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22.07.12

Brno – Races

Category: World Superbike (WSBK)

Sunday, 22nd July 2012

Weather conditions: Cloudy.

Temperature: Air: 17 – 19 °C, Track: 24 – 26 °C

Number of riders participating: 23 from 14 teams

Fastest lap Race 1: Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) 2:00.741 min

Fastest lap Race 2: Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) 1:59.728 min

 

 

Another historic race Sunday for Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport: at the iconic “Automotodrom Brno” (CZE), as the Bavarian team reached another two milestones. For the first time ever BMW is leading the Manufacturers’ Classification of the FIM Superbike World Championship, and for the first time BMW won both races of a World Championship weekend. Factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA) rode his BMW S 1000 RR to victory in both of today’s heats. Also for him it was the first time ever to climb on the top step of the podium twice on a Sunday. In this season so far, Marco now has five victories under his belt, more than any other rider in the championship. His team-mate Leon Haslam (GBR) finished both races in seventh.

 

Race one started with tricky conditions. After it had rained throughout the night and the morning, the clouds cleared one hour before the start. In the early stages of the race, the track was partly wet and partly dry, making tyre choice a difficult task. Both Marco and Leon opted for slicks. At the start, Marco improved from fifth to second and Leon from seventh to sixth, but after lap one they were eighth and ninth respectively. With slicks on their RRs it was difficult for them in the mixed conditions. Halfway through the race Leon was seventh and Marco eighth. While Leon kept struggling with grip and fought for seventh, Marco was able to start an impressive fight back. Lap by lap he made up positions and with three laps to go he was third, chasing the leading pair of Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea (both GBR). On the penultimate lap Marco took the lead and opened up a small gap of a second to cross the line as the winner.

 

In race two conditions were dry and consistent. Leon catapulted himself from seventh to third at the start and took second place on lap two directly in front of Marco, with both riders battling in the tight field of frontrunners. Leon went on the grass and slipped back to sixth, while Marco took second. From then on, the Italian chased leader Sykes. He reduced the gap with every lap and briefly took the lead for the first time on lap 14, only to slip back behind Sykes again. For the rest of the race the pair had a nail biting battle with the lead changing several times. At the beginning of the final lap, Marco got himself in front again and defended the lead until the chequered flag. Leon was on course for fifth, but had a false neutral on the final lap so slipped back to seventh.

 

In the Riders’ Championship, second placed Marco has reduced his gap to leader Max Biaggi (ITA) to 21 points. Marco now has 250.5 points to his tally. Leon is sixth with 160 points. In the Manufacturers’ Standings BMW took the lead with 292 points, two points ahead of Aprilia. BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet SBK Team’s rider Michel Fabrizio (ITA) was eighth and tenth, his team-mate Ayrton Badovini (ITA) retired in both races.

 

 

Marco Melandri:

Result Race 1: 1st / Fastest Lap Race 1: 2:00.778 min

Result Race 2: 1st / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:59.748 min

“I am living my dream today. Securing my first double victory here in Brno on this race track is something special for me. I am so happy because I already have five victories this season and nobody expected that. Race one was already amazing. At the beginning the conditions were very difficult as it was wet. As we were riding with slicks we just tried not to lose too many positions, but in the first few laps I struggled a lot. While I was trying to improve my position I made two mistakes because I still was not feeling comfortable. When I saw I was eighth I said to myself I needed to be quiet and keep my rhythm to catch the front guys. It was not easy to overtake them, but when I took the lead with one lap to go I knew I just needed to keep pushing as much as I could. I knew I was faster than the others.

 

“Race two was even more difficult, as Tom was having a great race and I had to spend a lot of energy trying to catch him. The tyre was working very well today, and I was able to keep the gap very small. Every time I tried to pass Tom he was braking so hard that it was nearly impossible. Once I finally passed him, I made a mistake and Tom passed me back. It was really tough to catch him again. Actually I did not expect to win, but doing that here twice today is just amazing. Seeing BMW leading the manufacturers’ championship is unbelievable and it makes me proud. I was also able to close the gap to Max in the riders’ championship. But the season is still long, and we plan race by race. I want to thank everybody at BMW Motorrad and in the race team who work so hard every day and put so much effort in the project. It was so unbelievable and emotional to see them smiling and happy. Now I just want to celebrate this result.”

 

 

Leon Haslam:

Result Race 1: 7th / Gap to 1st: 00:11.293 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 2:01.399 min

Result Race 2: 7th / Gap to 1st: 00:12.547 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 2:00.298 min

“At the beginning of race one the conditions were tricky, but it was the same for everyone. However, we had some major issues. I really struggled with grip and then from about five laps on I had chatter. I managed to change my style towards the end of the race to get seventh position back from Michel Fabrizio but it was quite difficult.

 

“In the second race, the bike was feeling good. When Marco and I were battling I went on the grass. and lost a lot of places. I was happy with the bike and we should have beaten Eugene Laverty, but on the last lap I got a false neutral and lost two places. The main thing is overall I felt a lot better in this race, and now we are looking forward to Silverstone, a track that is always good for me.” 

 

 

Bernhard Gobmeier (BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director):

“It was a fantastic Sunday. Initially it seemed as it would be another weather and tyre lottery, but this time we relied on our intuition and chose the right tyres for both riders. Marco’s races were fantastic. In race one, he fought his way from eighth back to the front in a brave manner, and also in race two he impressively showed his and the bike’s potential. Congratulations also go to Leon. Compared to last year, he was able to improve enormously on this track where he has always struggled in the past. Unfortunately he had a small technical issue on the last lap of race two, otherwise he would have been fifth. Overall it was an amazing team effort. The squad did a perfect job. A big thank you to everybody for their hard work at the circuit and back home to make these next milestones possible.”


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