It's good to be King..... Max left the Phillip Island World Superbike season opener with 1-2 race finishes.
InFront FIM World Superbike Championship, Roud 1 of 14 Phillip Island
Biaggi and Checa share wins as opening day provides thrills aplenty
Reversal of Fortunes at Phillip Island 2012 World Superbike Season Opener
Phillip Island ,Australia, Sunday 26 February 2012 – A truly remarkable day of racing at the opening round of the FIM Superbike World Championship season saw two former World Champions win races, four manufacturers propel their machines onto the podium and the 4.445km Australian circuit provide some classic moments for the 64,500 strong weekend crowd as the championship begins its 25th Anniversary celebrations in earnest.
2010 champion Max Biaggi Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing) and 2011 title winner Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) were the two dominant figures in each 22-lap race, but each had dramatic moments in the other races, one more costly than the other. Biaggi leaves as the points leader after fighting back from last in race two to second place, finding himself five points shy of perfection on the opening weekend.
Despite some troubled times in recent testing Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) punched above his pre-race weight to jump onto the podium in race one, while pole winner Tom Sykes carried on his strong testing and qualifying form with a podium place in race two. Sylvain Guintoli (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) put his 2011 Phillip Island nightmare raceday behind him with a particularly sweet third in the opener, finishing right on Melandri’s tail.
In the championship standings, Melandri is 15 points behind Biaggi’s total of 45, and one point ahead of Sykes, who has 29 points. Checa is fourth with 25 points.
Biaggi (3) slices through the field in Race Two after running off track and having to recover from last place.
Superbike Race One - Checa crashes out while leading, Biaggo runs away
Biaggi won the first encounter by seven seconds from Melandri and third was a closely following Sylvian Guintoli after a dramatic contest on many levels. Checa crashed out of the race while leading, suffering a fast high-side fall on the final corner early in the race. He was uninjured but bruised and took no points. Spots of rain appeared on the riders’ visors and TV camera lenses at two separate stages of the race but to no real effect for the majority of the riders and it continued as a dry race. Sykes took fourth place after leading early on, with Jakub Smrz fifth on his Liberty Racing Team Effenbert Ducati. Michel Fabrizio (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) was sixth, from a fading Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team). Biaggi set a new lap record of 1 minute 31.785 seconds, finally beating Troy Corser’s previous raceday best, which was set way back in 2007.
Max Biaggi: “It was a very nice race, at the start with Carlos battling for the lead. Then suddenly he high-sided. When I was behind him a big stone hit my windscreen and then it started to do a little shower in one corner. So I had to stayed focused towards the end and with three laps to go my front tyre was sliding. But it’s a great result, it’s a new team with new people, my motivation is very high, the team did a great job.”
Melandri gave BMW their highest finish ever in World Superbike in his first race for the team.
Marco Melandri: “I’m so happy with the result and happy to give BMW their best result. I didn’t think it was possible before the race. I knew we were struggling more in practice than in the race but I have never made a long-run so far in the season so I wasn’t sure. The team have been working awesome and in the race the rear tyre did a really good job.”
Sylvain Guintoli: “I didn’t even think about what happened to me last year here. In the race I knew I had the bike set-up to get a podium. I sort of stepped back a bit in the early part to save the tyres then when I saw Tom was slowing down I thought now’s the time to push hard. He was very hard to overtake. In the last two laps I was sliding all over the place but I really enjoyed that race.”
Superbike Race One Results: 1. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 34'13.963 (171,397 kph); 2. Melandri M. (ITA)BMW S1000 RR 7.104; 3. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 7.378; 4. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10R 12.189; 5. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 16.424; 6. Fabrizio M. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 20.200; 7. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 20.223; 8. Aoyama H. (JPN) Honda CBR1000RR 24.108; 9. Giugliano D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 28.072; 10. Staring B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX-10R 34.232; 11. Zanetti L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 34.450; 12 Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 35.648; 13. Berger M. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 36.392; 14. Salom D. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 41.500; 15. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 42.086; etc.
Carlos Checa and the Althea team celebrate their Race Two win.
