1 October 2014

True Heroes heads to Silverstone following landmark weekend at Donington Park

True Heroes Racing's Murray Hambro reached a massive milestone last time out in the Triumph Triple Challenge at Donington Park with the double amputee making his first racing overtake since he began riding with the team in 2012.
Murray heads out at Donington
Photo: True Heroes Racing

True Heroes Racing is a team managed by Royal Navy sailor Phil Spencer and was created in order to allow ex-service men and injured UK personnel to find a new direction in life and have a sense of focus, combing this with a passion for Motorsport.

Since 2012 the team of eight have been travelling around the UK with the Triumph Triple Challenge series inspiring people along the way and helping their riders, Murray Hambro and Luke Smith to achieve astounding feats in a tough series.

Donington Park saw the team's hard work begin to pay off as Hambro was able to make a racing overtake in both outings over the weekend, as well as improving on his personal best time around the track.

Team owner Spencer explained to PaddockChatter the enormity of Hambro's achievement at Donington Park: "For Murray it was the best weekend that we've ever had. Not only did he finish the first race not last he finished the second race not last as well, so he's racing. This is what we want him to do, we don't want him to be trundling round at the back.

29 September 2014

Difficult day for Repsol Honda, Marquez: "it was just a pity about the crash"

The 14th round of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship from Motorland Aragón was a race to forget for the Repsol Honda duo Marc Márquez and Dani Pedrosa, both crashing in the treacherous conditions and remounting to finish 13th and 14th respectively. 
It was all going so well...
Photo: Repsol Honda

With Honda having never lost at the Aragón circuit since its inaugural GP back in 2010, that trend looked as though it would continue without interruption this weekend as Marquez and Pedrosa dominated practice and qualifying, while the Factory Yamaha squad struggled with rear grip.

However as clouds loomed over the track before the race start, the usually chirpy and relaxed looking Marquez was said to be quiet and perhaps tense as his mechanics worked on his RC213V before the warm up lap. 

It was business as usual once the lights went out as the reigning world champion battled up front with compatriots Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa. The trio continued their scrap all the way into the final quarter of the race before the rain began to make things more difficult. As Lorenzo dropped off and eventually pitted to swap bikes, the Repsol Honda pair pressed on, unfortunately to their detriment as they crashed a lap between each other due to the drenched asphalt. Both remounted despite sustaining visible damage to their Hondas, nursing them back to the pits swapping to wet tyre booted RCVs and crossed the finish line well over a minute behind Yamaha's Lorenzo. 

Marquez was philosophical about the race and still sits with a comfortable 75 point lead in the championship. He said: “Today's race was difficult because I, like many other riders in MotoGP, had never experienced track conditions like this before. It was a shame that it started to rain; if it hadn't, then I think that Dani, Jorge and I would have made the end of the race really exciting for the fans. I think that we did a good job all weekend - it was just a pity about the crash. I tried to hold on because there were only a few laps remaining, but today I learned that in these situations it is better to use a different strategy.” 

With Valentino Rossi also crashing earlier on in the race, Pedrosa's championship position was not compromised despite the low points score. He said: “It was a difficult race in extreme conditions, but we were able to ride a good first part and were in contention for the win. I made the wrong decision about when to come in to change bikes and didn't make the switch on the lap that I should have. My tyres couldn't hold out any longer and I crashed. Luckily I was able to remount and pick up two points from this race. It is a little disappointing to have gone so far and not taken a good result, but these experiences are useful for learning and heading to the next race stronger.” 

Smith equals best finish of 2014: "I accomplished my ambition"

Monster Yamaha Tech3's Bradley Smith equalled his best finish of the season yesterday at the 14th round of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship from Motorland Aragón, crossing the line in 5th place just ahead of team mate Pol Espargaró.
Smith finished ahead of team mate Espargaró
Photo: Tech3

Following a less than ideal start and a first lap shake up, the Oxfordshire rider found himself running barely inside the top 20 in the opening laps. By lap six however, Smith had scythed his way back through into the top ten, hot on the heels of eventual podium finisher Aleix Espargaró.

As the threatening clouds began to unload in dramatic fashion during the final third of the race, Smith was among the second wave of riders to hop into the pits and swap machines - precisely the right time for both Smith and fellow countryman, Cal Crutchlow.

In the five lap sprint to the line on wet tyres, Smith was locked in a fierce battle for supremacy with team mate Espargaró and Gresini Honda's Alvaro Bautista, trumping the pair across the finish line by less than two tenths of a second.

