After topping FP1 earlier today, Italian Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) was displaced at the top of the combined standings by compatriot Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) and reigning champion Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team).
A red flag after the MV Agusta of Michael Savary (Dream Team Company MV Agusta) caught fire saw a stoppage in events on track with the session being stopped almost immediately for a second time after the Team Hero EBR machine of Aaron Yates stopped on track with what looked like an engine problem.
When the final ten minutes eventually ran to completion a number of riders posted personal best laps, the Ducati pairing of Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies elevated themselves into contention with the Brit eventually having to settle for 4th behind Melandri, who remained in 3rd.
Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) was 5th ahead of the impressive Voltcom Crescent Suzuki of Alex Lowes. The Brit has only raced at Misano before in STK600 and STK1000.
The remaining riders in the top ten and therefore currently making it into Superpole 1 are Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team), Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team), Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) and Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia).
As in FP1, Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing Ducati) was the best of the EVO riders in 12th overall.
With almost everyone improving in the afternoon Free Practice session, the fastest rider in the combined classification for World Supersport was Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse).
With one second covering the top 13, the Frenchman was followed closely by championship leader Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) and Ratthapark Wilairot (Core PTR Honda) who continues his Sepang form in 3rd.
Behind the top three, former champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) headed Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) and American PJ Jacobsen (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) who rounded out the top six.
Massimo Roccoli, who has replaced Vladimir Leonov in the official MV Agusta squad was 11th, whilst Italian Luca Marconi returned to action with Lorini Honda in 18th.
Alex Baldolini (ATK Racing MV Agusta) is making his second wildcard appearance of the year and after a few minor technical problems the podium finisher in the last World Supersport race held in Misano ended the opening day in a respectable 16th.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Alex Lowes secured a top-six position at the Misano World Circuit ‘Marco Simoncelli’ in Italy today after the opening two free practice sessions of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship.
Lowes set his fastest time of 1’36.689 on his 16th lap, after two red flag’s had delayed the afternoon’s second free practice session by almost half-an-hour. The British racer remained in the top-10 for the duration of the day’s two 45 minutes on track after initially completing set-up work with his Yoshimura-powered machine on used tyres. Improvements mid-way through the final session saw him advancing to hold fourth in the closing five minutes before dropping to sixth as the times improved.
Eugene Laverty continued his consistent lap times throughout the afternoon stint after finishing the morning’s track action in seventh; and having also spent the entire session working-on used tyres. Laverty secured ninth-place overall with a time of 1’37.149 and with less than a second separating the top 11 riders the Irishman is confident of his long-term race-pace aboard the Suzuki GSX-R1000, but is looking to further improve in tomorrow’s practice and qualifying sessions.
Blue skies and 30°C temperatures welcomed the championship back to the Adriatic circuit after a year’s break. Two red flag’s caused by technical issues to the Team Hero EBR machine of Aaron Yates and the MV Agusta of Michael Savary delayed the end of the afternoon’s second session – the final 10-minutes getting underway at 16:31hrs local time – with Ducati’s Davide Giugliano taking the fastest lap in the day’s combined times.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki will continue to work on improvements to Lowes and Laverty’s GSX-Rs ahead of Saturday’s final timed free practice session commencing at 09:45hrs local time (08:45BST) with the first Superpole scheduled for 15:00hrs local time (14:00BST).
Alex Lowes: “I really like the Misano track; it’s a lot of fun. We completed some work on old tyres which felt ok and then made some steps forward towards the end of this afternoon’s session. We have some work still to do tonight to make some improvements for the end of the lap, but I feel good. Now I need to work hard in the final practice tomorrow to make sure we are in a position to challenge for podiums on Sunday!”
Eugene Laverty: “The position is not where we want to be. Race-pace we are good but we are still lacking the ability to push for one hard lap, we can’t use the grip of the tyre; and it’s something we still need to work on. For the second-half of the race I’m confident but it’s for the first half – and for Superpole tomorrow – that we need to put-in some more work.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager: “It’s been a good first day’s work for the team and it’s a pleasure to be back in Misano on the Adriatic Coast. The GSX-R is working well at this track and the lap-times are ferociously close amongst the top-10 riders, so it is going to be a question of maximising every-single aspect of the performance that we possibly can overnight and making sure the riders can use the full potential of the bike.
“Alex took a big-step forward towards the end of this afternoon’s session and is right on the pace with the fastest guys. Eugene, as always, showed great consistency, particularly when the tyres had taken a drop, so there are a lot of positives; but at the same time a lot of work to do to improve the level for tomorrow.”
