The second round of the World Superbike Championship continued from Imola, Italy this weekend with the SHARK riders keeping the podium firmly in their sights.
In the World Superbike Championship Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing) started both races from pole position, having collected his second Superpole trophy in as many rounds. He set a new track best in Superpole, as well as a setting a new lap record during race two. Sykes secured second place on the podium in both races. Meanwhile Sylvain Guintoli (Effenbert Liberty Racing) crashed out of race one, and finished race two in 11th position.
The World Supersort race gave SHARK a 1-2 on the podium with Fabien Foret (Kawasaki) and Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda) finishing first and second respectively. Although starting from pole position, Lowes was unable to pass the eventual winner Foret in the final stages of the race, finishing just 0.574s behind in second place. Jules Cluzel left the weekend with a DNF after falling, un-hurt, during the sixth lap. Foret and Lowes are currently heading up the overall championship in first and second places.
This coming Easter weekend sees SHARK’s MotoGP and British Superbike racers return for 2012, in both championship season-openers from Qatar and Brands Hatch.
Tom Sykes, World Superbike – race one: second / race two: second:
In race one Carlos rode a great race, so hats off to him. He knew exactly what he was doing. When it was time to go he went and I had no answer for him. I had to make the best result I could. Compliments are due to our whole team too because we have been fairly consistent all weekend. The cold conditions played a little bit of a part in the tyre choice and tyre wear and in warmer conditions we were looking quite strong. We made a small change in between race one and race two and it looks like it paid off. It certainly gave a better race distance performance. In that race I had a lot of pressure from Leon and Biaggi, certainly in the last third of the race, so I was forced to dig a little bit deep and it paid off. I heard Leon’s engine out there for a few laps, but I found I had a little bit of a gap on the last lap so second position was good. I cannot thank the team enough. The Ninja ZX-10R has been great again – pole position and two seconds in the races – so I do not think we could ask for much more. Carlos has done a great job today and was able to preserve the tyre that little bit better than us.
Sam Lowes – World Supersport – second:
That was a tough race. We changed the bike a bit for today and the team gave me a bike that as capable of winning. Fabien was great last year at this track and this year he did not put a foot wrong. I nearly matched his times towards the end, but I could not go any faster to catch him, but fair play to all of us, and I am glad to get my first podium of the year. I made a good start from pole and had to control the race from the front. Fabien is a fantastic rider and he’s always good at this circuit so well done to him for the win. We’re getting closer and I feel good and confident. I didn’t make any mistakes in the race and the bike and tyres were working well until the end. We’re now second in the championship so I’m really looking forward to Assen.