After another tense but exciting Tissot-Superpole session, Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) will start tomorrow’s two 21 lap races at the Misano World Circuit after getting the better of Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) and Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) who will join him on the front row.
With 11 riders separated by less than one second during the three Free Practice sessions, it was always going to be a close session and the on track action certainly didn’t disappoint the crowd as several riders took their turn to head the field.
Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) and Niccolo Canepa (Althea Racing Ducati) made it through to the final 15 minute Pole Position shoot-out courtesy of being the fastest two riders in Superpole 1, progressing to join the already seeded top 10 from the combined Free Practice classification. Toni’s time of 1.35.961 was actually the fastest lap of the weekend until the final Pole Position lap eclipsed it.
With five minutes remaining all of the riders ventured back out for their final qualifying push, with Tom Sykes smashing the outright circuit best lap on his way to his 21st career Superpole victory.
Behind the top three, row two tomorrow will see Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team), Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) and Toni Elias with Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team), Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) and Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) lining up on row 3.
The EVO battle was won by Niccolo Canepa who will start both races tomorrow from the fourth row in 10th position overall.
Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) crashed at the end of the session and will therefore start 12th.
Bryan Staring will start from 25th on the grid.
Tom Sykes: “The support from the Italian fans has been fantastic as always. I have been happy with my pace over race distance since the start but I knew it was over one lap that I really needed to attack the circuit. My crew guys were able to adapt the bike to take the best out of the qualifying tyre. I was able to move the bike from one side of the track to the other side of the track and hit each apex as I wanted to. We I think we have done a fantastic job. To take the circuit record from one of my racing heroes, and a very, very talented rider like Troy Corser is a very proud moment for me.”
Chaz Davies: “I didn’t do a bad lap on the qualifier but it wasn’t great either. I had a little vibration at the rear while braking which didn’t allow me to hold the line the line that I wanted, affecting the grip, and then I also made a small mistake in sector 1. I wasn’t able to get the best out of the qualifier, and am a little frustrated to be on the third row to be honest. Saying that, I’ve come through before and I think we have good pace so we’ll see what we can do tomorrow. I hope it’s not too hot though as that was a problem for us in Malaysia.”
Kenan Sofuoglu had the 7th Supersport championship Pole Position of the year snatched away from him in the closing moments of a scorching qualifying session at the Misano World Circuit – Marco Simoncelli.
The former multiple champion had an eventful session, crashing his Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki after looking comfortable at the top of the timing sheet. The Turk would eventually finish 4th after blistering laps from Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), championship leader Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport) and Italian Raffaele De Rosa (CIA Insurance Honda) pushed him back onto row two.
Ratthapark Wilairot (Core PTR Honda) was an impressive fifth ahead of Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) who improved at the end of the 45 minute thriller.
Jack Kennedy (CIA Insurance Honda) and Alex Baldolini (ATK Racing MV Agusta) also crashed and will start tomorrow’s 19 laps World Supersport race from 10th and 17th on the grid respectively.
Italian Lorenzo Savadori (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) has claimed his second career Pole Position and his second of the 2014 campaign to edge championship leader Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing Team) at the Misano World Circuit this afternoon.
Just 0.042s separate the pair ahead of tomorrow’s 15 lap race with Savadori’s compatriot Fabio Massei (EAB Racing Ducati) once again on the front row in a close 3rd.
Row two comprises Ondrej Jezek (Barni Racing Team), wildcard and former WSBK rider Federico Sandi (Team Motoxracing) and Federico D’Annunzio (FDA Racing Team) who claimed his best ever grid position in 6th.
Marco Faccani (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki) has won the fourth round of the European Superstock 600cc Championship after a close fight with compatriot Federico Caricasulo (Evan Bros. Racing Team) and with it returns to the lead of the championship.
Taking the intial holeshot, Faccani tried to break away but after setting a new lap record on the second lap Federico Caricasulo set off in pursuit, the young Italian eventually having to settle for 2nd, but delighted with his maiden podium finish.
Six riders went down in the opening series of corners including championship leader Niki Tuuli (Kallio Racing Yamaha) and podium man in Imola Stefano Casalotti (VFT Racing Yamaha). All riders were uninjured.
The leading duo broke clear of an equally enthralling fight for 3rd with wildcard rider Davide Stirpe (Scuderia Maranga Racing) eventually coming out as the final podium finisher ahead of Wayne Tessels (Wayne’s Racing Team), Gennaro Sabatino (Sonic Pro Racing) and Nicola Morrentino (Mottini Corse ASD) who completed the top 6.
