Rider quotes from the Misano Superbike weekend, where Max Biaggi dominated the races and Aprilia strengthened its hold in the manufacturers standings and now has a 313 points over Suzuki (283) and Ducati (250).
The teams will be at Imola tomorrow and Wednesday for two days of testing to prepare for the September race, but on July 11, we’ll have the Brno round and Max Biaggi’s favourite track.
Max Biaggi: 1st and 1st“In such a tough and well balanced championship, all of the victories are earned with hard work and sweat.
In race 2, to be honest, maybe I rode… pushing the envelope a bit, maybe even risking too much.
But on the other hand, without risk there is no gain! This race represents a crucial moment for us and for our season we are coming out with our heads held high.
As always I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart: from the guys on the team to our supporters.
Victories like this never happen by chance and these ones in particular are well deserved by a large family which works together toward a common goal.
”Carlos Checa: 2nd and 5th“I’m happy with the podium of course and incredibly I was the youngest on it! After America we needed a race like this, that one of my technicians felt was the longest race of the season.
Race 2 was great but I didn’t obtain the same result unfortunately.
Crutchlow and Haslam had better grip than me and when Biaggi escaped I lost contact with them.
I found it a bit difficult to keep pace with the four cylinders on the straights but the weekend was positive, seeing as I’m back in third position overall.
”Troy Corser: 3rd and 10th“I am really happy with the way this weekend has gone.
It has been our team’s best performance so far, with our first ever pole position and a podium finish in race 1.
But at the same time I am also a little disappointed because I felt we had the pace to win both races today.
In the first race I felt comfortable leading the race, and had it not been for a mistake towards the end of the race I think I would have finished second or even first.
It was just a case of trying a little too hard.
In race 2 we made some slight changes to the setup to give more grip to the rear wheel, but this meant we lost some feeling from the front tyre and this affected the handling of the bike.
Unfortunately at the end of the race I hit a false neutral on the down change before Tramonto which meant I missed my brake point, forcing me into the gravel.
”Michel Fabrizio: 4th and 3rd“It was very hard today; in race 1 I couldn’t have done any more, I pusher until the end and had to be happy with fourth.
In Race 2 we didn’t win but we got on the podium which is nevertheless a good result.
It wasn’t at all easy and once Max got past me there was no way I was going to be able to stick with him; instead I had to do everything to hold on to third, with Crutchlow pushing all the way.
I dedicate the podium to my team as my technicians work so hard every week and continue to believe in me.
I will continue to give 100% in the next rounds and we hope Brno, a track that’s traditionally favoured the two Roman riders, brings me good results.
5th and 6thWell this has been a pretty good weekend for me and I feel I am now becoming a better Superbike rider.
This championship is so competitive that you have to be right on your game in every practice, qualifying and race and it’s not something that comes easily – it requires a lot of work, from me and the team.
That’s not say that we have not been working hard up to now, because we have been working hard.
It’s just that WSBK is different to BSB and I have to work in a different way.
Today, I had a better feeling with the bike in race one, but funnily enough my lap times were better in race two! The good news though, is that today I had the podium pace and I really enjoyed my racing.
Now, I just need to keep this feeling up and be even more competitive next time.
Next up is Brno.
It is a track I know and like a lot, so I am expecting a lot.
Leon Haslam: 8th and 2ndAfter the issues we’ve had this weekend (to do with the clutch and electronics) I thought that 8th in race one was probably the best we’d get this weekend.
But, all credit to the team because they went back to a setting that we used in USA and South Africa and the bike was much better in the second race.
Race two felt like normal and the bike felt a million times better than race one, but I’ve got so many blisters on my hands because I was trying so hard.
I took a lap or two too long to pass Troy (Corser) and Michel (Fabrizio) in the second race and by then Max was too far ahead to catch.
Max is riding well and the Aprilia is currently the package to beat, but I’m confident that, as long as we all work hard, we can beat him.
We do all our own development work and it’s because of all the hard work, that we are competitive.
If Suzuki Japan wanted to give us some more help, it would be much appreciated and it would be a great benefit to us all.
In the meantime, I’m going to keeping fighting for more and podiums.
That was my aim before the season began, and it’s still the same now.
Leon Camier: 6th and 11th “A shame about the problems we had in race 2.
I probably stressed the clutch too much at the start so I had output problems for the entire race.
I pressed forward battling for the whole race with poor power management.
In those conditions I just kept losing time.
Really a shame because in race 1, which I was very happy with, I had a good result and demonstrated that in spite of the difficulties during the tests we were able to do a good job.
OK… now we’ll go to Brno hoping to learn from our team’s experience on that track”.
Noriyuki Haga: 7th, and 9th“In Race 1 the level of grip seemed to improve after the first few laps and I had better feeling but it was difficult to catch Haslam, I was having trouble braking, going into the corners.
In the end I got past Haslam to finish seventh but I had hoped to do better.
In race 2 I used my other bike, with a similar set up but just a different front fork.
