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                     Portimão a stiff test for Triple M Honda World Superbike Team

The Triple M Honda World Superbike Team got its season back underway under the warm sunshine of a Portuguese autumn after the long summer break since the previous round at Misano in early July.

The first year WorldSBK team and rookie WorldSBK rider PJ Jacobsen took on the challenges of the heavily undulating and endlessly complex Portimão circuit over three free practice sessions on Friday 14th September, looking for an ideal set-up.

Optimum settings proved elusive and PJ entered Superpole 1 on Saturday in 17th position. He eventually qualified 18th on the grid for the first 20-lap WorldSBK race.
Flagged off at 13.00 local time in Portugal, the race saw PJ go from 17th on lap one to 14th and a points scoring position on lap nine. PJ dropped down the order and eventually retired when he felt a problem developing on his machine.

In race two on Sunday, which was started at the later time of 15.15, Jacobsen could not make early progress and finish 17th, not adding to his points score as a result. He is ranked 19th in the points table after ten rounds and 20 individual races.
The next WorldSBK meeting will be held at Magny Cours in France, between the 28 and 30 September.

honda misano sept 2018 a

PJ Jacobsen:  
Yesterday’s race pace was not so bad and we could challenge for maybe 12th place, but then I had a small problem. Today we had a really good rhythm in the warm-up session but the race was totally different. We did not have the grip that we had over the rest of the weekend. No changes or anything but maybe we just did not have the grip.

Manuel Cappelletti - Team Manager: 
Yesterday PJ retired because near the end of the race as he felt a vibration with his bike. The mechanical and electronic checks showed that that everything was OK, but we could see on the data that the bike was shaking. It may be related to the tyres or something else, so we are investigating. Today the grip level was less than yesterday, but we expected something good because in the warm-up PJ had a good rhythm but in the race it was difficult. We all must do something to show that the championship is not finished so we are looking for better results in the next rounds.    

Date: 19-09-2018

Double podium for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna riders in Grand Prix MX2 in Assen

Taking place at the man-made track inside the historic Assen circuit, the penultimate round of the 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship saw the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing duo of Thomas Covington and Thomas Kjer-Olsen claim second and third overall respectively in the MX2 category. Securing a spot on the MXGP class podium for the third time this season, Max Anstie was third overall at Assen.

Unable to finish the Qualifying Race following a fall, Thomas Covington was left with a mountain to climb in Sunday’s final MX2 races. With his FC 250 powering the young American to two great starts from the far outside of the starting grid, he quickly found himself battling for the top three in each of the two motos. Securing a pair of third place results, Thomas managed to earn a spot on the MX2 podium for the seventh time this season.

mx2 assen sept 2018
Showing good speed around the challenging sandy track, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer-Olsen secured a runner-up first moto result. Despite suffering a minor fall after the second moto’s halfway mark, the Dane crossed the line in fourth place for third overall at the GP of The Netherlands.

The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team will return to action at the final round of the 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship in Italy on September 29/30.

Thomas Covington: “The weekend didn’t start that well but I managed to turn things around. I had a crash in the Qualifying Race and put a hole on my radiator, so I was not able to finish the race. I had to start both final motos from the complete outside and with the way the starting gates are angled it seemed kind of impossible to get a good start. Nevertheless, I did my best out of the gates in both motos and got some good speed to be inside the top three in the first corner. After that, I did my best to keep it on two wheels. The track has been really sketchy over the weekend and it was crucial to stay out of trouble. I felt like I rode a little bit on the safe side in moto one, but then in the second moto I had to dig deep. It’s good to have the whole Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team up on the podium this weekend.”

Thomas Kjer-Olsen: “My riding was good over the weekend. I had a good feeling in both motos, but I made a small mistake in the final race and had a fall. I wasn’t satisfied with my performance during the Qualifying Race, but I knew that once the racing got started I could be up front and battle. I got two good starts and felt that I was riding great. I am happy to be back on the podium for the second GP in a row. I’m happy about my weekend here in The Netherlands and our eyes are now set to the big final in Italy in two weeks time.”
Date: 18-09-2018
 

                         Season-best finish for Shaun Simpson at Assen

The penultimate round of the FIM Motocross World Championship was completed in front of a passionate group of Dutch fans over the weekend. A man-made track in Assen played host to that event. It was a great platform for the Wilvo Yamaha MXGP squad, because both Shaun Simpson and Jeremy Seewer have proven that they are more than capable when the going gets tough.


The premier-class qualifying moto, which took place on Saturday afternoon, was a perfect example of that. Shaun Simpson started inside of the top ten and was making good progress before a minor fall caused him to lose ground and positions. It was not too much of a hiccup, because he picked himself up and salvaged a ninth at the chequered flag. The first moto was equally as impressive as he started seventh and moved forward to claim sixth at the chequered flag. The result actually tied his season-best finish.

The second and final race at the Grand Prix of The Netherlands, the nineteenth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship, obviously took place on a track that had deteriorated significantly. Simpson recorded yet another sixth in an impressive fashion, however, which unsurprisingly left him in sixth in the overall classification. The result also helped him to jump into the top fifteen in the championship standings, which is remarkable considering the amount of time that he has missed due to injury. It was certainly a positive outing.


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Jeremy Seewer could also extract positives from the round, as he made significant improvements over the weekend and those left him inside of the top ten in the overall classification. An eleventh was secured in the first encounter, following a poor first lap, then he backed that up with a ninth in race two. Tenth overall was where he ended up and the points gained left him eighth in the standings. It is extremely likely that he is going to secure that position at the final round, the Grand Prix of Italy, which takes place in two weeks. Another road-race facility will play host to that event.
 
Shaun Simpson: "I feel good. I am slightly disappointed that I did not finish inside the top five. I wanted it and the team wanted it. Jeremy [Seewer] has been wanting it all year. Unfortunately, we could not get it done. I am a little bit disappointed on that front, but otherwise it has been the best weekend I have had all year. I showed some good speed yesterday and even today, but I crashed in every race this weekend. I think the mistakes definitely cost me in the first race where I could have finished fourth. In the second race my speed was good, but it just was not enough. I needed more sprint speed, rather than the marathon pace I was running. Stuff to work on, just a shame it is the end of the year. I look forward to seeing what we can do in the last race of the year.”
 
Jeremy Seewer: "I am definitely not happy with how my weekend went. I had bad starts and crashes in the first moto, although I did manage to come back really strong for eleventh. I struggled a little bit with suspension and a little bit with myself this weekend. I did not make too many mistakes in the final race and I did feel better, but for some reason I always struggle here. One more round to go and I think it will be something that I like more."          

Date: 18-09-2018

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