Team Suzuki Press Office – August 5.
Naomichi Uramoto: Suzuki GSX-R1000 – DNF.
Naomichi Uramoto: Suzuki GSX-R1000 – 1st.
Lap Record: Race 1 and Race 2.
Japanese rider Naomichi Uramoto raced to his first European victory at the weekend’s second round of the Spanish Superbike Championship at the Circuito de Barcelona-Catalunya.
The Endurance World Championship and Suzuka 8-Hour race regular, aboard a privateer JEG Racing Team GSX-R1000 and managed by Charles Chen, overcame a first race DNF and fought from the back in Sunday’s second event, setting the fastest lap of the race (1’44.517) and taking advantage of a crash in front of him.
Due to the ongoing crisis ruling in Spain, Qualifying was held over just one session and Uramoto improved his lap-time from last season’s race with a 1’44.475 to take ninth on the grid.
Race 1 was held later in the afternoon where Uramoto made a strong start and recorded the fastest lap of the race in lap 2, setting it again on the third lap and moving into fourth position at mid-race distance. However, he started to notice a technical irregularity on his machine in Lap 9, that continued to get worse, forcing the decision to pull into the pits on safety grounds. It was a bitter-sweet outcome for Uramoto as his ‘Fastest Lap of the Race’ still stood.
Sunday’s second race started with some anxiety because of the problem he had in Race 1. The 26-year-old started from 12th on the grid and moved up three places on the opening lap. He then recorded the fastest lap of the race on lap 2, then his second fastest lap of the race in lap 5 and was sixth on lap 8, and then fifth on lap 10 (eventually the fastest lap of the race).
With six laps remaining in the race, the difference between Uramoto and the race leader was approximately two seconds. However, his push continued and he advanced to fourth on lap 11.
With two laps to go of the 19-lapper, Uramoto was third, just one second behind the leader. At this point, the gap between Uramoto and the leader was 1 second. Uramoto, running faster than the leaders, shortened the gap on the final lap to 0.3 seconds, just right behind the leaders during the final lap when the riders ahead collided and Uramoto saw an opening and took it.
Said Uramoto: “I finally won! A bit of luck was on my side in the final lap, but my pace was good all throughout the race, and I am really ecstatic that I was able to win. I would like to thank JEG Racing, and everyone that supports me. Without them, I would not have been able to achieve this result. Since I haven’t had a win for quite some time, I’m celebrating right now, but the season has just begun and I will do my best so that I can continue to win more races!”