World SBK 2011 – Round Six – Misano
Sykes strikes after in wet Superpole at Misano
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) used all his experience and pace to take a popular pole position at Misano, overcoming wet but slowly drying conditions better than his peers to take Kawasaki’s first pole on the new Ninja ZX-10R. His last pole was in similar conditions at Imola last season on the previous Kawasaki model.
Points leader Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) ran him close after three wet Superpole sessions but starts second, with Jakub Smrz (Effenbert – Liberty Racing Ducati) third and the front row completed by Marco Melandri (Yamaha World Superbike).
Tom Sykes: “That just makes it a little bit sweeter for me, having struggled to get a good dry set-up. Exactly the same conditions as last year at Imola when I took the pole. A massive credit to Kawasaki Racing and Paul Bird Motorsport, in those conditions we have a strong electronics package and that helped us today. Conditions were so slippery and we found the maximum.”
Carlos Checa: “We are very satisfied but at the end I was struggling to keep the tyre in a good condition. It was sliding around, I took some risks but I could see that the limit was always the thing. Considering the conditions and my start with a small crash, my goal was the front row and we made it.”
Jakub Smrz: “It was a really tough day. I didn’t feel very well on the bike with the dry session, and then the rain started so everything changed and we started from zero. I made a small mistake in Superpole 1, I was doing good lap times easily but I didn’t see the boards and crashed. But I could go on the second bike and finished third in the end.”
Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) crashed out late on and missed the chance to improve on fifth, while Troy Corser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) overcame the pain of a fall yesterday to take sixth place. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia) and Sylvain Guintoli (Effenbert Liberty Racing Ducati) completed the front two rows. Biaggi was in pain in Superpole after crashing in the final free session, the Italian being diagnosed with bruising on his left ankle and damage to his talus bone cartilage.
Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK) posted a ninth place finish after Superpole two, with faller Eugene Laverty (Yamaha World Superbike) ahead of Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda) and Sykes’ fellow Kawasaki Racing Team rider, Joan Lascorz. Superpole three saw the exit of fast man in the dry Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki Alstare), faller Maxime Berger (Supersonic Racing Team), Rea’s team-mate Ruben Xaus (Castrol Honda) and Leon Camier (Aprilia Alitalia) who fell twice in this session. WSBK star Noriyuki Haga (PATA Racing Team Aprilia) was only 17th but local rider Matteo Baiocco (Barni Racing Team S.N.C.) was a good 18th of 23 riders. Returnee Chris Vermeulen (Kawasaki Racing Team) was 22nd fastest.
Weather conditions are hoped to improve for raceday, at what is usually a hot and steamy racetrack for the riders to deal with.
1 Tom Sykes Kawasaki GBR 1’55.197
2 Carlos Checa Ducati ESP 1’55.373
3 Jakub Smrz Ducati CZE 1’55.745
4 Marco Melandri Yamaha ITA 1’55.768
5 Leon Haslam BMW GBR 1’56.034
6 Troy Corser BMW AUS 1’56.285
7 Max Biaggi Aprilia ITA 1’56.480
8 Sylvain Guintoli Ducati FRA 1’57.054
9 Ayrton Badovini BMW ITA 1’57.374
10 Eugene Laverty Yamaha GBR 1’57.454
11 Jonathan Rea Honda GBR 1’57.831
12 Joan Lascorz Kawasaki ESP 1’58.509
13 Michel Fabrizio Suzuki ITA 2’02.235
14 Maxime Berger Ducati FRA 2’02.440
15 Ruben Xaus Honda ESP DNF
Qualifying 1 & Qualifying 2
1 Carlos Checa Ducati ESP 1’36.024 1’35.609
2 Max Biaggi Aprilia ITA 1’36.149 1’35.931
3 Michel Fabrizio Suzuki ITA 1’36.546 1’36.052
4 Joan Lascorz Kawasaki ESP 1’37.080 1’36.246
5 Marco Melandri Yamaha ITA 1’36.482 1’36.273
6 Leon Haslam BMW GBR 1’36.810 1’36.377
7 Tom Sykes Kawasaki GBR 1’36.793 1’36.383
8 Ayrton Badovini BMW ITA 1’37.059 1’36.434
9 Eugene Laverty Yamaha GBR 1’36.683 1’36.437
10 Maxime Berger Ducati FRA 1’37.432 1’36.529
11 Jakub Smrz Ducati CZE 1’36.713 1’36.581
12 Sylvain Guintoli Ducati FRA 1’36.753 1’36.639
13 Troy Corser BMW AUS 1’36.656 1’36.656
14 Ruben Xaus Honda ESP 1’37.093 1’36.664
15 Leon Camier Aprilia GBR 1’36.984 1’36.686
– Castrol Honda Report
Castrol Honda riders Jonathan Rea and Ruben Xaus both endured a tough qualifying day at Misano in Italy in preparation for tomorrow’s two sixth round races in the 2011 World Superbike championship.
