2014 Eni SBK World Superbike Championship, Assen, Netherlands Round 3 of 12
Sylvain Guintoli and Jonnny Rea Make it a Dutch Treat at Assen
Assen (the Netherlands), Sunday 27 April 2014 – The third round of the 2014 eni FIM Superbike World Championship, which saw an overall attendance of 52,252 spectators, reached its climax today with the two races held in completely different weather conditions at the Assen TT circuit. After the victory in the first encounter for Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team), Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea came out on top in the rain-hampered, 10 lap Race 2 to secure his fifth WSBK win on his team’s home track. In the same race, Rea’s compatriot Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) scored his maiden podium finish in the series, a brilliant second place.
Rea lies now fourth in the standings, only19 points shy of current leader and reigning Champion Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), with Guintoli and the other KRT rider Loris Baz second and third, respectively. Michael van der Mark was Pata Honda’s other hero of the day, as the Dutchman won his career maiden World Supersport race in front of a vocal and enthusiast home crowd. The next round of the season will take place at Imola in a fortnight’s time (May 9-11).
Jonathan Rea: “It’s been a really good weekend. To be honest, our dry pace was OK in race one but Sylvain (Guintoli) made such a fast start that I struggled to go with him. When Tom (Sykes) went past I made a big mistake but, after that, my pace until the end was quite similar to theirs. The win in race two was really special. For the last laps I just tried to be as smart as I could. This win’s for all those guys who have worked tirelessly to make the CBR as strong as possible. It’s great to be able to give them back some good vibes to roll with into the next part of the season.”
Alex Lowes: “It’s fantastic, it was a great race for me and it’s really good for the team for me to finally get on the podium! It was a wet race, so it’s never as nice as getting on the podium in the dry but I’m very happy and hopefully this can kick start our season after the injuries. It’s been a really difficult start to the year for me, and now I’ve got some good points on the board and a podium, I’m looking forward to hopefully improving both myself and the bike, and seeing if we can be a bit closer to the front in the dry!”
The race was classified dry and as the lights went out it was Guintoli who took the hole-shot with Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) and the Kawasaki Racing Team duo of Loris Baz and Tom Sykes giving chase.
The French rider started well to move out in front of the rest when the red lights went off and set an impossible pace for the rest of his rivals. Then in the second half of the race he defended his position in the lead with flying laps as Tom Sykes made a comeback. Sylvain carried out his duties as forerunner magnificently on a partially damp track with slick tyres, a terrible situation which did not compromise the race. As demonstrated by the record breaking lap set by his Aprilia (1’36.440) in the third lap. The race was called 4 laps from the end when the red flag came out due to a blown engine.
Pole sitter Loris Baz.
A red flag in the closing laps as Sykes was closing in on the leading Aprilia riders meant the result would stand with Rea finishing 3rd. Baz took 4th with Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) and Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) eventually classified 5th and 6th respectively a great race long battle.
Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing Ducati) finished a superb 10th position to end the race as the highest EVO category rider.
Christian Iddon (Team Bimota Alstare), Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) and Fabien Foret (Mahi Team India Kawasaki) all fell but should be able to take part in race two.
SUPERBIKE RACE 1: (Laps 16 = 72,672 Km)
Fastest Lap: 3° Sylvain Guintoli 1'36.440 169,548 Km/h
Jonthan Rea out front of Sykes and the rest of the field in a heavy downpour.
Race Two - Rain Shorted Race Awards the Win to Rea
With the restart of the race Rea hit the front early and pushed hard to get away from some recognised rain experts immediately behind him. His tactic worked perfectly as he led every lap, winning the much-delayed final ten lap race by 2.2 seconds, ahead of Alex Lowes (Suzuki) and Davide Giugliano (Ducati) who completed the podium in tricky conditions.
Rea achieved the 12th WSBK race win of his career, the fifth one at the Assen TT Circuit, whilst Lowes scored his maiden podium finish in the series and Giugliano the first top 3 placement of his new adventure as factory Ducati rider.
Lowes ahead of Sykes and Melandri in the pouring rain of Race Two.
Lowes, starting from ninth on the grid, battled hard on his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R to challenge the front runners, claiming second place on his fourth lap, and setting the first of his three fastest laps of the race. The British rider seemed unperturbed by the afternoon’s two restarts due to the forecasted heavy rain as he continued to hunt-down eventual winner, Honda’s Jonathan Rea. Closing the gap to the front, the Englishman set two further stunning laps, securing the Pirelli Fastest lap award with a 1’52.975 on his penultimate revolution, to claim his debut podium on only his third weekend on the world stage.
Lowes had previously mastered his best result of the championship so far with a ninth-placed finish in race one: battling with a number of riders, the rookie set his personal fastest time on the 12th lap before the race was prematurely ended on a red flag at lap 17, seeing Aprilia’s Sylvain Guintoli victorious.
