Nürburgring Superbike: Final Quotes

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World SBK Quotes

The 11th round of the 2010 FIM Superbike World Championship at the Nürburgring (GER) was the home event for Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport and today’s second race marked the 50th race for the young team in the series. But luck was not on the team’s side.

Jonathan Rea enjoyed a race win, a second place finish and set a new lap record in two World Superbike races in Germany. The other race was won by Japanese Ducati rider Noriyuki Haga.

Starting from the inside of the front row of the grid, Rea was first into the Nuburgring’s tight first corner in race one and, although pressed hard in the early stages by Haga and Spanish rider, Carlos Checa, the 23-year-old from Northern Ireland was never headed.

Race two was not quite so straightforward for Rea, who was fourth on the opening lap before passing series leader Max Biaggi and eventually finishing second to the hard-charging Haga after Checa crashed out on lap 10.

However, the Hannspree Ten Kate Honda rider took the fastest lap in race two to go with the new Nurburgring lap record he had established in the first outing – itself almost a second inside the record he established in the process of winning race two last year.

Max Biaggi comes home from the Nurburgring solidly at the top of the world championship standings. The four-time world champion now has a 58 point advantage over his closest pursuer, Brit Leon Haslam (Suzuki).

Jonathan Rea says: “We were really behind the 8-ball on Friday but did a lot of work that night and came back yesterday with a bike we could challenge with. We managed to turn that into a win in the first race today by making a break at the front and controlling the race, so all credit has to go to the crew for turning things around. Nori was really fast in the second race so I’m really happy with a one-two and really think that was probably the maximum points I could get today.”

“It was a lap of two halves really and I while I was weak in the first two splits the last two were really strong. Although I could gain a little bit there, I’d just got dropped a little bit at the start and I lost my rhythm a bit when Checa went down. But I’m really happy – I’m enjoying riding the bike and it’s fun to turn up to a racetrack and just ride the CBR. If you’d offered me a one-two on Friday I would have snapped your hand off.”

Max Neukirchner says: “You can imagine I am not very happy. It’s very strange because yesterday I did really well and went faster much more easily – like one and a half seconds faster! Today it just wasn’t possible to get into the corner and turn the bike without the tyre spinning completely. The team has looked at it on the data and they confirm that there was double the amount from yesterday. We changed nothing – just put in new tyres and went.”

“Yesterday afternoon the bike felt perfect and today it was a completely different bike, 5kph slower and almost impossible to ride. It makes me feel like an idiot, especially at my home race and in front of a lot of my fans. It’s a big shame for them. The set up we have now is not bad for me – not perfect, but not bad. It’s just that with the tyres changing, it’s not possible to go in the top ten.”

Max Biaggi says: “We’re having a bit of difficulty transferring power to the ground. We’re suffering particularly from vibrations. I’d say it’s nothing very surprising, but tomorrow we need to improve. We need to find the best possible setup. Today I also tried changing out bikes to evaluate the best different solutions and test the effects. Pirelli has provided a new tyre for everyone, but I didn’t use it very much. Apparently we’ll see an improvement with it, but I’ll have to test it more thoroughly tomorrow. In short, this was a busy Friday. Now we need to put all of this information together and make the choices which will let us close in on the leaders.”

“A shame – confesses Max Biaggi at the end of race 2 – We battled all weekend with grip and chattering problems. I know that I can be decisively faster. In fact, in Superpole with the soft tyre we were making excellent times. But the important thing is to know how to deal with the difficulties. We took home some important points from a championship point of view and now there are just two more rounds and we’re out front. The finish line is close, but we cannot make the mistake of underestimating our rivals who, even today, showed their determination to exploit every false move we make”

Carlos Checa says: “I got away well and, with Rea and Haga, found a good pace which allowed us to get away from the others”, revealed Carlos. “I was fighting against Noriyuki for second but when he crashed I tried to attack Jonathan. He had a strong pace though and I wasn’t able to make up that second of time that gave him the win. I’m very satisfied with the result and thank my team for their hard work.”

