Ducati Panigale R

BSB – Haslam crashes, Shakey takes title in dramatic end to series showdown

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Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne clinched an unprecedented sixth BSB championship title in dramatic style at Brands Hatch, as the title fight went down to the wire in the final race of the season.

The last race of the season started with Leon Haslam and defending champion Byrne separated by just two points after Byrne won race two and Haslam finished tenth, ahead of the crucial decider at the Kent circuit.

On the opening lap James Ellison had taken the advantage from Christian Iddon and Michael Laverty. The title contenders were in formation, with Josh Brookes in fourth ahead of Haslam and Byrne, but the Australian knew he was still in contention and he was pushing to move through the field.

At the front Iddon took the lead, but on lap six Haslam’s title hopes ended in heartbreak as the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider suffered brake failure on Lap Six.
The ‘Pocket Rocket’ had to jump off the bike at 172mph at Hawthorns and subsequently sustained a broken right wrist, right thumb and left ankle. He heroically returned to the grid for the championship celebrations at the end of the race to congratulate Byrne on his title victory before heading to the medical centre.

The crash brought out the BMW Safety Car and when the race resumed Brookes was instantly on the attack and took the lead into Paddock Hill Bend which he held to the finish, but in the closing stages Jason O’Halloran charged through into second to push Ellison back to third.

Byrne ended the race in eighth place but it was enough to seal his sixth title as he defended his title for the first time in his career, finishing behind Laverty, Iddon, Peter Hickman and Dan Linfoot.

Speaking after the race, Byrne said: “I really don’t know how I feel to be honest because I came here thinking I’m 33 points behind Leon and he’s such a tough competitor that I never envisaged being able to pull back 33 points, but what I did envisage was coming here to do the best job I possibly could this weekend and try and win three races.

“That’s never a given in BSB because it’s really, really difficult to win, but after we won the first race and pulled back some points and then there was only two points between us and I had a bit of a game plan for the final race of the day and that was to keep an eye on my pit board to see where Leon was and basically remain a place or two in front of him.

“That may sound a little bit arrogant or aloof but it was basically my way of making sure we came away from this weekend as champions.

“I knew he was starting on the fourth row and when he came past me on the start I thought “seriously, what sort of a start did you get?” but it was perfect because I was sat in fourth or fifth with Leon right in front of me and I felt absolutely cool with that because I knew towards the end of the race I’d be really strong,

“I sat there quite content, trying not to use to much tyre and following him around making sure nobody was going past me, and then as we went down into Hawthorns Leon didn’t get on the brakes or whatever happened and jumped off his bike and it really threw me, I’m not going to lie. I spent a couple of laps afterwards thinking “hold on a minute, we are supposed to be fighting for a championship, we can’t fight for a championship if you’re in there”.

“I’m gutted for him, I genuinely mean that because he’s been a really tough competitor last year and this year, and for him to come here with 33 points lead and leading the championship seems a bitter pill to swallow.

“I hadn’t actually won a race since we were here in July and that never happens. BSB is so tough right now that it’s really, really difficult to win. We’ve ended up champions so I’m super, super happy to have defended the title. That’s the one thing I wanted to do and we’ve got that done now so it’s going to be a nice winter.”

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Race Two result:

Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)

Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +0.524s

James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +1.406s

Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +6.073s

Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +8.147s

Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +10.424s

Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +11.216s

Michael Laverty (McAMS Yamaha) +11.547s

Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +15.053s

Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +18.531s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Race Three result:

Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha)

Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +0.687s

James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +0.857s

Michael Laverty (McAMS Yamaha) +1.929s

Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +2.144s

Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +5.254s

Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +5.281s

Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +6.512s

Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +6.923s

Richard Cooper (Bennetts Suzuki) +7.628s

2017 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings:

Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 637

Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) 634

Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 631

Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) 578

Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 567

Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) 562

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WSBK – Ducati back to winning ways as Chaz Davies wins Race Two at Magny Cours

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After being hampered by a technical issue in Race one, Ducati factory rider Chaz Davies bounced back with a dominant win in Race Two at the eleventh round of the WSBK Championship at Magny Cours, the team’s eighth overall win of the season.

