Category Archives: Season 2016

MotoGP, Grand Prix of Valencia

Morbidelli Moves Up Gear

In taking his fifth podium in a row and the eighth of the season, Franco Morbidelli ended the Moto2 World Championship in high gear, boding well for the 2017 season…

The Races

Having qualified for the front row of the starting grid, Franco Morbidelli long believed in his chances of winning his first Moto2 Grand Prix in Valencia. Fighting it out with Johann Zarco, the Italian unfortunately was hindered by the degradation of his rear tire late in the race. The excessive wear has also allowed Tom Lüthi to take over Franco in the last kilometres. Morbidelli still made it to his eighth podium of the season, the fifth in a row. Álex Márquez was less successful. Suffering from cramps in his forearm, the Spaniard had to retire shortly after halfway. In MotoGP, Jack Miller was placed 15th to end the season. Tito Rabat took the checkered flag in 17th place.

moto-gp-valencia-2016The Championship

In being taken over by Tom Lüthi in the final round of the Grand Prix of Valencia, Franco Morbidelli lost his third place in the Moto2 world championship for only one little point. Álex Márquez ended his second season in the intermediate category in 13th place. In MotoGP, Jack Miller and Tito Rabat finished the championship in 18th and 21st places respectively.

The Background

“Franco will be a serious candidate for the title next season, He has made enormous progress this season. He is very aggressive in a fight and he can count on an experienced team.”

Johann Zarco

Winner of the last Grand Prix of the season, Johann Zarco did not fail to praise Franco Morbidelli, a rider with whom the twin world champion fought it out for many laps on the Ricardo Tormo circuit before getting the upper hand at the end of the race.  Last year, Zarco had never won in Moto2 before racing towards his first title as world champion. All of which also leads Michael Bartholemy, the boss of the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS, to say that his protégé can believe in his chances of taking over the track record from the Frenchman in the Moto2 category.

“His superb second half of the season is very encouraging, Franco will be able to build on these results to fully prepare for 2017.”

Michael Bartholemy

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Superbike World Championship Qatar

Rea crowned, Kawasaki king

Virtually assured of the championship title on arriving in Qatar, Jonathan Rea logically won his second world champion crown. Tom Sykes completed the success of the Kawasaki team, ensuring second place overall.

The Races

Needing only two points to be crowned, Jonathan Rea had no reason to go all out in the last round of the season held on the Losail circuit. The Brit therefore satisfied himself with a second place on Saturday afternoon, but not before taking pole position a little earlier and winning his second world champion title in a row.

Fourth in the first race, Tom Sykes meanwhile found himself threatened by Chaz Davies, the winner, who was determined to outflank the Kawasaki rider to take second place in the championship. Everything depended on Sunday’s race as a result, reduced to ten laps after a trace of oil required a red flag. Although Davies won again, Sykes was able to rely on the helping hand of his teammate who kindly gave him second place.

In so doing the two Kawasaki riders finished the 2016 season with the two first places of the World Superbike Championship. In Supersport Kenan Sofuoglu finished six milliseconds away from victory. Randy Krummenacher finished fifth.

The Championship

After joining Kawasaki last season, Jonathan Rea this season won his second world champion title ahead of his teammate Tom Sykes. Taking the last podium of the year together, the two Brits also allowed Kawasaki to win the constructors’ title with 582 points, 65 more than the runner-up to the Japanese manufacturer. Assured of his world title on arriving in Qatar, Kenan Sofuoglu was unable to help Randy Krummenacher in his quest for the place of vice-champion in the World Supersport standings. The Swiss rider eventually finished in third place overall two points away from the second-placed rider, France’s Jules Cluzel.

The Background

Less than two years after entering the new ZX-10R to motorsports, this season the Kawasaki team made a clean sweep of the championships, winning the riders’ title, the manufacturers’ title and the team title! Three well-deserved world champion crowns and a magnificent twin-win for Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes.

