SBK > 2009 Round 02: Qatar > Race Results
SBKQatarMarch 14, 2009
World Superbike and World Supersport 2009
Round 02, Losail International Circuit - Losail, Qatar

Kiyonari Just Misses Podium As Laverty Wins In Supersport

Ryuichi Kiyonari (Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR) came within 0.223 seconds of his first 2009 podium finish in race two at Qatar, making up for his disappointment at qualifying 12th in Friday’s Superpole. His fourth place in the second race was the single best result by a Honda Superbike rider in the second round of the championship, although Carlos Checa (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR) came close to matching it in race one.

Carlos Checa  Riyuichi Kiyonari

Riyuichi Kiyonari

Carlos Checa

In the first 18-lap contest Checa finished fifth from his seventh place qualifying position in Superpole. Kiyonari’s dreadful start delayed his push forward but he lapped consistently to move up to eighth at the end of the race.

Leon Haslam (Stiggy Racing Honda CBR1000RR) and Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR) battled it out for 11th in the opener, with Haslam getting the better of his fellow ex-BSB rider. Tommy Hill (Hannspree Honda Althea CBR1000RR) took the final point for 15th, while Roby Rolfo (Stiggy Racing Honda CBR1000RR) entered the pits to retire with only three laps gone. He would also retire in race two.

Behind Kiyonari’s impressive push forward in race two, Rea managed to secure an eighth place finish, ahead of a tight group of three riders, only one second behind him. One of those riders was Haslam, who took his second 11th place finish of the day from an 18th place grid start.

Checa was being held back by chatter problems in right hand corners in race two, but persevered to finish 13th. Rolfo and Hill failed to finish after suffering technical problems. Vittorio Iannuzzo (Squadra Corse Italia Honda CBR1000RR) was 20th in race one and 21st in race two.

After four races in the opening two rounds, Noriyuki Haga leads the championship on 85, with today’s double race winner Ben Spies second, on 75 points. Haslam remains the highest placed Honda rider, in fifth spot, with 36 points. Rea is eighth, on 30. Kiyonari and Checa share a 21 point total, 13th and 14th respectively.

The 18-lap Supersport race in Qatar was a fabulous multi-rider fight throughout, just like the opening round at Phillip Island two weeks ago. There was a different victor this time, with Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda CBR600RR) capitalising on his second place grid spot and winning from fellow front row qualifier Andrew Pitt (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR).

Today’s win was the first for Laverty in World Supersport, and also the first for his Parkalgar Honda team. He was riding a 2009 specification CBR600RR, with Pitt and Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) on 2008 machinery. Pitt posted a new lap record, 2’02.577, on lap 12.

Pole man Cal Crutchlow was third on his Yamaha, with Sofuoglu third in qualifying but fourth in the race, albeit only 0.711 seconds from the win. He suffered in the race somewhat after crashing twice earlier this weekend.

In the championship chase, Pitt’s two runner-up places so far put him on 40 points, with Sofuoglu on 38, and Laverty on 36.

Privateer Robbin Harms went fifth in the Qatar race on his CBR600RR, with Matthieu Lagrive (Hannspree Honda Althea CBR600RR) sixth in both race and qualifying at one of his favorite circuits.

Phillip Island podium finisher Anthony West (Stiggy Racing Honda CBR600RR) had a tough time by comparison today, ninth in the race after being 12th on the grid.

Laverty’s team-mate Miguel Praia (Parkalgar Honda CBR600RR) worked hard through practice and the race to take 12th place, from a qualifying spot on the fourth row.

Mark Aitchison (Hannspree Honda Althea CBR600RR) looked set for a top six finish but he crashed out, and restarted to finish 15th, securing a single point. Gianluca Vizziello (Stiggy Racing Honda CBR600RR) moved up from 19th pre-race to 14th in the final classification.

All eight Supported Honda riders finished in the points today and Honda now has a 21-point lead in the Manufacturer’s Championship after two rounds.

Jonathan Rea

Eugene Laverty

WSB Rider Quotes
Ryuichi Kiyonari said:
“In race one I had a very bad start and had to push hard at the beginning. After that it was difficult to keep the lap times. We changed the tyre for race two and things felt much better, but, again, I had to push very hard and was maybe a bit too aggressive with the throttle at the beginning, trying to catch the leading group. When I reached Biaggi, I didn’t have enough left to get past him.”

Carlos Checa said:
“I had quite bad chatter again in race one. We thought we had eliminated this problem after Phillip Island, but it was back and gave me quite bad arm pump. Unfortunately, it was even worse in race two and I also had a bad start, which meant I had to try to pass many other riders. With the problems we had, I didn’t really have the confidence to push as hard as I wanted. We’ll work on everything before we get to Valencia and hope for better things there.”

