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Aug 22, 2012

Checa Fastest Overall During World Superbike Testing At Moscow Raceway

Leon Haslam (91).
FIM Superbike World Championship
Moscow Raceway
Moscow, Russia
August 22, 2012
Overall Test Results (all on Pirelli tires):

1. Carlos CHECA, Spain (Ducati 1098R), 1:35.891
2. Leon HASLAM, UK (BMW S1000RR), 1:36.071
3. Tom SYKES, UK (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:36.119
4. Marco MELANDRI, Italy (BMW S1000RR), 1:36.304
5. Max BIAGGI, Italy (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:36.421
6. Chaz DAVIES, UK (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:36.637
7. Davide GIUGLIANO, Italy (Ducati 1098R), 1:36.716
8. Eugene LAVERTY, Ireland (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:36.823
9. Niccolo CANEPA, Italy (Ducati 1098R), 1:36.858
10. Sylvain GUINTOLI, France (Ducati 1098R), 1:36.865
11. Lorenzo ZANETTI, Italy (Ducati 1098R), 1:36.899
12. Jonathan REA, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:36.943
13. Leon CAMIER, UK (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 1:37.000
14. Ayrton BADOVINI, Italy (BMW S1000RR), 1:37.078
15. John HOPKINS, USA (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 1:37.163
16. Michele FABRIZIO, Italy (BMW S1000RR), 1:37.197
17. David SALOM, Spain (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:37.336
18. Hiroshi AOYAMA, Japan (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:37.343
19. Loris BAZ, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:37.733
20. D. MCFADDEN, South Africa (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:39.167
21. Alexander LUNDH, Sweden (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:39.619

More, from a press release issued by Honda World Superbike Team:

Honda SBK riders head east for Russia

Honda riders, Jonathan Rea and Hiroshi Aoyama, have journeyed to Russia for the first time for this weekend's (25-27 August) eleventh round of the 2012 World Superbike championship at the recently completed Moscow Raceway.

The 3.931km circuit lies 77km to the west of the Russian capital and this weekend's event marks the first visit of the World Superbike championship whose owners, InFront Motorsports, signed a ten-year agreement with the event promoter last year.

Rea and Aoyama sampled the new circuit for the first time today during an official test, finishing 12th and 18th fastest respectively, with Spain's Carlos Checa posting the fastest time ahead of this weekend's two 25-lap races.

Jonathan Rea

It's always a great adventure and a professional challenge coming to a new country and a new circuit for the first time. I spent yesterday in Moscow at a Honda customer event and it was good to meet a new group of enthusiastic sportsbike fans. I really enjoyed today's test as an opportunity to get acquainted with the Moscow Raceway circuit. First impressions of the track are that it's very tight and twisty. We're in second gear for pretty much most of the lap, obviously not for the straights, but it's fun! It's very technical and I'm enjoying it so far, but for the race weekend the times will be really close and I'm expecting tight racing. The infrastructure's nice and the track's quite smooth it's a little bit dirty because there's not a lot of rubber down, but we're finding the track's getting faster and faster, so I'm looking forward to the weekend.

Hiroshi Aoyama

It seems like the racetrack is a little bit compact, so you have to find a good timing on the bike and also the grip level is not so high. I think it's normal that on the first day it's a little bit more dusty and many corners are very slippery. I've already had a couple of near crashes but I think we've started OK and I'm looking forward to improving on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Today was quite good weather so I'm hoping that it keeps like that for the weekend. For sure, everyone is going to go faster so we'll have to follow and hope to be in a good position.

Pieter Breddels technical co-ordinator

Hiroshi ended up strongly this morning and improved his time by three seconds when he went from the harder to the softer compound, and he ended up third fastest. Because of the limited number of soft tyres allocated, we had to work around the setting this afternoon and he couldn't improve his lap time. He actually went faster on the harder tyre, so the position looks worse than it is. Jonathan struggled a little at the end of the day in finding the right direction for the set-up again this was due to the limited tyre allocation. We had to make a setting on the no-so-good tyre but then a faster lap on the soft tyre was not easily coming. We've got work to do, but we'll spend tomorrow analysing everything from today and make a plan for Friday.

