Mike Jones qualifies eighth on SuperStock 1000 grid
At his team’s home round Ducati man Davies scores runaway win from pole, with Rea and Melandri also on the podium in a shortened race
At the Motul Italian Round on Saturday Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) took a runaway victory in a race which was shortened due to a red flag, with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) also featuring on the podium.
Davies made a brilliant start from pole and was untouchable, leading by well over six seconds when the race ended early due to a red flag, after a big crash for Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) at turns 17 to 18 – which meant track conditions were not safe for racing to continue.
Laverty walked away from the incident which saw his Aprilia RSV4 RF go up in flames and he was taken immediately to the medical centre for a check up after the high speed incident. Contact with another rider ripped his brake lines out which left Laverrty with no brakes and had to jump off the bike before impact.
Eugene Laverty – DNF
“I was optimistic at the start because the bike was feeling good, but I started losing pace after about 7 lap and I was moving backwards. I tried hanging in, and just before the crash happened the bike started to feel good again. We didn’t have much rear grip today. It was good at the start and then went away, but then it came back in the middle of the race which was strange. That’s something we need to look closely at, at times I felt I could really push but it was disappointing to see other guys coming past. I’m OK after the crash and I thought it would hurt me more, but my gear did its job and I’m ready to get on the bike again tomorrow. It’s hard to know how tomorrow will go, obviously there are positives to take from today but we have to analyse where we’re struggling.”
With 12 of 19 scheduled laps having been completed at the time of the crash the rider placements at that stage were taken as the final race results, with Davies therefore claiming his second win of the season.
“It’s been a perfect weekend so far. I think this track really suits me and the Panigale R. We’ve made good steps forward under acceleration this year, and it was a big help here with the tight chicanes. Also, this layout helps me to take advantage of the strong points of my riding style. I kept controlling the gap from Rea, looking after the tyres, and the bike felt really consistent.
“It was a lonely race, but not an easy one. Tomorrow’s going to be different, starting from the back. We need to keep it clean and be patient. We can still improve something on the electronics side, but clearly we won’t make any big changes. Thanks to all the ducatisti for their amazing support today!”
Stefano Cecconi, Aruba S.p.A CEO and Team Principal
“The home race always represents a further incentive to do well, and it was important for us to put on a show in front of our fans. I think we couldn’t have asked for more. Chaz showed once again his strength at Imola, taking pole position, circuit record and a dominant win. Marco showed his grit, making constant steps forward and securing his first WorldSBK podium on this track. We’re confident they can aim high tomorrow as well.”
The ever-consistent Rea picked up more important championship points in second, whilst Melandri made it a good day for Ducati on home territory in third place on the podium.
Jonathan Rea – P2
“In previous races I felt that if they could go faster I could go faster, that there was a little bit left in my pocket. This race I felt I was riding at the limit of my package a little bit. I had better front end stability for sure today after we changed the geometry to give me more confidence in hard braking and trail braking. This is one of the hardest stop-and-go circuits on the calendar. We struggled last year and it was a relatively difficult race again today. But to only lose five points to Chaz, and increase my championship lead – it was a good day. I am sure the new grid procedure will throw a different kind of race tomorrow, as I will be starting from eighth place.”
Marco Melandri – P3
“To step on the podium in front of the home crowd is amazing, but it wasn’t easy out there today. From this morning, we had some issues. I still didn’t feel at 100 percent under braking, and under acceleration I had to shut the throttle often while upshifting, without being able to fully take advantage of our power. Nonetheless, Chaz was really fast, especially in the third sector, and while trying not to lose contact with him I made some mistakes. After a few laps, with less fuel in the tank and a lighter bike, we improved. I was ready to fight against Sykes and in general I expected to battle against the two Kawasakis, but we didn’t take advantage of our full potential and I want to do better tomorrow.”
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) was fourth, the Englishman trailing Melandri by less than a second, whilst Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) continued his good form in fifth.
Tom Sykes – P4
“I thought I had decent speed but there was just a couple of areas where I felt a little bit stronger than Marco. For the last six laps we could have closed the gap to be with him but to beat him is another thing. I cannot say I would beat him because it would be unfair on Marco as he was riding well. I am just a little bit disappointed to miss some traction in that race. That is strange because the bike has been working very well on used tyres all weekend. But from the start of the race the lap time was not there and I dropped really fast. So I am disappointed in some ways but it means tomorrow I will have to make up for it from pole position.”
Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) produced a good ride in sixth, whilst Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) and his teammate Alex Lowes were seventh and eighth respectively.
Michael van der Mark – P7
This morning in Free Practice 3 we had some problems with the bike, but at the end we fixed the problems and I felt quite good. I did a good lap in SP2 on the race tyre then on the qualifier I didnt feel very happy on the bike and I had to fight a lot with my R1. I had a pretty normal start and was in a group with some other riders and at the end I passed Laverty. I felt like I was getting stronger and stronger towards the end, but I struggled a lot with turning the bike. We have to solve this problem to make the bike easier to ride on this style of track. I think starting from 9th we must be happy with the points we scored. Everyone can see it is a difficult weekend for us, so every point we score we must be happy with. Usually my race pace is quite consistent and especially at this track you see some riders struggle more and more with the grip as the race goes on. I know at the end of the race I can be strong, so hopefully tomorrow we can stay closer to the front group at the start and catch some riders at the end.
