim was really good like the top guys. At five laps to go we were five seconds behind the leader, which is incredible for us as a satellite team. The hard work we have made in the winter and the long run we have been made adjusting the race map have helped us to get this positive result in the first round of the season.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 7th. “I made a good start and was able to stay at or near the front of the race for the first few laps. It really wasn’t easy though and we had a few handling issues with the machine that meant unfortunately it was impossible for me to maintain that pace. I fought as hard as I could to hold off the other riders but in the end there was no way I could keep them behind. On the one hand it’s encouraging that we could achieve this early pace because the winter testing has not been easy, but on the other it proves we still have a lot of work to do to get the machine the way I need so that I can be at the front at the end rather than the start of the race. This isn’t the ideal start to the season and I’d hoped to be able to fight for a podium here, but it’s a long season and we’ll stay focused and work as hard as possible to improve things. Congratulations to Andrea on the podium. We’ll come back fighting at Motegi - it’s a circuit I like and I hope to get a much better result there.
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SBK Racing About To Take More Spanish Steps
Valencia, Tuesday 6th April 2010 - The Circuito Ricardo Tormo is a well-established and welcoming stop-off point for the SBK paddock in its global wanderings, with this year’s Spanish race this coming weekend the third in a 13-round season.
After two astoundingly close events so far, in Australia and more recently in Portugal, there have been three different race winners in four individual races. Of the seven manufacturers involved in WSB in 2010, three have scored a victory already, and two more have podium finishes to their credit. With the 4.005km circuit Valencia being a different type of challenge to either Phillip Island (venue for round one) or Portimao (round two) there are some new possibilities for all involved this coming weekend.
There have been 20 individual points scoring races at Valencia in recent SBK seasons, with winners including current riders Noriyuki Haga, Lorenzo Lanzi, James Toseland, Ruben Xaus and Troy Corser. Haga did the double here in 2009 and Valencia is a circuit that throws up double wins more than most; six in total in ten previous visits.
OPENING SALVOES HIT THE SPOT: The 2010 entry list, running to 14 official entrants from seven manufacturers, plus top quality privateers throughout, promised a lot of close competition and variety during the off-season. And even at this early stage of the year that promise has been delivered, over and over again. So far, the margins of victory in the four SBK races have been 0.004 seconds, 0.307 seconds, 0.200 seconds, and 0.191 seconds. A cumulative 0.702 seconds separating all of the first and second place riders, after two hours and 24 minutes of intense racing. Our understanding of close competition has been redefined in the Superbike World Championship of 2010.
BIG SEVEN IN ACTION AGAIN: The seven competing manufacturers this year - Aprilia, BMW, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha - all have proven winning riders and strong overall efforts to their credit as they approach Valencia. Suzuki, Ducati and most recently Aprilia have won races this year, thanks to Leon Haslam (Suzuki Alstare), Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati) and Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia). Appropriately enough, these three riders now lead the championship table, with Haslam on 85, Portimao double winner Biaggi on 69 and Phillip Island race two victor Carlos Checa on 60.
Behind the leading bunch, Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) and Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) hold fourth and fifth respectively, while top Honda rider so far is Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) in sixth place after scoring one podium and one DNF in Portimao last time out.
One new WSB sensation Sylvain Guintoli (Alstare Suzuki) leads another Leon Camier (Aprilia Alitalia), in seventh and eighth places. The top BMW rider in the rankings so far is Troy Corser, ninth, with Ruben Xaus regaining his footing in the championship table last time out. Now 14th overall on his BMW Motorrad Motorsport machine, Xaus is another home favourite. Tenth placed rider Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha Sterilgarda Team) took his first podium for Yamaha at Portimao and he shares 25 points with his team-mate James Toseland and another British force to be reckoned with, Shane Byrne (Althea Ducati).