Rain began to fall just before the Superpole sessions, in which the 16 fastest riders take part in a three-phase shoot out to determine final grid positions. Pole position for tomorrow’s two 24-lap races was taken by British rider, Tom Sykes.
Despite earlier set-up issues, Rea and Xaus both qualified for Superpole but Xaus crashed out at the fast turn 11 on his opening lap. With his spare Castrol Honda CBR1000RR set up for dry conditions, the Spaniard was unable to go out again to try to progress to Superpole 2.
Rea did so, in spite of more than a few scary moments on the slippery 4.226km Misano circuit, one of which saw him slip off the left footrest and almost crash. The 24-year-old from Northern Ireland had injured his left arm in an earlier crash during free practice, which required stitches at the Clinica Mobile.
Rea will start tomorrow’s races from the third row of the grid in 11th place, with Xaus one row further back in 15th but, with dry weather forecast to return to Misano, both will need set-up improvements to challenge for top positions.
Jonathan Rea – P11, 1m57.821s / It’s not been a good day and we were actually quite pleased when the rain came, because it levelled the playing field a little. I only just made it into Superpole in this morning’s second qualifying session because we’ve still got some real issues getting out of the corners here. I’m having to wait much longer than a lot of others to open the throttle, and that just loses us momentum for the faster parts of the track. It seems to be an electronics issue, but I know the guys are working hard to get the best setting we can find. Of course, I’ll try my best in the races, but we certainly need to find something for warm-up if it turns out dry again tomorrow.
Ruben Xaus – P15 (no Superpole time) / I am very disappointed that I couldn’t continue in Superpole because we made another step today, but that was in the dry. I improved the time again and we were working at making more progress in Superpole. Unfortunately the rain came just at the wrong time for me and I was one of many riders who crashed on the first lap. The settings on my spare bike could not be changed in time and that was it, so I must start from the fourth row. If it is dry again in the morning, we will have something to try in warm-up and then I will of course try to make up some places in the race.
Ronald ten Kate – team manager / It’s honestly hard to pick any positives out of today’s practice and qualifying sessions and, indeed, the weekend so far. It’s even more difficult for us to understand how we have ended up in the position we are. Having said that, in the recent past this season we have been competitive and been on the podium so we will dig deep tonight to see if we can regain some of the confidence we enjoyed then. We have some set-up issues to resolve, of course, and we will continue to work together to find the solutions we need.
– Alstare Suzuki Report
Rain just before Superpole at the Misano World Superbike round this afternoon put a dampener on Michel Fabrizio and Alstare Suzuki’s hopes of a front-row grid position tomorrow and he faces a mountain to climb from the fourth row of the grid.
Fabrizio had been third fastest in the dry and looking forward to a good grid position, but the heavens opened just after the afternoon’s untimed session and the Italian had to quickly try and find a good wet set-up on a bike he’s only had limited time on in the wet.
Misano’s 4.226 kilometre circuit is renowned for being very slippery in the wet and Fabrizio was unable to progress any further than Superpole 1 due to unfamiliarity with the conditions.
Carlos Checa (Ducati) had dominated in the dry, but Briton Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) took Superpole in the wet with a time of 1:55.197. Checa was second with Jakub Smrz (Ducati) third and Marco Melandri (Yamaha) fourth.
The wet Superpole followed a highly-intensive morning timed session which saw the top 16 riders separated by just 1.1 seconds and an afternoon untimed session with 10 riders all within a second of each other.
