World SBK 2012 – Round Ten – Silverstone
— Smrz takes Silverstone pole
Jakub Smrz (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert Ducati) secured his second Tissot-Superpole of the season today at Silverstone, to add to the pre-race success he enjoyed at Miller Motorsports Park in May.
The Czech rider made the best of the often treacherous track and weather conditions at Silverstone, in what was a two-part wet Superpole, to lead FIXI Crescent Suzuki rider Leon Camier off the line on Sunday’s two eni FIM Superbike World Championship races. Sylvain Guintoli (PATA Racing Team Ducati) was third in his first appearance for the Italian squad and local hero Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) was fourth, despite being fastest with only one lap left from his main rivals.
Jakub Smrz: “It was a great performance in the wet. As Leon said the conditions were really difficult, the rain was changing at every moment on every part of the track, but I was trying to improve lap by lap and then on the last lap I tried my best and it was enough for first place. We are used to these conditions this year, so we must be ready for everything tomorrow.”
Leon Camier: “It was definitely better than where I normally qualify, so that’s good! Massive thanks to the boys, it’s been a hard year for us but finally everything is paying off and this weekend we’ve been strong. There were some tricky conditions for qualifying but I managed to get a good rhythm and keep improving. I thought I had pole and I did until Kuba came past on the last lap!”
Sylvain Guintoli: “I’m really happy because it’s not easy when you’re put in a new situation like this one. From the start of the weekend me and the team have got on really well, we’ve been tweaking stuff like in winter testing! I’m having fun with Pata and I’ve found a good home with which to finish the season. Obviously this is the first step, but there’s plenty more performance to come.”
Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Ducati) was another rider to lead for a time before crashing on the wet surface and finishing fifth, with championship challenger Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) sixth, Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) seventh and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) eighth. Checa and Sykes both fell, spoiling any chance of making faster laps in Superpole 2.
Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) went ninth after his own crash in the first 20-minute session, while Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) could only manage tenth and Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing) eleventh.
Times: 1. Smrz (Ducati) 2’20.810 average 150.893 kph; 2. Camier (Suzuki) 2’20.846; 3. Guintoli (Ducati) 2’21.385; 4. Haslam (BMW) 2’21.613; 5. Giugliano (Ducati) 2’21.951; 6. Melandri (BMW) 2’21.960; 7. Checa (Ducati) 2’23.356; 8. Sykes (Kawasaki) 2’24.025; 9. Baz (Kawasaki) 2’23.777; 10. Rea (Honda) 2’23.889; 11. Biaggi (Aprilia) 2’24.176; 12. Hopkins (Suzuki) 2’24.274; 13. Berger (Ducati) 2’24.294; 14. Laverty (Aprilia) 2’25.260; 15. Fabrizio (BMW) 2’26.137; 16. Davies (Aprilia) 2’26.360; etc.
Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda) secured pole at Silverstone after the second qualifying session, held in tricky wet and drying track conditions. He held off local rider Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda) to secure the best starting place for Sunday’s race, with replacement rider Alex Lundh (Bogdanka Honda PTR) third, and then a late faller in the second session. The front row places are locked-out by PTR Honda men, with Mathew Scholtz (Bogdanka PTR Honda) fourth. Another Honda rider, Imre Toth (Team Toth) was fifth, with Assen podium man Vladimir Leonov (Yahknich Motorsport Yamaha) sixth. Championship leader Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Lorenzini) could only manage tenth, with Fabien Foret (Kawasaki Intermoto Step Racing) 17th and Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda) 18th.
Times: 1. Cluzel (Honda) 2’22.258 average 149.357 kph; 2. Lowes (Honda) 2’23.264; 3. Lundh (Honda) 2’23.522; 4. Scholtz (Honda) 2’23.844; 5. Toth (Honda) 2’23.967; 6. Leonov (Yamaha) 2’24.611; 7. Quarmby (Honda) 2’24.821; 8. Antonelli (Yamaha) 2’24.840; etc.
Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) secured pole in the UK on a nearly dry track, with MRS Kawasaki rider Jeremy Guarnoni second and Barni Racing Team Ducati Panigale rider Eddi La Marra third. The top three were separated by relatively large margins as the difficult track conditions played a part once again. French rider Mathieu Lussiana (Team ASPI Kawasaki) was an impressive fourth, with local rider Kevin Coghlan (DMC Racing) fifth.
Times: 1. Barrier (BMW) 2’12.992 average 159.763 kph; 2. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 2’13.872; 3. La Marra (Ducati) 2’15.327; 4. Lussiana (Kawasaki) 2’15.942; 5. Coghlan (Ducati) 2’16.081; 6. Jezek (Ducati) 2’16.088; 7. Brown (Ducati) 2’18.051; 8. Savadori (Ducati) 2’19.193; etc.
A highly cosmopolitan Superstock 600 front row for Sunday’s race will be headed by fastest qualifier and points leader Michael van der Mark (EAB Ten Kate Junior Honda) who was over a second ahead of Gauthier Duwelz (MTM Yamaha) at Silverstone. The Dutch rider and the Belgian will lead away Australian Adrian Nestorovic (MTM Yamaha) and Danish rider Alex Schacht (Schacht Racing SBK ONE Honda). Another Australian, Matt Davies (Team GOELEVEN Kawasaki) was fifth, with Italian rider Riccardo Russo (Yamaha Team Italia FMI) completing the top six.
Times: 1. Vd Mark (Honda) 2’12.426 average 160.446 kph; 2. Duwelz (Yamaha) 2’13.768; 3. Nestorovic (Yamaha) 2’14.595; 4. Schacht (Honda) 2’14.843; 5. Davies (Kawasaki) 2’14.875; 6. Russo (Yamaha) 2’14.882; 7. Gamarino (Kawasaki) 2’15.074; 8. Chesaux (Honda) 2’15.186; etc.
KTM European Junior Cup
Wildcard British rider Josh Daley (Moto Vudu) put his KTM Duke 690 on top of the field in the qualifying session for the European Junior Cup class, with regular rider and points leader Lukas Wimmer (MSC Schalchen) second and Jamie Patterson (RPM Performance) third. Conner Parkhill (KTM UK) was fourth while Brandon Kyee (Brandon Kyee Racing) went top five. Wimmer’s chief rival Javier Orellana qualified twelfth.
Times: 1. Daley (KTM) 2’48.989 average 125.731 kph; 2. Wimmer (KTM) 2’49.323; 3. Patterson (KTM) 2’49.610; 4. Parkhill (KTM) 2’50.760; 5. Kyee (KTM) 2’52.234; 6. Demoulin (KTM) 2’53.620; 7. Mikhalchik (KTM) 2’54.377; 8. Scarcella (KTM) 2’55.441; etc.
— Fixi Suzuki Report
FIXI Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier celebrated his birthday in style during today’s Superpole for the 10th round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship at Silverstone in the UK by taking second on the grid.
Camier turned 26 today and began the party early by first recording the fourth quickest time in this morning’s dry final qualifying session and then posting the fastest time of the weekend so far during the second free practice, to take top-place on the time-sheets.
As heavy rain fell early this afternoon, the Superpole was declared wet and, as the rules dictate, only two sessions were available instead of the usual three. Camier quickly got up to speed in the tricky conditions and made his way through to Superpole 2, where he made an impressive impact and looked to have done enough to have secured Pole Position, before he was knocked off the top-spot by Jakub Smrz at the very end of the session. Camier’s second place today is the best for the Englishman in FIXI Crescent Suzuki colours – and the highest for the team so far this year – and it is just reward for the hard-work the crew has done over recent weeks to improve the Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R.
John Hopkins looked back to his racing best around the 5,902m Silverstone circuit this morning as he clocked the second fastest time in the final qualifying session to secure his Superpole place. Unfortunately the rain cost Hopkins a much higher grid position than he would have probably achieved if the conditions had remained dry, but the Anglo-American still produced a good performance in the difficult conditions – that saw many riders crash – to get a third-row start, with a 12th place on the grid for tomorrow’s races.
