THE ENGLISH WEEKEND ENDS WITH A HALF SMILE FOR THE APRILIA ALITALIA RACING TEAM. AFTER THE UPS AND DOWNS OF RACE 1 (MAX ELEVENTH AND LEON FIFTEENTH) THE CORSAIR TAKES FOURTH PLACE IN RACE 2 FOLLOWED BY HIS TEAM MATE.
Silverstone, July 31st, 2011 – The English away match for the Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team leaves only a “half smile”, in spite of the comeback in Race 2. World champion Max Biaggi, forced to start from the third row after the unfortunate Superpole yesterday, had to deal with a contact which bent the brake lever, so much that he almost had to take his hand off the handlebar to brake. Despite this inconvenience, the Corsair did not let up and ended the race in eleventh place, earning 5 important points.
An unfortunate race for Leon Camier as well, a key player in the race until 3 laps from the end when a technical problem forced him to slow down just as he was attacking Laverty's second position. With a fighting spirit the English rider gritted his teeth and rode the bike across the finish line in fifteenth place.
The start of Race 2 immediately showed good progress from Max, who also put the fastest lap of the race on the boards. The Corsair finished at the foot of the podium with a consistent pace, but the chase forced him to wear his tyres. The Roman rider squeezed the most out of his RSV4 anyway, crossing the line in fourth place, just ahead of his team mate, Leon Camier, who rode an excellent race.
Max sees the cup as half full: “Analysing the weekend and the first race, I can say that I'm satisfied with the fourth place in Race 2. It's a shame I had to start from the back. I stressed the tyres in order to catch up with the leading pack and that prevented me from being incisive at the end even though I really gave it my all, so much that I was able to get in front of my team mate who is quite fast here. Even in Race 1 I could have done better, but with the bent brake lever and the technical problem with the clutch I had little choice but to grit my teeth and pick up as many points as I could".
“I'm just obviously so disappointed and really sorry for all the fans out there that came to support us - Leon said - I really thought a podium or two was on the cards for definite. I felt really strong in the first race, made up a load of places and was starting to think about passing Laverty for 2nd when we had an issue with the bike. I kept going and I know the fans were cheering me on every time I went past so thank you to them! Second race, start went well but had no grip at the end. I couldn't hold my line and I was pushing and pushing to try and keep up but then I would make a mistake. So frustrating, especially at my home race, but that's how it goes sometimes.”
COMPLICATED SUPERPOLE FOR WORLD CHAMPION MAX BIAGGI WHO WILL START FROM THE ELEVENTH BLOCK ON THE GRID TOMORROW.
ON THE OTHER HAND LEON CAMIER CONFIRMS THE GOOD FEELING ON HIS HOME TRACK: THIRD PLACE AND FIRST ROW FOR HIM.
Silverstone, July 30th, 2011 – From the very first laps the difficulties on this circuit were admitted and Superpole didn't change the cards on the table. Max Biaggi will be forced to start tomorrow from the third row of the grid after a sliding crash in the first session. After re-entering the pit the Corsair went back out onto the track on his second bike using the first qualifier tyre and the seventh time he made was enough to take him through to Superpole 2. However, in this session the lack of feeling which has been present throughout the weekend prevented him from moving past eleventh place, a result which forces him to face two uphill battles tomorrow for the races.
Even the rise in temperature was unable to bring any benefit to the Roman champion, well aware that he will have to fight tomorrow in order to keep the dream of a race for the championship title alive.
“It started off badly straight away – confirmed Max Biaggi – with the crash in Q1. The front end closed up on me and I still am not sure why, in a section of the track which is very bumpy. I restarted with the second bike using a qualifier tyre, but I wasn't able to get my time down enough. We've struggled the whole weekend and unfortunately it will be extremely difficult tomorrow as well".
His team mate Leon Camier, after being very quick during all of the sessions this weekend, confirmed the good feeling on his home track in Superpole as well. After easily coming through Q1, the English rider also dribbled his way into the first two rows, putting the second best time on the boards. The final session with the top 8 riders saw him take third place, which will allow him to start from the front row. His race pace is good, as was quite evident in the sessions, although a few tenths of a second are needed to aspire to the positions which count.
Leon makes no secret of his happiness: “It's absolutely fantastic. I've always struggled in Superpole but today I am finally reaping the fruit of a lot of work. I have no illusions, I know that Carlos Checa has an extremely quick race pace and that a lot of riders are really close. What counts in a race is consistency and that is precisely why we still need to do some work to find just a bit more of it. At the moment I still don't have the solution, but I'll be speaking with my team and we'll try to improve the bike. In the meantime, I'll enjoy this nice result in front of my home fans".
