The Catalunya GP is the first Formula 1 round in Europe and serves as a sort of second kickoff to the season. Every team in the championship is based in Europe so now the pace of development will pick up as the teams set about the business of evolving their cars. Honda did their part and debuted an aerodynamic update package at a pre-race private test at Barcelona. In that test both Barrichello and Button were fairly optimistic about their chances for points in the race.
When qualifying came around, it almost seemed like a return to the bedeviling problems of 2007, as both Hondas qualified worse than they had at the previous round in Malaysia (11th for Barrichello and 13th for Button ). Was it another case of the wind tunnel data not correlating positively with the on track results? Did Honda fail to improve, or worse yet, take a step backwards?
All concerns about pace were put to rest. Jenson Button actually ran a quiet race but during the race he slowly advanced through the field. While attrition did help Button's fortunes, his 6th place finish was no gift. Button actually posted the fifth fastest lap of the race in his final lap. His fast lap time of 1:22.353 was 4 tenths of a second faster than his next fastest lap. It raises the question of whether Button could have gone significantly faster during the race. As fast as Button is, is he getting the most out of the car?
Barrichello was in 6th place when he came in for his final pit stop. But in another turn of bad luck, Barrichello's front wing got broken in a pit lane clash with Force India's Giancarlo Fisichella. The damage to the car took Barrichello out of the race. This is now three out of the first four races where one of the Hondas has had their race ruined by contact with other cars. It seems that the Hondas aren't even safe from getting hit by other cars in pit lane.
Button's 6th place earned Honda 3 championship points. In just one race Honda F1 has now equaled half of their point total from the whole of 2007.
F1 Barcelona GP Results
1. Kimi Raikkonen - Ferrari
2. Felipe Massa - Ferrari
3. Lewis Hamilton - McLaren-Mercedes
4. Robert Kubica - BMW Sauber
5. Mark Webber - Red Bull 6. Jenson Button - Honda
7. Kazuki Nakajima - Williams-Toyota
8. Jarno Trulli - Toyota
9. Nick Heidfeld - BMW Sauber
10. Giancarlo Fisichella - Force India F1
11. Timo Glock - Toyota
12. David Coulthard - Red Bull 13. Takuma Sato - Super Aguri F1
Turkey's Istanbul Otodrom is arguably the only one of the new era Hermann Tilke designed circuit that is met with wide praise rather than the scorn that most of the new circuits endure. The track follows the mold of some of the classic circuits with several complexes of medium to high speed corners, the most famous of which is the four apex turn 8.
Coming into the grand prix several members of the Honda F1 squad expressed optimism about being able to post strong results at the Turkish GP, perhaps even stronger than at Barcelona. In a circuit with medium and high speed corners as well as a pair of lengthy straights, an efficient aero package is absolutely critical to performance. However, the Honda F1 cars of the past several years have all suffered from a drag to downforce deficit against the better cars on the grid.
True to form, Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button managed to qualify slightly worse than they did at Catalunya, taking 12th and 13th on the starting grid. In the opening laps of the race neither Honda was able to make much headway so team principal Ross Brawn made a game time decision to change both drivers to a one stop strategy. Brawn said of the race:
"After a surprisingly uncompetitive qualifying yesterday we were hoping that it would be business as usual for the race today. A few laps in both drivers had poor balance and it was clear that our pace was not enough to challenge for the points. We switched the strategy on both cars from two-stop to a one-stop mid race. This was mainly to defend against the cars behind and this approach proved successful. It also gave us the possibility that we would gain if there was a safety car in the middle part of the race as this was our only realistic chance of points today."
The adjustment was mildly successful but the team didn't have the benefit of luck to help their results. Button only improved two spots and Barrichello lost 1 from his starting position.. Still, the change of strategy mid race was a prime example of the savvy and experience Ross Brawn brings to the team. When the RA108 is in better position to challenge the points finishing cars Brawn's strategic experience should prove to be a boon to the team.
The Next GP
The next race is the Monaco GP, F1's most glitzy and glamorous grand prix. The Honda F1 squad is testing some new aerodynamic upgrades at Paul Ricard circuit (France) this week in preparation for Monaco. So far it looks like the upgrades have allowed the RA108 to close some of the gap up to the frontrunning Ferrari, McLaren, and BMW teams. If all goes well that should put Honda in position to finish around 6th to 8th place.
