Team Suzuki Press Office – June 22.
Naomichi Uramoto: GSX-R1000 – 8-3rd
Suzuki’s Naomichi Uramoto raced to a podium position in the weekend’s third round of the Spanish Superbike Championship at Motorland Aragon.
The Japanese rider finished third in Sunday’s second race aboard his Suzuki GSX-R1000 and is now fifth in the points standings.
The third round of the season took place at MotorLand Aragón, a relatively new circuit in Spain which opened in 2009 and holds World Championships every year.
Uramoto showed speed from Thursday, finishing second fastest in FP1 and fourth fastest in FP2 on Friday on the 5.078km circuit.
Qualifying took place on Saturday morning, but a minor issue for Uramoto forced him to pit several times. Unfortunately, the cause was not found during the session and Uramoto settled for the eighth grid position for Race 1, after recording a lap time of 1’53.588.
The first race took place on Saturday afternoon. Rain started to fall after qualifying, and although it stopped by Race 1, the track was still wet. However, it was forecasted that the track would dry during the race, so the tyre choice became a difficult one for the riders.
The team suggested that Uramoto use rain tyres in the front and slicks in the rear, and although this was the first time for Uramoto to run such a combination, he decided to go ahead with the team’s suggestion. However, this decision was not a good one for Uramoto. He dropped immediately after start to P14, but gradually became used to the tyre combination and its characteristics but had to settle for an eighth place finish.
Uramoto started Race 2 on Sunday from the eighth grid position, which was the same with Race 1. He immediately gained a spot to P7 at start, and by the third lap he moved up to P6, and to P5 on lap 4. From there, he would race for P5.
While battling for P5, he gradually closed his gap on the group battle for P2 and joined them in a five-way battle for P2, with only a second among the five riders. In lap 11, two riders went off the track, which pushed Uramoto to P3. However, the battling until then took its toll, and his tyres were at their limit. He fought hard to defend his position, but was overtaken in the final lap, and finished an overall 4th in the race, but he finished third in the SBK category, which was his second podium of the season.
“Although I am happy that I took the podium, it wasn’t the best weekend for me as we had issues. The team and I will discuss this and try to find a solution for the next round. I thank all of you for the continuous support.”
ESBK CAMPEONATO DE ESPAÑA DE SUPERBIKE:
Qualifying: 8th – 1.53.588
Race 1: 8th – 2.03.185
Race 2: 3rd – 1.53.541
Standings: 5th/ 67 points