Tag Archives: worldsuperbikes

Tom Sykes….swimming, sorry ‘winning’ in the rain

IOL mot pic sep5 WSB Sykes Nurburgring


Tom Sykes took his maiden World Superbike win, and the first for Kawasaki in five years, at a sodden Nurburgring.

World Superbikes championship leader Carlos Checa (Ducati) demonstrated exactly why he’s at the top of the points standings with only three rounds left. He took an assured win in Race 1 at the Nurburgring and a put in steel-nerved ride in atrociously wet conditions in Race 2 to score points for eighth – on a day when his main championship rival was ruled out.

A new rider also took his place among the elite of World Superbike race winners, when Tom Sykes scored on the Kawasaki ZX-10R in a race in which only 13 riders finished in treacherous track conditions. Sykes became the sixth individual race winner of the 2011 season so far, with three rounds and six races left to run.

Aprilia’s defending champion Max Biaggi missed out on race day altogether after an injury to his left foot from a crash on Friday ruled him out, but Yamaha’s Marco Melandri showed real fighting qualities in dry and wet conditions, scoring second in Race 1 and splashing his way to sixth in the rain-shortened second race.

A great start to the day for Noriyuki Haga (Aprilia) saw him third ahead of the factory Yamaha of Eugene Laverty in Race 1, but he crashed out of the lead in Race 2 in blinding rain.


Checa posted a superb opening win, holding off early aggression from eventual third-place finisher Haga before moving away from the field in clinical style. Second was Melandri, Haga was third and then – in an eventually lonely fourth – Melandri’s team mate Laverty.

BMW’s Leon Haslam was fifth early on, then ran off the circuit, but recovered from 14th to re-take fifth. Guintoli was a confident top-six finisher, seven seconds ahead of top Kawasaki man Joan Lascorz, who recovered from a bad start to blitz Leon Camier (Aprilia) right on the line.

Carlos Checa: “It was a special race for many reasons, and I’d like to dedicate the win to Claudio Castiglioni because it’s thanks to him we are racing with these bikes here.

“I knew that I had to make a gap in the early laps, because I was suffering a little on the straight. At the end I was struggling a little with the tyres but the difference was enough to give me the win.”

Marco Melandri: “It was a difficult race for me. I had a good start but for the first few laps I wasn’t very fast against Nori and Carlos. I made a small mistake and lost the front under braking, going off the track and coming back fourth. I fought with Eugene, tried to catch Nori, but am very happy to be second today.”

Noriyuki Haga: “I really like this track. I was hoping to go for the win but Carlos was very fast at the beginning of Race 1. I know how the Ducati works here and I tried to catch up with him. In the race I was at 120 percent but couldn’t catch him – I was happy with third in the end.”


Sykes took Kawasaki’s first win since 2006, and his own maiden World Superbike race victory, when he led home a shortened 13-lap second race.

Haga had led for virtually the whole race, which was held in atrocious conditions that ranged from merely wet to completely soaking.

When Haga crashed out Sykes took the lead; then the rain came down even harder and the race director called it a day with Sykes ahead of Guintoli and Ducati privateer Jakub Smrz. Fourth was Rea, who remounted after a high-speed crash to score valuable points ahead of fifth-placed Laverty and his team mate Melandri.

Tom Sykes: “The first win feels absolutely fantastic, the conditions today were unbelievable! It was good to see the red flag and even better to see it in the lead. It’s great to be back – especially after the biggest crash of my career at Silverstone only a month ago!”

Sylvain Guintoli: “It was definitely good fun, very dangerous though with a lot of water towards the end. I struggled to stay with Tom, I had to push hard and nearly crashed about 20 times! In the end the rain came down very hard, but the pace was great and I had good fun.”

Jakub Smrz: “I think everyone is happy because this was a difficult race, very hectic on the grid because we couldn’t change anything for the wet and I was struggling a lot in the first part of the track. I was lucky, stayed on the bike, made average lap times and in the end I got a podium.”