In tricky conditions, with a light rain falling intermittently on different sections of the track, the Welshman built his win (the 27th of his career) in the early laps, when he was the only rider capable of lapping in the 1:38 mark after a blistering start from 11th position.

Newly-crowned world champion Jonny Rea endured a miserable race, and he was forced to retire after Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty high-sided off in front him on Lap One, striking and damaging the rear of his Kawasaki.

It made no difference to Davies though, who stormed into the lead past Alex Lowes on Lap Three. Davies quickly built a lead while Lowes battled for position with Leon Camier, only for the MV Agusta rider to be forced out with a mechanical issue on Lap Nine, which lined up a Pata Yamaha second and third with Michael van der Mark completing the podium.

Speaking after the race, the Welshman said: “Saturday’s racing was bitter, but today was sweet. This is the best way to put behind us a couple of tough races. I woke up feeling really motivated and I think it showed in the opening laps, as I was making passes and got to the front pretty quickly from 11th position.

“It wasn’t an easy race though. The rain was on and off throughout, and it was hard to tell where the wet patches could be. It was a matter of pushing hard but not too much, just enough to keep the gap in check, and that’s what we did. Now we’re looking forward to the last two races, the hunt for second position in the championship is still open and we can be fast both in Jerez and Qatar.”

 

BSB – Shakey takes championship lead after taking double at Brands

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Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne completed a dream double in front of a huge home crowd at Brands Hatch to take the lead in the BSB championship standings.

The two races on the legendary Grand Prix circuit produced five different podium finishers, representing five different manufacturers and five different teams with just seven races now remaining before the Showdown.

An incredible battle opened the day as Byrne denied Dan Linfoot his first ever MCE BSB victory as the Be Wiser Ducati rider stole the lead at Surtees with two laps to go before the race had a premature end due to changing conditions.

At the start of Race One Luke Mossey had fired the JG Speedfit Kawasaki off the line to take the lead from pole sitter Josh Brookes and Linfoot. However, a hectic opening few laps saw Brookes try and attack, but Mossey was keeping his cool as Byrne held station in sixth place.

On the fifth lap Byrne went for a move on Haslam at Surtees, but ran out wide and dropped back three places, giving himself more work to do. At the front Brookes had hit the lead, but Mossey instantly fought back and regained the position.

A big crash for Shaun Winfield caused the first BMW Safety Car deployment of the season, but the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha rider was able to walk away from the incident.

When the race resumed Peter Hickman instantly went for a move as did Linfoot and by the end of the next lap it was Linfoot leading the way from Mossey, Hickman, Leon Haslam and Brookes with Christian Iddon also in close contention.

Hickman waited two more laps before he got his opportunity to snatch the lead; moving ahead at Surtees to push Linfoot back into second place.

Linfoot was coming under pressure from Mossey as he dived down the inside at Paddock Hill Bend on the twelfth lap but the Honda Racing rider fought back and repaid the move into Druids to regain the position.

Hickman was still leading the pack for the Smiths Racing BMW team with Linfoot, Mossey, Haslam and Iddon hot on their heels as Brookes dropped back and was fighting off James Ellison and Byrne.

Linfoot regained the lead on Lap 16 with a decisive move at Paddock Hill Bend, but the defending champion was on the move and he had worked his way up the order to take the lead at Surtees with two laps remaining. The red flag was then bought out when light rain began to fall, but it was enough for Byrne to claim the win.

The result meant Linfoot celebrated his first podium of the season for Honda Racing with Haslam returning to the podium for the first time since Oulton Park as he held off Hickman and Brookes.

The second race was shaping up to be a dogfight between the defending champion and Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha’s Brookes with the pair hitting the front of the pack, and as the Australian hounded down his rival; he crashed out at Surtees on the ninth lap.

As Byrne edged ahead the battle behind was intensifying for third position as Ellison, Iddon, Haslam and Hickman traded blows in their quest for a podium finish. Ellison was upping the pace on the McAMS Yamaha and was able to hold off Iddon as the pair returned to the podium.