Jonathan Rea said:
“Today has been one of mixed emotions. In fact, it’s been quite a weird weekend. We were right up there on Friday and Saturday morning, but went the wrong way and Superpole was not good. So, we went back to Friday’s settings for the races today and I got a pretty good start in the first one, but got bad arm pump. The guys in the Clinica Mobile sorted it out for race two and everything felt much better; but from 17th on the grid, I couldn’t quite catch the leading group so I had quite a lonely race.”

Leon Haslam said:
“The race pace has proved that we could have definitely run in the top five. I had terrible starts in both races and obviously running off the track in race one didn’t really help, but coming through in eleventh in both races with the pace I ran I have to be happy with that.”

Tommy Hill said:
“Race one was a little bit harder than everyone planned. After a good start I pushed very hard and I found a fast pace. I was able to overtake some riders but during the middle race I was losing rear grip and I just could not run the pace of the guys in front of me. I had a bit of a battle with Haslam but riding over the limit meant I made a couple of small mistakes and he passed me. My second start was as good as the first one, but starting the fifth lap I felt some vibration coming from my bike and we had to stop.”

Roby Rolfo said:
“Both races were very complicated. I had an electrical problem in the first race when the bike just suddenly stopped. I felt quite confident after my start in race two. For five or six laps the feeling with the bike was really good and felt I could improve my position. Then the bike started to vibrate in the front and I had difficulties cornering. I just got slower and didn’t manage to hold onto my position. Then I lost speed and dropped back before I had to retire completely.”

WSS Rider Quotes
Eugene Laverty said:
“The last time I won a race was probably Cadwell a couple of years ago. I had to work on my race craft in Phillip Island before being able to come here and take a win. That battle in Australia got me back into race mode. I was braking very hard, my front was so good, but my gearing wasn’t as good as Andrew’s in some places, so he could get past me again. In the last corner I ran-in wide and I was able to get the drive on him. Another fantastic race in WSS and I can’t believe we have had two such good, competitive races to start the season. I dedicate this win to Craig Jones who did all the work bringing the team to this level.”

Andrew Pitt said:
“I gave everything I had during the race and, although I didn’t win, at least we’ve bagged another 20 points. We struggled early in the weekend but the team has worked really hard again to put a good bike underneath me. Congratulations to Eugene and the Parkalgar Honda team. They were knocking on the door last season and deserve to be there. Bring on Valencia, when we’ll have the 2009 CBR to play with and the straight is a little shorter!”

Kenan Sofuoglu said:
“I’m not so happy, really. After my two crashes yesterday I was a little bit nervous and then I was losing some speed on the straight to everyone else. I had to try and make up for that by braking late into the corners and that made me a little tired and I began to feel the knocks I received yesterday. Then I made a mistake going into the final corner, when I was third, and this allowed Crutchlow through. Still, I have some more points and it’s not such a bad result considering the tough weekend we’ve had.”

Robbin Harms, 5th place, said:
“I am more than happy with my result. We had to start from the beginning on again this weekend and we made some big changes. Thanks to my crew I felt stronger every lap during the practices and they gave me a perfect prepared Honda CBR 600RR. My start was good and I was able to follow the front guys. I tried to keep my head cool during the whole race and because my bike wasn’t the strongest one of the field, I didn’t took any unnecessary risks. However, I am here to get a good result. Because of my team I was able to take that fifth place. The way they build up the weekend was great. When we work like this the whole season, I am sure that we are going to take more top five positions.”

Matthieu Lagrive said:
“It was a good race and I finished in sixth place but I’m not really happy because I was not able to push hard enough to get through the pack. That was the best we could do today. We worked very hard during the practice to improve the set up of my Honda but for sure we need to continue to work to be more competitive.”

Anthony West said:
“I am just not very happy with the whole weekend. The set up of the bike was good, my crew did a good job on that, but there was just no horsepower. I had a good start and was out with the front group but just kept being overtaken on the small straights between the turns. They just seemed to have more power than me. I came here to win and am disappointed I didn’t get a good result."

Miguel Praia said:
“It was important for me that I finish the race after having two crashes in qualifying in just 10 minutes. That meant I didn’t have a good chance at qualifying and starting from 14th was always going to be difficult in the race. I think I could have competed with the group in front fighting for seventh if I had got away a little quicker but overall I am happy with a good 12th place.”

Gianluca Vizziello said:
"My team has given me good bike to ride for this race, I’m not disappointed with the result, but I know we should be further up front. We will have to work on the issues we encountered here in Qatar and will hopefully get some better results in qualifying in the next race, so we can move closer to the front of the field."

Arie Vos, RES Software Veidec Racing Team, 17th place, said:
“Today’s race went pretty well. Of course I would have taken a point with me back home, but I came a little too short today. My machine was not perfect because the first time that I was really able to push, was during the race. I could not do that during the practices so actually I needed a different set-up. Despite that, I felt comfortable on the bike and I needed that. I had a long winter sleep – maybe for about 2 years- and in this championship you just cannot permit to get weak for only a second because everybody is riding fast. I learned a lot this weekend and when we go on like this, I am confident about a good result in the upcoming races.”

