28. February 2011
The first two World Superbike races took place last weekend at the Phillip Island racetrack in Australia. Racers with Akrapovič exhausts took second and third place on the podium at both races because last year’s champion Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia) took second both times, while Marco Melandri with Yamaha and Leon Haslam, who is riding with BMW this year, traded off taking third place.
After the race, Melandri said, “I’m pretty happy with the end results today, although I wasn’t too happy about race one. We’ve been struggling all week with a rear grip issue, which could be seen in race one. I think we did a good job before race two, changing our setup to deal with it, and we were a little bit more aware of our potential afterwards. The bike was a lot better and I felt a lot more comfortable. It’s nice to be back on the podium! I wanted to challenge Biaggi for second but in the end my body was slower than my mind at the end of the race, it felt a bit dangerous to make some passes so I was happy to settle for third.”
Leon Haslam feels great with his new team: “As a team we’ve made huge steps forward from two weeks ago. We still have some issues that need looking at in more detail to ensure we can become regular podium finishers, but on the whole we can be happy with the two races. The first race was great; we encountered some issues in race two but still managed to finish in the top five so we’re definitely happy. A huge credit to the team for their efforts this weekend but now we have to sit down and detail how we plan to make that next step forward.”
Luca Scassa on Yamaha, with Akrapovič exhaust, open the season in the best way: winning the opening round of the Supersport World Championship!