Camier and Smrz will be joined on the front row by Sylvain Guintoli and Leon Haslam, with reigning World Champion Carlos Checa seventh on the grid. Current championship leader Max Biaggi will start from eleventh for tomorrow’s two 18-lap races, the first of which is scheduled to get underway at 12.00hrs local time.
Leon Camier: “With Superpole coming to a close, I really thought that I had won it because there was so little time remaining, but then Smrz went faster and ruined my birthday! Although winning Superpole would’ve been good, it’s a great feeling to be on the front row of the grid at last. It’s been a long time coming, but we always believed we could do it. The boys have worked so hard to make the bike better and the improvements in the engine and the electronics have allowed me to be competitive again. My race pace has been good in the wet and the dry and we’ve got good set-ups for both conditions. So, if it is either dry or wet, we’re ready! I hope it’s going to be dry because I think the racing will be better and it’ll be good for the fans as well.”
John Hopkins: “This morning I felt very confident and it was like business as usual again. I pushed hard in the dry, felt comfortable and was pretty happy to set the second quickest time. Then it began to rain, so we started sorting out a wet set-up for my FIXI Crescent Suzuki. Having qualified easily for Superpole meant that some of the pressure was off, so when it rained this afternoon and a ‘Wet Superpole’ was called it was just a matter of seeing what the weather would do and then try and find the limit of the tyres. In the first session I improved lap-by-lap and I tried my best on my final one, but just missed getting into the second Superpole by the smallest of margins. It was a shame because I would’ve liked to have been further up the grid and show the potential of the bike. I don’t mind if it is wet or dry tomorrow, but I don’t think anybody wants mixed conditions. For the sake of the fans, I hope it is dry, but whatever the conditions we have good set-ups. I think this is my best qualifying result this season and although the bike has made a huge improvement, the biggest improvement is in me.”
Jack Valentine -Team Manager: “Finally, we have shown our true potential and I am very happy for Leon, John and the whole FIXI Crescent Suzuki team. The boys have been working hard and today we saw the proof of their efforts. The engine has improved quite a bit recently and the electronics have also made a step forward and now I think we’re in a stronger position to challenge the top guys. It’s fantastic to see Leon second on the grid, but I feel a bit sorry for him, because he was leading Superpole until the final few moments. He’s got a solid platform to work from and so I am expecting good things from him tomorrow. It’s also great to have the old John back. What he did this morning was pretty amazing and it shows that he’s got his confidence back. He normally gets good starts, so I expect him to be in the mix in both races. Hopefully the weather will not put a spoiler on the races and the racing will be good and also the results.”
— Honda WSBK Report
Jonathan Rea will start tomorrow’s two tenth round World Superbike races from the third row of the grid after setting the tenth fastest time in this afternoon’s Superpole qualifying session at Silverstone in the UK.
Pole position was taken by Czech rider Jakub Smrz as frequent showers at the 5.9km Silverstone circuit affected all riders.
Rea qualified for Superpole after this morning’s second regulation qualifying session began in dry conditions. However, as his Honda World Superbike team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama put in a new tyre with fewer than 10 minutes of the session remaining, the rain returned and the Japanese rider could not improve his time.
With Superpole itself declared wet, Rea was eliminated after the first of the two 20-minute sessions before further rain fell. The 25-year-old from Northern Ireland will consequently line up on the third row of the grid ahead of championship leader Max Biaggi.
Jonathan Rea – P10
I’m still frustrated today because, although we improved the bike from yesterday with a dramatic step, it’s still not in the direction I need. What’s more frustrating is that we’re making changes to the bike but it’s not affecting the area that I’m having problems with. I need to build confidence again after being off the bike and having to re-learn it, but until we can get the bike to inspire a bit of that confidence it feels like I’m riding around and banging my head against the wall. One thing for sure is that the guys around me are smart people, and the bike’s been amazing before, like two or three races ago. It seems like the settings are pretty similar but there’s something wrong. If we can get something like we had back then, there’s no reason why we can’t ride at the front again. It’ll be another late night thinking about a change we can make for warm-up but the good thing about Silverstone is that we only need to find a little change because it’s such a long lap around here. The guys are doing their best, I’m doing my best, but this position is not a reflection of where we should be.
