Digital Edition Subscribers: Read Roadracing World Magazine Now >
Roadracing - An Online Service of Roadracing World Magazine
May 10, 2014

Honda's Rea Wins World Superbike Superpole At Imola (Updated)

Jonathan Rea (65).

eni FIM Superbike World Championship

Imola, Italy

May 10, 2014

Superpole Qualifying Results (all on Pirelli tires):

From Superpole Session One (top 2 advance to Superpole Two):

1. Niccolo CANEPA, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), EVO, 1:48.359

2. Leon CAMIER, UK (BMW S1000RR), EVO, 1:48.474

3. Ivan GOI, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), EVO, 1:48.632

4. David SALOM, Spain (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, 1:48.743

5. Toni ELIAS, Spain (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:48.882

6. Ayrton BADOVINI, Italy (Bimota BB3), EVO, 1:48.909

7. Luca SCASSA, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, 1:49.732

8. Sheridan MORAIS, South Africa (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, 1:49.781

9. Christian IDDON, UK (Bimota BB3), EVO, 1:49.997

10. Michel FABRIZIO, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, 1:50.936

From Superpole Session Two:

1. Jonathan REA, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:46.289

2. Sylvain GUINTOLI, France (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:46.554

3. Davide GIUGLIANO, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), 1:46.555

4. Chaz DAVIES, UK (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), 1:46.678

5. Marco MELANDRI, Italy (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:46.740

6. Tom SYKES, UK (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:46.767

7. Loris BAZ, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:47.014

8. Eugene LAVERTY, Ireland (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 1:47.715

9. Niccolo CANEPA, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), EVO, 1:48.240

10. Leon HASLAM, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:48.242

11. Leon CAMIER, UK (BMW S1000RR), EVO, 1:48.371

12. Alex LOWES, UK (Suzuki GSX-R1000), no time recorded

Final Qualifying Results:

1. Jonathan REA, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:46.289

2. Sylvain GUINTOLI, France (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:46.554

3. Davide GIUGLIANO, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), 1:46.555

4. Chaz DAVIES, UK (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), 1:46.678

5. Marco MELANDRI, Italy (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:46.740

6. Tom SYKES, UK (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:46.767

7. Loris BAZ, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:47.014

8. Eugene LAVERTY, Ireland (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 1:47.715

9. Niccolo CANEPA, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), EVO, 1:48.240

10. Leon HASLAM, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:48.242

11. Leon CAMIER, UK (BMW S1000RR), EVO, 1:48.371

12. Alex LOWES, UK (Suzuki GSX-R1000), no time recorded

13. Ivan GOI, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), EVO, 1:48.632

14. David SALOM, Spain (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, 1:48.743

15. Toni ELIAS, Spain (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:48.882

16. Ayrton BADOVINI, Italy (Bimota BB3), EVO, 1:48.909

17. Luca SCASSA, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, 1:49.732

18. Sheridan MORAIS, South Africa (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, 1:49.781

19. Christian IDDON, UK (Bimota BB3), EVO, 1:49.997

20. Michel FABRIZIO, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, 1:50.936

21. Claudio CORTI, Italy (MV Agusta F4 RR), 1:50.741

22. Fabien FORET, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, 1:50.781

23. Alessandro ANDREOZZI, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, 1:50.959

24. Jeremy GUARNONI, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), EVO, 1:51.048

25. Imre TOTH, Hungary (BMW S1000RR), 1:52.325

26. Geoff MAY, USA (EBR 1190 RX), 1:52.763

27. Aaron YATES, USA (EBR 1190 RX), 1:52.831

28. Peter SEBESTYEN, Hungary (BMW S1000RR), EVO, 1:53.555

More, from a press release issued by Dorna WSBK Press Office:

Rea wins Tissot-Superpole at Imola

Imola (Italy), Saturday 10 May 2014 - Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) has taken Pole Position for tomorrow’s two 19 lap races after a thrilling Tissot-Superpole session kept the large crowd thoroughly entertained. This is the first Tissot-Superpole win for Rea this year, the third so far in his WSBK career and the 45th for Honda in the series.

In Superpole 1, Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing Ducati) and Leon Camier (BMW Motorrad Italia) emerged as the fastest two riders and progressed into Superpole 2 with the ten riders that were automatically seeded after Free Practice.

The final 15 minute session, held in blisteringly hot conditions eventually saw Rea come out on top after several riders took their turn to head the standings. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) and Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) will line up alongside Rea with other factory Ducati rider Chaz Davies, Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) and reigning Champion Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) completing the second row.

After progressing courtesy of being in the top two in Superpole 1, Canepa was the fastest EVO rider today, making it onto row 3 in 9th position after a solid performance this afternoon.

