Published on 04 Sep 2011 by Toni M.
We’ve got to completely agree with Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty and the majority of the riders who said that race 2 at Nurburgring should have been stopped sooner or at least postponed until after 4pm when the weather forecast said the rain would have stopped, as it did just after the race was red flagged after 13 laps and for the celebrations at the parc ferme and podium.
Just check out the above video to see the torrential conditions that the Superbike riders had to deal with and after the jump you’ll find the highlight video of race 1 which was dry and the rest of the rider quotes.
Carlos Checa - 1st and 8th
“Today’s first race was very special for me, and signifies my first ever SBK win at the Nürburgring. I would like to dedicate this result to Claudio Castiglioni, he was an extremely important figure in the motorcyling world and it is also in part thanks to him that we are here racing these bikes today. The race 1 result was very important in terms of the championship. I knew that it was important to increase the gap between me and Noriyuki in the first half of the race and this small advantage proved useful in the final stages when I began to suffer from a lack of grip. Race 2 on the other hand was one of the hardest races I’ve ever run. We were obliged to try to finish it of course but I was really suffering due to the sheer quantity of water and track conditions, and couldn’t even see as far as the next corner! I’m sorry for those who took risks and I’m also sorry that Biaggi was not racing with us today. I hope he gets better and that we’ll see him back at Imola. But for us it was a very positive day and I’m very happy with the outcome.”
Tom Sykes - 11th and 1st
“What a day! My ankle injury from Silverstone was troubling me in the first race and I’ll be totally honest and say it affected my performance as the race went on. In race two, conditions were diabolical and it was a battle to stay upright but I kept things smooth and just kept my concentration. In the end it was the right decision to stop the race and I’m delighted to take my first World Superbike Championship victory and to reward the team for all their hard work.”
Marco Melandri - 2nd and 6th
“Race 1 wasn’t easy so I’m very happy with my podium. I got off to a good start but I wasn’t so fast for the first few laps. I made a mistake and lost the front while braking and went wide so I lost a lot of time. I then caught Eugene and eventually Noriyuki but Carlos was too far ahead. I have to thank my team, they worked hard again and did a great job all weekend! I tried to keep going and finish without crashing. I had an issue with the electronics on the bike and the display wasn’t working well so I was extra cautious in order to stay up. I feel it was an incorrect judgment of the rider’s safety to complete two thirds of the race in these conditions. I am very disappointed, in my opinion the race should have been stopped at the beginning for safety reasons.”
Noriyuki Haga - 3rd and DNF
‘I’m really happy to be back on top. During race 1 I managed to take advantage of my starting place and everything went great. Then, the minute I began to lost drive, Melandri overtook. I was hoping for a dry race 2 as I was planning some adjustments. Anyway, I found myself pretty good on wet but when it rained heavier It was hard and even though I slowed down, I lost the front tyre. I’m sorry, I wished I could have give the team a win after the earlier podium.”
Eugene Laverty - 4th and 5th
“I was unfortunate in race one because my pace was good all weekend. I didn’t have as good a feeling on the bike as I had yesterday and the low track temperature didn’t’ help to improve the grip on the rear tyre. The second race was treacherous and on safety grounds I think it should have been stopped. I got the impression there was oil on the track after Rea came off his bike and re-joined so everyone was crashing out. We did well that all the riders are coming away without major injuries but I’m upset that we had to risk so much.”
Leon Haslam - 5th and 9th
“In race one I had a good start and managed to pass two guys. Then I tried to bridge the gap to Eugene Laverty. I just pushed a little bit too hard, got a false neutral and ran off the track. To be fair, I thought the race was over. But I got my head down and managed to get back to fifth. I am happy to have managed that, but disappointed I ran off. But the battling was certainly fun. In the second race I felt really good. The crash was my fault. I clipped a white line, which in these conditions is not good, and I went down. I managed to get going again and climb all the way up to seventh, but the race was stopped before I crossed the line, the results were taken from the lap before, and so I was ninth. The conditions out there were really bad, and it probably should have been stopped earlier. I think I could have got on the podium today because my times at the end were really good, but it was definitely the right decision to stop the race.”
Joan Lascorz - 7th and 11th
“Firstly, my congratulations go to Tom for a wonderful victory in very difficult conditions and it was what the team deserved. For me, I had a good race in the dry to finish in seventh but I struggled in the wet conditions but I’m happy to score more points and look forward to the next race at Imola.”
