World SBK 2011 – Round 12 – Magny-Cours
Rea wins his first Tissot-Superpole of the year
Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda) made the best of perfect weather conditions to take the Tissot-Superpole win in France with a 1 minute 37.490 second lap – a new track best. It was his first top starting place this season, and only the second in his career. Second overall after the three-part contest, which determines the top 16 starting positions, was Eugene Laverty (Yamaha World Superbike) from championship leader Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) and Aprilia Alitalia rider Leon Camier. Checa only just made it into Superpole 3 but still starts from the front row tomorrow, on what is almost certain to be the day he wins the championship outright.
Jonathan Rea: “My Superpole lap was very strong and very good for the team. It looked like the pace was close all weekend, and we knew that the team needed to make that extra step to make Sunday more comfortable. My guys gave me a great bike in FP2, they transformed some things, changing the balance which gave me more confidence to push. I expected to be near the front but didn’t expect the lap time to be so fast.”
Eugene Laverty: “This was the first track where I rode the R1 last year and I went strong immediately so I was looking forward to coming back to a track I’ve already ridden the bike at. I was hoping to fight for pole position, but Johnny beat me to it. I’ve been second so many times on the grid this year so I’ve accepted I’m not going to get a free Tissot watch! It would be good to win again after Monza, I’ll try for it but more important is two finishes on the podium.”
Carlos Checa: “I think our rival is now myself, in the sense that I must keep my concentration, do one more race and keep the emotions for after. Today has not been easy, but finally we concluded with a satisfactory qualifying position considering the situation and we are quite happy. In the box the Althea team is very professional, everyone is calm and so far we are doing perfect.”
Sylvain Guintoli (Effenbert-Liberty Racing Ducati) was the top French competitor in fifth, one place up on Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team Superbike) even though they set identical lap times. The top two rows were completed by Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) and Marco Melandri (Yamaha World Superbike).
Superpole 2 ended the chances of Noriyuki Haga (Pata Aprilia), Kawasaki Racing Team’s Joan Lascorz, Supersonic Ducati’s Maxime Berger and Troy Corser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) improving on their third row starting positions.
The first four riders to exit from the Tissot-Superpole contest were Jakub Smrz (Effenbert Liberty Racing Ducati), Michel Fabrizio (Alstare Suzuki), Mark Aitchison (Pedercini Team Kawasaki) and Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK). Javier Fores (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK) and Roberto Rolfo (Pedercini Team Kawasaki) were the only two riders not to qualify for Superpole, with Ruben Xaus (Castrol Honda) already out of the running due to an injury picked up in practice yesterday.
Times: 1. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1’37.490; 2. Laverty E. (IRL) Yamaha YZF R1 1’37.600; 3. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 1’37.932; 4. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’38.006; 5. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 1’38.094; 6. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’38.094; 7. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 1’38.382; 8. Melandri M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R1 1’38.562; 9. Haga N. (JPN) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’38.137; 10. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’38.204; 11. Berger M. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 1’38.347; 12. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 1’38.516; 13. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 1’38.524; 14. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’38.565; 15. Aitchison M. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’38.623; 16. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1’38.687; 17. Fores J. (ESP) BMW S1000 RR 1’39.230; 18. Rolfo R. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’39.982
Broc Parkes scored his third pole position of the year in WSS qualifying for the Kawasaki Motocard.com team, his second on the run after Imola, with a time of 1 minute 41.395 seconds. Alongside the Australian on the front row of the grid will be two top Italians, Luca Scassa (Yamaha ParkinGO) in second and Friday pace-setter Massimo Roccoli (Lorenzini by Leoni Kawasaki) in third. The front row is completed by Sam Lowes (Parkalgar Honda).
Points leader Chaz Davies (Yamaha ParkinGO) will only start from the eighth slot on row 2, with James Ellison (Bogdanka PTR Honda), David Salom (Kawasaki Motocard.com) and Fabien Foret (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) ahead of him.
Times: 1. Parkes B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’41.395; 2. Scassa L. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’41.397; 3. Roccoli M. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’41.490; 4. Lowes S. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 1’41.586; 5. Ellison J. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 1’41.588; 6. Salom D. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’41.614; 7. Foret F. (FRA) Honda CBR600RR 1’41.916; 8. Davies C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R6 1’41.952; etc.
Once again there will an all-Italian front row for the Superstock 1000 race tomorrow, with Danilo Petrucci (Barni Racing Team Ducati) ahead of title chaser Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Ducati), the former also setting a new best lap for the category. Third quickest was Niccolò Canepa (Lazio Motorsport Ducati) while Lorenzo Zanetti (BMW Motorrad Italia Superstock) completed the front row.