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike) and Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) rounded out the top 6. Sylvain Guintoli crashed at the chicane on lap 2 but was fortunate enough to be able to remount to salvage 9th at the flag, behind pole sitter Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team), seventh, and Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team), eighth.
Just one error in the first part of Race 2 deprived Aprilia rider Sylvain Guintoli of a sensational double win that seemed already to be within reach after winning the first race. But the Dutch round brought the Aprilia team back into the limelight of the championship with the RSV4 proving to be worthy of its title as reigning Manufacturer World Champion.
Race 2 started off looking promising with first racw winner Sylvain Guintoli managed to get front runner Rea in his sights within a few turns. On the last chicane the poor grip cause him to crash. In any case, able to get going again in 18th place, Guintoli resumed his pace and finished the race in ninth place after a spectacular comeback.
Marco Melandri had a little more difficulty, finishing sixth in both races. The rider from Ravenna showed grit and determination in Race 2 until a “long” run in a turn knocked him out of the battle for a podium finish.
Suffering from the misfortunes of the previous day’s Superpole, Eugene Laverty had a race weekend to forget despite the promising form shown in the opening two days aboard his Suzuki GSX-R1000. With two difficult starts he rode hard to regain places, recording the highest speed of the weekend of 291.7km/h during race one, but ultimately succumbed to the conditions, crashing out of both races.
In the EVO class, Niccolo Canepa (Althea Racing Ducati) came home in 10th having the honour of being the first EVO classified rider in the race.
Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) Race result: 3rd / 1st
Alex Lowes 9th/2nd: “It’s fantastic; it was a great race for me and it’s really good for the team for me to finally get on the podium! It was a wet race, so it’s never as nice as getting on the podium in the dry but I’m very happy and hopefully this can kick-start our season after the injuries. It’s been a really difficult start to the year for me and now I’ve got some good points on the board and a podium, I’m looking forward to hopefully improving both myself and the bike; and seeing if we can be a bit closer to the front in the dry!”
Sylvain Guintoli: "It's a real shame about Race 2. Despite a less than perfect start I was making up ground without any difficulty. The slide in the second lap had nothing to do with any specific mistake. On a track that wet it simply doesn't take much at all. In spite of the blow to my back and damage to the footpeg and handlebar, I lapped fast and that really makes me angry because it's clear that I could have won Race 2 as well. In Race 1, on the other hand, I took some risks in the first few laps to try and increase the gap - a dangerous strategy but one that worked in the end. Before the race was called I was keeping an eye on Tom Sykes' comeback, trying to manage my advantage. I have to thank the entire team and the guys here at Aprilia Racing because they did a great job today. Even with the low temperatures my RSV4 was really working well. It just goes to show that everyone's efforts paid off."
SUPERBIKE RACE 2: (Laps 10 = 45,420 Km)
Fastest Lap: 9° Alexander Lowes 1'52.975 144,733 Km/h
CHAMPIONSHIP POSITIONS TILL DATE:
Van Der Mark Wins His First Supersport Race at Home
The 21-year-old Dutch rider led from lap two to the 18th and final tour around the 4.542km circuit, cheered on by his enthusiastic home crowd. He took the new lap record in what was his second podium scoring ride of the 2014 championship, on lap seven with a time of 1’38.587s. He had qualified on the front row in third place and scored his fifth career podium at this race.
‘Mikey’ became the first Dutch WSS race winner since 2004 and the first rider in the Ten Kate-operated WSS effort to win a race since 2011.
Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) felt confident of a good result and he duly scored fifth place in the race after starting from seventh place on the grid. He now occupies eighth place in the overall points standings. He improved on his qualifying performance by two positions in the race with his own home round coming up next, at Imola in Italy.
Another Italian rider, Raffaele De Rosa (CIA Insurance Honda) had a lonely race in eighth position, having started tenth on the grid. He found a good setup for the race with his team and used it to the full, but could not stay with the leading groups of riders and finished 21.3 seconds behind van der Mark.
Marco Bussolotti (Team Lorini Honda) had a fighting midfield ride to score points in 11th place, four seconds up on 13th placed Ratthapark Wilairot (Core PTR Honda). Bussolotti’s team-mate Riccardo Russo (Team Lorini Honda) was the final Honda points scorer in 14th.
SUPERSPORT 600 RACE: (Laps 18 = 81,756 Km)
Fastest Lap (New record): 7° Michael Vd Mark 1'38.587 165,856 Km/h
CHAMPIONSHIP POSITIONS TILL DATE:
Ayrton Badovini on the new Alstare Bimota BB3.
2014 MotoGP World Championshi, Teermas del Rio Honda Argentina Round 3 of 18
Marquez and Honda Go Three for Three at Argentina MotoGP
Argentine Grand Prix, Termas de Rio Hondo, Sunday, April 27, 2014 - Repsol Honda RC213V rider Marc Marquez claimed a classic third successive pole-to-victory win at Argentina’s brand-new Termas del Rio Honda circuit today, extending his championship lead in a perfect start to his season as defending World Champion.The factory team’s celebrations were all the more intense after a stirring ride from his team-mate Dani Pedrosa, who set the new track’s lap record as he fought his way back from seventh place to take second from Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) with just over a lap to go.
