As the MotoGP season continued from Mugello in Italy this weekend, road racing’s finest left the Isle of Man following the Southern 100, which concluded on Thursday last week. Both meetings were successful for SHARK’s riders, with valuable championship points collected in Italy and a race victory secured on the Isle of Man.
At Mugello, Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda) impressed the MotoGP paddock once again with an astonishing ride. He held third for much of the 23 laps, keeping the more experienced Andrea Dovizioso behind him. Eventually Dovizioso found a way past Bradl, but the young German did not give up. He managed to hold off a last-lap attack from Nicky Hayden, crossing the line just off the podium in fourth place to claim his best-ever MotoGP result. Fellow SHARK rider Randy de Puniet (Power Electronics Aspar) finished the weekend just outside the points in 12th place.
In the Moto2 race Scott Redding (Marc VDS) took a hard-fought sixth place, retaining fifth in the overall standings. Johann Zarco qualified third but was penalised after colliding with Pol Espargaro in free practice and was forced to start the race from 18th. He managed to fight back, crossing the line in tenth place. The next MotoGP round will be 27-29 July at Laguna Seca, USA.
Meanwhile on the Isle of Man, the Southern 100 road races took place. SHARK’s Ryan Farquhar (KMR Kawasaki) and newcomer Jamie Hamilton (KMR Kaswaski) enjoyed good results, with Hamilton scoring his first victory in the Supertwins class. Racing got underway on Tuesday 10 July with the Corlett’s Trophies 1000cc race, which saw Farquhar in fourth and Hamilton sixth. In Wednesday’s Senior race, Farquhar had problems with his Superbike machine and was forced to retire, while Hamilton took another sixth place. The first Supertwins race saw the teammates go head-to-head on their KMR Kawasaki ER6’s. Continually breaking lap records during the race, Farquhar won by 0.197s although Hamilton set the fastest lap and won the Walter Wain Cup in the process.
Thursday saw Hamilton take his first win, dominating the second Supertwins race and pushing the lap record to 102.527mph. Farquhar took second place behind his protégé by five seconds. The last race was the Southern 100 Championship where Farquhar crossed the line in fourth place, and Hamilton seventh – becoming one of only two newcomers ever to break the 110mph barrier.
Farquhar’s next race will be the Cock o’ the North road racer at Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough on 21-22 July.
Stefan Bradl: It’s a fantastic feeling for me and the whole Team. Doubtless a podium finish would have been simply perfect, but I am extremely happy about this great result on this track. I think that our bike was perfect from the beginning of the race because in the last couple of races we struggled a bit too much with a full fuel tank and could not feel the front tyre properly, but here we made a different set-up. It worked perfectly on this special layout but at the end of the race I missed a bit of front-end feeling on braking. So I preferred to stay calm and Dovi passed me, but after that I was trying to follow him and it was pretty easy for me. Then Hayden put in a brave move on me but he didn’t have the best exit on the right corner and I could pass him again. Probably my manoeuvre looked a bit aggressive on TV, but I think it was normal for a last lap. Being so close to the podium is fantastic and I feel happy for the team: they support me in the best way every weekend and especially Lucio. He is a hard worker and with this great result I want to give him something back.
Scott Redding: The front tyre we used today takes a couple of laps before it starts working properly, so I wasn’t pushing too hard from the start. Even then I had a couple of moments before I felt confident enough to really start pushing. Once the tyre came in I was able to make up places quite quickly, but I just didn’t have the pace to close on the battle for the podium. Towards the end I managed to catch Marc Marquez, but it was difficult to pass him as I was losing so much on the straight. On the final lap I managed to squeeze through on him for fifth, but as soon as the track straightened out he just cruised past me without even needing to use the slipstream! I’m happy enough to score points here at Mugello, a track that has always been difficult for me, and now I’m looking forward to Indy, which is the complete opposite.
Ryan Farquhar: For me personally, it’s been an up and down week as I’ve had a few problems with the bikes and am absolutely shattered after a really hectic few weeks but, on the plus side, Jamie’s had a superb few days and it was great to see him get his first ever road race win. He rode excellently throughout the event, very smooth and there’s no doubt he’s got a big future in the sport. On Thursday, the bike wasn’t working that well, I think there may be an electrical problem somewhere, but Jamie was absolutely flying and he beat us fair and square, he thoroughly deserved his win. I was back on the Superstock bike for the Championship race and although I had no problems and felt that I was riding well, I think the bike’s a bit long in the tooth now and I just can’t run with the Superbikes. Since the TT, I’ve been flat out and haven’t had a day off so now I think it’s time to have a week off and have a good look at all the bikes. They’re not quite working right so I need to get them all stripped and working properly so that everything’s 100% for the next meeting.