Monday, April 06, 2009
Race report WSBK Valencia
Biaggi had a good start from the eighteenth position, but got stuck in the pack at the first curve, miraculously remaining upright after a series of contacts with his adversaries. The Roman driver pushed forward, trying to recover as many positions as possible on the track, even though it proved to be extremely challenging to pass the other drivers. After the first lap he was in fifteenth place and by the fifth lap he had moved up to eleventh. Halfway through the race he was in ninth place and during the sixteenth lap he managed to pass Byrne on his Ducati to take over eighth position. Max tried his best to catch up to Sykes and Kagayama, but the attempt failed and in the end he crossed the finish line in eighth place at 16:316 behind Haga.
"We analyzed all of the available data after yesterday’s Superpole,” declared Luigi Dall’Igna, Technical Director of Aprilia Racing, “and we didn’t encounter any specific problems with the bike. We brought a number of novelties with us to try out here in Valencia. Some of them were used during the race, and gave us very positive results. We decided not to use the others because they still need to be developed. We can certainly say that we brought a much more evolved RSV4 here with respect to the round in Qatar.”
Biaggi started off well, but just as in Race 1 ended up stuck in the pack at the first curve. This time, however, he managed to avoid contact with his adversaries. The Roman driver threw himself into the race in an attempt to recover as many positions as possible and he was in tenth place by the eighth lap. Then a battle for eighth place ensued with Sykes, Kiyonari and Hopkins, which saw the drivers fighting for impossible breakaways along the backstretch, perhaps the only place where it is possible to pass on this track. During the twentieth lap Max managed to launch a final attack and finished the race in eighth place.
Shinya Nakano is doing well after undergoing surgery yesterday to repair the compound fracture to his left shoulder blade.
The operation, which required the application of a metal plate and eight screws, went off without a hitch and now Shinya and his physicians are deciding if he will undergo physical therapy here in Spain or return to Japan.
"It was a very difficult race,” said Biaggi. “I gave it my all, but it’s very difficult to pass on this track and I also took a lot of risks trying to do even better. These two eighth place finishes may seem disappointing, but after the bad results in the Superpole, it really was impossible to do any better. We did pretty well during the single-lap trials, but we weren’t able to set the pace with the racing tyres. My team-mate and I, to whom I wish a speedy recovery, experienced the same problem with vibrations at the back of the bikes that we had at Philip Island. We tried changing the alignment but the situation didn’t improve and the Superpole reflected the situation we found ourselves to be in. This can be viewed as a success in that it has taught us to better evaluate the problems that we encounter and find solutions as quickly as possible.”