The Spaniard overcame two disappointing rounds with sixth position in both US races
After a nearly inexplicable slump at Donington Park and Brno, Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team) is back amongst the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship’s best. At the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Fores managed two sixth places and was comfortably the best independent rider out on track throughout the weekend. While the Valencian rider couldn’t hit the heights of his early season form, when he took three podiums and was inches away from a first race win, Fores did show signs of having overcome the issues that had him lingering down the bottom end of the standings in the past two rounds.
Fores started Race 2 from the front row after his Saturday performance, but quickly fell back to fourth in the early stages, before being pushed back further by the surging row-three trio. An early crash for Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) pushed Fores up to sixth, where the Barni Racing man remained for the rest of Sunday, unable to keep up with the top five riders but never quite troubled by fellow Spaniard Jordi Torres (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) behind.
Speaking after the race, Fores was cautiously optimistic about his return to form: ““I missed a little bit of speed at the beginning of the race. I made a good start, but was overtaken too easily by other riders. Then after five laps, when I got my rhythm I was constant and following the Yamahas. After the last races, it was important to finish these two in the top-6. We’ll have to work hard to fight for the podium again, but we’re close”.
Seventh in the standings, Fores has managed to close the gap with Melandri to just 14 points ahead of Misano – the last round before the summer break, and a circuit which has been kind to the Valencian in the past: “Misano is a good fit for our bike. I like the track and in previous years I’ve always been in the top five, last year I was even leading the race before my bike broke down. I think that if we can find the feeling on the bike at the start of the race, then we can be in the fight for top-5 and the podium, because aside from Johnny, who is on another level at the moment, we’re all pretty close”.
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