News 1 Jun 2009

WSBK: Checa and Rea score podiums for Honda in Utah

Honda Racing PR:

Carlos Checa (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR) scored a second place finish in race one at Miller Motorsports Park today and in race two his team-mate Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda
CBR1000RR) secured a fighting third place, promoting each rider up the championship standings.

After a superb qualifying performance, finishing second on the grid, Checa rode hard in an aggregated race one, and although he was unable to get close to the race winner Ben Spies, Carlos took his best finish of the year by some distance with his runner-up slot. This was his first podium finish of 2009, and although he fell in race two, while chasing another podium finish, he is now ninth in the championship table, one place up on his previous standing.

Race one, stopped and restarted because of a crash which saw Karl Muggeridge fall and stay on the track for some time, had three Hondas in the top five places, with Ryuichi Kiyonari (Ten Kate Racing Honda CBR1000RR) and Rea fourth and fifth respectively. They had been third and 11th respectively in Superpole.

In the second race of the day, a full 21-laps from start-to-finish, Spies won from Michel Fabrizio, with Rea fighting all the way to take third, as he headed up a battle which involved six other riders at some points.

Leon Haslam (Stiggy Racing Honda CBR1000RR) was a disappointed 12th in Superpole but completed the top ten in race one, after a tough multi-rider fight in each of the two aggregate legs. He was pushing for the podium against Rea when he fell on the last lap of race two, in the same fashion Checa did, when his alternator cover also touched down on a kerbstone.

Kiyonari was to finish race two in fifth place, part of the fighting group from first to last.

Jake Zemke (Stiggy Racing Honda CBR1000RR) was 23rd on the grid, and 18th on aggregate in race one. Set-up improvements moved him to 15th in race two, scoring a single point.

Tommy Hill (Honda Althea CBR1000RR) who had qualified only 25th after crashing and hurting his left foot, did not race at Miller, after discussion with his team.

In the overall championship standings, Rea is top Honda, rider, fourth overall on 133 points, Haslam slipped from fourth to sixth, on 122, and Kiyonari is eighth, on 96 points.

The next round is at Misano, on June 21.


Sofuoglu Wins As Honda Go 1-2

Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda
CBR600RR) secured his second WSS race win of the
2009 season with a last lap attack on eventual second place man Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda
CBR600RR) and championship leader Cal Crutchlow.
Sofuoglu went from third to first in the space of a few corners and moved to within 27 points of the lead, with seven rounds gone.

Sofuoglu set the lap record of 1’52.285 on the 15th lap of 18, as he used radically new machine set-up in this race to get himself back up the points table after some disappointing recent results.

Laverty had led the race from the start, but on the third corner from the flag Sofuoglu dived inside and held his line to push Laverty to second in the race, just ahead of Crutchlow. The top three were covered by 0.521 seconds. Laverty had been second in qualifying, Sofuoglu sixth.

Andrew Pitt (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) overcame a heavy crash on Saturday to take seventh, an incredible achievement because of his start from the last row of the grid. He had fallen in the single qualifying session before recording a lap time, but was allowed to race because of his previous fast times in early unofficial sessions.

Matthieu Lagrive (Honda Althea CBR600RR) was ninth, just one place ahead of Anthony West (Stiggy Racing Honda CBR600RR), making it five Honda riders in the top ten places. West had been only 22nd in qualifying making his top ten finish hard, but ultimately rewarding, work.

Miguel Praia (Parkalgar Honda CBR600RR) was another heavy crasher in practice, but he recovered well enough to go from 14th on the grid to 12th in the race. The last point, for 15th place, went to Gianluca Vizziello (Stiggy Racing Honda CBR600RR), as Mark Aitchison (Honda Althea
CBR600RR) fell in the race, after starting from 9th on the grid.

In the overall standings, Crutchlow has 135, Laverty the best Honda rider with 126 in second place, Sofuoglu third on 128, Pitt fourth on 73, tied with Joan Lascorz. West is sixth, with 66 points.

WSB Rider Quotes

Jonathan Rea said: “I made a change between races with the front tyre, upping the pressure a bit it wasn’t the right way to go. I didn’t have as much grip on the way into corners, but the bike has improved in terms of the throttle connection so I concentrated on making the most of the power on the exit of the corners, and that was how I stayed in front. Getting a podium was good for the team and we have definitely made real improvements. Every lap I was watching the big screen out of the last turn to see who it was behind me. I knew I had a little bit of a gap, but for me I had to ride as slow as I could for third place. We’ve been on the podium now two weeks on the run, so it’s almost enough for us.”

Carlos Checa said: “Race one was good, after all that has happened earlier this year, and despite my crash in race two we can leave here with everything being positive. We made progress and were on the pace and now we have a test in France to keep working, and be fast in Misano. In race two maybe I went in with too much angle and hit the kerbstone at the top of the hill, and that kerb is so high, we already complained about it last year. It was a shame because I knew I had good pace for the second race as well.”