Monaco has no high speed complexes of corners to speak of so it should not highlight the weaknesses of the current Honda aero package like Turkey did. Last season the Honda RA107, horrid though it was, managed a 10th and 11th place at Monaco. Improving on that result would be a reasonable expectation for this year's Monaco Grand Prix.
World Challenge Touring
The second round of the 2008 was a return to the well-manicured, golf club-esque Virginia International Raceway. World Challenge had not been there since 2002, which was a tremendous shame as VIR is one of the best race tracks in the United States. In the last race at VIR Pierre Kleinubing spectacularly rolled his car in the very high speed uphill esses section of the track, only to come back and win the race.
Pierre Kleinubing and Kuno Wittmer gave chase to polesitter Chip Herr in the opening laps of the race. The pair of Realtime drivers hounded Herr into a mistake in turn 1, which gave the lead to Pierre Kleinubing. Kleinubing and Wittmer ran 1-2 but the BMW of Seth Thomas closed up on them to challenge Wittmer for second. Going into the turn before the back straight, and with only three laps to the checkered flag, race leader Pierre Kleinubing made a rare mistake that took his car off the track and into a tire wall. He was able to rejoin the race but lost several places. Wittmer would take over the lead and was able to hold off determined and repeated pass attempts from Bimmerworld's Seth Thomas. VIR is Bimmerworld's home track so it was doubly impressive that Kuno was able to hold him off and take his debut World Challenge victory.
If you missed the original airings of the race, somebody posted these clips to youtube:
World Challenge Touring VIR Results (Top 10)
1. Kuno Wittmer - Realtime Racing (Acura TSX)
2. Seth Thomas - Bimmerworld (BMW 325i)
3. James Clay - Bimmerworld (BMW 325i)
4. Charles Espenlaub - Mazdaspeed (Mazda 6)
5. Chip Herr - Tindol Motorsports (Mazda 6) 6. Peter Cunningham - Realtime Racing (Acura TSX)
7. Pierre Kleinubing - Realtime Racing (Acura TSX)
8. Jeff Altenburg - Mazdaspeed (Mazda 6)
9. Payton Wilson - King Rat Motorsports (Dodge Neon SRT4) 10. Eric Curran - Realtime Racing (Acura TSX)
China's Shanghai circuit has the longest straightaway on the Moto GP calendar and that was not good news for Honda's ambitions as top speed is not the strong suit of either the 2007 or 2008 RC212V. For yet another race, Honda's pneumatic valve engine was nowhere to be found and the Honda riders had to do their best to make do.
Dani Pedrosa being the lightest and smallest rider on the grid typically posts the highest top speed of the Honda riders but in this race he was second fastest Honda after Shinya Nakano. Pedrosa's top speed was only 3 km/h slower than that of Valentino Rossi's Yamaha M1, but that left him about 10 km/h slower than the Ducatis. Even with the top speed deficit Pedrosa was able to qualify fifth for the race. Hayden on the other hand crashed in qualifying and was relegated to 10th on the grid.
In the early part of the race Pedrosa was able to work his way to the front and attempted to break away from the pack. Valentino Rossi, however, was able to chase down and overhaul him. Rossi was unable to definitively shake Pedrosa and they traded fast laps of the race in a game of cat and mouse. The Yamaha M1 was fast enough down the straights to keep Pedrosa from drafting past, and Rossi was braking deep enough that Pedrosa just could not pull alongside in the braking zones. As the laps wound down Rossi raised the pace and Pedrosa was not able to up the ante to stay with him.
In the post race interview he revealed that he let Rossi go because he started to feel his shifter tightening up, and did not want to risk a DNF. He also said that on the straightaways a strong tail wind was pushing him into the rev limiter in sixth gear, the same problem he ran into at Portugal. It is very unusual for Honda to have wind-related gearing problems at all, much less twice in a row. A possible explanation could be that with the power deficit to their rivals Honda has had to gamble more with gearing than they normally would. Tellingly, none of the other teams seems to be suffering from gearing problems.
Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso had strange races where they charged through the pack only to fade later. Hayden went from 10th place to 4th in the first couple of laps and looked as if he was going to be able to run with the front pack, but inexplicably started to fade and fall through the order. Just as mysteriously as he dropped off, Hayden found his pace again and got back by a few riders to salvage sixth place. Dovi's race was just the opposite. After qualifying 11th Dovi clawed his way all the way up to fifth place, only to fade badly at the end of the race to 11th with tire problems.
Moto GP China Results
1. Valentino Rossi - Fiat Yamaha 2. Dani Pedrosa - Repsol Honda
3. Casey Stoner - Marlboro Ducati
4. Jorge Lorenzo - Fiat Yamaha
5. Marco Melandri - Marlboro Ducati 6. Nicky Hayden - Repsol Honda
7. Colin Edwards - Tech 3 Yamaha
8. Toni Elias - Alice Ducati
9. Loris Capirossi - Rizla Suzuki 10. Shinya Nakano - San Carlo Gresini Honda
11. Andrea Dovizioso - JiR Scot Honda
12. James Toseland - Tech 3 Yamaha 13. Randy De Puniet - LCR Honda
14. John Hopkins - Kawasaki Moto GP
15. Sylvain Guintoli - Alice Ducati 16. Alex DeAngelis - San Carlo Gresini Honda
17. Anthony West - Kawasaki Moto GP
WSBK Assen - Race 1
Assen is the home race for the Dutch Ten Kate operation and it was one of the favorite rider's track in both the Moto GP and World Superbike championships. Carlos Checa led the Ten Kate effort again at Assen but, like the previous round at Valencia, got a bad start and had to fight his way back through the pack to join the lead group. Checa joined Yukio Kagayama, Troy Bayliss, and Max Neukirchner in a four rider pack that had broken away to lead the race. It was clear that everyone was biding their time until the last laps of the race when someone would try to run away for the win. In the closing laps, Bayliss dropped the hammer and got out to a 2 second lead, leaving Checa and Max Neukirchner to battle for who would occupy the second spot on the podium. This time the late race duel between Neukirchner and Checa mercifully did not end in the gravel pit as it had in Valencia. Checa got the better of Max cleanly to take a respectable second place.
In race 1 Xerox Ducati's Troy Bayliss didn't check out until the end of the race but this time he and Yamaha's Noriyuki Haga ran away from the rest of the pack from the word go. Checa again didn't get an ideal start and had a good amount of ground to make up. By the time he had caught up to and passed Ruben Xaus for the final spot on the podium the leading pair of Troy Bayliss and Noriyuki Haga were already long gone. Ryuichi Kiyonari was running perhaps his best race of the season, setting fastest laps and closing in on the podium but a broken steering damper forced him to retire from the race.
While the first win of the season eluded Ten Kate Honda once again, Carlos Checa is now second in the championship, albeit a whopping 70 points behind Troy Bayliss. Even so, the championship is by no means out of reach. In 2002 Colin Edwards of Castrol Honda was 69 points behind Troy Bayliss with 9 races to go. Edwards won every one of the final nine races to win the title by 11 points. However, Checa has a bigger challenge ahead of him that Edwards had in 2002. The field in 2008 is much deeper than it was in 2002 with 10 different riders on the podium and 4 different race winners in 8 races. Checa will need to consistently finish on the podium and start taking some wins if he is to stay in touch for the title.