Hickman doubled up on fourth places for the Smiths Racing BMW team and continues to hold the final place in the top six with three rounds remaining before the Showdown. Hicky had battled intensely with Haslam during the earlier stage of the race, but was able to forge ahead to leave the JG Speedfit Kawasaki riders battling for fifth with Haslam holding off Mossey and Jason O’Halloran.

Rookie Bradley Ray, Michael Laverty on the second of the McAMS Yamahas, and Jake Dixon completed the top ten.

Byrne said: “The first race was a lot tougher than what I was hoping for but the safety car coming out did me a favour and I got going straightaway again.

The bike had felt really good all weekend in the dry and we were able to prove that in the race so a big thank you to the team. The pace was even hotter in the second race and with a good start decided I had to get to the front as quickly as possible and go for it.

“Once I’d got the lead, I just tried to stay as consistent as possible and watched my pit board. I just kept my rhythm and concentration so to get the double is brilliant and we’re achieving just what we wanted to at our strong circuits.”

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Race one result:

1. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)

2. Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +0.365s

3. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.737s

4. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +0.795s

5. Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +1.535s

6. James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +1.717s

7. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +2.102s

8. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +3.631s

9. John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) +3.708s

10. Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +3.792s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Race two result:

1. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)

2. James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +5.787s

3. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +6.167s

4. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +8.039s

5. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +10.079s

6. Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +10.530s

7. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +10.866s

8. Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +13.246s

9. Michael Laverty (McAMS Yamaha) +14.002s

10. Jake Dixon (RAF Reserves Kawasaki) +14.983s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Brands Hatch:

1. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 190

2. Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 161

3. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 159

4. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 133

5. Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) 129

6. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) 119

BSB – Byrne takes first season double at Snetterton

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Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne delivered his strongest performance of the BSB season so far to claim his first double win of the season for the Be Wiser Ducati team, holding off the challenge from arch rival Josh Brookes in both races.
On the opening lap of race one Leon Haslam fired himself to the front on his racing return ahead of James Ellison, but the McAMS Yamaha was instantly on the attack and claimed the lead with a move at Brundle. Pole sitter Byrne had dropped to fourth at the start, but by the second lap he had pushed his way back into third place when he passed Dan Linfoot on the brakes into Riches.

A lap later and Byrne was up to second, out dragging Haslam down the Senna Straight to move ahead. The defending champion then had Ellison in his sight and on the fifth lap a mistake from the race leader gave Byrne the gap he needed to snatch the position and move to the front of the pack.

Byrne was being chased by Ellison but there was further disappointment for the McAMS Yamaha rider when he suffered a technical problem which forced him to retire from the race. Byrne had the advantage but behind there was a battle of the Australians as Jason O’Halloran was fending off the challenge from Brookes.
Brookes forced the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha ahead and then held off his Honda Racing rival as he bid to close down Byrne, but at the flag it wasn’t enough to make a final strike back; however he showed his rivals he was back in business as he bids for a second crown.

O’Halloran was soon under pressure from a closing Haslam over the final laps but he managed to fend off the closing JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider to return to the podium. Haslam celebrated his return to racing action with a fourth place ahead of the second Honda Racing Fireblade of Dan Linfoot.

Jake Dixon got the better of Peter Hickman in the closing stages with John Hopkins, Bradley Ray and Sylvain Guintoli completing the top ten.

In the second race Byrne again started from the pole position, but it was Brookes that launched off the line fastest at the start to lead the pack into Riches for the first time ahead of Ellison and Byrne with Haslam holding fourth place.

Hopkins and O’Halloran though were moving through the field and the pair were soon on the back of the leading trio of Brookes, Ellison and Byrne. At the front Byrne made a move on Ellison on the ninth lap to close in on his Australian rival, but the McAMS Yamaha wasn’t going to settle behind the five-time champion. However as Ellison bid for podium contention, he crashed out unhurt at Murrays.