The Brit, who will continue to ride for Tech3 in 2015 was clearly ecstatic with beating his rookie team mate once more: "It was a great result today and I accomplished my ambition of getting into the top five although the conditions may have helped me in achieving this. It was a tough race and I could have finished even higher still had I not dropped back to 20th on the first lap. I tried to take some aggressive passes at the beginning and actually hit the back of someone, who I think was Valentino at turn 5, which sat me up. I then had a speed wobble coming over the sweeping left uphill corner and I was going to possibly clip another rider in front but ended up 20th. I made the decision to pit at the same time as Cal, so I think a podium could have been possible for me, but I must say congratulations to him for the result. As for me, I am pleased to get 5th and I’ve got to say thank you to the team for the work they have done this weekend. Now I look forward to the upcoming flyaway races where I will once again be doing my best to get into the top six."

28 September 2014

Top ten finish for Redding in testing conditions for the MotoGP rookie

Go&Fun Gresini Honda's Scott Redding sealed some vital championship points despite being fazed by the altering weather conditions at the Grand Prix of Aragon.
Redding got through his first white flagged race
Photo: Scott Redding.com

The Go & Fun Honda Gresini rider secured a 10th place finish in a 23-lap race which started as a dry race and concluded as a wet race. Despite haven ridden on a dry track with a wet set-up previously, this was the first time Redding had ridden on a wet track with slicks on. The Brit admitted that he felt uncomfortable when he was losing edge grip and as a result he slowed off the pace when the rain began to fall.

Redding who has announced that he will leave the Gresini team at the end of season to move onto a factory Honda for next season qualified for today’s race in 16th position. In the early stages of the race he made up positions and at one point was running as the top Open Class Honda before the onslaught of rain lost him time and forced him to settle for 10th place.

The 21-year-old spoke about how he should’ve maybe pitted and swapped bikes a lap earlier. He said: “From the start I felt quite comfortable, but then the rear started to spin up a lot and, when the rain came, I had no edge grip on corner entry so lost a lot of time there. It was also the first time I’ve gone from dry to wet in a race. I’ve done it the other way around a few times, but going from riding the bike on slicks to riding it on wets is quite different, not to mention knowing when to come in to change bikes. Anyway, my timing was not too bad, although I maybe should have come in one lap earlier.

“I’m not really disappointed, but I’m not really happy either, because I was the first Open Class Honda for the first part of the race and I was feeling good before the rain, which we didn’t plan on. But, after these last two races, I’m confident we can bounce back soon.”

Redding will be keeping his fingers crossed for a dry race next time out in Japan in 2 weeks time.

Crutchlow is top of the Ducati’s and seals first podium of the season

Ducati Team's Cal Crutchlow puts months of misery behind him as he celebrated his first podium of the season at Aragon in tricky conditions this weekend.
Crutchlow secured his first Ducati podium
Photo: Ducati Factory Team

In a race which saw the weather conditions play a significant part and the leaders tumble out of contention, the Ducati rider on last years bike benefited securing third place and even challenged Aleix Espargaro for second place whilst crossing the finishing flag.

Crutchlow lined up on the starting grid on row 2 and got caught up in the dash to the first corner finishing the first lap in 8th place. Before the rain started midway the Brit battled with Espargaro and Alvaro Bautista. When the rain began to fall hard he pitted on lap 18 and changed onto his wet set-up bike and slowly gained momentum in the wet. On the final lap he caught Espargaro in second and attempted to pass him on the final corner but unfortunately couldn’t get enough speed on the finishing straight and crossed the line just 17/1000ths of a second behind the Spaniard in third place.

The former Tech 3 rider admits that he hadn't given up on the Ducati team despite a disappointing set of result this season. He said: “Obviously we got very lucky with the conditions, but it was the same for everyone so I don’t really care! 

“I am pleased with the work that the guys have done, we are in better shape than what we were, even in the dry. A great job by Ducati, they haven’t given up with me and I haven’t given up with them and I think that shows week in and week out, even when the results haven’t been good. I got a wheelie coming out of the last corner because I hit the white paint, and I probably would have got Aleix on the line for second if I had been able to change gear in time!”

Moto3 and Moto2 round up – Aragon: Fast Fenati and Victorious Vinales master tricky conditions

 A rain shower in the morning gave Moto3 just a slim dry line to play with, while Moto2 had a dry run before the rain returned at a MotorLand Aragon circuit poised for some enthralling race day action.

