SBKCzech RepublicJuly 10, 2011
World Superbike and World Supersport 2011
Round 08 Brno – Czech Republic

Lowes in the Points as Xaus Crashes Out of Contention

Alex Lowes (Castrol Honda) enjoyed his first taste of Superbike World Championship racing as he scored a point for 15th place in race one, at a hot and steamy Brno circuit that marked round eight of the series. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) Marco Melandri (Yamaha) traded wins and second places, with championship leader Carlos Checa (Ducati) third in each 20-lap race.

Alex Lowes Alex Lowes

Alex Lowes

Alex Lowes

Lowes made real progress with his overall pace from first practice onwards and in race one he was only an average of one and a half seconds per lap from the winning rider, despite his lack of riding experience on the official Castrol Honda machine.

In race two Alex fell on lap six as he tried to maintain his pace on a hotter track surface and he could not restart. Lowes, twin bother of WSS rider Sam, is standing-in for the recuperating Jonathan Rea, who was injured in a big crash at Misano in round six.

Team regular Ruben Xaus (Castrol Honda) had a hard and fast lap one crash on the exit of the penultimate chicane in race one and although initial medical checks proved that he had not broken anything, he was ruled out of race two due to the after effects of impacts with first his own his machine, and then the track surface. He had qualified 17th, ahead of his new stand-in team-mate Lowes, who has been 21st on the grid.

In the championship rankings, Checa is on 293 points, the closing Biaggi has 263 and Melandri has 240. Jonathan Rea is still inside the top ten despite missing three meetings, on 94 points, and Xaus has 44 points, in 16th place overall.

Gino Rea Takes First Wss Win With Foret A Close Second

Step Racing Honda rider Gino Rea made the most of his front row starting position to record his first ever win in this class of racing and also post the first WSS race win for Honda in 2011. Gino, fourth on the grid, was leading the field on the penultimate lap as the red flag was shown. He had led for ten laps before the red flag was thrown and with the results counted back to lap 15, Rea was awarded the win by 0.448 seconds from Fabien Foret (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda).

Foret, starting from pole, had experienced issues with his quick-shifter shortly before the race commenced, but was still keen to attack Rea’s lead on the final lap or two, only to be deprived of the chance. His is ranked third overall after equalling his best 2011 race result, but is in reality tied on points for second place with Broc Parkes (Kawasaki) who fell once again.

Sam Lowes (Parkalgar Honda) was in line for a strong podium place, but after he inexplicably lost rear tyre traction he had to fight hard just to finish sixth, replicating his practice performance. His is also now also sixth in the points, the second best Honda rider after Foret.

James Ellison (Bogdanka PTR Honda) made a late technical change to his chassis and saw some benefits, but needed some extra time he did not have to find a new optimum setting. Nonetheless, he finished eighth after fighting with Florian Marino (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda). The young French rider was once more unsure of his settings on race day, but tied hard throughout. Ellison had qualified 13th, Marino 11th.

Robbin Harms (Harms Benjan Racing Team Honda) was unlucky as his machine stopped just before the race was red-flagged, when several bikes crashed in succession and one went on fire at the trackside. Robbin had been eighth in qualifying and was fighting for a good points score to keep him in the top echelons of the points standings. He is 7th overall, two points ahead of race winner Rea.

Miguel Praia (Parkalgar Honda) fell while battling for a top ten place, leaving the final Honda riders inside the points scoring positions as Alexander Lundh (Cresto Guide Racing Team Honda) in 12th and Imre Toth (Team Hungary Toth Honda) 13th.

Pawel Szkopek (Bogdanka PTR Honda) fell while in a good position, being taken out by another rider, while Vladimir Ivanov (Step racing Team Honda) was also a faller.

Chaz Davies still leads the championship for Yamaha, with 121 points to the 85 of Parkes and Foret. After Brno Honda is placed second in the Manufacturers’ Standings, only 18 from the lead after seven of 12 rounds.