Superbike Race Two - Biaggi of track on opening lap, Checa runs away
Checa recovered from his big race one crash to post his first win of the year but arguably an even greater performance came from second place man Biaggi. Checa hit the front early on but Biaggi had run off track on lap one, kept his bike upright and rejoined last. He then fought through to take a second place and a clear championship lead. Sykes overhauled a slowing Rea in a breathtaking final lap to get his first dry weather Kawasaki podium, after Rea’s tyres had been used up. Race two was held in track conditions twelve degrees hotter than race one. The injured Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) put in a gritty ride to secure fifth place while his team-mate Melandri was one place behind.
Carlos Checa: “I’m really satisfied, even more so after the crash in race 1. I’m OK now after winning, I think it’s the best anti-inflammatory I can take today! The team worked hard many days in Australia preparing for the race and to leave this country and track with a crash was not the best result. It wasn’t easy in race 2, I was pushing hard but I did not know where Biaggi was and I knew he had a strong pace to catch me. Shame about the crash but we are happy here to be winning!”
Max Biaggi: “I’m very happy, we did so much hard work to get into the top 5. When you are down in 15th or 16th position your bike is moving around all over the place. Once again we are first and second, we did a good job. Tom is a difficult man to pass! He touched my brake lever, which turned up so lucky I stayed on the bike. I cut all the way through turn 1, jumped into turn 2 and said ‘OK, let’s go!’. I was very motivated and did a good result.”
Tom Sykes: “Let’s be honest, Kawasaki have done a fantastic job over the winter and the ZX-10R has worked well during testing and over the full race weekend. Unfortunately today the high winds definitely affected us more than the other guys but other than that it’s a very strong weekend for myself and Kawasaki to come away with a third and fourth at what is not one of our best circuits. It’s all very promising, now we’re looking forward to Europe and hopefully I can stay strong there.”
An injured Leon Haslem (91) beat teammate Melandri (33) in Race Two, as they also fight here with Berger on the Effernbert Beer Ducati.
Superbike Race Two Results: 1. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 34'26.728 (170,339 kph); 2. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 5.707; 3. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10R 12.521; 4. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR; 12.655; 5. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 18.179; 6. Melandri M. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 18.831;7. Berger M. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 18.939; 8.Laverty E. (IRL) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 19.478; 9. Aoyama H. (JPN); Honda CBR1000RR 19.554; 10. Canepa N. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 26.289;11. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 26.479; 12. Camier L. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R1000 29.145; 13. Giugliano D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 36.482; 14. Zanetti L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 38.113; 15. Brookes J. (AUS) Suzuki GSX-R1000 43.234; etc.
Points (after 1 of 14 rounds): 1. Biaggi 40; 2. Melandri 30; 3. Sykes 29; 4. Checa 25; 5. Rea 22; 6. Guintoli 16; 7. Smrz 16; 8. Haslam 15; 9. Aoyama 15; 10. Berger 12; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Aprilia 45; 2. Ducati 41; 3. BMW 31; 4. Kawasaki 29; 5. Honda 22; 6. Suzuki 4.
Sofuoglu's first ride for Kawsaki neted him the 600cc Supersport win
World Supersport to Sofuoglu
Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki DeltaFin Lorenzini) returned to the 600cc Supersport World Championship in the best form possible as he took the race win from his old rival Fabien Foret (Kawasaki Intermoto Step Racing). The leading fight had up to seven riders in it for most of the 15-lap race distance, until Sofuoglu stretched out a lead that Foret could not quite run down on the final lap.
Slow starting pole man Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda) battled to third, ahead of impressive rookie Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda) and Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda). Sofuoglu’s team-mate Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki DeltaFin Lorenzini) was sixth. Power team by Suriano Triumph riders Alex Baldolini and Vittorio Iannuzzo were eighth and ninth respectively. As this is the first round of the championship, the points standings follow the race order.
Supersport 600cc Results: 1. Sofuoglu K. (TUR) Kawasaki ZX-6R 24'08.130 (165,752 kph); 2. Foret F. (FRA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 0.078; 3.Parkes B. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 2.038; 4. Cluzel J. (FRA) Honda CBR600RR 2.113; 5. Lowes S. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 4.955; 6. Morais S. (RSA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 6.812; 7. Quarmby R. (RSA) Honda CBR600RR 11.592; 8. Baldolini A. (ITA) Triumph Daytona 675 16.761; etc.
