WSBK 2013: Four Podiums including a Win for BMW at the Nürburgring

WSBK 2013: Four Podiums including a Win for BMW at the Nürburgring

The BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team celebrated a successful home round at the Nürburgring in Germany, including a victory and four podium finishes in total. Factory rider Chaz Davies (GBR) won the second of the weekend’s races with his BMW S1000RR after finishing third in race one. His teammate Marco Melandri (ITA) finished second and third. This was the first time ever in the FIM Superbike World Championship that BMW Motorrad had both riders on the podium in both races. In addition, Chaz claimed the fastest lap in race two. Collectively, Chaz and Marco achieved 77 points today, equaling the best ever result of BMW Motorrad in the series.

Chaz Davies (19) and Marco Melandri (33) leading the field.
Chaz Davies (19) and Marco Melandri (33) leading the field.
Marco Melandri
Marco Melandri

The BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team started the weekend well with Chaz setting the fastest time in Friday’s first qualifying practice for the 10th round of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship. Marco was 10th. “It was a good day,” said Chaz. “I am happy with the RR, it was working pretty well straightaway this morning. The bike was already pretty good in the dry at Silverstone and it was also working very well in Russia so that shows that we have found some decent settings in the last few races. Today we only struggled a little bit at the beginning of the first qualifying as we went in the wrong direction with the shock absorber but the guys quickly went back to a previous setting and the bike improved again. I am happy and I think that we can make another step tomorrow.”

Saturday’s practices started overcast but dry. Chaz set a dominant fastest lap time in this morning’s second qualifying practice, more than four-tenths faster than his closest rival. Marco improved from Friday to seventh position. Just a few minutes before the start of the Superpole, it started to rain. The session was declared “wet,” meaning that there would be two 20-minute sessions. Both BMW factory riders made it to the second and deciding part. Marco was putting in one fast lap time after another and was leading the timings most of the time but dropped back to second when Ayrton Badovini (ITA) improved his time in the closing stages to take pole position. Chaz was in fourth but dropped back to seventh at the end. As he fell during his final attempt, he could not improve his time.

“Today was a very good qualifying session, I’m really pleased,” said Marco. “Until the end I tried to get the pole-position. A few minutes before the end I rode a bit slower to cool the tires down and to try a new flying lap, but it didn’t work because there was not enough water on the track. So I decided not to risk anything as second place on the front row of the grid was an excellent starting point for tomorrow’s races. It will be important to start well; I want to be within the front group from the beginning on. We have a good race pace in the dry and I’m very confident for the races.”

Marco (33) and Chaz (19) traded positions.

In race one, both BMW factory riders had a good start to lay the foundations for a strong result. Marco, who came from second, took the lead shortly but then dropped back to second when he was overtaken by Tom Sykes (GBR). Chaz, who started from sixth, moved to third at the first corner. Throughout the race, both riders stayed in touch with race leader, Sykes. On lap 13, Chaz passed Marco to take second but two laps later Marco returned the favor. The BMW duo caught up with Sykes and in the first corner of the penultimate lap, Marco passed him to take the lead. Chaz also prepared for overtaking his fellow Brit but then the race had to be red-flagged after Jonathan Rea and Leon Camier (both GBR) crashed heavily due to oil on the track. Thus, the ranking from the previous lap counted as the final race result, with Sykes classified the winner in front of Marco and Chaz.

Chaz on the podium.

Race two was another thriller, with a BMW rider leading from the start to the end. It was a nail-biting fight for victory, with the top six close together in battle. Marco took the lead at the start, while Chaz moved to second straightaway. The BMW Duo were closely followed by their competitors but also fought for first place between themselves. On lap seven, Chaz took the lead while Marco slipped back to third on lap 10 as he was passed by Eugene Laverty (IRL). The Italian fought back, however, and at the start of lap 15, Marco took just a few corners to pass Laverty and then Chaz and to retake the lead. The fight was not over, as Chaz passed his teammate again on lap 16, heading the field for the second time in this race. On lap 18, Marco lost second position to Laverty but everything was still open as the gaps were minimal. One lap later, this race also had to be red flagged due to a crash. Chaz won, Laverty came second and Marco was third on the podium.

After 10 of 14 rounds of the season, the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team is second in the Team standings with 478 points. In the Riders’ classification, Marco improved to third with 257 points, reducing the gap to the front to 30 points. Chaz is fifth with 221 points, 66 points behind the lead. In the Manufacturers’ ranking, BMW is third with 321 points and a gap of 48 points to the top.

On the podium Eugene Laverty (left, second place), Chaz Davies (center, first place), Marco Melandri (right, third place).

“I’ve never seen a red flag at the end of both races in my life,” said Marco. “It was a shame because in race one I was leading and race two I was third but I am sure that it would have been a great final lap because all three of us were trying to win and everyone was pushing hard. The red flag was not on my side today and as a consequence I had no chance to make use of the opportunities we had and this is frustrating, but these are the rules. I am so sorry for the guys that crashed and got injured because they had much more bad luck than me. All the best and a speedy recovery to all of them! For sure I can be happy because we have shown that we are strong but at the same time I am disappointed because I did not get as many points as I could have. The championship is still very open and I have reduced the gap to the front. So in general it was a good weekend for us and we are looking forward to the next rounds. Now we are going to tracks that I really like and I am sure that today’s disappointment will only give me even more motivation.”

FIM Superstock 1000 Cup

In the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup, Sylvain Barrier from the BMW Motorrad GoldBet STK Team extended his lead in the overall Riders’ classification. Sylvain secured his sixth pole position of the season and a new lap record with his BMW HP4 before finishing the race second, missing victory only by one tenth of a second. With two more rounds to go, Sylvain now tops the ranking with 165 points and has an advantage of 40 points to his closest rival. His teammate Greg Gildenhuys (RSA) finished 11th. In the Manufacturers’ classification, BMW leads with an advantage of 28 points.

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