After a difficult opening day, the Red Bull Honda WorldSBK Team bounced back on Friday at the Losail International Circuit. Both Leon Camier and Jake Gagne started the day well in Free Practice 4 and were confident of challenging for the top two positions in Superpole 1. With a 1’57.555, over a second faster than he had been before SP1, Camier cruised through to Superpole 2 as the fastest rider. He would eventually earn tenth place on the grid, Gagne starting from 14th for the opening race.
The lights went out and Gagne immediately began to charge forward, making up two places on the opening lap. Gagne set a steady string of laps to break away from the chasing group, led by his team-mate Camier. His steady pace paid off towards the end of the race as Gagne picked off the likes of Savadori and Razgatlioglu for ninth place, missing out on eighth by a mere 0.061s as he and Chaz Davies dragged to the line. Gagne will now line up in sixth place on the second row for Race 2.
Having lost places at the start, Camier was eager to recover and chase down Gagne but got caught in traffic. While trying to regain positions the Brit unfortunately slid off at Turn 12, ending his race prematurely but escaping injury.
After taking ninth place in the opening race, Gagne increases his points haul to 64, just a point off 16th place in the championship. Camier continues to hold 12th overall.
The final race of 2018 will begin at 1900 local time (GMT +3) tomorrow, Camier and Gagne both looking to sign off the season in style.
Jake Gagne 45
We had a good race. The first half was pretty lonely but it started to come together for me as the tyre wear increased, I think we managed them a lot better than some of the guys around us. Qualifying wasn’t great, we had the speed to be up there but I made some mistakes and back there on row five makes for a rough start. I started flowing and being a little smoother and the Honda worked really well on the used tyres to end ninth. We can make the bike a little bit better in Warm Up. Row two will make a big difference, we’ve been on row five at pretty much every race and it makes the start tough. If we can get away with the faster guys it will make it a lot easier.
Leon Camier 2
I’m alright after the crash. I went over a bump and the front just went. It was a really fast one but luckily I only slid. In Superpole we went something like 1.8 seconds faster on the race tyre than we had been all weekend. We made a big step, it was only for one lap but we are gaining more. Then in the race we made a step with corner entry and everything is making more sense. We have 15 minutes tomorrow morning to keep improving the bike, so we need to sit down and have a think about what to do.
Really glad for Jake to confirm his speed in another race, his pace was really good. On the grid we told him ‘If you do your 58 lap times the race will come to you’. His ninth place matches his best from Laguna earlier this year so a big congratulations to him and importantly he starts on the second row tomorrow. He will be more than excited for the race tomorrow! Meanwhile, it was a tricky day for Leon. He got stuck in traffic and lost a lot of positions in the opening sector. From that point he tried to get feeling with the bike and push, but unfortunately lost the front in Turn 12 and ended his race. It’s not his weekend yet, but we rebuild and do it again tomorrow!
Losail International Circuit, Qatar
WorldSBK 2018, Round 13
- Air Temp: 19.9°C
- Humidity: 65%
- Ground Temp: 30.2°C
|#||Rider||Num||Nationality Nat.||Points Pts.||Team||Constructor Constr.||Time/Gap|
|1||Jonathan Rea||65||GBR||25||Kawasaki Racing Team||Kawasaki||33’34.913|
|2||Tom Sykes||66||GBR||20||Kawasaki Racing Team||Kawasaki||+1.424|
|3||Alex Lowes||22||GBR||16||Pata Yamaha||Yamaha||+3.705|
|4||Eugene Laverty||50||GBR||13||Milwaukee Aprilia||Aprilia||+4.723|
|5||Marco Melandri||33||ITA||11||Aruba.it Racing||Ducati||+10.579|
|6||Loris Baz||76||FRA||10||Althea BMW Racing Team||BMW||+13.173|
|7||Michael van der Mark||60||NDL||9||Pata Yamaha||Yamaha||+14.557|
|8||Chaz Davies||7||GBR||8||Aruba.it Racing||Ducati||+17.216|
|9||Jake Gagne||45||USA||7||Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team||Honda||+17.277|
|10||Toprak Razgatlioglu||54||TUR||6||Grillini Racing Team||Kawasaki||+18.179|
|11||Lorenzo Savadori||32||ITA||5||Milwaukee Aprilia||Aprilia||+24.924|
|12||Leandro Mercado||36||ARG||4||IodaRacing Team||Aprilia||+30.183|
|13||Xavi Fores||12||SPA||3||BARNI Racing Team||Ducati||+34.931|
|14||Román Ramos||40||SPA||2||Team Go Eleven||Kawasaki||+46.851|
|15||Gabriele Ruiu||16||ITA||1||Team Pedercini||Kawasaki||+58.890|
|NC||Max Scheib||77||CHI||0||MV Agusta Reparto Corse||MV Agusta||DNF|
|NC||Leon Camier||2||GBR||0||Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team||Honda||DNF|