Points (after 1 of 13 rounds): 1. Sofuoglu 25; 2. Foret 20; 3. Parkes 16; 4. Cluzel 13; 5. Lowes 11; 6. Morais 10; 7. Quarmby 9; 8. Baldolini 8; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 25; 2. Honda 16; 3. Triumph 8; 4. Yamaha 5.
Sykes starts at the front after cancellation of Tissot-Superpole
SATURDAY QUALIFYING: Phillip Island,AustraliaFeb 25th 2012: Kawasaki Racing Team rider Tom Sykes will start from pole position for the third time in his career at the opening round of the year by heading the field after combined qualifying. Tissot-Superpole today was cancelled after a fatal accident suffered by young Australian Superstock 600 rider Oscar McIntyre in a support race before the session was due to start.
Tom Sykes: “Pole position has come with mixed emotions because of some very bad news and first and foremost I want to pass on my condolences to the family and friends of Oscar McIntyre. As far as our on-track weekend has worked out so far, yesterday we just made sure things were right with the bike and pushed a bit more in this morning’s qualifying session in cooler conditions.”
Second on the grid for Sunday’s two 22-lap Superbike races will be Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing) who was 0.54 seconds behind Sykes. World Champion Carlos Checa secured third spot while another Ducati rider, Jakub Smrz on the Liberty Racing machine, completed the front row.
Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli was fifth on his Effenbert Liberty Racing vee-twin, and Leon Camier was sixth on his Crescent Fixi Suzuki. Niccolò Canepa (Red Devils Roma Ducati) was an impressive top seven qualifier, with the last place on row two being taken by Honda World Superbike official rider Jonathan Rea.
Infront Motor Sports and the entire SBK paddock offer their condolences to the McIntyre family and all those affected by his loss.
Superpole was cancelled to allow the authorities to carry out the necessary routine investigations regarding the accident. The track was then reopened 90 minutes later than scheduled for the subsequent Supersport qualifying session.
In World Superbike history the last time Superpole was cancelled was at Donington in 1998 due to the snow.
Times: 1. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'31.323; 2. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'31.477; 3. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 1'31.621; 4. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 1'31.783; 5. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 1'31.832; 6. Camier L. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'31.904; 7. Canepa N. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1'31.953; 8. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1'31.959; 9. Berger M. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 1'31.966; 10. Fabrizio M. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1'32.068; 11. Laverty E. (IRL) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'32.069; 12. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 1'32.082; 13. Melandri M. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1'32.123; 14. Giugliano D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1'32.198; 15. Davies C. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'32.338; 16. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'32.411; etc.
Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda) secured the first pole of the season on his Honda CBR600RR with a 1 minute 34.445 second lap, set this afternoon in the final qualifying session. On the combined qualifying sheets a late charge from Bogdanka PTR Honda rider Sam Lowes made sure he would lead Frenchman Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda) making it three CBR riders in the top three places.
Kawasaki riders monopolised the next three spots, with Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki DeltaFin Lorenzini), Fabien Foret (Kawasaki Intermoto Step) and Sofuglu’s team-mate Sheridan Morais completing the top six grid places. Italian rider Alex Baldolini (Power Team by Suriano Triumph) was seventh and the second row of the grid was completed by Balazs Nemeth (Racing Team Toth).
Times: 1. Parkes B. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 1'34.445; 2. Lowes S. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 1'34.461; 3. Cluzel J. (FRA) Honda CBR600RR 1'34.558; 4. Sofuoglu K. (TUR) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'34.577; 5. Foret F. (FRA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'34.791; 6. Morais S. (RSA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'34.998; 7. Baldolini A. (ITA) Triumph Daytona 675 1'35.013;
8. Nemeth B. (HUN) Honda CBR600RR 1'35.296; etc.
Jonthan Rea on the factory Honda.
Rea leaves it late to be fastest on the first day of the season
FRIDAY PRACTICE: Phillip Island, Australia, Friday Feb 24 February 2012 – Jonathan Rea pulled off the surprise of the day in first qualifying at Phillip Island as the Honda World Superbike man put in the only sub-1m32s lap in the last couple of minutes to head the field. Rea's time of 1 minute 31.959 seconds put him in front of three Ducati riders, who had dominated the session until then. Second place went to Jakub Smrz on the Liberty Racing machine, followed by Superstock 1000 champion Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) in third and his team-mate Carlos Checa in fourth. The Italian rookie actually led at one point, before the others put in faster laps close to the end of the 45-minute session.