There are magical moments and this is undeniably one of them […] Seeing our two riders in the first two places in the championship says a lot about their investment. Now we need to keep working, because I am sure that next year the competition will be even hotter.

Guim Roda, Team Manager for the Greens

For Kawasaki Europe Racing Manager Steve Guttridge, the triple crown rewards the work of a whole team once again.

I have to congratulate both riders but also to all those who make up this great team. Without them, nothing would be possible.

Steve Guttridge

MotoGP World Championship, Malaysian Grand Prix

Miller the most

Tenth in Australia, eighth in Malaysia, Jack Miller set things right again at the end of the season, which is good news for the next MotoGP championship.

The Races

Once again, the rain disrupted the weekend of the Malaysian Grand Prix. Even though the temperatures were much warmer than at Phillip Island, the showers further complicated the work of the riders and their teams. Avoiding the traps as he managed to do in Australia, on his home home turf, Jack Miller once again fought it out with the top ten. He crossed the finish line in eighth position this time but above all was the first Honda rider.

Lacking feeling on the wet track, Rabat could do no better than eighteenth. In Moto2, the two riders of Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS shone between the raindrops. For a long time the race leader, Morbidelli only bowed out in the final laps against the now twin world champion Johann Zarco. Marquez recovered from his tough Australian weekend by snatchin­g a nice seventh place.

The Championship

With his new second place, Morbidelli is now only six points from the third place in the championship, held by Alex Rins. Marquez has moved back up to twelfth position. In MotoGP, Miller has moved up one place, and is now seventeenth. Rabat has slipped back to twenty-first.

The Background

I didn’t think Johann was going to attack like that at the end of the race. He could have stayed behind me since a second place was all he needed to win the title…

Franco Morbidelli

At the finish of the Malaysian Grand Prix he ended with a new second place, his fourth since the beginning of the season, Franco Morbidelli was still in good humour. The friendly rider of the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS not only scored his fourth podium in a row, but is also becoming increasingly effective. An associate of the Academy VR46, the Italian is a student highly appreciated by the master Valentino Rossi.

Franco is not far from victory,” ensures the nine-time world champion. “He’s a talented and hardworking young rider. As soon as he wins his first Grand Prix, he’ll move up a gear. He has everything he needs to become a candidate for the Moto2 world champion title starting next year.

Valentino Rossi

For now, Franco would like to get the upper hand over Rins at the next race in Valencia and take third place in the overall classification.

MotoGP: Australian Grand Prix (Phillip Island)

Morbidelli within a hundredth of victory

Leading at the exit of the last bend on the Phillip Island circuit, Franco Morbidelli had his first Grand Prix victory stolen right under his nose at the finish line. But his time will come.

FRANCO MORBIDELLI ITA  ESTRELLA GALICIA 0,0 MARC VDS  KALEX Moto2  GP Australia 2016 (Circuit Phillip Island) 21-23/10.2016   PSP/ Lukasz Swiderek  www.photoPSP.com

The Races

This time, Franco Morbidelli nearly made it to the top step of the podium. After two complicated free practice sessions and a few falls that never managed to shake his confidence, the Italian rider completed a near perfect Australian Grand Prix. Leading at the exit of the last bend, Morbidelli had victory stolen from him by Tom Lüthi right under his nose.

Experience tells, but you cannot find fault with Franco, he rode very well and I am sure that his first win is not far away.

Michael Bartholemy

His teammate didn’t make it to the start. Victim during the practice test sessions of a heavy fall after hitting Julian Simon who had run out of gas, Álex Márquez spent the night from Saturday to Sunday at Melbourne hospital. Back on the circuit for the warm-up despite sharp pains in the back and abdomen, the Spaniard was suffering too much to compete in the race. In MotoGP Jack Miller scored a good tenth place while Tito Rabat finished in sixteenth position, one away from any points.