Alex Lowes – P8
“I felt quite good on the bike, I was just tucked in behind Michael. Obviously, the race got cut short, so first of all, I hope that Eugene is okay – thats the most important thing. I passed him at the top of the hill, we had a bit of contact, and it looks like he lost his front brake. I am really happy that he is okay as it was a very unlucky incident. I actually felt quite good in the race, it has been a tough weekend, but I was looking forward to the last few laps thinking that I could have put a good challenge on Michael. Unfortunately, we are too far away from where we need to be, but we will try and improve the R1 a bit for tomorrow and try to improve the result.”
Paul Denning – Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team Principal
“We expected a challenging race today at Imola. Fridays build up was difficult and despite the best efforts of Yamahas engineers, the race team, and both riders we simply have been a bit further away from the podium-pace here at Imola than anywhere else so far this season. Qualifying didnt see significant improvements and the mentality of both riders entering the race was to be consistent, grind out the best result possible, and gather important information to improve the R1s for tomorrow. Both Michael and Alex did just that and now we have a platform on which to hopefully build and improve our performance for Sundays race. We would like to extend our very best wishes to Eugene Laverty, after the incident with Alex caused the red flag, and we hope he is fit enough to take the grid tomorrow.”
Roman Ramos (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) and Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) completed the top ten.
Stefan Bradl – P10
“In one way I must say it was an exciting race here in Imola, because of the beauty of this track and also for the great crowd! To get into Superpole 2 was something positive, especially after the morning crash. The race, though, was a big challenge because it was my first time here. The tumble also affected my confidence a little bit, because it was quite a big one, but fortunately I didn’t hurt myself. A top-10 result is acceptable for today as I made some mistakes during the race – when I was on my own after the start – and had a couple of issues in getting the bike stopped, and that’s when I realised that maybe my riding style was not quite good enough for here. When Ramos passed me, I found a better rhythm, but it still took me too long to find my pace. However, I have learned a lot so I hope my speed can improve tomorrow.”
Nicky Hayden – DNF
“It hasn’t been a good day. I had a small crash this morning which cost me some important track time and then, in the race, we had an electrical problem so there was not much I could do. The dashboard went off and I didn’t know what was going on, so it was impossible to stay out. It’s a shame, really, not just for me but for the team as well. I hope we can have a better day tomorrow.”
Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team – Pieter Breddels
The morning crashes set the tone for the whole day, because Nicky lost some valuable track-time and in some ways Stefan’s confidence was affected a little. The guys did an amazing job in making sure both bikes could take part in Superpole, despite the little time available to get them fixed. Stefan did well in getting through Superpole 1, while in the race he paid with his inexperience at this track, which is unlike any other on the calendar. After making a couple of mistakes, though, he found his rhythm and was able to lap in the 1’48s before the red flags came out. Nicky, unfortunately, had a completely unexpected electrical issue with his dashboard, which worked fine all the way up until the lights went out. It hasn’t been an easy day, for sure, but I hope we’ll have better luck tomorrow.”
Leandro Mercado (IODARacing) crashed out at turn 7 early in the race, with Nicky Hayden (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) pulling into the pits shortly afterwards due to a technical issue.
Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) was unable to participate in Race 1 due to illness. The WorldSBK riders will be in action again on Sunday with their second race taking place at 1pm local time at Imola.
WorldSBK 2017 – Round Five – Imola Superbike Race One Results
C. Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
J. Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team)
M. Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
T. Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team)
X. Forés (BARNI Racing Team)
L. Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse)
M. Van Der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
A. Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
R. Ramos (Team Kawasaki GoEleven)
S. Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team)
A. De Angelis (Pedercini Racing SC-Project)
L. Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia)
R. Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing)
R. De Rosa (Althea BMW Racing Team)
A. Badovini (Grillini Racing Team)
O. Jezek (Grillini Racing Team)
RT) E. Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia)
RT) R. Russo (Guandalini Racing)
RT) N.Hayden (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team)
RT) L. Mercado (IODARacing)
NS) J. Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team)
WorldSBK 2017 – Round Five – Championship Points Standings after Imola Race One
Jonathan Rea (GBR) Kawasaki (215 points)
Tom Sykes (GBR) Kawasaki (144 points)
Chaz Davies (GBR) Ducati (136 points)
WorldSSP: Jacobsen charges to third pole of 2017
In excellent weather conditions at the Motul Italian Round on Saturday PJ Jacobsen took pole for the fifth race of the season with a 1’51.611 lap around the 4.936km Imola track. He will be joined on the front row on Sunday by Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) and top Italian qualifier Christian Gamarino (BARDAHL EVAN BROS. Honda Racing).
At his team’s home Round MV Agusta Reparto Corse rider Jacobsen registered his third pole of 2017 and he will strive to record his first race win of the season in Sunday’s 17 lap race.