At the front Byrne was closing on Brookes and on lap 14 the Be Wiser Ducati rider pushed ahead on the run down to Riches, which O’Halloran repeated on Hopkins as the pair exchanged blows in the battle for third position.

Byrne was able to hold off the counter attack from Brookes to the finish to claim his first double win of the season with O’Halloran completing the first double podium for the Honda Racing team as Hopkins dropped to fifth when Jake Dixon made a last corner move on the final lap.

Hickman claimed sixth place which fired him into the Showdown six in the standings ahead of Linfoot and Haslam. Guintoli and Mossey completed the top ten, with the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider still holding the advantage at the top of the standings ahead of Brands Hatch.

Byrne said: “It’s been a good weekend and in both races, I used my head and bided my time. I didn’t make the greatest of starts in race one but stayed safe in the first few laps and we’d worked hard over the weekend to make sure we were fast throughout the race.

“I took my time to get to the front and then at half race distance pushed on a bit and it all panned out perfectly.

“Race two was definitely tougher as Josh (Brookes) was setting a good pace. He put the hammer down around half race distance so I made my move and obliterated my own lap record to grab the lead soon after.

“The Be Wiser Ducati team did a great job all weekend and after only getting a couple of thirds at Knockhill and with Glenn getting injured, it’s good to put the smiles back on everyone’s faces, especially ahead of my home round at Brands Hatch which is next.”

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Snetterton, Race one result:
1.  Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)
2.  Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +3.295s
3.  Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +7.698s
4.  Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +7.885s
5.  Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +11.656s
6.  Jake Dixon (RAF Reserves Kawasaki) +14.513s
7.  Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +14.698s
8.  John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) +16.596s
9.  Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +17.140s
10.Sylvain Guintoli (Bennetts Suzuki) +21.341s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Snetterton, Race two result:
1.  Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)
2.  Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +0.686s
3.  Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +7.701s
4.  Jake Dixon (RAF Reserves Kawasaki) +8.261s
5.  John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) +8.544s
6.  Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +13.576s
7.  Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +13.615s
8.  Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +17.625s
9.  Sylvain Guintoli (Bennetts Suzuki) +20.022s
10.Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +23.088s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Snetterton:
1.  Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 147
2.  Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 140
3.  Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 132
4.  Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) 118
5.  Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 115
6.  Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) 93

BSB – Shakey smashes Snetterton lap record to take pole

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Defending MCE Insurance British Superbike champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne smashed the existing lap record of Snetterton to set the fastest ever lap of the Norfolk circuit on his way to celebrating pole position ahead of tomorrow’s two races.

The top nine riders prepared themselves for the first Superpole shootout of the season and first to exit pitlane was championship leader Luke Mossey. The JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider set the benchmark with his fastest lap of the weekend, with Jakub Smrz making his first appearance in Superpole. The Czech rider made a mistake at Wilson and had to settle for second.

Next up to attack a flying lap was Leon Haslam, who had fired himself into Superpole in the final stages of Q2. He then outpaced his team-mate to move to the top of the times with his flying lap as Dan Linfoot then rolled out of pitlane to start his Superpole bid for the top.

Linfoot’s best effort put him third fastest behind the JG Speedfit Kawasakis of Haslam and Mossey as Jason O’Halloran on the second of the Honda Racing Fireblades began his flying lap. The Australian was gaining momentum and he crossed the line to move ahead and put himself as the new target at the top of the times.

James Ellison was next to shoot out for his Superpole lap on the McAMS Yamaha and he was consistently improving, as he crossed the line he had done just enough to push O’Halloran back into second with just Josh Brookes, Jake Dixon and Byrne left to set a lap.

Brookes was wrestling with the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha but he could only post the fifth fastest time as Dixon got his flying lap underway at the RAF Reserves Kawasaki’s home circuit. Knockhill double winner Dixon was only marginally faster than Brookes to put himself fourth and then all eyes were on Byrne.

The five-time champion set a blistering pace to lap the 2.968-mile circuit in the fastest ever time, with an incredible lap of 1m:46.024s to put him 0.537s ahead of Ellison to claim pole position ahead of Ellison and O’Halloran who complete the front row.

