A BMW S 1000 RR racer caused a stir in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) at the weekend: Jordi Torres (ESP) of the privateer BMW Althea Racing Team fought for victory in Sunday’s race at Misano (ITA), keeping the riders of the established and strong factory teams behind him.
The Spaniard was on course for a fantastic podium finish but unfortunately was stopped through no fault of his own by a tyre issue in the closing stages of the race. His Althea BMW Racing Team team-mate Marco Faccani (ITA) was able to celebrate, winning the Misano race of the FIM Superstock 1000 European Championship (STK1000).
In the French Superbike Championship (FSBK), Kenny Foray (FRA) was the man to beat at Pau (FRA) and claimed another fantastic double win on his Tecmas Racing Team BMW S 1000 RR. Florian Brunet-Lugardon (FRA) won both races of the French European Bikes Championship (FR EU) at Pau. In Scotland’s Knockhill, Michael Rutter (GBR) and Chrissy Rouse (GBR) stepped onto the podium of the BSB Superstock class (BSB STK).
MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship in Misano, Italy.
The seventh meeting of the 2017 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) marked another home round for the Althea BMW Racing Team. It was held in Misano on the Italian Adriatic coast. In an eventful first race on Saturday, BMW S 1000 RR rider Jordi Torres (ESP) equalled his best results of the season, crossing the line in fourth. His team-mate Raffaele de Rosa (ITA) was tenth.
His fourth place finish from race one earned Torres pole position for the second race on Sunday, according to the reversed grid regulations of the WorldSBK. The Spaniard put in a fantastic performance, fighting for the victory and leading the race for eight laps, until he was passed by the eventual winner Marco Melandri (ITA). Torres then held firm in second place and was on course for his first podium finish with the BMW S 1000 RR. But lady luck was not on his side and, with four laps to go, a tyre issue ended his great race prematurely. De Rosa crossed the line in seventh, claiming his best result of the season so far.
Jordi Torres: “We were convinced we could do well in Sunday’s race. I started strong, making the most of being on pole. Having no-one up ahead helped, I could take my lines, get into a rhythm. I ran my race, pushing to the limit, giving 100% all the way. I ran with Melandri for several laps and continued to push, but then four laps from the end I felt some vibration and the rear was sliding around. I realised it was the same issue we had at Assen in race 1. I want to thank my Althea guys, who came up with a significant chassis solution that we’d never tried before, that allowed me to find the right level of confidence and fully express myself. I’m so sorry I was unable to finish the race, but we have to take this performance and carry it to Laguna…”
Raffaele De Rosa: “Sunday went better than Saturday but it’s a pity we couldn’t have reached the top ten in the first race to start a little further forward in race two, with the reverse grid. Anyway, I’m quite pleased because slowly, step by step, we are managing to improve. Now we’ll take this result and try to build on it race by race.”
FIM Superstock 1000 European Championship in Misano, Italy
Marco Faccani (ITA) secured the first win of the season for the BMW S 1000 RR in the FIM Superstock 1000 European Championship (STK1000) in Misano (ITA). After an eventful race, that was red flagged and re-started for five laps, the Althea BMW Racing Team rider celebrated on the top step of the podium. In the first part of the race, Federico Sandi (ITA) of Berclaz Racing Team was fighting for the win, but then he and Eric Vionnet (SUI) crashed due to oil on the track. After that, the race was red-flagged. Sandi was able to take to the track at the re-start and headed the field, but had to retire due to technical problems. Vionnet could not re-start.
Marco Faccani: “What a race! I’m so happy for the team, for me, everyone! It was very tough in the first part of the race, with a really fast pace to keep. I held on and then pushed to the max again in the second heat. What can I say, I’m very happy, we needed this. I want to thank everyone for their support, the team, the sponsors, we did a great job here and I hope we can continue like this.”
Federico Sandi: “Unfortunately there were no flags warning of the oil in turn 4. When I returned to the pit lane after the crash my mechanics did a very good job and we made it back to the grid. After the re-start, I took the lead for four laps, but in the closing stages of the race my bike stopped. I am very disappointed because we started the weekend being the fastest out there, and also in the warm-up I was very fast. Now we focus on the next race and hope that we will have lady luck on our side, because we work very hard and victory in Misano was possible.”