Michel Fabrizio – 13th, 2:02.235: “Obviously I am very disappointed the way things worked out. The weather ruined everything for me today and now I will have a lot of work to do to get good results from the fourth row of the grid. After yesterday and this morning, I felt confident that I could get on the front row of the grid or, at worst, row two. My bike’s set-up was good and everything was going pretty smoothly, apart from a small crash this afternoon when I pushed just a little bit too hard trying to get the fastest lap.
“This track is very slippery in the wet and this is my first time on this bike here in the wet and it was very hard to keep upright and not crash. I didn’t have much confidence in the wet and couldn’t feel what the front end was doing. I rode as best I could but I wanted to make sure I didn’t have another crash. I had a few little ‘moments’ and that was enough for me to keep things steady.
“I am hoping that tomorrow will be dry and I can attack in both races. I need to make two good starts and then fight with the guys up front. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the weather and, if it is dry, I can really enjoy the battles.”
– BMW Report
Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport had a pretty satisfying Superpole session at Misano (ITA). Works riders, Leon Haslam (GBR) and Troy Corser (AUS) will both start the sixth round of the 2011 FIM Superbike World Championship from the second row. Leon finished the wet Superpole session in fifth. Troy, who is still suffering from heavy bruising after the highsider he had yesterday, qualified sixth. After all the Practice and Qualifying sessions had been dry, heavy rain showers started just minutes before the deciding Superpole session. Many riders crashed in the opening minutes on the greasy track.
Leon Haslam: Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:36.377 min (P6) / Fastest lap FP: 1:36.588 min (P8) / Fastest lap Superpole 3: 1:56.034 min (P5)
“I am relatively happy with the overall result today. It was tough out there with a lot of riders crashing and making mistakes. I must admit I struggled through Superpole 1 and Superpole 2, but the team worked hard and we made some positive changes, which meant I was able to set good times in Superpole 3. In the final session I was following Carlos Checa – in places I was faster and in others he was faster. On the last flying lap I went into turn four and sadly crashed out. We ended up fifth on the grid. It would have been nice to be on the front row but we should be happy with our result. We have a few issues that seem to be affecting us in both wet and dry conditions, but hopefully we can sort them for the races tomorrow.”
Troy Corser: Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:36.656 min (P13) / Fastest lap FP: 1:36.433 min (P6) / Fastest lap Superpole 3: 1:56.285 min (P6)
“This morning I did not feel too bad on the bike, as the swelling had gone down and my lap times were quite good. Then I had a small slide and fell on my hip again. It became inflamed again and I struggled all day with it. Changing direction was difficult, especially in the wet, where you have to get off the bike a bit more so as not to lose the front. So I just tried to avoid another crash and to fall on my hip again. Also we did not have fantastic rear grip in the wet, so I had a couple of little slides. Because of this I played it safe. But I think my hip should be alright tomorrow. For the races I would prefer it to be dry, because then you don’t have to worry too much about crashing. In the wet it is so slippery out there. I am just happy I made it to Superpole 3 and finished sixth, as that was better than I expected. If we can get a good start tomorrow we can make it to the front, and our lap times are not too bad.”
Rainer Bäumel (Head of Race Operations): “On the whole, this session was absolutely positive. It was a real strong effort by Troy. With the rain it is always a kind of lottery. There was absolutely no grip out there. We did a good job qualifying on the second row with Leon and Troy. For the races we expect dry conditions. And from the second row a lot is possible.“
– Yamaha Report
Yamaha World Superbike Rider Marco Melandri fought hard and performed flawlessly to earn a well- deserved front row on tomorrow’s starting grid in his home race in Misano.
This afternoon’s Superpole sessions opened in dramatic fashion with the arrival of unseasonal rain on the Italian Riviera. The threatened showers managed to hold off for the morning’s free practice and qualifying sessions but a downpour just before the first Superpole gave way to treacherous track conditions causing many riders to slide and crash in the opening laps. Marco Melandri cleverly played a crafty first heat which he completed in fifth position. The Italian carefully tested the track which began to resemble an ice rink as riders such as Checa, Biaggi, Xaus, Camier, Smrz and Laverty slided off their machines, just minutes into the session. Fortunately Laverty was unhurt and managed to get back on his R1 and produce a fast lap in the dying seconds that saw him qualify for the second heat in ninth place. As the rain began to cease and the track dry, Melandri and Laverty improved on lap times and went through to Superpole two in seventh and 11th place. Laverty was unfortunate in the second heat being bumped to tenth place missing out on a second row start in tomorrow’s two races by less than a tenth of a second, while his team-mate completed the session in sixth place. Superpole three saw a competitive Melandri battle for pole position but losing time on the final section the Italian settled for fourth place which sets him nicely on the front row tomorrow.
