World Superbike Round Seven Marks Halfway Point For KRT Duo

World Superbike, Misano Adriatico, Republic of San Marino, 5 June 2012

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) and his new team-mate Loris Baz will reach the halfway point of the World Superbike season when they complete the forthcoming race weekend at the popular Misano circuit.

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In 2012 so far Sykes has scored a race win at Monza, taken six podiums in total and secured four Superpole wins, but hopes for an even better second half of the season after the San Marino round of the championship is completed at Misano.

The official Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R SBK machine is an even more refined and sharpened device in 2012 than it was in 2011 and its capabilities have lifted Sykes to third in the championship table.

He is, in fact, tied for points with second place rider Marco Melandri and they are each only 18 points away from championship leader Max Biaggi.

For relatively recent inductee to the KRT squad Loris Baz, who has replaced the injured Joan Lascorz, Misano is a circuit he knows well. He has not ridden his Ninja ZX-10R at the circuit near the Adriatic coast, however, but since he joined the team at Donington he has adopted a mature approach to riding in an official Kawasaki SBK racing team, learning his way step-by-step.

So far Baz has scored in three of his four individual SBK races and his goals for Misano include getting into Superpole qualifying and then scoring points in each race.

World Superbike Round Seven Marks Halfway Point For KRT Duo

Suzuki’s Leon Camier just misses Miller World Superbike Top-10

Team Suzuki News Release

FIXI Crescent Suzuki racer Leon Camier narrowly missed out on a top-10 finish in today’s second race of the sixth round of the World Superbike Championship from Miller Motorsports Park in America.

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After a lengthy delay to clean the circuit, the race was re-started with the riders in the positions where the initial race was stopped. – meaning Camier started from row three in 11th place.

He again got a good start and pushed his way into the top-10, before getting involved in a long battle with Sylvain Guintoli.

Camier eventually had to settle for 11th, finishing just over 15 seconds behind the race-winner – a positive performance considering his initial grid position of 20th.

Camier had a good start in race one as well, but got involved in a mid-field battle that eventually saw him bring his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R home in 13th.

John Hopkins had a torrid race-day on his return to the team from injury. He crashed out of race one after his FIXI Crescent Suzuki GSX-R hit a kerb and slid from underneath him, fortunately he walked away uninjured. In race two Hopkins suffered with a technical issue that caused him to lose power. He battled all the way to the line to try and secure a points-scoring position, before eventually bringing his machine home safely in 16th. He was disappointed with the results, but pleased to have completed such an exhausting race with no ill-effects from his recent injuries and confident of making big steps when the championship returns to Europe.

Today’s races were held in bright and sunny conditions with air temperatures pushing up to 20°C. Current World Champion Carlos Checa won the first race on a Ducati, with Marco Melandri taking victory in the second on a BMW. Max Biaggi on an Aprilia strengthened his position at the head of the riders’ Championship by taking third place in both races.

Suzuki’s Leon Camier just misses Miller World Superbike Top-10

Two Good Points Scores Keep Sykes Close To World Superbike Lead

WSBK, Miller Motorsport Park, USA, 29 May 2012

Kawasaki Racing Team rider Tom Sykes scored eighth and fifth place finishes today in the USA and in doing so went equal second in the table. His team-mate Loris Baz was also in the points twice.

Having qualified third on the grid, despite struggling for a time to match his usual practice excellence at a circuit that proved challenging for man and machine, Sykes was unable to overcome a less than ideal race set-up in the first race, which went to a full 21-lap distance.

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Race two was started then stopped after three laps when another rider’s machine hit the kerbstones and in the resultant crash spilt significant quantities of oil on the track surface, causing a long delay to the eventual 18-lap restart.

Tom was second off the grid for that race but he was forced back to fifth and had to battle hard to the end with Eugene Laverty to keep his fifth place.

Loris Baz, being eased into his relatively new role as replacement rider for the injured Joan Lascorz, rode sensibly to take a point for 15th in race one and go one place better in race two. He had been 17th in qualifying.