TESTING FOR TOM, HOPES FOR OTHERS: Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) has already tested at Valencia recently, and made progress towards the top ten as his team-mate Chris Vermeulen continues his fight for race fitness after a knee injury he picked up in Australia. Max Neukirchner (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) is another rider hoping to get back to his best at round three. Privateers riders are many and varied in 2010, with Roland Resch (Reitwagen BMW) scheduled for a return after breaking his collarbone in Australia, Jakub Smrz (B&G Pata Racing Ducati) looking to get back into the points in Spain, while Luca Scassa (Supersonic Ducati) is searching for some good luck in only his second meeting of 2010. Broc Parkes, injured in pre-season training, will miss this round, meaning that South African hope Sheridan Morais will ride for ECHO CRS Honda once again.
Points (after 2 of 13 rounds):
1. Haslam 85; 2. Biaggi 69,
3. Checa 60, 4. Fabrizio 46;
5. Haga 43; 6. Rea 39;
7. Guintoli 33; 8. Camier 32;
9. Corser 29; 10. Crutchlow 25.
Manufacturers: 1. Suzuki 85;
2. Ducati 71; 3. Aprilia 69;
4. Honda 40; 5. Yamaha 32;
6. BMW 29; 7. Kawasaki 7
Aaron Yates Undergoes Successful Surgery
Team Suzuki Press Office, April 2nd - .Michael Jordan Motorsports' Aaron Yates has undergone surgery after breaking his leg in practice prior to race four of the 2010 AMA Pro National Guard American Superbike Championship in Fontana, California last weekend.
Yates had already turned in the fastest time in the Sunday morning practice session when he crashed while coming down from a power wheelie out of Turn 10 and was run over by M4 Monster Energy Suzuki's Chris Ulrich. Ulrich was right behind Yates when he crashed and was unable to avoid the contact.
He underwent nearly six hours of surgery, performed by famed motorsports surgeon, Dr. Tom Bryan. He sustained two tibial fractures of the right leg - one just below the knee and one above the ankle - and a third, lower break of the fibula. In addition to repairing the injuries to the leg from this weekend's incident, plates and screws from a previous fracture were replaced. Bryan commented that Yates has some of the hardest bones he has ever worked on and that he broke two drill bits in the process.
Yates is resting comfortably and will remain in the hospital for several more days. Dr. Bryan indicated that the procedure went very well and that Yates could be back in action in as few as six weeks. He will certainly miss the Road Atlanta round of the 2010 AMA Pro National Guard American Superbike Championship in two weeks, but it is possible that he could return for the fourth round of the championship at Infineon, beginning May 14th.
Michael Jordan Motorsports will be giving Canadian Superbike rider Brett McCormick an evaluation at the Infineon test this week and will consider him as a possible replacement for Yates during his recovery. McCormick, from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, was the 2009 runner-up in the Canadian Superbike Championship and his results at the Infineon test will determine if he will be selected to fill in for the Yates.
The 2010 Michael Jordan Motorsports team's next event is the Superbike Showdown at Road Atlanta in Braselton on April 16-18th.
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HASLAM INCREASES WSBK LEAD WITH VALENCIA VICTORY
Team Suzuki Press Office - April 11th - Team Suzuki Alstare rider Leon Haslam stormed his way to victory in the first World Superbike Championship race at Valencia today and then followed it up with a hard-fought-for fourth in the second which increased his series lead to 18 points after three rounds.
But for braking problems in race two, Haslam would have been on course for another podium and an even bigger Championship lead.
In race one, team-mate Sylvain Guintoli was forced to take to the run-off area at the end of the back straight in order to avoid Leon Camier's crash and lost several places as he regained the track. In the end, he finished ninth. In the second race - run in two parts, because of a crash and subsequent red flag - Guintoli improved his position to finish sixth.
Behind Haslam in race one was Max Biaggi (Aprilia) James Toseland (Yamaha), with Troy Corser (BMW) fourth. The second race was won by Noriyuki Haga (Ducati) with Carlos Checa (Ducati) second and Biaggi third.
Leon Haslam - Race 1: 1st, Race 2: 4th:
"I made a reasonable start and was fourth at the end of the lap one and then just worked my way up to first by lap five. Once I was in the lead, I realised that the pace was not great and it all felt pretty easy for me. I expected that I would come under attack, but my Pit board signals showed that my lead was increasing! I kept a good pace and felt comfortable enough to ease the pace at the end.