British Superbike Championship in Knockhill, Great Britain
The fourth round of the 2017 British Superbike Championship (BSB) was held at Knockhill (GBR) in Scotland at the weekend. The highest placed BMW rider in the Superbike class (BSB SBK) was Peter Hickman (GBR) on his Smiths Racing BMW S 1000 RR. He finished the races in sixth and ninth respectively. His team-mate Lee Jackson (GBR) was ninth in race one and 13th in race two. The Tyco BMW team experienced a difficult weekend in the Superbike class. Christian Iddon (GBR) crashed in free practice on Friday and was not able to continue the weekend due to a deep flesh wound on his left arm.
Peter Hickman: “It’s been a bit of a tough weekend to be honest and, having been strong all weekend, it all went a bit awry in qualifying when the oil that had been laid on the track messed my head up. I just couldn’t ride the way I wanted and that made both races difficult, as being so far back on the grid at a short circuit like Knockhill is near impossible to come back from. It’s not easy to overtake, but I kept chipping away and while sixth and ninth isn’t where I want to be finishing, I’m only four points adrift of the top six so we’ll keep fighting hard and look to come out fighting next time out.”
The Superstock class (BSB SBK) saw two podium finishes for the BMW riders. In race one on Saturday, Michael Rutter (GBR / Bathams SMT Racing) was second. Josh Elliott (GBR) who returned to Tyco BMW and replaced injured Ian Hutchinson (GBR) secured a strong fifth place finish at his comeback in the class. Chrissy Rouse (GBR / Mission Racing) unfortunately crashed when lying in second. In race two on Sunday, it was Rouse’s turn to step onto the podium. This time, he crossed the line in second. Rutter was fifth on this occasion.
French Superbike Championship in Pau, France
Pau in the South of France hosted the fourth round of the 2017 French Superbike Championship (FSBK) – and the weekend brought another double win for BMW racer Kenny Foray (FRA). The Tecmas BMW Racing team rider did brilliant manoeuvres at the very front and won both the races on Sunday morning and afternoon. In total, he claimed five wins in a row in the seven races contested so far this season. In the overall standings, Foray extended his lead now to an advantage of 52 points over his closest rival. His team-mate Maxime Bonnot (FRA) finished the races in 16th and ninth respectively (sixth and second in the FSBK Challenger class).
Kenny Foray: “I’m very happy because it was an ideal weekend for me, as I had dreamed. I’m also very happy because I set a new track record. This proves that the package rider/bike/team/tires is very efficient. The races were not easy because it is very difficult to overtake in Pau, but I had a good rythm in this very hot conditions. Regarding the championship: last year, we could not really make use of our chances because of small things turning against us. This time, everything smiles at us, contrary to our opponents. But it’s not about taking the easy way, we have to stay focused.“
French European Bikes Championship in Pau, France
The races of the French European Bikes Championship (FR EU) in Pau (FRA) were also dominated by the BMW S 1000 RR riders. In the first heat on Saturday, they claimed a top-three lockout. Florian Brunet-Lugardon (FRA / Gers Moto Vitesse Ordannaise) took the win, followed by his brother and team-mate Cyril Brunet-Lugardon (FRA) in second. Fabien Gabrielian (FRA / FG Racing) completed the podium in third. In race two, the Brunet-Lugardon brothers secured another one-two result, with Florian winning again and Cyril in second. In the overall standings, Cyril continues to be in the lead while Florian improved to second place.
Florian Brunet-Lugardon: “On Saturday, I started from pole position and Cyril from second place. It was a very long and hard race with hot track temperatures over 50 degrees Celsius. I managed to stay in front of Cyril and take the win. In Sunday’s race, Cyril started from second and me from third. Soon a group of three riders battled at the front, pulling away from the rest of the field. Halfway through the race Cyril was lying in second and I was in third. We then started to attack the leader and were successful – securing another one-two result. It was a great weekend and the results were very important for the championship.”