This weekend saw the World Superbike Championship continue from Misano, the Endurance World Championship take place in Doha, Qatar and the culmination of the Isle of Man TT races.
The Isle of Man TT concluded a day later than scheduled, due to persistent heavy rain. On Saturday the Lightweight class went ahead, however the Senior TT race suffered and was cancelled for the first time in the event’s 105-year history. Ryan Farquhar (KMR Kawasaki) continued his successful TT week by winning the Lightweight class, having already secured a third in the Superstock race and a second in the Supersport battles. Farquhar’s teammate and TT newcomer Jamie Hamilton ended his time on the island in a superb tenth place, which landed him his first silver replica. Hamilton also lapped the famous course at 112.149mph, which saw him take the Newcomers Trophy.
The World Endurance Championship continued with the 8-hours of Doha in Qatar on Saturday. SHARK’s Damian Cudlin and his BMW Motorrad France team-mates stormed to victory and put themselves back in the running for the EWC title. Meanwhile, taking a break from his usual BSB duties, Michael Laverty stood-in for the Honda TT Legends team while their usual riders took part at the Isle of Man TT. Riding in the top-five from the early stages Laverty and his team-mates put in an impressive performance to cross the line in third place, landing them on the podium.
In Italy, the World Superbike Championship continued with the seventh round at Misano. In the World Supersport class, Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda) started the race from second on the grid, and followed that up by claiming the second place spot during the race. The resulting points moved him into second place in the overall championship. Fabien Foret (Kawasaki Intermoto Step) finished in eighth place while Sam Lowes (Bodanka Honda) – who had secured his fourth pole position of the year – suffered some technical issues that affected his performance. He fell but restarted to finish in 18th place.
In the World Superbike races, Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing) finished within the top-ten in fourth and seventh, Sylvain Guintoli (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) finished the first race in eighth and Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) finished eighth in the second race.
I’ve worked so hard for this and am absolutely over the moon to have won the race. I was pretty nervous before the race as a lot of people were saying I was the clear favourite whilst I was also putting myself under a fair bit of pressure so to actually get the win is superb. Conditions weren’t too bad and I expected it to be worse than what it was so I took it steady to begin with, sussed out where the damp conditions were and then rode as fast and as steady as I could. The bike never missed a beat and once I could see James in the distance, I knew I was catching him up on time. The strategy went like a dream and the whole race went like clockwork. I’ve tried to push the class as much as I could and whilst everyone said I was the favourite, it’s never as simple as that. There’s always pressure so to be sitting here with a 1-3 for the team is unreal. I did a lot of work on James’ bike so I’ll take some credit for that as well!
This was my first endurance race and it has given me such an appreciation for what a tough discipline of motorcycle racing it really is. I have enjoyed every minute of it and it is such a good feeling to bring it home on the podium. I felt we were getting stronger and stronger as the race went on, with every minute on the bike, perhaps if it was a 24hr race we would have got even closer to winning it! But in all seriousness this has been a great experience and I just want to say thanks to the team for the opportunity.
I tried to catch Kenan because it seemed possible but he was too fast in some places; I was faster in some other places. In the end I tried to take too many risks and I made two mistakes, which allowed him to stay in front. But I am really happy because this is my third time on the podium and I am second in the championship, which is good for me, the team and for the future. I hope to continue like this, but next time to be first!