This weekend SHARK riders were out in force for the seventh round of MotoGP at Assen, The Netherlands and the eighth round of World Superbikes at Aragon, Spain. As well as collecting valuable points, three SHARK riders ended up on the podium with a 1-2 in World Supersport and a third place finish in Moto2.
Race day fell on Saturday at Assen for MotoGP and Moto2. Scott Redding (Marc VDS) secured his second successive podium finish in the Moto2 class and his third podium so far in the season. The young Brit struggled with set-up and a knee injury following a collision in free practice, but this didn’t hinder his performance during the race. Starting from third on the grid, Redding battled his way up to fourth in the opening laps. Pushing for second place, tyre issues eventually forced the SHARK rider to take the third spot. Johann Zarco (JiR) put in an impressive performance. Starting 19th on the grid, the Frenchman pushed hard and finished in eighth position.
In MotoGP, Randy de Puniet (Power Electronics Aspar) finished in eighth place, while rookie Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda) failed to finish a race for the first time. He was in fifth place on the second lap when he lost the front end and fell, unhurt.
Meanwhile at Aragon in Spain, Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda) won his second World Supersport race. Lowes originally crossed the line in second place after 18-laps, but was awarded the win after Kenan Sofuoglu was given a penalty and was dropped down to fifth, leaving the top-spot to Lowes. Starting from fifth, Lowes’s race pace improved and he found himself battling for the lead with Sofuoglu to the end. Lowes was not the only SHARK man to be on the podium, as Fabien Foret (Kawasaki Intermoto Step) was close behind in second place.
The World Superbike Championship races were a mixed bag for SHARK’s Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing) and Sylvain Guintoli (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing). During the first race Sykes was taken out by another rider, which left him bruised but unhurt - the same couldn’t be said for his bike, which needed a complete re-build before the second race. In the second installment, Sykes managed to finish eighth, collecting some points for the weekend. Guintoli finished just outside the top-ten in both races, 12th in race one and 13th in race two.
The MotoGP Championship moves to Germany this weekend with racing from the Sachsenring, while the British Superbike Championship continues from Oulton Park.
Scott Redding: After a difficult weekend, with bike problems and a crash with Toni Elias, I went into the race with a clear plan. I knew where I had to overtake on the opening lap to make up places, so that’s exactly what I did. The battle with Marc Marquez didn’t go my way this time; out of the slower turns, like turn five, his weight advantage meant he could accelerate quicker out of the corner, so I just made sure I got in front of him going into the turn. It worked for a while, but he eventually managed to get away from me. Tito Rabat took third place for a few laps, but I could see he was struggling and I knew third place was mine. It’s great to be on the podium for the second time in two races and I’d like to say a big thank you to my team, who all kept their faith in me during what was, up until the race anyway, a difficult weekend.
Sam Lowes: I’d like to say a massive thank you to my team. It was difficult in the end because I knew Kenan had a penalty and I was actually in first position, but I rode my race and it was good. Already yesterday I knew I had a good race pace and just needed to get a good start from fifth and then hang in there. I just put my head down and got into my rhythm. I took my time because I knew it was going to be a long race. We’re back in second overall, and I’m looking forward to fighting for more victories and the championship. We’ve got Brno next which I like a lot and Silverstone, which is my second home race, so I’m really looking forward to that.