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Rea now third overall after tough weekend at Aragon
|Sunday, 01 July 2012 18:09|
Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) had never raced at Aragon before today, but qualified sixth in Superpole for the Spanish round of the 2012 FIM Superbike World Championship, before his race day fortunes changed somewhat. A first corner crash in race one, after a collision with other riders, saw him fall, then restart and eventually finish 16th.
In race two Jonathan battled through from ninth at one stage to go fifth at the flag, the first rider behind a leading group of four that contained race one winner Max Biaggi (Aprilia) and race two victor Marco Melandri (BMW).
The two 20-lap races were held in windy conditions, with relatively moderate temperatures compared to the opening day on Friday when it was in the high 30s. Down in 14th in the first qualifying session on that day Rea moved to 11th in combined qualifying, shortly before Superpole.
He finished up on the second row, showing good improvements in machine set-up and rider experience around the 5.344Km circuit in northern Spain. With two good starts better results could have come along for a rider who has scored two race wins in 2012 so far.
In the championship rankings Biaggi has 248.5 points, Melandri 200.5 and Rea 183.
Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) missed Superpole by two places, qualifying 18th from 23 riders. On race day he scored points in each 20-lap contest, in 14th and 15th places respectively. He is still trying to find an optimum set-up for his needs and looks forward to finding improvements for the next round, at Brno in the Czech Republic, on Sunday 22 July.
LOWES WINS AS CLUZEL’S LUCK DESERTS HIM
Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda) won his second Supersport World Championship race in peculiar fashion at Motorland Aragon, as he crossed the line in second place after 18-laps of close and combative racing, but was awarded the race win when the leader Kenan Sofuoglu was punished with a drop of position to fifth. Lowes and the other riders in the original top five moved up one place as Sofuoglu was demoted.
Lowes was aware the situation and the likely penalty Sofuoglu faced for not making the required drop in track positions before the end of the race and Sam reduced his pace near the end to take the 25 points and move back to second in the championship table, now only 16 points behind leader Sofuoglu. Lowes had been only fifth in qualifying, but found improvements in race pace at the right time and was in determined mood throughout, moving up from seventh on lap one to the lead before Sofuoglu re-passed him.
For Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda) an impressive pole sitter, a fall on lap three put him out of the points, dropping from second to third behind Lowes. At the top of the championship Sofuoglu has 117 points, Lowes 101 and Cluzel has an unchanged 84.
The first attempted running of the Supersport race was started on time then almost immediately halted for a serious looking accident when Mathew Scholtz (Bogdanka PTR Honda) and Yves Polzer
(Yamaha) collided on the start line. Scholtz suffered a concussion, but walked away while Polzer was immobilised on track then taken to hospital for checks, with no serious injuries finally resulting from the collision.
The restarted race, getting underway half an hour behind schedule, went on for all 18 planned laps and Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda) secured an eventual fourth place, after Sofuoglu’s penalty was taken into account. The Australian rider was sixth in qualifying and is fifth in the championship rankings, the third highest ranked Honda rider as the 13 round season crossed over the halfway point.
Ronan Quarmby (PTR Honda) had one of his better days in 2012, finishing sixth after qualifying only 11th. He is now eighth in the championship and confident he can move up again. Gabor Talmacsi (PRORACE Honda) was a determined ninth today, easily his best finish in the two races he has competed in so far in 2012.
Raffaele de Rosa (Lorini Honda) and his team-mate Roberto Tamburini (Lorini Honda) were 13th and 15th respectively; the last Honda points scorers on show today. Tamburini is now tenth overall, on 39 points.
Imre Toth (Racing Team Toth Honda) retired in the pits while his team-mate Balazs Nemeth fell when moving through the field. Martin Jessopp (Riders PTR Honda) was unable to ride after falling in practice, aggravating existing injuries and being prevented from starting. Valentine Debise (SMS Racing Honda) did not complete the first lap in the attempted first race start. Pawel Szkopek had to retire with clutch issues on his Bogdanka PTR Honda as he continues to recover from leg injuries.
HONDA RIDER COMMENTS:
Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team):
Race result: 16th / 5th Championship position: 3rd “In race one I was taken out. Unfortunate, but I want to make that clear because I have just watched the footage back and the some TV guys said I made a mistake, which was completely not the case. I could have come in because there was no chance of making points, but I stayed out to find a rhythm because I still did not have a good rhythm going into the race. We found some things out just by riding around, which was good. So we made some changes for race two, the temperature increased and I was able to run at a much better case. There were just two riders who were so difficult to pass. It was clear that when I did get past I would be able to go, but their only mission was to ride defensively so I wasted quite a lot of time passing, but I could go forward when I had clear track and I could get my head down. The bike was working pretty good, but I had some braking issues. But he front end is really good and I have a lot of confidence.”
Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team):
Race result: 14th / 15th Championship position: 16th “I came here with a lot of motivation because we are in the half point of the season. We struggled a lot in the first half of the year and I wanted to have a good rhythm ever time on track, but it was another difficult weekend for me. Until now I have never felt full confidence with the bike. If it was easy we would have found it by now, but it is proving not so easy to fix. I think if we can get things going well then we can follow that direction. The team works a lot to thanks to them and I hope soon now we can find a solution for the races.”
Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda):
Race result: 1st Championship position: 2nd “I'd like to say a massive thank you to my team.
It was difficult in the end because I knew Kenan had a penalty and I was actually in first position, but I rode my race and it was good.
Already yesterday I knew I had a good race pace and just needed to get a good start from fifth and then hang in there. I just put my head down and got into my rhythm. I took my time because I knew it was going to be a long race. We're back in second overall, and I'm looking forward to fighting for more victories and the championship.
We've got Brno next which I like a lot and Silverstone which is my second home race, so I'm really looking forward to that.”
Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda):
Race result: DNF Championship position: 3rd “I am really disappointed because I lost points on a day it was possible to take points from Sofuoglu. We had good pace and before the race I felt good on the bike. I was surprised to lose the front and now we must understand why. It may have been windy or the fuel load; I will work with my team to discover the cause so we can learn from this. Anyway, this is racing and it happens sometimes, now I will focus on the next round and doing well there!”
Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda):
Race result: 4th Championship position: 5th “I struggled a bit today. I tried to stay with the front guys the whole race, but I could only just keep it there at the beginning. When I caught back up they’d group again and just go. It was disappointing because I couldn’t attack anywhere. Unfortunately we didn’t get the result we wanted because I was here to battle for a podium, not fourth or fifth, but that’s racing. I think we need to work on where we put the power in the engine because we’re not getting the best out of it at the moment. I want to be back battling at the front, so we’ll work hard during the test tomorrow and prepare as well as we can for the next race in Brno.”
Ronan Quarmby (PTR Honda):
Race result: 6th Championship position: 8th “I am happy with sixth. I just had to ride controlled and think about what I was doing for the whole race. Well done to my PTR Honda team on helping me this weekend. I find this track difficult and struggled right from the off but this is a much better result than last year and we can go to Brno with a bike that is handling very well indeed.”
Martin Jessopp (Riders PTR Honda):
Race result: DNS Championship position: 37th “I am disappointed not to race, but I just knew it wasn't possible. I gave it a go in warm up, but couldn't move or tuck I on the bike so there was no way I was able to ride. I woke up stiffer than yesterday - my coccyx is really sore. There is a three week break before Brno so I will be back and fighting fit for that.”
Mathew Scholtz (Bogdanka PTR Honda):
Race result: DNF Championship position: 33rd “The bike cut off at the start and I tried to warn everyone at the back, but one rider didn't see me and hit me from the back. Luckily I don't have any broken bones. I'm in a bit of a pain, but I'll be fine for Brno. It's a track I know and I've actually won in another class there in the past so I'm really looking forward to the next round.”
Pawel Szkopek (Bogdanka Honda PTR):
Race result: DNF Championship position: Not classified "We had a problem with the clutch which meant I had to pull in after three laps. It's a pity because only 19 riders finished the race and we could've got some points today, but that's racing. More importantly, it was a good return to action following my injury. I got up to speed pretty quickly and was competitive all weekend long, which is a big confidence boost ahead of my home race at Brno. We have a bit of a break now and I'll be working hard on getting back to full fitness."
RACE : (Laps 18 = 96,192 Km)
POS / RIDER / NAT. / TEAM / MOTORCYCLE / GAP
1 / S. LOWES / GBR / Bogdanka PTR Honda / Honda CBR600RR / 37'14.284
2 / F. FORET / FRA / Kawasaki Intermoto Step / Kawasaki ZX-6R / 1.446
3 / S. MORAIS / RSA / Kawasaki Lorenzini / Kawasaki ZX-6R / 4.322
4 / B. PARKES / AUS / Ten Kate Racing Products / Honda CBR600RR / 5.924
5 / K. SOFUOGLU / TUR / Kawasaki Lorenzini / Kawasaki ZX-6R / 6.377
6 / R. QUARMBY / RSA / PTR Honda / Honda CBR600RR / 16.333
7 / V. IANNUZZO / ITA / Power Team by Suriano / Triumph Daytona 675 / 19.948
8 / J. METCHER / AUS / Rivamoto Junior Team / Yamaha YZF R6 / 22.663
9 / G. TALMACSI / HUN / PRORACE / Honda CBR600RR / 22.889
10 / J. DAY / USA / Team GOELEVEN / Kawasaki ZX-6R / 26.923
11 / R. LANUSSE / FRA / Kawasaki Intermoto Step / Kawasaki ZX-6R / 35.991
12 / L. MARCONI / ITA / VFT Racing / Yamaha YZF R6 / 42.337
13 / R. DE ROSA / ITA / Team Lorini / Honda CBR600RR / 42.597
14 / F. MENGHI / ITA / VFT Racing / Yamaha YZF R6 / 1'10.910
15 / R. TAMBURINI / ITA / Team Lorini / Honda CBR600RR / 1'16.813
Fastest Lap: 13° Sheridan Morais 2'03.300 156,029 Km/h Lap Record: 2011 S. Lowes 2'02.785 156,680 Km/h Best Lap: 2011 B. Parkes 2'02.093 157,570
CHAMPIONSHIP POSITIONS TO DATE:
1 SOFUOGLU 117, 2 LOWES 101, 3 CLUZEL 84, 4 FORET 83, 5 PARKES 66,
6 BALDOLINI 54, 7 MORAIS 53, 8 QUARMBY 44, 9 IANNUZZO 41, 10 TAMBURINI 39,
11 ANTONELLI 31, 12 METCHER 31, 13 LEONOV 26, 14 LANZI 25, 15 ROCCOLI 18.
RACE1: (Laps 20 = 106,880 Km)
POS / RIDER / NAT. / TEAM / MOTORCYCLE / GAP
1 / M. BIAGGI / ITA / Aprilia Racing Team / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 39'51.188
2 / M. MELANDRI / ITA / BMW Motorrad Motorsport / BMW S1000 RR / 0.278
3 / C. CHECA / ESP / Althea Racing / Ducati 1098R / 9.462
4 / C. DAVIES / GBR / ParkinGO MTC Racing / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 10.827
5 / E. LAVERTY / IRL / Aprilia Racing Team / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 15.708
6 / M. FABRIZIO / ITA / BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet / BMW S1000 RR / 27.597
7 / L. HASLAM / GBR / BMW Motorrad Motorsport / BMW S1000 RR / 29.032
8 / D. GIUGLIANO / ITA / Althea Racing / Ducati 1098R / 39.374
9 / L. CAMIER / GBR / FIXI Crescent Suzuki / Suzuki GSX-R1000 / 40.887
10 / M. BERGER / FRA / Team Effenbert Liberty Racing / Ducati 1098R / 41.44
11 / N. CANEPA / ITA / Red Devils Roma / Ducati 1098R / 42.056
12 / S. GUINTOLI / FRA / Team Effenbert Liberty Racing / Ducati 1098R / 42.369
13 / L. ZANETTI / ITA / PATA Racing Team / Ducati 1098R / 42.669
14 / H. AOYAMA / JPN / Honda World Superbike Team / Honda CBR1000RR / 48.01
15 / J. HOPKINS / USA / FIXI Crescent Suzuki / Suzuki GSX-R1000 / 49.752
Fastest Lap (New record): 6° Marco Melandri 1'58.251 162,691 Km/h Old Lap Record: 2011 C. Checa 1'58.862 161,850 Km/h Best Lap: 2012 T. Sykes 1'56.552 165,060 Km/h
RACE2: (Laps 20 = 106,880 Km)
POS / RIDER / NAT. / TEAM / MOTORCYCLE / GAP
1 / M. MELANDRI / ITA / BMW Motorrad Motorsport / BMW S1000 RR / 39'59.200
2 / E. LAVERTY / IRL / Aprilia Racing Team / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 0.042
3 / C. DAVIES / GBR / ParkinGO MTC Racing / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 0.446
4 / M. BIAGGI / ITA / Aprilia Racing Team / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 0.484
5 / J. REA / GBR / Honda World Superbike Team / Honda CBR1000RR / 6.611
6 / L. HASLAM / GBR / BMW Motorrad Motorsport / BMW S1000 RR / 7.491
7 / C. CHECA / ESP / Althea Racing / Ducati 1098R / 9.325
8 / T. SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 10.444
9 / A. BADOVINI / ITA / BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet / BMW S1000 RR / 10.828
10 / D. GIUGLIANO / ITA / Althea Racing / Ducati 1098R / 10.925
11 / M. FABRIZIO / ITA / BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet / BMW S1000 RR / 21.955
12 / M. BERGER / FRA / Team Effenbert Liberty Racing / Ducati 1098R / 22.046
13 / S. GUINTOLI / FRA / Team Effenbert Liberty Racing / Ducati 1098R / 22.486
14 / L. ZANETTI / ITA / PATA Racing Team / Ducati 1098R / 42.801
15 / H. AOYAMA / JPN / Honda World Superbike Team / Honda CBR1000RR / 49.144
Fastest Lap: 3° Marco Melandri 1'58.950 161,735 Km/h Lap Record: 2012 M. Melandri 1'58.251 162,690 Km/h Best Lap: 2012 T. Sykes 1'56.552 165,060 Km/h
CHAMPIONSHIP POSITIONS TO DATE:
1 BIAGGI 248.5, 2 MELANDRI 200.5, 3 REA 183, 4 CHECA 175.5, 5 SYKES 172.5,
6 HASLAM 142, 7 LAVERTY 126, 8 GUINTOLI 110, 9 GIUGLIANO 94, 10 DAVIES 78,
11 SMRZ 75.5, 12 FABRIZIO 73, 13 BADOVINI 57, 14 CAMIER 56.5, 15 BERGER 48.5.
NEXT EVENT: ROUND09 JULY 22 BRNO, CZECH REPUBLIC
Article source: Honda Pro Images