Hiroshi Aoyama – P20
This morning we missed the last ten minutes of qualifying because the rain came back. We had just put in a new tyre to make a good lap time but we couldn’t do it. In the afternoon free practice in the dry, I was faster so we could see that I could make the lap time, so it’s a pity. At least in the dry the feeling from the bike is better, certainly better than yesterday. We can see the improvement in the bike with the improved lap time and for tomorrow, if it’s dry, I think we can make two good races. If it rains, I’m not so sure – we’ll see how the weather is tomorrow.
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
It was a real shame that in second qualifying, with 12 minutes to go, it was looking like Hiroshi would make it to Superpole. But it started to rain, so it was a pity that he couldn’t get that chance. In the second free practice he showed that he has a reasonable pace and he was constantly improving. It’s looking quite positive for him here, so I hope we can do two good races tomorrow. Of course, it’s weather-dependent but in the dry he’s looking quite strong. With Jonathan we’re still struggling to find a good set-up and with the mixed weather he could do no better than tenth in Superpole. Maybe it’s better for us if it’s wet tomorrow, but we still have some ideas to improve the dry setting, too.
— Kawasaki Report
isturbed and frequently changing weather conditions held back the Superpole push of local man Tom Sykes and teenage rider Loris Baz at Silverstone, with Sykes eighth and Baz ninth after Superpole.
Superpole was declared wet and both official KRT riders were caught out by the slippery conditions on some parts of the track, with other sections offering more outright grip, even in wet conditions.
Sykes fell in Superpole two, and had to settle for a second row start, not his more regular place on the front row, after his previous seven Superpole wins in 2012. He had headed combined qualifying as fastest man, before the wet Superpole rules came into play.
Baz will start Sunday’s races from row three, in ninth place, but still in with a good chance on raceday, no matter the conditions, as good set-up work was done in wet, dry and intermediate conditions. Loris had been an impressive seventh quickest in combined qualifying.
Kawasaki Team Pedercini Superbike rider David Salom found it hard to get a good set-up on the ever-changing track surface and qualified 21st overall. David Johnson rode the second Pedercini Kawasaki machine at this meeting and qualified 22nd.
Superstock 1000 FIM Cup rider Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki) was second fastest in combined qualifying, while Mathieu Lussiana (Team ASPI Kawasaki) was fourth. Bryan Staring (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) was 14th in qualifying.
Tom Sykes: “It was a strange track today because yesterday in the wet initial grip felt better but today it felt greasy and it does not help when it is wet, dry, wet, and generally very inconsistent. We were unfortunate in Superpole but in the dry the bike is working well, so I feel confident. We put 15 laps in this morning in one go and I was on a personal best in the last of those laps, but then the rain came. So it was pleasing to see that we could have good pace so far into a simulated race. If it is a dry race day we should be OK. Superpole was wet and we have changed the balance of the bike quite a lot so we are having to learn and try to do things a bit differently, but when the track is not wet for long enough it limits our track time. It was unfortunate to fall in Superpole 2 but I had only put two laps on the tyre and I was just slowly trying to build up speed. Tomorrow is another day and we have good guys in the garage so we will make some improvements and hopefully things will be a bit more straightforward, especially with the weather.”
Loris Baz: “I am confident for the race at Silverstone and we have been in the top ten most of the time in practice, no matter the conditions. That is another step forward for us. In my crash in Superpole I touched the white line a little. Not a big mistake but a big consequence. It is a shame but sometimes these things happen. We had a good pace in the wet and at least I did not crash pushing, just for a small mistake. We have a good pace for the race in dry or wet so I am confident for tomorrow. I do not care about the weather we have because we cannot change it!”
— BMW Report
The two factory riders from Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport bravely fought the tricky and dangerous conditions in today’s Superpole qualifying. Local hero Leon Haslam (GBR) will start his home races at Silverstone (GBR) from the front row. He qualified fourth for the tenth round of the 2012 FIM Superbike World Championship. His team-mate Marco Melandri (ITA) will start on his BMW S 1000 RR from sixth place on the second row. The weather was changing and unpredictable again with clouds, some sun and many rain showers. The Superpole was declared wet, meaning only two sessions of 20 minutes each took place.
