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KTM RC8 R Superbike riders were on top of their game on Sunday at the Oschersleben circuit in Germany when a double pole on Saturday from Matej Smrz and Stefan Nebel of the Inghart KTM Superbike Team Germany set the stage for a double victory in Sunday’s races by Smrz of the Czech Republic.With Martin Bauer of KTM Motorex having won both races in the opening event at the Lausitzring, the riders and the Austrian manufacturing company has hands firmly on the lead of competition and Manufacturer’s Standings. Smrz set the tone for the weekend in the opening timed training on Saturday when he put in the fastest ever lap on the circuit by a motorcycle.
But it was to be a weekend with mixed fortunes for the other Orange riders. The first race of the day was stopped after six laps when Dario Giuseppetti of Germany high-sided. Nebel was unable to avoid the fallen rider, crashed himself and injured his shoulder. At the time of the accident Martin Bauer (KTM Motorex) was in the lead 1.9 seconds ahead of Smrz and Nebel was fourth and it looked like a possible triple orange podium. Bauer continued to lead after the race was restarted and had put distance between himself and Smrz but four laps before the close he had technical problems and had to retire. The way was then clear for KTM’s new Czech rider to take the glory.
The second race was less complicated for Smrz who led from start to checkered flag. Bauer made a heroic attack on the front of the pack after missing the start thanks to clutch problems and eventually finished in third to add some more valuable points to his double victory on the opening IDM race weekend at Lausnitz. The three riders on the podium were only separated by one second.
KTM Superbike riders have had a sensational start to the International German superbike championship series with four straight victories from four races to take a lead in the rider standings and the Manufacturer’s title.
Matej Smrz: “The first race was very difficult. I didn’t get a good start and I was caught up in a group of fast riders. They there as the crash and its not nice when a team mate gets injured. When the race s started again I kept a bit of distance from Martin (Bauer) and then he dropped out of the race and I was able to go on and win. In the second race I attacked right from the beginning and was able to defend my lead right up to the finish.
Martin Bauer: I was in front in the first race right up to a handful of laps before the end. Then there was a technical problem that began in the start –finish straight. I held up my hand and rolled into the chicane and I can be lucky that I didn’t crash because the back wheel blocked. I was naturally very disappointed and I thought about how it was at Hockenheim last year when a possible triumph slipped through my fingers. In the second race there was a problem with the clutch on my second bike so I had a bad start. I thought ‘this cant be possible!’ but then I fought back and I gave it everything. In the end I just had Smrz and Muggeridge in front of me and with a cramp in my right thigh I wasn’t able to manage anything else.”
Stefan Nebel: I was in fourth place after a few rounds and then the guy in front of me crashed and I wasn’t able to avoid him. I crashed too but I managed to roll into the pit area but I had pain in my shoulder and at the Magdelburg hospital they said I have broken my collarbone.
The IDM 125 race was also one of mixed fortunes with KTM rider Toni Finsterbusch crashing out while in the lead to leave it to Sweden’s Alexander Kristiansson to be the fastest KTM on the track in third place. The Swedish rider was also third at Lausnitz and is third in the standings. Other creditable performances by KTM riders came from Austria’s Deni Cudic in sixth place while Germany’s Philipp Oettl was eighth.
Race One Superbike
1, Matej Smrz, Czech Republic, INGHART KTM SUPERBIKE Team Germany,
2, Michael Ranseder. Austria, BMW
3, Damian Cudin, Australia, BMW
4, Karl Muggeridge, Australia, Honda
5, Sascha Hommel Germany, Yamaha
Race Two Superbike
1, Matej Smrz, Czech Republic, INGHART KTM SUPERBIKE Team Germany
2, Karl Muggeridge, Australian, Honda
3, Martin Bauer, Austria, KTM Motorex
DNS Stefan Nebel
IDM Superbike Championship Points
1, Smrz, KTM 73 points
2, Bauer, KTM 66
3, Muggeridge, 62
4, Ranseder, 50
5, Cudlin, 48
8, Nebel, KTM, 26 points
*After four from 16 races, KTM leads the Manufacturers title with 145 points ahead of BMW with 98 and Honda with 76
1, Luca Amato, Germany, Aprilia
2, Jack Miller, Australia, Aprilia
3, Alexander Kristiansson, Sweden, KTM (also third in standings after 2 races)
4, Bryan Schouten, Netherlands, Honda
5, Max Eckner, Germany, Aprilia
6, Deni Cudic, Austria, KTM
8, Philipp Oettl, Germany, KTM
(KTM rider Toni Finsterbusch crashed out while in the lead)
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