Bel-Ray Racing-Weekend Racing Wrap-Up
Bel-Ray Racing-Weekend Racing Wrap-Up – April 30, 2012
Bel-Ray’s professional racers competed in MotoGP, World Motocross and Supercross competitions this past weekend. The high performance lubricants led to victories and excellent performances by many of the racers.
The Bel-Ray sponsored Power Electronics Aspar team experienced mixed results at the Jerez Circuit in southern Spain with team riders Randy De Puniet and Aleix Espargaro. Espargaro was the top CRT bike at the event, while De Puniet experienced an unfortunate DNF due to a mechanical issue just two laps from the checkered flag. Following his 13th place finish at the first round of the series in Qatar, De Puniet looked strong in the qualifying session and began the race tenth on the grid. He got off the line well at the beginning of the race and was within striking distance of the front group of riders. Unfortunately, with seven laps to go, he began experiencing problems engaging second gear, a problem that grew worse, eventually causing his to retire from the event near the end. The problem was traced back to a faulty fuel pump. De Puniet was disappointed in the setback, but intends to come back strong this weekend in Portugal. With the racetrack still damp from earlier rains, Espargaro took off cautiously at the beginning of the race, but eventually found his pace to a strong 12th place finish. Espargaro remarked following the event, “I was the highest placing CRT, which gives me even more motivation ahead of Portugal and Le Mans."
Although scheduled for 26 laps, dangerous track conditions due to rain forced the Moto2 Spanish Grand Prix to end 9 laps early. Jerez, Spain was the home round for the Bel-Ray backed Mapfre Aspar team, as well as the team’s two riders, Toni Elias and Nico Terol. Elias was able to improve on his first round 13th with a positive 9th place finish. Although still experiencing handling issues, he saw improvement in himself and his machine. "I see this race as a positive one, because we started from far back on the grid and we managed a comeback, said Elias following the race. “If the bike was as I would have liked, then we would have been fighting for the win; we have to work more on the front end.” The team will regroup and prepare for more racing this upcoming weekend in Portugal. Elias’ teammate, Nico Terol didn’t experience the same success during the race. Terol is still trying to come to terms with his new Moto2 machine this season as he moves up to the class from last years’ 125cc bike. Although disappointed, Terol looks toward the rest of the season in a positive manner. “I couldn't wait to ride at Jerez, where we made good progress in preseason and had a good pace going; Qatar and Jerez have served as a learning experience, despite the results. I have to take some pressure off myself and just work on my own riding,” he said after the race.
After 2 of 18 rounds this season, Elias is in 11th place, while Terol is unranked in overall world championship points.
The Moto3 Spanish Grand Prix began under threatening skies and difficult track conditions due to heavy rain the night before. The Bel-Ray sponsored Bankia Aspar team of Alberto Moncayo and Hector Faubel scored excellent top 10 finishes for their efforts. Moncayo raced to a 7th place finish, despite having to compensate for a shoulder injury suffered the day before the race. He was able to run the same pace as the leaders and should challenge for the victory in the near future. He spoke after the race of the teams’ ability, “This race is like an injection of energy for us. We will continue working hard because we should be up at the front." Faubel, meanwhile, was also dealing with an injury experienced during a previous crash. He was also able to run the pace as the leaders, but could only manage a 9th place for his efforts, a result that was far off his goal for the weekend.
Moncayo moved up from 14th to 9th and Faubel from 12th to 10th in the overall world championship points standings.
The second round of the FIM World Motocross Series took place this weekend at the Monterostao Circuit in Fermo, Italy. In MX1 competition, Christophe Pourcel scored his first overall in world championship competition since 2007 as well as the first victory for the newly formed CP377 team. Pourcel has shown considerable speed in recent weeks, winning 2 of the last 4 world championship motos. In Italy, Pourcel scored the first moto victory after doing battle the entire time with series rival, Gautier Paulin. The second moto again saw Pourcel challenging for the lead, but a rock to his nose and subsequent bleeding caused him to slow his pace and settle for a 2nd place moto finish that would be good enough for the overall. Pourcel was very happy with the result for both himself and the team. He said in a post race interview, “we’re a young team and it’s great to win already at our third GP to confirm the potential we showed in Bulgaria.” The rocky conditions also caused concern for Pourcel’s teammate and brother, Sebastien. After the event he spoke about his misfortune, “During the opening lap, a stone hit me on the nose. I lost a lot of blood and eventually had to stop. In the second moto, I felt tired after just a few laps. Possibly, this was the result of the incident in the first race, and I pulled in rather than taking risks.”
Christophe moved up from 5th to 3rd and Sebastien drops from 15th to 18th in the overall world championship points standings.
In MX2 competition, the Bel-Ray backed Team Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit of Tommy Searle and Joel Roelants hoped to continue their excellent performances from a week ago. They were the dominant riders in early qualification, but their luck ran out during the first moto of the day. After getting a good start, Searle was crashed into by an out of control bike in the second turn. He was uninjured in the melee and back on the bike, charging through the field for valuable championship points. He was up to 8th place when his machine died due to running out of coolant from a damaged radiator suffered in the earlier crash. Searle was again the victim of another rider as he went down at the start of the 2nd moto. He restarted in last place and worked his way past nearly every racer on his way to a 2nd place moto finish, just 3 seconds behind the winner and collected valuable championship points. Roelants also suffered from bad luck during the event. After setting the fastest lap time of the day and advancing into 3rd place, Roelants crashed heavily and could not continue. He suffered from blurred vision and headaches after the crash and would not line up for moto 2.
Despite their bad luck, Searle and Roelants are still 3rd and 4th respectively in the World Championship points standing after 3 of 16 rounds.
Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah was the site of the penultimate round of the Monster Energy Supercross series on Saturday night. Bel-Ray sponsored Team Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki put both west coast riders on the podium. Jason Anderson was 2nd place and Martin Davalos was 3rd place. The finish was a first ever podium for Anderson and a strong rebound for Davalos after a 14th place finish last weekend in Seattle. Anderson was first out of the gate and took the holeshot ahead of the rest of the field. Davalos was in 4th within sight of the leader. Anderson led the first 10 laps, until eventual race winner, Eli Tomac surpassed him for the top spot, leaving Anderson in an admirable 2nd. Davalos took advantage of Dean Wilson's crash to move into 3rd and held on for the final spot on the podium.
Dodge/ Sycuan Casino/ Hart and Huntington/ Bel-Ray racing team riders Tyler Bowers and Kyle Regal both performed well in their heat races, earning themselves direct transfers to the main event. In only his second ride with the team, Tyler Bowers, put on a great showing, working up after a poor start for a solid 10th place finish. He spoke about it following the race, “I’m pretty pumped on it. I stayed off the ground and that gives me some confidence heading into next weekend in Vegas.” Regal got off the line well and was into the top 10, when he was collected in a crash with another rider that saw them both crash out of the race. “I was running up inside the top 10 like I wanted, actually fighting for a top 5 for a while, when I got collected. It’s a drag. I just need to look ahead to Vegas and see what I can do there at the last race.”
The 2012 Supercross series concludes on Saturday night in Las Vegas, Nevada.