Superbike has flown to Argentina in the Villicum circuit and offered a great show and a lot of commitment from the Nolan Group riders. However, the Argentine track was also the scene for a weekend of controversy with 6 riders deciding not to take part in the race on Saturday due to safety reasons. Including a number of our Nolan Group riders – Chaz Davies, Leon Camier & Marco Melandri, amongst others.
Nolan Group has no preferences among its riders. On one hand we are happy that some of them have decided to respect the commitment to compete, on the other side Nolan respects the choices of those who have decided to prefer safety and to make a stand so that all of the competitors are considered by the organization.
In the following statements you will find explanations for those who did not compete. As for the results, there was a podium for Chaz Davies, numerous placings and an important fifth place for Federico Caricasulo, which shortens the gap with his team-mate to fight for the world title.
Next stop: Qatar. Will you stay with us?
Marco Melandri Race1 NOT STARTED
"It's a shame not to race, because this track is so beautiful, but we saw in Superpole that with the increase in temperature the seepage from the new tarmac made it very difficult to ride with a reasonable margin for safety. For me it made no sense to race in dangerous conditions today, when there was an option to run both races tomorrow, when it's predicted to be overcast with temperatures around 11 or 12 degrees lower than today. That would have provided a much better show for the fans, but the idea was rejected. It was a shame for everyone today actually, but safety must be the priority always."
Chaz Davies Race1 NOT STARTED
"Firstly, I’m disappointed with the way this day was managed. In my opinion it was important that all the riders were united but unfortunately this didn’t happen. Fifteen out of the 18 riders weren’t intending to take part in the race because of the difficult track conditions. Unfortunately, five minutes before the start some of them probably felt pressure to go on track, going against the decision taken before all together. We had proposed modifying the schedule and do two long races tomorrow to give the organizers the opportunity to improve the track conditions but our wishes weren’t taken into account. From my point of view safety is paramount and in certain situations they have to listen more to the views of the riders. All this should be considered in a constructive manner to improve in the future. We already discussed this issue in the various meetings of the Safety Commission. I’m sorry but it’s a shame to come and race at this fantastic circuit and find ourselves in this situation. Now let’s forget about today and focus on tomorrow’s races.”
Michael Ruben Rinaldi Race1 TWELFTH
"I am disappointed because I had a good qualifying session and in the race I was catching up on Lowes to play for fifth place, but suddenly something happened on the bike and I could no longer push to avoid doing worse. I also returned to the pits, but I decided to finish the race to bring home the four points in the championship standings. In the free and Superpole I have shown that our value on this track is not this, tomorrow I hope to be able to do it also in the race."
Chaz Davies Superpole Race FOURTH Race2 SECOND
"It was a really good way to finish the weekend. This morning in the Superpole race I was able to finish in fourth place which put me on the second row of the grid for race 2. Unfortunately, in the second race I made a bad start and I was swamped by several riders at the first corner. I felt comfortable enough however and began to pick my way through the pack. When I got up to second place the gap to Jonathan was almost three seconds, and although I closed it down a bit, it was impossible to get any closer to him. Pity because I think if I had been there from the beginning, it might have been a nice race. However, we were competitive on another track, that’s four or five now where we’ve been near or on the podium. A big thanks to the team for their work but also for standing by me yesterday. Hopefully now we can go to Qatar and continue the momentum to finish the season strong.”
Michael Ruben Rinaldi Superple Race FOURTEENTH Race2 ELEVENTH
"After a great Friday we had to face many problems. In race 2 we seemed to have managed to solve them until the rear tire dropped suddenly. I ended up with the tire practically destroyed and for this reason I lost so many positions in the last part of the race ."
Marco Melandri Superpole Race FIFTEENTH Race2 FOURTEENTH
"This has been another weekend where I've struggled a lot. My main strength is my riding style and, unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be compatible with the bike. Every time I tried to push harder after a few laps I made a lot of mistakes and lost ground. It looks like me and the bike are working in opposite directions still. I've tried many things with the team to find a solution this season but, as the results show, we're still looking."
Federico Caricasulo FIFTH
"It was a complicated race, with ups and downs. I started well and with seven laps to go I was second, but then a drop in tires, some mistakes and some contacts with other drivers made me finish in fifth place. I am not satisfied with the progress of the race, but it allows me to recover two points to Randy and stay in full swing for the title, which we will compete for in the last race in Losail. "