Ondřej Ježek secures a further championship point in Imola.

Ondřej Ježek, the Czech Republic’s sole WSBK competitorcompleted his best qualifying sessions of the season so far, as well as securing an additional championship point at this weekend’s Imola round. During testing of the team’s new enginethe Guandalini Racing rider had to deal with further associated technical issues. It became clear that after the unit’s installation the electronics were not yet set optimally, significantly reducing machine rideabilityAdditionally, during Saturday’s race the exhaust broke for the fourth time of the weekend.  In spite of the issues he finished in eighteenth place in Saturday’s race and fifteenth, in the second outing, on Sunday. 

Ondřej firmly believes that the team will be able use the data and experience gained to further improve the performance of his machine for the next race in Donington. With three points he currently sits in twenty second place of the overall championship.             

On Friday afternoon, after the first practice, Ondřej described the experience: “The new engine goes like crazy, which is very positive but we must re-tune the electronics which are hampering us in the session. I also suffered a ruptured exhaust, so I put in one fast lap and in spite of a couple of mistakes of my own I managed to set a better time than last year. ”  

Saturday morning brought the remaining free practice and qualifying sessions I was satisfied with qualification ending up in twentieth place, beating two riders and very close to others. I made my best qualification of this season so far. After consulting with the team, we decided to keep the same setup for the race 

The beginning of race one, that afternoon, started well and Ondřej’s first four laps were run amongst the front group of riders. “Then the electronics set up came into play with me losing rear wheel grip and I began to slow down. It was particularly bad in the corners, so I had to be right on the limit just to keep in touch with Hernandez. The ride was pretty debilitating and during my last two laps the exhaust blew, for the fourth time of the weekend and as such I finished eighteenth 

The day did bring some good news, however, with Ondřej’s Superstock 1000 pole position record, set in 2015, not being surpassed and thus remains in place.


The remainder of Saturday, Ondrej devoted to the physical recuperation his left hand, which was almost immobile after permanent combat with the bike during the race. Meanwhile, the team mechanics examined the data to adjust engine braking, traction control and other parameters affecting the machine’s optimum handling.


On Sunday, the sun was baking the track and consequently grip levels fellOndra did take his next world championship point, although it was again not easy. “The bike was behaving quite oddly this time. In third gear it would lift the front and wheelie. I tried to adapt to it for a little while but to no great effect and thus adopted a strategy of short shifting into fourth. This meant that I would lose out in the straights but still I got past Leonov and then through Jacobsen. Hernanadez was in sight, but I was repassed by Jacobsen, whom I was unable to stay with, especially on corner exits.   Ondra thus completed the second race of the weekend in fifteenth place, taking the last points scoring position. 

Imola confirmed that the replacement of the engine on the Yamaha was the correct moveFor the next race in Donington (UK) the team mechanics will have a lot of work with data evaluation and tuning the electronics. As Ondřej himself explains “Setting the motorcycle properly is almost like alchemy. The mechanics must examine data parameters point by point, check the base settings for the behavior of the new motor and adapt the electronics. It is really a very complicated process, which can drive you more than just a little bit crazy 


First Race Results From Imola:
1. J. REA                 GBR        Kawasaki ZX-10RR       33’58.989
2. T. SYKES            GBR        Kawasaki ZX-10RR              + 3.755
3. M. MELANDRI ITA         Ducati Panigale R                 + 6.906
4. C. DAVIES          GBR       Ducati Panigale R                 + 8.191
5. X. FORES           ESP         Ducati Panigale R               + 15.550
18. O. JEŽEK      CZE        Yamaha YZF R1       + 1:07.522

Second Race Results From Imola:
1. J. REA                 GBR        Kawasaki ZX-10RR       34’03.420
2. C. DAVIES         GBR        Ducati Panigale R                 + 4.019
3. T. SYKES            GBR        Kawasaki ZX-10RR              + 9.530
4. X. FORES           ESP         Ducati Panigale R               + 15.479
15. O. JEŽEK      CZE        Yamaha YZF R1       + 1:09.455