World Superbike Assen Race 2 Results
1. Troy Bayliss - Xerox Ducati
2. Noriyuki Haga - Yamaha Italia 3. Carlos Checa - Hannspree Ten Kate Honda
4. Ruben Xaus - Sterilgarda Ducati
5. Max Neukirchner - Alstare Suzuki
6. Yukio Kagayama - Alstare Suzuki 7. Gregorio Lavilla - Vent-Axia Honda
8. Jakub Smrz - Guandalini Ducati
9. Makoto Tamada - PSG-1 Kawasaki
10. Troy Corser - Yamaha Italia
11. Fonsi Nieto - Alstare Suzuki
12. Max Biaggi - Sterilgarda Ducati
13. Karl Muggeridge - DF Racing Honda
14. Roberto Rolfo - Hannspree Althea Honda
15. Shinichi Nakatomi - Yamaha Ipone
16. Regis Laconi - PSG-1 Kawasaki
17. Sebastien Gimbert - GMT94 Yamaha
18. Ayrton Badovini - Pedercini Kawasaki 19. Kenan Sofuoglu - Hannspree Ten Kate Honda
20. Russell Holland - Bertocchi Honda
21. Shuhei Aoyama - Alto Evolution Honda
22. Loic Napoleone - Grillini Yamaha
23. Arie Vos - Fabricom MCT Ducati
WSBK Monza - Race 1
There are not many race tracks more magical than the Monza circuit near Milano Italy. It is the fastest track on the Formula 1 calendar as well as the World Superbikes. For the superbikes it means 200 mph drafting battles down the front and back straights, big braking duels into the three sets of chicanes and bikes slipping, sliding and swapping position through the long and deceptively difficult final corner known as Parabolica.
The Ten Kate contingent was one man short this weekend as Kenan Sofuoglu got the tragic news that his brother had been killed in a motorcycle race in his home country of Turkey.
Kiyonari and Checa were left to fly the Ten Kate banner. Carlos Checa very nearly got torpedoed from behind at the start after his bike kicked and bucked during an inadvertant wheelie. Checa's moment dropped him all the way to the back of the pack. Kiyonari also lost a few positions at the start of the race. Kiyo was never really able to get in touch with the lead group to battle for a podium but his 6th place was only 2 seconds away from a top five. Checa's comeback brought him all the way back to 8th place.
Max Neukirchner of Alstare Suzuki took a well deserved first win. He was the first German rider to win a World Superbike race.
WSBK Monza Race 1 Results
1. Max Neukirchner - Alstare Suzuki
2. Noriyuki Haga - Yamaha Italia
3. Troy Bayliss - Xerox Ducati
4. Yukio Kagayama - Alstare Suzuki
5. Max Biaggi - Sterilgarda Ducati 6. Ryuichi Kiyonari - Hannspree Ten Kate Honda
7. Fonsi Nieto - Alstare Suzuki 8. Carlos Checa - Hannspree Ten Kate Honda
9. Michel Fabrizio - Xerox Ducati
10. Jakub Smrz - Guandilini Racing (Ducati) 11. Gregorio Lavilla - Ventaxia VK Honda
12. Troy Corse - Yamaha Italia
13. Shinichi Nakatomi - YZF Yamaha
14. Lorenzo Lanzi - RG Team (Ducati)
15. Sebastien Gimbert - GMT94 Yamaha 16. Russel Holland - DF Racing Bertocchi (Honda)
17. Luca Morelli - Alto Evolution Honda
18. Shuhei Aoyama - Alto Evolution Honda
19. Michael Beck - GMT94 Yamaha
WSBK Monza - Race 2
Kiyonari picked up where he left off in race 1 but instead of finishing 6 seconds out of contention for the win he was able to work his way all the way up to the leading trio of Bayliss, Haga, and Neukirchner. Bayliss' engine expired leaving the the two Japanese riders and the German to continue the fight. It didn't look like Kiyo would be able to get into the lead but out of nowhere Ryuichi sliced his way to the front to lead the last lap. The three riders exited the Ascari chicane with none but a few hundredths of a second between them and the stage was set for a show down at Parabolica. A small slip on corner entry allowed Haga to get under Kiyo and in an effort to retaliate Kiyo lost enough drive that Neukirchner was able to go around the outside and pip him at the line. At the checkered flag the gap between first and third place was only .051 seconds.
Even though it was Kiyo's first World Superbike podium after the race Kiyo was visibly deflated after having so narrowly missed his maiden victory. Goes to show how serious Ryuichi Kiyonari is about winning races. But now that two of the Ten Kate Hondas can contest for victory they can moutn a legitimate challenge to win the manufacturer's title for Honda.
