Podium finish for BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team at Laguna Seca

Factory rider Marco Melandri finished an exciting race in third after only narrowly missing the podium in fourth yesterday

Another race day, another reason to celebrate: The BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team stepped onto the podium again in the second of the US-races at Laguna Seca. Factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA) finished an exciting race in third after only narrowly missing the podium in fourth yesterday. It disappointing day for his team-mate though, Chaz Davies (GBR), who had claimed a strong second place in yesterday’s race. Chaz crashed in the warm-up in the late morning. His crew did an excellent job in repairing the bike in the short time before the race but after three laps, Chaz had to retire due to a technical issue. Laguna Seca hosted the 12th of 14 rounds of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship. The team now travels directly to Magny-Cours, France, where the next round will be contested this coming weekend.

After yesterday’s race, the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team analysed the data and further improved Marco’s and Chaz’ BMW S 1000 RRs. Chaz was fifth on the grid, Marco started from seventh. In the beginning, both riders were racing in the leading group but after three laps, Chaz returned to the garage.

Marco Melandri
Marco Melandri

Photo by: James Holland

He felt there was an issue in the braking system and decided to retire for safety reasons. Until he retired, he was lying in fifth, not far behind the leader. Marco was running in fourth for most of the race, never being more than one second behind the top 3. In his typical manner, he started to catch up with the front group halfway through the race. He closed the gap with every lap and was soon directly within the closely fought leading group. In the exciting final stage of the race all top 4 riders were possible winners, Marco included. On the last lap, he overtook Tom Sykes (GBR) and took third on the podium. The race was won by Eugene Laverty.

In the riders’ championship, Marco is fourth with 319 points, 42 points behind the lead. Chaz follows in fifth with 259 points. In the team standings, the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team is second with 578 points and in the manufacturers’ classification, BMW is currently third with 390 points.

Marco Melandri:
Result Race 2: 3rd / Gap to 1st: 0:02.051 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:23.819 min (lap 12)
“Today was a quite positive day. It was not easy, even if I got the best result I could achieve. I want to thank my team; they did a very good job. Unfortunately during the first part of the races I struggled with the front, so I needed a long race to catch up with the guys in front of me. This was not possible yesterday as the race was not long enough. But today, I could push in the second half of the race and I got on the podium. There are still many points still available. It will not be easy, but I still want to win some more races.”

Chaz Davies:
Result Race 2: DNF / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:24.724 min (lap 2)
“It was very frustrating because the race looked like fun and for sure I would have been in the mix. The bike felt great so I think I would have certainly done my best and tried to win today. I think we would have had a good chance. With the bike, we had definitely made a step forward from yesterday but unfortunately we did not get to showcase it because we had an issue with the front brake system. After my crash in the warm-up, when I lost the front, we had to replace the brake system. During the sighting lap it felt like there is something not quite right with it, but on the warm-up lap and after the start it was fine. But then on the second or third lap, the issue came back. I basically had zero brakes and it was getting too dangerous so it was safer to stop. The guys will now check what caused the problem. Now we are heading to Magny-Cours, where my target is to again fight for wins and podiums.”

Andrea Buzzoni (General Manager BMW Motorrad WSBK):
“The fact that yesterday’s first race was reduced to 12 laps did not allow Marco to achieve the result he and the bike had the potential for. He is usually stronger than his rivals in the second part of the race when the tyres drop. This is what he also demonstrated today by finishing on the podium. Chaz had a great race yesterday and stepped on the second place of the podium. Contrary to that, he had to retire after three laps today due to an issue with the brake system. Thus he unfortunately could not achieve a result which potentially could have been similar to yesterday’s.

The positive part of the weekend is that we were twice on the podium with two different riders. But the gap to the front increased a little bit and this cannot leave us satisfied. Our task is not easy, we are 42 points behind the leader, and we have three riders in front of us in the rankings. Until the end of the season, the team must be as competitive as possible, to claim victories and podiums to score as many points as possible. We have to focus on our strengths to keep our performance level as high as possible.”

Stephan Fischer (Technical Director BMW Motorrad Motorsport):
“We obviously came here with certain expectations because it is a very technical circuit and we have two strong riders who know very well how to handle challenging tracks. We had the potential to achieve strong results. In addition, both riders knew the circuit from the past and we could see on Friday how quickly they got to grips with it again. It was also a promising fact that we soon had a strong pace on Friday. The races themselves have been a fantastic show with several riders fighting for the win until the very end.

From a technical point of view we have seen that the packages of our competitors and our package are very similar regarding the competitiveness. As a manufacturer, you now have to try to adapt the bike to the individual strengths of your riders so that they not only have competitive material available but can make best use of it. I think that succeeded in that very well today. Our bike was without a doubt capable of winning and Marco did a very good job in race two. He demonstrated to himself and to the team that we still have the chance to win the title. In the championship anything can happen. For sure our joy was tempered by the issues Chaz experienced today. It was a real pity, as Chaz was absolutely capable of winning in race two. He showed a very strong performance in the first race and for today we had further improved the chassis set-up. Now we have to analyse what exactly caused the issues in the brake system. As usual, we now directly shift our focus to the next race. There are still a lot of points to grab, everything is open.”

BMW Group

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About this article
Series WSBK
Article type Race report
Tags 2013, bmw motorrad goldbet, buzzoni, chaz davies, fischer, laguna seca, marco melandri, sbk

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