-- World SBK 2013 - Round 11 - Intercity Istanbul Park
-- Hard-contested Tissot-Superpole goes to Tom Sykes
The eni FIM Superbike World Championship riders could enjoy a dry and sunny Tissot-Superpole at the Intercity Istanbul Park, after the rainy morning that had slowed down their work at the Turkish venue. Track conditions allowed riders to push to the limit, resulting in a significant improvement in terms of lap times.
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) scored his 7th Tissot-Superpole of the season – the 18th of his career – after a thrilling finale that involved his main rival for the title Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team). Sykes was the first rider to break into the 1'54s early in the final session, but the Frenchman tried his best to outperform the rival during his last quick-lap attempt, eventually finishing behind the Brit for just 0.022 seconds.
Tom Sykes: “I am happy because this is a circuit I had never been to before and I only got two practice sessions yesterday. I am fighting a bit of a cold but the changes we made to the bike set-up last night were positive, the team great job and we went in the right direction. We just need to see if we can put this to good use tomorrow. It is funny how it goes because Sylvain Guintoli will be beside me on the grid. It seems we have been fighting all season, in qualifying and races, so it looks like it is going the distance!”
Sylvain Guintoli: “We were really close to pole, but during my last lap I did a few small mistakes that probably cost me those 22 thousands of a second. It would have been good to be on pole, but the most important thing is to start the races from the front row. I felt immediately at ease on this track and I think we can target some good results tomorrow. As I said the battle for the title has entered the crucial stage, I'm expecting two exciting races on a track that's pretty much new to everyone."
The two riders will be joined tomorrow, on the first row of the grid, by Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Aprilia), who got the better of Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team). The Irishman could not repeat the 1'54.9 set in Superpole 2, a time that would have helped him to finish in the top-3.
WSBK debutant Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) put up an impressive performance by ending up in fifth place - and only a 0.674 seconds gap from pole-sitter - ahead of Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki), Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet). Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike and Aussie Mark Aitchison (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) completed the top-10.
Tissot-Superpole times: 1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'54.872 average 167.351 kph; 2. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1'54.894; 3. Giugliano (Aprilia) 1'55.073; 4. Laverty (Aprilia) 1'55.340; 5. Elias (Aprilia) 1'55.546; 6. Cluzel (Suzuki) 1'55.614; 7. Melandri (BMW) 1'56.402; 8. Davies (BMW) 1'56.416; 9. Haslam (Honda) 1'56.463; 10. Aitchison (Kawasaki) 1'57.001; 11. Sandi (Kawasaki) 1'57.329; 12. Fabrizio (Honda) 1'57.371; 13. Uprak (Kawasaki) 2'02.469; 14. Ercelik (BMW) 2'04.070; 15. Iannuzzo (BMW) 2'39.610.
-- World Supersport
Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) delighted his home fans by securing the pole position after WSS Qualifying 2 at Intercity Istanbul Park. The Turk clocked in 1'58.380 seconds, showing an outstanding form onboard his ZX-6R. Sofuoglu dictated the pace this afternoon, while Championship leader Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha) had to play catch-up, eventually finishing second with a 0.382 s gap from pole.
Rookie Christian Iddon (ParkinGO MV Agusta Corse) edged out Florian Marino (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki) from first row at the very last second, while Kev Coghlan (DMC-Lorenzini Kawasaki) was fifth ahead of David Salom (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki) and Pata Honda duo of Lorenzo Zanetti and Michael van der Mark. Team Lorini Honda riders completed the top-10: Raffaele De Rosa was only 0.029 seconds faster than team mate Roberto Tamburini, who had a crash at Turn 8 in the early stages.
The session was red-flagged with less than four minutes to go, as Fabien Foret (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) and Fabio Menghi (VFT Racing Yamaha) crashed unhurt at Turn 12. The Italian lost control of his YZF-R6 also in the first part of Qualifying 2, that time at turn number eight.
Times: 1. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 1'58.380 average 162.392 kph; 2. Lowes (Yamaha) 1'58.762; 3. Iddon (MV Agusta) 1'59.438; 4. Marino (Kawasaki) 1'59.595; 5. Coghlan (Kawasaki) 1'59.655; 6. Salom (Kawasaki) 1'59.672; 7. Vd Mark (Honda) 1'59.785; 8. Zanetti (Honda) 1'59.826; 9. De Rosa (Honda) 1'59.842; 10. Tamburini (Honda) 1'59.871; 11. Foret (Kawasaki) 1'59.970; 12. Leonov (Yamaha) 2'00.166; 13. Kennedy (Honda) 2'00.179; 14. Rolfo (MV Agusta) 2'00.327; 15. Scassa (Kawasaki) 2'00.351; etc.
-- Fixi Suzuki Report
FIXI Crescent Suzuki's Jules Cluzel will start tomorrow's Turkish round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship from the second row of the grid after qualifying in sixth-place today.