Shane Byrne says: “I showed that I had pace right from the first practice session and hoped for two great races”, said “Shakey”. “Unfortunately yesterday’s crash compromised my weekend and I didn’t achieve what I had hoped to. It is difficult to make passes here and the fact that I started from the back didn’t help of course but I gave 100% and in the end I managed to close in the top ten which wasn’t bad. I want to thank the boys for their great work.”

Leon Haslam says: “My crash in race one was a highside and I am sorry that it caused Troy to crash also. Luckily the race was stopped and everybody was able to have another go. I had hurt my right thumb and left knee and they were very sore, but I was determined to get out there and give my all. Once the race started, the adrenaline kicked in and I think I would’ve been much faster and more competitive if it had not been for the fact that I was on my number two bike. The mechanics weren’t able to repair my number one bike in time for the restart. I had only done a few laps on the spare bike and so the set-up wasn’t as good and it was that which prevented me challenging the front guys, not my injuries.

“The team repaired my number one bike in time for race two and I felt much happier. They and the Clinica Mobile staff did great jobs and it was thanks to both of them that I was able to get on the bike and take a podium. I’m sure I’m going to be pretty sore tonight and although I would’ve wanted a couple of wins today, I was happy to get on the podium and with 100 points possible in the next two rounds, anything can happen.”

Sylvain Guintoli says: “Well I’m happy and not happy. I’m happy that I got on the front row in qualifying and that my race pace was good. If Troy had not have forced me out on lap one of the first race, the ending might’ve been a different story. Once I got back on the track, I felt I was lapping as fast as anybody really and I suppose eighth was a pretty good result, considering. I was angry with Troy because I honestly felt I could get on the podium.

“We changed the rear tyre for race two, but I didn’t make a good start and that gave me a lot of work to do early on. It took me about half race distance to get close enough to Max Biaggi and I then spent the rest of the race trying to pass him. I could match him on the brakes and in the turns, but his bike had much better acceleration out of the corners and that’s where I was losing out. I attacked as best I could, but he’s a very experienced rider and didn’t make any mistakes. It was a big pity because if I could’ve passed him, that would’ve helped Leon and I wanted to do it for him and the team.”

Luca Scassa (translation) says: “To be honest, this was not easy as a weekend came from two races very very difficult. We could not develop to the best of my Ducati as fast in the stretch we have ever paid for a precious tenths cycling unbalanced . The bike had no direction and was forced to follow trajectories very large paying too much time to my opponents. ”

“Beyond the results are happier race 2 where I shot better (1’56”676 ed.) and I held globally a faster pace, but useless to deny it, the expectations were much better. We brought home a small haul of points for the championship, now we have the mind to Imola where we must return to the positions, which we compete. Thank you so much the guys were fantastic, I hope to repay them with the next race. ”

Roger Lee Hayden says:” It was not easy at all today. We didn’t find the right grip here this weekend. We worked on the setup of the bike to find a better grip, especially in the rear, but didn’t manage. In any case in race one I collected some good points for my championship standing. We made some changes to the set up for the second race. I started well but wasn’t able to keep up with the speed of the riders in front of me and I ended the race in seventeenth place. We have done our best. We just didn’t find the right level of grip but overall it was not a bad weekend and I enjoy the circuit. And now let’s go to Imola that’s my team home circuit”.

Ruben Xaus says: “It has been a really tough day for us. In both races I fought really hard. In race one with Leon Haslam and race two with James Toseland. I was pushing on every lap, but unfortunately I was having some issues on the first section of the lap. I just couldn’t keep them behind me. But the team have done a great job yet again for me this weekend. All we need to do now is work on a few minor things with the bike, just to find that half-second, and then I think we can really challenge the front guys. I am hopeful we can do this for the next race in Imola.”

Troy Corser says: “In the first race I crashed in an incident with Leon Haslam and I went down on my elbow pretty hard. But I felt I was able to go out for race two despite the pain. Everything felt pretty good for the first ten laps, but after that the pain got worse and I had issues with the feeling in my arm. So I decided to settle for my position and just bring the bike home. I didn’t want to risk further injury by challenging the riders in front. Of course I am disappointed because I am sure under normal circumstances I would have been on the podium. But we are looking forward to the next race now in a positive manner.”