Pole Position – PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse)
“It would be great to get the win but I’m not putting myself under too much pressure, getting on the podium is the next target tomorrow, but tyre wear and consistency will play a huge part of our race tomorrow. If we can get a good start off the line I think we can put up a good fight.”
Championship leader Mahias was delighted to finish in second place in the Tissot Superpole 2 session and celebrated with a big ‘endo’, whilst Gamarino will be pleased to line up on the front row for his home race.
Taking their places on the second row will be another Italian Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team), Turkey’s WorldSSP champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and South African rider Sheridan Morais (Kallio Racing).
Two Brits in seventh and ninth respectively, meanwhile, Kyle Smith (GEMAR Team Lorini) and Kyle Ryde (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), sandwich eighth placed
Frenchman Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) on row three.
The fourth row is set to feature Japanese rider Hikari Okubo (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda), Belgian Loris Cresson (SC Racing-RPM84) and Alessandro Zaccone (MV Agusta Reparto Corse).
Zaccone was taken to the medical centre for a check-up after crashing towards the end of SP2. Ryde and Cresson were the two riders to have made it through from SP1.
Anthony West qualified 20th while young countryman Lachlan Epis will start from 30th on the grid.
Giuseppe Scarcella was on a good lap early on in qualifying only to crash out and ruin his chances of setting a competitive time to move him up the order. Scarcella will start from the back of the grid.
WorldSBK 2017 – Round Five – Imola Supersport Superpole / Qualifying Results
PJ Jacobsen (USA) MV Agusta 1.51.611
Lucas Mahias (FRA) Yamaha 1.51.723 (+0.112)
Christian Gamarino (ITA) Honda 1.51.795 (+0.184)
It was a case of Italian dominance at the business end of the timesheets in the STK1000 qualifying session at Imola on Saturday as Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team) took pole and was joined on the front row by his fellow countrymen Luca Vitali (Nuova M2 Racing) and Roberto Tamburini (PATA Yamaha Official STK 1000 Team).
Ducati equipped Rinaldi took his second pole position of 2017 with a 1’49.113 lap of the 4.936km Imola circuit, to put him at the head of the grid for his home race. Qualifying +0.629s behind Rinaldi in second place was Aprilia rider Vitali, whilst a further +0.088s margin back Yamaha’s Tamburini made it three Italians and three different manufacturers on the front row.
In fourth place Frenchman Florian Marino (Pata Yamaha Official STK1000 Team) was the only non-Italian in the top six, in front of home riders Federico Sandi (Berclaz Racing Team) and Marco Faccani (Althea BMW Racing Team) on row two.
Australian rider Mike Jones (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team), Chile’s Maximillian Schieb (Nuova M2 Racing) and Turkish rider Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) feature on a cosmopolitan third row, with Swiss rider Sebastien Suchet (Berclaz Racing Team) heading row four in tenth place.
Glenn Scott qualified 26th on the grid.
Early on in the session the red flags came out following a crash for Italian rider Andrea Tucci (Tucci Racing Team) who was taken to the medical centre and then taken by helicopter for further treatment to a thoracic trauma.
There were also crashes in the session for Razgatlioglu, Federico D’ Annunzio (FDA Racing Team), Matteo Ferrari (DMR Racing Team), Luca Marconi (TheBlackSheep Team), Riccardo Cecchini (DDM by BWG-Bike &Motor RT-Grimaldi) and Toni Fisterbusch (Agro On-Benjan-Kawasaki) as the riders pushed hard to improve their times.
WorldSSP300: Perez stuns to take WorldSSP300 pole positions
Mika Perez (WILSport Racedays) has secured pole position ahead of the third round of the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola circuit.
Paolo Giacomini (Team Trasimeno) sailed through from Superpole One in the usually hectic opening session alongside Robert Schotman (GRT Yamaha WorldSSP300 Team) as the pair were over half a second ahead of the rest of the field.
Spanish rider Perez dominated the Superpole Two session, taking pole position with a lap time of 2.10.115 and putting him a second and a half ahead of his rivals. Alfonso Coppola (SK Racing) secured a front row start at his home round, meaning raceday will provide a lot of emotion for the young rider.
Borja Sanchez (Halcourier Racing) continues to impress in the competitive series and will round out the front row onboard his Yamaha machine. Giacomini had a stunning Saturday and after progressing through SP1, will start the race from the second row.
Jacopo Facco (Bierreti By 2R) suffered a crash at turn six at his home round with just over four minutes of the session remaining, and he will start the race from 11th on the grid.
Relive all of the thrilling WorldSSP300 Superpole action with the WorldSBK VideoPass, not missing a minute of any of the racing action either – as the lights go out at 14.20LT on Sunday.
Pole position – Mika Perez (WILSport Racedays)
“I am so happy to take pole position at Imola, a circuit which is amazing for me. Tomorrow it will be a hard race and I hope to find some slipstream. Compared to Assen we are still on the same bike, the same team and the same rider, but with a hard last lap it is difficult to finish in a strong position.”
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