More, from a press release issued by Infront Motor Sports:

Checa heads the testing times in Russia

Moscow Raceway (Russia), Wednesday 22 August 2012 Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) led the way in testing for the eni FIM Superbike World Championship runners at Moscow Raceway, heading up the 21-strong group as World Superbike ventured onto the new circuit for the very first time. His final best time of 1 minute 35.891 seconds was enough to keep him ahead of Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) and the charging late push of Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team). Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) ran out fourth, only just ahead of the works Aprilia Racing machine of Max Biaggi.

Carlos Checa: "It is a nice adventure to be here in Russia and it's a really nice track. In some places you can only use about 15% of throttle and just keep rolling the bike. We feel quite well today and this is a track where we have been working well in both the morning and the afternoon. We understand the line, the gearbox and the tyres. At the end we felt the tyres were working a lot better in the afternoon because probably the asphalt is less aggressive now. We are losing a lot on the straight, which is uphill, so it is not easy to manage that."

Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Racing Aprilia) put his vee four into the top six places, ahead of Checa's team-mate Davide Giugliano. Top Honda rider was Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) in 12th place, one up on the best Suzuki tester, Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki).

The new circuit proved to be a challenge for all the top riders, with slow and fast corners combined, including a drop downhill and a long straight back uphill into the final corner.

A long delay after a red flag incident, when one machine lost oil at the end of the main straight, cost the SBK riders some track time this afternoon, but all had the opportunity to get used to the challenging new circuit in a territory all new to SBK racing before practice starts for real on Friday 24th August.

Times: 1. Carlos Checa"ƒ(Althea Racing)"ƒDucati 1098R"ƒ1'35.891; 2. Leon Haslam"ƒ(BMW Motorrad Motorsport)"ƒBMW S1000 RR"ƒ1'36.071; 3. Tom Sykes"ƒ(Kawasaki Racing Team)"ƒKawasaki ZX-10R"ƒ1'36.119; 4. Marco Melandri"ƒ(BMW Motorrad Motorsport)"ƒBMW S1000 RR"ƒ1'36.304; 5. Max Biaggi"ƒ(Aprilia Racing Team)"ƒAprilia RSV4 Factory"ƒ1'36.421; 6. Chaz Davies"ƒ(ParkinGO MTC Racing)"ƒAprilia RSV4 Factory"ƒ1'36.637; 7. Davide Giugliano"ƒ(Althea Racing)"ƒDucati 1098R"ƒ1'36.716; 8. Eugene Laverty"ƒ(Aprilia Racing Team)"ƒAprilia RSV4 Factory"ƒ1'36.823; 9. Niccolò Canepa"ƒ(Red Devils Roma)"ƒDucati 1098R"ƒ1'36.858; 10. Sylvain Guintoli"ƒ(PATA Racing Team)"ƒDucati 1098R"ƒ1'36.865; etc.

World Supersport

Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda) eased to the top of the testing timesheets at the all-new Moscow Raceway today, pushing his CBR600RR machine just ahead of his PTR team-mate, Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda), who had been fastest this morning. Lowes set a best lap of 1 minute 38.548 seconds, with Cluzel the only other rider into the 1'38 bracket. Testing at the 3.931km Moscow Raceway circuit was carried out in near perfect conditions and track grip improved all the way to the finish. Ten Kate Racing Products rider Broc Parkes was the third Honda competitor in the top three places. The first Kawasaki, ridden by Kenan Sofuoglu (Lorenzini Kawasaki), was fourth and the first Yamaha was the Yakhnich Motorsport R6 of local star Vladimir Leonov, in a fine fifth place. Sofuoglu's team-mate, Sheridan Morais, was sixth.