Moto3 saw Sky Racing VR46 rider Romano Fenati make up an incredible 12 places on his assault through the pack for the win, including an epic last lap battle where he timed his move right to get the better of main rival for the win Alex Marquez.
Ready for action -Vinales                        Photo: Pons Racing

The Estrella Galicia rider may have missed out on the top spot on the podium, but second still gave him plenty to celebrate as his points combined with his earlier collision with Jack Miller, which left the Red Bull rider out of the points meant the Spaniard took the lead in the championship standings.

An excellent recovery from Danny Kent saw him lose a great start and battle back for third aboard his Husqvarna, fellow Briton John McPhee crashed twice leaving him out of the points after running at the front.

Marquez's team-mate Alex Rins finished fourth after running off track, fifth went to team Calvo's Jakub Kornfeil who did the same, while Enea Bastianini took sixth for Junior Team Go&Fun.

Top Mahindra honours went to Miguel Oliveira in seventh, just ahead of Ambrogio's Brad Binder in eighth, Nico Antonelli held on for ninth as Alexis Masbou moved his Ongetta-Rivacold into a top ten finish.

Just missing out while battling hard was wild card entry Hiroki Ono, for Honda Team Asia who impressed in eleventh.

The remaining points finishers were Isaac Vinales (Team Calvo) in 12th, Efren Vazquez (SaxoPrint-RTG) in 13th, Jules Danilo (Ambrogio Racing) scoring his first points of the season in 14th and Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Ongetta-AirAsia) in 15th.

The weather meant the crash list was long with Grunwald, Ferrari, Hanika, Guevara, Tonucci, Navarro, Migno, all joined Miller and McPhee in crashing out.

Moto2 had a very different feel with Paginas Amarillas rider Maverick Vinales leading a group of his rivals around from pole before breaking away at the front for just his second Moto2 victory.

The rookie impressed as only Championship leader Tito Rabat attempted to reel him in pulling him away from the pack and clear into second for Marc VDS, extending his championship lead to 33 points in the process.

The battle for third remained tense between Johann Zarco and Tom Luthi, the two Suter riders endlessly swapping position over the closing laps.

AirAsia Caterham's Zarco nudged ahead when it counted , leaving Interwetten Paddock rider Luthi to settle for fourth.

Franco Morbidelli had an amazing race to take fifth for Italtrans, Dominique Aegerter battled past Mika Kallio late on for sixth, Kallio settled for seventh, having previously also lost out after many laps fighting with Luthi.

Aspar's Jordi Torres took eighth, though much further back than the leaders, Speed Up's Sam Lowes finished ninth, just Ahead of Tech 3's Marcel Schrotter who completed the top ten.

Eleventh went to Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia), with Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) twelfth to cross the finish line.

The final points went to Luis Salom (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) in 13th, Tech 3's Ricky Cardus in 14th and Taka Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) in 15th.

Gino Rea picked up seven places from his qualifying position to finish just outside the points in 17th for AGT REA Racing.

Falling out of contention were Ant West, Xavier Simeon and Axel Pons.

For the full Moto3 result click here, and for Moto2 click here.

MotoGP: Lorenzo wins white flagged MotoGP madness in Spain

Movistar Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo crossed the line to secure his first win of the season as Valentino Rossi, Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa all crashed in mixed conditions at Aragon.
Lorenzo played it cool in Aragon
Photo: Yamaha MotoGP

Rain hit the circuit this morning leaving damp conditions in North Eastern Spain and the threat of more rain ahead of the main race. As the lights went out for the 800th Grand Prix Pedrosa hit the front going into the first corner ahead of Andrea Iannone on the Pramac Ducati, who took the lead going into the third corner.

Despite his slower pace all weekend, Lorenzo was clearly determined to not let Marquez break away and he moved into second position on the first lap. It wasn't long before championship leader Marquez took the lead in-front of his home fans however Iannone and Lorenzo were right on his tail. Becoming the first rider to succumb to the slippery astro turf on the edge of the track, Iannone ran on and crashed out of the race, at a terrifying speed.

By the third lap the front group were still together, with Rossi joining his team-mate in fourth. The Italian made a strong comeback from sixth on the grid and a tough weekend looking to have the pace to fight for a podium, however he ran off the track and lost control of his M1, causing him to have a terrifying crash which saw him out of the race. He is currently having precautionary head scans in hospital.