Javier Orellana (Europ Food S.L.) has secured his second pole position of the season in the PATA European Junior Cup, powered by Honda, today at Misano. The current runner-up in the title was already in the lead during the second qualifying session when he set the 1’56.820 lap time to seal the first grid slot for tomorrow’s 10-lap race. Orellana will be joined on the front row by current points leader Augusto Fernandez (WIL Sport) and Italian Marco Malone (Iron Bike Roma).
It was a Superpole with record times, characterised by extremely close gaps among the strongest riders which will make the Aprilia RSV4s ridden by Melandri and Guintoli key players for the races tomorrow (decked out for the occasion in “1987” style to commemorate the first Aprilia world championship win right here on the track in Emilia Romagna).
The riders on the front two rows are all within a half second (521 thousandths) of one another. Guintoli finished with the third best time and Melandri with the fifth best. Even the private Aprilia RSV4 ridden by Elias took a solid position on the second row with sixth place.
Besides the good placement on the starting grid, the excellent race pace demonstrated by Melandri and Guintoli contribute to the Aprilia team’s ambitions. The reigning Manufacturer World Champion team put excellent times on the boards during the two days of practice, but above all they showed consistency of performance that should allow Marco and Sylvain to be among the protagonists in the races tomorrow.
Sylvain Guintoli is confident after two days during which he tested many solutions in search of consistent speed and earned a spot on the front row of the grid: “This weekend we tested a lot of different settings to find the right balance. I think in the end we were successful and I feel good on the bike even if I did make a few mistakes on my fast lap. I could have done better, but the first row is still an excellent place to start with the first turn so close and a rather twisty first section of the track. For now we have done the RSV4’s special livery justice and it is important to remember the moments that have made Aprilia what we see today on the track”.
Fresh from his double win at the last round in Sepang (Malaysia), Marco Melandri concentrated on the bike set up that allowed him to dominate the races in Asia. Marco worked from those base settings, taking the best time in the last practice session on Saturday morning and then finishing fifth in the battle for Superpole: “This was definitely a good day for me. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to finish with my best in the qualifiers, especially in the last section of the track where I struggled a bit. In any case the second row is not bad. The front runners all have a good place at the race start. I’ll need to get off to a good start and set my pace straight away. It will be important not to make mistakes tomorrow and to find the right conditions for overtaking when necessary”.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Eugene Laverty will start tomorrow’s two eni FIM Superbike World Championship races at the Misano World Circuit ‘Marco Simoncelli’ in Italy from the third-row, but he is positive for a good result.
After a solid morning’s work in free practice, Laverty was confident in his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki’s race performance, and – having already qualified for the second Superpole session – the Irishman set-about the real task of grid-qualification for the last 15-minute stint. But, after bettering his times, an unexpected issue prevented him from capitalising on his progress. However, his 1’36.043 lap-time saw him rounding-out the third-row.
Team-mate Alex Lowes had a difficult day at the Italian track: Safeguarding his place in Superpole two with his initial free practice performance on-board his GSX-R1000, Lowes’ best time of 1’36.489 sees him on the fourth-row in 11th place for the two 21-lap races, but the British racer is determined to challenge come Sunday.
A large Italian crowd and glorious 31°C sunshine greeted qualifying at the Misano Adriatico circuit as Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes stole Superpole with a 1’34.883 – setting a new best lap for the first time since Troy Corser’s lap-record in 2010. Althea’s Niccolo Canepa secured the highest EVO time of the day.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki returns to track-action at 10:30hrs local time (09:30BST) for the first of tomorrow’s two races, with the second outing beginning at 13:10hrs local time (12:10BST).
Eugene Laverty: “During free practice today we made a big improvement with our race setting and I was much more content. In Superpole we had a problem with corner entry, the bike was skipping and jumping in braking and we have to find-out the reason for that. Our Superpole didn’t go well – third row – but our race-pace is good, so that’s positive for tomorrow!”
Alex Lowes: “It’s been a difficult day today and we haven’t qualified where we need to be but I’m really enjoying the Misano circuit. We have some work to do overnight before the two races and hopefully I can come back on the Suzuki GSX-R and fight for a good result tomorrow.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager: “We haven’t found the sweet spot in Superpole in a lot of races this year but today’s result is particularly disappointing because on Eugene’s side we’ve made some good improvements to the bike, but an unexpected problem held us back during the qualifying laps. On Alex’s side there unfortunately haven’t been any improvements since yesterday; in fact the performance-level has gone backwards relative to Friday’s result. We now need to see what we can do to help Alex with the bike, and he needs to do what he can to regain some confidence for tomorrow morning. The races here are quite challenging at 21 laps each, but consistency on used tyres with the GSX-R has been great again this weekend so let’s hope we come good in the second-half of the race and can move up the grid.”