Leon Haslam said: “It has obviously been a bit of a disappointing day for us, finishing the first race in tenth position and then taking a DNF in the second one. I rode really well in the second race, and I should have been in third place here.
As I tried to make a pass on Rea, I hit the kerb and ended up on the gravel. I am disappointed with my results, but then again, the pace I have been running and everything else is working just fine. We have a few more issues that we will have to work on for the next round, but fingers crossed we should be at the rostrum every weekend from now on. I am feeling very good with the bike and what it can do, so bring on Misano.”

Ryuichi Kiyonari said: “I got a good start to the second part of race one and took the holeshot I think, but I had a problem with the tyre which was the same in race two. It was spinning on the rim and made rear grip a real problem in both races. We decided to go with the softer tyre after warm-up but we hadn’t had a chance to do any longer runs with it. It was OK for the first couple of laps but then the problems started.
It’s very disappointing but I guess the results are not so bad, and a lot better than last time at Kyalami.”

Jake Zemke said: “The biggest problem I had in qualifying was with turning in the middle of the corners, but we improved it in race one and then again in race two and we got a point because of it. Obviously I have to thank the team and John Hopkins for getting this opportunity, and we made some progress, so I wish the team success for the rest of the season.”

Tommy Hill said: “I hurt my left foot in a crash and had two sets of X-rays which proved inconclusive. After discussion with the team we decided not to race.”

WSS Rider Quotes

Kenan Sofuoglu said: “We have had some problems with the set-up of the machine in recent races, and our results were not so good. But we kept working step-by-step and finally this morning we found a completely different set-up and it was like a new bike. I understood in warm-up that I could win the race, but in the beginning I could not pass some riders. I know how hard my mechanics worked last night so I want to give them a good result.”

Eugene Laverty said: “I was disappointed not to win because I didn’t expect Kenan to come through on me but he made a fantastic pass and held his line by carrying a lot more speed than me through that corner. I am happy for him to get a win because it has been a tough period for his team, so it looks like we are going to have to work that bit harder to maintain our position. I made a silly mistake in warm-up and crashed, and had to ride my spare bike, so the guys made a great job to put a great bike underneath me.”

Andrew Pitt said: “I tried a new setting this race, something different that we didn’t use before, and now I think we have turned the corner. Before the problem with my crash yesterday we were on the pace. I have a headache and my leg is a bit sore, but I got through the race OK. I think we are on the way up again.”

Anthony West said: “I have been frustrated recently and at the beginning of the race I just couldn’t push the bike but when the tyres started sliding around a bit I had a bit more feeling with the bike. Then I could manage it better than the other guys. We got a top ten and some points but it’s not where we should be.”

Mark Aitchison said: “I got into the Esses and was following McCoy. We went in left but as we went right he bobbled and I had nowhere to go. I almost ran up the back of him and had to change line so that put me onto the rumple strip and I went down. It was just a bit unfortunate.”

Matthieu Lagrive said: “OK, we got some points but I am not so happy to not have a good solution before practice and qualifying. I saw before the race where our set-up problem was, but it was too late. The whole weekend was difficult but we made some progress on raceday.”

Gianluca Vizziello said: “A good race but my rear was spinning a lot, so I was sliding instead of driving. One point is OK, but I think we should be better in the next race.”

Miguel Praia said: “I had a very big crash in practice so I was pleasantly surprised to score points and almost get a tenth place finish. The bike was great but it was a very hard race for me, particularly because I ripped my thigh muscles and you really need them to move around the bike.”

Race : (Laps 18 = 88,326 Km)
Pos / Rider / Nat. / Team / Time / Gap
1 / K. SOFUOGLU / TUR / Honda CBR600RR / HANNspree Ten Kate Honda / 34’00.510
2 / E. LAVERTY / IRL / Honda CBR600RR / Parkalgar Honda / 0.368
3 / C.CRUTCHLOW / GBR / Team Yamaha YZF R6 / Yamaha World Supersport / 0.521
4 / J. LASCORZ / ESP / Kawasaki ZX-6R / Kawasaki / 1.833
5 / F. FORET / FRA / Team Yamaha YZF R6 / Yamaha World Supersport / 12.071
6 / G.MCCOY / AUS / Triumph Daytona 675 / ParkinGO Triumph BE1 / 18.108
7 / A. PITT / AUS / Honda CBR600RR / HANNspree Ten Kate Honda / 25.912
8 / M.PIRRO / ITA / Yamaha YZF R6 / Yamaha Lorenzini by Leoni / 26.867
9 / M.LAGRIVE / FRA / Honda CBR600RR / Honda Althea Racing / 30.411 10 / A. WEST / AUS / Honda CBR600RR / Stiggy Racing Honda / 31.393
11 / T. PRADITA / INA / Yamaha YZF R6 / YZF Yamaha / 32.206
12 / M.PRAIA / POR / Honda CBR600RR / Parkalgar Honda / 32.572
13 / K. FUJIWARA / JPN / Kawasaki ZX-6R / Kawasaki / 35.491
14 / B. VENEMAN / NED / Suzuki GSX-R600 / Hoegee Suzuki Team / 37.164
15 / G.VIZZIELLO / ITA / Honda CBR600RR / Stiggy Racing Honda / 39.041

