BMW Motorrad experienced a turbulent race day at Silverstone

Factory rider and local hero Chaz Davies (GBR) fought for the victory in race two but had to retire for a technical issue, Marco Melandri (ITA) crossed the line in ninth.

The BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team experienced a turbulent race day at Silverstone (GBR), venue of the ninth round of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship. The day saw unpredictable weather conditions, high hopes to finish on the podium and a difficult end for the team. Factory rider and local hero Chaz Davies (GBR) fought for the victory in race two but had to retire for a technical issue.

Marco Melandri
Marco Melandri

Photo by: Dave Dyer

In race one he finished tenth after a strong start. His team-mate Marco Melandri (ITA) tried to make the best of his 15th position on the grid, crossing the line in ninth in both races and thus collecting more important points with his BMW S 1000 RR. There was reason to celebrate however: Sylvain Barrier (FRA) from the BMW Motorrad GoldBet STK Team secured victory in both of today’s Superstock 1000 races. The start of the first Superbike race was delayed by 20 minutes for safety reasons as light rain started to fall just as the riders were preparing on the grid. Conditions were mostly dry when the race – shortened to 17 laps – started. Chaz, who started from sixth, was fighting within the leading group in the early stages, setting his sights on a podium position, but he dropped back later.

Marco meanwhile had improved to the top 10 after having started from 15th. From lap six on, drops of rain fell all over the circuit, making the conditions difficult to judge. From that moment on there were many position changes throughout the field. After 17 tricky laps, Marco and Chaz finished ninth and tenth respectively.

Race two turned out to be another thriller with Chaz as one of the protagonists. In the close group of frontrunners, he had amazing battles with his competitors for the victory and podium positions, temporarily taking the lead. But Chaz’ hopes for a victory or podium on home soil ended on lap 15, when he was stopped by a technical issue with the engine. Shortly after, the race was red flagged as it started to rain again and two riders crashed out.

Marco improved from 15th to eighth during the opening stages of the race, but then went wide and dropped back to 14th. He tried to work his way back towards the front and finished ninth in the end. The races were won by Jonathan Rea (GBR) and Loris Baz (FRA). After nine rounds of the 2013 season, Marco is fourth in the riders’ championship with 221 points, 41 points off the lead. Chaz follows directly behind in fifth with 180 points. In the Manufacturers’ classification, BMW is currently third with 276 points.

In the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup – unusually – two races were contested today. Sylvain started with his BMW HP4 from pole position. In race in the morning one he had to take part in a close fight against his competitors to celebrate his first victory of the day. In race two, he managed to build a gap to the rest of the field and secured the win again, his fifth of the season.

His BMW Motorrad GoldBet STK Team mate Greg Gildenhuys (RSA), who was racing at Silverstone for the first time, finished 14th and 12th. In the Riders’ classification, Sylvain has now 145 points and has extended his lead to 36 points. In the Manufacturers’ classification, BMW is leading with 156 points.

Marco Melandri: (Result Race 1: 9th / Gap to 1st: 0:14.017 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 2:05.682 min (lap 5) / Result Race 2: 9th / Gap to 1st: 0:20.209 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 2:05.439 min (lap 2): “To start from the back of the grid is really not easy. In race one, in dry conditions, I was quite fast, but in some turns I had some vibrations which didn’t allow me to go at a constantly fast rhythm over the course of a lap. Then the weather changed and in the long turns I was not able to keep the right temperature of the tyres. I preferred not to risk anything and to get the best possible result limiting the damage.

Race two, unfortunately, did not go very well. After a couple of laps, while I was gaining positions, I went wider and I lost contact to the riders in front. I tried to attack once more but I had many vibrations and I was not able to ride well. Luckily I didn’t lose many points from the leader in the rankings. The break before the race weekend at Nürburgring will help us to take a rest and to enable us to start the final part of the season in the best way.”

Chaz Davies: (Result Race 1: 10th / Gap to 1st: 0:14.167 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 2:05.753 min (lap 5) / Result Race 2: DNF / Fastest Lap Race 2: 2:05.320 min (lap 4): “Race one was not too bad in the beginning. My pace was good and even if I was not completely happy with the bike, we were there lying in fourth, right in the group.

So that was okay. Then the rain started and I was struggling to judge the conditions. I had a couple of slides on the side of the tyre off the gas which made me a little bit cautious. Then in certain times the race came to me but the rain started to make it difficult.

In race two we were doing what we could do and I tried to get the victory. The bike was a bit better than in race one for stability in the rear. Then in the end it started to rain again and this played a part but at this point we were still in the hunt to win the race. Then I had the issue with the engine. It was frustrating. It would have been nice to at least be on the podium at my home round but unfortunately we did not have a great day today.”

Andrea Buzzoni (General Manager BMW Motorrad WSBK): “We need to keep our focus on the championship and this is what the team did and will continue to do, proving to be consistent and solid. The results from this weekend do not show our potential, it has been an unusual day. In race one, unstable weather conditions led to differing priorities within the field. In race two, Chaz could have won or at least have been on the podium, but he was stopped by a technical issue which denied us success.

The team continued to work in a professional way and kept morale high in a difficult situation. Luckily the results do not have too much of a negative effect on us in terms of the overall rankings and at Nürburgring, we will come back to fight for victories. On the other hand, we had a fantastic day in the Superstock class. The team and the guys from BMW Motorrad HP RaceSupport in Munich made an excellent job. Sylvain showed, once more, that he is a consistent and mature rider, winning two fantastic races.”

Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team): “Today both of our riders had very difficult races. We have seen signs of improvement from yesterday. Chaz has improved his feeling with the bike, especially in race two, and he was doing a fantastic race and I have to congratulate him and his crew. But unfortunately he could not finish due to an issue with the engine. We are sorry for him and it was a pity for all of us.

But this is racing; now we must learn from what happened and then improve and be ready for Nürburgring. For Marco for sure it was not easy to start from 15th on the grid. He made two good starts and he could do quite fast lap times, better than the ones he did on Friday and Saturday. In doing so, he showed that he had improved his feeling for the bike but it still was not enough.

He was struggling in both races with the front end of the bike going in and this was limiting him overtaking people. For sure the weather conditions did not help, but this was the same for everybody and it is not an excuse. We must improve our package in order to be ready next time, whatever the weather will be like."

BMW Motorrad

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Series WSBK
Article type Race reports
Tags bmw, davies, melandri, silverstone, wsbk

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