World SBK race result interviews Nurburgring
Ben Spies Speaks… (1st, 2nd)
"the first race was tough, Rea and I battled a bit for the first couple of laps and Nori got away so I had to reel him back in, using a lot of my tyre to do that. When I got to him I knew he was really strong in the first few corners so I slowed the pace a bit and controlled him through there. With three laps to go we pulled the pin and got back down to some fast laps. The second race was a tough one, I didn’t get a great start and had to spend some time working through the pack, when I eventually got up to Rea he had a great pace on so I tucked in and was waiting for him to make a mistake, which unfortunately he didn’t! I used up a lot of my tyres fighting through the pack and was starting to slide around a bit at the end so tucked in and took the points. It’s fantastic to be leading the championship, it’s what we came here to do, so we’re looking forward to getting to Imola and seeing if we can build on this. The team have been brilliant, and have worked really hard all weekend."
Noriyuki Haga Speaks.. (2nd, DNF)
"Ben got past me after ten laps and from that point on I did all I could to push everywhere so as to stay with him. I basically tried to overtake him everywhere and in some places I came close but in the end I had to settle for second. I am not so happy as I really thought I could win but Ben has a very strong bike here today. Then, before the second race, we made a small suspension modification and I had a better feeling with the rear as the race got underway; I think that would have been of benefit if I had reached the final stages of the race, but unfortunately, just I started to push to catch Checa, Rea came up fast on the straight and hit me. There was nothing I could do and I couldn’t restart the bike. I’m angry as it is the second time this has happened; I guess the only consolation is that I’m not hurt."
Michel Fabrizio Speaks… (7th, 9th)
"What can I say? The weekend didn’t go to plan. In Race 1 I had problems with rear grip and once that race was over my technicians discovered a problem with gearing which meant I had to go out with the second bike in Race 2. Unfortunately the engine of the second bike didn’t perform as it should, as it seemed as I was missing acceleration coming out of the corners, meaning it was impossible to stick with the group ahead of me. It can only go better at Imola."
Jonathan Rea Speaks… (4th, 1st)
"Apart from the issues with my number one bike in the first part of race one, I had a real problem with turn three and messed up the race. I was a bit disappointed with fourth and was really motivated to ride better in race two. The guys sat me down in between races and gave me an instruction manual on how to win. We changed nothing on the bike and I tried to ride my own race and mind my own business. I got a really bad start and had to get a bit aggressive on people in turn one. Haga ran quite wide and I went on the inside and, although I didn’t see him I felt a big bang and only found out he crashed after the race. I’m sorry for that but don’t think it was my fault and I wouldn’t blame him. I gave it all I could in the race and the package was very strong today so I can’t thank the team enough. I knew I had to make no mistakes on the last lap because Ben was so close, so breaking the lap record then was great. But it’s really a testament to how strong the bike is now and hopefully we can take this momentum on to the next race."
Carlos Checa Speaks… (3rd, 3rd)
"We knew it would be tough going into turn one and in the first race I just tried to catch the top guys. I got up to Johnny and had a good fight with him but right up to the last turn I didn’t know what would happen. I made a really great start to race two – I couldn’t believe it. Got into another battle with Haga early on but I could see Johnny was strong when he passed me. I tried to stay with Ben Spies and lost a few meters in the middle of the race but it was very good to keep third for me and for the team. It’s been a really satisfying weekend."
Tom Sykes Speaks… (9th, 8th)
" I’m really disappointed to be honest, my pace in warm up this morning was quite impressive and I knew going into the races that repeating those lap times would mean we were running at the front. Unfortunately we couldn’t repeat it, we were really struggling for grip which we could see in the data afterwards. My braking, corner entry and everything was the same but when I got on the gas I couldn’t use the same percentage of throttle that I was this morning. We tried to change something in race two but it didn’t seem to help. I’m certainly looking forward to putting this weekend behind me and moving on. We’ve got three rounds left now to come up with something special so we’ll see what we comes out."
Leon Haslam Speaks… (6th, 5th)
"I am a bit disappointed with the result of my second race. I got the started I wanted for the race, and I had a good battle with Johnny. I felt comfortable riding behind him but Johnny kept pulling a bit on the straights and I thought I could keep it up. I suffered some a bit of front end chatter but when Spies passed me and put me onto the gravel the chattering seemed to have gotten worse. I made a few mistakes when I went back on to the track and dropped back a second from the pace I set before. I feel it could have been a win and easily a second place, but that is racing."
John Hopkins Speaks… (DNF, DNS)
"My day started off well and my crew found a good set-up for the machine in the warm-up session and I managed to improve my pace. I was confident going into the race. I knew the start would be tough and I had to be somewhere tactical to get myself into the top 10 by the end of the first lap. I ran a bit wide coming out of turn one and then got hit from behind in the second turn and high-sided into Broc Parkes. I was unconscious for 10 minutes before waking up in the ambulance. A bike ran over my chest, but apart from that I have no serious injuries. I just hope my luck will turn around soon."
Max Biaggi Speaks… (5th, 4th)
"I am pretty satisfied even though the conditions of these past few days were pretty difficult. Having ridden only one day on the dry track and without having any data available, our work was quite complicated, so we optimised the material we had at our disposal based on our experience in the previous races and in the end it was a good weekend. I still feel the usual vibrations in the turns which I’m still unable to resolve; I hope they decrease in the next races because they really limit us a lot. Race 2 went much better – a shame about the start – but we already understand where the problem came from and the pace was good. We will need more time to draw out the best in ourselves, hopefully already by Imola even though the type of circuit is not very favourable to our characteristics".
Ryuichi Kiyonari Speaks… (14th, 7th)
"Race two was a big improvement for me and I felt more comfortable on the bike. It had a better feeling and balance and I was able to push a little harder in the second race and pass quite a few riders. Of course, there is still a lot of work to do but I am looking forward to see how much more we can improve in the final three races of the season."