Fastest Lap 15° Kenan Sofuoglu 1’52.285 157,325 Km/h Lap record: New track Best Lap: 2009 Joan Lascorz 1’51.749 158,080 Km/h

Riders Championship Standings:
1 CRUTCHLOW 135, 2 LAVERTY 126, 3 SOFUOGLU 108, 4 PITT 73, 5 LASCORZ 73,
6 WEST 66, 7 FORET 55, 8 AITCHISON 50, 9 PIRRO 48, 10 MCCOY 39, 11 LAGRIVE 38,
12 VENEMAN 30, 13 FUJIWARA 29, 14 ROCCOLI 24, 15 HARMS 23.

Race 1 : (Laps 21 = 103,047 km)  Aggregate Pos / Rider / Nat. / Team / Gap
1 / SPIES B. / USA / Yamaha YZF R1 / Yamaha WSB / 38’30.945
2 / CHECA C. / ESP / Honda CBR1000RR / HANNspree Ten Kate Honda / 9.394
3 / FABRIZIO M. / ITA / Ducati 1098R / Ducati Xerox Team / 12.742
4 / KIYONARI R. / JPN / Honda CBR1000RR / Ten Kate Honda Racing / 14.276
5 / REA J. / GBR / Honda CBR1000RR / HANNspree Ten Kate Honda / 14.915
6 / BIAGGI M. / ITA / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / Aprilia Racing / 15.461
7 / HACKING J. / USA / Kawasaki ZX 10R R.T. / Kawasaki World Superbike / 22.901
8 / SMRZ J. / CZE / Ducati 1098R / Guandalini Racing / 25.425
9 / HAGA N. / JPN / Ducati 1098R / Ducati Xerox Team / 25.870 10 / HASLAM L. / GBR / Honda CBR1000RR / Stiggy Racing Honda / 26.093
11 / BYRNE S. / GBR / Ducati 1098R / Sterilgarda / 26.181
12 / KAGAYAMA Y. / JPN / Suzuki GSX-R 1000 / Suzuki Alstare BRUX / 29.275
13 / SYKES T. / GBR / Yamaha YZF R1 / Yamaha WSB / 38.365
14 / LAVILLA G. / ESP / Ducati 1098R / Guandalini Racing / 39.454
15 / CORSER T. / AUS / BMW S1000 RR / BMW Motorrad Motorsport / 39.513

Fastest Lap 7° Ben Spies 1’48.965 162,118 Km/h

Race 2: (Laps 21 = 103,047 Km)
Pos / Rider / Nat. / Team / Gap
1 / B. SPIES / USA / Yamaha YZF R1 / Yamaha WSB / 38’25.391
2 / M.FABRIZIO / ITA / Ducati 1098R / Ducati Xerox Team / 9.080
3 / J. REA / GBR / Honda CBR1000RR / HANNspree Ten Kate Honda / 14.357
4 / M.BIAGGI / ITA / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / Aprilia Racing / 15.636
5 / R. KIYONARI / JPN / Honda CBR1000RR / Ten Kate Honda Racing / 17.156
6 / J. SMRZ / CZE / Ducati 1098R / Guandalini Racing / 17.546
7 / S. NAKANO / JPN / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / Aprilia Racing / 19.659
8 / N.HAGA / JPN / Ducati 1098R / Ducati Xerox Team / 23.455
9 / T. SYKES / GBR / Yamaha YZF R1 / Yamaha WSB / 30.489 10 / S. BYRNE / GBR / Ducati 1098R / Sterilgarda / 31.775
11 / B. PARKES / AUS / R.T. Kawasaki ZX 10R / Kawasaki World Superbike / 33.246
12 / Y. KAGAYAMA / JPN / Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 / Suzuki Alstare BRUX / 36.758
13 / F. NIETO / ESP / Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 / Suzuki Alstare BRUX / 36.887
14 / L. LANZI / ITA / Ducati 1098R / DFX Corse / 37.290
15 / J. ZEMKE / USA / Honda CBR1000RR / Stiggy Racing Honda / 42.639

Fastest Lap 2° Ben Spies 1’48.768 162,412 Km/h Lap record : 2009 Ben Spies 1’48.965 162,120 Km/h Best Lap: 2008 Carlos Checa 1’48.193 163,270

Riders Championship Standings:
1 HAGA 265, 2 SPIES 212, 3 FABRIZIO 201, 4 REA 133, 5 BIAGGI 126, 6 HASLAM 122,
7 SYKES 113, 8 KIYONARI 96, 9 CHECA 93, 10 SMRZ 82, 11 LACONI 77, 12 KAGAYAMA 76,
13 NEUKIRCHNER 75, 14 NAKANO 61, 15 BYRNE 59.