Frenchman Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia Superstock), who crashed again in the final session, will start from row 2 followed by Lorenzo Baroni (Althea Racing Ducati), Lorenzo Savadori (Lorenzini by Leoni Kawasaki) and the returning Loris Baz (Ten Kate Junior Team Honda).
Times: 1. Petrucci D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’41.335; 2. Giugliano D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’41.372; 3. Canepa N. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’41.680; 4. Zanetti L. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1’41.690; 5. Barrier S. (FRA) BMW S1000 RR 1’41.828; 6. Baroni L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’41.929; 7. Savadori L. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’42.328; 8. Baz L. (FRA) Honda CBR1000RR 1’42.373; etc.
Superstock 600 – Race
A thrilling 12-lap race saw Jed Metcher (MTM-RT Motorsports Yamaha Team) move further ahead in the championship battle by taking second place behind race winner Michael Van der Mark (Ten Kate Junior Team). This was the Dutch Honda rider’s third win of the year and puts him third overall in the championship rankings, 25 points behind Metcher but with a better win ratio, which may be crucial at the final round in Portugal.
One-time race leader and pole man Joshua Day (Revolution Racedays Kawasaki) was third in the race and is now 19 points behind Metcher in the table, with one race remaining. Tony Covena (Nito Racing Yamaha) was fourth today, eight seconds back, with Robin Mulhauser (RRT Racing Yamaha) fifth.
Results: 1. Vd Mark M. (NED) Honda CBR600RR 21’05.878 (150,532 kph); 2. Metcher J. (AUS) Yamaha YZF R6 1.699; 3. Day J. (USA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1.743; 4. Covena T. (NED) Yamaha YZF R6 8.642; 5. Mulhauser R. (SUI) Yamaha YZF R6 8.997; 6. Beretta D. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 11.345; 7. Marchal M. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R6 17.331; 8. Cocco F. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 19.447; etc.
Points (after 9 of 10 rounds): 1. Metcher 137; 2. Day 118; 3. Vd Mark 112; 4. Lanusse 101; 5. Lombardi 86; 6. Russo 83; 7. Duwelz 67; 8. Covena 50; etc.
– Yamaha Report
Eugene Laverty was on flying form today completing the second qualifying day at Magny Cours in second place, securing a front row start on the French grid for tomorrows two races. The sweltering heat and unusually high track temperature of 42 proved difficult on rubber in the afternoons superpole knockout. Laverty performed impeccably to shoot straight to the top of the time sheets in the first session on a race tyre, being bumped to fifth in the closing minutes as 14 of the 16 riders switched to qualifiers and went out to improve their times. Team-mate Melandri used both a race tyre and a qualifier to take him through to the second heat in 11th place. Both Yamaha riders comfortably qualified for the last session with Laverty in sixth place and Melandri in seventh. The third and final heat saw the Northern Irish rider clocking in an impressive 137.600, beating the previous best lap record before fellow Irishman Rea, beat him to pole by just 0.110 of a second. Melandri, having already used his sets of qualifiers was unable to secure a front row position and will start tomorrows races from eighth place on the grid.
Both Yamaha World Superbike riders successfully completed this mornings cooler qualifying practice having made further progress with the rear set up on their R1 machines. Melandri lapped the track for the first time ever yesterday, yet managed to set the fastest time in the todays session, having taken over a second off yesterdays lap time.
Eugene Laverty / Yamaha World Superbike Team , 2nd – 1’37.600
“This was the first place I tested the R1 last year and was strong immediately so I was really looking forward to coming back here again. Its always nice to go back to a track you know well and have had good results before, it helps gain confidence. I was hoping to get the pole position but Rea just beat me to it so Ill be aiming for that in Portimao, it would be nice to get aTissot watch before the end of the year. Id like to get another race win, its been a while since Monza, but Id be happy with rostrums as the last time I was up there was in Silverstone so Ill be aiming for two solid finishes on Sunday. ”
Marco Melandri / Yamaha World Superbike Team , 8th – 1’38.171
“Today was both a positive and a negative qualifying day. We made good progress with our race pace this morning in the second qualifying session, but just like in the last few rounds I have struggled with the qualifying tyres. Ill be starting tomorrows two races from the second row on the grid which means it wont be easy but Im confident that we have a more competitive package than we had in Imola. Ill do my best to get off to a good start and push through the pack hoping for a podium finish.”
