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Sonntag, 26. Februar 2017

Rea stuns to do the double Down Under

The season-opening Yamaha Finance Australian Round at Phillip Island saw Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) wrap up a double victory from ninth position, in a superb Sunday race. Starting from a re-shuffled grid, Aruba.it Racing – Ducati pair Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri were also on the podium.

A stunning last lap battle between four riders for podium positions saw Rea come out on top again, with Davies a close second (+0.025s), whilst Melandri rode excellently for third (+0.249s) and Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) collected more good points in fourth having led the race early on.

Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) finished fifth, whilst Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) ended up at the back of a group of six riders who had been battling for the podium positions.

Behind that front group, it was Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) and Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) who crossed the line in seventh and eighth respectively for a good haul of points, whilst Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) and Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) also registered top ten results.

After his solid fourth in Race 1 on Saturday Lowes made an excellent start from the head of the reshuffled Race 2 grid to lead the way in the opening stages, with Laverty and Fores also getting in the mix early on. Rea soon came through from ninth though, making light work of the challenge of the new regulations for 2017 which sees the grid reshuffled on Sunday further to the Race 1 results.

Rea took over in the lead with 17 laps to go, as Davies also soon came through to contest the lead, with Lowes fighting to stay with the Welshman and Rea for a podium result.

Melandri emerged as a contender in the second half of the race, having steadily fought his way to the front from tenth on the grid after his WorldSBK comeback on Saturday ended in a disappointing DNF. The Italian was delighted to return to the podium at the end of Race 2 as he kept Rea and Davies in his sights.

A technical issue saw Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) pull off track and out of contention in the Warm Up lap. Nicky Hayden (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) crashed with 14 laps to go, with additional crashes for Riccardo Russo (Guandalini Racing) and Ayrton Badovini (Grillini Racing Team).

The WorldSBK riders will be back in action at the second round of the season, the Motul Thai Round, over the 10th-12th March weekend.

P1 . Jonathan Rea - Kawasaki Racing Team
“I’m so happy because to win a last lap battle here is hard, but to do it two times here and with tactical racing, it’s so hard. I just wanted to come here and start on my way, before yesterday I hadn’t won before the summer break in 2016 so it’s nice to start my campaign and with 50 points and two wins.”

P2. Chaz Davies - Aruba.it Racing - Ducati
“It was tight in both races and this one was even closer I reckon. Everybody had a little go at taking the lead and tried to break away at the front, but its near-on impossible here at Phillip Island so I just ran my own race. I tried to break away with a couple of laps to go but it wasn’t going to happen. We gave away a lot of points here last year, so to take 40 points at what is not one of our favourite tracks is good and look forward to the next one.”

P3. Marco Melandri - Aruba.it Racing - Ducati 
“It’s been a very good weekend, race one was difficult race two was even more difficult because I came from the back, which meant I was pushing the tyre a bit too much. In the last few laps I didn’t have enough grip to try and fight for a win, but those two guys were a bit stronger than me today. To be back on the podium in my first Round after a year and a half off is good.”

TURBULENTES SONNTAGSRENNEN VEREITELT ERNEUT STARKES ERGEBNIS


Randy Krummenacher musste am Sonntag seine Hoffnungen, die starke Leistung des Vortages wiederholen zu können, bereits am Start aufgeben.

Strahlendes Sommerwetter am Sonntag sorgten für optimale Bedingungen zum Abschluss des Saisonauftakts der FIM Superbike World Championship an diesem Wochenende auf Phillip Island. Nach dem starken zehnten Rang im ersten Rennen am Samstagnachmittag ging der 27-Jährige enorm angestachelt in das zweite Rennen. Im Rahmen der Superbike-WM werden an jedem Rennwochenende zwei Wertungsläufe ausgetragen. Doch nicht nur ein Missgeschick am Start raubte Krummenacher jede Chance auf einen weiteren Punktegewinn.

Runde zwei der FIM Superbike World Championship findet in zwei Wochen in Thailand statt.

