Super Bike standings 2018
Super Bike standings 2018
The 2018 World Superbike (WSBK) event looks different from previous years. Of the two series that were held, there was no name that dominated the podium, aka it was impossible to predict who the winner would be. It was noted that there were three different riders who won the race and four other riders who were able to climb to the second and third podiums. Very much different from the last two years which have always been dominated by Kawasaki. Kawasaki itself has had a slow start this season, where defending champion Jonathan Rea has only one win. Kawasaki’s 100 percent record in the Buriram series which was held on (24-25/3) itself was interrupted in the second race which was won by Ducati rider Chaz Davies. After catching the flu in the opening series at Philip Island, Australia at the end of February, Rea dominated the first race. However, Kawasaki’s brake problems at Buriram meant that he had to settle for fourth place in the second race. “The temperature of the brake calipers is normally between 160-190o Celsius. But in Buriram it reaches 220o and this is not normal,” said Rea.
“Besides that, in the second race, the brake problem spread to the lever which made me have to use four fingers to brake. In fact, normally I only need to press with one finger,” continued Rea, who leads the standings with 69 points. Meanwhile, even more unlucky fate befell Rea’s teammate, Tom Sykes, who failed to finish in the second race. “There was something damaged in the front shock absorber because I braked too hard. Instead of continuing the race, it is wiser to stop the motorbike in the paddock,” he concluded. Meanwhile, Marco Melandri, who dominated the race in Australia, was having a hard time at Buriram. The senior rider admitted that he made the wrong settings on his Panigale in Buriram and had to settle for finishing eighth in the first race and seventh in the second. “We made mistakes in setting up the bike in both races. If I don’t hold back, we will definitely be finished,” said Melandri, who is now two points behind Rea. What makes the 2018 season even more interesting is that resistance has begun to emerge from Honda and Yamaha, which in the last two years have sunk behind the Kawasaki and Ducati duels. Yamaha itself managed to bring its two riders Chaz Davies and Michael van der Mark to the podium for the first time this season. This achievement is Yamaha’s first double podium since the Magny Cours series, France last year. “Our bike has been much better this year. And with the ongoing development, we hope to get the first win as soon as possible,” said van der Mark, who finished second. “But clearly, our bikes are still lagging behind both Ducati and Kawasaki. Ducati is more stable when entering corners and Kawasaki has better acceleration. But so far, we are still optimistic about getting more podiums and wins this year,” continued the man of Indonesian blood.
Apart from the factory fights, there was one name from the privateer team that was able to steal the show in the two WSBK event series. Xavi Fores from the Barni Ducati team is a name that often messes up the front row battles in the opening two series this year. Fores himself is now sitting in third place in the standings with 60 points or only 9 points behind Rea. The 32-year-old rider has won two podiums so far, including the runner-up position in the first race in Buriram, Thailand. “Second place is like our highest achievement. It really feels like heaven,” Fores joked after the first race. “Ducati really gave me the optimal bike. And again, Buriram itself is not my favorite track, in the future I will be able to kick off to become the first privateer rider who is able to win after a long time without a privateer rider on the top of the highest podium,” continued Fores.
LAVERTY HORROR ACCIDENT
Milwaukee Aprilia rider Eugene Laverty had a horror accident in the second race of WSBK Buriram which was held on Sunday (25/3). Laverty experienced a high side at turn six on the fourth lap and was run over by MV Agusta rider, Jordi Torres. As a result, Laverty was immediately rushed to the nearest hospital, because he could not move his legs at all. The 31-year-old rider broke his right leg, but did not need surgery to heal it. “I didn’t have time to dodge and I hit him right below the waist. I hope he is fine,” said Torres. “We hope Eugene can race in Aragon. We are in an uphill performance this year and he is able to fight for a podium position,” continued Milwaukee Aprilia team owner Shaun Munir.