WSBK Monza Race 2 Results
1. Noriyuki Haga - Yamaha Italia
2. Max Neukirchner - Alstare Suzuki 3. Ryuichi Kiyonari - Hannspree Ten Kate Honda
4. Fonsi Nieto - Alstare Suzuki
5. Michel Fabrizio - Xerox Ducati 6. Karl Muggeridge - DF Racing (Honda)
7. Ruben Xaus - Sterilgarda Ducati
8. Troy Corser - Yamaha Italia
9. Aytron Badovini - Team Pedercini Kawasaki 10. Gregorio Lavilla - Ventaxia VK Honda
11. Lorenzo Lanzi - RG Team (Ducati)
12. Shinichi Nakatomi - YZF Yamaha 13. Russel Holland - DF Racing Bertocchi (Honda)
14. Sebastien Gimbert - GMT94 Yamaha
15. Michael Beck - GMT94 Yamaha 16. Shuhei Aoyama - Alto Evolution Honda
WSS - Assen
Last year's World Supersport race at Assen was yet another breakaway victory for the Ten Kate's Kenan Sofuoglu who would go on to set a new record for wins in a season in the class. The race was not boring by any stretch but it certainly was nothing like this year's affair.
It is difficult to find the superlatives to do this race justice but without a doubt it was the best 600 cc motorcycle race in recent memory. For the entire race the front pack was 5 to 10 riders deep and each position was only separate by a tenths or even hundredths of a second. 5 different riders led the race and there were too many lead changes to keep track.
Going into the final lap Jonathan Rea and Andrew Pitt eked out a scant 2 or 3 tenth of second advantage over championship leader Joan Lascorz but Lascorz was more than close enough to steal the win if Pitt or Rea had made a mistake.
The final chicane at Assen has been the site of some fantastic last lap battles in WSBK and Moto GP in the past few years and it would be where Ten Kate teammates Pitt and Rea would have their final showdown. Pitt tried to pass Rea going into the final esse turn but Rea defended his position and thwarted Pitt's attempt. In doing so, Rea lost momentum and Pitt was able to slip by at the line to win by .014 seconds. The top five were covered by 3 tenths of a second and the top ten were covered by merely 2.1 seconds. Ten Kate team owner Ronald Ten Kate seemed to agree that it was one of the best races of all time.
"What an amazing race. I don't think we have ever participated in an exciting battle like this and I can sure tell you it's not good for my heart! What a result, it is so good to see both our riders on top of the rostrum in our home race."
1. Andrew Pitt - Hannspree Ten Kate Honda
2. Jonathan Rea - Hannspree Ten Kate Honda
3. Joan Lascorz - Glaner Motocard.com Honda
4. Fabien Foret - Yamaha World Supersport
5. Broc Parkes - Yamaha World Supersport 6. Josh Brookes - Hannspree Stiggy Motorsport Honda
7. Barry Veneman - RES Software Hoegee Suzuki 8. Gianluca Vizziello - Berry Racing Honda
9. Craig Jones - Parkalgar Honda
10. Matthieu Lagrive - Intermoto Czech Honda
WSS - Monza
It would be extremely difficult for the World Supersport race at Monza to match the incredible race at Assen, and unfortunately it also proved difficult for Andrew Pitt, Johnny Rea, and Joan Lascorz to match their podium sweeping performance from the previous round. But, not to worry. The World Supersport class had 22 Honda CBR600RR's line up for the race and more than a few of those are competitive enough to run at the front of the pack.
This time Josh Brookes of Stiggy Motorsports jumped out to the front to lead the 600 cc stampede around Monza. Brookes was able to open a decent sized gap over the two factory Yamahas of Fabien Foret and Broc Parkes at the start but eventually the superior power of the factory Yamahas proved to be too much for the privateer Honda of Josh Brookes as Fabien Foret hunted him down and passed him on the second lap of the race. Brookes was however able to rebuff the overtures of the second factory Yamaha and took his first podium of the year.
Meanwhile Andrew Pitt recovered from his relatively poor start to get the best of a 5 rider last lap scrap for fourth place. Unfortunately his teammate Johnny Rea suffered a mechanical retirement. Championship leader Joan Lascorz finished tenth but retains his lead.
