-- World SBK 2013 - Round 12 - Laguna Seca - Guintoli takes Superpole
The Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca hosted today one of the most challenging Tissot-Superpole of the season, that was won by Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) at the very last minute thanks to a 1'22.683 lap-time, new Best Lap for the track. The Frenchman – who scored his second ever Superpole, first one this year - edged out Championship leader Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) by just 0.015s, while other works Aprilia rider Eugene Laverty had to settle for third, after crashing at Turn 3 in the final stages.
Fourth place Niccolò Canepa (Team Ducati Alstare) will share the second row of the grid with Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) and Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Apriila), while Davies' team mate Marco Melandri will start the two races – the first one scheduled for today at 2pm local time – from seventh place.
1. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1'22.683 average 157.179 kph;
2. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'22.698;
3. Laverty (Aprilia) 1'22.728;
4. Canepa (Ducati) 1'22.824;
5. Davies (BMW) 1'23.040;
6. Giugliano (Aprilia) 1'23.353;
7. Melandri (BMW) 1'23.363;
8. Cluzel (Suzuki) 1'24.079;
9. Badovini (Ducati) 1'24.789;
10. Hayden (Suzuki);
11. Eslick (Suzuki);
12. Haslam (Honda);
13. Fabrizio (Honda);
14. Aitchison (Kawasaki) 1'24.364;
15. Elias (Aprilia).
-- Aprilia Report
The first, hectic day of World Superbike practice just ended at Laguna Seca. The unusual format of this round, with Superpole and Race 1 on Saturday and Race 2 on Sunday, condensed today into three full sessions. For the riders and team, making their maiden run on this difficult California track, it was a “tour de force” made pleasant by the weather conditions and the enthusiasm of the American public. The warm welcome for the Aprilia Racing Team, points leader in the manufacturer standings, seems to forecast a weekend full of excitement.
Sylvain Guintoli, currently lying second in the Championship, finished his day ten minutes early. In fact, the French rider preferred not to tire out his injured right shoulder too much so that he'll be in better condition for Superpole tomorrow. In the three sessions Sylvain consistently improved his feeling with the new track, putting the seventh best time on the boards in free practice, repeating the performance in the first qualifiers and finishing the last session in fourth place. His general sensations are good, both physical and in terms of the technical profile which will be verified in the last free practice session before Superpole and Race 1 tomorrow.
Sylvain Guintoli: “In the afternoon we reached a good basic set up even though we didn't lap a lot because I wanted to save my shoulder for Superpole and Race 1. Our decision also stemmed from the fact that the track conditions in the last session were quite different from what we'll find tomorrow. Unfortunately because of my shoulder I need to find a compromise that will allow me to be fast without too much physical stress. In any case we demonstrated a promising pace straight away. We were able to test everything we wanted to and I feel good and confident.”
Team mate Eugene Laverty also got off on the right foot, coming from a double win in Istanbul and making his absolute maiden run here at Laguna Seca. The Northern Irish rider, ahead of all the rest in the first qualifiers, later ended his day with the eighth best time in the last session after testing various set up solutions on his RSV4. Prospects are good for Eugene, despite the fact that the reduced gaps (12 riders within one second) make it difficult to accurately assess the values on the field.
Eugene Laverty: “Quite a demanding day. With three consecutive sessions it almost feels like a test! I was surprised at how quickly I adapted to a completely new track. Today we worked really well and I feel like I've reached a good starting point. There are a lot of fast riders here, so it's hard to tell which ones will be the toughest rivals tomorrow. All that's left now is to follow our own game plan and I think that it's the right one”.
-- Day One - Melandri and BMW leave it late to head qualifying
The second qualifying session lived up to expectations as the WSBK riders did their best to finish inside the top 15, to guarantee themselves a spot for tomorrow morning's Tissot-Superpole. Despite the temperature dropping considerably throughout the 1-hour session, lap-times significantly improved as the leading two riders were even able to break into the 1'23s barrier.
Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) eventually took top spot after displacing fellow Italian Niccolò Canepa (Team Ducati Alstare) in the closing stages, thanks to a new Best Lap of 1'23.775. Championship leader Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) edged his closest rival in the Championship chase Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) to claim third, while Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) strung together a handful of fast laps to elevate himself to fifth ahead of impressive wildcard Danny Eslick (Michael Jordan Motorsports Suzuki).
Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Aprilia) salvaged seventh position after a mid-session crash, getting the better of works Aprilia rider Eugene Laverty, Pata Honda's Leon Haslam and Ayrton Badovini (Team Ducati Alstare), who also crashed at Turn 6.
Notable non-improvers were Toni Elias (Red Devils Aprilia) and Roger Hayden (Michael Jordan Motorsports Suzuki), both suffering technical failures but still making Tissot-Superpole in twelfth and fourteenth place respectively.
1. Melandri (BMW) 1'23.775 average 155.130 kph;
2. Canepa (Ducati) 1'23.938;
3. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'24.153;
4. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1'24.303;
5. Davies (BMW) 1'24.334;
6. Eslick (Suzuki) 1'24.345;
7. Giugliano (Aprilia) 1'24.373;
8. Laverty (Aprilia) 1'24.394;
9. Haslam (Honda) 1'24.592;
10. Badovini (Ducati) 1'24.616;
11. Cluzel (Suzuki) 1'24.617;
12. Elias (Aprilia) 1'24.699;
13. Aitchison (Kawasaki) 1'24.839;
14. Hayden (Suzuki) 1'24.845;
15. Fabrizio (Honda) 1'25.010;
16. Salom (Kawasaki) 1'25.449;
17. Young (Suzuki) 1'25.661;
18. Sandi (Kawasaki) 1'25.668;
19. Iannuzzo (BMW) 1'25.975;
20. Allerton (BMW) 1'26.735.
-- BMW Goldbet Report
It was a long and successful Friday for the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team at “Laguna Seca Raceway” (USA). Factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA) set a new best lap at the famous Californian racetrack and secured provisional pole-position with his BMW S 1000 RR. His team-mate Chaz Davies (GBR) finished today’s qualifying practices in fifth in the provisional second row although his afternoon was not trouble-free. The 12th race weekend of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship sees a different schedule than usual. After a free practice in the late morning, both qualifying practices were held this afternoon.
The day started well for the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team, with Chaz setting the fastest time in the free practice, directly followed by Marco, who finished the session in second. In the 45-minute qualifying practice one, Marco and Chaz were fourth and tenth respectively. The second qualifying practice in the late afternoon lasted for one hour. Marco was setting fast times with his RR throughout the session and put himself at the top of the time sheets in the final stages, setting a new record time of 1:23.775 minutes. Chaz lost track time halfway through the session, when the display on his bike failed. After his crew had repaired the failure, Chaz went out on track again and propelled himself from 13th into the front positions. The deciding Superpole qualifying will take place tomorrow in the late morning. Race one is also contested tomorrow (on Saturday) and starts at 14:00 local time. Race two will take place on Sunday, again at 14:00 local time.
Marco Melandri: Fastest lap Free Practice: 1:25.377 min (P2)/Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:23.775 min (P1).
“It was a great day, I had a lot of fun. This weekend’s schedule is quite different from the usual one. This is why we had defined a detailed working plan which we followed perfectly today. We mainly tried to improve my feeling with the front and to be faster with fresh tyres and the result was excellent. We made a big step forward and we will have a good potential for tomorrow’s Superpole and races. I feel good, my RR works very well and I’m very positive for tomorrow.”
Chaz Davies: Fastest lap Free Practice: 1:25.218 min (P1)/Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:24.334 min (P5).