Times: 1. Sam Lowes"ƒ(Bogdanka PTR Honda)"ƒHonda CBR600RR"ƒ1'38.548; 2. Jules Cluzel"ƒ(PTR Honda)"ƒHonda CBR600RR"ƒ1'38.596; 3. Broc Parkes"ƒ(Ten Kate Racing Products)"ƒHonda CBR600RR"ƒ1'38.794; 4. Kenan Sofuoglu"ƒ(Kawasaki Lorenzini)"ƒKawasaki ZX-6R"ƒ1'39.021; 5. Vladimir Leonov"ƒ(Yakhnich Motorsport)"ƒYamaha YZF R6"ƒ1'39.448; 6. Sheridan Morais"ƒ(Kawasaki Lorenzini)"ƒKawasaki ZX-6R"ƒ1'39.531; 7. Fabien Foret"ƒ(Kawasaki Intermoto Step)"ƒKawasaki ZX-6R"ƒ1'39.537; 8. Roberto Tamburini"ƒ(Team Lorini)"ƒHonda CBR600RR"ƒ1'39.568; 9. Gabor Talmacsi"ƒ(PRORACE)"ƒHonda CBR600RR"ƒ1'39.582; 10. Ronan Quarmby"ƒ(PTR Honda)"ƒHonda CBR600RR"ƒ1'39.711; etc.

More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad Motorsport:

Infront testing Moscow.
22nd August 2012.

Volokolamsk, 22nd August 2012. The wheels are rolling on the brand new "Moscow Raceway": before the first ever Russian round of the FIM Superbike World Championship is held this weekend, Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport attended the official Infront testing today at the just opened circuit. The "Moscow Raceway" is located near the town of Volokolamsk, approximately 80 kilometers west of the Russian capital Moscow and was inaugurated on 15th July.

The test comprised two sessions, one of two hours in the morning and one of 2 hours 20 minutes in the afternoon. Both sessions had to be red flagged due to crashes. Factory riders Marco Melandri (ITA) and Leon Haslam (GBR) first got acquainted with the layout and the characteristics of the new circuit. They then worked with their crews on setting up their BMW S 1000 RRs for the coming race weekend. In total, the two BMW riders did 145 laps or 569.995 kilometres of testing today. Leon finished the day in second place in the timings, and Marco was fourth fastest. The best lap time was done by Carlos Checa (ESP) in 1:35.891 minutes. The weather conditions were good, with sunny skies, air temperatures up to 19 degrees Celsius and track temperatures up to 36 degrees Celsius.

Leon Haslam:
Best overall lap time: 1:36.071 min
"It was a good day. We had two fully dry sessions and we were working on finding a set-up for this new track and learning the gearing, the lines and many more things. So far the track is really fun to ride; it has many ups and downs. The corners are mainly first and second gear but it is a quite aggressive circuit and I like it. Regarding overtaking possibilities, the first and last corners are going to be exciting because of the two straights. I am confident for the weekend. We were pretty close to the top and concentrated on race set-up and were feeling pretty good on the hard tyres on race distance. We have much more to try and look forward to Friday when we go out on the track again, but so far so good."

Marco Melandri:
Best overall lap time: 1:36.306 min
"The test was not too bad. The track is pretty fun to ride but I think it is quite small for Superbikes. The turns are very tight and so far I don't think that there are many chances for overtaking in the middle of the track but we will see. The track is going to be faster day by day. Today we worked on the gearbox to try to find a good setting to make the bike smoother in the corners. On the long straight we can make use of the power of our BMW engine and gain a lot of time, but we are losing time in the corners. We now have to analyse what we did today and try to improve for Friday morning. Ducati seems to be strong here and for us it will not be easy but will do our best and we will see on Sunday."

Andrea Dosoli (Head of Race Operations):
"It was good to have the chance to learn this new circuit with such nice weather conditions. That was what we needed to get familiar with the layout, the characteristics and the requirements of the track. Both riders have a good feeling and together with their crews they worked on the basic set-up. We had no reference for this track so they worked on the gearbox, the chassis set-up and the engine management. We still have a lot of work to do to be ready for the weekend but with the information and track time we have we are confident that we can improve even more on the good results we got today. There could be some issues with the durability of the front tyres due to the new surface so we are working on both the performance and race pace as well as tyre life to be consistently fast over the race weekend."

