The Yamaha World Superbike Team sets out for the 13th and final round of the 2011 World Superbike Championship, this weekend at the Autodrome Algarve, Portimao. As the riders set up for the final two races of the season Marco Melandri is in second place in the overall standings, a significant 77 points ahead of team-mate and fellow WSB Rookie, Laverty in third place on 283 points. Just 2 points separating Laverty from 2010 WSB champion Max Biaggi, the Yamaha rider is heading to Portimao eager to keep a firm hold on his third place finish.
Both Yamaha riders will be looking to complete their rookie season for Yamaha in style and add to their numerous achievements this year. Melandri has pocketed a spectacular 14 Podiums and 3 race wins thus far while Laverty has reached a remarkable 5 podiums and 2 race wins, following the impressive double at the factory teams home track in Monza. The Northern Irish rider aims to get his hands on the Tissot Superpole, the last of the season up for grabs to add to his list of achievements.
This will be the second outing at Portimao this year for Yamaha World Superbike team, having tested at the Portuguese track at the beginning of the 2011 season. The new 4.658 km circuit, built is 2008, is often compared to classical layouts such as Nürburgring and Spa-Francorchamps due to its constantly undulating nature. Despite the lack of track time due to bad weather during the tests back in January, Melandri and Laverty got a chance to experience their powerful R1 on the downhill slopes, right hand turns, swooping corners and wide straights that the Portuguese circuit has to offer.
Yamaha World Superbike Team
“We tested in Portimao at the beginning of the year, shortly after having shoulder surgery. The weather was bad on the second day so in the end I didn’t have very much track time to get comfortable with the layout. It seems like a technical and a difficult circuit, but I really like it. I hope it doesn’t rain this weekend so I can make the most of Friday and Saturday to learn my lines so I can be strong enough to fight for a win on Sunday.”
Yamaha World Superbike Team
“It was nice to be back on the podium again in Magny Cours and I aim to continue that momentum in Portimao. It would be nice to end the season with a race win, it’s been quite a while since my victory in Monza. Max will probably be back and fighting for third place in the championship, but I’ll be giving it my best shot to stay where I am now and end the year third in the overall standings. I’m looking forward to the final battle.”
Portimao technically speaking according to Silvano Galbusera
Marco Melandri’s Crew Chief
“Portimao is a nice but tricky race track. We tested there at the beginning of 2011 but Marco was just back after having shoulder surgery and the weather was bad so we didn’t have sufficient time to find a suitable chassis setting. Marco needs to spend the first day learning the lines of the circuit; it’s a very technical track which usually suits Marco’s style of riding so I am confident he will do two very good races on Sunday. We need to spend some time working to improve the set-up of the bike with a full fuel tank. At the moment Marco is struggling at the beginning of the race but mid-way, as the machine gets lighter he can push harder. Our target is to finish this championship in second and third place in the standings. Marco is already a secure second so lets hope Eugene can manage to beat Biaggi”.
Portimao technically speaking according to Frankie Carchedi
Eugene Laverty’s Crew Chief
“We will be looking to finish the season on a high and more importantly keep third position in the world championship. Portimao has a bit of everything, from a long straight and hard braking, to a very technical middle section with extreme elevation changes. We will be working hard on race pace and hopefully we can get Eugene his first pole position and a free Superpole watch!”
Andrea Dosoli – Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager
“This is the last race of the season and the last race for the Yamaha WSB team so we are more motivated than ever to ensure we leave an amazing memory of a winning team behind us. We intend keeping a firm hold on our second place in the Manufacturer’s standings and second (already confirmed) and third places in the rider’s standings, being the only two 4-cylinder machines in the top three. Marco became familiar with the track just one month after his shoulder surgery, he will make the most of Friday and Saturday to push hard and improve his set-up with the aim of two podium finishes on Sunday. I’m confident that Eugene will do a fantastic job on Sunday; he knows the circuit very well from his relationship with the venue in the past in World Supersport, was fast there in the tests in January and has a great team behind him.”
2011 World Superbike Portugal
Fastest Lap Ever:
(Cal Crutchlow, 3/28/2010)
Last Years Winner:
WSS champion steps down from cloud nine and sets out for the last round of the season at Portimao
Freshly crowned World Supersport Champion Chaz Davies is still on a high after recently clinching his welldeserved first Championship title, after 15 long years of hard work, just 2 weeks ago in Magny Cours. The Champion is now gearing up for the 12th and final round of the 2011 season, this coming Sunday at Portimao. Chaz Davies earned his spectacular championship title by delivering an impressive five race wins and seven podiums on the winning YZF-R6 on which Cal Cructhlow snatched his 2009 WSS title at the season showdown in Portimao. The 2011 Champ is setting out to complete the final race in style and hopes to deliver yet another race victory to add to his collection.
Team-mate Luca Scassa intends completing the season on the winning streak in which it commenced. The Italian was back on flying form at the last round in Magny Cours, taking his R6 to the chequered flag and claiming the top step on the French podium. With just 23 points separating his from Foret in second and 15 points from Salom in third place, Scassa is determined to battle to the bitter end and climb up the championship standing to conclude the season in the top three.
Following an impressive eight wins out of 11 races so far, Yamaha holds a 12 point advantage in the Manufacturers standings with 25 points up for the taking at the season showdown in Portimao. The Yamaha ParkinGo team is also leading the team standings by 30 points and intends fighting hard to complete the season with yet another title under their belt.
2011 World Supersport Portugal
Fastest Lap Ever:
(Kenan Sofuoglu, 10/25/2010)