Pata Honda rider Jonathan Rea will start tomorrow’s two 21-lap seventh-round World Superbike championship races from the third row of the grid after setting the eighth-fastest time in this afternoon’s Superpole session at the Misano World Circuit ‘Marco Simoncelli’ in Italy.
With air temperatures in the low thirties and the track approaching 50˚C, the 27-year-old British rider fired his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP around the 4.226km Misano circuit in a time of 1m35.675s, 0.8s behind the pole position time of Tom Sykes.
Rea and his Pata Honda team-mate Leon Haslam have been working with their crews to optimise the effect of their CBRs’ engine-braking around Misano’s 16 turns but both riders believe that, while good progress has been made, further efforts are required before tomorrow’s races.
Haslam had two slow crashes in the 15-minute Superpole 2 session today and, although the 31-year-old was uninjured, he will start from 12th position on the grid tomorrow.
Jonathan Rea – P8 – “I’m quite frustrated with this weekend because we thought Misano would be good for us. But when grip levels drop we really seem to struggle with engine brake issues. We’re having to tune the system for each circuit at the moment and don’t really have a good base setting. We haven’t been able to put our finger on the problem because we we’re OK with fresh tyres in the bike. I feel a bit better for the races tomorrow but eighth seems to be where I’ve been all weekend and I don’t want to be riding around for that again tomorrow. We need to engineer ourselves out of this position and try to find balance to get a smoother sensation from closing throttle to the corner apex and to keep the wheels in line. The crash that I had at the end of practice this morning showed the problem clearl y on the data so we know where to concentrate our efforts. We’ve not been getting the best out of the bike this weekend but we’ll go out tomorrow and give it everything.”
Leon Haslam – P12 – “We’ve made some good steps this weekend and there have been some positives. I was only 0.5s off in Free Practice 3 and ended up seventh, but we had a familiar problem with the qualifying tyre, which usually puts a spanner in the works for us. Two crashes during Superpole were certainly not ideal either, especially as I was on target for a 1m35s and probably something around P7. But we’ve had the same problems as Jonathan really, and we’ve been looking for more stability from the bike. We’ve got some work to do this evening for sure, and we’ll try hard for two good results tomorrow.”
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator – “Until the time we had to make grid positions in Superpole, Leon had been making quite good progress this weekend. Unfortunately, his setting didn’t really match the grip of his qualifying tyre and he had a couple of small crashes this afternoon, which is disappointing for him. We’ll try to find out more detail on the problem and improve things for tomorrow. For Jonathan, it’s been a little bit like the last couple of races and we’ve been one step behind on the settings. He’s quite close to the front and had to make some progress after FP2 yesterday, so he’s doing a good job. Hopefully, we can get the last couple of problems sorted for warm-up tomorrow and have two good races.”
Team Hero EBR Report
After two up and down sessions yesterday that restricted the amount of laps completed by both riders, today’s FP3 at a sunny Misano World Circuit on the Adriatic Coast saw Aaron Yates and Geoff May qualify for the 7th round of the World Superbike Championship, both 1190RX machines working well around the twisty Italian circuit.
Aaron and Geoff had both improved their times within the first 15 minutes to ensure their places on tomorrow’s grid before steadily continuing to improve throughout the remainder of the session.
Geoff had a small front end crash at Turn 10 but was able to remount, return to the garage before returning to the track and improving still further.
Aaron posted a series of improving laps to eventually elevate himself into 27th position, with a time close to several other riders.
Today’s further steps forward bode well for a solid pair of races for both riders tomorrow.
Aaron Yates: “I’m sorry I crashed but I was pushing very hard. I really enjoyed this track and I’m confident of a good race tomorrow because we have found the most comfortable set up since the beginning of the season. My goal for tomorrow is to finish both races inside the top 20.”
Geoff May: “Yesterday I wasn’t able to ride as much as I wanted so today I was forced to push hard to try to close the gap with the other riders. Unfortunately I pushed too hard and I crashed but I’m really enjoying the track and I hope tomorrow we can get a better result.”
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