"We made some small changes to the bike for race two - because of the hotter conditions - and managed to pass about five riders quite quickly despite not making a very good start. Then the race was stopped and we had to start again. We put a bit more preload on the front, but I began having brake problems before too long. The lever kept coming all the way back to the bar and that meant I couldn't be close to other riders and then pull out and pass them. I didn't feel confident braking and after three or four laps I was praying that the race would come to an end or that somebody in front would stop and I would get another podium. I am happy to be leading the series; delighted that I have increased the lead; and really looking forward to Assen - a circuit where I think our bike will go really well."
Sylvain Guintoli - Race 1: 9th, Race 2: 6th:
"I made a good start in race one and everything was going according to plan until Camier crashed right in front of me! I had to take to the run-off area to avoid hitting him or the bike and then had to do a bit of a three-point turn to get back on the track and that cost me time and places. I had fallen to 14th - from sixth - but had some good battles before finally finishing ninth.
"We didn't make any changes to the bike for race two, but the hotter temperature meant that the tyres didn't work as well as they had done in race one and I had many slides. Sixth was not so bad, but I'm not happy because I think we can do better. I feel better here than I did in Portimao because I have got my rhythm back. Now we just have to keep on progressing and improving and, with a little bit of luck, the results will come."
HAGA (DUCATI XEROX) RETURNS TO WINNING WAYS IN RACE 2 AT VALENCIA
Valencia (Spain), Sunday 11th April: having scored a solid fifth place finish in Race 1, Noriyuki Haga triumphed in Race 2 (which ran in two parts), finishing 25 thousandths of a second ahead of Carlos Checa. The win, on board his Ducati 1198, was far from easy as a red flag during the third lap led to a second heat, 20 laps in length. Michel Fabrizio was less lucky today, victim of a crash in the first race and returning to the box in Race 2, lamenting a lack of front brake consistency.
In the morning, during warm-up, Noriyuki had registered the fastest time (1m34.2), having completed a strong mini run. Michel concluded the brief session in eighth position.
In Race 1 neither Michel nor Nori made a particularly fast start and both were caught up in traffic. Michel made up a couple of positions but during the fifth lap, a lack of grip at the front, during braking, caused him to crash. Noriyuki pushed on despite a lack of rear traction and although he needed twelve laps before he could get past Crutchlow, the next lap he passed Rea and in four laps he had made up 1.5 seconds to catch Corser (BMW). Unfortunately however, after passing Troy at the final corner, the Australian again overtook Nori along the straight, leaving the Japanese rider in fifth position, just one tenth of a second behind Corser.
In Race 2, during the third lap a serious crash involving Andrews on the Kawasaki and Iannuzzo on the Honda led to a red flag. With all riders having completed three laps, the second heat was declared to be a 20-lap race and the grid was reset according to the results of “heat 1”. Noriyuki, this time starting from fifth position started well and after a few laps was already third, behind Checa and Biaggi. After twelve laps he got past Carlos and then past Max and from this point on he held the lead, crossing the line 0.806 of a second ahead of Biaggi and 1.282 seconds in front of Checa. This advantage cancelled out Checa’s advantage in the first heat and meant that Noriyuki had beaten the Spaniard by 0.025 of a second. Michel did not shine at the start of the race, losing a few positions in the first laps, only to recuperate a few in the following laps, before a problem with the front brake consistency caused him to lose confidence and return to the garage.
After this third round, Noriyuki Haga is in fourth position in the overall standings, with 79 points while his team-mate Michel lies in eighth, with 46 points. In the manufacturers standings, Ducati has 107 points behind Suzuki with 123 points.
Noriyuki Haga (Race 1 – 5th , Race 2 – winner)
“The track was a lot warmer in Race 1 than in the morning’s warm-up and I was lacking rear grip. The more I pushed, the more my 1198 slid around and this needed to be fixed before Race 2. Before that race we made a change, reverting to the setting we’d used in the warm-up and it worked well. I was able to push hard, stick with Biaggi and Checa and eventually pass them. I’m very happy to have been able to win today. I thank my team, Ducati of course, and all the sponsors who helped contribute to this great result.”
