Portimao last weekend was a weekend of mixed results for all of the Spidi, Nolan and X-lite pilots racing in SBK. Marco repeated his victory in Monzo with a fantastic race full of twists and some spectacular overtaking. Starting in fourth position, and complaining about some issues with his bike during the practice laps; Marco, against all odds, gained the points over his opponents in the championship and although he still remains in fourth position he is now in good standings to climb the ranks.
Race two though was a different story altogether. He started the race well but from race two, a faulty back tyre meant he missed out for sure on another podium and landed him with twelfth position.
An outstanding race for Leon Camier – after a knock from Haslam dropped him to 15th position, he crept all the way back up through the pack narrowly missing out on a podium! Again race two for Camier didn’t go his way after a fault with the bike meant the he had to pull out of the race .
All the riders are looking forward to Imola at the end of the month.
Below are the riders declarations:
Marco Melandri Nolan X-802R:
“To win in race one was not easy because at the beginning I was struggling a lot with the traction but after ten laps this improved and it was easier for me so I got closer to the front again. When I was leading, it was very difficult, because it was very windy so it was hard to stay in front. When Tom passed me, he closed the line. Maybe he thought he was in front of me but he just pushed me out of the track. When I came back, I did not have any plan so I just pushed as much as I could. I tried to overtake Tom very quickly because Sylvain was very fast and tried to pull away. When I caught Guintoli I took the opportunity to pass him. The last lap is very difficult to explain, it was just very close and I pushed as much as I could. I am so happy and thank you to everyone at BMW. In race two, I could certainly have been on the podium but instead the rear tyre began to vibrate from lap two onwards. From lap three I started losing grip and then the tyre deteriorated. As a consequence the whole bike started to vibrate and it was difficult to ride. I did the best I could do in that situation. Now I am looking forward to Imola.”
Carlos Checa X-lite X-802R:
“In race one I was able to keep pace with those ahead of me for the first six or seven laps. From mid-race on I started to gradually lose some grip and that, combined with a tired left shoulder in the final stages, unfortunately prevented me from maintaining seventh position to the line. We made small changes before race 2 and as a result the bike was much easier to ride, especially when it came to changing direction. It was the first time I was able to maintain a good pace for the entire race and I’m very happy with the result. I want to thank my entire team that has worked so hard every weekend up until now, I appreciate all that they are doing – this sixth position motivates us to continue to improve in the next races.”
Ayrton Badovini X-lite X-802R:
“The DNF in race one was pretty frustrating of course. In race 2 we used the bike in a different configuration but I had more trouble with rear grip. Now we need to start working in preparation for Imola where I hope to be able to score better results. My compliments go to Carlos who completed a very strong second race today.”
Michel Fabrizio X-lite X-802R:
“During Race 1 we knew that we could finish easily in the first 10 and maybe something more. The problem was the tyre consumption that enabled us to have a constant pace. We tried the font hard tyre something we did not use since Philipp Island, and it has been our trump card. We managed to gain a few tenths of a second in our weakest points.
Race 2 was very different. We tried to solve the problem of the tyre wear by using a hard solution but it didn’t work out well. We had to phase a critical situation almost immediately and the pace we hoped for was just an illusion. I tried to fight till the end but the condition of the tyres was quite desperate. Considering what we’ve all been through we are almost satisfied but in the deep of our hearts we are never satisfied and we want to achieve more. In Imola we will definitely be more competitive.”
Leon Camier X-lite X-802R:
“I got an ok start in the first race and made a bit of progress, but as I went past Haslam on the inside – and was well past him! – He let the brake off in the turn and punted into me. I lost some time and dropped back some places and had the job of trying to catch-up and get through the field, so from 15th to fourth is a pretty-good result. The bike felt good, I felt like I could pass really well; and the speed of the FIXI Crescent Suzuki has definitely improved. This showed on the straight because I could exit on the last turn and keep the momentum going so I could pass at the end of the straight, which I haven’t been able to do before, so I was really happy about that. At the start of the second race I had a problem with the electronics and the bike didn’t pull away as it should. I moved a few places up, but didn’t feel quite as strong as I did in the first race, but I kept pushing and I was getting in a good rhythm when a problem with the bike didn’t allow me to continue. I was hoping that I could have made up some more places, because I could see the group in front coming back to me, so I think that fourth or fifth was achievable, but we will never know now!”