Another injury to Troy Corser overshadowed race weekend at Motorland Aragón, Spain for Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport. Troy was hit by a competitor, fell and broke two bones in his left forearm. While pain forced him to pull out of the races the weekend before, Troy managed a 10th place finish in the first race this weekend. His teammate, Leon Haslam finished 9th in both races. And Ayrton Badovini of the BMW Motorrad Italia Team continues to improve with 8th and 10th place finishes.
Last weekend saw the first races of the FIM Superbike World Championship at the new Motorland Aragón venue. The Spanish race track hosted the seventh round of the 2011 season. Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport had spent time in the off-season practicing at Motorland Aragón but it had been pretty cool there in the winter. This weekend was hot and sunny weather so Leon and Troy used the Friday of Qualifying practice to adapt the set-up of the BMW S1000RR to the circuit and the hot conditions. Troy finished the first Qualifying practice in 12th, while Leon qualified provisionally 14th.
The BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike Team continues making progress, with Ayrton Badovini putting in the third fastest time in the first practice session and qualified eighth in the timed session. Lorenzo Lanzi, who is substituting for James Toseland at Motorland Aragón, was racing for the first time at the Spanish circuit and qualified provisionally sixteenth.
Superpole qualifying was disappointing for Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport on Saturday. Leon and Troy finished in 14th and 16th respectively which means they would start the seventh round from the fourth row. “We posted a good time in Superpole one on race tires and decided to stay in the garage.” said Leon. “Along with the guys, I thought we were safe and planned to save the qualifying tires for the remaining two sessions. Sadly, the gamble didn’t pay off. A lot of the other guys put a qualifying tire on for their second run in SP1, and that pushed us down from fourth to outside the top 12. It’s a shame because I felt we had good pace, and the qualifying tire seemed to be giving the other guys an extra second, so I think we could have done the same.”
The best placed rider on a BMW S1000RR was Ayrton Badovini of the BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team who was the eighth fastest in Superpole one and set the fourth fastest time in Superpole two to progress safely to Superpole three. In that decisive session Badovini had to go out on race tires as he had already used his qualifiers in the previous two sessions and eventually finished in eighth position. “I am very happy, the bike is working really well and I cannot wait for the races tomorrow,” said Badovini.
On Sunday’s first race, Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport was able to make the best of its difficult qualifying situation. Troy had a very good start and made up six places and was therefore up to tenth, while Leon improved to 12th. Both were able to do consistent lap times with their S1000RRs. In the latter stages of race one Leon and Troy were battling each other and crossed the in ninth and tenth. In the second race — his 100th race in the FIM Superbike World Championship — Leon made a brilliant start and moved up to seventh. This time he had a good, long fight with Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team) and finished just in front of the Italian in ninth position. The races were won by Marco Melandri and Max Biaggi.
Troy Corser was hit by a competitor and fell on the first lap of the second race. With pain to his left arm, he was taken to the medical center where x-rays revealed breaks to both is ulna and radius bones. “I braked at the end of the back straight, passed two other riders and braked a bit late.” said Troy. “I overshot the last corner and went straight for a bit. When I turned in I saw Maxime Berger coming. I could see that his rear wheel was off the ground when he was braking and he just went straight into me. I am not blaming him. It was my fault for being off the track. It was just unlucky, really. But I am happy that I only suffered a broken arm, after the injury that I just suffered a week ago. I do not have any bruises, nothing is sore and my neck is fine.” Troy will now return to the United Kingdom for further examinations and treatment.
The races showed progress for the BMW Motorrad Italy Superbike Team. After Misano last weekend, Ayrton was in eleventh place (albeit on equal points with the tenth) but after Aragón he sits alone in tenth. In the first race he finished eighth, winning eight points, while in the second, a wrong tire choice did not stop him taking tenth place. Lorenzo Lanzi won a World Championship point in the second race after being forced to retire in race 1 with a technical problem.
After seven rounds of the 2011 season, Leon is currently sixth in the riders’ championship (120 points), Ayrton sits tenth (83 points) while Troy falls to 15th (55 points). In the manufacturers’ standings BMW is fourth with 153 points.
Lorenzo Zanetti (ITA) reached another podium in the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup race. The rider from the BMW Motorrad Italia Superstock Team fought for victory until the last corner and finished second. In all, four BMW riders finished in the top ten: Lorenzo, his team mate Sylvain Barrier (FRA / fifth), Markus Reiterberger (GER / seventh) from the Garnier Alpha Racing Team and Fabio Massei (ITA / tenth) from Team Piellemoto.
FIM Superbike World Championship
Race One Results
1. M. Melandri (Yamaha) 40’01.968
2. M. Biaggi (Aprilia) +1.572
3. L. Camier (Aprilia) +2.432
8. A. Badovini (BMW) +16.954
9. L. Haslam (BMW) +24.205
10. T. Corser (BMW) +24.694
DNF. L. Lanzi (BMW)
Race Two Results
1. M. Biaggi (Aprilia) 40’04.407
2. M. Melandri (Yamaha) +4.809
3. C. Checa (Ducati) +6.944
9. L. Haslam (BMW) +24.184
10. A. Badovini (BMW) +24.676
15. L. Lanzi (BMW) +53.156
DNF. T. Corser (BMW)
2011 World Superbike Championship rider standings
1. C. Checa (Ducati): 261 points
2. M. Biaggi (Aprilia): 218
3. M. Melandri (Yamaha): 195
6. L. Haslam (BMW): 120
10. A. Badovini (BMW): 83
15. T. Corser (BMW): 55
22. L. Lanzi (BMW): 7
25. B. Veneman (BMW): 3
26. J. Toseland (BMW): 3