Noriyuki Haga says: “First of all I want to say how happy I am to be back up here. After the Race 1 crash I went straight back to the garage in the hope that my technicians could adjust the bike so that I could continue but unfortunately there was too much damage to the mufflers and I had to stop there. We made some modifications to the front suspension and the bike behaved a lot better in Race 2. I maintained a strong pace for the entire race and was able to get the job done! I’m sorry for Carlos because it’s always great to battle against him. Now I’d like to repeat this great result at Imola, Ducati’s home track.”

Michel Fabrizio says:” “A black day. In Race 1 I got straight back on the bike thinking that I could carry on and finish in the points zone. Then I realized that there was a problem with the throttle and, as I couldn’t open or close the gas properly, I had to return to the garage. It’s a pity because I was making up some ground before the crash and had good pace. Race 2 didn’t go any better – I had to come in to change the rear tyre but in doing that I lost too much ground and there wasn’t anything I could do.”

Jakub Smrz says: “We made another step forward in knowing the bike. We could’ve done well here too, unfortunately even a small problem can affect your performance in a close competition like this one. Both the injury I suffered in race 1 and a brake issue later on slowed me down a little in race 2. However, I would like to thank the team for their hard work, hopefully it will bear fruit next time at Imola”.

Cal Crutchlow says: “Race one was really good, I was happy to be on the podium again, especially starting from tenth and considering we spent a lot of the weekend working through some different set up issues; it was a credible finish. I was also happy with the second race, I was disappointed not to be on the podium but I think if we had a better tyre we could have challenged for it, I did the best job I could. It was still good for the championship, we are pulling up on Checa a little bit so hopefully we can go to Imola and build on this.”

James Toseland says: “When race one restarted I got a decent get away and was coming up behind Tom Sykes and accidentally lost the front. Not being on the front row makes it really difficult here, after the first few corners it gets really spread out and it’s difficult to catch up. It was very frustrating to be relegated to the second row, I don’t really think the punishment matched the crime in this instance. I seemed to struggle with braking power in the start of the second race and also struggled with the rear grip from the softer rear tyre. We will regroup and go to Imola and give it 100% as always.”

Tom Sykes says: “We’ve had quite a strong performance here at the Nürburgring this weekend, from both the Team and myself, and I’m very happy with how it’s all gone. I just wished we could have hang in there a bit more in race two but overall I can’t complain, as it’s our best results for the year. We came here with a good base package and worked well with what we knew was our setting goal so this meant we didn’t need to make big changes, just a few adjustments which are ultimately much easier on a rider.”

“I was able to just focus on fine-tuning the bike and the best tyre combinations to get my ultimate setting. Overall it’s been a massive effort from the team and Kawasaki and although I’d like to thank every individual, I have to give additional thanks to Johnny my crew chief, and Javier from Showa for giving me the best package this weekend, on which I was able to show well in the races and come away with some strong results for Kawasaki.”

Ian Lowry says: “I was really excited to have been asked to ride this weekend for the official Kawasaki Racing Team and although I obviously haven’t ridden around the Nürburgring before, or spent much time on the bike, I felt that I started the weekend in pretty good shape.”

“I was really pleased to have finished 12th in race one and get some points for the team but I’m just a bit disappointed that I didn’t get to improve my time and performance in race two, having had a slide off after we took the wrong settings direction. Overall I have thoroughly enjoyed my first outing at the World Superbikes with the Kawasaki Racing Team and I hope that I get another opportunity to race with them again.”

World SBK Race 1: 1. Jonathan Rea (GBR-Honda), 2. Carlos Checa (ESP-Ducati), 3. Cal Crutchlow (GBR-Yamaha), 4. Max Biaggi (ITA-Aprilia), 5. Tom Sykes (GBR-Kawasaki), 6. Leon Haslam (GBR-Suzuki Alstare)

World SBK Race 2: 1. Haga (JPN-Ducati), 2. Rea, 3. Leon Haslam (GBR-Suzuki Alstare), 4. Crutchlow, 5. Biaggi, 6. Sylvain Guintoli (FRA-Suzuki Alstare).

WSBK Championship: 1. Biaggi 397, 2. Leon Haslam (GBR-Suzuki Alstare) 339, 3. Rea 288, 4. Checa 224, 5. Crutchlow 217, 6. Haga 202.