Cluzel progressed to the Superpole courtesy of yesterday's qualifying time, after rain on the 5,340m Intercity Istanbul circuit made it impossible for any riders to improve this morning. The French rookie also sat out most of the second free practice due to the wet conditions, but as the track dried in the later stages he was able to post a couple of fast laps that saw him finish second on the timesheets. In Superpole 1 Cluzel comfortably advanced to the next session with the seventh fastest time, a feat he equalled in Superpole 2. In the final Superpole he posted a time of 1'55.614 on his Pirelli qualifying tyre, which was good enough to see him and the Yoshimura-powered GSX-R finish in sixth, just over 0.7 seconds behind pole-setter Tom Sykes.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki will only have one representative on the grid for tomorrow's two races after Leon Camier was forced to withdraw following his huge crash and subsequent operation yesterday. He was released from hospital this morning after surgery to insert screws, pins and wires into seven fractures in his right foot. Camier returned to the circuit to be with the team and will return to Andorra soon to begin his recuperation.
Tomorrow will see the first World Superbike races ever held in Turkey, the first of which gets underway at 13.00hrs local time (11.00hrs BST) with the second 18-lap instalment starting at 14.30hrs local time (12.30hrs BST).
Jules Cluzel: "I am happy with Superpole, but a little bit disappointed because I think third or fourth was possible. I was not able to make the perfect lap, which was all my own fault. I tried some different stuff and sometimes it was working for me and sometimes not. We also tried some different traction and I was not really sure about it, so probably didn't push hard enough. I think it was certainly possible to be fourth, but this would have changed nothing as it is still the second row and I'm happy to be there. I am looking forward to tomorrow and hope we'll have a good feeling with the race tyre. Hopefully it will be dry for warm-up and we will try more laps with the race tyre to see how it performs."
"It was good to see Leon out of hospital and back at the track, I hope he gets well quickly and is back on the bike soon - it is good to have him on the other side of the garage and I will miss him."
Paul Denning - Team Manager: "Today has been a strange day for the team in many ways here in Istanbul. Both of this morning's sessions were meaningless due to intermediate track conditions, so the only serious running has been the three very short Superpole sessions. That hasn't given Jules and his crew an awful lot to go on in terms of making the necessary improvements from yesterday, but it does look like some of the key points that they have been targeting have been dealt with and clearly Jules was able to find enough confidence to post a good enough lap - despite it not being perfect - and end up on the second-row. This will give him a good opportunity to get involved with the fastest riders tomorrow.
"Leon has been with us most of the day at the track. The condition of his foot is really not pleasant and on top of that he has been pretty ill coming out of the anaesthetic and the after-effects of the operation. Hopefully he'll be feeling better tomorrow and will be able to be with the team at the circuit and start the first steps of his rehabilitation."
-- Aprilia Racing
The Aprilia Racing riders had shown a promising feeling on the Turkish track at Istanbul from the start. Although it was preceded by two odd sessions with the riders waiting in their garages due to the wet track, the Superpole sessions this afternoon confirmed yesterday’s suspicions: Sylvain Guintoli just missed the pole by 22 thousandths of a second after an almost perfect lap, while Eugene Laverty wasn’t quite able to make the grade with his second qualifying tyre although he did finish with a strong fourth best time.
Aprilia’s domination was confirmed by the final positions of the two “satellite” RSV4s: Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) will start from the third spot on the grid and Toni Elias (Red Devils), making his Superbike début on the missile from Veneto, took a promising fifth place.
With a gap of just one point from the top spot in the standings, Sylvain Guintoli had made no secret of his ambitions for this Superpole. Comforted by the times he put on the boards yesterday and after being the fasted rider during the free practice sessions leading up to Superpole, the French rider easily came through the first two sessions. He aggressively took on his challengers in the top nine, succumbing only to the “specialist” Sykes, even admitting that he made a few small mistakes in the fast lap. In any case Sylvain takes home an excellent starting position for the two races tomorrow and he certainly has the tools to be able to aim for the top step of the podium.
Sylvain Guintoli: “We came really close today. On my last lap I made a few small errors that may have cost me those 22 thousandths. It would have been nice to take the pole, but the most important thing is to start from the front row. I felt at home on this track straight away and I think tomorrow I’ll be able to aim for two good results. As I already said, the battle for the championship is really getting heated up now, so there should be two exciting races tomorrow on a track which is basically new for everyone”.
Eugene Laverty also put in an excellent performance, steadily improving throughout the weekend until arriving just short of the podium in Superpole. The rider from Toomebridge put in the fastest time in Superpole 2, which was the best possible way to come through to the final session. Unfortunately Eugene struggled a bit with his second qualifying tyre taking the first spot on the second row of the grid. The two races tomorrow promise to be quite heated for him as well tomorrow with an excellent chance for a podium finish.
Eugene Laverty: “I put in the best time in Superpole 2 but I wasn’t able to repeat the performance in the last session. In any case, fourth place is nothing to look down on and tomorrow looks like it will be a battle between four riders where we’ll all be able to make a play for it. Race 1 should be especially interesting because none of us were really able to lap a lot today on race tyres since the track was wet, so that will make things even more uncertain”.