Leon Camier - 8th and DNF
“It was truly dangerous to run Race 2. There were puddles everywhere, visibility was terribly reduced and the situation got worse lap after lap. Other riders also had trouble in the turn where I slid. There was a virtual river running across the asphalt. It’s a shame, I think they could have stopped the race earlier given the track conditions, but there’s no use complaining about it now”.
Ayrton Badovini - 9th and 7th
“During the two days of qualifying we headed in the wrong direction with set-up, so we took a step backwards. In the race, the bike was better suited to my riding style and it felt fairly good. I’m going home quite happy, given the fact that we’ve shown we are top ten runners in the wet and dry conditions.”
Jonathan Rea - 10th and 4th
I was really excited to get back on the bike on Friday after three months off but I struggled to get a rhythm in race one and I had some front grip problems and felt a lack of acceleration out of corners. In race two it rained right on the start, which was then delayed. I crashed out of fourth going into turn one, which was really unfortunate, but luckily I was able to pick the bike up and rejoin in fifth place. When Nori Haga crashed out of the lead I got back to fourth so I was happy with the result. I’m especially happy for the team and, although it’s not a podium or a win, it’s something for the guys who haven’t had a lot to cheer about recently. It’s a bit of motivation to take to the next race, at least!
Troy Corser - 15th and 12th
“Today has been difficult for sure. The starting position we had made life very difficult, because the first corner tends to spread the field out and you just cannot make the time back. Race two was just so wet and I could hardly see what was going on. The rain was causing me to aquaplane everywhere and I was having some big slides. I saw James Toseland crash in front of me, and then I decided to just keep it upright and finish the best I could. It was the right decision to stop the race because it was becoming very hard to ride safely out there, but I am just happy to have brought it home and score some points.”
Michel Fabrizio - 16th and DNF
I am really not sure what happened in the first lap of race one. I was going though a left turn whilst keeping an eye on Sykes on my left when I suddenly felt an impact on my right arm, just above the wrist. I don’t know if it was another rider or something that had flown up from the track. All I know is that it was a fairly hard blow. I carried on racing and managed to pass quite a few riders and get up to fifth place. I was pretty happy at this stage because I had started from twelfth on the grid, but soon I could feel the pain in my arm getting worse. I could feel it swelling up and, as the race wore on, that affected my throttle control. I just couldn’t force the throttle wide open when I needed to and it wasn’t long before riders began to pass me. I kept going as best I could, but it was frustrating seeing all the riders I had passed, overtake me. The pain got worse and worse, but I kept going in case I could get any points. Unfortunately, I finished 16th, so not a good start to the day. I had some painkillers (pills, not injections) before the start of race two, but I knew that it was not going to be a good day for me, when the rain began to pour. Soon there were big puddles everywhere and there were rivulets in many parts of the track. Even on the straights we were aquaplaning and it was pretty dangerous just trying to get round without crashing. My arm was feeling very painful and I wasn’t in the points, so the team and I decided that there was no point continuing. I pulled into the pits, which was definitely the right decision. Watching the rest of the race from my pitbox, I am a bit surprised that thirteen laps were completed before the red flag came out, but I was happy to have survived without crashing.The weekend had started pretty well and Friday and Saturday had been good - apart from Superpole. My race pace was good and I was happy fifth after nine laps of race one. If it hadn’t have been for the blow to my arm, I’m sure that I would’ve finished the first race in the top five. But racing is unpredictable and today was just not my lucky day.
Makoto Tamada - 17th and DNF
It has been quite a difficult weekend to learn the bike and we have had some problems with chatter since Friday. Unfortunately, we still had some problems in the first race today, which stopped me from getting a better result. In race two the conditions were very bad and sometimes it was very hard to see because the rain was so heavy. I was riding very carefully and trying very hard not to crash but near the end, the rear just let go and then gripped again - I was not even on the gas - so I’m very sorry for the team. It is a pity because I have enjoyed riding here with the team very much.
Max Biaggi - DNS
“I think it must be a Guinness world record to break a foot so badly without crashing! I tried everything I could to get onto the track today, but it was impossible to race under these conditions. The pain was just too severe. I am very disappointed. This is the first race that I’ve missed in 19 years of my career. Unfortunately we don’t have any control over hard luck, which I hope has been satisfied with this weekend because I would really like to finish out the season well”.