1 Carlos Checa (Spain) Ducati

2 Marco Melandri (Italy) Yamaha +1.855sec

3 Noriyuki Haga (Japan) Aprilia +2.322

4 Eugene Laverty (Ireland) Yamaha +7.789

5 Leon Haslam (Britain) BMW +8.727

6 Sylvain Guintoli (France) Ducati +10.113

7 Joan Lascorz (Spain) Kawasaki +17.228

8 Leon Camier (Britain) Aprilia +17.228

9 Ayrton Badovini (Italy) BMW +18.166

10 Jonathan Rea (Britain) Honda +19.457

11 Tom Sykes (Britain) Kawasaki +22.136

12 Mark Aitcheson (Australia) Kawasaki +25.346

13 James Toseland (Britain) BMW +31.617

14 Roberto Rolfo (Italy) Kawasaki +31.796

15 Troy Corser (Australia) BMW +33.320

16 Michel Fabrizio (Italy) Suzuki +38.149

17 Makoto Tamada (Japan) Honda +1min16.143


1 Tom Sykes (Britain) Kawasaki – 29min49.337

2 Sylvain Guintoli (France) Ducati +4.063sec

3 Jakub Smrz (Czech Republic) Ducati +22.759

4 Jonathan Rea (Britain) Honda +28.497

5 Eugene Laverty (Ireland) Yamaha +38.374

6 Marco Melandri (Italy) Yamaha +45.326

7 Ayrton Badovini (Italy) BMW +47.030

8 Carlos Checa (Spain) Ducati +50.032

9 Leon Haslam (Britain) BMW +53.586

10 Maxim Berger (France) Ducati +55.261

11 Joan Lascorz (Spain) Kawasaki +1min12.805

12 Troy Corser (Australia) BMW +1min18.468

13 Roberto Rolfo (Italy) Kawasaki +1min40.323


1 Carlos Checa (Spain) Ducati – 368

2 Marco Melandri (Italy) Yamaha – 292

3 Max Biaggi (Italy) Aprilia – 281

4 Eugene Laverty (Ireland) – 221

5 Leon Haslam (Britain) – 169

6 Leon Camier (Britain) Aprilia – 154

7 Michel Fabrizio (Italy) Suzuki – 141

8 Ayrton Badovini (Italy) BMW – 125

9 Sylvain Guintoli (France) Ducati – 119

10 Noriyuki Haga (Japan) Aprilia – 115

Eugene Laverty: always a man with a plan

Laverty's double came after a titanic scrap with team-mate Melandri

Perhaps one of the level headed motorcycle racers of the moment. Fortunate that Biaggi was given a ride through in Race 2, and suprising that he actually came into the pits as his preference is to get black flagged (Donnigton in 2011 and most of his MotoGp career). Notwithstanding this, a great ride from Laverty as the level headed racer that he is. Not one but twice as he took the double win at Monza. As they say, never give up in any race irrespective of where you are in the field, as you never know what might happen ahead of you…as Max Biaggi proved yesterday.

Eugene Laverty in my opinion, has proved himself well at Monza, and for a young, physically fit guy, he looked like he had done a full day at the office by the end of Race two. From experience, Monza is not a hugely physical circuit as the long straights give you some rest. But the Ascari chicane is hard work getting a Superbike turning from one direction to the other.

Laverty’s double came after a titanic scrap with team-mate Melandri.

Factory Yamaha’s Eugene Laverty has said he was only looking to get a podium from today’s World Superbike double header at Monza but is ecstatic to come away with his first win in race one and then the double in the second outing.

The Toomebridge man cruised to his debut victory this morning after Max Biaggi got embroiled in a battle with Leon Haslam while race two saw him have to outfox team-mate Marco Melandri to take home more silverware.

“Race two was very hard work but I had it in my head what I was going to do. I was alongside Marco into the last corner so he would have had to have backed off had he not run wide so that was covered even though his bike was a bit quicker than mine.,” said Laverty, speaking to bikesportnews.com this afternoon.

“I got squeezed going into the first corner in both races, which I’m not very happy about because if I hadn’t backed off, there would have been the usual Monza accident but I was able to make my way back through. I only came here for a podium. Two wins in a day is awesome, I am ecstatic with how we have performed on our home ground.”

Source: http://www.bikesportnews.com/news-detail.cfm?newstitle=Monza-WSB:-I-was-only-looking-for-a-podium!—Laverty&newsid=119

World Superbikes 2011 Round #1 Phillip Island

Well its the start of the new season and my money is on Leon Camier to be up there fighting for podiums at every round. The man never ceases to amaze me – not only was he sick as a parrot for most this weekend’s racing downunder, but managed to nab 6th place in race 2…..

Alitalia Aprilia’s Leon Camier reckons he is shocked with the sixth place he nabbed on the final lap of Phillip Island’s second World Superbike race given he spent most of the week struck down with glandular fever.

Camier was unsure he’d even be able to finish a race over the week but, after changing tyres in between races, he found more pace in the second outing and leaves Australia just outside the top ten.

“I’m honestly shocked by today’s results, especially the second race. I just concentrated on keeping things steady and trying to get into a rhythm, not making any mistakes, and I managed to work my way through,” said Camier.

“I have never felt so ill and wasn’t even sure if I’d be able to finish, so to come away just outside the top ten of the Championship isn’t so bad. It’s frustrating to think what might have been if I wasn’t ill, but there’s no point dwelling on it. There’s a long season ahead of us and to see what we achieved today, even with my illness and limited track time, is definitely encouraging.

“I can’t really explain just how tired I’m feeling now. Luckily we’ve got four weeks before the round at Donington Park to try and get myself back to normal. I really want to thank everyone who has taken the time to send in messages of support this weekend. Hopefully I can repay you all at the next round.

“Before the second race we change the rear tyre and at the start I tried to ride calmly, looking for my pace and avoiding errors. Lap after lap the feeling got better and I climbed my way to sixth place. To say I was tired is an understatement, but if I think about the presuppositions I can consider myself quite satisfied.

“Without this illness things could have gone differently, but it doesn’t matter; now I need to lower my head and get to work – there is still a long season ahead.”