Following his 'morale shattering' weekend in Italy, Shane Byrne and Sterilgarda Ducati recuperated some of their confidence at Kyalami with a more consistent performance from both rider and team. The Briton was an occasional top ten runner in practice, while he would go on to translate that into a ninth place finish in the opening race – only the fourth time this season he has finished inside the top ten. Although a mechanical woe prevented a repeat in race two, this can be put down to a better weekend.
Jakub Smrz – 14th, 10th
Gregorio Lavilla – 11th, 12th
Although a best of tenth place doesn't exactly reach the heights of their Assen podium, Guandalini Ducati enjoyed their first ever 'double-double' in that both of their riders scored in both races. Having seen his plans with the Pro Ride Honda team come to nothing, Gregorio Lavilla was a popular returnee to the paddock at Kyalami after being called upon to replace the injured Brendan Roberts. Also a return to Ducati for the former British Superbike Champion, Lavilla, who has raced at Kyalami before, didn't take long to get acquainted to his surroundings and was an immediate top ten performer in practice. Although he faded somewhat in qualifying and the races, Lavilla was still quicker than Roberts has been all season, begging the question as to whether they will look to keep the Spaniard on for a little longer… Jakub Smrz, meanwhile, saw his strong qualifying effort ruined by early issues in both races (those issues said to be run-ins with Ruben Xaus, according to the Spaniard). Nonetheless, tenth and 14th represents a good fight back from the Czech.
Sheridan Morais – 13th, 11th
Broc Parkes – 15th, 14th
One of the big stories of the World Superbike weekend was Sheridan Morais' World Superbike debut at Kawasaki. Having initially preferred to go solo with Broc Parkes, still struggling with his own injuries, Kawasaki made a late announcement that Morais would replace Makoto Tamada
after all. A rarity in that he has taken the ZX-10R to a Superbike title, while Morais has a few nondescript Superstock credits to his name, his knowledge of the bike and circuit made him a revelation throughout the weekend, the South African making the Kawasaki look like a top ten contender from the off. Although he didn't quite translate that in the races – not helped by a low attrition rate –, two good points finishes means Morais has more than made his mark on the team and the series. With Parkes also scoring just behind, it was Kawasaki's best weekend of the season, while it is also worth noting that Morais scored more in his first race than Tamada has managed all season so far…
David Salom – 20th, 16th
Luca Scassa – 17th, DNF
Making the most of the fact several of their more direct rivals didn't make the trip to Kyalami, Pedercini Kawasaki were chasing their third consecutive points finish in South Africa, but would fall just short. Still, it was a significant event for David Salom who had the edge on Luca Scassa, reached Superpole for the first time and just finished outside the points. Scassa might have fancied his chances of scoring too had he not fallen, but both looked fairly competitive on what was a more level playing field.
Tommy Hill – 19th, 17th
It has been eight races now since Tommy Hill last scored for the Althea Honda team, the Briton's decent start to the season now an increasingly distant memory. The problem seems to stem from race form because Hill once again participated in Superpole, qualifying 20th, but was out paced by Pedercini Kawasaki, a team he was comfortably quicker than a few rounds ago. Roll on Donington Park next month…
Celani Race Suzuki
Karl Muggeridge – 18th, DNF
A difficult weekend for Karl Muggeridge
and the Celani Suzuki team, the Australian rider couldn't capitalise on the various last minute substitutes and depleted competition to add to his points tally. Qualifying outside the top twenty, Muggeridge finished 18th in the first race before retiring in the second – chalk this one down to experience…
BMW Alpha Racing
Steve Martin – 22nd, 18th
Ruben Xaus – DNF, DNF
Having enjoyed their best results of the season at Monza, BMW would endure their toughest weekend yet at Kyalami. Not helped by the absence of Troy Corser, test rider Steve Martin
stepped in to take his place but while he had knowledge of both the circuit and the bike, he couldn't lift himself from the bottom of the field. Ruben Xaus, meanwhile, would have probably scored had he completed more than three laps all day, but the Spaniard could spend more time in the pit lane than on the track. Still, given their infancy, it is surprising that this is the first weekend BMW have failed to score all year.
Yamaha France Ipone
Shaun Whyte – 21st, 19th
Replacing David Checa, who is likely to compete in only the European rounds this season, Shaun Whyte was an interesting choice for Yamaha France GMT. Although the Zimbabwean's experience showed in the races as he was lapped, he was fairly competitive with the likes of Steve Martin
and Karl Muggeridge
in practice. A brief, but welcome, addition to the series.
DFX Corse Ducati
Regis Laconi – DNS, DNS
As one of the most popular riders in the World Superbike paddock, the revelation that Regis Laconi
was in an induced coma on Friday night after a crash at Kyalami was certainly met with great concern and worry. The Frenchman is beginning to get on the road to recovery, but with a broken vertebra, it isn't likely we will see him performing wonders on the DFX Ducati for some time. A massive shame given his form this year, we wish Regis all the best in his recovery process.