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World Superbike and World Supersport 2012

Round 01: Phillip Island Circuit – Australia

  • Overview
  • Race Results
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Australia
Australia
February 26, 2012

Rea Gets Close To The Podium On First Day of Race Action

Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) was only 0.134 seconds from third place in the second 22-lap race at Phillip Island, having held a top three finishing spot for virtually all the second leg around the 4.445Km circuit. After a seventh spot in race one, Rea sits fifth in the championship rankings, on 22 points, after opening day races that were won by Max Biaggi (Aprilia) and Carlos Checa (Ducati).

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Jonathan Rea
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Jonathan Rea

The rider from Northern Ireland had qualified in eighth place and after the disappointment of race one he was in determined mood in race two. His tyre had finally given its best, however, and despite some great tactical riding to keep eventual third place rider Tom Sykes behind him, Sykes had better drive out of the final corner and passed him down the long finish straight.

New SBK rider Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) rode with intelligence to record eighth in race one and ninth in race two, results that place him ninth in the championship overall, ahead of many more experienced riders in this class.

Hiroshi was 17th in combined qualifying, which determined the grid positions after Superpole was cancelled. This was due to a fatal accident suffered by local rider Oscar McIntyre in a support class race earlier in the day, and Honda extends its deepest sympathises and condolences to Oscar’s family and friends.

New regulations, which specify that each rider only have one bike in the pit box in 2012, had an effect in qualifying for both Rea and Aoyama, each of whom lost some valuable time in this year’s 45-minute sessions. Rea missed some action after a sensor malfunctioned inside his engine and Aoyama had to have crash damage repaired.

Raffaele De Rosa (Pro Ride Motorsports Honda) did not start in race one despite making it to the start-line, and he was 17th from seventeen finishers in race two in his first race in this division, missing out on scoring points.

Parkes Climbs The Podium After Short But Epic Supersport Race

Pole position man Broc Parkes Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda) made a less than perfect start in the FIM Supersport World Championship race and was down in fifth for some time, then dropped to sixth, before fighting back to score third place at his home race, all despite ever-worsening rear tyre grip.

Due to fears about tyre life in the hot track conditions at Phillip Island the opening round was shortened to 15-laps instead of the scheduled 21. Most riders still had traction issues on race-day, despite track temperatures of 43°C, far less than the near 60°C temperatures which were evident during final qualifying on Saturday. Parkes was also fastest man in warm-up this morning, despite only doing three laps right at the end of the 20-minute session.

Former Moto2 rider, but WSS rookie Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda) followed up on a third place grid position with fourth in the race, just over two seconds from winner Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) and second place rider Fabien Foret (Kawasaki). Cluzel also found issues with rear tyre grip near the end and could not hold onto the more experienced Parkes.

Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda) opted to bring his bike home safely in fifth place, just less than five seconds from the winner, as he has a blistered rear tyre. His mature approach earned him eleven championship points. He had started from second spot on the grid, the middle rider in a qualifying 1-2-3 run for Honda.

Ronan Quarmby (PTR Honda) went from 13th on the grid to an assured seventh in the race, ending up riding alone and to save his rear tyre. Lukas Pesek (PRORACE Honda) secured a top ten on the opening day of WSS play, stepping up two places from his qualifying position.

South African Mathew Scholtz (Bogdanka PTR Honda) was the last Honda rider in the points, 14th, and one of many new riders to the class this season. He had qualified 15th.

Balazs Nemeth (Racing Team Toth Honda) was on course for a top ten until he slipped back severely to record a 20th place finish.

Andrea Antonelli (Team Lorini Honda), Martin Jessopp (Riders PTR Honda) and Imre Toth (Racing Team Toth Honda) finished 16th, 17th and 18th respectively.

Pawel Szkopek (Bogdanka Racing Honda) and Ondrej Jezek (SMS Racing Honda) each failed to finish, as did ninth place qualifier Roberto Tamburini (Team Lorini Honda). Thomas Caiani (KUJA Racing Honda) was the last rider classified as a finisher, in 23rd place after experiencing some issues in practice.

