WorldSBK.com

Chaz Davies is enjoying his factory rider status in WSBK

Source: WORLDSBK.COM | NEWS - Thursday, 28th March 2013, 18:30 GMT

One of Chaz Davies' dreams has come true last September as he put pen to paper to join the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team for 2013 eni FIM Superbike World Championship. The 26 year old Welshman is now part of a factory team, something he's been looking forward for a long time. All the expectations he had about being a works rider were fulfilled. "It's actually even more than I expected, especially away from the racetrack" he told WorldSBK.com. "Last week I was in Germany for some BMW Motorrad dealer conferences and I was really impressed, there were people of BMW Motorrad from all around the world coming to the event. You get the chance to meet with the ones who actually sell the bikes and hear what they have to say. I feel part of a big family but at the same time of a close team, everybody gets along very well. It's like a family team under a big organisation." Chaz has made his way into SBK showing a consistent improving of his performances, an important key to his achievements along with his full commitment to racing and humble attitude. "I think it comes hand in hand with getting the right opportunities at the right time. There were parts of my career when my results were not the best but I felt like I was doing all that I could. No doubt I'm still improving but also the time when you can smell a victory brings out the best in everybody. If you're doing your best and this translates into good results, I think that's a different incentive because you can actually show what you can do." Chaz joined the team two weeks ago for two days of testing at Jerez to evaluate the upgrades developed by BMW Motorrad in Munich. "Actually we worked on electronic settings for two days. We didn't touch a single click of suspension during the whole test. We thought it was really important to get the electronics sorted and we did a good work, BMW have done very well with the next phase of development for the bike." The team will perform a further two day test at the southern Spanish venue on April 4-5 and will mainly focus once again on the improved electronics for the BMW S 1000 RR. "It's early days yet, but we will test again next week in Jerez and from what I've seen so far it looks like a good step forward. We will see in Aragon. I did all the work I could during the two days and the guys have some time to analyse the data to further improve the bike." Read article

Rea one round away from his 100th WSBK race milestone

Source: WORLDSBK.COM | NEWS - Wednesday, 30th January 2013, 11:01 GMT

Since his rookie season in 2009, Jonathan Rea has established himself as one of the top riders in the FIM Superbike World Championship. Despite not having reached the ultimate goal of becoming World Champion yet, the almost 26 year old from Ballymena, Northern Ireland, has so far secured a total of 10 race wins and 29 podium finishes. A much closer target, though, is available to Rea as the Pata Honda World Superbike rider has the chance, at the upcoming Season Opener of Phillip Island scheduled for February 24th, to mark his 100th individual race start in the series: "I'm looking forward to Phillip Island", he told WorldSBK.com, "especially this year as race two will be my 100th World Superbike race. As far as wins go, I have a 10% strike rate in SBK which is OK, especially with the current level of the championship, but I would like to improve on it. I love winning races and I've enjoyed being in the World Superbike family for all my races so far. I'm with a great team and riding against great competitors, so I hope I can continue towards another 100 races after Phillip Island." Read article