Ruben Xaus Gino Rea

Ruben Xaus

Gino Rea

Alex Lowes (Castrol Honda)
Race result: 15th /DNF Championship position: 28th

"Race one was pretty good. I have been modifying my riding style for the bike over the weekend and improving the settings so I was happy with race one. I only struggled with pace a little bit towards the end when the tyres were really worn. I was looking forward to race two, but my start was not so good and I was missing a bit of feeling so I went back to my old style of riding and that is what caused me to crash. I just took the brake into the middle of the corner, so my fault. I had been working a lot on going square into the corners in practice and getting a good exit, which is the correct way to ride the bike.”

Ruben Xaus (Castrol Honda)
Race result: DNF / DNS Championship position: 14th

“I don't think I did anything different in the crash, so I'm not sure why it happened, but it felt like a double high side. First the rear let go and threw me out of the seat. It seemed to correct and I thought I would save it, but while I was out of the seat it went again and just threw me forward over the front. I got a really big bang from the tank on my leg and, although there was no break, it swelled up and I could not bend the leg for race two. It's a disappointing end to the weekend where I cannot deny we have had some problems. It's frustrating because everyone in the team wants to fix them and is trying their best to do this. I won't know for a week or so how bad the leg is, but I hope we can get back to some better results at Silverstone.”

Gino Rea (Step Racing Team Honda)
Race result: 1st. Championship position: 8th

“It was so strange sitting at the front of a race. I just tried to get my head down and not make any mistakes after I lost the front on the second lap. I saved it on my elbow for the second time this weekend so I just tried to run my own race and be a bit protective of my lines, getting a good exit so they could not come past me down the straight. I knew Fabien was behind me, but I held it to the finish. Unfortunately we did not get to the last lap because we had a few little things planned to stay in front. I was not showing my all, let’s put it that way. I was saving my tyres a bit and I knew Fabien would be strong on the brakes and he could go into corners early. I was going in really wide to get good drive, but it never went down to the last lap anyway. I have to be honest, I got a bit of luck at the end, but I think it is about time we deserved a bit of luck."

Fabien Foret (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda)
Race result: 2nd. Championship position: 3rd

“First, I want to thank the team for all their work this weekend. We were unlucky with the quick-shifter and tried to change it on the grid, but it was more a problem inside with the electronics, so it didn’t work. I was really worried how I would be able to race. I was losing a lot of time, especially going uphill and having to downshift manually the whole time. I didn’t resist when Gino went past, but it looked like he was really on the limit. I was struggling a bit but stayed with him. It was easy in some corners and more difficult in others. I was planning to attack him in the last two laps, but then the red flag came out. The confidence is back, the team’s way of working is now really good after Aragon, and I’m looking forward to going to Silverstone to try again.”

Sam Lowes (Parkalgar Honda)
Race result: 6th. Championship position: 6th

"We made a big step up this morning in warm-up, using an old tyre. I had loads and loads of grip at the start of the race, fantastic. I got past Salom, got my head down and then lost all grip in the rear. We did so many race distance tests this weekend as well. But for some reason we dropped off two seconds a lap. I was spinning out of every corner. We are 12 points off second place and have Silverstone coming up, so we will be alright."

Robbin Harms (Harms Benjan Racing Team Honda)
Race result: DNF. Championship position: 7th

“Unfortunately I was in contact with another rider when the red lights went off, so I lost touch from the front group in the first laps. I was behind Scassa, but his power was so strong that I could not overtake him and I took some big chances, only for him to overtake me on the straights again. Then we started to catch Tamburini and Lowes, but then with one and a half laps left to run my engine stopped. We could have been top six or top five maybe and we had a good weekend other than that last bit of bad luck.”

Florian Marino (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda)
Race result: 11th. Championship position: 8th

“I didn’t have such a good start and I lost quite a lot of time in the first few laps with lots of passing going on. When I settled down I still had to try a few things because of all the time we lost in practice. There were still some areas where I think we could have improved the bike. My physical condition was good, though, and I was able to fight all the way through. Even when Ellison passed me and opened a small gap, I was able to stay with him. The feeling changed with the bike over the last three of four laps and the front nearly went a few times. I tried to pass Ellison again, but ended up making a few mistakes. The positive thing is that I was only 16 seconds behind the first rider, which is my best this season.”