In a nail-biting and closely fought Superpole 1, Leon and Marco qualified for the top eight who progressed into the deciding second part. In Superpole 2, another rain shower made the conditions very tricky with patches of water on the track and very slippery sections. Several riders crashed while fighting for the top positions on the grid. Michel Fabrizio and Ayrton Badovini (both ITA) of the BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet SBK Team will start tomorrow’s races from 15th and 18th respectively.
Leon Haslam: Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 2:06.544 min (P13) / Fastest lap FP: 2:06.231 min (P9) / Fastest lap Superpole 2: 2:21.613 min (P4)
“I am really happy. It is always nice to start from the front row, especially at the home race. We just had two or three laps of wet weather testing on Friday and then I didn’t have a good feeling but the guys worked really hard and every lap we did and every time we changed the bike we made an improvement. The conditions were difficult. Some were pushing maybe a little bit too much too early so there were a lot of crashes. We built up and went faster with every lap. When I crossed the chequered flag I was P1, which was nice for a short while! To have a front row start tomorrow is important and I am looking forward to the races. The target is always to win. We still have some more work to do before the races but I am feeling very comfortable. I think the biggest decisions will be on the weather.”
Marco Melandri: Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 2:06.106 min (P3) / Fastest lap FP: 2:06.150 min (P7) / Fastest lap Superpole 2: 2:21.960 min (P6)
“This was another very tough day. The conditions were really difficult with rain showers and changing grip levels on different parts of the track. In the dry we could not have hoped for a start position like this as we were struggling again with chattering. In the wet conditions the Superpole was not too bad but it was not easy. Just before I went out on my last run it started raining very heavily in the second sector. I was really scared of aquaplaning so I chose to take it easy. Tomorrow will be difficult, as you never know what the weather will be like here. If it is dry tomorrow morning, we will make a small change to the set-up to be ready for all conditions.”
Andrea Dosoli (Head of Race Operations): “Overall I am pleased with the job done by our riders and the crews. Both Leon and Marco will start tomorrow’s races from the front two rows. These are good grid positions considering where we started from yesterday. Both crews worked hard to improve the performance of the RR. In dry conditions the steps made were quite good, although there is still room for improvement, mainly for the race pace. Both Leon and Marco need to be a few tenths quicker to fight with Carlos Checa and Tom Sykes, and the crews will work hard to get there. I am very happy with Leon’s performance and result today. We will continue to work hard to get the best possible results tomorrow and I am sure we will be competitive with both riders.”
— Althea Ducati
Team Althea Racing secured two places on the second row of tomorrow’s SBK race grid at Silverstone. Riders Davide Giugliano and Carlos Checa both crashed during this afternoon’s Superpole but despite these difficulties managed to record the fifth and seventh fastest lap times respectively.
Conditions were cloudy but dry for the start of the second qualifying session this morning. Both Althea Racing riders went straight out on track and for Davide it was especially important that he record a fast time in order to qualify for Superpole after yesterday’s results. Fortunately, conditions allowed almost all riders, Davide included, to improve on their best times set yesterday. Towards mid-session, the young Italian went well over a second quicker than he did in first qualifying, registering a best of 2m06.4 which put him in twelfth for the Superpole. Carlos recorded the tenth fastest time of the morning but the aggregate results of both qualifying sessions meant that he qualified in overall fifth position for today’s Superpole.
Superpole 1: today’s Superpole was declared wet after heavy rain fell just moments before the session opened. Checa was pushing hard right from the start, lowering his times with the passing of each lap. In the final stages he made further improvement, consolidating his position at the top of the timesheets with a best time of 1m22.5. Giugliano made constant progress throughout the session before making a big step up in the final minutes, with a time of 2m22.9 which took him from twelfth to second position, just four tenths of a second behind team-mate Carlos’.