Change of set-up brings Laverty back near the top

Source: WORLDSBK.COM | NEWS - Wednesday, 11th July 2012, 8:38 GMT

Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) started the season as one of the favourites to post a top three in the eni FIM Superbike World Championship overall. Fast from the first moment that he tested the Aprilia machine at Portimao last winter, his early results were good but not great, until two podiums at Assen and Monza put him back into the groove again. From then on things started to go wrong, as one key element on the electronics package of his bike started to play up, and his ‘home' round at Donington was nothing like he had hoped, with a DNF and a 15th place overall. "The big change was between Monza and Donington," he explained to WorldSBK.com. "We left Monza knowing we were in a position to move forward in the championship race and it was a big shock that lasted for three rounds. I really could not get out of turns. When we went to the Aragon tests to have a reference - same track we tested at in March - it was clear that something was wrong with the bike after just two or three laps. We put our heads together and it took all of five or ten minutes to find out what the problems was, which was frustrating in a way. I went back out again and it was back to business, so I could have left the test after three laps. The bike had thought it was wheelying all the time, a similar problem to what we had in Donington race one, even though that was an extreme case of it. It was cutting power before the bike was wheelying, which then in turn created more wheelie. It had been such a big problem it had been losing me 0.75 or a second a lap, and you cannot give that away to your rivals in SBK, especially when Max Biaggi is your team-mate." It was a bad time to find a problem that proved difficult to diagnose, with the season getting into its full swing. "What is really eating me is that we left Monza and I had raved about the electronics aspect of the bike, that it was our strongest area, and knowing what we were capable of. Then I feel we got robbed of a championship challenge because we went from 30 points behind to 110, just like that. It ruined my season, that is the long and the short of it, and I am not best pleased. The engine has got to be the strongest area but as a whole the package is great, so to be restricted in that way, not to be able to use the engine power from the Aprilia, means I could not get out of the corner and overtake people. I was getting desperate trying to overtake and it was like a yo-yo effect. They would go away and I would pull them back and I then knew there was a problem because at this level you should be able to follow other riders wheel for wheel." With this problem solved Laverty is now ready to shoot for his first Aprilia win, having taken two when riding for Yamaha in 2011. "I will still try for top three in the championship but that is not my concern right now. I just want to win as many races as possible. With the bike we have I reckon we can have a good shot at it. I want to win a lot of races." Read article

Leonov attempts to recover for Aragon

Source: WORLDSBK.COM | NEWS - Thursday, 28th June 2012, 14:54 GMT

After becoming the first-ever Russian rider to get onto the podium in a world championship race, at Assen, Vladimir Leonov then had a bad accident at Donington Park in UK during the fifth round of the 2012 FIM Supersport World Championship. In the crash the talented Russian rider suffered a small tibia fracture. After returning to Moscow the Yakhnich Motorsport racer underwent complicated surgery and has recently started a rehabilitation program. WorldSBK.com recently spoke to Leonov to see how his recovery was progressing. "The Donington events were very disappointing and a bit painful for us," declared Leonov. "I ran well during free practice, looking for the best set-up and for the best pace, and... then suddenly I had this crash - absolutely unexpected and unaccountable. In Moscow they inserted a pair of screws into me during the surgery, and after that I had to take regular massages - to get rid of swelling and bruising. Starting from the second week the recovery program had begun: they used Magnetic therapy and added the decompression chamber procedures. The first x-ray examination showed that I still couldn't ride a bike, so I went on doing my exercises, additionally starting fitness training to keep myself in shape. "My great desire is to be back in the championship at Aragon, but the decision could be done only after the additional x-ray examination. As for now, I have missed one of our training stages in the Italian Championship, that was held on June 22-24 at Mugello. I have been to Aragon only once, training with the team, but this track had impressed me greatly and I'd like to race there very much". Read article

Cutting the chicane at Monza: exclusive videos!

Source: WORLDSBK.COM | NEWS - Monday, 16th May 2011, 15:28 GMT

The Italian Round of the FIM Superbike World Championship at Monza was marked by a controversial ride-through penalty handed out by Race Direction to Aprilia Alitalia rider Max Biaggi for cutting the first chicane without following the regulations, which the riders had been informed about during the Thursday briefing. The Italian, who was leading the race at the time, came into the pit-lane in compliance with the penalty and then returned to the track in twelfth place, eventually finishing eighth after a strong recovery. In order to clear up any lingering doubts about what exactly happened at the Prima Variante, WorldSBK.com is making available to the public some exclusive Monza CCTV video footage of the first chicane, which clearly indicates the funnel-shaped path riders were required to follow in case they were unable to negotiate the right-left-right in the normal fashion. To see Leon Haslam's and Ayrton Badovini's passage through the run-off area in race 1, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubsUk2Jl4Bc To see what happened to Max Biaggi in race 2, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5JVoqaVoaY CCTV video footage kindly provided by the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza. Read article

