Spectacular One Two for the Yamaha WSB Team at the Season Finale in Portimao

World Superbike Portugal - Round 14: Portimao

YAMAHA World Superbike | Race Report - 16/10/2011

Yamaha World Superbike riders completed yet another spectacular race day today in Portimao, the final two races of the 2011 WSB season, with an outstanding one two finish on the Portuguese podium. Both Melandri and Laverty completed their WSB rookie seasons in style, closing the championship with Marco Melandri in second place in the 2011 WSB Championship standings and Eugene Laverty in fourth, the latter tying on points with 2010 Champion - Max Biaggi who takes the third place.

The Yamaha World Superbike Team proved to be the top team in the standings by completing the second race of the day with a spectacular one two race finish. Skillful race craft and determination was on display throughout the 22 laps. Laverty claimed the lead on lap one, following a perfect start off the front row on the grid, while Melandri tucked in behind him in second place by lap three. Holding off advances from Rea and Checa, Melandri closely tailed him team-mate to eventually take the lead with just four laps to go and snatch the chequered flag, claiming his fourth victory of the year. His Northern Irish team-mate and fellow rookie crossed the line just one second behind, to take the second step on the last podium of the season.

Both Yamaha riders faced a difficult race one after getting off to a perfect start from the grid. After just two laps Eugene Laverty had an issue with the rear of the machine, skillfully managed to avoid crashing but was forced to come in and have the steering damper repaired. The determined Northern Irish rider went back out, with a two lap gap and impressively made up four places setting fast lap times to complete the race in 19th position but missed out on important points for third place in the championship. Team-mate Marco Melandri struggled with rear tyre issues but pushed hard to cross the line in sixth place.

In this stellar season the Yamaha World Superbike team has claimed an amazing 19 podiums of which six race victories with two WSB rookie riders, Yamaha taking the second place in the 2011 World Superbike Manufacturer's standings with a total of 450 points and the top team in the Team standings

Earlier this season, Yamaha Motor Europe took the difficult decision to withdraw the official Yamaha World Superbike Team from the FIM Superbike World Championship at the end of the 2011 season, so today's race day in Portimao sadly marked the final race for the Yamaha WSB team.

Marco Melandri
Yamaha World Superbike Team - 6th, 1st
"It was a fantastic race win and end to the championship. The bike was working well and I really wanted one more win before finishing up the season. I would have liked a double but race one didn't go so well. I got a good start and was planning on waiting a few laps before pushing harder and fighting for a win but unfortunately the rear tyre was gone by mid race I had very little grip and just couldn't keep pushing. The team has worked really hard all year and I'd like to thank them and everyone at Yamaha for the amazing season together and for all their help and support in the tough time since YME decided to withdraw at the end of this year."

Eugene Laverty
Yamaha World Superbike Team - 19th, 2nd
"Well it was a great end to the season for Yamaha with a one two race finish in race two. It's been a fantastic year and I'd like to thank Yamaha and all the team for that. Obviously it would have been great to finish up with one more point to get third in the championship, but unfortunately I lost out on a lot of points in race one. I had an issue with the bike on lap three, coming into the VIP tower corner when the rear of the machine came off the ground and the bike suddenly snapped sideways. I was lucky not have crashed and managed to stay on the bike but the viciousness of the incident broke the steering damper and I had to come back in and have it changed. It's a pity as the pace was quick and I could have definitely been on the podium."

**Andrea Dosoli - Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager **
"Fantastic! A great finish to an amazing season. Marco and Eugene were really spectacular. In the second race they showed fantastic racing, proving to be very talented and determined riders with great respect for each other. It's a pity Eugene lost out on important points in the first race and Marco had a problem with the rear tyre and they couldn't fight for the podium.

I'd like to thank the riders, the team and all our partners for the professionalism, passion and motivation evident throughout the 13 races of the season. Second place in the Manufacturer's championship is an excellent result for Yamaha, considering that both riders are rookies and were battling with Checa, a Champion that deserves his title, flawless all year and making the most of the advantage that the twin cylinder machines are provided by the championship. We are proud that our R1 is the first four cylinder in the standings. Thanks to everyone."

Laurens Klein Koerkamp
Racing Manager, Yamaha Motor Europe
"Finishing first and second in the last race is an unbelievable way for the Yamaha World Superbike Team to leave the championship. But apart from today, we are extremely proud of the whole season: Marco and Eugene being Superbike rookies and finishing second and fourth, winning six races on the way, is a fantastic achievement and the R1 has proven to be the best four cylinder machine in the superbike field. But of course at the same time it is a sad moment as Yamaha Motor Europe (YME), as announced before, now withdraws the official Yamaha World Superbike Team from the championship.