James Ellison (Bogdanka PTR Honda)
Race result: 8th. Championship position: 12th

“We had a so-so start to the weekend, but it ended up not too bad. We ran an OK race, but Marino was difficult to pass. The bikes are about the same in pace, so I was never going to draft him. I just wish I had got past him earlier and moved forward. An OK race in some ways, and we got some points, but I am still disappointed.”

Miguel Praia (Parkalgar Honda)
Race result: DNF. Championship position: 13th

“My start was not very good, but then I started to pass people and then I stuck a little behind Scassa and Harms. I lost a gear in one corner and then lost a second or so to them so I tried to make it up again. The pace was very good, but at the end I started to push a little more and lost the front.”

The next round for both WSBK and WSS classes is Silverstone, Great Britain, between 29 and 31 July.

World Superbike and World Supersport 2011
Round 08 Brno – Czech Republic

Superbike Race 1
1 M. MELANDRI / ITA / Yamaha World Superbike Team
2 M. BIAGGI / ITA / Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team
3 C. CHECA / ESP / Althea Racing
4 M. FABRIZIO / ITA / Team Suzuki Alstare
5 E. LAVERTY / IRL / Yamaha World Superbike Team
6 A. BADOVINI / ITA / BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team
7 L. CAMIER / GBR / Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team
8 L. HASLAM / GBR / BMW Motorrad Motorsport
9 J. LASCORZ / ESP / Kawasaki Racing Team
10 T. SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team Superbike
11 J. SMRZ / CZE / Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing
12 N. HAGA / JPN / PATA Racing Team Aprilia
13 M. BERGER / FRA / Supersonic Racing Team
14 R. ROLFO / ITA / Team Pedercini
15 A. LOWES / GBR / Castrol Honda
Superbike Race 2
1 M. BIAGGI / ITA / Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team
2 M. MELANDRI / ITA / Yamaha World Superbike Team
3 C. CHECA / ESP / Althea Racing
4 M. FABRIZIO / ITA / Team Suzuki Alstare
5 E. LAVERTY / IRL / Yamaha World Superbike Team
6 A. BADOVINI / ITA / BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team
7 L. HASLAM / GBR / BMW Motorrad Motorsport
8 J. LASCORZ / ESP / Kawasaki Racing Team
9 S. GUINTOLI / FRA / Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing
10 N. HAGA / JPN / PATA Racing Team Aprilia
11 R. ROLFO / ITA / Team Pedercini
12 M. AITCHISON / AUS / Team Pedercini
13 L. LANZI / ITA / BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team
14 T. SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team Superbike
15 V. KISPATAKI / HUN / Prop-tech ltd.
1 G. REA / GBR / Step Racing Team
2 F. FORET / FRA / Hannspree Ten Kate Honda
3 C. DAVIES / GBR / Yamaha ParkinGO Team
4 D. SALOM / ESP / Kawasaki
5 R. TAMBURINI / ITA / Bike Service R.T.
6 S. LOWES / GBR / Parkalgar Honda
7 L. SCASSA / ITA / Yamaha ParkinGO Team
8 J. ELLISON / GBR / Bogdanka PTR Honda
9 F. MARINO / FRA / Hannspree Ten Kate Honda
10 V. IANNUZZO / ITA / Lorenzini by Leoni
11 D. DELL'OMO / ITA / Suriano Racing Team
12 A. LUNDH / SWE / Cresto Guide Racing Team
13 I. TOTH / HUN / Team Hungary Toth
14 L. MARCONI / ITA / Bike Service R.T.
15 M. ROCCOLI / ITA / Lorenzini by Leoni
Gino Rea

Gino Rea
Related Links
· SBK - FIM World Superbike Championship and World Supersport Championship
· Czech Republic

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