The bank holiday weekend was full of racing action, with SHARK-men contesting in the three main championships – MotoGP from Brno, Czech Republic, World Superbikes from Moscow, Russia and British Superbikes from Cadwell Park, England.
First up was MotoGP, which saw Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda) ride to another strong fifth place finish in his rookie year at Brno. Fellow SHARK supported Randy de Puniet (Power Electronics Aspar), had a good solid race finishing within the top ten in eighth position. Bradl is currently sixth in the overal championship, with de Puniet in 13th.
In Moto2, Johann Zarco (JiR) picked up valuable points finishing in seventh. Scott Redding (Marc VDS) had a promising start to his weekend starting from the front row of the grid. However, it wasn’t to be after Redding lost the front of his machine and crashed out of the race, unhurt. MotoGP and its supporting races will continue from Misano, San Marino on 14-16 September.
Meanwhile the World Superbike Championship continued from a new circuit, Moscow Speedway. SHARK’s Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing) scored his second race win for 2012 in race one, leading from start to finish in dry conditions. In race two Sykes crossed the line in second place, having led for 14 laps. Eventual winner Marco Melandri took the race from Sykes by only 0.9756 seconds. Scoring 45 points this weekend, Sykes has narrowed the gap on title leader Melandri to 41 points with just six races left of the season. Sykes’s team-mate Loris Baz came home in 11th and ninth, while Sylvain Guintoli (PATA Racing Team) finished race two just outside the top-ten in 11th.
Another second place finish was collected by SHARK’s Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda) in the World Supersport Championship, after starting from pole position. Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda) was third in qualifying, and led the race for the first two laps. Lowes was given a ride-through penalty after an accidental jump start, and re-joined the pack in 30th position, but fought hard and eventually crossed the line in 12th. Fabien Foret (Kawasaki Intermoto Step) came home in sixth. With just a few rounds left SHARK riders hold the second (Cluzel), third (Lowes) and fourth (Foret) spots in the overall championship. The championship continues from the Nurburgring, Germany 7-9 September.
At Cadwell Park Lincolnshire, SHARK riders dominated BSB proceedings and Alex Lowes (WFR Honda) scored his first podium finish in race one in second place. Joining Lowes was Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda), giving SHARK a 2-3 on the podium. They were closely followed by Danny Buchan (MSS Kawasaki) in fourth, James Westmoreland (WFR Honda) eighth and Ian Lowry (Padgetts Honda) 12th. Race two was a similar scenario, with Laverty scoring another podium finish in third, Lowes fourth, Westmoreland sixth and Lowry in seventh.
In the Metzeler National Superstock 600 Championship, Lee Jackson (Chris Walker Race School) did it again and followed his Oulton Park victory with his second win of the season. Jackson is sitting in third place in the overall championship, just 25 points behind the leader. James Rose (Moto-Breakers) finished on the podium in third place. Points were collected in the Superstock 1000 race, with Howie Mainwaring (Buildbase BMW Motorrad) in sixth, and Victor Cox (ILR Kawasaki) just outside the top-ten in 11th.
It was mixed fortunes for Ben Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki) in the British Supersport race, an engine problem in the opener scuppered his weekend and resulted in Wilson having to retire from the race. However in race two and a new engine later, Wilson crossed the line in sixth place collecting those crucial season points. Wilson is sitting in fourth place overall with 185 points. The Cup class saw a podium finish in race one for James East (Mackroy Racing) in second place (11th overall).
In the Monster Energy Motostar race, Joe Francis (Banks Racing) scored second place on the podium and won the Cup class within the championship. Hot on Francis’s heels was Joe Irving (e3 Motorsport) who joined Francis on both podiums – third overall, and second in the Cup. Harry Hartley (Symitry IT) completed the Cup podium in third place (fifth overall). Livio Loi also scored two podium finishes in the Red Bull rookies.
The next round of the British Superbike Championship will take place at Donington Park, 7-9 September.
Tom Sykes: “This race win was better than the Monza one as we got a little bit more of a reward in points terms. I did a lot of work on tyres yesterday and we went a slightly different way from most people in raceone. We worked a lot on this yesterday and that work paid off today. The bike felt great. I had a little bit of pressure on at half race distance but I was trying to save the tyre a little bit. When the gap got down to three seconds I pushed on a little more and it seemed to work. To lead start-to-finish and take the win over full race distance is very rewarding. We had a good margin at the end and it was a nice race. But, realistically, we are happy. A first and second, still third overall and the gap at the front tightening up. There are still a lot of points to play for.”
Jules Cluzel: “For me that was a good race, but I am a little disappointed because at the end I wanted to pass him but he was so strong on the last seven or eight laps, and I was losing the front because my tyre was used up a lot. I enjoyed the race and it was good to follow Kenan and do my best, but if I tried to do any better and stay with him near the end for sure I would have crashed. Because of this I am happy with this result of second and going second in the championship.”
Alex Lowes: “I was a bit nervous in the damp but to be on pole is really good and I have enjoyed the consistent times. I am buzzing now! The bike is working well and is good enough to win these races so now I have to stay calm and try and get the points and the results for the Showdown. »