On behalf of YME I want to express the strongest appreciation possible to Marco and Eugene, our engineers in Japan and to all staff of the Yamaha World Superbike Team. They have done a great job this year again and to finish the 2011 season as the number one team in the WSB Team standings is a confirmation of their professionalism and dedication. Also I want to thank again all our team partners.

Many of the staff and partners have been with us for many years, giving their best to Yamaha with great passion, and were part of winning the World Title with Ben, the Manufacturers World title, many race victories and podiums and the success of the 2011 season.

It also filled us at Yamaha with pride that riders and staff all were prepared to hang on while we were trying to find a solution to remain on the grid with Yamaha factory superbike machinery. Unfortunately it is not meant to be.

We will bring the team to a closure in the coming months and I wish Marco, Eugene and all team staff all the best in pursuing the next steps in their careers."

2011 World Superbike Portugal

Portimao 16/10/2011 22 Laps
race I
1 Carlos Checa Ducati ESP 38'13.293
2 Sylvain Guintoli Ducati FRA 0'02.860
3 Jonathan Rea Honda GBR 0'08.481
4 Max Biaggi Aprilia ITA 0'11.963
5 Joan Lascorz Kawasaki ESP 0'13.330
6 **Marco Melandri** Yamaha ITA **0'18.960 **
7 Maxime Berger Ducati FRA 0'20.489
8 Tom Sykes Kawasaki GBR 0'25.320
9 Leon Haslam BMW GBR 0'26.695
10 Jakub Smrz Ducati CZE 0'26.801
11 Michel Fabrizio Suzuki ITA 0'27.115
12 Leon Camier Aprilia GBR 0'28.563
13 Ayrton Badovini BMW ITA 0'31.765
14 Troy Corser BMW AUS 0'31.822
15 Noriyuki Haga Aprilia JPN 0'31.866
19 **Eugene Laverty** Yamaha GBR 2'00.000
race II
1 **Marco Melandri** Yamaha ITA **38'11.326 **
2 **Eugene Laverty** Yamaha GBR **0'01.075 **
3 Jonathan Rea Honda GBR 0'01.363
4 Carlos Checa Ducati ESP 0'02.648
5 Sylvain Guintoli Ducati FRA 0'03.555
6 Leon Camier Aprilia GBR 0'04.709
7 Max Biaggi Aprilia ITA 0'06.514
8 Joan Lascorz Kawasaki ESP 0'14.441
9 Ayrton Badovini BMW ITA 0'19.128
10 Maxime Berger Ducati FRA 0'25.527
11 Noriyuki Haga Aprilia JPN 0'26.400
12 Davide Giugliano Ducati ITA 0'26.646
13 Jakub Smrz Ducati CZE 0'26.968
14 Michel Fabrizio Suzuki ITA 0'30.209
15 Leon Haslam BMW GBR 0'30.951
Best Lap
Sylvain Guintoli Ducati FRA 1'43.453

World Superbike World Standing

Rider Standings After Race 13 of 13
1. Carlos Checa Ducati ESP 505
2. **Marco Melandri** Yamaha ITA 395
3. Max Biaggi Aprilia ITA 303
4. **Eugene Laverty** Yamaha GBR 303
5. Leon Haslam BMW GBR 224
6. Sylvain Guintoli Ducati FRA 210
7. Leon Camier Aprilia GBR 208
8. Noriyuki Haga Aprilia JPN 176
9. Jonathan Rea Honda GBR 170
10. Ayrton Badovini BMW ITA 165
11. Joan Lascorz Kawasaki ESP 161
12. Michel Fabrizio Suzuki ITA 152
13. Tom Sykes Kawasaki GBR 141
14. Jakub Smrz Ducati CZE 127
15. Troy Corser BMW AUS 87
16. Maxime Berger Ducati FRA 64

Circuit Length:
30 degrees
Hot and Sunny
Fastest Lap Ever:
(Jonathan Rea, 10/16/2011)
Last Years Winner:
Max Biaggi

Manufacturer Standings

1 Ducati 529
2 **Yamaha** 450
3 Aprilia 422
4 BMW 275
5 Kawasaki 228
6 Honda 194
7 Suzuki 169