-- BMW Report
It was not a particularly easy Saturday for the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team at “Intercity Istanbul Park” (TUR). Due to the weather conditions the track action was mainly reduced to the Superpole qualifying in the afternoon, causing a loss of precious track time for the squad. Factory riders Marco Melandri (ITA) and Chaz Davies (GBR) will start tomorrow’s first ever Superbike races on Turkish soil from seventh and eighth on the third row respectively. The “Intercity Istanbul Park” hosts the 11th round of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship.
It was raining during this morning's second qualifying practice and Marco and Chaz opted not to go out on track along with many other riders. For the free practice at midday, the rain had stopped but conditions were still wet. The BMW duo spent most of the session in the garage waiting for the surface to dry and only went out on track shortly on their BMW S 1000 RRs.
In the afternoon, it was sunny again and Superpole started with dry conditions. Both Marco and Chaz did their first outing on race tyres. Chaz’ lap time was good enough to bring him into Superpole 2 and he returned to the garage after a couple more flying laps. Marco was on course to set the fastest time on his first lap but crashed in the final sector. He re-joined and rode back to the pits. With six minutes to go, he started a second attempt, again on race tyres. He set the second fastest time of the session and progressed to Superpole 2. In the next session, it took Marco one outing on race tyres to qualify for the final and deciding session. Chaz went out twice, once on race tyres and then on qualifying tyres to reach Superpole 3. In the final session, Marco put in his first qualifying tyre but he returned to the pits immediately to change to his second. With this, he set the seventh fastest time. Chaz only went out with five minutes to go, using his second qualifying tyre. But he had a sensor failure and qualified eighth, only a few thousandths of a second behind Marco.
Marco Melandri: Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:56.749 min (P2) / Fastest lap FP: no timed lap / Fastest lap Superpole 3: 1:56.402 min (P7)
“I expected a better result because on race tyres we were quite fast, on a single flying lap as well, as we saw in Superpole 1. But we were not able to improve the time with the qualifying tyres because as soon as we put those on the bike became difficult to ride. I am looking forward to tomorrow in a positive way. The bike works better with race tyres, so this is an advantage. But tomorrow's races will be quite unpredictable. We have two new types of tyres and it will be important to choose the right one. The races will be very long. I am not starting from a good position and I will have to attack. To be fast on this track you have to ride smoothly and this is my riding style, so overall I'm quite optimistic for tomorrow.”
Chaz Davies: Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:57.391 min (P7) / Fastest lap FP: 2:22.625 min (P11) / Fastest lap Superpole 3: 1:56.416 min (P8)
“This afternoon we finally got some dry weather but unfortunately we did not seem to have a lot of luck. In the first Superpole, I struggled with the grip of the rear tyre. We made some changes and chose a different tyre in Superpole 2 and it was much better. But in Superpole 3 I immediately felt that there was an issue. There was a sensor failure in the shifting system and I had to use the clutch again. That did not allow me to push as I wanted to so unfortunately we are eighth on the grid. We definitely did not show our potential and I think we were capable of front row or maybe just the sharp end of the second row. Tomorrow will be quite interesting. I think a lot of people are in the dark a bit. I guess no one has done a full race distance so far. In addition, the circuit is changing every time you go out, so tomorrow there could be more grip but it could also be harder on the tyres. The main thing is to make a good start and then we will see.”
Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team): “We are not satisfied with today’s Superpole. We expected a better result, consistent with what we had shown in the other qualifying sessions. Unfortunately with Marco we were not able to make best use of the qualifying tyres, while Chaz had bad luck with a sensor and could not improve his lap time. The results penalise us a bit. Tomorrow we will start from the third row and this does not help our riders. Anyway, we are quite confident for tomorrow’s races. Both our riders were quite fast with race tyres and the races will be long and difficult for everyone. It will be important to have a good start and immediately gain positions. Tomorrow we will see two interesting races, for sure.”
Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team): “Honestly we cannot be satisfied with today as we could not work as we had planned due to the bad weather conditions. We could not evaluate the changes to the settings and we could not properly test the tyres to select which one we will use in the race. Also, we are not happy with the Superpole. Chaz had a sensor issue which slowed his performance a bit and Marco had quite a lot of vibrations with the qualifying tyre so he could not improve compared to his best lap time with the race tyre. Considering what we have seen today as race pace, I think tomorrow we can expect good results and performances from our riders. For sure, starting from the third row won’t help so a good start will be very important and we will work on this in the warm-up tomorrow.”
-- Kawasaki Report
Sykes and his Kawasaki crew made set-up improvements to his Ninja ZX-10R overnight and they paid off for Tom on track, even though bad weather earlier in the day lost Tom valuable time at a circuit he had never ridden on before this weekend.
Using the first Superpole session, held in dry conditions, to verify the new set-up Sykes was fastest in the first and last of three Superpole contests, taking a narrow but important advantage of 0.022 seconds over his main championship rival Sylvain Guintoli.