27 September 2014

'Wrong tyre' woes for Lorenzo in qualifying: "I'm very disappointed"

Movistar Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo will start tomorrow's Aragón GP from the third row of the grid after continuing to struggle with setup around the Motorland circuit.
Similar problems for Yamaha duo in Aragon
Photo: Yamaha MotoGP

Both Lorenzo and factory Yamaha team mate Valentino Rossi have had a tough weekend so far, despite having tested at the circuit earlier in the season. The track conditions being substantially different this time around has thrown some major spanners in the works of the pair finding the ideal balance for their respective M1 Yamahas.

In an attempt to smooth out the niggling issues, Lorenzo spent as much time out on track as possible in the sessions leading up to the afternoon's Qualifying 2, continuing the tactic into the 15 minute session where he completed a full eight laps averaging low to mid 1 minute 48 second lap times. Following a change of tyres midway through the session, the double World Champion finished off the session with a 1m 48.246s lap, initially placing him on a provisional front row before being relegated down to 7th by a flurry of fast laps in the final minutes of the session. 

“It's unbelievable how in just two weeks everything can change just for the track. It’s true that this year we have even more difficulties to be competitive here. I’m very disappointed because today we got two wrong tyres for the rear. They were not good. One was defective in the morning and the second tyre in qualifying was also not good. I expected to improve four or five tenths but I couldn’t, improving by just one tenth. When you have more difficulties sometimes you get even more problems as happened today. I think our pace is not that bad compared to our grid position so if we can make a good start and be patient we can fight. The first two corners will be difficult, then little by little we can make some positions and fight for the podium."

'Strange' crash costs Dovizioso spot on front two rows

Italian Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso was unable to transform his fast pace at Aragon into a solid qualifying spot this afternoon following a crash in qualifying two.
A crash cost Dovizioso a spot on the front two rows
Photo: Factory Ducati

Setting the fastest time of the afternoon yesterday, Dovizioso has been improving his pace throughout the season and is beginning to look like a strong contender for a podium on the Desmosedici. However his crash this afternoon means he will start tomorrow's race from ninth position on the grid.

The 28 year old set a time of 1.48.542, putting him at the back of row three:“It was a real pity, because in FP4 we had good pace, and I think I can say now that we are a lot closer to the top guys also for race pace. I was sure I could do a good qualifying session but I lost the front at turn 8 in a rather strange crash. I don’t think I did anything wrong: it was my mistake but I don’t think I exaggerated that much, maybe we’re a bit too close to the limit at the front. We’ve got to work to improve this tomorrow because otherwise in the race I won’t be able to push that hard. Today however we did a good job and we’ve got good race pace.”

Crutchlow: "we still have to work a lot on race pace and set-up."

Ducati Factory's Cal Crutchlow will start from fifth position in the Spanish Grand Prix at Aragon with a time of 1.47.897, however he insists it'll be hard to keep up with the front runners in the race.
Crutchlow is aiming for a top ten finish in Spain
Photo: Factory Ducati

Advancing straight into qualifying two following some solid top ten finishes in free practice, the British rider shot up onto the second row in the closing minutes of the session. With the heat helping Crutchlow get some good grip from the Bridgestone tyres in the shorter runs, he has doubts about the tyre life in the race tomorrow.

The Coventry rider explains how thrilled he is for his team as he secures an all important slot on the second row: “Obviously I’m more pleased with today’s result than over the other weekends. We managed to qualify on the second row, which is the best result since Assen for me. Hopefully we can get away with the other guys tomorrow and have a better race. I think we deserve it, because it was a fantastic job by the team today in the qualifying session for me to be so fast, but we still have to work a lot on the race pace and the set-up. It’s going to be a tough race tomorrow, because the tyres drop a lot, but I’ll try my best to get a strong top 10 finish.”

Moto3 and Moto2 qualifying round-up – Aragon: Rins beats bike woes as Vinales secures his first intermediate class pole.

The weather at MotorLand Aragaon pinned lap times down slightly with both of the support class actually seeing faster times set in practice, but that didn't stop the competition for grid position being furious.