Aprila Racing Report
The Aprilia riders held first (with Melandri) and second (with Guintoli) place in the morning practice sessions, almost as if it was a continuation of what they began in the last round at Sepang (Malaysia) where they took the top two steps of the podium in both races. In the second session held this afternoon both Marco and Sylvain undertook a long and patient effort to fine tune the best possible race pace. During the 45 minute session they were in any case protagonists, improving on their times from the morning practice and taking turns at the top of the time sheet, finishing the day with third place for Melandri and seventh for Guintoli.
The new look for the official Aprilia Racing RSV4s was quite popular, a tribute to the Italian colours that characterised the first Aprilia international championship victory. It was August 1987 when, right here in Misano, Loris Reggiani rode his 250 GP to the first ever Aprilia World Championship win. Since then there have been another 293 wins in the Motomondiale world championship, 42 in Superbike and – above all – 52 world titles to fill an extraordinary trophy case that makes Aprilia one of the most victorious brands in motorcycling history.
Marco Melandri, fresh from his double win at the last round held in Malaysia, analysed the first day of practice at Misano: “I feel good. I was fast right from the start. We started off with the solutions that worked for us at Sepang and then we gradually improved on them. We’ll be working especially on the first sector but I’m not worried. During the race it will be very easy to make mistakes so I prefer being a bit slower but more consistent. Tomorrow I expect the track to be much faster. We’ll keep working on race pace but also with an eye toward the flying lap. The characteristics of the circuit make overtaking difficult so starting as far toward the front as possible will be essential”.
Sylvain Guintoli also worked on finding the best rave set up today. The French rider believes that he has already found the right base setting and tomorrow he will be testing a few more solutions that his mechanics have suggested. Sylvain is confident and particularly impressed by his bike’s new look: “Today was business as usual – a lot of work on race pace. We lapped a lot on used tyres so I think tomorrow we will be able to increase our speed quite a bit. The base set up we found today is good but we still need to try out a few more settings. Besides that the new colours of my RSV4 are gorgeous. It doesn’t help us shave any time off but it’s always nice to ride a good looking bike!”.
Pata Honda Report
Pata Honda riders Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam were eighth and eleventh-fastest respectively after today’s two free practice sessions for Sunday’s seventh-round World Superbike championship races at Misano in Italy.
However, while not content with their overall positions on the Friday leaderboard, which was headed by local rider Davide Giugliano, both Pata Honda pilots are quietly satisfied with progress made in today’s two 45-minute sessions.
Rea is 0.6s off Giugliano’s time while Haslam is a further 0.3s away and both British riders are confident of further improvement in tomorrow’s two free practice sessions ahead of Superpole which will determine final grid positions for Sunday’s two 21-lap races at the 4.226km Misano circuit.
Jonathan Rea – P8 “After a couple of difficult rounds at Donington and Sepang, we turned up here with some different engine brake strategies. To be honest, we got off to a slow start developing that and getting some base settings into it this morning. Our position of eighth might not reflect it, but we’re actually making quite good progress. I’m starting to feel like I have a bike that I can push again and I think we’ll make some good steps overnight. I’ve given some good feedback to the guys and I’m actually enjoying riding. It’s a shame we’re not closer to the sharp end, but we reduced the gap to the front quite a lot in the heat of that second session and we need to do the same in the morning. I’m satisfied with our work today but we need to keep pushing.”
Leon Haslam – P11 “This morning’s session wasn’t ideal and we got a bit interrupted with two red flags in this afternoon’s practice when we had a new tyre in the bike. But we found quite a major electronic issue that we couldn’t solve today but it should be quite easy to fix for tomorrow. I’m looking forward to that, even though we’ve still got some way to go. We’re 0.9s off the quickest time and although it’s quite tight we definitely need to make those steps.”
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator – “We were quite a bit off with Jonathan’s settings this morning but we made some good steps this afternoon. We’re not there yet, but we’re improving and we have some good plans for tomorrow. We’ve seen some good progress during the day with Leon, too, and he’s not so far away from Jonathan. We’re speaking about some chassis changes for tomorrow and there are some electronics changes required, so we’ll see how those work tomorrow.”
Team Hero EBR Report
After taking the team’s best result in Sepang, Team Hero EBR continued to push forward with both riders putting in solid performances on the opening day of track action at the Misano World Circuit – Marco Simoncelli earlier today.
