Valencia, 5 April 2009
SBK, RACE 2: BIAGGI FINISHES IN EIGHTH PLACE AGAIN
There was a violent downpour at the Ricardo Tormo racetrack in Valencia immediately following Race 1. Fortunately it didn’t last long and the track was dry and in good racing condition in time for Race 2.
The script was quite similar to that of today’s earlier race. This time Haga started off badly, but managed to take over the first place position after the first lap and the immediately broke away, leaving the other drivers behind. Only Spies made a valiant effort to keep up with him, but had to be content as runner up with a time difference of 5:106. Third place went to Michel Fabrizio, who managed to fight off attacks from a very competitive Laconi.
Biaggi started off well, but just as in Race 1 ended up stuck in the pack at the first curve. This time, however, he managed to avoid contact with his adversaries. The Roman driver threw himself into the race in an attempt to recover as many positions as possible and he was in tenth place by the eighth lap. Then a battle for eighth place ensued with Sykes, Kiyonari and Hopkins, which saw the drivers fighting for impossible breakaways along the backstretch, perhaps the only place where it is possible to pass on this track. During the twentieth lap Max managed to launch a final attack and finished the race in eighth place.
Shinya Nakano is doing well after undergoing surgery yesterday to repair the compound fracture to his left shoulder blade.
The operation, which required the application of a metal plate and eight screws, went off without a hitch and now Shinya and his physicians are deciding if he will undergo physical therapy here in Spain or return to Japan.
"It was a very difficult race,” said Biaggi. “I gave it my all, but it’s very difficult to pass on this track and I also took a lot of risks trying to do even better. These two eighth place finishes may seem disappointing, but after the bad results in the Superpole, it really was impossible to do any better. We did pretty well during the single-lap trials, but we weren’t able to set the pace with the racing tyres. My team-mate and I, to whom I wish a speedy recovery, experienced the same problem with vibrations at the back of the bikes that we had at Philip Island. We tried changing the alignment but the situation didn’t improve and the Superpole reflected the situation we found ourselves to be in. This can be viewed as a success in that it has taught us to better evaluate the problems that we encounter and find solutions as quickly as possible.”
Valencia, 5 April 2009
SBK, RACE 1: BIAGGI FINISHES IN EIGHTH PLACE
The sky was covered by clouds, but it was still very hot and an extremely competitive race was expected to take place to further warm the souls of the 65,000 spectators that were present in the stands of the Ricardo Tormo racetrack for Race 1 of the SBK in Valencia
Haga started off well with his Ducati and immediately set out at a hell-bent pace, managing to detach from his competitors from the outset and after just a few laps he had accumulated a good margin which he maintained up to his arrival at the chequered flag all on his own. It was a duel for the remaining two steps on the podium among Neukirchner, Fabrizio and Laconi, who during the final laps battled it out with the Roman driver, who in the end would claim victory over the German on his Suzuki and the Frenchman on another Ducati. Biaggi also had a good start from the eighteenth position, but got stuck in the pack at the first curve, miraculously remaining upright after a series of contacts with his adversaries. The Roman driver pushed forward, trying to recover as many positions as possible on the track, even though it proved to be extremely challenging to pass the other drivers. After the first lap he was in fifteenth place and by the fifth lap he had moved up to eleventh. Halfway through the race he was in ninth place and during the sixteenth lap he managed to pass Byrne on his Ducati to take over eighth position. Max tried his best to catch up to Sykes and Kagayama, but the attempt failed and in the end he crossed the finish line in eighth place at 16:316 behind Haga.
"We analyzed all of the available data after yesterday’s Superpole,” declared Luigi Dall’Igna, Technical Director of Aprilia Racing, “and we didn’t encounter any specific problems with the bike. We brought a number of novelties with us to try out here in Valencia. Some of them were used during the race, and gave us very positive results. We decided not to use the others because they still need to be developed. We can certainly say that we brought a much more evolved RSV4 here with respect to the round in Qatar.”
Valencia, 4 April 2009
SUPERPOLE: BIAGGI IN THE FIFTH ROW; NAKANO FRACTURES HIS SHOULDER BLADE
Weather conditions were perfect in Valencia for a well-balanced Superpole that saw twenty-one drivers all finish within one second of one another during the morning’s qualifying rounds. This is the third consecutive Superpole victory for Ben Spies, on a Yamaha Factory with a time of 1:33:270.
Max Biaggi will start off from eighteenth position after stopping the clock at 1:35:204. The Roman rider missed out on qualifying for Superpole 2 by 0:101; he failed to use qualifying round tyres and experienced some problems with suspension and grip at the rear of the bike.
After a bad fall caused by a loss of oil from his engine during the morning’s qualifying practice, Shinya Nakano ended up with a compound fracture of his left shoulder blade. The Japanese rider will undergo surgery in Valencia at 7 p.m. today with Drs. Costa and Corbascio. Shinya will have to miss out on this race, but he is sure to return in time for the round at Assen.
"I’m very surprised – declared Biaggi – both in the qualifying practice of this morning and in the free practice before the Superpole, everything was going quite well and we were achieving some interesting times. Instead, during the first laps of the Superpole, I started to notice some disturbing vibrations and a lack of grip at the back of the bike that prevented me from driving the way I wanted to. So I re-entered the box, I changed bikes, but the situation didn’t improve much with respect to earlier. Now a long and difficult job awaits us, we will analyze the data we’ve gathered in order to understand what happened and we’ll try to use tomorrow morning’s warm-up to the best of our ability in order to impose a great recovery.”