In the championship Max Biaggi leads with 160.5 points, Marco Melandri and Sykes share 142.5 and Baz’s three points in America put him 20th in the rankings, with 11 points in total.

Two Good Points Scores Keep Sykes Close To World Superbike Lead

World Superbike 2012, the Miller Motorsports Grand Prix

WSBK 2012, the Miller Motorsport GP Aprilia Highlights

  • SUPERBIKE ENTERTAINS ONCE AGAIN.
  • DOUBLE PODIUM FOR A TOUGH MAX BIAGGI WHO LEAVES THE UNITED STATES AS RANKING LEADER OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP.
  • EUGENE LAVERTY FINISHES FIFTH AND SIXTH IN THE TWO RACES AT MILLER MOTORSPORTS PARK.

Tooele (Utah), 28 May 2012 – The United States was the venue for yet another great World Superbike race. Two spectacular races, especially for the lead pack, which the Aprilia Racing Team left with good spoils thanks to Max Biaggi’s double podium.

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As the laps went by, Max took advantage of his pace, gaining ground toward the podium. Even the suspension after three laps in Race 2 (due to oil left on the track by Aoyama’s bike) was not enough to compromise Max’s concentration, still ranking leader in the championship with an 18 point advantage over the nearest contender. However, overtaking cost Biaggi precious tenths of seconds, preventing him from battling for the win.

“Two good races – commented Max Biaggi – even if the hectic initial phases made us lose a lot of ground. I was able to recover well and make it to the third step of the podium, but unfortunately overtaking and battling for positions means that you can’t lap the way you could on an open track.

We are leaving the United States ahead in the standings, but the last few races have shown how BMW and Honda have been improving. We need to improve our bike as well, because our rivals’ progress is clear”.

The sun at Miller Motorsports Park created some unexpected difficulties for Eugene Laverty, who appeared competitive during the practice sessions in lower temperatures.

The rider from Toomebridge was unable to find the right feeling straight away in the new track conditions and had to settle for crossing under the chequered flag in fifth and sixth place.

Eugene does not hide his disappointment: “It was not a good day for me. To be honest my expectations were much higher. After the test session all the conditions were there to aim for the podium. Unfortunately in the higher temperatures I wasn’t able to find the right feeling with my RSV4, which is not an uncommon problem when you’re riding a new bike. In any case, points are important, especially since I’m continuing to learn and this will be helpful for the races to come”.

Carlos Checa triumphs once more at 2012 Miller World Superbike

A spectacular race day for team Althea Racing and the World Superbike fans at the Miller Motorsports Park in Salt Lake City, Utah, which saw Carlos Checa dominate in race one, winning with an advantage of more than two seconds.

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Giugliano had a less fortunate first race. He lost ground in the first laps, citing a lack of grip at the rear. At the end of the first lap he was down in tenth place.

Unfortunately he lost a couple more positions on the next lap and then had to work hard to catch up from 13th position. Once past Berger and Badovini, he gave chase to Haslam and on lap eighteen he was able to get round him too, thus closing this first race in final eleventh position.

Race 2 – This time both Althea riders made a good start and by lap two Carlos was already in front, having passed both Melandri and Sykes, while Davide was in fifth position. Unfortunately a red flag stopped the race on the next lap, after Aoyama crashed, leaving oil on the track. The race was restarted, with 18 laps to run, an hour later.

This time Carlos was almost immediately in first position, with Davide behind him in fifth. On the second lap the Spanish rider recorded the fastest lap of the race but, pushing to the limit, he unfortunately crashed out on the fifth lap when he lost the front. After a brief pitstop Carlos returned to the track but had lost too much ground; on lap thirteen his team called him back to the garage. Giugliano, now racing with a softer tyre with respect to race 1, battled first with Rea and then with Haslam, closing in seventh place and taking some important points. His was the first Ducati across the line in this second race.

Carlos Checa triumphs once more at 2012 Miller World Superbike

Melandri top BMW rider at Miller World Superbike Superpole qualify

BMW Motorrad Motorsport’s Marco Melandri was the best BMW rider during Superpole qualifying at Miller Motorsport Park circuit in Utah where the latest round of this year’s World Superbike Championship is taking palce. The Donington Park race winner was ninth fastest after two Superpole sessions and will head the third row of the grid for tomorrow’s WSBK races.

