SHARK-riders scored three podium finishes during a hot and sunny Italian GP at Mugello, in both in the Moto2 and 125cc classes. Stefan Bradl continued his successful Moto2 campaign scoring a second place finish, and leads the championship by 52 points. Fellow SHARK-supported Aleix Espargaro came home in the top ten in ninth position. Continuing SHARK’s racing success in the 125cc class, Johann Zarco finished on the podium in second place with Efren Vazquez missing out on a podium finish, in fourth. The MotoGP teams will now have a week off before heading to the ninth round of the championship at the Sachsenring in Germany on 22-23 July.
Meanwhile from a sunny UK the British Superbike Championship continued from Snetterton in Norfolk. SHARK’s Michael Laverty put in a strong performance in race one, moving up from his 12th place grid position, to cross the line in fourth. Laverty scored another solid finish in the second race taking fifth position and sits fifth in the overall championship with 119 points. Loris Baz and Ian Lowry had good weekends finishing within the top ten. Alex Lowes had a tough weekend with his MSS Colchester Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R, plagued with tyre wear and a rare mechanical failing during race two.
In the Supersport class Ben Wilson continued his podium dominance finishing second in both races. Wilson got a good start off the line for the 10-lap race, but was soon overhauled by Alistair Seeley. Wilson and Seeley pulled away from the pack, and although Wilson put in a fantastic ride, Seeley crossed the line 7.6 seconds ahead of Wilson. Race two was much the same and although Wilson managed to stay close to Seeley for the first half of the race, he was unable to stay with him and crossed the line behind in second place. John Simpson won the Supersport Cup, and leads the overall Cup Championship.
The Metzeler National Superstock 1000 class saw Danny Buchan and Howie Mainwaring finish second and third respectively. Buchan adds this result to his 100% podium record for the 2011 season. Fellow SHARK-supported Victor Cox and David Johnson finished sixth and eighth. Young SHARK-riders Lee Jackson and Kyle Ryde finish in fourth and sixth aboard their 125 machines. Ryde had no practice or qualifying for the weekend as he was on Red Bull rookie duty in Mugello and started from the back of the grid.
James Webb won the Harley-Davidson XR1200 Trophy and Ashley Beech finished the weekend off for SHARK-riders winning race one of the Triumph Triple Challenge and finishing third in race two.
Stefan Bradl, Moto2: second: “Yeah, for sure to be back on the podium is perfect for me. The qualifying we had some problems; I think everybody knows but we don’t talk about it any more. No, I’m happy, because I did a good start. The first lap was a bit crazy. I thought from the beginning I had the speed, but these guys in front were pushing very hard and anyway I tried to catch (Marc) Marquez, but he was very fast and out of the last corner I had no chance. So I’m happy with this second place and thanks to my team because we are doing a great job.”
Michael Laverty, BSB – race one: fourth. Race two: fifth: « It has been a bit of a frustrating weekend for me as I didn’t have the speed to challenge for the podium for the first time this season. I was reasonably happy with race one as I started twelfth so to recover to fourth and be running times faster than the leaders on the final laps was encouraging. We tried to fix the problems we were having with chatter for race two but there was still places where I was losing out. One of the places I had previously been able to make up ground was at Riches, but after the red flag incident it wasn’t as easy on the restart. I had a few moments so I settled for fifth to avoid crashing as it was then two solid results for the championship. I am now looking forward to Oulton Park and trying to get back on the podium again. »
Alex Lowes, BSB – race one: 16th. Race two: DNF: “First of all I’d like to wish a speedy recovery to Simon Andrews and Steve Brogan after they hit the fluid dropped by my bike. I got off the racing line as soon as I could and I feel terrible that they couldn’t avoid having an accident on it. There are a lot of positives we can take from Snetterton. We had the pace and I thought I was in with a shout of a decent finish in the first race but the tyre went off, dropping me back from eighth. Setting seventh fastest time overall in the first and fifth in the second race before the incident showed we had the speed, we just needed the consistency to do it for the whole race distance.”
Ben Wilson, Supersport – race one: second. Race two: second: “I am happy enough to get the 40 points and any other time I would be happy with a double podium. But we are out there to win and so it would have been better if we had been closer to him. Seeley has been strong all weekend and we haven’t really had an answer to him to be fair. So we will take the points from what is obviously one of Seeley’s stronger tracks and move on to Oulton Park and take it to him there.”
Danny Buchan, Superstock 1000: second: “That was so close, a couple more laps and I reckon I could have had Richard. I got a bit of a bad start and had to fight my way through some riders, including Howie who put up a hell of a fight! Once clear I got my head down and rode my own race. The times were dropping and I could see Richard getting closer and I considered a lunge on the last corner but thought better of it. The team hasn’t had a great round but I’m leaving with my podium record intact and still leading the Championship.”
Howie Mainwaring, Superstock 1000: third: “That was an amazing race, a brilliant battle and one I loved being in. I knew I had the pace to hold off the other riders, but the pressure was so intense. I had to feather the throttle in some corners and be brave in others but I’m absolutely peaking, what a race. It’s great to be tasting champagne again and I can’t wait for Oulton.”