Limited track time in FP1 prevented Geoff May from circulating as much as he wanted, especially as Misano is another venue, but after resolving a few minor niggles he was able to improve significantly in the afternoon free practice session.
Aaron on the other hand ended the day in 28th despite failing to improve this afternoon after a small crash in the closing stages of the morning session and technical problem in FP2.
The weekend began in style however for Aaron who took part in a media event at the beach. Partnered with Supersport rider Roberto Tamburini, the duo raced a pedalo (pedal boat) against five other Superbike and Supersport pairings finishing in a fighting fourth position.
Round 7, Misano – eni FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics with Michele Merlino
Tom Sykes started from pole the last two editions of the Misano races, in 2011 and 2012: in both cases qualifying was run in the wet. Tom however never climbed on the podium here. His best result is a fourth, scored in race one both in 2011 and 2012. The Briton scored points seven times out of eight here, missing out only in 2010 race two, when he was seventeenth under the flag.
Jonathan Rea scored here his maiden win in 2009, race two, after a seventh in race one. Two troubled years followed: he was thiteenth and twelfth in 2010, he was nevertheless the best-placed Honda rider, while in 2011 he had to withdraw for wrist pain after a fall during the warm-up. In 2012 he repeated his second grid spot obtained in 2009, finishing fifth in race one and second in race two.
Loris Baz in 2012 suffered a gearbox failure in race one, while in race two he was able to finish eighth. He was sixth in the 2010 Superstock 1000 race and ninth in the 2009 one. In his Superstock 600 championship year, 2008, he was third behind Patrik Vostarek and Marco Bussolotti.
Sylvain Guintoli always scored good results in his three Superbike weekends here: in all the races he finished he was classified between fifth and seventh, missing the flag only in 2012 in race two for a fall. His best results are related to his first weekend here, in 2010, when he was sixth in grid and fifth and sixth in the races.
Chaz Davies was able to climb through the field in 2012 in race one, when he finished sixth from 21st in grid. In race two he was on his way to repeat this performance, when he fell once tenth. In the 2011 and 2010 Supersport races he was sixth and fourth.
Two Superbike weekends in Misano for Marco Melandri: in 2011 he was third in race one behind Checa and Biaggi, while he fell in race two on the first turn after the start. In 2012 he retired in race one for tyre wear problems and finished fourth in race two. Four MotoGP races for him here, with a fourth as best result, in the 2007 one, the first he contested here.
Davide Giugliano qualified in fourth for the 2012 races: he managed to take the lead in race one, but was passed two laps from the end by Biaggi and Checa, finishing third. In race two he fell while fighting for third with Haslam and Rea. He won the 2011 Superstock 1000 race before Danilo Petrucci and
Lorenzo Zanetti and won also the 2006 Superstock 600 race from Xavier Simeon and Niccolò Canepa. For him also one Supersport race, in 2007, ended with a retirement.
Two podiums out of ten races run here for Leon Haslam: second in race two in 2010 and third in race two in 2012, before his team-mate Melandri. Leon scored points here nine times out of ten, finishing six times in the first eight. The only race without points came in 2011, race one: he took the lead on the opening lap, then he was passed by Checa, Biaggi and Melandri, falling while running fourth.
Alex Lowes ran a Superstock 1000 race in Misano, in 2009: he slipped back to 34th on the opening lap, climbing back to 25th at the flag. The year before he was 21st in Superstock 600.
The best result in Misano for Eugene Laverty is the one of his first race here, in 2011, when he was fifth, passed by Sykes on the final lap. He fell in race two while in third, he climbed back on his bike, finishing thirteenth. In 2012 he was seventh in race one and retired for a fall in race two. Excellent results in Supersport: in 2009 from eighth in grid he finished second, losing out at the flag against Cal Crutchlow, while in 2010 he dominated, winning from Joan Lascorz and Kenan Sofuoglu.
Four MotoGP races in Misano for Toni Elias from 2007 to 2011: the Spaniard always scored points, managing to climb on the podium in 2008, third behind Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo.
Little luck for David Salom in Misano: three retirements out of four races contested. He managed to see the chequered flag only in 2009 in race one (23rd). He fared better in his only MotoGP race run in Misano, when he was fifteenth in 2012. David raced here also Four Supersport races, finishing fourth in the 2011 one.
Niccolò Canepa was eighteenth and thirteenth here in 2012, suffering from electronical problems in race one. He was fifth in both Superstock 1000 races run in Misano in 2007 and 2011. His best result in this track came in Superstock 600 in 2006, when he finished third behind Davide Giugliano and Xavier Simeon, after scoring pole. Canepa was also thirteenth in the 2009 MotoGP race.
