WSB 2011: Rider quotes from Imola

World Superbike competitors detail the Imola round

Jonathan Rea –1st and DNF

Race one was pretty emotional, because its been a long journey back. Last season ended for me here, so its a credit to all the people around me my family, my friends, my girlfriend, and of course the team who have got me back to the top step. I used last years disappointment as a big motivation today and race two was looking really good, too, so it was disappointing not to finish. I know the guys behind me were pushing pretty hard but I felt quite comfortable at the front. Weve come a long way and Im not going to get wrapped up in the negative of race two. What happened was a failure of a one-Euro battery connector so in my heart I know we had two really good races today. The biggest result was the continued development of the new electronics system, so I cant thank the team enough for the faith theyve shown in me to keep pushing with that development. Were still looking to improve in other areas, too, not just electronics, so that fills me with confidence for next week in Magny-Cours.

Noriyuki Haga - 2nd and 2nd

I’m really glad about this outcome gained here, in front of my supporters. I had a bad start in race 1 and Rea was great closing every gap. During the second one I kicked off even worse and that prevented a possible victory. I’ll try again next weekend when we’ll be back on track in Magny Cours.

Carlos Checa - 3rd and 1st

Race 1 was really exciting, I battled hard with Sykes and it was a clean, fun race. In the end I was perhaps a little faster than him and I closed in third, an already very satisfactory result. Then Race 2 was even more thrilling! I’m sorry for Rea who had the pace to win, and for Melandri who was perhaps a little unlucky this weekend but of course I’m extremely happy to have won here at Imola. The championship is not yet over but we are very close to the title. We go on to the next round and what will be, will be. It’s been a perfect weekend, I’m over the moon and want to thank the entire team, Ducati, the sponsors and of course all of the fans.

Eugene Laverty - 5th and 4th

I was disappointed with the results in the first race. The bike was working quite well but I made a stupid mistake that caused me to go wide and then I lost out on the chance to fight for the podium. I got a good start in race two but suffering from a chattering problem I found it tough to keep fighting. Mid way I adjusted a button on the handle bar which altered the engine braking allowing me to improve lap times. With the less than perfect set up and the hotter track temperatures, I am really satisfied with my fourth place finish.

Tom Sykes - 4th and DNF

We got a fourth position in dry weather and just missed the podium. I feel we would have been able to take a podium in race two as well. We are building on our positives and looking forward to France. I had an unfortunate brake problem; a little bit of a negative feeling with the brake so I could not go on with the race. It was a massive call to pull out but apart from that we have found some speed in the dry and been riding well. We are still working very well as a team and been consistently in the top five all weekend, which is very positive.

Marco Melandri - 8th and 6th

In race one I felt a strong vibrating sensation on the rear of the machine and was struggling with the engine brake so it was impossible to push any harder. In the second race I was also finding it hard to brake on downhill slopes but as the race progressed and the tank got lighter, the bike was more manageable. I was hoping to fight for the podium but at that stage it was bit late so I had to settle for sixth.

Leon Haslam - DNF and 5th

In the early stages of race one I was struggling to push properly, but after a few laps I found a good rhythm and caught up to Tom and Carlos. Unfortunately I then got a false neutral. I went into the corner, the gear jumped out and in again and I fell. I am disappointed with the crash. For race two, we made some small changes to try and improve the bike, but the increase in air temperature meant things didn’t work out as we planned. So I lost the contact to the leading group and just had to try and maintain my position.

Ayrton Badovini - 9th and 10th

Imola is a difficult track and very demanding physically and I started to suffer a bit at the end of race two. We finished with two good results, but I'm not happy, because we had the potential to do more. In race one it was very even with Melandri, and I confess it was also very funny. In race two I started badly and that forced me to climb from 18th position, finishing in tenth place. We're going to Magny Cours aware that we have a good chance, especially as we just received an engine update. I want to thank my fan club that has stayed with me, supporting me all weekend.

Leon Camier - 15th and 3rd

We’ve had a really up and down season and it’s good to get a podium for Aprilia, it’s an absolutely awesome feeling. These races and the season in general have been truly tiring, I’m exhausted! It’s a shame about the first race, we could have done a lot better without that mistake, and I’ve got to feel sorry for Jonny Rea – he deserved to come away with a double today. He’s had an awesome weekend, just back after an injury and out there leading the race, so it was a shame for him. Well done, on the other hand, to Carlos and Nori, they were really quick today.

Joan Lascorz - 10th and 8th

I had several big fights with other riders, but for me it was very difficult to pass them because I did not feel good on the brakes at this particular circuit. We had some of the same problems as we had in practice but we improved them a little bit in race two. In race one I did not get a good start and it was difficult. In the first lap in the second chicane of race two I went straight but I lost time. My pace was good in the second race, so that is a positive to take away.

Troy Corser - 12th and DNF

In race one I did not get a bad start, but then I ran a little bit wide at the ‘Tosa’-hairpin. We had made quite a few changes on the bike, so it took me a few laps to learn how to ride it. Once I had worked it out, I was able to push. In race two I felt something was wrong with the bike, as I could hear a strange noise coming from it. I am not sure where it was coming from or what it was but something wasn’t right. So I decided to play it safe and pull in. It is a shame because I felt good and we could have scored some good points.

Ruben Xaus - 17th and 11th

It’s been a hard weekend for me after two months off the bike and trying to develop the new electronics, which I believe will be very strong, at the test last week and then here. Of course, there have been some difficult moments, seeing Johnny (Rea) getting good results while I have struggled, but I have tried to be professional and keep trying as hard as I can. We changed something for race two to improve the engine braking and the lap times were much better. My race time improved by around 15 seconds in the second race, which doesn’t sound much, but it’s a big improvement. I’m looking forward to making some more progress at Magny-Cours next weekend.

Michel Fabrizio - DNF and DNF