The sixth round of this year’s Superbike World Championship in Kyalami will not be remembered with much affection by Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport. The weekend had started with promise, but ended without either or Ruben or Steve scoring any points in the two twenty-four lap races. Ruben was pushed off the track twice and completed just three laps in total. Steve managed to finish both races, ending 22nd in race one and 18th in race two.
Both today’s races, which took place in superb conditions, were won by Noriyuki Haga (Ducati). In race one, he was a comfortable winner, nearly a second ahead of team mate Michel Fabrizio, with Ben Spies (Yamaha) third. After taking the lead on lap three of race two, he was never headed on the way to his double. Fabrizio pushed him hard at the end, but ended just three tenths of a second behind at the flag. Jonathan Rea (Honda) took third place after holding off Leon Haslam (Honda) and Max Biaggi (Aprilia) in the closing stages.
Ruben Xaus Speaks… (Race 1 DNF) (Race 2 DNF)
"There’s not much to say when you have only done three laps in two races and I am disappointed for myself and the whole team because we had the potential to get goods results today. I am a bit angry because I know I did a good job this weekend and it’s not good getting nothing back. In race one I think I was nudged off by Smrz and I have got a funny feeling that he was also involved in the race two crash as well. In that race, I was just going into the last turn and suddenly my bike shot out from under me. I am not sure exactly what happened, but it was crash number two and a big shame because the bike is improving and I’m sure I could’ve got a couple of top ten finishes."
Steve Martin Speaks… (Race 1 22nd) (Race 2 18th)
"It has been a great honour to be on the S 1000 RR this weekend. I never expected to race at the top level in WSBK again but I am very grateful to get the chance. My job this weekend was not to be Troy (Corser), but to try things the team do not normally get the chance to try during a race weekend and give us much info and feedback as possible. The team gave me 100% this weekend and helped me really enjoy the whole experience. Of course, I am not happy with the results, but I’m happy to be on the track in a WSBK race and happy to help the team."
Rainer Baeumel (Team Manager BMW Motorrad Motorsport)
"The dramas started yesterday in Superpole when we had the potential to be on the second or third row of the grid. When you start from the fourth or fifth row, there are always going to problems getting through the pack and it’s easy to get pushed or shoved. One of our objectives must be to qualify better and try and avoid these kind of problems. I think we are all a bit disappointed because Ruben had the potential to finish seventh, eighth or ninth. Steve gave us a lot of information and feedback and it was definitely the right decision asking to him the race here this weekend. On a positive note, we’ve found some good ideas and directions to use in the next race."
World Superbike Results
1 Noriyuki Haga (JPN-Ducati); 2 Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Ducati); 3 Ben Spies (USA-Yamaha); 4 Jonathan Rea (GBR-Honda); 5 Max Biaggi (ITA-Aprilia); 6 Carlos Checa (SPA-Honda); 7 Shinya Nakano (JPN-Aprilia); 8 Yukio Kagayama (JPN-Suzuki);
9 Shane Byrne (GBR-Ducati); 10 Tom Sykes (GBR-Yamaha), 22 Steve Martin (AUS-BMW Motorrad Motorsport); Ruben Xaus (SPA-BMW Motorrad Motorsport) DNF
1 Noriyuki Haga (JPN-Ducati); 2 Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Ducati); 3 Jonathan Rea (GBR-Honda); 4 Leon Haslam (GBR-Honda); 5 Max Biaggi (ITA-Aprilia); 6 Carlos Checa (SPA-Honda); 8 Yukio Kagayama (JPN-Suzuki); 9 Tom Sykes (GBR-Yamaha); 10 Jakub Smrz (CZE-Ducati), 18 Steve Martin (AUS-BMW Motorrad Motorsport), Ruben Xaus (SPA-BMW Motorrad Motorsport) DNF
World Superbike Rider Point Standings
1 Haga 250; 2 Fabrizio 165; 3 Spies 162; 4 Haslam 116; 5 Rea 106; 6 Biaggi 103; 7 Sykes 103; 8 Laconi 77; 9 Neukirchner 75; 10 Checa 73, 16 Ruben Xaus (SPA-Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 40; 17 Troy Corser (AUS-BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 35