In Moto3 Alex Rins was one of many riders to experience a bike issue as a mix of early crashes and technical issues saw many stuck in the pits, hoping for improvement. The Estrella Galicia rider overcame his Honda's clutch problem to return to track and top the timesheets, in a race where a front row start has been essential for a podium finish in Moto3.
First time for everything - Vinales takes pole in Moto2 Photo: Pons Racing

Joining him up front will be Danny Kent, who squeezed the best from his Husqvarna for his best starting position in Moto3 this season. A full mix of manufacturers make up the front row as they are joined by the fastest man this weekend - Aspar's Juanfran Guevara on the Kalex KTM, his best qualifying making the experience one of joy and frustration as it was Guevara who holds the quickest time, a new record, from FP3.

Championship leader Jack Miller had traffic trouble leaving the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider in fourth. He is joined on row two by Rins' team-mate Alex Marquez in fifth and another impressive ride from Junior Team Go&Fun's Enea Bastianini saw him storm through for sixth.

Row three features Team Calvo's Isaac Vinales in seventh, a job secure John McPhee in eighth – his best qualifying since Indianapolis - for SaxoPrint-RTG, and Niccolo Antonelli in ninth on the second of the Go&Fun bikes. McPhee's team-mate Efren Vazquez completes the top ten starters.

Niklas Ajo had the worst of the technical issues leaving him just minutes to move up from last, Andrea Locatelli also had to leave his qualifying late after a crash saw him damage his finger badly enough for a trip to the medical centre. Jasper Iwema, in at CIP, and Francesco Bagnaia also scuppered their qualifying dreams by crashing out.

Moto2 saw a late fast lap give rookie Maverick Vinales his first pole in the class. The Spaniard, who already has a win under his belt after victory in Texas, had looked confident and determined all weekend on the Paginas Amarillas HP 40 Kalex and timed his fast laps to perfection to steal the top spot from Johann Zarco.

The Air Asia Caterham man missed out by just a difference of 0.051, though he had been out of contention for the front row before new tyres gave him a little extra, it proved crucial in a class where the top 21 times were within a second of Vinales best lap.

Joining them on the front row is Mika Kallio, the Marc VDS man remaining consistent to secure his spot on the front row.

Franco Morbidelli continues to improve and heads row two from fourth on the grid for Italtrans. Fifth went to championship leader and Marc VDS rider TitoRabat, who fell just as his rivals picked up the pace. Tom Luthi scored sixth for Interwetten Paddock.

Row three features Taka Nakagami in seventh for Idemitsu Honda Team Asia, Dominique Aegerter giving everything to push his Technomag carXpert bike to eighth and Dynavolt Intact GP's Sandro Cortese fighting his bike as well as the clock to ninth. Marcel Schrotter completes the top ten for Tech 3.

New parts did little to help the British riders save a tough day – Sam Lowes starts 20th despite gaining Ohlins parts from Speed Up, Gino Rea has a new chassis and starts 24th for AGT REA Racing.

For the full Moto3 result click here, and for Moto2 here.

Rossi relieved with second row start, ponders front tyre selection

Hot off his 81st MotoGP win at home in Italy, Valentino Rossi received a reality check at Aragon. The Italian was forced to enter Q1 for the first time this year but managed to salvage a second row start for Sunday’s 800th MotoGP race.

Product placement at its finest
Photo: Movistar Yamaha
Rossi has only finished on the podium once at Aragon in his four visits to the track. On Saturday a worst qualifying performance of the season seemed likely as a dodgy rear tyre pushed him out of the all-important top ten at the close of Free Practice 3.

Yet some consistently fast times saw him top Q1 and a late lap promoted him to sixth at the close of Q2, a place ahead of team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.

“A difficult practice yesterday and also today as we are suffering from a lack of grip,” said Rossi. “It’s difficult to ride the bike at the limit as after some laps it starts to slide a lot. We worked very hard with the team to try and improve some different settings. It looks like this afternoon we found some things so I will start from the second row, which is not so bad, it's quite good."

Improvements are still necessary should Rossi desire a tenth podium finish of 2014 and the Italian believes that will depend on the correct front tyre choice with cooler temperatures predicted for Sunday’s race.

“Now we have to try to find some small improvement for the warm up and for the race so we can try to do the maximum tomorrow afternoon. The big question mark is the front tyre, we can use medium or hard. They are very similar so we have to see what the track temperature will be.”

Marquez obliterates circuit record for eleventh pole of 2014

Marc Marquez underlined his intentions for the weekend by snatching pole position out of Dani Pedrosa’s grasp with a stunning late effort, ahead of the 800th MotoGP race in Aragon.