Sykes’ reputation as the modern day Superpole maestro continued this weekend. He scored his seventh pre-race ‘win’ of the year in 11 attempts, took his career Superpole total to 18 and in doing so became the fourth most successful qualifier in the history of SBK racing in his own right. He only needs three more Superpole wins to equal the career total of SBK legend Carl Fogarty, who has 21 pole positions.
KRT rider Loris Baz will not ride this weekend to continue his recovery from injuries sustained at the previous round. Mark Aitchison (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) took 10th spot on the grid with Federico Sandi (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) 11th.
Tom Sykes: “I am happy because this is a circuit I had never been to before and I only got two practice sessions yesterday. I lost two sessions today to the weather so considering all this I am happy. I am fighting a bit of a cold but the changes we made to the bike set-up last night were positive. My crew chief Marcel and all the guys at Kawasaki do a great job and we went in the right direction. We were able to try the adjustments early in Superpole and it was clear to see we had a good direction. We just need to see if we can put this to good use tomorrow. It is funny how it goes because Sylvain Guintoli is right beside me on the grid tomorrow. It seems we have been fighting all season, in qualifying and races, so it looks like it is going the distance!”
-- Friday................Sylvain Guintoli the fastest in Day 1
The first-ever qualifying session for the Eni FIM Superbike World Championship at the Intercity Istanbul Park took place this afternoon, under sunny skies and warm temperatures. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team), still second in the standings with a one-point gap from leader Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) - after the CDI decision on the appeal lodged by Aprilia following Race 2 at Monza (May 12th) - set the fastest time in 1'56.190 seconds.
The Frenchman led a pack of four riders still in contention for the title, as Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet), who was also second in first free practice behind Guintoli, got the better of third place Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) and Tom Sykes. WSBK debutant Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) proved to be already on a good pace by ending up fifth, with a second gap from the lead, at his second outing onboard the RSV4, despite a technical problem.
Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) managed to secure the sixth spot, followed by Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet), Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Aprilia) and Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike). Haslam's new team mate Michel Fabrizio was tenth, as the Italian is still getting to grips with the CBR1000RR.
Leon Camier will sit out the rest of the weekend, due to the consequences of the heavy crash he had in the first free practice. The FIXI Crescent Suzuki rider suffered seven bones fractured in his right foot, and he's currently undergoing surgery at the local hospital. Team Ducati Alstare duo of Carlos Checa and Ayrton Badovini did not get on track either, as they both crashed in the morning's session. The Spaniard has been declared unfit to race (left scaphoid fracture), while the Italian rider's conditions are still to be reviewed (left ankle bone contusion). Max Neukirchner (MR-Racing Ducati) injured his right hand (4th and 5th metarcarpal base fracture): the German rider is unfit to race, too. Moreover, Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) was not medically cleared by doctors, after the back injury suffered at Nurburgring, meaning he had to withdraw from the round.
Sylvain Guintoli: “I usually take things steadily, but today I decided to push hard from the beginning as I felt immediately comfortable on the bike. I was missing something at Nurburging, but here I don’t want to waste any chance. The two races are definitely going to be hot and crucial for the title fight, as all top-4 riders in the standings are up there. It’ll be really important to do a good job for Sunday.”
Marco Melandri: “It was quite a good day, even if it was not easy. The track conditions were much different to what I remember, many riders crashed so I decided not to take unnecessary risks. The conditions are improving and by Sunday it might be completely different, weather and grip-wise, but I am happy with my race pace and, even with used tyres, I was able to be consistent. It will be difficult to make the right tyre choice for the race, though. We still have a lot of work to do.”
Times: 1. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1'56.190 average 165.453 kph; 2. Melandri (BMW) 1'56.749; 3. Laverty (Aprilia) 1'56.949; 4. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'57.170; 5. Elias (Aprilia) 1'57.206; 6. Cluzel (Suzuki) 1'57.222; 7. Davies (BMW) 1'57.391; 8. Giugliano (Aprilia) 1'57.649; 9. Haslam (Honda) 1'57.699; 10. Fabrizio (Honda) 1'58.340; 11. Aitchison (Kawasaki) 1'58.588; 12. Sandi (Kawasaki) 1'58.817; 13. Iannuzzo (BMW) 2'00.944; 14. Uprak (Kawasaki) 2'03.008; 15. Ercelik (BMW) 2'04.231.
Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha) wasted no time in learning the Intercity Istanbul Track, as the Championship leader was the fastest in first qualifying for World Supersport, after leading also the morning's free practice session.
The British rider clocked in 2'00.000 seconds, a perfect lap-time in all ways, as Lowes managed to put 0.678 seconds gap between himself and local rider Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki), who was able to climb the timesheets in the closing stages of Qualifying 1.
One Event rider for Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki, Florian Marino, was third ahead of Italian Roberto Tamburini (Team Lorini Honda), who raced on this track before in 2006 and 2007 (125 cc World Championship). Spaniard David Salom (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki) ended up fifth, followed by Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport) and Raffaele De Rosa (Team Honda Lorini) who both also know the track from past experiences, and Zanetti's team mate Michael van der Mark.
