Czech star Jakub ‘Kuba’ Smrz (Pata B&G Ducati) piloted his 1098R Ducati to provisional pole after the first qualifying session at Miller Motorsports Park in the USA, setting a 1’48.517 that was under the existing race lap record, if not quite beating the absolute track best. Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) was a close second, and the Yamaha Sterilgarda four-cylinder machine of Cal Crutchlow third.
World Championship leader Leon Haslam was fourth on his Suzuki Alstare machine, after a steady untimed session earlier this afternoon. Althea Ducati riders Carlos Checa and Shane Byrne mixed it up with the factory bikes once again, going fifth and sixth respectively on what was a good first day for the twin-cylinder machines, which are now 3kg lighter from this round onwards.
Despite a crash late in the session double world champion James Toseland (Yamaha Sterilgarda) was seventh, and only 0.370 seconds from provisional pole man Smrz. In another impressive ride, Luca Scassa (Supersonic Ducati) was a firm eighth, ahead of the factory BMW of Troy Corser.
Max Biaggi’s Aprilia Alitalia vee-four set a whopping top speed of 313.7kmph on the main straight today, with Max tenth overall, just ahead of top Honda finisher from the Hannspree Ten Kate team, Jonathan Rea. Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) and Biaggi’s team-mate Leon Camier were the last of 13 leading riders all within the same second.
Top Kawasaki Racing Team rider on show proved to be Tom Sykes, 14th, one up on Ruben Xaus’ works BMW, those two riders keeping Max Neukirchner (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) in 16th. Sylvain Guintoli was 17th for Alstare Suzuki, while local rider Roger Lee Hayden made the best of his home advantage in his rookie WSB season to go 18th for Pedercini Kawasaki.
Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda) once more made a good start to his race weekend, posting a 1’51.652 second lap to break the outright Supersport best lap at Miller. He has a clear early advantage over Kawasaki Motocard.com rider Joan Lascorz, who set a 1’52.211. Spaniard David Salom (ParkinGo BE-1 Triumph) ensured there was variety in the top slots by finishing third quickest, one place up on supported Kawasaki rider Fabien Foret (Lorenzini by Leoni).
Experienced privateer rider Robbin Harms (Harms Benjan Racing Honda) beat the official Honda of 2009 Miller race winner Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) for fifth place. Local man Jason DiSalvo (ParkinGo Be-1 Triumph) was creditable seventh. Nineteen riders have qualified so far. One more qualifying session remains to determine the final grid line up.
|Superbike First Qualifying
|Supersport First Qualifying
|1. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 1’48.517
2. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’48.670
3. Crutchlow C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 1’48.682
4. Haslam L. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’48.734
5. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 1’48.742
6. Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 1’48.853
7. Toseland J. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 1’48.887
8. Scassa L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’48.945
9. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 1’49.040
10. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’49.191
11. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1’49.281
12.Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 1’49.386
13. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’49.443
14. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’49.748
15. Xaus R. (ESP) BMW S1000 RR 1’49.961
16. Neukirchner M. (GER) Honda CBR1000RR 1’50.121
17. Guintoli S. (FRA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’50.133
18. Hayden R. (USA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’50.806
19.Parkes B. AUS) Honda CBR1000RR 1’51.074
20.Vermeulen C. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’51.122
21.Baiocco M. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’53.724
|1. Laverty E. (IRL) Honda CBR600RR 1’51.652
2. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’52.211
3. Salom D. (ESP)Triumph Daytona 675 1’52.310
4. Foret F. (FRA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’52.328
5. Harms R. (DEN) Honda CBR600RR 1’52.509
6. Sofuoglu K. (TUR) Honda CBR600RR 1’52.534
7. DiSalvo J. (USA) Triumph Daytona 675 1’52.607
8. Davies C. (GBR) Triumph Daytona 675 1’52.646
9. Pirro M. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 1’52.732
10. Fujiwara K. (JPN) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’53.015
11. Lagrive M. (FRA) Triumph Daytona 675 1’53.329
12. Rea G. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 1’53.425
13. Roccoli M. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 1’53.647
14. Praia M. (POR) Honda CBR600RR 1’54.313
15. Lundh A. (SWE) Honda CBR600RR 1’54.467
16. Odom T. (USA) Honda CBR600RR 1’54.637
17. Chesaux B. (SUI) Honda CBR600RR 1’56.813
18. Farrell J. (USA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’57.314
19. Paris M. (USA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’58.826
— Ducati Report
The Ducati Xerox squad is both satisfied and confident at the end of day one in Salt Lake City, with some very encouraging results in first qualifying at the Miller Motorsports Park. Factory rider Michel Fabrizio, having closed first practice in first place, continued to impress in qualifying when he finished the session in second position overall. Team-mate Noriyuki Haga, concentrating predominantly on set-up refinement, closed in twelfth position but remains confident after a positive start.