Jonathan Rea: “Going fastest was a pleasant surprise and also kind of our plan. We went out and got on a decent pace right away, sort of 1’32 lap times, but with old tyres. Then we developed a problem with the bike and we lost a bit of time during the session. When we did go out again I went out with what I think the race tyre is going to be fitted to the rear, but it did not have the pace of the tyre I used at the end. I did about ten laps on that tyre, all very consistent but it was not going to be the fastest lap of the day. I came in to the pits near the end and got a new tyre then went out and we got a bit of a feel good factor; just to see that we were not that far away from the pace really.”
Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing) was next up in fifth place ahead of the Red Devils Roma Ducati of another rookie Niccolò Canepa, while the final two places on the provisional second row went to the two Kawasaki Racing Team riders, Tom Sykes and Joan Lascorz. Lascorz had a fall in the timed session, Sykes a tumble in the earlier free practice session. Joshua Brookes (Crescent Suzuki), Checa and Maxime Berger (Effenbert Liberty) all went off during the official session, but without any consequences, while Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing) again crashed, picking up a head knock, but was declared fit after medical checks. Italian stars Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) and Michel Fabrizio (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) rounded out the top ten places. Top Suzuki rider was Leon Camier (Crescent Fixi Suzuki) with privateer Aprilia rider Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Racing) 13th from 25 entrants. Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) returned to the track today after his big testing crash and did three laps to see how his recovery from very recent surgery was holding up. He set a 1’33.5 lap time and has qualified to race if he is deemed fit enough to do so.
Times: 1. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1'31.959; 2. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 1'32.116; 3. Giugliano D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1'32.198; 4. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 1'32.228; 5. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'32.318; 6. Canepa N. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1'32.343; 7. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'32.402; 8. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'32.443; 9. Melandri M. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1'32.553; 10. Fabrizio M. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1'32.609; 11. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 1'32.644; 12. Camier L. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'32.817; 13. Davies C. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'32.874; 14. Staring B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'32.884; 15. Aoyama H. (JPN) Honda CBR1000RR 1'33.040; 16. Berger M. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 1'33.075; etc.
Superbike records at Phillip Island
Fastest Lap: Troy Corser (Yamaha) 1'31"826 (2007)
Best Lap: Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1'30"882 (2011)
Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda) is the man most on form in World Supersport, the Aussie powering his Honda CBR600RR to the quickest time in 1 minute 34.532 seconds on the first day of qualifying. Parkes was just 26 thousandths of a second ahead of Frenchman Jules Cluzel on a PTR Honda machine, a new arrival on this year's Supersport grid and one of the stars of recent winter testing.
Third place went to Sam Lowes from the Bogdanka side of the PTR operation, with two former champions, Fabien Foret (Kawasaki Intermoto Step) and Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki DeltaFin Lorenzini), next up. Alex Baldolini was the top Italian in sixth place, a good effort on the Power Team by Suriano Triumph, but team-mate Vittorio Iannuzzo crashed and dropped down the order.
East European riders are also making major progress in these early stages, with Hungarian Balazs Nemeth (Racing Team Toth) ahead of Czech Lukas Pesek (PRORACE Honda) in seventh and eighth respectively.
Times: 1. Parkes B. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 1'34.532; 2. Cluzel J. (FRA) Honda CBR600RR 1'34.558; 3. Lowes S. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 1'34.564; 4. Foret F. (FRA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'34.791; 5. Sofuoglu K. (TUR) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'34.807; 6. Baldolini A. (ITA) Triumph Daytona 675 1'35.013; 7. Nemeth B. (HUN) Honda CBR600RR 1'35.296; 8. Pesek L. (CZE) Honda CBR600RR 1'35.526; etc.
Supersport records at Phillip Island
Fastest Lap: Fabien Foret (Honda) 1'34.941 (168.485 km/h) - 2011
Best Lap: Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki) 1'33.847 (170.512 km/h) - 2010
Preview - Countdown in Australia for World Superbike's 25th Anniversary
Phillip Island, Australia, February19th 2012: The clock is ticking down in Australia towards the start of the 25th edition of the FIM Superbike World Championship. With 24 permanent riders on the grid and the participation of six manufacturers (Aprilia, BMW, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki and Suzuki) the 2012 championship is sure to live up to expectations once again this year and with at least ten potential race winners, everything is set for another exciting season of World Superbike racing.