No crashes in this session, but two technical problems that occurred to Vladimir Leonov (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha) and Fabio Menghi (VFT Racing Yamaha).
Times: 1. Lowes (Yamaha) 2'00.000 average 160.200 kph; 2. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 2'00.678; 3. Marino (Kawasaki) 2'00.798; 4. Tamburini (Honda) 2'00.802; 5. Salom (Kawasaki) 2'00.834; 6. Zanetti (Honda) 2'00.872; 7. De Rosa (Honda) 2'00.982; 8. Vd Mark (Honda) 2'01.147; 9. Coghlan (Kawasaki) 2'01.156; 10. Scassa (Kawasaki) 2'01.165; 11. Rolfo (MV Agusta) 2'01.258; 12. Menghi (Yamaha) 2'01.273; 13. Quarmby (Honda) 2'01.376; 14. Baldolini (Suzuki) 2'01.454; 15. Foret (Kawasaki) 2'01.491; etc.
-- Pata Honda Report
Leon Haslam and Michel Fabrizio, who is replacing the injured Jonathan Rea, finished in ninth and tenth places respectively at Istanbul Park circuit in Turkey this afternoon after the opening qualifying for Sunday’s two 11th-round World Superbike championship races.
The 5.340km circuit on the Asian side of Istanbul is new to many SBK riders and Haslam and Fabrizio spent this morning’s extended free practice session familiarizing themselves with its combination of corners and marked elevation changes.
As this afternoon’s qualifying session began, both Pata Honda riders began to attack the circuit more but will require tomorrow’s qualifying and free practice session to fine-tune the settings on their Honda CBR1000RR machines for Sunday’s two 18-lap races.
Leon Haslam – P9 1m57.699s - "I’m really enjoying this new track. It was a little dusty first thing and there wasn’t much grip out there but it was getting better this afternoon. I felt pretty good this morning and got into a good rhythm but, when I went out this afternoon, we’d gone the wrong way with the setting. It was such that we couldn’t change back so we tried a few things and gathered some data and that was it. My quickest lap was the second one out so we were kind of resigned to it. We’ve got a good plan for tomorrow though, so I’m looking forward to going through it all tonight and getting out there again in the morning."
Michel Fabrizio – P10 1m58.340s - "I am quite happy. The circuit is fantastic but I don’t have much feeling for it yet – the layout is quite difficult but I am enjoying riding it and learning more with each lap. It’s also step-by-step with the bike. I haven’t really changed anything with the bike yet. This morning I was three seconds from the front, now it’s two. Tomorrow morning, hopefully one, and then we are close! The bike is very good but I don’t want to upset Jonathan with many changes yet!"
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator - ?We lost quite a lot of time this morning with Michel’s bike with some technical issues, which should not have been the case. He took it fairly easy this morning and we asked him to push on a bit this afternoon. There are some issues with the setting now that we need to work on – the front end, for example, and we need to find some more rear grip. All in all though, it was a solid day and we’ll hope for another one tomorrow! It looked quite promising for Leon for most of the day and he was always in the group of fastest riders. Unfortunately, he ended up ninth and, although he’s close to the riders immediately in front, we’d hoped to fine four tenths with a new tyre. That didn’t happen, but we’re finding our way with some issues he had this afternoon so that should improve the bike in order for him to improve the lap time tomorrow."
-- Suzuki Report
FIXI Crescent Suzuki had a very eventful first day at the eni FIM Superbike World Championship in Turkey which saw Leon Camier in hospital awaiting an operation on a broken foot and Jules Cluzel end the day in a respectable sixth position.
Camier had a high-speed high-side on the dusty and slippery Istanbul Park during the early stages of this morning's first free practice session. He was immediately examined by the Clinica Mobile doctors, where a fracture of the right foot was identified and he was transferred to hospital for further scans to assess the level of the injury. Following in-depth examinations Camier was diagnosed with seven fractures of his right foot which will require an operation to pin some of the breaks this evening. He will miss the remainder of this weekend and will return home to begin his rehabilitation and make a racing comeback as soon as possible.
Cluzel immediately got up-to-pace at the 5,340m Turkish circuit and topped the leader-board at the beginning of the first practice, as he put his previous experience of the track to good use. He again made further steps in this afternoon's first qualifying session and finished the day in sixth place, just a second away from the fastest time set by Sylvain Guintoli. Cluzel is looking to make further advances tomorrow on his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R and be in a position to challenge the top-five on race-day.
The French rookie will have one more qualifying session tomorrow morning to secure his position in Superpole and then battle it out in the afternoon to get the best grid position for Sunday's two 18-lap races.