Roman rider Fabrizio made a determined start to the weekend, immediately fast in today’s first free practice session on board his 1198. Despite blustery conditions the times of all Superbike riders on track dropped by several seconds during the session but it was Michel who closed in first position, with a fastest time of 1m49.7 (only he and Carlos Checa ducked under 1m50 in this first session). Noriyuki, in the top five for the first half of the session, made some fast laps but dropped to tenth place in the final minutes. The two Althea Racing riders Carlos Checa and Shane Byrne, also riding 1198 machines, finished in second and third position respectively.
In first qualifying the two Ducati Xerox riders began to pick up the pace from mid-session onwards. Michel projected himself from 11th to 2nd position and although other riders made faster laps in the closing stages, a final fast lap by Fabrizio consolidated second place, just a tenth of a second behind Smrz on Team Pata B&G’s Ducati. Noriyuki and his team worked to optimize set-up of the 1198, with the Japanese rider thus concluding first qualifying in twelfth position yet satisfied with the times registered in the latter part of the session.
“We still have work to do tomorrow with regard to the set-up of my 1198 but I’d say we’ve made a good start today. I was able to make some fast laps but tomorrow we need to concentrate more on the durability of the tyres, and make a long-run to understand how the two available tyres behave. For now I’m very happy and today’s results bode well for Monday’s races.”
“I seem to have better feeling with the bike with respect to last year at this track, the level of absorption is better. Today we concentrated mainly on the race distance but we know what direction to take tomorrow and will of course aim to improve on times. We still have to decide which tyre to use for the races as it will depend greatly on weather conditions but I can say that I’m feeling fairly confident ahead of tomorrow and Monday’s races.”
— Yamaha Report
The wide open skies of Utah provided the perfect back drop for Yamaha Sterilgarda riders Cal Crutchlow and James Toseland today as they got down to business in the first qualifying session of the Salt Lake City race weekend.
Crutchlow’s pace was quick from the go, the rider rarely straying out of the top three and running fastest at times during the session. As the flag signalled the end of the weekend’s first qualifying heat he took third with a provisional front row start, less than two tenths off provisional pole. Crutchlow’s team mate Toseland put in a remarkable performance in his first riding session on the Miller Motorsports circuit. Despite no track knowledge Toseland spent a good part of the morning’s free practice session in the top three riders, and continued to display consistent fast pace in the afternoon’s qualifying despite a small crash near the end of the session. He ended the session in seventh position, less than four tenths of a second off provisional pole, and just two tenths off team mate Crutchlow.
Cal Crutchlow, Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team (3rd, 1’48.682)
“It wasn’t too bad today, third position is pretty good. I had some issues with the brakes and was struggling to stop in some places, making it difficult to judge when to brake. We’ve got some new things to try tomorrow, and I have to say it’s a very different riding experience on the R1 compared to the Supersport bike last year.”
James Toseland, Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team (7th, 1’48.887)
“I’ve never been too bad at learning circuits, but it’s been pretty impressive for some of the guys including Frankie my Crew Chief as it’s their first time here too. To get the bike running as well as it was today is great, fair play to them. I’m a bit annoyed with myself for the crash as I don’t usually make mistakes like that, I just got a bit excited as the bike was feeling so good. I thought I could go round the corner a bit faster than the package could, I think I was 17 years old the last time my enthusiasm outmatched my talent! All in all a good day, I’m pleased with the progress and it’s a great track, the bike works really well round here.”
Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team Manager
“We made a good start today. We are improving the bike all the time and we came here knowing we had good results from last year which gave us a confident start. We didn’t push too hard, and hopefully tomorrow we will make another step forward. We have a technical problem with Cal’s brakes which we are looking into and will resolve for tomorrow. James had a small crash at the end of qualifying but he had no injuries at all.”
— BMW Report
There were a lot of pensive and thoughtful faces in the BMW Motorrad Motorsport garage after the first day of the FIM Superbike World Championship weekend in Salt Lake City (USA). Both the riders, Troy Corser (AUS) and Ruben Xaus(ESP), faced difficulties on the high altitude circuit at Miller Motorsport Park. While Troy finished today’s Qualifying Practice in ninth, Ruben set the 15th fastest time of the session.
Troy Corser: Fastest lap Free Practice: 1:50.494 min (6th ) / Fastest lap Qualifying 1: 1:49.040 min (9th)
“We face similar problems to what we did in Kyalami. The harder I try to push, the less the bike works for me. As soon as I open the throttle the rear of the bike sits, and I lose the position and grip, especially in the fast corners. That is why I lose half a second over a lap. We need to work on the chassis and sort that out. Tomorrow will be difficult.
