Portimão WSBK Finale for BMW

Portimão WSBK Finale for BMW

The two BMW teams were hoping for one last strong showing at the season finale of the 2011 FIM Superbike World Championship. It was Troy Corser’s farwell performance at Portimão track in Portugal—Marco Melandri will ride instead for BMW in 2012. Troy put in two solid races and finished 14th and 16th. Leon Haslam couldn’t better his third and fourth place showing from a week before and came home in ninth and 15th.

Leon Haslam (91) leads Ayrton Badovini (86) at the final race of the season.
For Tory Corser's final race, BMW surprised him with a special “crocodile”-livery paint job on his S1000RR.

Ayrton Badovini of the BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team was 13th and ninth. His team mate, Xavier Fores (ESP), retired in race one and finished 19th in the second one. The races were won by Carlos Checa and Marco Melandri (riding his last race for Yamaha). In the riders’ championship, Leon finished the season in fifth with 224 points and BMW finished fourth in the manufacturers’ standings with 275 points.

Leading up to the race, Troy was optimistic about the Team’s chances at Portimão. “I like the Portimão track. It has lots of elevation changes and I think that the track will suit our RR, because it is quite fast and flowing. However, there are a few crests over the hills where these strong bikes could pull wheelies. This might be our biggest struggle this weekend.”

Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport had a difficult start, however, finished the first Qualifying Practice in 13th (Leon) and 15th (Troy). “The track has a lot more bumps than when we last rode here, and that has made it extremely difficult to find a good feeling on the bike,” said Troy. “However, the conditions are the same for everyone, we just need to work hard in the sessions tomorrow to refine the set-up and then we will see what is possible. We all have to remain optimistic and work hard to put ourselves in a good position come Superpole.” Ayrton Badovini and Xavier Fores, from the BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team, finished in 11th and 19th respectively.

Leon worked through the issues and managed the fourth fastest time in Qualifying Practices finishing Superpole in 11th place. Troy struggled to qualify for the deciding Superpole and finished 18th on the grid. Ayrton put in a strong performance qualifying in ninth while his teammate, Xavier Fores, qualified 20th.

Leon Haslam.

Leon said, “On Friday we had an issue which meant we missed out on a lot of valuable track time, but today we have worked well and made some positive adjustments to the chassis. Obviously qualifying didn’t go according to plan, as we struggled to obtain the full potential from the qualifying tyres, but on race tyres we are looking good, so I am still confident. The start tomorrow from the third row will be really important, but if we can run with the leaders in the early laps then we could be on for a good result. We will have to wait and see.”

Race day was historic for Troy Corser. After being part of the FIM Superbike World Championship for nearly 20 years, he rode the last races of his long and successful career in this series. To mark this occasion, Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport surprised Troy with a special green “crocodile”-livery on his RR. Starting the final round of the 2011 season from 18th on the grid, Troy faced a big challenge at his farewell performance. But the double world champion was committed until the final checkered flag, despite knowing that the bumpy and undulating nature of the track would cause some difficulties for him and teammate. Troy put in two solid races and finished 14th and 16th. Leon came home in ninth and 15th.

Ayrton Badovini handing the bumps and hills at Portimão.

“I am a little disappointed with the results,” said Troy. “That was not really how I wanted to finish my racing career. We struggled the whole weekend. We were able to improve the bike by changing some settings, but we still did not have enough grip. I just rode as hard as I could with what I had and gave my best. It was a shame because we have made very good steps throughout the year and I was hoping to transfer that here to a good result. The boys and I tried everything, but that was not enough. But I was not the only one to struggle with grip, as a lot of guys were sliding around. So it was just a matter of bringing it home without a crash. All in all I have to say that I enjoyed every bit of my time with BMW so far. It was frustrating at times, but there have been a lot of great moments as well.”

Ayrton had a problem with his rear tire in race one that prevented him from finishing higher than 13th. In the second race he put in a strong performance, running as high as sixth place and finishing in ninth place. The points collected confirmed his tenth position in the overall standings, fulfilling one of BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike Teams’s objectives for their first year in the series. Xavier retired in race one and finished 19th in the second one.