“The day started very well obviously with P1 this morning but I expected the other guys would catch up pretty quickly. We did not have a good session this afternoon in the first qualifying practice. We went the wrong way with the set-up, seeing that the bike was very sensitive to changes. Then in the second qualifying practice, the bike was pretty good. We had definitely improved it; I was quite consistent and felt comfortable in the end. We still need to find a couple of tenths. Today’s schedule was pretty tight, there was not much time between the sessions so there was no way to do adaptions to the gearbox and things like that. We will do this tonight and hopefully will find some benefit there. In addition, we lost around 20 minutes in the last session of the day. That was a shame as I had stuff to try but despite that we are heading in the right direction with the bike. So we will try to further improve tomorrow and then to be ready for race one, which is pretty unusual to have it on a Saturday.”
Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team): “It has been a positive day. Marco rode two excellent qualifying sessions. He did a great job and the result confirms the work done. Chaz did well too, despite an issue which stopped him for quite a long time in the garage but could be fixed. Chaz kept calm and stayed concentrated, and as soon he went back on the track he did a strong qualifying session. We are quite confident for tomorrow, when we will have free practice, Superpole and race one. This is a new schedule which could work very well. Now we can enjoy this moment. Tomorrow will be a new day and we will see what happens. In any case we need to keep focused because this is the only way to fight for the championship.”
Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team): “It has been a very long and tough day for the guys but we were able to improve from session to session with both riders. I am quite happy with the work done by the team today. Marco was quite fast and consistent, especially at the end of the second qualifying practice. It seems that he has good confidence with his RR and he can push even when the tyre dropped. We will use tomorrow’s free practice to further improve the speed of the bike but overall we are confident that we are ready to attack in Superpole. It will be very important to make best use of the qualifying tyre. Marco used a different setting than usual today and we will see how this will work with the high-grip tyre. Chaz has been fast from the beginning on. He then unfortunately lost some track time due to the display failure. We still have to work a bit on his bike. He is consistent but we need to work on further improving the performance of his bike. We have a few ideas regarding the turning in and bike stability. The new schedule has a big impact on our normal way of working. Tomorrow we will already have the first race which gives us less time for preparation. That is why today was so important.”
-- Pata Honda Report
Pata Honda World Superbike riders Leon Haslam and Michel Fabrizio both qualified for tomorrow morning’s Superpole sessions after a changed qualification schedule today at Laguna Seca in the USA.
The 12th round event at the 3.610km circuit near Monterey in California features race one tomorrow (Saturday) at 14.00 local and race two at the same time on Sunday, so one free practice and two qualifying session were held at the circuit today.
Italian Marco Melandri set the fastest time as Haslam and Fabrizio familiarised themselves and their Honda CBR1000RRs with Laguna’s undulating terrain and the iconic Corkscrew chicane.
Leon Haslam – P9 - "It’s been a good day in the end after we struggled a bit in first qualifying earlier. We couldn’t find the right direction but I think we’ve made some progress now after trying a few electronics changes, as well. We’re definitely getting more stable and I did a good 18-lap run on a race tyre in the final session, setting my fastest time on about lap 14. I’m pretty confident and happy with what we’ve achieved today and we’re not a million miles away from the others. There are still a few things we want to try tomorrow before Superpole so we’ll see what we can figure out."
Michel Fabrizio – P13 - "It’s my first time at Laguna and the track is absolutely fantastic. I have enjoyed riding it very much today but we have had a few problems getting the bike right for the circuit. The main problem is engine braking but this is something that the guys can work on this evening. Tomorrow I look forward to riding here again and making some more improvements."
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator - "It hasn’t been easy for Michel today. He’s still quite new to the bike and it’s his first time at the track. We’ve made some progress today but we need to improve tomorrow to get into the top ten. Leon struggled a little earlier to find the right setting as he found his way round. He made quite a step in his last run though and we’re in touch now. Because the track is short, the times are very close, so just a couple of tenths can lift you higher."
-- 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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