As is traditional the production-based racing championship kicks off at Phillip Island (Australia), one of the fastest and most spectacular circuits on the entire calendar. The first of 14 rounds will be preceded by two days of official tests, organized by Infront Motor Sports, on Monday 20 and Tuesday 21 February. This will be the last chance for teams, riders and bikes to go through their final fine-tuning before action gets underway later on in the week.
It was one year ago at Phillip Island that Carlos Checa began an extraordinary march towards the first world title in his career. With 15 wins in 26 races the Spanish ace took Italian manufacturer Ducati back to the top slot after a gap of two years. The Althea Racing man was also quickest in last week’s private testing here, confirming his current outstanding form on the Island. “Our Ducati 1198R is six kilos heavier this year with the regulation weight penalty, so we’ve had to modify the bike set-up,” explained Checa. “We also successfully tested some new Ohlins front forks. I’m happy with my lap time of 1 minute 31.8 seconds but now we have to do the most important test, over race distance. Both me and the team are focused on what we have to do, which is to hold on to the world title."
Last week’s big surprise in testing was Kawasaki, who placed Tom Sykes right behind the reigning champion on all three days. “Through all our tests we have explored a lot of areas and gathered a lot of information, but finally it looks like our base setting from winter testing is pretty good” said Sykes. “It is difficult to see exactly where our competitors are at in terms of set-up but ultimately we have had a successful test and have set ourselves up nicely for the official tests. We’ve also been quick on a race tyre and that’s the most important thing.”
Max Biaggi, back in black again this year for the new liveried Aprilia Racing Team, will line up at the age of 40 for his 23rd season of racing with the aim of taking back the number one plate he conquered in 2010. On a difficult track for the Italian bike, Aprilia have made up a lot of ground here in testing, even though “it will be almost impossible to beat Ducati on this track” as Biaggi himself admitted. "I have a new team with me this year and the feeling between us is getting better day after day. We’ve prepared well for the year ahead and we’re ready for battle."
It will also be a crucial season for BMW Motorrad, who enter their fourth year with new signing Marco Melandri and the confirmed Leon Haslam trying to score the German manufacturer’s first win in World Superbike. In last week’s testing the British rider lapped just four-tenths off the pace of Checa on soft tyres while Melandri was over one second behind. “We still have some issues with the front of the bike, and I need to get more confidence,” declared the Italian. “We still have two more days of testing before we go into the first race weekend, and I hope we are going to have good weather then.”
The test proved to be a bit of a setback for Aprilia’s new signing Eugene Laverty, who crashed at turn 1, fracturing a bone in his left hand. “It’s a bit painful but with the help of my specialist hopefully I won’t miss the race” said Laverty. “The same thing happened to me a few years ago and five days later I was back on the bike”. The hopes of seeing Crescent Fixi Suzuki star John Hopkins race however are minimal, as the American broke a bone in his right hand and immediately flew to the USA to visit a specialist. Hopkins will probably be replaced by reserve rider Joshua Brookes from Australia, who tested the team’s GSX-R last week.
All eyes will also be on the talented rider from Northern Ireland Jonathan Rea, who lines up for another year on a Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade, flanked by Superbike rookie Hiroshi Aoyama from Japan, while the British contingent is completed by Leon Camier (Crescent Fixi Suzuki) and 2011 Supersport champion Chaz Davies, who steps up to World Superbike on an Aprilia together with his ParkinGO team.
World Supersport 600cc
Australia will also see the start of the 14th season of World Supersport racing reserved for racing bikes from the mid-sized production-based sector. Despite the current economic climate the entry-list is stronger than ever with over 30 riders from 14 different countries, on machines from Honda, Kawasaki, Triumph and Yamaha. In winter testing strong times were recorded by Turkey’s double Supersport champion Kenan Sofuoglu, who has returned to the category to try and win a third title, this time on a Kawasaki DeltaFin Lorenzini.