Ayrton Badovini said: “Race two was fun and certainly better than the first. On the starting grid I spoke with my mechanics and didn’t know if I would make it to the end but I gave it my all and made it up to sixth and finished well. I’m happy with race 2 and the season as a whole. It was a great experience and certainly challenging. The team was fantastic and helped me grow a lot. To finish in the top ten is a small victory for me. Thanks to the experience and technical development of the bike this year we will definitely be more competitive next season.”

Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport is remaining in Portimão for a day of testing in preparation for next year. An updated BMW S1000RR is being prepared for 2012.

2011 World Superbike Championship

Portimão Race 1

1. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 38’13.293
2. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati ) 0’02.860
3. Jonathan Rea (Honda ) 0’08.481
4. Max Biaggi (Aprilia ) 0’11.963
5. Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki ) 0’13.330
6. Marco Melandri (Yamaha ) 0’18.960
7. Maxime Berger (Ducati ) 0’20.489
8. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki ) 0’25.320
9. Leon Haslam (BMW ) 0’26.695
10. Jakub Smrz (Ducati ) 0’26.801
11. Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki ) 0’27.115
12. Leon Camier (Aprilia ) 0’28.563
13. Ayrton Badovini (BMW ) 0’31.765
14. Troy Corser (BMW ) 0’31.822
15. Noriyuki Haga (Aprilia ) 0’31.866

Portimão Race 2

1. Marco Melandri (Yamaha ) 38’11.326
2. Eugene Laverty (Yamaha ) 0’01.075
3. Jonathan Rea (Honda ) 0’01.363
4. Carlos Checa (Ducati ) 0’02.648
5. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati ) 0’03.555
6. Leon Camier (Aprilia ) 0’04.709
7. Max Biaggi (Aprilia ) 0’06.514
8. Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki ) 0’14.441
9. Ayrton Badovini (BMW ) 0’19.128
10. Maxime Berger (Ducati ) 0’25.527
11. Noriyuki Haga (Aprilia ) 0’26.400
12. Davide Giugliano (Ducati ) 0’26.646
13. Jakub Smrz (Ducati ) 0’26.968
14. Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki ) 0’30.209
15. Leon Haslam (BMW ) 0’30.951
19. Xavier Fores (BMW) 1’04.011

2011 World Superbike Final Point Standings:

1. Carlos Checa (Ducati ) 505
2. Marco Melandri (Yamaha ) 395
3. Max Biaggi (Aprilia ) 303
4. Eugene Laverty (Yamaha ) 303
5. Leon Haslam (BMW ) 224
6. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati ) 210
7. Leon Camier (Aprilia ) 208
8. Noriyuki Haga (Aprilia ) 176
9. Jonathan Rea (Honda ) 170
10. Ayrton Badovini (BMW ) 165
11. Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki ) 161
12. Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki ) 152
13. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki ) 141
14. Jakub Smrz (Ducati ) 127
15. Troy Corser (BMW ) 87
16. Maxime Berger (Ducati ) 64
22. James Toseland (BMW) 13
23. Xavier Fores (BMW) 12
24. L. Lanzi (BMW) 10
29. B. Veneman (BMW) 3

2011 World Superbike Final Manufacturing Standings

1. Ducati 529
2. Yamaha 450
3. Aprilia 422
4. BMW 275
5. Kawasaki 228
6. Honda 194
7. Suzuki 169

FIM Superstock 1000 Cup

In the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup race Sylvain Barrier (FRA) of the BMW Motorrad Italia Superstock Team celebrated another podium, crossing the finish line in second. His teammate, Lorenzo Zanetti (ITA), was fifth. In all, five BMW S1000RR motorcycles were in the top 11. Fabio Massei (ITA) from Team Piellemoto finished eighth. The two riders from the Garnier Alpha Racing Team, Brett McCormick (CAN) and Markus Reiterberger (GER), were tenth and 11th respectively.

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