A STRONG START STRAIGHT AWAY IN ENGLAND: 12 RIDERS GROUPED WITHIN LESS THAN ONE SECOND OF ONE ANOTHER.
MAX BIAGGI WORKS TO ADAPT HIS RSV4 TO THE TRACK AND ENDS THE DAY WITH THE NINTH BEST TIME, LEON CAMIER FINDS A GOOD FEELING AND STOPS THE CLOCK WITH THE FOURTH FASTEST TIME
Silverstone, July 29th, 2011 – The English World Superbike weekend ignites challenge right from the first practice sessions. The two Friday sessions saw extremely close times, so much so that the first qualifying session ended with 12 riders all within less than one second of one another. In the battle which came down to the last hundredth of a second, reigning champion Max Biaggi spent the first day adapting his Aprilia RSV4 to the exciting Silverstone track. The Roman rider completed 21 laps in the first qualifying session with a best time of 2'06,044 which earned him ninth place.
The cloudy skies and mild temperatures prevent the riders from taking full advantage of their higher performance tires for too many laps, but fortunately the forecast for tomorrow and Sunday promises clear skies over the renovated English track.
Max acknowledges that there is still work to be done: “We encountered some small problems here last year as well. The Ducati bikes are doing very well as always and the home riders always give a bit more here, so we need to concentrate on details to pull out the tenths of a second which are lacking. With this temperature the higher performance tyres don't last too many laps. Tomorrow and the next day the temperature is supposed to go up, so we'll evaluate softer solutions hoping to have a real benefit in terms of lap time".
Leon Camier had a very good day of practice on his home track. The English rider was shining in both sessions, ending the free practice session of the morning in second place and taking fourth in the first qualifying sessions. In spite of the good pace, Leon is convinced he can improve even more, especially with better weather conditions.
“I'm certainly happy with the first day – confirmed Leon – especially because the guys out front don't really have that much of a better pace than us, also given the quick tyre wear in these low temperatures. Checa is the quickest out here, but we can get close to him if we solve some of the chattering problems. It's too early to say, but we're all very close and that makes me think that we have two very difficult races ahead with a lot of riders making a play for the first spots".
A STRONG START STRAIGHT AWAY IN ENGLAND: 12 RIDERS GROUPED WITHIN LESS THAN ONE SECOND OF ONE ANOTHER.MAX BIAGGI WORKS TO ADAPT HIS RSV4 TO THE TRACK AND ENDS THE DAY WITH THE NINTH BEST TIME, LEON CAMIER FINDS A GOOD FEELING AND STOPS THE CLOCK WITH THE FOURTH FASTEST TIME.
After the victories at Aragon and Brno which allowed him to earn 42 points on Carlos Checa, currently the ranking leader, Max Biaggi sees the top of the World Superbike championship drawing nearer. The reigning World Champion has never let up, growing race after race together with is Aprilia RSV4. And this weekend World SBK comes to Silverstone, the historic track immersed in the green hills of England. For Biaggi and the Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team the goal is the same: continue the forward drive to the top of the championship.
Last year it was the English riders who dominated here, always very fast on their home track. Even Leon Camier, Aprilia Alitalia's second rider, took the third step of the podium after starting from the sixteenth spot on the grid. Max, then strong in a leading position of the championship with a hefty point advantage, simply controlled the situation.
But in 2011 things are different. Max must recover ground on Checa and has stated his intentions to aim for the highest possible result in every race. The championship will come down to the last metre: the 30 points which separate the first two riders and the 3 points which separate Aprilia from Ducati in the manufacturer rankings leave no room for reasoning or make-up races for anyone.
“Our current situation is certainly positive – confirms Max – the last two victories demonstrate that. I am coming to Silverstone properly charged up for good results, but also well aware that I'll have to give 100%. We'll have to reckon with highly ranked direct rivals, just like in the last two races, but also with the English riders who are always particularly motivated on their home track. Tyres and weather, as always, will be fundamental elements".
Leon Camier is playing on his home pitch, determined to leave the poor results of Brno behind him: “Silverstone has always been one of my favourite circuits as it's fast and flowing, and has plenty of overtaking opportunities. I had two good races last year coming from 16th to finish on the podium, so hopefully I can start a bit nearer the front which may make it easier. I'm hoping we'll be able to put on another good show for the fans this weekend!”.
WSBK 2011 Rider Standings
1 - Carlos Checa 293 pts
2 - Max Biaggi 263 pts
3 - Marco Melandri 240 pts
4 - Eugene Laverty 168 pts
5 - Leon Haslam 137 pts
6 - Leon Camier 134 pts
7 - Michel Fabrizio 134 pts
8 - Ayrton Badovini 106 pts
9 - Noriyuki Haga 99 pts
10 - Jonathan Rea 94 pts