The BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team finished a long and turbulent Saturday at Laguna Seca (USA) on the podium. Factory rider Chaz Davies (GBR) claimed second in today’s first race of the US round of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship. His team-mate Marco Melandri (ITA) missed the podium narrowly, finishing fourth with his BMW S 1000 RR. The race had to be red-flagged twice as air-fences had been damaged by crashed motorcycles. When the race was finally underway, both BMW riders were fighting for the victory. A different schedule for Laguna Seca saw the first race contested on Saturday, race two will take place tomorrow on Sunday.
Saturday started with a free practice and the Superpole qualifying in the late morning. Chaz and Marco qualified fifth and seventh on the grid respectively. At the start of the race, both of them gained positions, with Marco improving to third and Chaz to fourth. On lap two, the Welshman overtook his team-mate and on the following lap he set a new lap record. But on lap eight, the race was red-flagged for the first time. For the re-start, the grid was formed by the results of the last contested lap, meaning that Chaz started from third and Marco from fifth. This time, Marco improved to third, while Chaz slipped back to fifth when the lights went out.
Chaz was third on the grid again, Marco now started from fourth. The BMW duo initially stormed to the front, with Chaz taking the lead and Marco improving to second. After six laps, the two RRs were still in first and second positions, but Tom Sykes (GBR) was pushing from behind. He overtook Marco on lap seven to take second. Chaz defended his lead until the tenth lap when he lost out to Sykes. But this did not mean the excitement was over. In the final stages of the race, both Chaz and Marco chased Sykes, fighting for the win. Chaz saw the chequered flag in second. Marco also was on course to the podium, entering the final lap in third position but the Italian then dropped back to fourth when he was passed by Eugene Laverty (IRL) in the “Corkscrew”. In the Riders’ classification, Marco is currently fourth with 303 points, followed by Chaz who is fifth with 259 points. In the Manufacturers’ ranking, BMW lies in third with 374 points. The second race of the US round will start tomorrow at 14:00 local time.
Fastest lap FP: 1:23.790 min (P3) / Fastest lap Superpole 3: 1:23.040 min (P5)
Result Race 1: 2nd / Gap to 1st: 0:01.253 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:23.852 min (lap 2)
“Second place is a good result; I am pretty happy. To be on the podium at Laguna is always great. At the second re-start, I made a great start to take the lead. For the rest of the race I was just trying to keep my head down and did whatever I could to stay in front. But it was difficult, from mid-race on I was struggling with the front and it was pretty slippery. I did not feel that I had the bike that I had in the cooler conditions this morning. There I was really happy with the bike; it was working great. I was able to do 1:23 laps on a really used tyre but in the race, the bike was a bit more nervous and harder to ride. We will address that tonight and try to improve it for tomorrow. For the second race I hope to have another great start and then we will see what is possible then.”
Fastest lap FP: 1:24.167 min (P5) / Fastest lap Superpole 3: 1:23.363 min (P7)
Result Race 1: 4th / Gap to 1st: 0:02.650 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:23.819 min (lap 2)
“Today’s race was closely fought, unfortunately with a negative outcome for me. The two red-flags in some ways helped me because in the first two parts of the race I could not go as fast as I wanted. Then, before the third start, we made some changes and finally I had a good speed. I started quite well; I had a good race pace and I wanted to be in front. Unfortunately on this track it is very difficult to overtake. I tried it in every way but I did not succeed. With this result we have lost important points and I am sorry for that. Tomorrow we will see what will happen in race two.”
Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“Today’s race was influenced by the two red-flags and in a way we benefitted from these interruptions. In the break after the second red-flag we were able to make changes that allowed Marco to be fast and to have a good rhythm. Unluckily Marco was passed during the last lap so we lost some important points for the championship. It was a manoeuvre which we felt was a bit close to the limit. Chaz did a very good race. He started very well, was fast and achieved a very good second place on the podium. Mathematically, everything is possible in the championship, even if it will be quite difficult. But we will see what will happen in tomorrow’s second race.”
Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“We are pleased with the work done by both crews and both riders. We have further improved the performance of our machine on this track. As a result, both riders were able to fight for the win today. Chaz did a good job achieving another podium. Marco was not lucky during the final lap but he will have the next chance in the second race tomorrow. From the technical aspect we have suffered a bit with the hotter conditions in the race, when the track temperature went over 40 degrees Celsius and this is the point where we want to improve for tomorrow. We will analyse the data and try to understand if the track conditions will be the same. We will do the necessary adjustments to the bikes to be best prepared for race two.”
BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team