Michel Fabrizio (Race 1 – DNF , Race 2 - DNF)
“It was a weekend to forget, we’ll turn the page and concentrate on the next race. Today in Race 1 I had good pace and was able to make up a couple of positions very quickly, but then I unexpectedly lost the front and found myself on the ground. We made some changes for the second race but the front brake was not consistent and I came back to the garage.”
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Yamaha's Hayes Posts Top Time at Infineon Raceway AMA Test Session
Thursday's Infineon Test Recap release, courtesy of Infineon Raceway
SONOMA, Calif. (April 1, 2010) - Yamaha riders Josh Hayes and Tommy Aquino posted the top times on Thursday as nearly 15 riders hit the track for an AMA Pro Road Racing test session, hosted by Team Graves Yamaha, at Infineon Raceway.
Hayes (Team Graves Yamaha) recorded the top time for AMA Pro National Guard American SuperBike on Thursday over the 12-turn, 2.22-mile road course at 1 minute, 36.72 seconds, while teammate Aquino was quickest in AMA Pro Daytona SportBike presented by AMSOIL at 1:39.29.
The teams are testing in advance of the West Coast Moto Jam, May 14-16, in the Sonoma Valley.
Fourteen riders from eight teams, including Rockstar Makita Suzuki, Michael Jordan Motorsports and Pat Clark Motorsports attended the test, which concluded on Friday.
Hayes was followed by Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammates Blake Young (1:36.78) and Tommy Hayden (1:37.37). Hayes claimed his first American SuperBike win at Infineon Raceway last year; the first win for a non-Suzuki rider in Sonoma since 2006.
In Daytona SportBike, Aquino was followed by teammate Josh Herrin (1:39.81) and Steve Rapp (1:40.12, Team Latus Motorsports).
AMA Pro Road Racing Series Test Session
Infineon Raceway, Sonoma
The top times from Thursday's test session over the 12-turn, 2.22-mile road course at Infineon Raceway. Unofficial times provided by AMA Pro Road Racing:
1. Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 1:36.72
2. Blake Young (Suzuki) 1:36.78
3. Tommy Hayden (Suz) 1:37.37
4. Ben Bostrom (Yam) 1:37.48
5.Jake Zemke (Suzuki) 1:37.61
6. Larry Pegram (Ducati) 1:37.63
7. Brett McCormick (Suz) 1:38.64
8. Chris Clark (Yamaha) 1:41.51
1. Tommy Aquino (Yam) 1:39.29
2. Josh Herrin (Yamaha) 1:39.81
3. Steve Rapp (Ducati) 1:40.12
4. Dave Westby (Yam) 1:40.90
5. Clinton Seller (Yam) 1:41.17
6. Tyler Odom (Honda) 1:45.89
Wild Card Applications
Being Accepted for World Superbike and World Supersport at Miller Motorsports Park
TOOELE VALLEY, UTAH (March 19, 2010) — Applications are now being accepted from qualified riders interested in competing as Wild Card and one-event entries in the Utah USA Round of the HANNspree FIM Superbike World Championship and the FIM Supersport World Championship at Miller Motorsports Park.
The Utah USA Round will take place over the weekend of May 29-31, 2010. The deadline for Wild Card and one-event applications is April 23, 2010. As the host federation, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is handling the processing of applications and nominations. The requirements and application are available at the following location:
Completed forms and supporting information should be sent to:
INFRONT MOTOR SPORTS ORGANISATION – Italy
Fax: +39 06 50966 440
There will be two Wild Card riders each for World Superbike and World Supersport nominated by the AMA. Infront Motor Sports will select the additional one-entry positions available (two for World Superbike, 10 for World Supersport).
Applicants should note that this is an international event, and rules differ from national events. The rules are available from the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme at www.fim.ch. It should also be noted that Wild Card entrants in the HANNspree FIM Superbike World Championship and the FIM Supersport World Championship races are prohibited from competing in National Support Events at the same event.
Questions about the Wild Card applications should be directed to AMA Deputy Director of Racing Bill Cumbow at firstname.lastname@example.org