WSS Monza Results (Top 10)
1. Fabien Foret - Yamaha World Supersport 2. Josh Brookes - Hannspree Stiggy Motorsports Honda
3. Broc Parkes - Yamaha World Supersport 4. Andrew Pitt - Hannspree Ten Kate Honda
5. Robin Harms - Hannspree Stiggy Motorsport Honda
6. Craig Jones - Parkalgar Honda
7. Massimo Eoccoli - Yamaha Lorenzini by Leon 9. Mathieu Lagrive - Intermoto Czech Honda
10. Joan Lascorz - Glander Motocard.com Honda
The racetrack formerly known as California Speedway is sort of the home track for the American Honda team as their team is based in Southern California. Unfortunately all of the other factory teams in the championship are also based in Socal so no one got the benefit of home track advantage.
However, the team was able to show another step forward in pace as Neil Hodgson was able to run in third for much of both races. He fought a spirited battle with Aaron Yates and Tommy Hayden in both contests and was able to outpace both competitors for the middle part of both races. He eventually had to concede the final podium spot to Yoshimura Suzuki's Tommy Hayden in race 1 and 2 but he was only forced to do so in the last handful of laps.
Miguel Duhamel had a somewhat anonymous race back in 7th place in race 1 and finished 13th in race 2. It appears that Duhamel hasn't quite regained his normal form after a tremendous crash at Road Atlanta last year that ended his season.
AMASBK Auto Club Speedway Race 1 Results (Top 10)
1. Ben Spies - Rockstar Makita Suzuki
2. Mathew Mladin - Rockstar Makita Suzuki
3. Tommy Hayden - Rockstar Makita Suzuki 4. Neil Hodgson - American Honda
5. Eric Bostrom - Yamaha
6. Jamie Hacking - Monster Kawasaki 7. Miguel Duhamel - American Honda
8. Jason DiSalvo - Yamaha 9. Matt Lynn - Corona Honda
10. Jake Holden - Corona Honda
AMASBK Auto Club Speedway Race 2 Results (Top 10)
1. Ben Spies - Rockstar Makita Suzuki
2. Mathew Mladin - Rockstar Makita Suzuki
3. Tommy Hayden - Rockstar Makita Suzuki 4. Neil Hodgson - American Honda
5. Jason DiSalvo - Yamaha
6. Eric Bostrom - Yamaha
7. Jamie Hacking - Monster Kawasaki
8. Scott Jensen - Suzuki* 9. Matt Lynn - Corona Honda
10. Tim Knutson - Suzuki*
Oulton Park Race 1
Rain plays a very large role in every racing series held in the United Kingdom and it played the spolier in race 1 of the second round of the 2008 BSB championship. The precipitation began to fall right before the race after the entire field of bikes came out equipped with slick tires. On the formation lap it became apparent that the entire track was slicked down with water.
When the riders lined up on the grid many nervous looks were exchanged as everyone looked at each other to see who would be the first to raise their hand to force a red flag. In what looked like a game of chicken no one flinched and off they roared into turn one. As the pack entered turn one several riders went sliding off the track and finally the course marshals brought out a red flag. The field came back in and switched to rain tires and got set for the restart.
On the second green flag Cal Crutchlow of HM Plant Honda picked up where he left off at Thruxton and streaked off to lead the race. He had the race well in hand and was up to a 4 second lead when a mistake sent him sliding off into a gravel trap. He would remount but was out of contention for the win.
Meanwhile his teammate Leon Haslam had been conserving his tires and launched a final lap assault on the leading Ducati of Shakey Byrne. Haslam was able to briefly pass Byrnen but could not make the pass stick. After the race Haslam lamented that he should have started his charge earlier in the race.
BSB Oulton Park Race 1 Results (Top 10)
1. Shane Byrne - Airwaves Ducati 2. Leon Haslam - HM Plant Honda
3. Leon Camier - Airwaves Ducati
4. Michael Rutter - NW200 Ducati
5. Tom Sykes - Rizla Suzuki 6. Cal Crutchlow - HM Plant Honda
7. Michael Laverty - Relentless TAS Suzuki 8. James Ellison - Hydrex Bike Animal Honda
9. Tristan Palmer - Tena for Men Honda
10. Stuart Easton - MSS Discovery Kawasaki
Oulton Park Race 2
Race 2 at Oulton Park was a small disaster for the factory HM Plant Honda team. Leon Haslam was right on the tail of Tom Sykes when he made a optimistic lunge for the lead that shoved Sykes into a crash and sent Leon off track. Leon was able to continue but lost a massive amount of ground in the process.