The Championship

With the twenty points he pocketed in Australia, Franco Morbidelli has now climbed to fourth place in the Moto2 championship. Having had to withdraw, Marquez has slipped back to fourteenth position. There was no change in the MotoGP standings. Miller and Rabat remain in seventeenth and twentieth positions respectively in the championship.

The Background

This time, Jack Miller was equal to the task. Racing on home turf, the rider of Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS handled the pressure of his country’s Grand Prix perfectly and no doubt had his best weekend since his victory in the Netherlands. The performance all the more remarkable in that the conditions were particularly atrocious last weekend at Phillip Island, with polar cold, incessant rain and raging gusts of wind.

It was very complicated, especially during the practice test sessions because the track conditions changed constantly. You had to have the right tires at the right time.

Jack Miller

Fifth on the starting grid, Jack signed his best qualifying time of the season. And in the race, he fought it out until the last lap for seventh place with riders such as Bradley Smith, Scott Redding, Danilo Petrucci and Stefan Bradl. Starting with a front tire that he had not had time to evaluate during the practice test sessions, the Australian regaled the audience by trading places tit for tat with his opponents.

The important thing was to cross the finish line and score a few points and that’s just what I did

Jack Mller

MotoGP-Grand Prix of Japan

Morbidelli on the Move

As in Alcaniz three weeks ago, Franco Morbidelli once again made it to the Moto2 podium in Japan. Tito Rabat has regained points in MotoGP.

FRANCO MORBIDELLI ITA  ESTRELLA GALICIA 0,0 MARC VDS  KALEX Moto2  GP Japan 2016 (Circuit Twin Ring Motegi) 14-16/10.2016   PSP/ Lukasz Swiderek  www.photoPSP.com

The Races

Finishing third as in the last race in Aragon, in Japan Morbidelli took his fifth podium in eight races. A series of results that confirms the build-up of the rider of the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS team. Starting from the front row, Morbidelli rode a good section of the race behind Lüthi, the eventual winner, before having to leave second place to Zarco. Attacked late in the race by Nakagami, the Italian immediately retaliated to keep his place on the podium. Also seeking his second podium in a row, Alex Marquez unfortunately fell early in the race just as he had slipped into seventh place. In MotoGP, Tito Rabat finished fourteenth after two Grands Prix during which he didn’t score a single point. On the other hand, Jack Miller was even less successful when he returned to racing after several long weeks of absence. The Aussie fell in the seventh lap when he hoped to finish in the top ten.

The Championship

Taking advantage of his podium and Sam Lowes’s fall, Franco Morbidelli is now only five points from fourth place in the Moto2 championship. Marquez has lost a place in the overall standings, and is now thirteenth. In MotoGP, Rabat has kept his twentieth position while Miller has slipped into the eighteenth spot.

The Background

With the Japanese Grand Prix, the teams in the MotoGP world championship have begun a series of three races in three weeks which after Motegi, will take them to then to Australia and Malaysia.

It’s an intense period which is as exciting as it is complicated to negotiate; You have to manage the fatigue of the series while avoiding any injury that could jeopardize the future.

Michael Bartholemy
boss of the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS team

This overseas tour is equally delicate for the men and women from the Total Group who supply the fuel. In the month of August, some 18,000 litres of gasoline, manufactured in the Total ACS research centre in Givors, which left the port of Rotterdam bound for Japan, Australia and Malaysia on three different ships. You have to anticipate any delays in shipping or possible customs clearance problems. Fortunately, we have a highly efficient logistics service that takes charge of everything.

Jacky Hutteau
head of the distribution of Elf fuel to the race circuit

Superbike World Championship Jerez

Harvest Time!

After winning in Spain, Kenan Sofuoglu has become the first Kawasaki rider to win a world championship this season. The Japanese manufacturer has also already secured both the manufacturer’s title in the Superbike and Supersport categories.