  1. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 1m:46.024s
  2. James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +0.537s
  3. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +1.082s
  4. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +1.096s
  5. Jake Dixon (RAF Reserves Kawasaki) +1.327s
  6. Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +1.331s
  7. Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +1.486s
  8. Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +2.093s
  9. Jakub Smrz (Lloyd & Jones PR Racing BMW) +2.139s

WSBK Race Two – Misano joy for Melandri

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After a difficult Sunday, the Ducati WSBK team bounced back in Race 2 at Misano with a masterful win by Marco Melandri.

The Italian rider, who crashed out of Race One during the last lap while fighting for the win, mounted a spectacular comeback from 10th position on the grid to take his maiden victory with the Panigale R and his 20th overall in WSBK.

Melandri said: “This win means so much to me. It’s my first with Ducati and first on Italian soil but also the 100th by an Italian rider in WSBK. It’s the result of a lot of efforts, a composed attitude during some difficult moments, and great teamwork. We never stopped to believe in ourselves, and this result is a payback for all the sacrifices.

“We made a small change to our setup this morning, and before the start I was sure I could have a go at it. During the race, I tried to manage my pace and, once I took the lead, to ride smoothly. I hope Chaz recovers soon, he had a nasty crash but fortunately without serious injuries. I hope to be able to fight for another win, this time with him on track as well, at Laguna Seca.”

Team-mate Chaz Davies endured a miserable time on Italian soil. Declared unfit for Race 2 due to a fracture of the transverse process of L3 (3rd lumbar vertebra) and a contusion of the left thumb caused by a crash in Race 1, Chaz Davies watched the race from the pits after being discharged from the hospital.

The Welshman will now observe a period of rest with the intention to be back on track for the eighth round of the season, scheduled for July 7-9 at Laguna Seca.

WSBK – Davies does the double at Imola

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After winning Race 1 in a dominant fashion, Chaz Davies did the double at Imola (Italy), giving the factory Ducati squad its fourth WSBK success in a row at its home race.

The Welshman, who took pole position on Saturday, had to work his way up the field from ninth position today, based on the new 2017 grid regulations for Race 2, and got off the blocks quickly at the re-start – the red flags interrupted the race after only two laps.

Davies then progressively climbed his way up the ranks, closing the gap from provisional leader Sykes on the Kawasaki ZX-10R.

The Welshman then took the lead on lap 8, and eventually pulled away to win with a four-second advantage on his rivals.

Davies said: “What a weekend! For the first time this year I feel we’ve been the benchmark from the beginning. We were able to find our rhythm on Friday, and it sort of snowballed from there.

“The team has done an awesome job, the bike worked superbly in both races, in different conditions, but today it was quite interesting. We got mixed up at the first start, but after the re-start we got a good launch and I was able to make some good moves that put us in a good position. Sykes’ pace was strong, so I had to put my head down to hunt him and, once I caught him, I was able to set my own pace and that was good enough. Thanks to all the Italian fans for showing up this weekend, their push was something special.”

Ernesto Marinelli, Superbike Project Director, said: “Once again, Imola coincided with a really emotional weekend. Chaz rode two flawless races, and we dedicate the wins to all the Ducatisti who flooded the circuit and showed their passion, and also to all the boys at home who allowed Chaz and the team to finalise the job. To win at Imola is incredible.”

WSBK – Ducati dominates Race One at Imola

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The factory Ducati team enjoyed a day to remember in front of its fans at Imola as Chaz Davies once again proved to be the man to beat at the Italian track.

The Welshman, who secured pole position in the morning while showing an unmatched pace, never looked back after the start and finished with a seven-second advantage over his rivals when, with six laps to go, the race was red-flagged after Eugene Laverty’s big crash.

The race was declared, and with the results based on the positions from the previous lap, Ducati had two riders on the podium with team-mate Melandri enjoying his first WSBK podium at Imola .

