WSBK CZECH REPUBLIC (9 OF 14)
Videos, statements and analysis of the SBK in Brno
The ninth round of the World SBK 2012 took place yesterday in Brno. 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 in Brno
Arriving on the Brno circuit on Thursday, Marco Melandri was 48 points behind championship leader Max Biaggi. Many observers – including Site, we readily admit – estimated that the n ° 33 would have a hard time keeping this gap below 50 points, the equivalent of two victories.
However, it is clear that the gap separating the two Italian stars is only 21 points on Monday! Certainly, Melandri had already proved last year that Biaggi was not unbeatable on "his" Czech lands: riding his official R1, Marco had matched Max’s performance. But from there to beat him flatly…
As a reminder, the 2011 edition of the Brno test saw these two best enemies each collect 45 points. This year, on the other hand, the scales are tipping quite a bit: 50 points were pocketed by the new BMW rider, against only 23 for the old experienced Aprilia rider..
But from Friday afternoon, n ° 3 was experiencing some difficulties. After a rather satisfactory first free practice session (fourth time), Biaggi dropped ten places during the qualifying session! In the grip of dribbling phenomena – the dreaded "chattering" -, the 2010 world champion failed to correct the shooting on Saturday and had to deal with a reluctant forward entering the curve during Sunday’s races.
For the first time since his arrival in the World Superbike arena in 2007, the Roman Emperor is therefore missing the Czech podium! Conversely, his great rival in the championship takes advantage of his coming to Brno to sign his first double in this category, the first also for the propeller firm. !
Melandri ousts Biaggi
Listening to him on Friday evening, however, we did not give a lot of the skin of the Hedgehog of Ravenna either: he too was the victim of a mysterious chattering, amplified by the mounting of qualifying tires! Carrying out his best time on race gums on Saturday, the n ° 33 nevertheless secured a fifth place on the grid, while Biaggi had to start from 14th !
The next day, the famous n ° 33 delivered a recital without – big – false note, that neither the tricky track of the first round nor the impressive Tom Sykes of the second round managed to tarnish. In the Béhème box, we are doubly pleased with these two successes.
Not only does Melandri put the pressure back on the leader of the rider classification, but the new recruit also allows the Munich manufacturer – which manufactures these motorcycles in Berlin and manages its sporting activities partly in Stephanskirchen – to jump directly from third to first place from its own ranking !
Thus, unlike Ducati and Checa, who won titles a year after the withdrawal of the factory team in 2011, BMW could celebrate its driver and manufacturer titles at the very moment of withdrawing – partially, but still – from competition! The mission of the official S1000RR would be accomplished, narrowly.
Such a scenario would also punctuate the change of era that the Mondial Superbike is currently undergoing: after the first two decades spent seeing Ducati fight in turn against Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki or Yamaha, this championship would see two recent brands – BMW and Aprilia. committed in 2009 – take over !
Likewise, if Melandri could achieve a better end to the season than Biaggi, the coronation of a third European rider, former MotoGP star, would tend to prove that the World SBK has indeed become a destination of choice for riders of Grand Prix allergic to early retirement…
Fortunately, this discipline is not limited to that: it appears at the same time as a breeding ground from which MotoGP team managers can draw. Hervé Poncharal himself probably does not regret the signing of Supersport World Champion Cal Crutchlow at Tech3 !
Sacred French !
This Czech weekend also allowed two young French shoots to shine. Maxime Berger first of all, had the immense pleasure of completing four laps in the lead at the start of the first race, on his Ducati 1198 prepared by the Ducati Liberty team. !
From the third to the sixth lap, our dear n ° 121 took advantage of his "intermediate" type front tire to get ahead of Sykes and others. At the end of the fourth lap, the Dijonnais even had a lead of more than three seconds over his – our! – compatriot Loris Baz.
The choice of the front tire was not the only determining factor: as he declared so well on the official YouTube channel of his team, our Mad Max went "the knife in the teeth"! Unfortunately for him, the trajectory quickly dried up and allowed his rivals, mostly equipped with slicks, to overtake him..
Maxime nonetheless took a nice ninth place, ahead of his teammate Jakub Smrz who nevertheless drove in front of his audience! In the second round, Berger came back further in line: he collected the last point of 15th place.
If he did not manage to take the reins of the race, Loris Baz nonetheless marked the spirits this Sunday, our "green giant" taking advantage of the end of race incident between Rea and Sykes – and Checa, forced to slow down! – to claim his first WSBK podium, at just 19 years old !