It was the second double-top result in succession for the Repsol Honda pair, extending their early lead in the World Championship race on the eve of the European season and reinforcing the status of the Honda RC213V as the leader of the MotoGP pack. Marquez has won every race, and Pedrosa has a full house of podium finishes to back it up.
Marquez was in dominant form all weekend. He led all but one of the free practice session, then underlined his margin with a comfortable third pole in succession ahead of Lorenzo and Pedrosa. The new circuit is in the remote north-west of Argentina, but the first race the country for 15 years attracted a massive capacity crowd from all around Latin America.
They were treated to a thrilling race. The first laps on the fast and sinuous circuit were a dramatic scramble for positions up front.
As Lorenzo capitalised on an early lead, Marquez fought his way through to second by the fourth of 25 laps, closed on his rival, then stalked him patiently before firmly outbraking him on lap 17 to move away steadily. He won his third race successive race at a canter by 1.83 seconds. Already the youngest ever GP winner and World Champion, it was further proof of devastatingly strong form for the 21-year-old and his triumphant 1000cc V4 Honda.
Pedrosa follewed his team mate Marquez past Lorenzo in the closing lpas for 2ndf place.
The spur for him to take the lead was Pedrosa, for Marquez knew by now that his team-mate was closing fast. The older rider had been pushed back to sixth in an early brawl more reminiscent of Moto3 than MotoGP. It gave him a hard task, but he set to it with a will, picking off his rivals one by one to take third before half distance.
At this point he was more than three seconds behind Lorenzo … but with his quarry in view round several of the popular track’s long, wide corners Pedrosa used the skill and determination of a former 125 and double 250 champion to cut away at the gap with sustained aggression. With less than two laps to go, he had caught him, and scythed firmly past.
Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) was fourth, after finally prevailing over Stefan Bradl (Team LCR Honda RC213V). The German rider was battered from a heavy fall on the previous day, so fifth was a well-earned addition to his fourth at the previous round.
The fourth Honda RC213V rider Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) crashed out of the race in the early stages – a victim of heavy traffic and a slippery sandy track surface off the racing line. It was a third non-finish in a row for the former 125cc World Champion, who has an extra role race-testing Nissin brakes and Showa suspension.
The new customer Honda RCV1000R machines played an exciting part in a long and fierce battle for the last top-ten position. All four were closely involved at some stage, and the result was only decided in the last corner, when Hiroshi Aoyama pounced on his Drive M7 Aspar team-mate Nicky Hayden to steal the place by inches over the line.
Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing Honda RCV1000R) was hardly any further behind in 13th, with Yonny Hernandez (Ducati) 12th, all four over the line within less than two seconds. Scott Redding (GO&FUN Gresini Honda RCV1000R) had been part of the battle for much of the race, and was a close 14th.
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: 1st - “I am happy with how the weekend went in general and I’d like to thank all my team. I think it was a nice race for the fans, with plenty of passes and I wasn't expecting it to be like that. As the race went on and I saw what the gap was to Jorge Lorenzo and I tried to catch up with him quickly and spend a few laps on his tail. When I saw that Dani was getting closer, I tried to overtake in order to maintain more of a gap. I took 25 more points today which are very important and I've put together three wins in a row, but we are aware that the season is very long and we are now heading to Jerez where Dani and Jorge are very fast. We will need to be up there with them, fighting for the win!”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 2nd - "I enjoyed the race but after losing some time at the start it affected me and I found myself alone again. In the final part of the race I had a good pace and was able to recover places, but it didn't count for much. I took second place, but with the pace that we had we could have pushed for the win. You always have to learn and maybe I saved my tyres too much when I was riding as part of the group. Fortunately we found a good setup that allowed us to be more competitive, and this is positive.”
RESULTS MOTOGP RACE: (25 laps = 120.15 Km)
Pole Position: Marc MARQUEZ 1'37.683 177.1 Km/h
CHAMPIONSHIP POSITIONS TILL DATE:
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Yamaha Is Presenting Sponsor For Three-Event GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Shootout; Shootout Races Added To 2014 Yamaha Road Racing Contingency Program
“All of us at Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A., are proud that Yamaha is the presenting sponsor for this new race series,” Starr commented. “We’re excited that our loyal customers and race fans in the Western part of the U.S. will now have three events to attend that are close to their homes, and they’ll be able to see for themselves just how breathtaking professional motorcycle road racing at this level is!”
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Yamaha Expands 2014 Road Racing Contingency Program
Guerra said. “Our Contingency Program rewards aspiring Yamaha road racers, so we’re pleased to be able to extend the Program so that Yamaha R1 and R6 riders who compete in the races that are part of the three-event Superbike Shootout will be rewarded for their results.”
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