BMW Motorrad dramatic and difficult Sunday at the “TT Circuit” in Assen

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In the Riders' classification, Chaz Davies, Laverty and Sykes are on equal points behind leader Sylvain Guintoli (FRA), all having 83 points and Marco Melandri sits in eighth with 51 points.

The BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team concludes a dramatic and difficult Sunday at the “TT Circuit” in Assen (NED). Factory rider Chaz Davies (GBR) finished seventh and fifth after crashing in this morning’s warm-up. His BMW S 1000 RR was so badly damaged that the team had to prepare the rolling chassis for the races.

Chaz Davies
Chaz Davies

Photo by: BMW AG

His teammate Marco Melandri (ITA) had even more bad luck: a technical issue stopped him in the warm-up lap for race one. In race two, the Italian finished eighth. The winners at the third round of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship were Tom Sykes (GBR) and Eugene Laverty (IRL).

In the Riders' classification, Chaz, Laverty and Sykes are on equal points behind leader Sylvain Guintoli (FRA), all having 83 points in their tally. Due to the race results, Chaz is classified third behind Laverty. Marco sits in eighth with 51 points. In the Manufacturers' classification, BMW lies in second with 99 points.

After Chaz’s crash in the morning, the squad did not have much time to build up the rolling chassis. Chaz's crew was supported by Marco’s crew, who stood in to help as soon as they had completed the race preparation on Marco’s RR. With their joint efforts and well organised work they succeeded in getting the #19 RR ready for race one, though Chaz had to start from the last row.

With the first race getting underway, drama continued for the team. In the warm-up lap, Marco was stopped by a part failure in the final drive and was forced to roll off the track and onto the grass. The race was over for him before it actually began. It is as yet unclear what caused the failure. The part is currently at the supplier for analysis.

Chaz meanwhile started his catch-up, charging his way forward through the field. After lap one he was already in 11th and gained more positions as the race unfolded. He crossed the line in seventh, collecting important points. In race two, both riders made a good start, with Marco improving from eighth to fifth and Chaz from 13th to ninth.

But Marco was struggling to keep this position and dropped back. After nine laps, he was back in 11th while Chaz continued his way forward, being sixth at that time. On the last lap, Chaz gained another position, crossing the line in fifth. Marco also worked his way back forward and finished the race in eighth.

Chaz Davies: Result Race 1: 7th / Gap to 1st: 0:22.570 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:36.867 min (lap 3) - Result Race 2: 5th / Gap to 1st: 0:07.359 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:36.541 min (lap 3) “The day started very badly with the crash in the morning. The track temperature was still very low and I lost the front. I did not think that the crash was that big but the bike must have tumbled quite a lot and it was really badly damaged. It was frustrating to destroy a bike like that in the warm-up.

A big credit to the team who did an amazing job building up a brand new bike for the race. As it was a new bike I did not expect big things. I was just hoping to get some points so to finish seventh was a reason to be happy.

“To finish in the top 5 in the second race was not a great result but I got the maximum of what was possible and it was limiting the damage. I got the best possible result in both races. Again, I owe everybody in the team a big thank you for today, for pulling together and enabling me to race. We still have some work to do. I know where we are losing riding against the other guys. In some places the bike is working well, in other places I feel that we need to improve. Now I am looking forward to Monza.”

Marco Melandri: Result Race 1: DNF - Result Race 2: 8th / Gap to 1st: 0:27.267 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:36.642 min (lap 2) “It was an awful weekend and today, it was an unlucky day. In race one I did not even start, while in race 2 it seemed that a sensor failed so the bike could not work with the right electronic strategies. I had to slow down for a couple of laps to understand what was going on and what the problem was. Once I understood how to manage the situation I returned to my race pace and completed the race. Now we need to understand what does not work and to solve the problem. My aim is to rediscover the riding pleasure, to fight for the podium and to win again.”

Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team): “We had a difficult and troubled weekend. Marco, after the technical issue he experienced in race one, again had difficulties in race two. Unfortunately, something did not work. He did not find the right feeling with his bike and we could not enable him to overcome these difficulties and ride properly.

We are already planning some meetings in the next days to analyse the situation in order to allow him a consistent top performance from the next race in Monza onwards. Chaz fell this morning during warm-up but he took part in both races, thanks to the efforts of his and of Marco’s crew who worked together. I want to thank all the guys for this excellent job. Chaz did not get the final results he was aiming for but he collected some important points.

“In the Superstock class, Sylvain finished second today. Unfortunately he did not win and he was not happy. But to achieve this result against such strong competitors is very positive. We were very satisfied and we want to win again in Monza.”

Stephan Fischer (Technical Director BMW Motorrad Motorsport): “It was a difficult weekend for us. On Chaz’s side we had his retirement in Superpole and with Marco we were struggling to find the right set-up. This was topped this morning by Chaz’s crash during warm-up. Building up the new bike worked great because everybody pulled together and helped.

A big thanks to the whole squad. Unfortunately the time was not enough to be ready in time to go to the grid normally. So Chaz had to start from the last row and we must pay him a compliment. He made a great start and over the course of the race, he showed a consistently good performance. His bike and the set-up worked well, his lap times were competitive and under other circumstances, they would have been good for a top result.

"Marco had bad luck this weekend, too. It took us quite long to find the right set-up for the difficult conditions on this racetrack. Before the race we were headed in the right direction and his lap times during warm-up made us hope for a strong result. What followed, was the retirement in race one.

This failure was probably something that happens to you once in a lifetime. However, we still have to examine accurately the reason for the failure. In race two he unfortunately struggled with issues again. But this is racing: you have highs and you have lows. Now we have to analyse our lows precisely and use our findings take the right steps. We will try to do our homework properly in order to head to Monza well prepared.”

BMW Motorrad Motorsport

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Series WSBK
Article type Race report
Tags assen, bmw, davies, melandri, wsbk

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