Yamaha World Superbike riders lost valuable track time in this morning’s free practice as they were victim to major tyre issues where Melandri was unable to perform for the majority of the session. Despite this set back both riders managed to improve and optimize race settings in the afternoon’s free practice enabling them to face tomorrow’s races confident they will be contending for a podium.
Marco Melandri / Yamaha World Superbike Team – 4th, 1’55.768
“It was very important for me to be careful in the first Superpole, avoid making any errors to test the track conditions, gain confidence in the wet and see where I could improve on the bike before the second Superpole. It got particularly difficult when the track began to dry, I thought we had better grip but the tyres just seemed to give in all of a sudden. We had a very difficult session for this morning’s free practice. Suffering from tyre issues, we were unable to work on our race settings for tomorrow. A lot will depend on the weather conditions but I’ll certainly do my best. It’s great to be on the front row, it should a good race and I’m very optimistic.”
Eugene Laverty / Yamaha World Superbike Team – 10th, 1’57.454
“We made some big steps in the dry weather especially in the afternoon’s free practice, so our race setting should be quite good. I was really looking forward to an enjoyable Superpole, but unfortunately it started to rain just as we were going out. It was very difficult and I struggled, crashing and just missing out on the final eight. Tenth isn’t so bad though! We have some work to do if we are to expect a wet race but we should be strong and competitive in the dry conditions we hope for.”
Andrea Dosoli – Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager
“As we expected, it rained this afternoon. Unfortunately it came just before Superpole and not having tried the track in wet conditions yet this weekend made the session very dangerous and as a consequence Eugene slipped and ended up losing out on a position in the top two rows. Marco managed the wet conditions flawlessly. He was fighting for Pole in the last lap but lost out on the last sector. We are happy with a front row ahead of tomorrow’s races. In this morning’s sessions both riders tried to improve on set ups they tested yesterday. They both had issues with the tyres but in particular Marco wasted the entire free practice session unable to work on his race settings which was very important especially considering he is one of the few competitors that hasn’t tested on the track before. However the weather should be dry tomorrow and I’m confident Eugene and Marco will be very competitive and have two good races.”
– Althea Ducati Report
Despite the challenges that a wet Superpole presented, Carlos Checa and the Althea Racing team secured a great place on the front row of tomorrow’s grid; the Spanish rider will line up in second position at the Misano World Circuit.
Benefitting from slightly cooler track temperatures (31˚C) during this morning’s second qualifying session, Carlos was able to improve even further on yesterday’s already very fast times. Despite a small crash mid-session, that fortunately caused the Spaniard no ill effects, he was able to make good progress. In the final minute of the 45-minute session, Althea Racing’s rider made a flying lap and shaved four very significant tenths of a second of his best time set yesterday, thus concluding second qualifying in first position (three tenths ahead of Biaggi) and qualifying first for this afternoon’s Superpole.
In the early afternoon’s free practice session, Checa maintained his extremely fast pace, completing fourteen consecutive laps with a best time of 1m35.7, the fastest lap of the session overall.
Superpole 1: unfortunately it began to rain just minutes before the start of Superpole, meaning an officially “wet” session and no qualifying tyres. In the first phase, on rain tyres, Carlos slipped but fortunately did not need to return to the garage. He was able to continue lapping with the same bike until the session’s end. A best lap of 1m59.775 allowed him to close this first mini-session in eighth position.
Superpole 2: although the rain had eased off, track conditions remained wet and very slippery. Once comfortable with the conditions, Carlos began to push, making his fastest lap in the final minute. He was the only rider to lap in under 1m56 in this phase, recording a 1m55.730 that propelled him to first position, a convincing seven tenths of a second ahead of Sykes in second.