Feeling improved but I still wasn’t happy with the traction; then I made a couple of small mistakes and, once I lost ground, it was almost impossible to make it back up.
I’m hopeful we can do better at Brno, a track I enjoy.
” James Toseland: 10th and DNF“What can you say, another tough weekend.
I’ve got the pace when the tyre grip is good but just find it difficult when losing the grip on the bike to keep with the other bikes coming off the corners.
We need to work hard on this area as it’s so important.
We’ll meet about it tonight, if we can improve that it’ll be a big help.
The time I’m losing on the corners to the others means I have to keep catching up on the brakes which means pushing the front, which is why I crashed in the second.
Brno is a little bit faster and flowing so if we can keep the revs high we shouldn’t have too many problems.
” Luca Scassa: 11th and 8th“I am generally satisfied in race 1, although I unfortunately wasted my start disastrous.
It was not easy for me, we had a few problems but I gritted my teeth engaging with a good battle against James Toseland.
The eleventh place was not the best but I was sure I could redo it again in the next race.
After some modifications it was all perfect, the temperature was hot and the overtaking correct but hard … getting behind Haga was a nightmare, a champion as Haga never gave up and I had to give myself 200% to hold the position.
The challenge with Shane Byrne was risky, “Shakey” was lightning-fast and I tried to overtake him at the end but the risk was too high and I decided to consolidate my eighth place.
It ‘was a tough day and I am tired because the race was like being in a hot air tunnel, I am grateful to the team, they are great!”Jonathan Rea: 13th and 12th “We still have a lot of problems with chatter, although we have made quite a few changes over race weekend.
It’sunbelievably frustrating to be held back by this problem when it wasn’t that long ago that we were winning together.
We have a test at Imola next week and Brno will be a new race weekend.
We will start afresh there with an open mind.
But it is hard to see positives in this weekend.
”Max Neukirchner: 14th and 14th “It’s been the same problem for me this weekend.
My starts were OK but when the front tyre was new and gripping better, the chatter seemed to be worse.
It meant that I nearly crashed a few times.
It improved a little as the grip went down, but by then it was too late to do very much about my positions.
We’ve got lots of work to do at the test this week to try to improve things.
”Cal Crutchlow: DNF and 4th“I had an ok start in race two, but got beaten up a bit in the first corner on the first lap and basically had to recover from then on.
I was disappointed to lose out to Fabrizio at the end, I just lost a bit of drive out of the corner and he managed to get back under me.
To come here and do the race pace we did at these grip levels was incredible, hopefully we can make some improvements at this week’s Imola test and be even better.
Race one was a stupid mistake, I had a full tank of fuel and just pushed the front a bit too hard trying to catch the front runners and lost the front, but I think I redeemed myself in race two.
”Tom Sykes: 16th and 15th “We tried a big list of things on the bike this weekend but unfortunately we really struggled to get a good set-up in the high track temperatures.
We also started on the back foot having not tested here like the majority of teams last week, but that’s no excuse as we just had to try and get down to business.
Unfortunately our qualifying position didn’t help us a lot and it was difficult to play catch up in the races, Misano is a hard track to pass.
In race two I got away to a good start but got caught up in the first corner with a few riders and ended up in the back.
My bike suffered in the front due to a clash with another rider but I fought back to 16th from last.
”Chris Vermeulen: 15th and 16th“It’s been a challenging weekend and we were disappointed to have missed out Superpole for the first time this year.
We made small improvements over the weekend and took a different direction for race two, which was a big improvement.
I ran 12 seconds closer to the front than in race one and we went for a softer tyre on the rear, which gave much better grip from the start.
We still have a lot of work to do on making progress with the bike but I’m looking forward to the two day test this week in Imola, my first test since the start of the season, so we can make further progress and be more competitive in the races.
”Broc Parkes: DSQ and 17th “I was pretty upset about the first race because we got penalised for a jump start but I was last into the first corner and didn’t take any advantage.
I hopped forward but I came back again.
I felt pretty good in race two but we have struggled again and I am really looking forward to testing at Imola this week.
We need to do something new in development and I have some things I want to try.
”Jakub Smrz: DNF and DNF“I’m disappointed I couldn’t technically ride a proper race at Misano , especially because here I’ve always gone very fast.
Unfortunately, it’s not going very well for us lately, but I hope to redeem myself at Brno in 15 days-time, at my home track”.
Ruben Xaus: DNF and DNF“This was a day to forget.
It started with the technical problem we had in race 1.
After the start of the second race I braked hard into the corner but was hit by another rider moving me out.
I managed to stay on the bike but at the next direction change I was again hit hard by another rider crashing into my left leg.
Again, I stayed on the bike but really felt a bad pain in the leg, which made my muscles react very slowly.
I started missing the gears, and very soon I missed a gear in the corner, and my knee hit the tarmac heavily.
I lost my knee pad, and that was it.
I will now try to recover for the tests in Imola.