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Hiroshi Aoyama
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Hiroshi Aoyama
Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team)
Race result: 7th / 4th Championship position: 5th
“We kept the same tyre option for race two as we used in race one. It was so much easier in the heat than it was in the cool and it worked a lot better than in race one. It was all over the place in that race from around mid-race distance. In race two the tyre held on a lot longer, but went off eventually and I could do nothing on the last lap to stop Sykes coming past. I was just hoping there was not a train of riders behind him when I realised he was closing, but the boys in the pit-lane has signalled me that there wasn’t. As much as I knew I would get mugged on the last corner, at least I knew it was coming! We have decent points on the board, if not good points, and we are going to Imola next so we should be good there.”
Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team)
Race result: 8th / 9th Championship position: 9th
“If we think about how this week started, we did not do too bad to finish eighth and ninth. Of course we could be better if we had smooth sessions and everything had gone well, but we had a couple of problems that stopped us from going faster and it was somehow difficult to solve all the problems and we had to go race carrying still some small set-up problems. The guys really worked hard this weekend and it was a bit of a stressful at times, but finally we ended up doing better in the races than in qualifying. The results that I got were not what I want, but in this moment to finish in these places is not too bad.”
Raffaele De Rosa (Pro Ride Motorsports Honda)
Race result: DNS / 17th Championship position: -
“It was fun in the beginning of race two when I could race with other riders, but as the race wore on I found it difficult changing gear as the tyres got hot. I am still getting used to a Superbike and the electronics, as it is all new to me. My team and I are learning all the time.”
Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda)
Race result: 3rd / Championship position: 3rd
“I did not get a good start, but I was not too concerned about it. I did not attack well enough in the first six or seven laps. So I left my charge a bit too late. I was really concerned about my rear tyre, maybe a little bit too much. It was still torn quite a bit at the end. I just could not do any more and had to take the points today. I lost a gap early on and tried to close the gap at the end, but my grip was going quite quick at the end. A top three in the first race is quite good all the same.”
Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda)
Race result: 4th / Championship position: 4th
“Close, but not quite there. I had some chatter problems like my team-mate Sam Lowes. Starting from yesterday afternoon we had full chatter and this happened during the race. I think some of the other bikes had more grip on the rear and no chatter. They were faster for sure. If I tried to so the same I would crash. I am thinking it is not too bad to finish fourth. I thought the podium was close, but my tyre as completely finished and Parkes had more grip, and maybe more experience! I think maybe he used his tyre less. I am happy to finish where I did in my first ever Supersport race.”
Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda)
Race result: 5th / Championship position: 5th
“My rear tyre had a blister so I had to drop back. It was better to get the points than risk a crash. I could not even tip into the corner, I was losing a lot and I did not have any drive, nothing. I had to give up and could not fight. When I got to the front early on I tried to slow the pace down, but just couldn’t. I could not have done any more. But last year maybe I would have tried too hard and crashed in the same situation, so I just stayed there to get the points.”
Ronan Quarmby (PTR Honda)
Race result: 7th / Championship position: 7th
“It was good today. At the beginning I was with the front group and I think it was just a loss of confidence in the front end that I had after about 7-8 laps that dropped me back a bit. So I just thought to myself ‘push, but do not push too hard.’ This is the first race so you need to get some points. I am proud of myself because I had a good race and I have been training hard for this. The next race and the tests after will be about getting the bike set up for a longer race. My team did well, they did a good job.”
Mathew Scholtz (Bogdanka PTR Honda)
Race result: 14th / Championship position: 14th
“My start was really bad for me and I dropped down a bit. Coming down Lukey Heights one of the other riders tried to brake past three or four others, took out someone and I ran wide. I was really far back and I had to push hard in the first few laps to catch up. I finished the tyre halfway through the race, so I was going backwards. I think for my first race we showed a decent pace at first and we just need to try and keep that pace the whole race through.”
Martin Jessop (Riders PTR Honda)
Race result: 17th / Championship position: -
"I had a really good start and made up two rows and then at turn 10 I was run on by someone and had to turn my bike round and back on track. By the end of the lap I had lost 11-seconds, but I tried my hardest and put some good laps in. I went back to a Superbike style of riding on my own - I could have done with following some racers. A lot of people were struggling with tyres and I am happy as we worked on the same compound all weekend and were in a good position. It is so annoying to be run off in the first lap and losing points in my first race, but we have made progress all weekend and are going in the right direction."
Pawel Szkopek (Bogdanka Racing Honda)
Race result: DNF / Championship position: -
"We had a last minute problem and I couldn't make the start. I'd like to thank the team for putting in great work this weekend and especially today trying to get me on the grid. I went out for a sighting lap, but eventually had to come in as something wasn't quite right with the engine. It's a pity because we felt we had the pace for a strong result after my best ever qualifying yesterday - and the whole team was working really well, but this is racing. I'm still leaving Australia in high spirits because we can see we made progress compared to last year and that makes me really confident ahead of Imola."