Race winner Chaz Davies said: “It’s been a perfect weekend so far. I think this track really suits me and the Panigale R. We’ve made good steps forward under acceleration this year, and it was a big help here with the tight chicanes. Also, this layout helps me to take advantage of the strong points of my riding style. I kept controlling the gap from Rea, looking after the tyres, and the bike felt really consistent. It was a lonely race, but not an easy one.

“Tomorrow’s going to be different, starting from the back. We need to keep it clean and be patient. We can still improve something on the electronics side, but clearly we won’t make any big changes. Thanks to all the ducatisti for their amazing support today!”

Team-mate Marco Melandri said: “To step on the podium in front of the home crowd is amazing, but it wasn’t easy out there today. From this morning, we had some issues. I still didn’t feel at 100 percent under braking, and under acceleration I had to shut the throttle often while upshifting, without being able to fully take advantage of our power.

“Nonetheless, Chaz was really fast, especially in the third sector, and while trying not to lose contact with him I made some mistakes. After a few laps, with less fuel in the tank and a lighter bike, we improved. I was ready to fight against Sykes and in general I expected to battle against the two Kawasakis, but we didn’t take advantage of our full potential and I want to do better tomorrow.”

WSBK – resurgent Davies takes Race Two win at Aragon

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The Ducati team took its first win of the season in Race 2 at Aragon thanks to a brilliant performance by Chaz Davies.

The Welshman bounced back from a nasty crash in Race One to claim his sixth victory at the Spanish track and 21st of his career.

Starting in tenth position, Davies quickly stormed through the field, already joining the leading group on the third lap. Davies and teammate Marco Melandri then stalked race leader Johnny Rea until lap 12, when Davies pounced to take the lead.

As in Race One, the final laps resulted in a spectacular series of passes between the leading protagonists, with Melandri climbing to second position before eventually falling away. Davies on the other hand continued to dice with Rea several times before making the decisive move at the last chicane to take the win.

Chaz Davies said: “The whole weekend has been difficult, from start to finish, so it was really important to cap it with a win, especially after yesterday’s disappointment. We were confident our bike would be fast at Aragon, but it wasn’t easy at all out there today and our main rivals seem relatively comfortable so we know there’s still work to do in many areas.

“Today we suffered a bit with grip early on. Also, the wind was really strong. It kept pushing me away from corners and in the last lap I got caught by a gust going into turn 5 and I missed a backshift, going a bit wide, but we still managed to finish in front. We’re competitive but it’s still not enough, so we need to keep working to improve.”

BSB – Hopkins returns to Moto Rapido Ducati for 2017 season

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American John Hopkins has secured his place on the 2017 BSB grid after signing a new deal to return to the Moto Rapido Ducati team for the forthcoming season.

The Californian, who has previously been a MotoGP podium finisher, came tantalisingly close to lifting the 2011 BSB crown in one of the most memorable season finales in history. ‘Hopper’ missed out on the crown to Tommy Hill by just 0.006s at Brands Hatch making it the closest ever championship title decider and is now gunning to be back in contention in 2017.

Hopkins had his first taste of the Ducati in 2015 when he joined the Winchester-based Ducati dealership run team mid-way through the season. He then went on to score the first ever podium finish for the Ducati Panigale R in the Championship as the team scored their first top three finish at Brands Hatch.

Hopkins said: “To be back with the Moto Rapido team and on the Ducati again is something I am really so excited about. I enjoyed last season but I never felt as comfortable on the Yamaha as I did the first time I rode the Ducati in 2015. It’s such a great bike to ride and it really suits my riding style; I certainly hadn’t had as much fun riding motorcycles in a while until I had my first laps on the Panigale in 2015.

“I love this team and they were always one of my first choices for the new season. We had a podium finish together in 2015 and I know that they have come on leaps and bounds with the development since then. During my time with them previously there were several occasions when we were in guaranteed podium finishing positions until we had some minor technical problems because so much was so new, but now this bike is the complete package.

“My hopes are extremely high for next season and it is going to be one of the most competitive seasons ever I feel. We say it every year, but with so many riders from the World Championship on the grid, some new riders and some of the established contenders it is a stacked field of world class riders for sure. Our aim and focus is to go testing and then be there right from the start.”