More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Sykes Third Fastest In Testing At Moscow Raceway

Newsflash, 22 August 2012

A one-day official test at the all-new Moscow Raceway in Russia for Tom Sykes and his fellow Kawasaki Racing Team rider Loris Baz gave each of them the chance to make preparations for race weekend

Sykes left the tests happy with the work done to match his Ninja ZX-10R machine to a sometimes tricky circuit design and he ended up third fastest, despite concentrating more on full race set-up than going for a quick single lap time. Like the rest of his peers he felt that the circuit was very tight and twisty in some of the early sections, then opens out in some others.

Baz took more time to get accustomed to this new circuit, in what is the young French rider's rookie SBK season, but the Silverstone race winner is confident that he will improve his outright pace during race weekend, now that his crew have good data to work with. Baz ended up 19th today.

Loris also made use of the extra day of testing to try out some other set-up options, which may help him in the run in to the finale of the championship, in France in October.

The track surface along the 3.931km Moscow circuit improved as the SBK and WSS riders made more and more laps during two sessions for each class, although the second SBK session was interrupted for a time, due to an oil spill.

David Salom (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) was 17th in the test rankings, less than 1.5 seconds from the fastest rider, Carlos Checa.

Tom Sykes: "Overall, a positive day for myself and Kawasaki on a new track for everybody. We did a lot of work on the hard tyre and then when we put the softer tyre in we were surprised that we were getting good life out of it. We did make a number of small changes today, pretty much always in a positive direction, and big thanks to all my boys in the team. We have had a productive test. We have some things to do for the weekend but really not many, because today turned out well. We put a lot of laps in and hopefully that should make things more relaxed for race weekend itself."

Loris Baz: "We just had a few issues this morning. The track is very nice, very technical and everything, but just a bit too slow. I love fast tracks so it is not my favourite. But we are riding at this track so we have to work with that. The lap times are really close and we tried a different set-up this afternoon, just to test some options we have been thinking about. I am more confident than the position we find ourselves in on the track today. Our general pace is good but we still have something to do on pure lap times for one fast lap."

More, from another press release issued by Kawasaki:

Sofuoglu And Morais In The Testing Mix at Moscow Raceway

Newsflash, 22 August 2012

A strong Kawasaki representation in a one-day test at the Moscow Raceway circuit was headed by championship leader Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Lorenzini), who set the fourth fastest time overall.

Kenan's team-mate Sheridan Morais was a strong sixth in the combined session, finding improvements in the afternoon session to push himself upwards in what were perfect weather conditions. The track cleaned up as the day went on and the lap times tumbled as the riders got used to the new and often tricky racetrack and a grippier racing line developed.

As always, and particularly at a test session and not a race weekend, Sofuoglu's entire focus was to work on a real race set-up and he feels confident that he already has a bike ready to make only small adjustments to when race weekend starts in a couple of days.

Other Kawasaki riders were also enjoying their track time at the new circuit, with Fabien Foret (Kawasaki Intermoto Step) seventh fastest and Dan Linfoot (MSD R-N Racing Team India Kawasaki) 15th from 35 riders.

Kenan Sofuoglu: "The test was not too bad. In the afternoon I ended up only 0.4 seconds slower than the fastest one, which was OK because I am not normally a one lap rider. I think I have reached my goal already - not in position but meaning that my bike is good enough to fight in a race with right now. The track is a little bit tricky in some parts and on some corners you really do not see where you are going. But I think many riders will like the track because you have fun when you ride on this track. It is a little bit tight in some parts but our bike is very good so now we just have to wait for the weekend to begin."

Sheridan Morais: "The new circuit is very good and after a tighter, slower, beginning it has some fast parts. In the very slow corners our bike is working better right now. To improve from the morning session to the afternoon session we made a change with the electronics and suspension settings. This place is OK for me because I like the circuit. For Friday morning I hope it will all be working well from the very first practice session."