 

SOFUOGLU Kenan (TUR) Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Kawasaki ZX-6R Supersport  WSBK Lausitzring 2016 (Circuit Lausitzring)  16-18.09.2016  PSP / Mateusz Jagielski  www.photoPSP.com

The Races

Although he thought he’d win the title at Magny-Cours, because of an unfortunate fall Kenan Sofuoglu was forced to wait a while to achieve his aim. The Kawasaki rider caught up the lost time by winning masterfully in Spain. This success, the 38th of his career in Supersport, gives him his fifth world champion title. In Superbike, Jonathan Rea is right next to winning a new crown. In Jerez, the title-holder made it twice to the podium, as did Tom Sykes. The two riders shared the second and third places in the weekend’s races, both won by Chaz Davies.

The Championship

This means Kenan Sofuoglu won’t have to wait for the last race in Qatar to win his fifth title as World Supersport champion. The win in Jerez makes it the Turkish rider’s third title riding for Kawasaki. Randy Krummenacher was the only one who was still capable of posing a problem. But a fall early in the race when he was in the lead ruined the Swiss rider’s last hopes, leaving him now only three points ahead of Jules Cluzel. In Superbike, Jonathan Rea now leads Tom Sykes by forty-eight points. The reigning world champion only needs two points to keep his crown.

The Background

Kenan Sofuoglu was not the only one to be crowned champion in Jerez. The first race of the World Superbike weekend in Andalusia was all the Kawasaki rider needed to take the manufacturers’ world championship title, even before obtaining the same consecration in the Supersport category.

A just reward for the work done by the whole team and the performance of our two excellent riders.

Steve Guttridge
Manager of Kawasaki Racing Europe

This year, with one more race still to run in Qatar, the ZX-10R has already scored fourteen victories. Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes have also made it to the podium thirty-eight times, eight times in a twin-win for the Kawasaki team.

We can be proud of what we have accomplished, winning the title in the first season with a new model demonstrates how it well it works.

Gim Roda,
Team Manager

A good sign for future times, because as Tom Sykes says:

We are still far from exploiting the full potential of our new machine.

An early warning for Kawasaki’s Team Green opponents next season.

Superbike World Championship France (Magny-Cours)

Kawasaki Supersport champion

The title of Supersport world champion can no longer escape one of the two Kawasaki riders. With two races to go, Kenan Sofuoglu is on the inside track to take a fifth crown.

 

The Races

After winning another pole position on Saturday afternoon, Kenan Sofuoglu no doubt thought he’d take the top step of the podium on Sunday at the Magny-Cours circuit to win his fifth world championship title.

Kenan Sofuoglu TUR Kawasaki ZX-6R  Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Supersport  WSBK Magny Cours 2016 (Circuit Magny Cours) 01-02/10.2016   PSP/ Lukasz Swiderek  www.photoPSP.com

I started in the lead and rode without really forcing myself, I increased the lead over my opponents, and then in the twelfth lap I fell without understanding why. Fortunately I still have two races in which to clinch my fifth title.

Kenan Sofuoglu

Fifth on the finish line after pointing in twelfth position early in the race, Randy Krummenacher is keeping the suspense alive. In Superbike, Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes rode neck and neck in the two races of the weekend. The first took place on a drying track which forced both Kawasaki riders, starting with rain tires, to change tires along the way. Sykes managed to take third place on the podium while Rea had to settle for fourth. On Sunday afternoon, Jonathan took his revenge by beating his teammate. The two Kawasaki riders mounted together on the podium in a race won by Chaz Davies as the day before.

 

 

The Championship

Despite his Did Not Finish, Kenan Sofuoglu keeps his 42-point lead over Randy Krummenacher. Since the championship leader also has a 55-point lead over Jules Cluzel, the title of Supersport world champion can no longer escape one of the two Kawasaki riders. In Superbike, 48 points separate Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes just before the French round of the World Superbike Championship. Tom Sykes has a 33-point lead over Chaz Davies.

