WSBK – Great Britain and Italy champions in South Africa! – Superbike races

Great Britain and Italy champions in South Africa !

WSBK - Great Britain and Italy champions in South Africa! - Superbike races

The 6th round of the Superbike World Championship saw the Italians, the English and the Irish in Superbike and Supersport win this weekend in Kyalami (South Africa). The pilots explain themselves and Site deciphers: facts and analyzes.

Superbike races

The 6th round of the Superbike World Championship saw the Italians, the English and the Irish in Superbike and Supersport win this weekend in Kyalami (South Africa) (read). The pilots explain themselves and Site deciphers: facts and analyzes.

Superbike race winners

Winner in the first round: Michel Fabrizio : "I’m very happy for Ducati and so happy for me to have won this race. I needed it. We did our best from the very start of the race and I drove smart to control the gap on the driver behind me".

MNC Analysis – Michel Fabrizio wins here his fourth World Superbike victory and his first of the year! As he emphasizes himself, this first success is very important both for the official Ducati team but also for him….

Last year, Michel and his teammate Noriyuki Haga had signed the "quadruplet" for the Bologna brand in South Africa: fans are therefore waiting for them at the turn in 2010, just like Ducati officials: although they are Defending it, Troy Bayliss’ tests on the 1198/1098 at Mugello were a great way to put their two official drivers – lacking results lately – under pressure (read).

After dominating the first day of testing, Michel Fabrizio was able to place his Ducati on the first row of the starting grid for the second time in a row. But unlike Monza where he was ranked 2nd in qualifying, "Hurricane Mich" brilliantly transformed the test into the first round. !

Starting off like a cannonball, the Italian has a free field to express himself: he fine-tunes his trajectories and makes the most of the qualities of his Ducati to win on a Kyalami circuit, very rhythmic and bumpy. The Ducati is still and always one – if not "the"? – fastest motorcycle on the board !

Less well off in the second heat, Michel is right in the middle of the leading group. It does not manage to assert its talent nor that of its 1098 R and ends in a disappointing 8th place … Would the twin-cylinder not be powerful enough to directly rub shoulders with the Japanese and German "in-line" 4-cylinders or Italian "V" ?

At the end of the second South African round, the FIM answers this question very officially in the affirmative: from the next event (May 31 in the United States), the Ducat ‘may lose 3 kg and therefore weigh 165 kg instead of 162 kg for the 4-cylinder … Will the balance be there? Case to follow on MNC !

Second round winner: Leon Haslam : "We are running for the sole purpose of winning and I felt that in some portions I could do it, so I went for it and it worked! It was very risky in the last laps because the front and rear were moving, but we didn’t make too many mistakes and we won".

MNC Analysis – In the first round, Leon Haslam confirmed his status as n ° 1 in the discipline by climbing to the third step of the podium, behind the two Ducatis de Fabrizio and Checa. First 4-cylinder driver, the n ° 91 occasionally signs his 8th podium of the year in twelve races.

Consistent, the Englishman proves in the second round that he also knows how to win with style! In 40 minutes of racing, Leon has proven point by point that he has the makings of the greatest…

As soon as the red lights went out, Haslam jumped from his 5th place on the grid and hit the head of the race! Even Max Biaggi, expert in starting this year and placed inside the Suz ‘during the braking of the first corner, must bow !

Leader in the first lap, Leon Haslam did not get angry when he lost his first place to Rea because of a slight gap in the big braking of the hairpin. The Suzuki Alstare team driver does not panic any more in the fight between him and Biaggi: the Roman Emperor passes him on the 7th lap, but Haslam continues to fight and Rea remains a few meters in front !

Hyper lively but also careful and patient, Haslam also knows how to be very aggressive! This is how, just before completing the penultimate lap, he once again seizes the lead to never let go and pocket 25 additional points. !

Leon Haslam thus totals 222 points in the championship: it is 17 points more than Max Biaggi and 81 more than Jonathan Rea and James Toseland, tied for third. While the mid-season milestone is already looming – it will be crossed after the first race at Miller Motorsports -, the n ° 91 is the man to beat in 2010…

Also on the podium

Second in the first round: Carlos Checa : "We started at a very fast pace with laps in 1 ’38. I concentrated to stay behind Fabrizio and we kept up this good pace, then the tires got worn out. I thought I was doing a little better, but Fabrizio was very good. Over a few laps I managed to grab a tenth, then I lost it. But the motorbike works very well here !"

MNC Analysis – In the first ten races this year – excluding Kyalami – Carlos Checa and his 1098 R prepared by the private Althea team have brought Ducati its best race result five times..

The Spaniard proves that at 38 years old and with a private machine, a pilot can still be in the game at world level! Like Fabrizio, Checa has a free track to exploit his Ducati during the first round. And like the Italian, the Spanish drank the cup in the second run…

Nevertheless, "El Torro" n ° 7 manages to win during this second race a courageous 5th place: Carlos therefore remains perfectly tied on points with Jonathan Rea (181) in the provisional classification..