Andrea Dosoli – Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager
“It was definitely a positive qualifying day for both riders. Eugene was impeccable in all 3 superpole sessions, saving the qualifying tyres for the second and third heats to secure his fourth 2nd place on the grid this year. In this mornings qualifying practice he demonstrated that he has a good race pace so I am confident that he will do two very strong races tomorrow. Marco made a leap in the right direction today; he improved over one second on yesterdays times, the fastest to lap the track in the second qualifying practice. He has a good race pace also and a second row start isnt dramatic. I am sure he will be competitive and fighting for a podium in both races tomorrow.”
– BMW Report
Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport started with high hopes in today’s Superpole qualifying at Magny-Cours (FRA). In the previous practice and qualifying sessions, factory riders Leon Haslam (GBR) and Troy Corser (AUS) were close to the top on their BMW S 1000 RRs. But in the deciding Superpole qualifying both of them experienced some issues that prevented them from qualifying at the very front. Leon finished seventh and will start the penultimate round of the 2011 FIM Superbike World Championship from the second row. Troy qualified 12th and on the third row. Ayrton Badovini (ITA) from the BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team will start with his RR from 16th. His team mate Xavi Fores (ESP) qualified 17th.\
Leon Haslam: Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:38.483 min (P5) / Fastest lap FP: 1:39.344 min (P10) / Fastest lap Superpole 3: 1:38.382 min (P7)
“We had a few issues in Superpole, which made the bike quite difficult to ride. If we can sit down now and solve these issues before tomorrow then a podium finish is certainly what we are aiming to achieve. We have been strong so far this weekend and the times are good on race tyres, but we just need to make some small improvements then we will be in a good position for the races. Right now starting positions and lap times are not what I am thinking about because we know if everything falls into place then we can be right up there.”
Troy Corser: Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:38.485 min (P6) / Fastest lap FP: 1:39.334 min (P9) / Fastest lap Superpole 2: 1:38.516 min (P12)
“It was a tough session. The qualifying tyres didn’t really improve my time as I was able to do the same times on race tyres, and that cost us in the end. It is a little frustrating because in order to qualify well you need to be going faster on the softer tyres, otherwise you won’t be able to match the speed of the other guys who can. But on race tyres the bike is working really well and I am happy with the set-up, so let see what happens tomorrow. Around here you need to get away well and run with the leaders, otherwise it can become very difficult to make up the time. A lot will depend on the first lap tomorrow. We have been in the top five all weekend so we are optimistic.”
Rainer Bäumel (Head of Race Operations): “Leon did a good job. In Superpole 3 he did not have a qualifying tyre left. In view of this he did a good lap time. All the riders are very close and in Superpole 1 we had to send out both riders on qualifying tyres. Nearly everybody in the field did that, as one tenth of a second more or less means five places higher or lower. Troy unfortunately had some issues with his tyres in Superpole 2 that led to small mistakes. That is a shame, because otherwise he would also have made it to the next session.”
– Suzuki Report
Team Alstare Suzuki’s Michel Fabrizio will start tomorrow’s pair of 23-lap World Superbike Championship races at Magny Cours in France from the fourth row of the grid after he and the team were unable to solve the problems in practice and qualifying.
Although the team tried many different solutions with the GSX-R1000, none of them worked sufficiently well for the Italian to proceed any further than Superpole 1. It was a disappointing afternoon, but they are hoping that tomorrow morning’s warm-up will provide some answers and at least allow Fabrizio to challenge in the races.
Jonathan Rea (Honda) took Superpole this afternoon with Eugene Laverty (Yamaha) second and series leader Carlos Checa (Ducati) third.
Michel Fabrizio – 14th, 1:38.565: “Obviously I am very disappointed how things have turned out today. Yesterday was not good, but the team and I felt that we would find some solutions to our problems and improve, but it didn’t turn out that way. We seemed to have tried everything possible, but the bike is still giving me problems on the brakes and on acceleration out of the turns. We’ve tried going back to our base set-up, but even that hasn’t worked as we expected, so we will have to try some more ideas and hopefully I can then push the bike harder.
“Of course, my grid position is not good and I am going to have to make two superb starts if I am to have any chance of doing well tomorrow. If we can get the bike working better, I know that I can keep up a good race pace and chase some decent results. If we don’t improve the bike, the races are going to be very hard indeed. I remain positive that the team will improve the bike in the warm-up and then I will have a chance in the races.