Noyes Wins In Spain

Paul Carruthers | November 16, 2008

The following is from Kenny Noyes’ publicist…

It may have looked relatively easy on Spanish TV, but there were anxious moments for Spanish-born American Kenny Noyes at the start of what would be his first win at the Circuit de Catalunya, his “home track” just north of Barcelona.

A clutch failure in the morning warm-up meant that Noyes had to start from second on the grid on his Palmeto Kawasaki ZX 10R with a new, untried, clutch. He spent lap one babying it as it slipped slightly, but by the start of lap two the clutch was working properly and Noyes attacked, moving from fourth to second and then into the lead on lap three.

Over the next three Noyes battled with reigning national Extreme Champion Carmelo Morales and Javier del Amor (both riding for Laglisse Yamaha) and after the two Yamaha riders had each had a turn in the lead, Noyes took over again. He would lead the final eleven laps to the flag.

Morales chased, closing on occasion in the slipstream of the Kawasaki down the long home straight that saw the leaders break the 180 mile-per-hour barrier. Noyes took a gap of 0.066 on lap five and gradually increased it to .4 of a second by lap 11.

The Palmeto team, however, was more worried about fellow Kawasaki runner, Ivan Silva, who had started on the pole. While Morales began to drop back over the final laps, Silva was now third and closing on Morales, and when Noyes saw that the gap over Silva was only 1.3, he upped the pace taking that gap to the gap to 1.6 with two laps to go before letting off slightly to bring the green bike home. At the end it was a “comfortable” 1.316-second victory margin.

The win, his first since Jerez de la Frontera, the final round of 2008, was seen from trackside by Masao Kawasaki, President of Kawasaki Spain. The direct descendent of the factory founder was celebrating his birthday and was delighted to see a Kawasaki one-two. Top Michelin executives who had flown in for the race were also on hand to see the two Kawasaki riders dominate on the latest 17-inch Michelin race tires. Morales, on Dunlop, had his two-race winning streak broken, but extended his lead in the points table over Bernat Martinez (T.B. Yamaha) who was fifth.

The win moves Kenny up to fourth in the series with two races to go, but two DNF´s earlier in the season in the short, seven-race series mean that the Barcelona-based American can only overcome the advantage if he wins the final two rounds and Morales fails to score in one race and finishes no better than eighth in the other. A long shot, but an easy strategy to follow.

Winner, best lap 1:45.802

“This morning we lost a clutch in the warm-up and I had to start with a new one that was slipping on the warm-up lap. You have to take it a little easy with these clutches when they are new so I had to start the race carefully. That wasn’t my original plan. I wanted to jump out and get an early lead, but until the clutch was working well I had to wait.

I was fourth on lap one back of Morales, del Amor and de Gea. We traded the lead a bit but when I finally got back in front I was able to push and gradually start dropping Morales. Over the second half of the race. Kind of the opposite of what happened in the last race in Albacete when he broke us a bit at half distance and this time it was the other way around. In Albacete we were kinda caught between tire compounds because of the temperature, but here the tires worked all the way.

I was watching my board every lap and keeping track of where Silva was because he was on the same Michelins as I was and I expected him to be strong at the end. I never let him get close and it was really, except for the clutch problem, a perfect race.

I want to thank the Palmeto Kawasaki team, Piero and the whole Michelin team, and my suspension technician Federico de Marco who helped me so much to set the bike up so it would be strong on used tires over the final laps. “



Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.