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19 June 2011

WSBK Race Report Aragon, Spain.

2011 Superbike World Championship race report from Aragon, Spain
Today’s two World Superbike races from Aragon circuit in north-eastern Spain proved to be a test of character for both BMW Motorrad Motorsport riders, as they bravely battled through the pain barrier to post top ten finishes in race one. Despite both carrying injuries sustained at the previous round just last weekend, the tough pair gave 100 per cent in their attempts to score as many championship points as possible.

Having struggled at the physically demanding circuit throughout qualifying, both Haslam and Corser were forced to start race one down on the fourth row of the grid, in 14th and 16th places respectively. But this didn’t stop them from battling their way into the top 10 by half race distance and joining BMW Motorrad Italia’s Ayrton Badovini – who had qualified on the second row – in the fight for eighth place.

By the end of the 20-lap first race, it was Badovini who held onto eighth, with Haslam edging out his team-mate for ninth, and Corser rounding out the top 10.

In race two, the unlucky Corser was involved in a collision with another rider at the end of the long back straight, where riders have to brake hard from around 320 km/h for a tight, first-gear hairpin. Already riding with significant bruising to the coccyx and a cracked rib, the collision happened at the end of the first lap and Troy has suffered a suspected breakage of the ulna and radius bones in his forearm. He will fly to London for further treatment.

This left Haslam and Badovini in the fight to be the highest-placed S 1000 RR rider in the final WSBK race of the day, and as it turned out, the pair spent most of the race actually battling with each other. In the end, it was Haslam who came out on top, beating Badovini into ninth place by half a second and cementing sixth place in the championship standings, while Badovini’s recent good form moves him into the top 10 in the overall points.

There are now three weeks before the next WSBK round at Brno in the Czech Republic, which should give Haslam a chance to recover from the injuries he is carrying. Furthermore, the Brno round should also see the return of James Toseland to the Superbike World Championship on the RR for BMW Motorrad Italia.

Leon Haslam: “It has been another tough weekend for us. In race one I didn’t get a good start and I left myself with a lot of work to do. I felt like I had the pace to run with the second group of riders who were fighting for fourth, but the mistake on lap one meant I wasn’t able to make bridge the gap. However, I worked hard, made up some places and finished the race in ninth. In race two I got a better start – the start I was hoping for in race one – but we’d opted for a softer tyre and I didn’t have the same level of grip, although I had a good battle with Ayrton. I think we learnt a lot from following him and from the data we collected. We just have to go through the data now and get ready for the next one.”

Troy Corser: “I braked late at the end of the back straight and passed two other riders but I overshot the corner and turned in late. I saw Maxime Berger coming. I could see that his rear wheel was off the ground when he was braking and he just went straight into me. I am not blaming him. It was just unlucky. But I am happy that I only suffered a broken arm after the injuries I have been carrying recently. I do not have any bruises, nothing is sore and my neck is fine.”

Ayrton Badovini: “We are happy with the weekend on a whole. We are getting faster all the time and learning a lot with every session. We were able to run consistently in the top ten and we finished both races with solid results. I am happy because I am learning and improving with every race and I am building confidence with the bike. I am really looking forward to the next race.”

Bernhard Gobmeier (BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director): “We have to forget this weekend as soon as possible. From the first practice session on it did not work so well for us and the race results are not as good as we hoped for. But on a weekend like this, results are secondary. After Troy’s heavy crash all that matters is now that he recovers from his injuries and returns to full fitness as soon as possible. We will support Troy during his recovery as much as we can. After two back-to-back-races we now have two weekends without racing before we go to Brno. The whole team has worked really hard and I want to thank all of them for that.”


Race one: 1. Melandri (ITA – Yamaha), 2. Biaggi (ITA – Aprilia), 3. Camier (GBR – Aprilia), 8. Ayrton Badovini (ITA – BMW Motorrad Italia), 9. Leon Haslam (GBR – BMW Motorrad Motorsport), 10. Troy Corser (AUS – BMW Motorrad Motorsport), DNF. Lorenzo Lanzi (ITA – BMW Motorrad Italia),

Race two: 1. Biaggi (ITA – Aprilia), 2. Melandri (ITA – Yamaha), 3. Checa (ESP – Ducati), 9. Leon Haslam (GBR – BMW Motorrad Motorsport), 10. Ayrton Badovini (ITA – BMW Motorrad Italia), 15. Lorenzo Lanzi (ITA – BMW Motorrad Italia), DNF - Troy Corser (AUS – BMW Motorrad Motorsport)

Points: 1. Checa – 261, 2. Biaggi – 218, 3. Melandri – 195, 6. Haslam – 120, 10. Badovini – 86, 15. Corser – 55

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