Marquez waves to the crowd after his stellar pole lap
Photo; Repsol Honda
The Repsol Honda team-mates obliterated Marquez’s year-old circuit record to head the front row ahead of the impressive Andrea Iannone. Marquez’s final time of 1min 47.187secs was some seven tenths faster than the lap that took him to pole on the same circuit a year ago and good enough to take top spot off Pedrosa's hands by 0.36 seconds.

There were also positives for Pol Espargaro (+0.67s), Cal Crutchlow (+0.71s) and Valentino Rossi (+1.03), who made up the second row of the grid after strong Saturday afternoon showings.

Another Marquez pole seemed like a foregone conclusion with half of the 15-minute session to spare, as he sat over 0.6s faster than second placed Iannone. Yet Pedrosa made a valiant effort to claim his first pole since the series’ last visit to Spain. Making use of a clear track, Pedrosa went two hundredths under Marquez’s time with three minutes to go before Marquez’s late effort.

26 September 2014

Dovizioso and Ducati top first day at Aragon with updated GP14

For the second Grand Prix in succession, Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso finished Friday's second free practice session on top of the timing sheets ahead of Repsol Honda duo Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, albeit in the complete opposite conditions at Motorland Aragón.
On the pace in Motorland
Photo: Ducati

Yesterday Ducati revealed the updated version of their Demosedici, the GP14.2 that the fully supported riders, Andrea Iannone and Dovizioso would be riding this weekend. While the machine isn't quite the drastically different edition that is due to be rolled out in February at the Sepang tests, it seems to have given a certain degree of improvement for the Andreas, given that Iannone topped the first free practice session (in the coldest conditions so far this season) with Dovizioso finishing on provisional pole in the afternoon.

It wasn't all plain sailing for Ducati however, with Hector Barbera debuting the GP14 in full Open spec in Avintia colours, replacing the sluggish SBK/GP CRT hybrid Kawasaki he had formerly been riding. The Spaniard was literally thrown into a baptism of fire on the Desmosedici during FP1 as the bike spontaneously combusted underneath him while circulating. Fortunately, aside from mild burns to his arms, the Spaniard was ok and made it back out on track with a relatively 'new' bike late on in FP2.

After using the standard GP14 in FP1, Dovizioso opted for the GP14.2 late on in FP2 where he set the fastest time of the day, a 1. 48.285s lap which was just over four thousandths of a second quicker than that of home hero, Marc Marquez's best lap of the day. Come the chequered flag, Dani Pedrosa was lagging a further four tenths behind, followed by Andrea Iannone, Aleix Espargaro, brother Pol, Jorge Lorenzo, Stefan Bradl, Bradley Smith and Valentino Rossi rounding out the top ten.

Yamaha's dynamic duo, Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi have found themselves in a sticky situation so far this weekend, struggling with rear grip around the Motorland circuit. They remain over 5 tenths and a full second respectively behind the leaders and will be hoping for significant improvements to their factory M1s tomorrow morning before qualifying.

Speaking after FP2, Dovizioso confirmed that the updated Desmosedici is an improvement: "I did a really great lap at the end! I am very happy with the time I set, especially because I didn’t do a perfect lap. We still have to work on pace, because as always here at Aragón the rear tyres drop off a lot in performance after just a few laps. I can confirm that the GP14.2 is narrower and also more comfortable, and so it goes better from that point of view, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”

22 September 2014

Delighted Byrne makes up for costly error with race two win

Shane Byrne made amends for an uncharacteristic race one error at Assen by outwitting Ryuichi Kiyonari later in the afternoon with a perfectly judged win to maintain his lead in the British Superbike Championship.

Byrne pounced at the last moment for a sensation victory in race two
Photo: MCE Insurance British Superbike.com
Despite finishing on the podium for nine races running, Byrne threw away a certain podium finish at the worst possible moment in Sunday’s 19-lap opener while trying to chase down Josh Waters and Kiyonari in worsening conditions.

Having led the opening laps Byrne fell at the fast turn eight on lap 15 as he sat third in a spill that saw his sizable championship lead shrink from 26 to seven points as form-man Kiyonari scored his tenth podium from fourteen races.

“I ended up on my backside,” he told British Eurosport before race two. “It was difficult conditions in the first [race]. I pushed to get to the front. I maybe used a bit too much of my rear tyre and when the rain came again there wasn’t a lot of grip left at all. I looked at my board the lap before [the crash] and it said [there were] 14 seconds behind me. I just rolled the throttle going into turn eight and it spun around on me. It was the last thing I needed.”