Superpole 2: the rain returned between the first and second sessions but this did not prevent Giugliano from recording a very fast time, projecting himself into first place with a lap time of 1m21.9. Unfortunately, pushing perhaps a little too hard in the final stages caused the Italian to crash and he lost out on a front row start as a result, closing in final fifth position. Almost immediately Carlos, lying in third, also crashed when he touched the slippery white line. As a result he too missed out on an almost certain front row position, losing a few positions in the final minutes and qualifying in eventual seventh place for tomorrow’s races.
Carlos Checa: “In the Superpole I went long and didn’t expect the white line to be so slippery – there was no way I could avoid the crash. It was a pity because I know I could have made a good lap and a good result. So that’s that, we lost the front row, but at least we know that we have a pretty strong pace in all conditions, whether wet or dry. We’ve worked hard all weekend and I’m confident. Two dry races would be preferable for us riders and for the fans I think but from what we’ve seen so far it’s all a big unknown as far as racing conditions are concerned.”
Davide Giugliano: “The weekend hasn’t been easy for us at all, what with the crash yesterday and then some small problems with the bike. I haven’t been able to put together all of the necessary elements. In the Superpole I had quite good feeling in the wet and if it hadn’t been for the crash I could definitely have been on the front row, perhaps even in pole. But anyway, we are tough and we go on. We’ll see what we can do tomorrow. One positive thing to come out of the Superpole is that we’ve shown that we have pace in the wet, so if conditions are similar tomorrow I think our chances are good.”
— Effenbert Liberty Ducati Report
The wet Superpole rewards Jakub Smrž that brings the Team Effenbert Liberty Racing in front of everyone. The Czech, with great determination, after conducting the session valid for the final places on the starting grid has signed with a time of 2’20 “810 the best time of day, thus demonstrating once again his skills and speed and his great ability to ride in difficult conditions. Well done also for the Frenchman Maxime Berger, who tomorrow starts from the thirteenth place. Maxime missed the opportunity to ride a final round for only 5 seconds, opportunity that, with such the track conditions, would have certainly allowed to be in the first eight, and thus have the chance to play the second session of Superpole. Behind Smrž, the home rider Leon Camier and Sylvain Guintoli, both in spite of their fast laps, weren’t able to have the best against the power of the Effenbert rider.
Brett McCormick, despite the good test on track and medical condition reported yesterday on the occasion of his return on circuit, will not participate in tomorrow’s race even if regularly qualified. The decision has been agreed with the Team in order to allow the talented Canadian rider to avoid unnecessary risks given by the changing weather conditions, and have more available time to find the best physical form and develop the feeling with the bike after his long absence from races due to the necessary rehabilitation after the serious accident happened at Assen.
Kuba Smrž #96
“”I am very happy for the feeling with my bike, we have done a great job and we have been able to find the right setting adapted for the changing conditions of weather and tarmac that we have to deal with. I am very happy with the result that rewards the efforts of all and the desire to obtain important placements “.
— Rivamoto Jed Metcher Report
Saturday at Silverstone brought unexpected challenges for the Rivamoto team after Australian Jed Metcher qualified in 23rd position. Metcher was having technical difficulties in the morning practice session however he managed to finish the session in 14th position. Unfortunately he could not take this form into the second qualifying session, as electronic problems prevented any improvement. Metcher will be starting from the 6th row of the grid for tomorrow’s race.
Edik Blokhin was also undergoing difficulties during qualifying and was unable to improve his impressive position from yesterday, even though he managed to improve his lap time by 5 seconds. Edik was having handling issues with his wet set-up when coming into the corners, and is working on a way to improve his feeling on the bike.
Oleg Pozdneev was extremely close to qualifying, however he was unfortunately unsuccessful after highsiding in the wet conditions during his fastest lap. Oleg was having difficulty adapting his riding style to the ever changing weather conditions and is working on improving his confidence in the wet.
Quote Jed Metcher:
“The issues with the bike in the morning and afternoon session were preventing me from being confident enough to post a fast lap. I’m hoping the team can find a solution for the bike because I believe these conditions are an advantage for me and I would like to be able to compete for World Championship points.”
Quote Jeremy McWilliams: “One problem compounded another and as much as the team tried to find a setting for the really difficult conditions, we just didn’t make the best of the situation. We have a lot to make up for in the races for both riders.”