Fabien Foret (Intermoto Step Kawasaki) secured the win at Imola despite pressure from behind in the final laps, making it two wins from two races in 2012 for the Ninja ZX-6R.
This was Fabien’s14th career win, his third for Kawasaki, the second Kawasaki win of 2012 after the Australian victory of Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki DeltaFin Lorenzini) meaning Kawasaki is leading the manufacturers’ championship by 14 points.
Kawasaki DeltaFin Lorenzini rider Sheridan Morais was also on course for a podium but fell at the final chicane while third, restarting to finish tenth. Kenan Sofuoglu had to use strong doses of painkillers to get into the grid but his injured left knee still caused him pain and some lack of movement. He too could have potentially won the race had he not run on while leading at the chicane opposite pitlane, be penalised with a ride through, then be disqualified for not coming into pit lane to serve his penalty.
Foret’s team-mate Romain Lanusse was 13th and in the points in Imola. In the overall championship standings Fabien leads with 45 points, from Sam Lowes, who is 14 points behind. Sofuoglu is now third, on an unchanged 25, while Morais leaves Imola seventh, with 16 points.
“This is a good track for me, I love Italy and we have had a great start to the season. The team worked very hard for me and gave me an excellent bike. It has not been the easiest weekend and I was sixth in qualifying, but it ended very well for me, the team and all of us.”
“I eventually lost the front and I was having a problem even when I was leading, because I made the same kind of mistake into the chicane and I there were about five or six laps where I kept running wide. That is where I crashed. I was basically struggling to stop for the chicane. I should maybe have calmed down a bit but I am here to win races, not here to finish third. I wanted to catch the two in front. I am trying hard and the only problem I was having for the race was stopping for the last chicane, otherwise the bike and the set-up were good.”
“In the race my plan was to make one lap see how my knee was and if I could continue I would continue. Before the race I had a lot of painkillers and I had less feelings on the bike. They final disqualified me because I had made a mistake at the chicane. They say if you make this mistake you have to go straight on, stop in that point, then restart. But it was impossible as I was into the corner, so I could not go straight. I think it is not fair because I was in first position, then dropped back to give four positions and two seconds away. But, I am not complaining, it is a decision from the organisation. I think I was maybe not fit enough to ride for the whole race in any case.”