Pata Yamaha Enjoy Stunning Weekend in STK1000 at Magny-Cours
The Pata Yamaha Official STK1000 Team delivered a superb performance throughout the whole weekend in tricky conditions at Magny-Cours, round eight of the 2017 FIM Superstock 1000 European Championship. Florian Marino showed great pace in every session and put on an incredible display of riding during Sunday's race to finish in second, recording his fifth podium of the season in the process and re-establishing himself in the championship battle. His teammate Roberto Tamburini also impressed, securing pole position on Saturday and recovering brilliantly in Sunday's race after a tricky start to fight back to fourth.
The weather was mixed throughout the weekend at the Circuit Nevers de Magny-Cours, with it sunny and dry on Friday but damp and cold on Saturday and Sunday. Riding at his home round, Marino ended Friday's practice second on the combined timesheets and qualified at the head of the second row for Sunday's race. When the lights went out the 24-year-old French rider hit the front almost immediately and dominated the race, leading across the line for 13 of the 15 laps.
The local hero rode amazingly in front of the passionate French support, showing incredible consistency in his lap times and it looked like he would claim his maiden victory but, unfortunately, he lost out to his compatriot Jeremy Guarnoni in the final few corners in an excellent three-way battle for the win. He crossed the line in second place, just 0.414s behind Guarnoni to record his fifth podium of the season and is now second in the championship standings, with 120 points, eight points behind the leader Michael Ruben Rinaldi with just one race remaining. Marino, therefore, has the chance to be crowned the STK1000 champion at Jerez, although the Frenchman will head to Spain purely focused on performing at his best and claiming his first victory in the class.
His teammate Tamburini was third fastest overall in Friday's practice, just behind his teammate, but improved his pace on Saturday to claim his first pole position of the season. When the lights went out on Saturday, the 26-year-old Italian did not have the best of starts and was pushed wide, dropping down to seventh and by the end of the first lap. He responded immediately and got the hammer down, showing incredible pace to make his way through the pack. By lap 11 he was up to fourth but 2.5s behind his teammate in the lead.
With a clear track ahead of him, he brilliantly managed to close the gap to the leading trio but, unfortunately, ran out of laps and crossed the line in fourth, just 0.896s off the eventual race winner. This result sees Tamburini now fourth in the championship standings with 95 points and he is now just 14 points behind Toprak Razgatlioglu in third.
The Pata Yamaha Official STK1000 Team are back in action for the final round of the 2017 FIM Superstock 1000 European Championship at Jerez on the 20th-22nd of October. Check out the full race results from Magny-Cours.
Pata Yamaha Official STK1000 Team - 2nd +0.414s
"I am really happy! Especially as I have changed how I approach race weekends since Portimao and it is really working. I just go out there, try and enjoy it and give my best. That is exactly what I did in the race. I had nothing left and could not do anymore. Jeremy Guarnoni has been strong all weekend, with a good package, so fair play to him. I am just happy with the way we are working at the moment. We know we need to make a step with the bike, especially when it comes to grip, as I have been struggling with that for the last few rounds but we are working hard and we have some good data from this weekend, which should help. I will go to Jerez with the same attitude. I will give it my best and hopefully try to get my first win of the season. I am not really thinking about the championship as I feel you don't deserve to win a championship without winning a race. So, my only target at Jerez is to ride at my best and try to take the victory, for me, it is the only way I can win the championship. So, we will head to Jerez just focusing on trying to win the race and see what happens!"
Pata Yamaha Official STK1000 Team - 4th +0.896s
"It was a pretty good weekend! I was on pole, but at the beginning of the race, unfortunately, my start wasn't very good and between the first and second corners I had to roll off as other riders left me nowhere to go, so I lost quite a few positions. After that, I pushed a lot to recover the gap. My pace was very good, I was faster than the leaders but it took me until the last lap to close the gap and, unfortunately, I could not attack them before the race finished. I am a bit disappointed because we worked so well this weekend and I feel I had the pace to win the race but this can happen in racing. We must stay focused and work hard so that when we get to Jerez we can finish the championship in the best possible way. I want to say thanks to my team, Pata and Yamaha for their hard work this weekend, and I look forward to Jerez!"
Pata Yamaha Official STK1000 Team Manager
"It was a great weekend! Florian had a great race to finish in second and now he has a chance at winning the championship. Roberto rode brilliantly after a tricky start to recover the gap and his pace was incredible. This means we will head to Jerez full of confidence, as this weekend's results have confirmed the performance levels of the team with both riders fighting for the win and being at the top of the timesheets throughout the whole weekend. Now we have a chance to win the championship, so we will work hard to give both our riders the best possible packages for Jerez!"