WSBK EUROPE (5 OF 14)
SBK Videos, Statements and Analysis at Donington Park
The fifth round of the World SBK 2012 took place yesterday in Donington. To complete our live reports, here are the statements of the SBK riders, our analyzes and the video summaries of the Superbike and Supersport races..
Analysis of the World Superbike at Donington Park
Donington Park, Sunday May 13, 12 p.m. (GMT): the red lights have just gone out and already, at the end of the straight at the entrance to the first turn, Leon Haslam performs a superb exterior on Sykes to grab lead the race … The tone for the two Mondial Superbike races is set !
Once again, the Donington Park circuit, renowned for its great races, did not disappoint. The first half of the route highlighted the rigor of the chassis and the courage of the pilots who have to slide down very fast big curves before going back up on the second part, less impressive but very demanding on the engines and the brakes of the machines, and much more. conducive to overtaking.
After two events marred by bad weather (Assen and Monza, read), the World Superbike also benefited this weekend from an admittedly cool weather – around 18 ° C in the air, no more than 30 ° C on the soil – but devoid of any drop of water !
On the other hand, last week in Italy, a controversy around Pirelli had raged: on the demanding – and semi-dry! – Milan track, the Italian rain tires did not meet the expectations of some riders … But yesterday on the Midlands circuit, the slicks proved perfectly up to the task.
"In Superbike, the R302 rear solution, developed from this year’s SC1 and designed to operate at low temperatures was highly appreciated by most riders", points out Giorgio Barbier, sporting director at Pirelli Moto.
In the end, while the Italian public were only entitled to a half-round of World Superbike a week ago, the English fans were royally served yesterday afternoon….
The two British rounds – officially "European", the English round will be held on August 5th – have enabled the discipline to reconnect with its three key notions: "show, show, show" or "hot, hot, hot" !
Valentino Rossi Himself even went there with his little "tweet" on Twitter just minutes after the end of the second race: "Sacred races in Superbike! What a fight, bravo to all, too bad for the BMWs in the last corner", analyzed the Doctor, surgeon – without anesthesia – at his leisure (everyone remembers Jerez 2005 and Laguna Seca 2008 in particular).
The one that some English speakers call the GOAT (for "Greatest Of All Time", or the "Best of all time") is absolutely right: the Superbike riders all deserve to be congratulated for the show offered this Sunday, including the more ardent like, for example … Marco Melandri !
Indeed, in the last two turns of the second round, the Italian was without doubt the most unleashed of the four leading men: twice in a row, the winner of the first round got carried away on his braking, not passing in leading the race only stealthy tenths of a second !
The last attack of n ° 33 also prevented his teammate Leon Haslam from taking a defensive trajectory which would have allowed him to protect his rear and, thus, to secure his first victory at the handlebars of the S1000RR, the second in a row for the manufacturer (read the box below) !
BMW’s victory: The Italian Job !
|Arrived in World Superbike the same year as the RSV4 (in 2009 therefore), the S1000RR had to wait more than three years before achieving its first world success, while the Aprilia had obtained its first victory in 2009 and chained to the title with Biaggi the following year.
But it was the new Italian recruit, Marco Melandri, who unlocked the BMW counter. In addition to the exemplary commitment of the German manufacturer and its teams in Munich and Stephanskirhen – not to mention Troy Corser! – and his talent, the n ° 33 owes this success to his compatriots who support him, most of whom came from last year’s Yamaha team, led by “operations manager” Andrea Dosoli. Forza Deutschland !
However, it was better to close the doors with double turns against Jonathan Rea! The Northern Irish rider did nothing to his opponents, taking advantage of the smallest spaces to push Melandri at the start of the race, corner Biaggi in the penultimate corner and make Haslam fail in the very last….
In his post-race statement, Johnny was content to make a brief apology to his compatriot, and preferred to focus on the 25 points he had just collected, allowing him to settle in third place in the provisional, 15.5 points from Sykes and 20.5 from Biaggi.
Hours later, the same Honda team No.65 – whom messages from an angry Melandri and reactions from other supporters on social media demanding his downgrade may have ended up annoying – wrote a quintessential epilogue. British to this day…
"Leon Haslam has just come to the mobile home. We ended up having a beer together !"," tweeted "the surprise winner of the second round, before qualifying this reaction as"truly professional"…
For his part, Leon Haslam declared on Sunday evening that he wanted purely and simply to forget the famous second race of Donington 2012. A race that fans will remember for a long time, a can of fermented drink made from barley and hops by hand, like real handlebar pros !
Carlos Checa may well remember the same second round for some time to come, one of the shortest races of his career! Falling from the first corner, the Spanish driver will have scored only 10 points this weekend, while he had scored 41 last year…
Luckily for the reigning world champion, the World Superbike caravan is heading to a circuit on which it is almost unbeatable: Miller Motorsport Park located near Salt Lake City in the United States..
Be careful, however, if El Toro n ° 7 likes the American track, it does not necessarily return him well: in 2010 in particular, two technical problems on his 1198 had deprived him of the double and it was Max Biaggi who had inherited the 50 points. of the double winner, on his way to his fifth world title.
This year, Max Biaggi wants to win a sixth title, before taking a well-deserved retirement and nurturing his two young toddlers. But far from being a beginner – this is his 20th season at the highest level! -, the transalpine Pirate is no less lucky…
As proof, the cancellation of the first race at Monza when his RSV4 was reluctant to take the second start, or the arrival of rain during the first race at Assen which allowed him to climb back from 13th place in the dry to the 4th under the flood !
Luck alone does not make the Champion. Biaggi knows this and is giving himself all the means to achieve the goal he set himself at the end of last season (read our): this is how yesterday in Donington, Aprilia n ° 3 signed the fastest time of each heat !
In terms of points scored, however, after the hot Rea, it is Sykes who performs the best operation: his two solid 3rd places allow him to reach 2nd place in the provisional classification. A very good performance from the English Ninja who, a few months ago, would no doubt have engaged in some kamikaze-type attacks…
We would have easily understood that Tom is trying his luck, frustrated at being dispossessed of the controls of the two races after having led them for a long time! Instead, the Kawasaki rider played it safe – well the ZX-10R n ° 66 and its tires tasted quite a bit all the same -: the n ° 66 is rolling for the title this year, let’s face it. !
On the other side of the Kawasaki box, satisfaction was also at the rendezvous: our young compatriot Loris Baz perfectly managed his first two races in World Superbike, finishing close to points in the first, and in 8th place. unexpected in the second !
Beyond his ranking somewhat distorted by the many crashes – there were 15 drivers to cross the finish line, Haslam included! -, it’s the racing pace of the new n ° 76 that impresses! Certainly on a single loop, "Bazooka" still gave the best two seconds.
But on average over the entire race, Baz yielded less than a second on laps to the furious ahead, which Loris did not fail to point out in his record. This shows if the 19-year-old guy is comfortable on a Superbike, and if he has a future in this discipline. !
Taking advantage of the incredible fight between the leading men, Leon Camier also returned a good copy at Donington Park: the best since his start to the season at Suzuki! The n ° 2 even ensures that without Laverty and Guintoli – both very discreet this weekend – he could have claimed a place on the podium…
We only ask to believe it, or rather to verify it in the near future. A GSX-R 1000 in the race for victory, Suz ‘fans are waiting for this !
Will we see, on a regular basis this time, the six championship manufacturers settle in the first six places during the next races scheduled at Miller? The answer will be discovered almost live on Monday May 28 on Site: stay tuned !
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