Jesco Günther, RES Software Veidec Racing Team, DNF said:
“Immediately after the start they pushed me to the outside and I lost some places. After I was very mad for a moment, I could continue the race and climb up to the fourteenth place. I had the right rhythm and it went pretty easy till I lost the control of the front end and crashed, four laps before the end of the race. Afterwards a defect in the front seemed to be the reason of my crash. Of course I am fed up with this but if I take a look at my laptimes and the way I build up the race, I can only be satisfied. Unfortunately we are leaving Qatar without any points but I am sure that these will come when we go on like this.”

Mark Aitchison said:
“I am really disappointed with today's result. When I crashed I was not pushing so much but unfortunately in a corner the front tyre slid and I crashed. Nothing more I can say. My start was pretty good and I felt confident to go forward but I didn't really have the pace to match the front guys.”

World Superbike and World Supersport 2009
Round 02, Losail International Circuit - Losail, Qatar

Superbike Race 1
1 B. SPIES / Yamaha YZF R1 / Yamaha WSB
2 N.HAGA / Ducati 1098R / Ducati Xerox Team
3 M.BIAGGI / Aprilia RSV4 / Aprilia Racing
4 S. NAKANO / Aprilia RSV4 / Aprilia Racing
5 C. CHECA / Honda CBR1000RR / HANNspree Ten Kate Honda
6 S. BYRNE / Ducati 1098R / Sterilgarda
7 T. SYKES / Yamaha YZF R1 / Yamaha WSB
8 R. KIYONARI / Honda CBR1000RR / Ten Kate Honda Racing
9 T. CORSER / BMW S1000 RR / BMW Motorrad Motorsport
10 R. LACONI / Ducati 1098R / DFX Corse
11 L. HASLAM / Honda CBR1000RR / Stiggy Racing Honda
12 J. REA / Honda CBR1000RR / HANNspree Ten Kate Honda
13 R. XBMW S1000 RR / BMW Motorrad Motorsport
14 B. PARKES / R.T. Kawasaki ZX 10R / Kawasaki World Superbike
15 T. HILL / Honda CBR1000RR / HANNspree Honda Althea
Superbike Race 2
1 B. SPIES / Yamaha YZF R1 / Yamaha WSB
2 N.HAGA / Ducati 1098R / Ducati Xerox Team
3 M.BIAGGI / Aprilia RSV4 / Aprilia Racing
4 R. KIYONARI / Honda CBR1000RR / Ten Kate Honda Racing
5 T. SYKES / Yamaha YZF R1 / Yamaha WSB
6 M.NEUKIRCHNER / Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 / Suzuki Alstare BRUX
7 S. NAKANO / Aprilia RSV4 / Aprilia Racing
8 J. REA / Honda CBR1000RR / HANNspree Ten Kate Honda
9 T. CORSER / BMW S1000 RR / BMW Motorrad Motorsport
10 R. XBMW S1000 RR / BMW Motorrad Motorsport
11 L. HASLAM / Honda CBR1000RR / Stiggy Racing Honda
12 S. BYRNE / Ducati 1098R / Sterilgarda
13 C. CHECA / Honda CBR1000RR / HANNspree Ten Kate Honda
14 R. LACONI / Ducati 1098R / DFX Corse
15 Y. KAGAYAMA / Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 / Suzuki Alstare BRUX
1 E. LAVERTY / Honda CBR600RR / Parkalgar Honda
2 A. PITT / Honda CBR600RR / HANNspree Ten Kate Honda
3 C.CRUTCHLOW / Team Yamaha YZF R6 / Yamaha World Supersport
4 K. SOFUOGLU / Honda CBR600RR / HANNspree Ten Kate Honda
5 R.HARMS / Honda CBR600RR / Veidec Racing RES Software
6 M.LAGRIVE / Honda CBR600RR / HANNspree Honda Althea
7 G.MCCOY / Triumph Daytona 675 / ParkinGO Triumph BE1
8 M.ROCCOLI / Honda CBR600RR / Intermoto Czech
9 A. WEST / Honda CBR600RR / Stiggy Racing Honda
10 B. VENEMAN / Suzuki GSX-R600 / Hoegee Suzuki Team
11 M.PIRRO / Yamaha YZF R6 / Yamaha Lorenzini by Leoni
12 M.PRAIA / Honda CBR600RR / Parkalgar Honda
13 J. LASCORZ / Kawasaki ZX-6R / Kawasaki
14 G.VIZZIELLO / Honda CBR600RR / Stiggy Racing Honda
15 M.AITCHISON / Honda CBR600RR / HANNspree Honda Althea
 Carlos Checa

Eugene Laverty & Andrew Pitt

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· SBK - FIM World Superbike Championship and World Supersport Championship
· Qatar

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