#88 Randy KRUMMENACHER
(Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Team, Kawasaki ZX-10R), 16., WM-Position 14 (6 Punkte):

"Es hätte wieder ein starkes Rennen werden können. Doch ich habe auch heute wieder viel gelernt, auch wenn der Ausgang ein wenig frustrierend ist. Am Start ist einiges schiefgelaufen, als ich die Launch-Control nicht aktivieren konnte. Deshalb war mein Start äusserst bescheiden, um es vornehm auszudrücken. Ich liess aber nicht aus der Fassung bringen und konnte schnell meinen Rhythmus finden. Von Beginn an war meine Pace stark, weshalb es mir easy gelang zu den Fahrern vor mir aufzuschliessen.

"In der zweiten Runde fuhr ich eine 1´32.4, jedoch eine Runde später musste ich Russo ausweichen, der direkt vor mir stürzte. Es blieb mir keine andere Wahl, als einen Umweg durch das Kiesbett zu fahren. Das war es endgültig, obwohl ich bis zum Schluss wiederum eine konstant gute Pace fahren konnte. Der positive Aspekt des Tages ist aber, dass wir uns für das zweite Rennen nochmals steigern konnten. Ich weiss nun, dass ich jederzeit in die Top-10 fahren kann und diese erfreuliche Tatsache werde ich auch zum nächsten Rennen mitnehmen."


WorldSBK Phillip Island – Ergebnis Rennen 2 (22 Runden):
1 Jonathan REA /GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R/ 33´52.785
2 Chaz DAVIES / GBR / Aruba.it Racing - Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / +0.025
3 Marco MELANDRI / ITA / Aruba.it Racing - Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / +0.249
16 #88 Randy KRUMMENACHER / SWI / Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / +33.679

WorldSBK WM-Stand:
1 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / 50
2 Chaz DAVIES / GBR / Aruba.it Racing - Ducati / 40
3 Tom SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / 26
14 #88 Randy KRUMMENACHER / SWI / Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Team / 6

Nächstes Rennen: 11./12. März, Buriram, Thailand

Samstag, 25. Februar 2017

STARKER ZEHNTER BEIM SUPERBIKE-DEBÜT

Randy Krummenacher lieferte in seinem ersten Rennen in der Superbike-WM eine entschlossene Vorstellung ab.

Bei schönem Wetter qualifizierte sich der 27-jährige Zürcher Oberländer, er feierte am Freitag Geburtstag, für den 14. Startplatz. Die Superpole, jene Sessions, die über die Startaufstellung entscheidet, wurden am Samstagmittag ausgetragen. P14 am Grid entsprach aber nicht ganz den Erwartungen des ehrgeizigen Athleten. Krummenacher ging daher umso entschlossener in die erste Punktejagd der Saison. Die Bedingungen waren auch zum Zeitpunkt des Rennens perfekt. Krummenacher kam zwar nicht optimal vom Start, doch er fand schnell seinen Rhythmus und konnte zügig Positionen aufholen. Ein Zwischenfall mit dem Niederländer Michael van der Mark kostete womöglich eine bessere Platzierung als Rang zehn nach 22 angriffslustigen Runden auf dem ultraschnellen Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.

Das zweite Rennen wird am Sonntagnachmittag um 15:00 Ortszeit (5:00 Uhr CET) gestartet.

#88 Randy KRUMMENACHER
(Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Team, Kawasaki ZX-10R), 10., WM-Position 10 (6 Punkte):