 

 

The Background

After the World SBK and the World SSP 600, here’s the World SSP 300! This is the new competition that will take place next year in the Superbike world championship calendar alongside the premier-class and intermediate-class categories. Like Moto3 in relation to MotoGP, the World SSP category will be reserved for young riders and new 300 cm3 sports bikes that most manufacturers develop today, especially for the South-East Asian market. Kawasaki will be able to enter their Ninja 300 two-cylinder with a minimum weight limit of the order of 140 kg.

This new competition for riders aged 15 and older has been designed to find new talent. We also want the SSP 300 category to develop in all of the national championships, and not only in emerging countries.

Vito Ippolito
President of the International Motorcycling Federation

 

For the manufacturers, this new World SSP 300 category will obviously serve as a reservoir with the creation of genuine career pathways.

It means we’ll have an affordable series for young riders with a real lift to the Superbike class.

Javier Alonso
Executive Director of the World SBK

MotoGP: Aragon Grand Prix, September 2016

Historic twin-win

It had been two years since the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS had a twin-win. Finishing second and third in Aragon, Marquez and Morbidelli made Michael Bartholemy’s team happy

The Races

For Alex Marquez, the Aragon Grand Prix was a very important race.

 All the members of my fan club will be in the stands this weekend, I have to be up to their expectations.

Alex Marquez

Mission accomplished. After qualifying for the front row, the former Moto3 world champion had a very good start behind Sam Lowes, the eventual winner. He then managed his position by perfectly controlling the return of his teammate at the end of the race. After catching up with the Spaniard in the final bend, Morbidelli had to settle for third place. A very good result given the fact that the Italian had only qualified in eighth position. Welcomed at the finish by his brother Marc, Alex was delighted to score his first podium in Moto2.

That will give me confidence for the future, things haven’t been easy so far, and I have to thank the team for supporting me despite all my falls.

Alex Marquez

ALEX MARQUEZ SPA / SAM LOWES GBR / FRANCO MORBIDELLI ITA  Podium Moto2  GP Aragon 2016 (Circuit Motorland Aragon) 23-25/09.2016   PSP/ Lukasz Swiderek  www.photoPSP.com

 

In MotoGP, Rabat fell seven laps from the finish just as he was neck and neck Nicky Hayden. Jack Miller’s replacement took the chequered flag in fifth place.

The Championship

With his podium, the fourth of the season, Morbidelli is now fifth overall in the Moto2 category. The Italian has also reduced Tom Lüthi’s lead to thirteen points. Marquez has gained three positions thanks to the twenty points he scored for his second place. He’s now twelfth in the provisional standings. No change in the MotoGP standings. Miller and Rabat remain seventeenth and twentieth in the championship.

The Background

MotoGP World Champion in 2006, Nicky Hayden had not ridden in MotoGP since last November. After two seasons in the saddle of bikes with little hope of being competitive, the American rider decided this year to revive his career in the World Superbike Championship. Michael Bartholemy is the one who’s allowed him to taste the adrenaline of Grand Prix racing again, during the fourteenth event of the 2016 World Championship. Jack Miller being forced to rest until the next race in Japan, Nicky Hayden was chosen to replace the Australian on the Alcaniz circuit.

We had already thought of him at Silverstone when Jack’s participation was uncertain, Nicky was an obvious choice for us. He was MotoGP world champion and, at 35, he has a huge experience that can help Tito make progress by allowing us to cross-check his information and explore new possibilities for settings.

Michael Bartholemy
Head of the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS.

And as the icing on the cake, Hayden concluded his stint by scoring points.

Superbike World Championship, Germany (Lausitzring), September 2016

Rea falls and wins

After a fall on Saturday afternoon, Jonathan Rea set things right again by winning the next day on a drenched track. In so doing, the reigning world champion has gained a little breathing space in the lead of the provisional standings.