“I travelled to the United States a couple of days before the race weekend. Together with a couple of friends, I did a road trip on a BMW R 1200 GS from Salt Lake City to the Grand Canyon. The bike is simply made for trips like this: The engine is smooth, the bike is comfortable and not heavy at all. In total, we rode about 1,600 kilometres in three days, and the highest point of the trip was more than 3.600 metres in altitude. It was a fascinating trip.”
Ruben Xaus: Fastest lap Free Practice: 1:51.830 min (17th) / Fastest lap Qualifying 1: 1:49.961 min (15th)
“Today was a difficult day. We need to find a set-up that will allow me to control and steer the bike better. The bike simply needs to be more rideable. I trust in my crew, and I believe we can perform better tomorrow. ”
Davide Tardozzi (BMW Motorrad Motorsport Team Manager):
“Today was tough for us. We struggled with the top speed, and we also need to get our rear tyres working for a longer time. We will now analyse the data and see what we can find for tomorrow.”
— Suzuki Report
Leon Haslam set fourth-fastest time in today’s opening qualifying session for round seven of the World Superbike Championship at Miller Motosports Park, Salt Lake City, in America
Team Suzuki Alstare team mate Sylvain Guintoli – in his first visit to the circuit – finished 17th, but the Frenchman hopes for improvement tomorrow.
Jakub Smrz (Ducati) set the quickest lap of qualifying with a time of 1:48.517, three-tenths-of-a-second inside the lap record. Second today was Michel Fabrizio (Ducati), with Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) third.
Leon Haslam – 4th, 1:48.734: “I think today was pretty good and I certainly got a feel for the track this morning. This afternoon we used some of the good stuff (tyres) that we’ll be racing on and I am pretty happy with how we got on. We had a bit of a chatter-problem today and it was worse the more aggressive I was, but not so bad when I rode smoothly: Though when I rode very smoothly, my lap times were not so good! The general layout of this track needs a very different set-up to Kyalami in the last round and although our current set-up is not bad, we will try and improve it and the balance of the bike tomorrow. The aim tomorrow is to work on getting a good set-up and making sure that the tyres will last a race distance OK.”
Sylvain Guintoli – 17th, 1:50.133: “I’m not sure what to say really, except that I have been learning the track OK and the afternoon felt a lot better than the morning. I know that doesn’t seem much: when you consider I ended-up 17th today, but this track is very technical and it is difficult to knock off those last fractions of a second which are so important. I think the track is good and I like it very much. I know there’s quite a bit more to come from me and tomorrow we’ll work on improving the balance of the bike and finding a good set-up. I had some brake problems today – inconsistency – and that’s another area we will have to sort out tomorrow.”
— Ten Kate
Jonathan Rea and Max Neukirchner both had a difficult opening day in round seven of the 2010 World Superbike championship at Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City in the USA, finishing in 11th and 16th places respectively.
Provisional pole position was taken by Jakub Smrz of the Czech Republic after the Hannspree Ten Kate Honda duo were unable to find an ideal set-up for a fast lap around the 4.907km Miller circuit.
Rea has no issues with his settings for Monday’s two 21-lap races, expressing confidence in his CBR1000RR’s ability to extract the best out of its tyres towards the end of the race. However, the 23-year-old Northern Irishman will seek more of a compromise tomorrow to find enough pace for a good qualifying lap.
Jonathan Rea – P11
I’m a bit disappointed with where we ended up today after the first qualifying session, especially as everything felt pretty good after the first practice session this morning. The problem we have is that, at the moment, the bike is better suited to longer runs. It kind of backs up what we’ve found in recent races when I’ve been strongest towards the end of the race. We’ll look to change the balance a little tomorrow to try and put in a one lap wonder like everyone else seems to be able to do.
Max Neukirchner – P16
I seem to still be having the same problems. It’s fine in the first session, but I reach the limit very quickly and I am unable to improve afterwards. When I try to push to stay with the faster riders, I have problems on braking for corner entry and holding a line. I started with two different set-ups this morning – one with more weight on the front and the other with more on the rear. I definitely had a better feeling with the second option, so we’ll have to try and develop this some more for tomorrow.
Ronald ten Kate – team manager
In spite of the position we’re in, we’re not in any kind of panic. Jonathan’s set-up on well-used race tyres is good, so now we just need to find something like a qualifying trim for him to make a couple of fast laps when he needs to. Max started with two different options this morning, but neither worked for him as we would have wanted. He’ll need to settle on something quickly tomorrow in order for him to progress into Superpole to get a decent qualifying position.