WSBK – Statements and analysis of Superbike in Portimao – Statements of Superbike riders in Portugal

Statements and analysis of the Superbike in Portimao

WSBK - Statements and analysis of Superbike in Portimao - Statements of Superbike riders in Portugal

The sixth round of the World SBK 2013 took place on Sunday in Portimao, Portugal. To complete our live reports, here are the statements of the Superbike riders as well as the Site analysis of the two Portuguese races.

Statements by Superbike riders in Portugal

Site readers – who, as everyone knows, are a little more fortunate than the others – have already been able to experience Sunday, almost live, the unfolding of the Mondial Superbike and Supersport races on the Portimao circuit (for latecomers, read then).

Here are the declarations of the pilots who distinguished themselves on Sunday … Honors to the winners !

Marco Melandri, 1st then 12th:
"Winning the first race was not easy because at the beginning I struggled a lot with the rear grip, but after ten laps it improved. I was able to drive more easily, and therefore get closer to the front of the race again. I had a hard time leading because it was very windy and it was difficult to stay ahead. When Tom passed me, he closed the door for me. He thought maybe he was in front of me, but he still got me off the track … When I came back I had no more strategy so I accelerated as much as I could. I tried to overtake Tom very quickly because Sylvain was also very fast and he was trying to escape. When I caught up with Guintoli, I had the opportunity to overtake him. The last lap is quite difficult to explain, it was very close between us and I attacked as much as I could … I am really happy and I thank everyone at BMW".

"In the second race I certainly could have been on the podium, but the rear tire started to vibrate from the second lap. On the third, I started to lose grip and the tire deteriorated. The whole bike started to vibrate because of that and it became difficult to ride. I did the best I could in this situation. Now I focus on Imola".

Eugene Laverty, retirement then 1st:
"My first heats really seem to be cursed this year, especially on circuits like this or Aragon, where I had the right pace to hope to pocket both wins. But I am not to be pitied. The important thing is to always set your goals high and fight back when bad luck strikes. I gave everything for this victory and I am happy to have been able to do it by dominating from the first to the last lap. I’m still in the race for the title, even with all these lousy results. We are making progress with each race and I am confident for the future".

Sylvain Guintoli, 2nd (x 2):
"I started cautiously in the first heat, trying to save my tires, and it was this strategy that kept me fighting until the last moments. It’s a shame to see the victory slip through my fingers, but I’m happy with the way I handled this race. Although I had some hesitation at the start, I quickly found my rhythm and finished well. After passing Rea, I opened the throttle to widen the gap, even taking a few risks on the last lap. But luckily everything went well and we leave Portimao with important points for the championship".

Tom Sykes, 3rd then out of classification:
"What happened for the first race was pretty much what I expected. Obviously the guys who finished first and second were really strong. I struggled a bit with my pace in the race. We get a good podium and score big points. Portimao is not one of the circuits where I am the strongest and yet we could have fought for the victory".

"In the second run, the fall is entirely my fault because in the first corner of my formation lap I rolled on the inside vibrator. It looked pretty flat, but at the last moment I realized it was prominent and he threw me over the bike! The motorbike made a sun and then landed on me. It was really a big fall. I injured my right leg and it gave me a headache. We made improvements to the bike for the second race and we saw that was it because we went to break the lap record. I was always on the limit of the bike in every race. It’s my worst track, but in both races we pushed the machine to the limits and it was easier to set the fastest time in the second run. I feel like I disappointed a few people on my team, but I don’t want to be too hard on myself as this is the first mistake I made in a long time "

Jonathan Rea, retirement then 3rd:
"It’s been a frustrating weekend, again, but we come away from here with a podium and I’m very happy to get back on it. I had a good pace in the first part of the second heat and felt the bike really well, but as soon as the tire grip fell off the electronics made it impossible. I couldn’t increase the traction control because it slowed me down even more and, if I turned it off, the bike would go out of control. We are just waiting for a little more power, but it is long overdue and it is quite frustrating … The first run was also disappointing. We have too many mechanical problems this year. It’s frustrating to go through this when I was fighting in the Top 5. Also two generally good circuits for us have now passed and we haven’t been able to rack up any points."…

"Imola is another circuit that we are strong on so hopefully we can be back there. I want to thank Chris (Pike, team leader, Editor’s note) and everyone who continues to seek and work hard, and all the fans for their support which means a lot to us as we struggle".