Assen post-race statistics

Source: WORLDSBK.COM | NEWS - Tuesday, 19th April 2011, 14:17 GMT

WorldSBK.com takes a quick look at the facts & figures that emerged from the third round of the Superbike World Championship at Assen. Superbike• Another great weekend for Carlos Checa: the Spaniard scored his third straight pole, has won four of the six races run in 2011 and has been on the podium in every race this season. It was Checa's 25th all-time SBK podium and he is currently on a ten-race streak in the points;• Jonathan Rea obtained his seventh career win, reaching Ben Bostrom in 25th place. Jonathan also scored his 20th podium with third place in race two. The British rider has won three of the last four races run at Assen. With him Honda won its 110th race, second in the all-time rankings behind Ducati (295);• Max Biaggi with two second places in Assen became the tenth rider in history to have scored at least 50 podium finishes. At the top of the list is Troy Corser, with 130 podiums;• First career fastest lap both for Leon Camier and Tom Sykes. A Kawasaki hasn't set a fastest race lap since Sugo 2000, eleven years ago: at the time the fastest in the race was Hitoyasu Izutsu;• First career points for Maxime Berger, thirteenth in race two;• Noriyuki Haga with a fourth spot in qualifying gained his first placement on the front row since the Imola races of two years ago;• First front row spot for Eugene Laverty. Supersport and Superstock• First win for Chaz Davies in Supersport, in his nineteenth race and first fastest lap for Luca Scassa;• First Superstock 1000 pole for Sylvain Barrier, first win for Davide Giugliano in his 30th race and first podium for Danilo Petrucci. Ducati hasn't won in Superstock 1000 since the Portimao round back in 2009;• First podium, pole and fastest lap for Jed Metcher in Superstock 600, first Australian to score pole in this category;• First win for Michael van der Mark: a Dutch rider hasn't won in Superstock 600 since the 2007 Vallelunga race (Roy Ten Napel).   Read article

Scassa heads to Assen with head held high

Source: WORLDSBK.COM | NEWS - Thursday, 7th April 2011, 8:58 GMT

After two rounds Italian Luca Scassa is leading the Supersport World Championship with maximum points and with his morale sky-high. The Yamaha YZF-R6 looks to be a cut above the rest and his Kawasaki and Honda rivals look to be struggling in his wake. WorldSBK.com spoke to the Yamaha ParkinGO in the run-up to this crucial third round. "The Netherlands is a special place for me," declared the 28 year-old from Arezzo. "One of the first Superbike races I saw was at Assen in 1998 with that great battle between Chili and Fogarty! The old track was fantastic, full of banked curves, without any visual reference points or kerbing: it was truly the ‘Cathedral' of motorcycling. Unfortunately today the track has changed a lot." Any thoughts already about the world title? "After two rounds and two wins, we come to Assen as everyone else's target: the win in the first race might have come about by chance but in England the ParkinGO team totally cleaned up! I'm in the lead of the standings with maximum points and I'm pleased that in the last race Chaz also showed he could easily fight for the win. But for sure our rivals are not giving up. Kawasaki will be wanting to make up for their disappointing results and Sam Lowes will be there as well after his technical problem at Donington." How will you approach bike set-up at Assen? "We'll continue with the development of the Bitubo suspension to find the ideal set-up and get a perfect feeling with the bike: every time we go out on the track we improve and I hope it'll continue like that in the Netherlands. Everything's going really well, I want to thank Giuliano Rovelli (in the photo with Scassa) and the entire team for the incredible support they're giving me and I hope what I'm doing on the track can continue to produce excellent results in the next few races. I'm happy, fast and on top form. Hopefully it'll continue." Read article