World Superbike and World Supersport 2012
Round 01: Phillip Island Circuit – Australia

Superbike Race 1
Rank Rider (Team)
1 M. BIAGGI (Aprilia Racing Team)
2 M. MELANDRI (BMW Motorrad Motorsport)
3 S. GUINTOLI (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing)
4 T. SYKES (Kawasaki Racing Team)
5 J. SMRZ (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert)
6 M. FABRIZIO (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet)
7 J. REA (Honda World Superbike Team)
8 H. AOYAMA (Honda World Superbike Team)
9 D. GIUGLIANO (Althea Racing)
10 B. STARING (Team Pedercini)
11 L. ZANETTI (PATA Racing Team)
12 L. HASLAM (BMW Motorrad Motorsport)
13 M. BERGER (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing)
14 D. SALOM (Team Pedercini)
15 J. LASCORZ (Kawasaki Racing Team)
Superbike Race 2
Rank Rider (Team)
1 C. CHECA (Althea Racing)
2 M. BIAGGI (Aprilia Racing Team)
3 T. SYKES (Kawasaki Racing Team)
4 J. REA (Honda World Superbike Team)
5 L. HASLAM (BMW Motorrad Motorsport)
6 M. MELANDRI (BMW Motorrad Motorsport)
7 M. BERGER (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing)
8 E. LAVERTY (Aprilia Racing Team)
9 H. AOYAMA (Honda World Superbike Team)
10 N. CANEPA (Red Devils Roma)
11 J. SMRZ (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert)
12 L. CAMIER (Crescent Fixi Suzuki)
13 D. GIUGLIANO (Althea Racing)
14 L. ZANETTI (PATA Racing Team)
15 J. BROOKES (Crescent Fixi Suzuki)
Supersport
Rank Rider (Team)
1 K. SOFUOGLU (Kawasaki DeltaFin Lorenzini)
2 F. FORET (Kawasaki Intermoto Step)
3 B. PARKES (Ten Kate Racing Products)
4 J. CLUZEL (PTR Honda)
5 S. LOWES (Bogdanka PTR Honda)
6 S. MORAIS (Kawasaki DeltaFin Lorenzini)
7 R. QUARMBY (PTR Honda)
8 A. BALDOLINI (Power Team by Suriano)
9 V. IANNUZZO (Power Team by Suriano)
10 L. PESEK (PRORACE)
11 J. METCHER (Rivamoto Junior Team)
12 J. DAY (Team GOELEVEN)
13 L. MARCONI (VFT Racing)
14 M. SCHOLTZ (Bogdanka PTR Honda)
15 F. MENGHI (VFT Racing)

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