But Supersport, with its elbow-to-elbow racing and late braking moves, is so unpredictable and any number of riders can win. These are sure to include another former champion Fabien Foret (Kawasaki Intermoto), Broc Parkes from Australia (Ten Kate Honda), and Britain’s Sam Lowes, one of six riders spread over three different PTR Honda managed teams, an unprecedented operation in modern-day bike racing. Completing the international line-up in Supersport are two South Africans, two Hungarians, three Russians, two Czechs and a total of eight Italians, all aiming to become the heir to last year’s winner Chaz Davies.
2012 World Superbike Entry List
Ducati will not race the new 1199 Panigale in World Supersport, old 1198 gets 6 kilo weight penalty
Rome, Italy February 10th - InFront World Superbike has just released it list of team riders and approved homologated motorcycles for the 2012 World Superbike season. Of note is the loss of rider Nori Haga who ws released from the Panta Aprila team, and has just found a ride in the British Superbike Championship with Swan Yamaha. Also of interest is that Ducati has not homologated its new 1199 Panigale to race in European Superstock 1000 as stated they would earlier, with last year's 1000 Superstock Champion Davide Giugliano moving to the Superbike class with Althea teammate and World Champion Carols Checa on the old Ducati 1198RS bike with a newly added 6 kilo / 13.2 lb weight penalty.
No. / Rider Name / BIke / Team
1 3 Max Biaggi ITA Aprilia RSV4 1000 F Aprilia Racing Team
2 58 Eugene Laverty IRL Aprilia RSV4 1000 F Aprilia Racing Team
3 7 Carlos Checa ESP Ducati 1098R Althea Racing
4 34 Davide Giugliano ITA Ducati 1098R Althea Racing
5 50 Sylvain Guintoli FRA Ducati 1098R Team Effenbert Liberty Racing
6 96 Jakub Smrz CZE Ducati 1098R Team Effenbert Liberty Racing
7 33 Marco Melandri ITA BMW S1000 RR BMW Motorrad Motorsport
8 91 Leon Haslam GBR BMW S1000 RR BMW Motorrad Motorsport
9 4 Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Honda CBR1000RR Honda World Superbike Team
10 65 Jonathan Rea GBR Honda CBR1000RR Honda World Superbike Team
11 84 Michel Fabrizio ITA BMW S1000 RR BMW Motorrad Italia GOLDBET SBK Team
12 86 Ayrton Badovini ITA BMW S1000 RR BMW Motorrad Italia GOLDBET SBK Team
13 78 Lorenzo Zanetti ITA Ducati 1098R PATA Racing Team
14 17 Joan Lascorz ESP Kawasaki ZX-10R Kawasaki Racing Team
15 66 Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki ZX-10R Kawasaki Racing Team
16 36 Leandro Mercado ARG Kawasaki ZX-10R Team Pedercini
17 44 David Salom ESP Kawasaki ZX-10R Team Pedercini
18 21 John Hopkins USA Suzuki GSX-R1000 Crescent Suzuki
19 2 Leon Camier GBR Suzuki GSX-R1000 Crescent Suzuki
20 Mark Aitchison AUS BMW S1000 RR Grillini Progea Superbike Team
21 121 Maxime Berger FRA Ducati 1098R Liberty Racing - Team Effenbert
22 19 Chaz Davies GBR Aprilia RSV4 1000 F ParkinGO Aprilia Racing Team
23 35 Raffaele De Rosa ITA Honda CBR1000RR Pro Ride Motorsports
24 59 Niccolò Canepa ITA Ducati 1098R Team Ducati Roma
Sykes the man to beat after 2nd Round of Phillip Island testing
Phillip Island ,Australia, Tuesday 21 February 2012: Tom Sykes was ultimately the man of the moment in two days of Superbike testing at Phillip Island, the Kawasaki man holding onto the top slot in today’s warmer afternoon session that saw only two riders improve. Sykes’s time of 1 minute 31.648 seconds remains the benchmark as the riders now gear up for the opening round of the 2012 FIM Superbike World Championship this coming weekend.
Tom Sykes: “We were fast this morning and also this afternoon in hot conditions, improving our time compared to yesterday. Overall we did a bit more testing today and certainly stumbled across a couple of good things, and at the end we did 14 laps on race tyres and it was very consistent, with the times coming easier than they were doing with previous settings. Kawasaki has made a massive effort over the winter period and there is no doubt the latest Ninja ZX-10R racebike has improved a lot from last year’s feedback so this year it was only natural to progress.”
