A fantastic day of racing was witnessed at the Jerez Circuit in Spain on Sunday 17 April, where just two weeks after the MotoGP race took place, motorcycle racing fans flocked back in their thousands to see the first round of the 2011 CEV Buckler Spanish motorcycle racing championships. Around 130 riders were in action and competing across the four categories, including 125GP, Moto2, Stock Extreme and Kawasaki Ninja Cup.
For big sports bike fans, including those of the BMW RR, the Stock Extreme class is the one to watch, as it combines great competitiveness with affordable costs and includes all the major manufacturers in an impressive entry list of 38 riders.
Having successfully won the 2010 Spanish championship on the RR for the Motorrad Competición Team in the Stock Extreme class, former rider Javier Forés has left this hotly-contested series to try his luck in the 2011 Moto2 Championship that supports the MotoGP World Championship.
Catalan rider Javier Del Amor was on a Ducati last season but has signed to ride the BMW RR this year in a bid to retain the Spanish Stock Extreme championship for the Motorrad Competición Team. Having qualified on the second row in sixth place, he lined up alongside new team-mate Dani Rivas, who had impressively qualified on the front row, in third, for Sunday’s 17-lap race.
As it turned out, it was Kawasaki rider Santiago Barragán who rounded off a perfect weekend, taking the victory from pole position. After the best possible start to the race, early leader Barragán set a fast pace which initially only Dani Rivas was able to follow on his RR. Making his debut in the Stock Extreme category, Rivas managed to take the lead for a while, but Barragán responded to this attack by fighting back and retaking first position and then pulling a gap on the rookie BMW rider.
Behind this battle at the front, new RR recruit Xavier del Amor hadn’t made a good start on his #34 RR, but soon began to make amends. He caught and passed many riders, including his own team-mate Rivas, who he managed to get past with just three laps to go to finish second, with Rivas eventually placing third. The top privateer rider was Alejandro Mariñelarena, who won this category on a CNS Motorsport RR.
Considering it was one of the hardest weekends Javier del Amor has ever had, due to set-up problems in both practices and a crash on the Friday, which forced him to change to his spare RR, he was pleased to have finished on the podium, in second place.
“After the hard work throughout practices, especially after Friday’s fall, this podium tastes like victory,” said Del Amor. “Since I started from the back of the field, I’ve had a lot of work to do, but I was glad to be able to ride at a good race pace, eventually passing my teammate Dani Rivas.”
For Dani Rivas, who had led the race for three laps, it was a great debut in the category and he was delighted to achieve his first podium in his first race in the Stock Extreme Spanish Championship.
“I made a great start into second and tried to keep up with Barragan out in front,” said the #6 RR rider. “I decided to pass him as soon as I could in order to try to push forward and take an advantage. I was good while it lasted, but he retook the lead and then in the last part of the race I couldn’t ride so fast, and Del Amor passed me. Still, I managed to secure my first podium finish in Stock Extreme, so I’m very happy about how this weekend went as it’s my debut in the category.”
Other RR rider Alberto Lopez had started in 9th place on the third row, but ran a great race, improving lap-by-lap and shaving his lap times as he passed Casas, Rosell and Ferrer and finished in 6th place. The Cantabrian rider has not shown all of his potential yet, and he will undoubtedly improve on his RR for the next race.
With two BMW riders on the podium and a second and third place in the overall standings after the opening round, this is a strong start for the Motorrad Competición Team, who will next be in action at the second round of the CEV Buckler, which takes place on 7 May at the Motorland Aragón circuit.
More information on the Championship can be found at www.cevbuckler.com