"Ich kann mit meinem ersten Superbike-Rennen wirklich zufrieden sein. Mit Rang zehn habe ich meine Zielsetzung erreicht. Doch ich weiss auch schon, wo und in welchen Bereichen ich sofort den Hebel ansetzen muss. Dazu gehört in erster Linie der Start, wo ich für die Launch Control ein besseres Gefühl finden muss. Auf jeden Fall habe ich heute am Start ein besseres Ergebnis verspielt. Einige Runde später hat mich Michael van der Mark im Honda Turn einmal von der Strecke gedrängt. Ok, das ist Racing, aber vergessen werde ich diese Aktion bestimmt nicht so schnell, denn im Endeffekt hat es mich eine bessere Ausgangsposition für das morgige Rennen gekostet. Aufgrund der neuen Regeln wäre ich als Achter oder Neunter morgen aus der ersten Reihe gestartet. Wie auch immer, nach diesem Zwischenfall konnte ich jedenfalls bis zum Schluss einen konstanten Rhythmus fahren. Das zeigt, dass die Basis bereits sehr gut ist. Doch wie gesagt bin ich überzeugt, dass ich gleich ein paar Dinge verbessern kann. Mein Startplatz sowie der Start selbst müssen umgehend besser werden. Denn so vermassle ich mir selbst Ergebnisse um Rang acht oder sogar noch weiter vorne. Vorerst bin ich aber zufrieden, aber morgen muss ich von Beginn an aggressiver sein."


WorldSBK Phillip Island – Ergebnisliste Superpole (Startaufstellung):
1 Jonathan REA /GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R/ 1´29.573
2 Tom SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 1´29.605 +0.032
3 Marco MELANDRI / ITA / Aruaba.it Racing - Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / 1´29.734 +0.161
14 #88 Randy KRUMMENACHER / SWI / Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 1´31.624 +2.051

WorldSBK Phillip Island – Ergebnis Rennen 1 (22 Runden):
1 Jonathan REA /GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R/ 33´52.290
2 Chaz DAVIES / GBR / Aruba.it Racing - Ducati / Ducati Panigale R / +0.042
3 Tom SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / +1.050
10 #88 Randy KRUMMENACHER / SWI / Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / +12.439

WorldSBK WM-Stand:
1 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / 25
2 Chaz DAVIES / GBR / Aruba.it Racing - Ducati / 20
3 Tom SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / 16
10 #88 Randy KRUMMENACHER / SWI / Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Team / 6

Rea triumphs as tactics prevail Champion wins opening thriller with Lowes set to take pole in Race 2

Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit was the backdrop for a stunning first race of the 2017 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, as Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) took a superb win, to start the season in style. Rea beat Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) by just 0.042s across the line as the pair battled hard to the last corner, with Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) also on the podium.

An enthralling race was the perfect way to start the 30th season of the WorldSBK championship, with Rea, Davies, Sykes, Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) and Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) all taking turns in the lead.

Lowes briefly led mid-race and would eventually finish fourth, crossing the line just over a second behind Rea and just 0.032s behind Sykes.

Melandri made a spectacular return to the championship in his first WorldSBK race since 2014, taking the lead off the line and running at the front for several laps only for his day to end in frustration after a crash at the Southern Loop with 8 laps to go.

An excellent showing from Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) saw the Englishman cross the line three seconds behind race winner Rea to complete an all British top five.

A solid start to the season by Spaniards Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) and Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) saw them take sixth and seventh respectively.

Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia), Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) and Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) completed the top ten, with Krummenacher producing an impressive ride on his WorldSBK debut.

Nicky Hayden (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) and Markus Reiterberger (Althea BMW Racing Team) were 11th and 12th respectively, whilst debutant Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) was 15th. Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) crashed at Turn 6 with 17 laps to go, dashing the hopes of the Italian of a good point-scoring start to the year.

With the new grid format introduced for 2017, we will see Alex Lowes start from pole position whilst Jonathan Rea will be battling from ninth. Race 2 at 3pm local time (+11 GMT) on Sunday at the Yamaha Finance Australian Round will see Rea looking to make it a double victory weekend, but his rivals will be pushing him hard at every turn.

Top Three:

1. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team): 

"To start the season with 25 points is exactly what I needed to do, especially after the end of last season played out and hopefully we can work step by step. It was a strange race, it should have been much faster. But we did what we had to do in the end to get 25 points.”

2. Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati): 
“It was important to get this first race out the way and get some good points on the board. I tried a bit of a different strategy and it didn’t quite work out for the win. In the end I knew it was going to come down to myself and Jonny; but with this being one of our tougher tracks it’s hard to get the strategy right. We’ll have a little think for tonight and see if we can go one better tomorrow.”

3. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team): 
“I have to say to finish on the podium, not far behind those two in Phillip Island is a big positive for me. That’s only the third podium I’ve had in this circuit, so it gives me a lot of confidence going forward. I had a couple of warnings very early on and I was able to settle down, but ultimately I did an acceptable race. A podium at Phillip Island is my first target and I hope we can improve on it tomorrow.”

Freitag, 24. Februar 2017

WorldSSP: Jacobsen leads the way on day one

American rider quickest on Friday in Australia, with Cluzel and Caricasulo also in the Friday top three

The first day of action in the 2017 season concluded with PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) at the head of the combined WorldSSP Friday free practice timesheets, courtesy of a 1’33.087 best lap in FP1.

Jacobsen was over half a second faster than any of his rivals in the earlier session and although he could not improve in the afternoon he still ended the day 0.38s ahead of second quickest rider Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda). Frenchman Cluzel recorded his best time of the day late in FP2.

Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) completed the top three on the combined timesheets, +0.515s adrift of Jacobsen.

The FP2 session at the Yamaha Finance Australian Round was red flagged with just under 20 minutes remaining, after debris was strewn across the track at turn 3 following a heavy crash for Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team). The Frenchman was soon back on his feet but his Yamaha YZF R6 suffered significant damage in the crash and he ended up fourth overall.

FP1 had also seen Mahias crash at turn 4, though in that case without major consequence.

Roberto Rolfo (Team Factory Vamag) finished fifth fastest after being given the all clear to ride on Friday morning, following a test crash at Phillip Island earlier in the week which saw him suffer a dislocated left shoulder.

Also in the top ten and therefore going automatically into Tissot Superpole 2 on Saturday are Hikari Okubo (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda), Alex Baldolini (Race Department ATK#25), Gino Rea (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven), Luke Stapleford (Profile Racing) and Kyle Smith (GEMAR Team Lorini). They all lapped within a second of Jacobsen’s P1 time.

Stapleford was a high speed crasher in the final minutes of FP2, though the English Triumph rider was immediately back on his feet.

Italian duo Michael Canducci (Puccetti Racing Junior Team FMI) and Christian Gamarino (BARDAHL EVAN BROS. Honda Racing) were just outside the top ten in 11th and 12th respectively and will therefore try their luck again in Tissot Superpole 1 on Saturday.

Another high velocity crash with 15 minutes to go saw Matt Edwards (Euro Twins Brisbane) bouncing through the gravel but the Australian wild card rider was able to walk away after the incident. Edwards was taken straight to the Medical Centre for a check-up.

In the absence of defending champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), who will miss the opening two rounds of the 2017 championship due to a pre-season hand injury, the riders were able to complete their first official practice sessions of the new season in clear weather conditions.

The WorldSSP riders will be in action again at Phillip Island at 11am local time on Saturday for FP3, with Tissot Superpole 1 at 1.30pm and Tissot Superpole 2 at 1.55pm. 

Phillip Island Day One Davies Friday's fastest at Phillip Island

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was Friday’s fastest participant at the season-opening Yamaha Finance Australian Round, with the Welshman topping the combined FP1 and FP2 timesheets courtesy of a 1’30.189 best time from the morning.

Defending World Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) was the second quickest rider on Friday at Phillip Island courtesy of a 1’30.255 lap in FP1 and he was the fastest rider in the later session.

Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) put in a good performance to end the day third fastest, also courtesy of his best FP1 effort, a 1’30.486, putting him just ahead of Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) - who was fourth and trailed Davies by just under four tenths.

On his return to WorldSBK Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was fifth quickest overall, thanks to his 1’30.627 lap registered in the afternoon outing.