REA Jonathan (GBR) Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R Superbike  WSBK Lausitzring 2016 (Circuit Lausitzring)  16-18.09.2016  PSP / Mateusz Jagielski  www.photoPSP.com

The Races

After a long summer break, the World Superbike riders found themselves back in the heat of the competition on the Lausitzring circuit last weekend. Jonathan Rea scored a win after a Did Not Finish.

I fell shortly after the start because of a false neutral,” said the Brit. “Fortunately, I redeemed myself the next day by winning in the rain.

Jonathan Rea

Tom Sykes did the opposite. After a well-earned second place on Saturday afternoon in the wake of a new Superpole, the Kawasaki rider was tricked by the German rain. He still managed to get back on and finish twelfth. In Supersport, Kenan Sofuoglu won his fifth event of the season, the thirty-seventh of his career in Supersport. Krummenacher finished in sixth position.

The Championship

In Superbike as Supersport, the Kawasaki riders are continuing their relentless domination. By winning the second race of the weekend in Germany, Jonathan Rea has raised his overall lead in the standings to forty-seven points. He now has 393 points on the board. Second, Tom Sykes follows with 346 points. In Supersport, fifty-three points now separate Sofuoglu and Krummenacher in the first two places of the provisional standings. Finishing third, the American Jacobsen is now nine points behind the Swiss rider.

The Background

Although usually measured in his reactions, Jonathan Rea didn’t hesitate to describe his victory at the finish of the second race held on the Lausitzring as the best race of his life.

This is exactly the most important victory of my career ; After two DNFs at Laguna Seca and then in yesterday’s first race, I had my back to the wall. I had no choice, I had to win to take the lead and give me some breathing space in the overall classification. We found some solutions and improved the bike during the warm-up this morning. Unfortunately, the rain changed everything and I wasn’t sure of anything. The team had to completely change the bike’s settings to suit the conditions and they did a great job. Without them, I couldn’t have won.

Jonathan Rea

Nor could he have raised his overall lead over his teammate to forty-seven points.

Endurance Moto: Bol d’Or (Castellet), September 2016

A podium to start the season

Now organized to straddle two calendar years, the new season of the World Endurance Championship started with the Bol d’Or on the Paul Ricard circuit in France. The Kawasaki SRC team started off well by finishing second.

 

TEAM SRC KAWASAKI  LEBLANC Gregory FRA DE PUNIET Randy FRA FORET Fabien FRA KAWASAKI ZX-10R Formula EWC Endurance  80 Bol d'Or 2016 (Circuit Paul Ricard) 17-18/09.2016   PSP/ Lukasz Swiderek  www.photoPSP.com

This season, the Kawasaki SRC team will not race the entire World Endurance Championship. Gilles Stafler has decided to focus on the only two 24-hour races in France, on the Paul Ricard circuit and in Le Mans. The first event went fairly well since the ZX-RR No. 11, driven by an unprecedented trio of de Puniet, Leblanc and Foret took the chequered flag of the 80th Bol d’Or in second place behind the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT). Hampered early in the race by their tyres when the track temperature was highest, and then hindered by an oscillating fulcrum pin, the SRC riders had to grin and bear it before giving everything they had to climb back to second place. A performance that Randy de Puniet understood only too well. When he finished second in the Suzuka Eight Hours two years ago, the Parisian enjoyed the exercise much less.

I’d only been riding for two hours ; in addition, we could have won the race but the team preferred to ride for Josh Waters to secure second place. I’d spent two weeks in Japan preparing for the meeting; I was there to win, not to finish second.

Randy de Puniet

At the Bol d’Or, the Parisian was there to have fun and everything went well:

It was a great experience. I really enjoyed myself and I was one of the fastest riders, both day and night.

Enough to beg for more.

If the team wants me in Le Mans, I think I’d say yes.

If Gilles Stafler is to be believed, it’s difficult to see too how it could be otherwise. :

I’m delighted with Randy, both by his work and by his attitude.

Gilles Stafler
head of the SRC team