Leon Camier, 4th then retirement:
"I got off to a decent start in the first run and was picking up a bit, but when I got inside past Haslam – and I was way ahead of him! – he released the brake on the turn and hit me. I lost a little time and a few places, and I had to make sure to make up for it by moving up the field. Going from 15th to 4th place is a pretty good result"

"The bike was going well, I felt I could overtake very easily and the speed of the Suzuki FIXI Crescent improved significantly. It was seen because I could get out of the last corner and continue on this momentum to overtake at the end of the straight line, which I could not do before. So I was really happy about it. At the start of the second race I had an electronics problem and the bike didn’t start as it should. I gained a few places, but I didn’t feel quite as strong as in the first run. I still continued to attack and started to have a good pace when a problem with the bike prevented me from continuing. I was hoping to gain a few more places because I could see the group in front of me approaching. I think fourth or fifth place was achievable, but we’ll never know !".

Loris Baz, 5th then 4th:
"The second race was good. I got off to a good start, like in the first run. I tried to leave with Sylvain Guintoli but I couldn’t follow him. I attacked but when I saw Sylvain move away, I slowed down a bit. The Top 5 remains our goal, but I think we could have done better than fifth in the first race. I only lost one position at the start, but I felt that the rear of the bike did not behave like in practice and when I passed Carlos Checa I couldn’t push as I did. wanted. In the second run, Melandri had a problem and I quickly caught up with him: it was a good race for me. Overall, both races are positive and we took points from Chaz Davies in the standings. If you look at where we started from on Friday you will see that we have improved a lot on race day".

Jules Cluzel, 8th then 7th:
"I am delighted to have finished both races in the Top 10. The first was really tough and during the first part I had very little feeling about the rear tire. I brushed against the high side several times in the first two laps. After that I tried to go up step by step, and at the end my pace was not that bad. I finished eighth".

"In the second heat we tried to improve the set-up and I think we found something because I was able to follow Leon on the first ten laps. My pace was better than during the first race. I think I was faster with each lap and it’s a big step forward. I would like to have even more grip at the rear and need to do more laps on a worn tire to learn more about how it performs at the end of the race. The weekend has been good and we have made some progress. Now we are heading to Italy. We will continue to work there to be even better".

Chaz Davies, 6th then 5th:
"The first race was a bit frustrating. My start was not particularly good and I found myself in the wrong car the first few laps, which cost me a lot of time. It didn’t completely ruin my race, but it did prevent me from finishing in the place we could aim for. In the middle of the race my pace wasn’t too far from the guys in front. It would have been good to go with them. At the end of the course, we suffered a drop in performance due to the lack of grip, including at the front where we used the hardest for reasons of stability. For the second race, we threw two bets because we honestly didn’t have much to lose. We changed our front and rear tire options and also slightly modified the suspensions".

"In the end, the second race was much better than the first. I was much happier with the bike, although I didn’t have quite the grip I wanted, especially in the first two laps. But I found some grip from the third lap. Again, we learned a little too late, which is frustrating. Overall, we performed better in the second run but it was still not enough. So I would say I’m half happy".

Carlos Checa, 9th then 6th:
"In the first run, I was able to keep pace with those in front for the first six or seven laps. From the middle of the race, I started to gradually lose grip and with my left shoulder tired at the very end, that unfortunately prevented me from maintaining the seventh position on the finish line. We made small changes before the second race and the bike was much easier to ride, especially when it comes to changes of direction. It was the first time that I was able to maintain a good pace throughout the race and I am very happy with the result. I want to thank my entire team who have worked so hard every weekend so far. I appreciate everything they do: this sixth place encourages us to keep improving in the next races.".

And now for our MNC analysis of the World Superbike in Portimao !

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