Second place overall went to 2011 champion Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati), who ended up just a whisker behind. The Spaniard set the quickest time of the warmer afternoon session and then packed up for the rest of the day.
Carlos Checa: “We finished our job this morning and we just were testing a little bit more to confirm different things, and once I had confirmed that the ‘war’ was over. I feel comfortable, finally, with the last settings. We used the large tyre and the small tyre, and we worked out which settings to use for each one, and we just wanted to save the bike and the engine for the weekend, when the conditions will probably be a bit different and we will need to know which tyres will come for the race. Our base set-up is comfortable, this track is good for Ducati and I believe we did a good job from the first test until now.”
Jakub Smrz (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert) was third on another Ducati 1098R, not far off the pace of the top 2, while Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike) was the only other rider to get into the 1 minute 32 seconds bracket. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing) showed remarkable consistency as he took the fifth slot, while Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad) failed to improve on day 2 and his time set yesterday was good enough for sixth. Superbike rookie Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Ducati) crashed harmlessly for the third time in this test but was impressive enough for seventh, while Leon Camier (Crescent Suzuki) completed the top 8.
Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad) will undergo an operation Thursday to have two screws put in his right tibia fracture, then a decision will be taken as to whether or not he can race this weekend.
After five days of testing – private and official – the Superbike teams and riders now have a chance to wind down before opening round action begins on Friday.
Superbike Times (Monday-Tuesday): 1.Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'31”648; 2. Checa (Ducati) 1'31”652; 3. Smrz (Ducati) 1'31”800; 4. Rea (Honda) 1'31”913; 5. Biaggi (Aprilia) 1'32”034; 6. Melandri (BMW) 1'32”232; 7. Giugliano (Ducati) 1'32”319; 8. Camier (Suzuki) 1'32”320; 9. Guintoli (Ducati) 1'32”347; 10. Haslam (BMW) 1'32”397; 11. Lascorz (Kawasaki) 1'32”540; 12. Fabrizio (BMW) 1'32”605; 13. Canepa (Ducati) 1'32”746; 14. Aoyama (Honda) 1'32”910; 15. Berger (Ducati) 1'32”911; 16. Badovini (BMW) 1'32”948; etc.
Superbike records at Phillip Island
Fastest Lap: Troy Bayliss (Ducati) 1'31"826 (2007)
Superpole: Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1'30"882 (2011)
Best Lap: Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1'30"826 (2011)
21th Anniversary Celebration! Sunday July 22nd 2012
Angeles Calendar Motorcycle Show Concours d' Elegance
Calabasas Country Club, Calabasas, California
Los Angeles, Feb 10th, 2012 - The 2012 Calendar Bike Show continues its now 21-year tradition as the premier outdoor streetbike event in America with top Celebrity Builders, the upscale Calendar Bike Building Championship & Concours d' Elegance, selected Vendors and Exhibitors, Calendar Girl Music live performances. As always the Show marks the world premier of next year's new 2013 FastDates.com Motorcycle PinUp Calendars featuring the world's top roadrace and custom motorcycles with the beautiful Calendar Kittens also featured at the Show.
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The Official SBK
These SBK Yearbooks are the Best Books Ever about World Superbike
They feature wesome color photography of the riders, bike and racing action. The feature a deailed revue of the past season in pictures and stactics, awith a detailed look at the bikes and riders.
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SBK 2011 Video Game
Indonesia’s Sentul Circuit joins FIM Superbike World Championship in 2013
Phillip Island (Australia), Tuesday 21 February 2012: Maurizio Flammini, President of Infront Motor Sports, signed a contract on February 15 to bring back the FIM Superbike World Championship to Indonesia, after a gap of 15 years, for five years starting in 2013. The contract was signed in the presence of Minister Dr. H.R. Agung Laksono (photo), who coordinates the work of five different ministries that include the Ministry of Sport, as well as numerous leading figures from the worlds of politics, sport and business.
The Indonesian Government will furthermore start up the promotion of the event by means of the creation of a government task force that will sustain the economic, logistical, promotion and administrative requirements of the organiser.