Superpole 3: easily qualifying for this final phase, Checa put in five laps, the penultimate of which was his fastest. Although missing out on pole by just two tenths of a second, the Althea Racing rider is nevertheless very satisfied to have secured a front row start in such difficult conditions.
Carlos Checa: “The start of Superpole didn’t go well for me; I crashed almost immediately in the wet but was lucky to not damage the bike. I was able to rejoin without changing bikes but after the crash I took it a little easier, getting to grips with the conditions before starting to push. I was able to gradually build feeling and the strong set-up of the bike allowed me to stay ahead with the fastest guys. To take a place on the front row in conditions like these is great for us as, after a dry weekend, we didn’t have any references for wet conditions and the track was really very slippery. My compliments go to Sykes and we’ll wait to see what conditions we face tomorrow; I am feeling confident.”
— World Supersport
Sam Lowes on his Parkalgar Honda took pole in the WSS division, after the second qualifying session proved to be wet today and therefore the only times that counted were those set on the first day of dry track action. Sam’s best of 1 minute 39.541 seconds means that Yamaha ParkinGO rider Chaz Davies will line up second, and the Kawasaki Motocard.com machines of David Salom and Broc Parkes will start Sunday’s race in third and fourth places.
Fabien Foret (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) will head the second row from Italian champion, Ilario Dionisi (Honda Italia). Robbin Harms (Harms Benjan Honda) and Florian Marino (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) complete the second row. Marino was fastest in the wet session today.
1. Lowes S. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 1’39.541;
2. Davies C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R6 1’39.618;
3. Salom D. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’39.795;
4. Parkes B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’39.897;
5. Foret F. (FRA) Honda CBR600RR 1’40.133;
6. Dionisi I. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 1’40.141;
7. Harms R. (DEN) Honda CBR600RR 1’40.454;
8. Marino F. (FRA) Honda CBR600RR 1’40.467
— Superstock 1000
The Superstock 1000 runners also failed to improve their times from yesterday’s first session due to the rain, and so the pole position remains in the hands of Danilo Petrucci (Barni Racing Ducati). For tomorrow’s race the Italian will be flanked by Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Ducati) on the front row. Third quickest was Frenchman Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia STK) with Andrea Antonelli (Lorini Honda) next up.
Former champion Niccolò Canepa (GOELEVEN Kawasaki), Monza winner Lorenzo Zanetti (BMW Motorrad Italia STK), South African Sheridan Morais (Lorenzini by Leoni Kawasaki) and Michele Magnoni (Baru Racing BMW) make up row 2. Top runners in today’s wet conditions were Giugliano, Petrucci and Zanetti.
1. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’39.118;
2. Davide Giugliano (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’39.550;
3. Sylvain Barrier (FRA) BMW S1000 RR 1’39.776;
4. Andrea Antonelli (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR 1’39.891;
5. Niccolò Canepa (ITA) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’39.911;
6. Lorenzo Zanetti (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1’40.089;
7. Sheridan Morais (RSA) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’40.262;
8. Michele Magnoni (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1’40.306,
— Superstock 600 – Race
Giuliano Gregorini (RCGM Yamaha) took the first Italian win of the season in this year’s European Superstock 600 Championship. Gregorini, from Fano just down the Riviera coast was in top form in the wet conditions, not only remaining upright throughout in a field decimated by crashes, but also setting a fast pace. The gap to the next man at the flag was more than seven seconds.
The runner-up slot went to Australian talent Jed Metcher (MTM-RT Motorsports Team), with Frenchman Romain Lanusse (MRS Yamaha Racing France) next up and Nicola Jr Morrentino (Elle2Ciatti Yamaha).
In the points standings Lanusse still leads the way followed by Metcher and Gregorini, while Dino Lombardi (Martini Corse Yamaha), who crashed today, has slipped down to fourth place in the table.
1. Gregorini G. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 24’53.471 (122,241 kph);
2. Metcher J. (AUS) Yamaha YZF R6 4.532;
3. Lanusse R. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R6 9.187;
4. Morrentino N. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 9.992;
5. Duwelz G. (BEL) Yamaha YZF R6 11.601;
6. Cecchini R. (ITA) Triumph Daytona 675 43.906;
7. Vrajitoru M. (ROU) Yamaha YZF R6 59.209;
8. Pascarella J. (USA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’01.555;