Leon Camier never qualified in the top-10 in Misano, scoring a fourteenth as best grid spot in 2010 and 2012, however he managed to finish sixth twice: in 2010 and 2011, always in race one. Leon missed out on a points finish here only in 2011 in race two for a fall.
In the 2010 races Luca Scassa was eleventh and eighth from eighth in grid. The following year he was banned for the Supersport race because he tested here beforehand, without this being a test track for his team. Four Superstock 1000 races for him in Misano: he managed a third in 2006 behind Alex Polita and Ayrton Badovini. In that race he came close to scoring pole, which went to Badovini for only 0.072 seconds.
Fabien Foret is the only rider in Supersport history to have won two races in Misano: all the other fourteen winners weren’t able to win more than once. His wins came here in 2002 and 2003: he adds to those two second places in 2005 and 2011. He raced here in Superbikes in 2006, finishing thirteenth and tenth.
Two Superstock 1000 races for Jeremy Guarnoni in Misano: his best result came in 2012, when he was sixth from second in grid. Two years before he dominated the Superstock 600 race with pole (his first one in Superstock 600) win and fastest race lap.
This will be the fifth different international championship in which Claudio Corti will run in Misano. He was sixteenth in MotoGP last year. Before that, he raced three times here in Moto2 from 2010 to 2012: his best result was a ninth in 2010. Claudio always scored points in his four Superstock 1000 races here from 2006 to 2009, posting two fourths as best result, in 2007 and 2009. The Italian rider won here in Superstock 600, in 2005, beating Yoann Tiberio for only 0.136s.
In 2012 Sheridan Morais raced in Misano in Supersport, finishing sixth from eighth in grid.
Alessandro Andreozzi raced twice in Moto2 in Misano, without managing to finish in the first twenty: 29th in 2011 and 22nd in 2012. In the latter year he raced here in two championships, as he was also 20th in the Supersport class: that was his only Supersport appearance.
Races to remember for Ayrton Badovini in Misano: in 2011 he was fourth in race one, at the time his best career result and eighth in race two. In 2012 he scored here is first front row start, qualifying fourth. In the two aforementioned weekends, for three times he was the best-placed BMW rider at the flag: he missed out only in 2012 in race two, when he was fifth, right behind the two works BMWs of Haslam and Melandri.
Imre Toth ran three Supersport races in Misano, finishing in the points in 2012, in thirteenth. He raced here also three times in 250cc, without being able to score points.
Bryan Staring had to retire from last year’s MotoGP race for a technical problem. The Aussie was eleventh and seventh in the two Superstock 1000 races he contested here in 2011 and 2012.
Manufacturer Statistics at Misano
Aprilia won six times here, posting three doubles: in 2000 with Troy Corser and in 2010 and 2012 with Biaggi. Only Ducati won more in Misano (28 wins).
BMW climbed on the podium twice in Misano, in third: in 2010 in race one with Troy Corser and in 2012 in race two with Ayrton Badovini. Corser in 2010 was able to start from pole: that was the last of the 43 poles by the Aussie, still the all-time leader, and the first one for BMW. Moreover, the aforementioned third by Troy in 2010 in race one was the last of his 130 podium appearances.
Ducati are the most successful team in Misano, with 28, the last two thanks to a double by Checa in 2011. In the last weekend in Misano, the Italian team was able to finish on the podium with two riders in race one (Checa 2nd, Giugliano 3rd). The last Ducati pole in Misano dates back 2009, when Jakub Smrz scored his maiden Superbike pole.
Honda won four times in Misano, but only once in this century, when Jonathan Rea won in race two in 2009, his maiden Superbike win. Rea is the only Honda rider able to start from the front row (second in 2009 and 2012) and to climb on the podium (winner in 2009 race one, second in 2012 race two) in Misano in the last six race weekends held here.
Kawasaki won only once in Misano, twenty years ago, when Scott Russell, starting from pole, won race one. The last podium for the Japanese manufacturer is a third by Gregorio Lavilla in 2001. Their qualifying results are noteworthy: with four poles Kawasaki are second only to Ducati (11 poles) in this track. Thanks to Tom Sykes Kawasaki started from pole in the last two editions here.
Suzuki won here in 2008 in race one with Max Neukirchner and managed to climb on the podium for the last time with Leon Haslam in race two in 2010 (second). The only Suzuki pole in this track came by Troy Corser in 2005.
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