Times: 1. Rea (Honda) 1'46.289 average 167.182 kph; 2. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1'46.554; 3. Giugliano (Ducati) 1'46.555; 4. Davies (Ducati) 1'46.678; 5. Melandri (Aprilia) 1'46.740; 6. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'46.767; 7. Baz (Kawasaki) 1'47.014; 8. Laverty (Suzuki) 1'47.715; 9. Canepa (Ducati) 1'48.240; 10. Haslam (Honda) 1'48.242; 11. Camier (BMW) 1'48.371; 12. Lowes (Suzuki) 1'48.196; 13. Goi (Ducati); 14. Salom (Kawasaki); 15. Elias(Aprilia); 16. Badovini (Bimota); 17. Scassa (Kawasaki); 18. Morais (Kawasaki); 19. Iddon (Bimota); 20. Fabrizio (Kawasaki).

More, from a press release issued by Team HERO EBR:

Team Hero EBR Move Forward In Final Imola Free Practice

Geoff May and Aaron Yates gave themselves every opportunity of securing their best results of the season after a spirited performance by both American riders saw them close the gap to the front greatly in the third and fourth Free Practice sessions at the Imola circuit earlier today.

So far this weekend the EBR 1190RX has been trouble free and that has allowed the team to once again improve every time they go on track, putting them in an encouraging position ahead of tomorrow’s races.

Starting 26th and 27th on the grid, Geoff and Aaron know how tough the races, which are set to run in the hottest conditions of the year to date will be, but both are optimistic of being able to fight with other riders in the 19 lap encounters.

Geoff May – “I am happy with the bike because we are getting closer to the other riders. We improved a lot since yesterday and now we are closer to our rivals. We need to continue in this direction.”

Aaron Yates – “I was happy with the improvements that we made on the bike. I am enjoying riding in Imola and hopefully we will be faster again and we can fight with the other riders.”

More, from a press release issued by Aprilia:




Imola, 10 May 2014 – Starting from the front was essential in the races tomorrow at Imola, the fourth round of World Superbike which promises to be heated down to thousandths of a second, and Aprilia Racing Team hit a bullseye, placing both riders on the first and second row.

Qualifying easily among the top 10 who are automatically admitted to the second decisive session and key players during all the timed practice sessions – as well as in the last free practice sessions prior to Superpole – Melandri and Guintoli never stopped working on race pace, searching for the best setup for tomorrow's races which, with the standings up for grabs, promise to be extremely heated with numerous contenders for the final victory, a fact which is clearly demonstrated by the narrow gaps that separate the top riders.

Concrete and efficient as always, Sylvain Guintoli seemed to be in his team mate's shadows during the sessions prior to the decisive fifteen minutes which would establish the starting grid. In all actuality, however, the Frenchman had focused his work on the races, not falling short when he attacked in Superpole, on the track until just a few moments from the end. The second place he took in the end left the Frenchman completely satisfied: “Another Superpole for us and the starting position here is important since it is quite a twisty track where it is difficult to overtake, so you need to set your pace straight way from the first laps. As always we worked a lot on our race pace, but many of the other riders did the same, so tomorrow should be quite interesting. I want to do my best for Aprilia and for my team. We are in Italy so that pumps me up even more.”

Marco Melandri had two positive days of testing which led him to finding a good feeling on his RSV4. These are good sensations that Marco had all the way through to the decisive Superpole session where he battled with his usual quality, putting the second best time on the boards at one point and then finishing with the fifth best time which places him a the centre of the second row on the grid. The narrow gap of just 45 hundredths behind the first place finisher is an indicator of the balance between the top contenders and Marco's competitiveness.

“The second row is OK. I am gaining confidence in Superpole as well. Even if I made a few mistakes in my good lap which cost me a couple tenths of a second I am still very pleased with the result. It is a good period for us. Starting from the front tomorrow will be important because there are several riders here with a good pace. The races won't be easy for anyone. The true difference will be made after the tenth round. As for our race pace, we have done some good work so after all our efforts we are ready to give it our all down to the end.”

More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:

A positive qualifying day at Imola for the Ducati Superbike Team

Imola (Italy), Saturday 10 May 2014 – An extremely hard-fought Superpole this afternoon at the Imola circuit brough very positive results for the Ducati Superbike Team and its riders Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies, who qualified third and fourth for tomorrow’s fourth round of the 2014 Superbike World Championship.