It was only Bazooka’s ninth race at the highest level: the young Frenchman mounted from Superstock 1000 to Superbike from the Donington Park event, to replace the unfortunate Spanish rider at No.17, Joan Lascorz , took his chance (just like the "lucky" Forest in Supersport!).
Incidentally, this race will have made it possible to erase Aragon’s disappointment: in Spain, Baz was unable to reach the finish line following two breakages at his selector. Nothing like a podium to ward off fate !
Eighth in the second round, disputed in-té-gra-le-ment in the dry, Loris also equaled the best result of his short season. Finishing less than 3.5 seconds behind Biaggi and his fourth place, the No. 76 proves that he is on the right track. Just like Kawasaki, moreover, which confirms its status as Japanese number one !
We have known since the beginning of the year, or even the end of last season, that the recent ZX-10R is very fast. On a single lap and piloted by Tom "Superpole" Sykes, it is the fastest bike on the grid and easily outperforms European machines. !
In nine events, only three machines – all Ducatis – managed to complete a lap faster than the Ninja n ° 66: the n ° 50 of Guintoli in the wet at Imola and the n ° 96 and n ° 7 of Smrz and Checa in Salt Lake City…
But this Sunday afternoon in Brno, we discovered that the Kawasaki could – finally! – maintain an excellent pace throughout a race. Despite the still generous style of Tom Sykes, the Pirelli went the distance and allowed the Englishman to maintain the suspense until the final loop! Hope it lasts…
Kawasaki, first Japanese
In the other two Japanese manufacturers, on the contrary, the results are not improving. The two Suzuki of the Fixi Crescent team have collected only nine points this weekend, the nine points of Leon Camier, John Hopkins finishing twice behind his teammate..
After battling at the start of the season against repeated injuries, the Anglo-American claims to have recovered most of his physical capacities. But starting on the right side of the track – the most wet in the first round – Hopper obviously never managed to get "in the bath", or rather he drowned in the management of his Gex…
"I found myself in a group at the back of the peloton and managed to press the wrong button on my traction control, unintentionally disabling it", will tell the n ° 21 to his descent of motorcycle!" Involuntarily "or unconsciously can be: indeed, in British Superbike – from where he returns with a" title "of vice-champion in pocket -, the traction control n ‘is no longer admitted this year !
"I am very disappointed with the first race", ton of the blow Jack Valentine, big boss of the Suz ‘team,"and I think the results could have been better if our two pilots had known how to manage their on-board electronic control system".
Because at the same time, the team manager of Les Jaunes declares himself "very satisfied with all the work done by the Crescent Suzuki Fixi team from Aragon". According to him, "the motorcycle’s acceleration has been improved and Leon and John can now take the suction of other motorcycles, which they could not do before".
"We return directly to our workshops to get back to work and try to find new improvements", warns Mister Valentine. Leon Camier for his part set sail for Suzuka, where he will compete in the famous 8 hour endurance race on the handlebars of the GSX-R1000 entirely prepared by Yoshimura.
Jonathan Rea and Hiroshi Aoyama will also be involved on the handlebars, it goes without saying, of Fireblade. The two Honda riders will be keen to ride better at Suzuka than they did at Brno: after their crashes in the first round, the Englishman finished only 12th in the second round while the Japanese suffered a technical glitch.
At the bottom of the hole, the Ten Kate team posted this afternoon on its official channel a … Not a single image of their drivers lacking results, but a duel on the Brno pit straight line between several Honda CBR1000RR Pan European and BMW S1000RR R1150RT: great art !
Let’s hope for Suzuki and Honda that the effects of the jet lag will not be too felt on their drivers: Leon, Johnny and Aoyama have an appointment with Max, Marco, Tom, Carlos and the whole gang in just two weeks on the track. by Silverstone !
Syl’ll be back…
And beware: Sylvain Guintoli will also be there! Forced by his former Ducati Liberty team to watch his little comrades turn on the magnificent Czech track, our favorite n ° 50 promised his fans that he would drive "at home" in England and then all the rest of the season, until the grand finale of Magny Cours.
It remains to be seen on which machine and within which team? Posting a photo of the back of his helmet, Guinters50 – to "follower" on Twitter! – already signals with a vengeful tone that it is "the view the yellow motorcycles will have at Silverstone !"… Understand the Ducati sponsored by the Effenbert brand of beers, his former employer. Come on Sylvain !
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