While practice sessions were difficult for Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport at the eighth round of the 2011 FIM Superbike World Championship at Brno, Czech Republic, factory rider Leon Haslam managed to ride his way from deep in the pack to an eighth and seventh place finish. His teammate, Troy Corser, did not compete this weekend due to the fractured left arm he suffered three weeks ago at Aragón. He was with the team and plans to race at the next round in Silverstone, in Great Britain, in three weeks.
Meanwhile, it was a positive weekend for the BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike Team that won two sixth places with Ayrton Badovini. Lorenzo Lanzi was thirteenth in race two. Sylvain Barrier won in Superstock, with Lorenzo Zanetti finishing third in the race and taking second place in the FIM Cup.
The weekend started with Leon finishing the first Qualifying Practice seventh after being in the top four for a long time. This set him up, provisionally, for a second row start. BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team’s, Ayrton finished in tenth while James Toseland only took part in the first practice session, covering 15 laps and finishing in eighteenth place. After discussions with the team James decided to postpone his return until the race at Silverstone. Springing into action for qualifying, Lorenzo Lanzi was able to quickly get settled on the bike, setting a time that puts him in fourteenth place.
Superpole was disappointing for Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport as Leon fell back to 13th, missing the second Superpole session by only 0.047 seconds. He was therefore forced to start the races from the fourth row. Ayrton missed the Superpole final by just one tenth of a second and saw him finish ninth giving him a third row start. His team mate Lorenzo qualified 15th.
In race one, Leon had a good start from 13th on the grid and improved to 8th during the first lap. At the halfway stage he fell back a few places, but during the final laps he was able fight to his way back up, crossing the line in 8th. At the start of the second race Leon improved to 9th. Then he had some good battles and was able to pass a couple of riders, and was 7th after eight laps. In the closing stages of the race, Leon had an intense battle with Joan Lascorz for this 7th position, with Leon coming out on top.
“We made the best out of our starting position. Actually, the results were even better than we expected from 13th on the grid.” said Rainer Bäumel, Head of Race Operations.
“In today’s first race I had a good start,” said Leon. “With new, grippy tires I was struggling a little bit with my pace, so some other riders were able to pass me. But when the grip went away I did not go any slower – but they did, so I caught up again. That was a good battle and I passed three guys during the last few laps, which was exciting. In race two I was held up a little bit so Ayrton, who was in sixth, could get away. But then I had a really good battle with Lascorz in the last two laps. They were two pretty hard races for eighth and seventh. Of course this is not where we want to finish, but we kind of understand what the issue is and know what direction to take now. I am pretty happy with the progress we made and I hope we can make up the difference at my next home race at Silverstone.”
Ayrton Badovini had to work hard to move up from the 13th place he held at the end of the first lap, moving up to sixth place, thanks to a fantastic series of passes. In race two, by virtue of a good start, he was fighting with the top riders and by the halfway point had worked his way to sixth position, which he held to the finish.
Leon is now fifth in the riders’ championship with 137 points, Ayrton is eighth (106 points), Troy is 15th (55 points). In the manufacturers’ standings BMW is fourth with 173 points.
FIM Superstock 1000 Cup
In the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup race BMW riders where once more successful, with four BMW S1000RRs finishing in the top six. Sylvain Barrier (FRA) from the BMW Motorrad Italia Superstock Team celebrated his first victory in the series. His team mate, Lorenzo Zanetti (ITA), also stood on the podium, finishing third. Markus Reiterberger (GER) from the Garnier Alpha Racing Team scored his best ever result in the series. He finished fourth after starting from the front row for the first time. Fabio Massei (ITA) from Team Piellemoto completed the top six.