Jules Cluzel: "It has been a long day because we had a 90-minute session this morning, which was good because we were able to ride a little bit more. The track was really dirty at the beginning of the day and it was really slippery, which made it difficult to understand what to do on the bike, so I waited a bit before pushing too hard. I tried not to use too many tyres this morning so that I had more for the rest of the weekend. I think it is a good thing to use a tyre and understand its life for the race and we were able to do that today. I do have an issue in the electronics; it's hard for me to understand as I don't have much experience, but I have had the problem here and at Nurburgring, so we need to work on that and understand what is happening. I am one-second from the fastest rider, but my pace is good, although I am not too comfortable yet so I need to do something about that and get more stability tomorrow and for the races.
"Leon had some bad luck this morning and had a massive high-side. I looked to see where it happened and it was really fast. I hope he is ok and will be back racing soon. I think he is not so lucky to crash, but he is lucky to not be too injured from such a big crash. I hope that he is back at the race-track tomorrow."
Paul Denning - Team Manager: "The whole FIXI Crescent Suzuki team has been working really hard all season to improve the level of the GSX-R and get amongst the podium fight and we have managed to meet a lot of the performance targets, but unfortunately the black cloud of bad luck that has followed Leon around - pretty much all season - has struck with a vengeance in the last two weekends. The Nurburgring incident was bad enough, but today's accident on a very green and slippery circuit, when he wasn't even pushing for any lap-time, has really taken the wind out of the team's sails. Leon is basically ok and the injuries are relatively minor, but they will still take some significant time and effort to recover from. He and the team - I genuinely believe - deserve something better, but we can only deal with what is in front of us, be completely positive; and move forward.
"Jules has had some problems finding the right feeling from the bike today, but even with those restrictions, he is still fast and quite competitive. He'll be carrying the GSX-R flag for the rest of the weekend alone. He likes the race-track and if we can get some of those issues ironed out for tomorrow, I hope he can represent the team very strongly come the races on Sunday."
-- BMW Report
The first ever Turkish round of the FIM Superbike World Championship started well for the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team. Factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA) finished second in today’s first qualifying practice at “Intercity Istanbul Park” with his BMW S 1000 RR, qualifying on the provisional front row. His team-mate Chaz Davies (GBR) finished seventh on the provisional third row. For a large part of the session, Marco and Chaz were first and fourth respectively and only dropped back in the closing minutes
In the morning Free Practice, the session was extended from 45 to 90 minutes to give riders and teams the opportunity to get acquainted with the track, a new addition to the calendar in 2014. In this session, Marco and Chaz were also placed second and seventh. Istanbul hosts the 11th round of the 2013 season.
Marco Melandri: Fastest lap Free Practice: 1:57.518 min (P2)/Fastest lap Qualifying Practice 1: 1:56.749 min (P2)
“It was quite a good day, even if it was not easy. The conditions were much different to what I remember. The asphalt offered no grip and the white lines were like soap. Maybe this was also because of the hot temperatures. This morning I nearly crashed on turn 2 because the bike was sliding and as many other riders had crashed, I decided not to take unnecessary risks. But the track conditions are improving and by Sunday it will be completely different. I am happy with my race pace and even with used tyres I was able to be consistent. In the afternoon, towards the end of the session, I tried a new tyre but I didn’t have a good feeling. It will be difficult to make the right tyre choice for the race. We still have a lot of work to do.”
Chaz Davies: Fastest lap Free Practice: 1:58.802 min (P7)/Fastest lap Qualifying Practice 1: 1:57.391 min (P7)
“Today was not too bad. We made some good changes from this morning to this afternoon. We are struggling a little bit with the lack of grip at the moment but I think that goes for most people. In the early stages of this afternoon’s qualifying my RR felt better than in the morning’s practice and we made some further improvements but then I did not have the best feeling with the tyre I used on the final laps and could not get the best out of it so I did not achieve my best possible lap time. But we seem to be somewhere near and I am pretty confident. Now we are adapting the gearbox as this should bring some more improvement in a few areas. We did not do this between today’s sessions because the break was short with the long session in the morning but the guys are working on that tonight and the bike will be even better in the morning.”
Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team): “Both Marco and Chaz have already raced here some years ago, but that goes for quite a few riders who have been here with several series. We cannot speak about a real advantage as the only benefit they have is that they already know the track. Everything else does not go into account as they raced here with different bikes, different tyres and different temperatures as the Grand Prix were held at another time of the year.
This morning, the temperature was good for riding while the asphalt offered low grip and this, unfortunately, caused some crashes. In the afternoon, on the contrary, riders had to deal with high temperature but had more grip, because the asphalt was getting better and better. We’re confident that from now to Sunday, the track will change again and both riders and bikes will have to adapt to the new conditions. Overall, the day was quite good. Marco is in good shape and was consistent. Even if he didn’t have a good feeling with new tyres, he had a good pace on used tyres. Chaz struggled a little bit more today, we’re working on some areas and tomorrow he will benefit from it.”
Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team): “As we expected on a new race track, we had a lot of work during the day and the extra 45 minutes of practice helped us and the riders to get familiar with this amazing circuit. As usual on a new track, the grip is not fantastic at the beginning and we expect that this will improve practice by practice. This has caused some issues for both riders, especially in the first session. Both started their work with finding grip on the rear and working to set up the suspension for these track conditions. In addition, it was important to learn more about the specific needs in terms of settings of the electronics and the gearbox.