A quick chat with Marco Melandri

Source: WORLDSBK.COM | NEWS - Tuesday, 5th April 2011, 11:10 GMT

Following his maiden World Superbike win at Donington Park, WorldSBK.com caught up with Italy's Marco Melandri, who rides the No. 33 factory Yamaha YZF-R1 for the Yamaha World Superbike Team. Melandri is a newcomer to World Superbike, having spent the past seven seasons in MotoGP. Prior to moving up to MotoGP, he won the 250cc World Championship for Aprilia in 2002. After taking his first World Superbike podium with a third-place finish in the second race of the season opener in Philip Island, Australia, Melandri won the first race of the second round at England's Donington Park and backed it up with a second-place finish in the second race. He currently stands second in the championship standings with 72 points, 19 points behind current leader Carlos Checa. You have spent more than a decade riding purpose-built race bikes and prototypes. How difficult has the transition to production-based bikes been, and how have you had to adapt your riding style to suit your new Yamaha? "The biggest difference is the weight of the bike and the braking, I think everything else is relatively similar and I haven't had any difficulty adjusting. The only big difference is having to adapt your riding style that is used to MotoGP tyres, to a style more adapt for our Pirelli Superbike tyres. " In the first two rounds, you often appear to be stronger than the others entering corners. Can you please explain your apparent strength going into corners on your Yamaha? "I think that's just down to getting the right balance and having a good feeling with the bike. I feel my R1 is working perfect with my style of riding, so I feel very comfortable on it and am confident entering into the corners." Is your background as a 250cc rider been an advantage or disadvantage in coming to grips with the production-based Yamaha? "I think it was an advantage. I believe riding a two stroke bike is always the best way to learn how to use the throttle and therefore my experience on a 250 cc really helped me to master that." Now that you have contested two rounds in the Superbike World Championship after spending seven years in MotoGP, please talk about the level of competition in the two series. "WSBK is more competitive. I think many different bikes, manufacturers and riders are in with a good chance of winning a race. And that makes it so much more exciting. In MotoGP however, only 2 or 3 riders are really in with a chance of winning, so every race is always the same. You go there and you try you hardest, but in the end of the day, you are just a number." Read article

Donington Park post-race statistics

Source: WORLDSBK.COM | NEWS - Tuesday, 29th March 2011, 9:31 GMT

WorldSBK.com takes a quick look at the facts & figures that emerged from the second round of the Superbike World Championship at Donington Park. QUALIFYING • For the first time in his career, Carlos Checa was able to score poles in back-to-back races. The Spanish rider can now count four pole positions and he has reached two former world champions at the seventeenth all-time spot: Fred Merkel and James Toseland;• Tom Sykes was able to start again from the front row after Imola last year; RACES • Marco Melandri won his maiden superbike race: he is the 65th winner in WSBK history, the 40th in the age ranking and the 10th Italian to do so;• Carlos Checa won his eighth race and the twentieth for Spain. The Spaniard has won five of the last eight championship races, missing out on the podium only once in this time span. Checa during the weekend was able to break all the track records: qualifying lap, race fastest lap and race distance, even though it must be said that the circuit, although not modified in lap distance, is now much faster;• Jakub Smrz scored his best-ever result, second, his second podium after the third place in the second Assen race, back in 2009, a wait of one year and eleven months;• Leon Camier scored his fourth superbike podium, matching the result he obtained last year at his other home circuit, Silverstone;• Max Biaggi was given a black flag in race two and this brought a halt to his all-time record sequence of races in the points: 39. Max has been scoring points since the 2009 Brno races;• In race one Noriyuki Haga scored his 57th fastest lap: he is already the all-time leader in this ranking, but throughout the entire 2010 season he wasn't able to post a single fastest lap with the works Ducati; SUPERSPORT • Luca Scassa scored his second win exactly one month after his maiden one in Australia and added a maiden pole to the record books;• Sam Lowes became the 40th rider to have scored at least one fastest lap in Supersport history;• First-ever presence on the front row for Chaz Davies; Read article

SBK expresses solidarity for Japan

Source: WORLDSBK.COM | NEWS - Wednesday, 16th March 2011, 9:20 GMT

Just like the rest of the world, Infront Motor Sports and WorldSBK.com have been moved by the natural disasters that have recently hit Japan. Last Friday a magnitude 9 earthquake and resulting 10-metre high tsunami wave devastated vast coastal and inland areas of the northern part of the country, leaving a still unidentifiable number of victims, many thousands missing and homeless, the possibility of leaking radiation and the country's economy in a difficult condition. In this very sad period we would just like to express our sincerest support and solidarity to all Japanese teams, riders, manufacturers and companies involved in motorsport, to our Japanese friends and colleagues in the motorcycle industry and to the entire Japanese population. Read article

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