In the final timed practice session held in warm conditions this morning (air temperature 24°C, track 42°C), both Chaz and Davide were able to further improve on yesterday’s performances. Thanks to a fastest time of 1’47.511, an impressive eight tenths of a second quicker than yesterday and only three tenths away from the lap record, Giugliano closed the practices in overall first position, while Davies finished in sixth place with a best of 1’48.136, an improvement of almost half a second on his time set yesterday afternoon. Both Ducati Superbike men therefore qualified directly for Superpole 2.

The early afternoon’s free practice session gave the team a chance to make final adjustments ahead of the Superpole. In this short 30-minute session, Davies finished first, Giugliano sixth, both demonstrating good pace.

Superpole 2 – Both riders went straight out on a race tyre and Davide in particular was able to record an extremely fast lap (1’47.172) that allowed him to take an early lead. The Ducati Superbike pair then returned to the track with the qualifying tyre. Both Davide and Chaz pushed hard to make a flying lap and lower their times. While Giugliano closed with a best time of 1’46.555, Davies recorded a fastest lap of 1’46.678. Giugliano concluded the Superpole in third place (missing out on second position by just one thousandth of a second!) and Davies in fourth. Thanks to these results, the Ducati Superbike team will line up on the first and second row of the race grid tomorrow, clearly a strong result for the entire team in front of the home crowd.

Quotes after the day’s sessions:

Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team #34) – 3rd (1’46.555)

“Superpole went really well. We recorded a good time but I’m particularly pleased with my lap time on the race tyre at the start of the session. Of course it’s great to be able to start on the front row of the grid for tomorrow’s races here in Imola, it gives me personal satisfaction and is also great for the many Ducati fans here at the track. Tomorrow the races will surely be difficult, there are at least five riders who can fight for the podium. The temperatures will also play an important part, both physically and on the tyres but it will be like that for everyone, so we’re feeling confident.”

Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 4th (1’46.678)

“Today has gone well and we’ve taken another step forward. This morning we had really good pace and although there is still room for improvement I’m happy with how things have been going. The Superpole was also positive and finishing fourth is our best result so far, a result that gives me confidence, coming after some bad luck in previous Superpoles. Tomorrow I’m expecting two tough races, it will be difficult but today I was able to do race distance with the tyre and our pace wasn’t bad. We’re confident and ready to race here tomorrow.”

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

Rea takes pole position in Italy

Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea will start tomorrow’s two fourth-round World Superbike championship races from pole position after setting the fastest time in today’s Superpole sessions at Imola in Italy.

The British rider powered his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP around the 4.936km Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in a time of 1m46.289s, almost three tenths of a second ahead of Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli and Davide Giugliano of Italy, who completes the front row.

It is Rea’s fourth career pole position, the last occasion being at Portimao in Portugal in 2011. He received his trophy today from 15-time world champion Giacomo Agostini and the 27-year-old is also confident of his race for tomorrow’s two 19-lap outings at Imola.

His Pata Honda team-mate, Leon Haslam, will start the races from tenth place on the grid after some problems in today’s practice sessions. The 30-year-old crashed early in Free Practice 4 after being one of the front runners in the morning session.

Haslam was unable to maximise the additional grip from Pirelli’s qualifying tyre in Superpole, but he is determined to mount two strong challenges in tomorrow’s two races, the first of which goes at 10.30am local time.

Jonathan Rea - P1

Honestly, I didn’t really expect that! I knew we had really good pace and we were working towards the race tomorrow. But this pole position lark doesn’t really have my name on it so I’m really happy. The lap was really good but I just want to thank all the guys in my box who’ve been working incredibly hard. They’re making the CBR better and better and to do it in Pata’s back yard here in Italy is just great. I’m looking forward to two strong races tomorrow and hopefully we can get some good results then.

Leon Haslam - P10

Yeah, it was a pretty rubbish afternoon. I felt we were making some good progress up until the second session today when I had a problem with the shifter on the outlap which caused a bit of a highside. I couldn’t quite get the gear and it threw me off and we lost the whole session. I had a familiar problem in Superpole with the extra grip from the qualifer and ended up going slower than I did on the race tyre. We’d made some good progress this weekend, but had a bad afternoon.

Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator

Pole position for Jonathan, and his last one was a very long time ago! Well done to him and his team. There are four or five riders who can be fast in the race and will be battling it out tomorrow, but no-one is outstandingly strong and I think he is one of the contenders. After a good morning session Leon unfortunately had a crash in FP4. Luckily he wasn’t hurt but it put his progress on hold a bit. He had some problems with the qualifier too so we’ll have to see how he can do tomorrow.

More, from a press release issued by Voltcom Crescent Suzuki:

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki racer Eugene Laverty will start tomorrow’s races at the Imola Circuit in Italy on the third row after completing this afternoon’s Superpole qualifying in eighth place despite an encouraging morning’s work.