Cal Crutchlow made an even bigger mistake than in race 1 when he crashed out of 4th place. This time he was left rolling on the ground in the pain, unable to continue. Crutchlow's crash brought out the red flag, and since more than half of the laps of the race had already been completed, the race was not restarted. Cal dislocated his ankle and damaged some ligaments in the incident.
BSB Oulton Park Race 2 Results (Top 10)
1. Shane Byrne - Airwaves Ducati 2. James Ellison - Hydrex Bike Animal Honda
3. Leon Camier - Airwaves Ducati
4. Michael Laverty - Relentless TAS Suzuki
5. Stuart Easton - MSS Discovery Kawasaki
6. Michael Rutter - NW200 Ducati
7. Simon Andrews - Lloyds Jentin Yamaha
8. Scott Smart - Hawk Kawasaki
9. Atsushi Watanabe - Rizla Suzuki
10. Billy McConnell - MSS Discovery Kawasaki
Brands Hatch Race 1
After Cal Crutchlow's crash and resulting injuries at Oulton Park one can be forgiven for thinking that his results would probably suffer a bit after having only a week to recover. As is customary for professional motorcycle racers Cal showed up to the grid at Brands Hatch ready to ride just as hard and fast as he had before. In the first part of the race Crutchlow was amazingly able to lead the race. Towards the end of the race he couldn't quite maintain his speed and was forced to give way to Shane Byrne and Tom Sykes. Nonetheless a podium was an excellent result given his injuries.
BSB Brands Hatch Race 1 Results (Top 10)
1. Shane Byrne - Airwaves Ducati
2. Tom Sykes - Rizla Suzuki 3. Cal Crutchlow - HM Plant Honda
4. Leon Haslam - HM Plant Honda
5. Leon Camier - Airwaves Ducati 6. James Ellison - Hydrex Bike Animal Honda
7. Stuart Easton - MSS Discovery Kawasaki
8. Billy McConnell - MSS Discovery Kawasaki
9. Simon Andrews - Lloyds British Jentin Racing 10. Tristan Palmer - Tena for Men Honda
Brands Hatch Race 2
When the time came for race 2 Crutchlow stepped up to the challenge once again and his teammate Leon Haslam took the lead for the first time this season. Unfortunately Leon made yet another mistake and ran off the track. He didn't suffer a crash for his transgression but lost his chance to open up the win column for this season.
Cal Crutchlow eventually made his way into the lead again and got two lucky breaks in a row, first with a full course caution that brought out the pace car. On the first lap of the restart Tom Syke's Suzuki blew its motor and spilled oil on the track. With oil wetting down his rear tire he crashed as soon as he arrived at the next corner, sending him on a wild ride on top of his bike. The race was red flagged after that incident and since over half race distance was already covered the race was ended with Crutchlow in the lead.
BSB Brands Hatch Race 2 Results (Top 10)
1. Cal Crutchlow - HM Plant Honda
2. Shane Byrne - Airwaves Ducati
3. Leon Camier - Airwaves Ducati
4. Michael Laverty - Relentless Suzuki by TAS
5. Michael Rutter - NorthWest 200 Ducati 6. Leon Haslam - HM Plant Honda
7. Stuart Easton - MSS Discovery Kawasaki 8. James Ellison - Hydrex Bike Animal Honda
9. Billy McConnell - MSS Discovery Kawasaki
10. Scott Smart - Hawk Kawasaki
Honda Racing on TV
Sunday, May 18
10:30AM ET AMA Superbike (Infineon Raceway) - Race 1
3:00PM ET American Le Mans (Miller Motorsports Park)
6:00PM ET Moto GP (French Grand Prix)
10:00PM ET AMA Superbike (Infineon Raceway) - Race 2
Tuesday, May 20
12:00PM ET AMA Supersport (Infineon Raceway)
1:00PM ET AMA Formula Xtreme (Infineon Raceway)
Saturday, May 24
12:30AM ET Formula 1 Practice (Monaco GP)
8:00 AM ET Formula 1 Qualifying (Monaco GP)
Sundday, May 25
7:30 AM ET Formula 1 Race (Monaco GP)
5:00 PM ET Formula 1 Race (Monaco GP)