Also going straight through to Tissot Superpole 2 on the opening weekend of the 2017 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship are Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team), Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia), Nicky Hayden (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team), Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) and Markus Reiterberger (Althea BMW Racing Team), who rounded out Friday’s top ten.

Savadori provided the most spectacular moment of the day, surviving a huge wobble at turn 11 in FP1.

The likes of Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) and Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team), meanwhile, will participate in Tissot Superpole 1 on Saturday having ended Friday 11th and 12th respectively.

Earlier in the day FP1 had been red flagged after less than ten minutes of action after an engine fault for Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) briefly left an oil leak on track, though the action soon got back underway. Camier ended Friday in 13th place on the combined timesheets.

Rookie Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was 14th best and ran off track just over 15 minutes before the end of FP2, quickly returning to the asphalt after his excursion onto the grass.

Likewise newcomer Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) ran off track at turn 4 at one stage in his first official WorldSBK session in FP1 and the German ended up 16th overall.

Alex De Angelis (Pedercini Racing SC-Project) crashed at turn 11 but walked away from the incident late in the afternoon session and was Friday’s 15th fastest man. Ayrton Badovini (Grillini Racing Team) was also a late crasher in FP2 and concluded Friday in 17th place on the timesheets.

The WorldSBK riders will return to action at 10.20am local time on Saturday morning, with Tissot Superpole 1 at 12.30pm and Tissot Superpole 2 at 12.55pm. Race 1 will get started at 3pm.

Hayden qualifies directly into Superpole 2 at Phillip Island

The opening day of action of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship has been contested at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in Australia, with Nicky Hayden able to claim an eighth place in the combined times of today’s two free practice sessions. Courtesy of this result, the 35-year-old American rider has gained direct access to tomorrow’s Superpole 2, while his Red Bull Honda World Superbike teammate Stefan Bradl will try and make his way through the first qualifying session after finishing the day in sixteenth position.
Hayden was able to take the best out of the new Pirelli spec tyres brought for the Australian round as he clocked in 1’31.099s on board his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 machine in the first free practice session. Bradl significantly improved his feeling with the bike in the morning after working extensively with his crew on the electronic side of the brand-new Honda motorcycle.
World Superbike action will resume tomorrow morning at 10:20 local time (GMT+11) for the 25-minute free practice 3 session, with Superpole 1 and Superpole 2 set to get underway at 12:30 and 12:55, respectively. The opening race of the season will start at 15:00.

Nicky Hayden 69

8th / 1'31.099
It’s nice to be at Phillip Island and get the season back off. We had a few ideas to try on the bike from testing here earlier this week: we made a little bit of a step forward, with the track conditions being a bit better and with the new spec tyres brought by Pirelli, one of which I particularly liked. I was able to do some decent times with it but we still need to find some more speed ahead of race one. The competition is really tough in the group where I’m in at the moment. Being in Superpole 2 is surely good news so I hope we’ll be able to qualify well tomorrow and get a good race result.

Stefan Bradl 6

16th / 1'31.707
We made a good step forward compared to the test, especially this morning. The electronics were definitely working much better, after basically turning most of our attention towards it. This afternoon, things were not as good as apparently the window where the electronics seem to operate well is quite small at the moment, so we kind of ended up a bit too far. Track conditions were worse compared to this morning and I could not make the most of fresh tyres, but looks like we’re much more competitive in the long run. We will go back to this morning settings in FP3 and start building from there.

Pieter Breddels

We improved quite a lot this morning with Nicky and he was able to set some good lap times, which allowed him to qualify to Superpole 2. An eighth place is not a bad result, but there is still work to do and we will analyse the data in order to come up with new adjustments ahead of tomorrow, especially for the race. We worked really hard on the electronic side of things and Stefan could immediately feel the difference compared to testing: he was able to build some confidence with the bike in the first hour of practice on track and his lap-times improved significantly. In the afternoon, we tried some more settings to improve our pace but the track conditions were not as good. We did learn a lot, though, and we will take all of it into tomorrow, when we’ll work more on the chassis as well as on other areas of the bike.