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Tyre grip issues and mixed weather conditions seemed to affect all the BMW S 1000 RR riders today, with BMW Motorrad Italia Goldbet SBK team rider Ayrton Badovini failing to make the top 16, leaving his team-mate Michel Fabrizio and the two BMW Motorrad Motorsport riders to contest Superpole.

A cold but bright day close to Salt Lake City greeted the riders for the traditional 3pm start of Superpole.

With an air temperature of only 14 degrees, getting heat into the tyres was vital, but Leon Haslam had more serious issues to deal with, losing a significant amount of the session nursing his RR back to the pits after suffering a puncture in SP 1.

Unfortunately this limited the time he could spend on track and the British rider was unable to secure a qualifying time fast enough for SP2, eventually finishing in 13th place, which means he will head the fourth row of the grid tomorrow.

Having finished SP1 seventh fastest, Melandri was one of the remaining 12 riders all vying for a spot in SP3 and a place on the front two rows of the starting grid. As riders targeted fast laps on qualifier tyres, it was clear that grip was an issue, with most bikes visibly sliding around in the cool conditions. In the end, it was four-times Miller Motorsport race winner Carlos Checa who was the only rider able to dip into the 1:47 bracket in the closing stages of the session. Marco’s time of 1:48.422 was good enough for ninth, so he will start from this position in tomorrow’s two races, just in front of compatriot Michel Fabrizio on the BMW Motorrad Italia Goldbet SBK team RR.

Melandri top BMW rider at Miller World Superbike Superpole qualify

Fixi Crescent Suzuki ready for 2012 Miller World Superbike

FIXI Crescent Suzuki has completed all its preparations for this weekend’s sixth round of the World Superbike Championship at Miller Motorsports Park in America with John Hopkins and Leon Camier now ready to race.

Hopkins will start from the fourth row of the grid after qualifying in 16th place during today’s Superpole. He produced an impressive lap right at the end of this morning’s second qualifying session to give him the seventh fastest time and secure his place in this afternoon’s qualifying shootout. Unfortunately he was eliminated in Superpole 1 as he struggled with some tyre issues and will need to make one of his characteristically-good starts during both of tomorrow’s races to push him through the field on his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R.

Camier had a tough second qualifying session as he too had some grip issues from a new tyre and was unable to improve on his time from the first day, leaving him missing out on Superpole. He posted the 20th-quickest time which will give him a fifth row start on race-day. Camier is upbeat about his chances for the races on Monday following a very good showing in the final practice session that saw him post the sixth-quickest time. Camier will be aiming to get a good start to be amongst the front-runners early on and is confident that good finishes are obtainable

Today’s Superpole was held in dry, but overcast conditions, with air temperatures only getting up to 15°C. Jakub Smrz on a Ducati set the best time to secure Pole Position for tomorrow’s races, with Carlos Checa, Tom Sykes and Davide Giugliano making up the remainder of the front row.

Hopkins, Camier and the rest of the World Superbike field will be racing on Monday this week for the only time this season on the calendar – to coincide with the American celebrations for ‘Memorial Day’. The first race is due to get underway at 12.00hrs local time (19.00hrs BST) with race two scheduled for 15.30 local time (22.30hrs BST) on Monday May 28th.

John Hopkins:

“On race rubber I’m pretty happy with the bike’s set-up, but when we put the Qualifying tyre on in Superpole 1, the chatter was so bad I could hardly ride the bike. It was quite frustrating because I had qualified seventh quickest up until then and I was looking forward to getting a good grid position. The Qualifying tyre in Superpole 1 felt strange right from the start and I knew it was a problem from the first turn. It’s a shame because I had got to know the circuit pretty well and was feeling good about it. The fourth-row of the grid is not a great place to be, but I am confident I can get into the mix if I get the best starts possible.”

Fixi Crescent Suzuki ready for 2012 Miller World Superbike