Chaz is still not comfortable with the rear grip, especially on the edge and a bit of the traction as well and this is our main focus for tonight. In addition, we will work on the gear ratio selection. Marco was helped by his knowledge of the track so it was a bit easier for him and he is quite happy with the overall performance of his RR. He is already fast on the used tyre and he would like to improve the feeling for the rear end of the bike. Of course the track will change tomorrow and we expect our riders’ needs will change too. It was also an important day for tyre choices. Pirelli has brought a few new prototype tyres to Istanbul and we spent the day evaluating them. We already had the chance to test almost all the tyres today but tomorrow we will get a better understanding of which will be the race tyre.”
-- Aprilia Racing
The first Turkish World Superbike weekend could not have gotten off to a better start for the Aprilia Racing Team. Sylvain Guintoli, lying second in the championship at just one point behind the leader, stopped the clock with the best time in both sessions today, widening the gap to more than half a second in front of his nearest rival. Without a doubt Sylvain has the advantage of being familiar with the Istanbul track, a difficult circuit to interpret as indicated by the many crashes today.
In the morning free practice sessions, 90 minutes long instead of the usual 45 precisely for the purpose of familiarising the riders with the track, Sylvain immediately found a good feeling. The afternoon free practice sessions were similar, with no one able to come close to the French rider on a fast lap, whereas the limited grip conditions mean that some fine tuning is essential to make sure the riders can last the distance. In fact, Guintoli has already identified tyre duration as the crucial point for the Istanbul weekend, but he knows that for this situation he can count on the performance of his RSV4.
Sylvain Guintoli: “I'm usually one to start off slowly, but today I pushed hard right away because I felt very confident right out of the gate. At the Nürburgring I was close to the front runners but I was still lacking something. Here I want to be strong straight away. There will be two hot races on Sunday in more ways than one and it will be a delicate situation for the tyres. The battle for the championship is heated and it is no fluke that the top positions today are held by the main title contenders. We will need to work well in view of the races and grip is the main concern”.
Eugene Laverty had only gotten a small "taste" of the Intercity Istanbul Park turns in his GP days, so he got off to a more cautious start, preferring to use the morning free practice sessions to familiarise himself with the track. By the qualifiers, however, he had come into his own, picking up the pace as his feeling on the Turkish turns improved. He ended the day with the third best time, an excellent starting point to work from for Superpole tomorrow and the races on Sunday.
Eugene Laverty: “Grip conditions this morning were really critical, so I preferred a more cautious approach in the first few laps. As the track started to clean up we improved my RSV4, making it more agile and looking for more grip on the rear. The track is really nice. The way it's set up reminds me a bit of Aragon. Turn 11 is extremely fast - really incredible. I must say that the bike is already working well. The RSV4 usually isn't too hard on the rear tyre and in these conditions that could prove be a strong advantage”.
-- World SBK 2013 - Round 11 - Intercity Istanbul Park - Turkey-bound for World
Superbike Round 11
-- WSBK riders speak ahead of Turkish Round
The eni FIM Superbike World Championship had its first ever pre-event today at the Intercity Istanbul Park, as a selection of Superbike and Supersport riders – joined by representatives of the Circuit Board – took to the SBK Paddock Show stage for a press conference to introduce the maiden round of the series on Turkish soil.
Sharing their thoughts and feelings ahead of this historical weekend Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team), Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet), Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki), Ayrton Badovini (Team Ducati Alstare) and Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike), along with WSS Championship leader Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha) and local hero Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) were introduced.
Each rider involved in the pre-event showed a lot of appreciation for the circuit, beginning with WSBK Championship leader Tom Sykes: "It's great to be in Turkey, it's my first time here and the weather is fantastic. I had a little look at the circuit and it's amazing, hopefully the ZX-10R will perform well here. I'm a bit young in terms of track knowledge, but we'll do our best and keep focussed."
The star who received the biggest applause while entering the stage was, of course, three-time World Supersport Champion Kenan Sofuoglu, who is looking forward to a strong performance in front of his crowd, to keep his title defence chances alive: "I never raced on this track before so, despite being a local rider, I have no advantage on my rivals. I think at this level, it's more about knowing your bike than the circuit itself, and I'm confident the long straights will suit the ZX-6R very well. Racing in front of thousands of fans can inspire you, but also put a lot of pressure on your shoulders."
On-track action for World Superbike and Supersport Championships will start tomorrow morning with a 90-minute free practice session for both classes.
-- New-look Pata Honda team heads to Asia
The Pata Honda team will compete for the first time in Turkey in this weekend’s 11th round World Superbike championship event at Istanbul Park with a weekend schedule that runs an hour earlier than other SBK events.
The 5.338km Hermann Tilke-designed circuit, which was completed just over eight years ago, lies on the Asian side of Istanbul and, for the Pata Honda team and riders, it will be a first racing visit to the Turkish city.