Maurizio Flammini declared: “We are proud of the growth of the Superbike calendar, which thanks to the inclusion of the latest rounds is obtaining a presence in countries of major importance for the development of our championship on a sporting and commercial level. After Russia, where Superbike has now arrived before any other world motorsport championship, thanks to more than two years of intense work in the Asian area, we have now been able to insert Indonesia, which has in the past already played host to a race of considerable success and appeal, in the calendar.
Indonesia today is a country with the largest growth factors: GDP is more than one trillion dollars, with a 2011 growth of more than 6%, and the sale of bikes widely exceeds 7 million units per year. The Superbike race will therefore be a great opportunity for the motorcycle manufacturers present in our championship.
We are also negotiating with the Buddh International Circuit in India, where the Formula 1 race was recently held, in order to complete a presence in Asia that in this case will be absolutely extraordinary”.
It should also be added that Superbike, together with its sponsors, teams and entrepreneurs, will be able to benefit from the agreements that Maurizio Flammini, as President of FEDERLAZIO and PMItalia, organisations that represent more than 30,000 Italian firms, has started with the Indonesian Government to set up close collaboration between the companies of the two continents and the creation of B2B opportunities.
The Sentul Circuit has its own particular fascination, both due to its natural environment in the middle of a tropical forest, and due to its technical and design features.
Indonesia also makes up an extraordinary market for bikes, with a total of 7,400,000 units sold in 2010 and an estimated 10% increase for 2011, a figure that will shortly be available. In addition the Government also provides subsidies for fuel used for circulation on two wheels.
The date for the Superbike round will be decided shortly. The two possibilities being considered are at the start of the championship together with Australia, or the final round of the season.
Paolo Flammini, CEO of Infront Motor Sports, declared: “The arrival of the Indonesian round in the Superbike World Championship calendar confirms the growing interest in our series and undoubtedly helps to complete a championship that touches all the world’s motorcycle markets and which continues to offer increasingly significant opportunities for the motorcycle industry, sponsors and media”.
The Devil Made Us Do It!
Testing the Ducati Diavel in Italy
Hero MotoCorp Ltd., a motorcycle OEM based in India, announced this week that it has formed a strategic partnership with Erik Buell Racing.
Also to sponsors Burll AMA Superbike team
The goal of the partnership is for Hero to get technology and design input from EBR, bring next-generation high-end motorcycles to India and augment the company’s R&D capabilities. Hero and East Troy, Wis.-based EBR will also be developing the Leap, a concept hybrid scooter that Hero showcased at the India Auto Expo. Pawan Munjal, director and CEO of Hero, said his R&D team and EBR have already begun working together and have made “definitive progress.”
“It gives me immense pleasure to welcome Erik Buell to the exciting world of Hero MotoCorp. This is in keeping with my objective of quickly scaling up our own in-house R&D capabilities to a global two-wheeler technology powerhouse by leveraging a network of strategic international alliances,” he said. “Erik and his team have been working closely with our engineers and designers to develop our next-generation range of products with cutting-edge technology and first-of-its-kind features.”
Erik Buell, chairman and CTO of EBR added, “EBR is delighted to partner with a company as iconic as Hero MotoCorp. Both HMCL and EBR share the common commitment to manufacturing world-class two-wheelers with technology of the future. I have personally been deeply impressed with and inspired by Pawan’s vision. He has given us a challenging brief, and our highly motivated team is working towards giving shape to that dream. We look forward to designing technology solutions which are in line with contemporary global standards and also futuristic in their appeal and utility.”
The agreement is also resulting in Hero’s first foray into racing, as the company will sponsor both Team Hero and team AMSOIL Hero in the AMA Pro Racing Superbike Championships this year. Danny Eslick will ride for Team Hero, while Geoff May will represent team AMSOIL Hero, both on EBR 1190RS bikes. This announcement marks the first time an Indian motorcycle OEM has sponsored an AMA Superbike team.
Buell launched EBR about two years ago, after Harley-Davidson ceased production of Buell Motorcycles.
Sudco High Performance & OEM Replacement Parts
High Speed - the Movie
The best motorcycle racing movie ever made! Filmed on location at the World Superbike races , this an exciting romantic drama staring beautiful British actress Sienna Miller.
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