14 December 2014
Noyes: I thought I was going to get it
Kenny Noyes claims second consecutive Superprestigio podium “means a little more” after leading majority of the Superfinal, won by MotoGP champion Marc Marquez
Having finished on the 'Superprestigio' podium for the second consecutive event, Kenny Noyes said his third place finish was the best possible way to finish 2014, a year in which he was crowned Spanish CEV Superbike champion.
Just three weeks on from his title success at the season-ender at Valencia, Noyes was a potential joker in the pack during the twelve lap 'Superfinal' dash. The American led for the first six laps before an aggressive Marc Marquez move at turn one pushed him back to third.
At one stage Noyes' participation in the final looked in serious doubt as a crash in his first heat left him in need of a win in the 'Last Chance Qualifier'. He duly won it, a commendable feat in his eyes considering his lack of practice time.
“We seemed to do things the hard way today,” said the 35-year old. “Crashing in the heat race and then having to win the semi to make the final. I'm going to try and make it more boring if I can next year! I haven't really had much rest. I won the championship, then went Michelin testing for three days in the rain and then started with all this.
"We got the bike pretty late. I only got three days on my actual race bike. I was still a little slower than Marc and Jared in the middle of the corner but I knew if I got a good start I would be right there.
"I think this year there was a lot more level and the podium means a little more because everyone was going at it so hard. I got hit all over the place. On every start I was getting banged by guys [and] they weren't going off line like last year. Everybody had their bikes dialled and I think it's only going to grow from here. I think Marc's going to keep doing it.”
Noyes' early lead in the 'Superfinal' came courtesy of a first corner melee that claimed Frenchman Thomas Chareyre and so nearly saw both Marquez and Mees collected. Speaking just after the race Noyes revealed his line into turn one was a ploy used by Mees.
“It [the first corner] was beautiful,” he beamed. “I was actually going to line up on the outside of Marc and Jared said, 'Hey, line up in here!' I was thinking, 'You're either tricking me or you're going to open up a hole.' And he did. Also when I started on the outside I got pushed out a bunch of times so I thought I was going on the inside. For a moment there I thought I was going to get it. Just these guys were a little too quick.
"Once Marc was in front of him, Jared couldn't get him. I was watching – they were getting away from me a little bit – and thinking, 'Man, I hope Jared goes up the inside and knocks him off again!'”
Rumours abounded before the racing started that Marquez's 450 Honda had some trick elements, including 'factory' front forks and special working electronics. Noyes insisted he wouldn't be surprised if that were the case.
“I believe it! I believe they threw everything they had at it. But then again at the Rancha de Canudas, my training ranch, Brad [Baker] went out there and cut ten super fast laps then went on Tito's bike and cut the same laps. There's a portion of technology in the set up but I'm using 2001 R6 forks. If I were Marc I'd have everything there was. It's amazing because the whole team got behind him too. I mean Honda called him! When's the last time Honda called a dirt tracker?”
Finally, Noyes reserved special praise for Marquez, winner of the event. The American is adamant that the 21-year old could win at any two-wheeled discipline he tried.
“Everybody has just seen Marc race road racing. I've seen him motocross. I've seen him dirt track. I said to him on the podium, 'Next year we're doing trials!' Maybe then he'd look bad. Everything else he's amazing.”
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