The team will be without regular rider Jonathan Rea, who broke his left femur after crashing on another rider’s oil on 1 September at the Nürburgring in Germany. The 26-year-old underwent surgery that evening and is optimistic about a relatively quick rehabilitation for his injury.
Rea will be replaced at Istanbul Park by Italian rider Michel Fabrizio, who has been competing in the 2013 World Superbike championship with another team. The 28-year-old from Rome currently lies in eighth place in the 2013 championship standings with one podium finish in the opening round at Phillip Island in Australia.
Fabrizio joins Pata Honda’s Leon Haslam who continues his own rehabilitation from a broken leg sustained in a practice crash at Assen in The Netherlands in April. The 30-year-old British rider has been getting back up to speed over the last few races and will be looking to improve on his season’s best result of seventh last time out at the Nürburgring.
Leon Haslam - "I’m really excited about going to race in Istanbul, even though some of the other Superbike riders have ridden there before. I’ve seen a few of the GP races there on video and it looks pretty awesome, but I won’t really know how it is until I get out there on the bike on Friday morning. We made some more progress last time in Germany but, although I was hanging on to the back of the leading group in race two, we still had some issues. But I do feel like I’m finally in a position – both physically and with the bike – to be fighting for podiums again. We need a few more things to fall into place for that to happen, but we’re nearly there."
Michel Fabrizio - "I am very happy to come back to the Honda CBR after my earlier experience with the DFX Honda Team. To race with the Ten Kate boys in the Pata Honda team is a real honour for me and, of course, I will do my best to get Jonathan’s machine near to the front. I would also like to take this opportunity to wish Jonathan a fast recovery from his injury and I would like to thank the whole Honda Superbike team for their hard work to fix the bike in time for me to race in Istanbul."
Michel Fabrizio – career details
2002: 125cc GP World Championship
2003: FIM Superstock 1000 champion (Suzuki)
2004: MotoGP World Championship (10 races – Honda), World Supersport championship (two races – Honda)
2005: World Supersport championship (Honda) – 5th
2006: World Superbike championship (Honda) – 11th
2007: World Superbike championship (Honda) – 11th
2008: World Superbike championship (Ducati) – 8th
2009: World Superbike championship (Ducati) – 3rd
2010: World Superbike championship (Ducati) – 8th
2011: World Superbike championship (Suzuki) – 12th
2012: World Superbike championship (BMW) – 11th
2013: World Superbike championship (Aprilia) – current position 8th
2013 World Superbike championship, round 11
Intercity Istanbul Park, Turkey – weekend schedule (local times – GMT+3)
Friday 13 September
11.45-13.15 Free practice
15.30-16.15 Qualifying 1
Saturday 14 September
08.45-09.30 Qualifying 2
11.30-12.15 Free practice
14.00-15.14 Superpole 1
14.21-15.33 Superpole 2
14.40-15.50 Superpole 3
Sunday 15 September
11.00 Race 1 (19 laps 95.226km)
14.30 Race 2 (19 laps 95.226km)
- World Superbike 2013 -
RND 10 - BRITS CONQUER GERMANY
RND 9 - SILVERSTONE
RND 8 -
MELANDRI WINS MOSCOW
RND 8 -
MOSCOW WSBK TRAGEDY
RND 7 -
SYKES TAKES WSBK LEAD
RND 6 -
WSBK HITS PORTIMAO
5 - DONINGTON
RND 4 - MONZA
RND 3 -
LAVERTY/SYKES SHARE SPOILS
RND 2 -
DAVIES DOUBLES ARAGON
RND 1 - APRILIA DOMINATE
WSBK TEST VIDEO P.I.
ASBK SUPPORTS UNDERWAY
CHECA TOPS P.I. TEST 2
WSBK WILDCARDS READY
WSBK 2013 PRE SEASON STATS
A SMOKIN' HOT PANIGALE
CAMIER TOPS P.I. TEST 1
UPDATED TUONO V4 R
MOTORCYCLE SALES RECOVERY
REDDING RIDES RGV500
MOTOGP - SACHSENRING SPILLS
NEW HONDA CRF125F
YAMAHA XV950R BOLT
- World Superbike 2012 -
RND 1 -
BIAGGI WINS WSBK RACE 1
RND 1 - CHECA TAKES WSBK RACE 2
RND 1 - WSBK VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
RND 2 - CHECA DOUBLES AT IMOLA
RND 3 - GUINTOLI & REA AT ASSEN
RND 4 -
DRAMA AT MONZA
RND 5 - DONINGTON DILEMMA
RND 5 -
DONINGTON VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
RND 6 - SALT LAKE CITY
RND7 - BIAGGI DOMINATES MISANO
RND 8 - EUROS DOMINATE ARAGON
RND 9 - MELANDRI WINS BRNO
RND 10 - SILVERSTONE
RND 11 - MELANDRI LEADS WSBK
RND 12 APRILIA DOMINATE RING
RND 13 - SYKES & LAVERTY
RND 14 - BIAGGI WSBK CHAMP
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