Laverty had showed promise on the Yoshimura-powered GSX-R throughout the morning’s two free practice sessions, almost breaking the 1’48 barrier to hold fifth in the last of the timed slots ahead of qualifying for the eni FIM Superbike World Championship’s fourth round. The Irishman’s expectation for the Superpole, however, was not fulfilled and a frustrating time of 1’47.715 left him settling for eighth on the grid for Sunday’s two races at the Italian track.

Alex Lowes had a similar rollercoaster of a day: Continuing his development with both the Suzuki GSX-R1000 and the notoriously-tricky Imola circuit, Lowes impressed in the morning’s free practices, consistently hitting the 1’48.1 mark; his lap-times echoing his growing confidence. Unfortunately the potential would remain untapped as a possible technical issue resulted in the team’s decision to withdraw the bike for the Superpole session. The Englishman will start tomorrow’s races from 12th place on the grid but his growing form and confidence with the track guarantee that he is certainly up for the challenge.

The soaring Italian temperatures reached 29°C for the afternoon’s 15 minute shootout with Honda’s Jonathan Rea claiming pole position on a blistering 51°C track surface.

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki will regroup overnight in preparation for tomorrow’s first race at 10:30hrs local time (09:30BST), the second instalment scheduled for 13:10hrs local time (12:10BST).

Eugene Laverty:

“Another really difficult day! My aim was to be on the first two rows for Superpole to give myself a chance to start, and again I’m on the third row. It makes it difficult for ourselves but aside from that we have some work to do. Corner-entry is the biggest issue we have and we need to get some flow with the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki to allow it to handle the way I need it to. We’ll see what the races bring but I will be giving it my all.”

Alex Lowes:

“I feel a lot more comfortable on the track today, the bike’s improving, I’m improving and I feel like I’ve worked really well this weekend. To be seventh before the qualifying session was good; we were just unlucky I didn’t get to go out and be further up the grid. It’s going to be difficult tomorrow but I’m going to do my best, enjoy it a lot; and hopefully I can take some experience and some good points ready for my home race at Donington. I do generally feel like I’m riding better, I think I’m doing a good job; and I’m looking forward to the races even though I know how hard it’s going to be after a difficult day today.”

Paul Denning – Team Manager:

“There is no hiding behind it, the qualifying result today was a disaster and we felt we had the potential to do much better. I feel particularly bad for Alex because he has progressed really well over the course of the weekend, to a point where he was very close to the 47’s in free practice and I really believe he could have qualified very strongly. A yet-undefined potential gearbox issue is always a huge concern because, should there be a failure, the rider cannot do anything to control the situation. It was extremely hard to tell Alex that we wouldn’t be able to go out in Superpole but it was the only choice as a team that we could make. The rider’s safety and those of the other competitors has to be a bigger priority than any other; the guys are looking at it now and hopefully we will find a definitive and solvable fault so we can remedy it for race day tomorrow. 

More, from a press release issued by Alstare Bimota:

Final practice, qualifying and Superpole – Saturday 10th May

After yesterday’s interruptions, Team Bimota Alstare looked forward to a full day of practice and qualifying without any disruptions and, by and large, that’s what happened. There was one red flag incident, but Ayrton Badovini and Christian Iddon were able to string together a number of laps and try different ideas in today’s hot conditions at Imola.

Both riders qualified for Superpole 2 and Ayrton was heading towards Superpole 2, but was overtaken right at the end of the session. He finished 16th fastest and Christian 19th, but both are looking forward to tomorrow’s pair of 19 lap races and challenging for the top EVO spot.

Ayrton Badovini – 16th, 1:48.909

“I am not completely happy because I couldn’t find a good setting for my bike today and so I could not push as hard as I wanted to. The bike is working OK on race tyres but we need more time to try different things so that we can improve it.

On my first lap in Superpole, my qualifying tyre didn’t give me much grip or traction and I think I went just as fast on my race tyres – so that is a positive for the races tomorrow.

I had a crash today, when the exhaust touched down and I was flicked off the bike. Fortunately, I didn’t suffer any injury, but the mechanics had a lot of work to do. But they managed to get the bike ready for the next session and I want to give them a big ‘thank you’ for that.”

Christian Iddon – 19th, 1:49.997

“It was a pretty frustrating day for me. We tried a lot of different things, but didn’t make the progress we expected. It is a shame because the whole team worked so hard and I feel a bit bad because I couldn’t give them better results.

We will go through all the data tonight and see how we can improve the bike. I did my good lap times on race tyres, so that is one thing that is a positive ahead of tomorrow. I like this track and, if we can get the bike to work better, I think I can get some good results.”

Top 5 This Week