In two weeks, the Mondial Superbike will land on the new world … As a true conquistador, Checa had signed his first – and only – doubled in 2008, riding the CBR 1000 RR of the Ten Kate team. A motorcycle that Jonathan Rea riders, precisely! The confrontation promises to be particularly interesting…

Second in the second round: Jonathan Rea : "It looks like we now have a motorcycle that works everywhere! I really enjoyed the race, it was very nice but I wanted so much to win … Leon drove well and every time he passed me he overflowed and I could take him back. Two laps from the end, I thought it could do it by protecting me, but Leon moved away three turns before the last lap"…

MNC Analysis – When he finishes his races, Jonathan Rea is still in the top 6 this year. With his team Ten Kate in Assen, the little Irishman had even won a thunderous double! But at Monza two weeks ago, two falls – the first his fault, the second much less .. – deprived him of points.

This shows if the n ° 65 is motivated when it comes to extricating himself from his 11th place on the grid: in the second round, the Honda rider made such a brilliant start that he completed the first lap in second position! Applied and incisive – as usual – "Johnny Ri" even occupies the lead of the race from the second lap and never leaves it during the next 20 laps. !

In the end, Jonathan obtains an excellent second place and shares with Checa the 3rd position of the provisional classification at the end of this South African event. But more than these results perhaps, his exceedances are to be welcomed !

Even more beautiful than the interior it does on Toseland and Biaggi – at the same time! – in the second round, the completely improbable exterior that he performs on Toseland and Camier – simultaneously also! – in the first round alone would have deserved the granting of a few additional points in the championship … It will in any case remain engraved in the annals !

So let’s hope that the fiery Irishman can confirm his return to the forefront in the United States and in the following six events. Often criticized for its lack of consistency, the Fireblade is, according to Jonathan, finally sharp and ready to go ahead, whatever the circuit. We wait to see !

Third in the second round: Max Biaggi : "It was a pleasant and close race. I got off to a good start and half the job was almost done. In the first run, I got stuck and couldn’t move forward. But in the second, I joined directly with the two leading guys and was able to ride at their pace. I tried to attack at the end, but it didn’t work.

MNC Analysis – Author of a masterful double at his home in Monza, Max Biaggi had to remain at the forefront in Kyalami: on a track where top speed is of less importance, his detractors already saw the Roman Emperor sinking…

Nay! Admittedly, Max records again and again the most important maximum speed of the field – he climbed to 257 km / h in the second round! -, but on the Kyalami circuit his driving is rewarded more than ever !

Stuck in traffic in the first heat, the Italian took time to get rid of his teammate Leon Camier and could only reach a distant fourth place, seven seconds behind the winner Fabrizio. On the other hand, his better start in the second round allows him to fight at the forefront….

Starting from 7th place, Biaggi narrowly missed the holeshot in favor of Haslam. Aprilia’s n ° 3 then resists attacks from the two Ducati de Checa and Fabrizio: thanks to its engine or to its mastery of trajectories? The new regulations may make it possible to decide…

The fact remains that Max is again very fast and joins the leading duo made up of Rea and Haslam. And although the RSV4 Factory seems less docile on bumps than the Gex and the CBR, especially out of bends, Mad Max sows terror among his opponents. !

In the end, Biaggi gives up a few points to Haslam in the provisional classification but proves that we can count on him and on Aprilia, unlike Corser on the BMW, on any type of track … It will be the same on both next tests at least: on Miller’s "looong" straight line, then in his garden in Brno…

Our Frenchie, Sylvain Guintoli

10th and 15th : "This day should have been much better and I am very disappointed. The first race was not that bad, except for two corners where I was losing a lot of time and couldn’t catch up with the guys in front. Okay, this is a new lead for me, but I think I should have done better. The second race was a disaster! I had no grip and no feeling on the brakes. It was like I had no power and that is not a good feeling when you drive at high speed on such a track. It’s a weekend to forget and I hope I’ll be in the rhythm next time, although it will be another new track for me.".

MNC Analysis – Sylvain knows it: the excuse of the rookie who discovers new tracks is only partially valid. Last year, on a completely renewed motorcycle, Ben Spies took only a few laps to compete and beat (!) The greatest riders of the championship !

Without evoking this exceptional Texan, the characteristic of a high-level pilot is to know how to put big gas whatever the place, the conditions, the adversaries, the bike, the tires, the settings, the mood of his mother-in-law. or his horoscope…

By his own admission, Sylvain found the track rather to his liking: demanding and technical, but unfortunately too bumpy and poorly surfaced. According to him, the Frenchie could even have interfered in the last qualifying phase if he had not made a small mistake in the last portion !

The track is the same for everyone, motorcycles not … But, our national n ° 50 cannot pretend a lack of competitiveness on the part of a Gex 1000 which prances at the head of the drivers’ championship with its teammate Leon Haslam

In the end, Syl ‘leaves South Africa with six small points and loses two places in the general classification: he is now 11th with 77 points. Hopefully the next American event will allow him to come back to Camier (82) or even Crutchlow (86)? Answer in two weeks on MNC !

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