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Oct 19, 2013

Laverty Wins World Superbike Superpole At Jerez

eni FIM Superbike World Championship: Eugene Laverty (58).
eni FIM Superbike World Championship
Jerez, Spain
October 19, 2013
Final Qualifying Results, After Superpole (all on Pirelli tires):

From Superpole Knockout Session Three:

1. Eugene LAVERTY, Ireland (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:40.620
2. Tom SYKES, UK (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:40.668
3. Davide GIUGLIANO, Italy (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:40.839
4. Marco MELANDRI, Italy (BMW S1000RR), 1:40.930
5. Sylvain GUINTOLI, France (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:40.958
6. Toni ELIAS, Spain (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:41.347
7. Leon CAMIER, UK (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 1:41.837
8. Xavi FORES, Spain (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), 1:42.215
9. Mark AITCHISON, Australia (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:42.500

From Superpole Knockout Session Two:

10. Chaz DAVIES, UK (BMW S1000RR), 1:42.015
11. Broc PARKES, Australia (Yamaha YZF-R1), 1:42.056
12. Lorenzo LANZI, Italy (Ducati 1098R), 1:42.300

From Superpole Knockout Session One:

13. Ayrton BADOVINI, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), 1:42.438
14. Federico SANDI, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:42.916
15. Michel FABRIZIO, Italy (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:43.081

The Rest of the Grid:

16. Sylvain BARRIER, France (BMW S1000RR), 1:42.933
17. Leon HASLAM, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:42.973
18. Jules CLUZEL, France (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 1:42.976
19. Max NEUKIRCHNER, Germany (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), 1:43.289
20. Vittorio IANNUZZO, Italy (BMW S1000RR), 1:44.232

More, from a press release issued by Team SBK Ducati Alstare:

Fores and Team SBK Ducati Alstare reach the final phase of today’s Superpole at Jerez

Jerez (Spain), Saturday 19 October 2013: the fourteenth and final Superpole of the 2013 season took place this afternoon at Jerez and team SBK Ducati Alstare riders Xavi Fores and Ayrton Badovini qualified in eighth and thirteenth position respectively for tomorrow’s races.

During second qualifying, that took place in dry conditions (air temperature 21°C, track 21°C), both Ayrton and Xavi were able to improve on yesterday afternoon’s performance. The Spanish rider recorded a best time of 1’42.6, qualifying for the Superpole in eleventh place, while Ayrton dropped his best time set yesterday by seven tenths of a second, to record the same best time as his teammate, placing twelfth as a result.

Superpole 1 – riders made the most of dry and sunny conditions for the final Superpole of the season (air temperature 25°C, track 35°C). In this first phase, both Ayrton and Xavi made a first exit on race rubber and then another with the first of two available qualifying tyres. Xavi was able to record a very fast time (1’42.0) thanks to which he positioned ninth, progressing easily to the second phase. Unfortunately Ayrton was meanwhile unable to make the most of the qualifier and closed in thirteenth position. Having failed to progress to stage two, the Italian rider will start tomorrow’s races from the fifth row.

Superpole 2 – In the second mini-session and with the second qualifying tyre, Xavi further improved on the already impressive time he set in phase one (1’41.8), concluding this phase in eighth position and proceeding to the third and final phase as a result.

Superpole 3 – with only a race tyre remaining, Fores pushed right to the end to earn final eighth position thanks to a best time of 1’42.2. The Ducati Alstare flagbearer will therefore start from the third row of the grid for tomorrow’s races, a positive result for the Spaniard in his first ever Superpole.

Ayrton Badovini: “It’s not the result we wanted of course. I hoped that in this final Superpole of the season we could do more. I just couldn’t make the most of the qualifying tyre and so we were out after the first stage. We’ll have to see what we can do, and change, for tomorrow’s races but it won’t be easy from the fifth row of the grid.”

Xavi Fores: “I’m really pleased because to take part in all three phases of the Superpole is a really positive result. It was my first experience of Superpole and I didn’t expect to get as far as the final phase to be honest. Step by step we’re improving and I’m feeling more and more at ease on the bike. With the qualifying tyre it was tricky because I’ve not used it before and there were definitely points where, with more experience, I could have opened the throttle a lot sooner. There’s still room for improvement and that’s a good thing. We’ll keep working and gradually we’ll get there. Our pace is slightly slower than the front five or six guys but I think that if I make a strong start tomorrow I’ll be able to stick with the second group. Anyway we’ll see, but I’m feeling confident.”

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

Jerez – Qualifying Practice 2 & Superpole.
Saturday, 19th October 2013.

Weather conditions: Light clouds.
Temperature: Air: 21 – 25 °C, Track: 21 – 35 °C
Number of riders participating: 20/19 from 13 teams
Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) 1:41.371 min.
Fastest lap Superpole 3: Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) 1:40.620 min

There was light and shadow for the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team in the final Superpole qualifying of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship. Despite his injured right ankle, factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA) equaled his second best qualifying result of the season. He finished the Superpole qualifying in a strong fourth with his BMW S 1000 RR and will start tomorrow’s races at Jerez (ESP) from the second row. His team-mate Chaz Davies (GBR) struggled in the second part of Superpole and finished tenth. Superstock-1000-champion Sylvain Barrier (FRA), who debuts in World Superbikes on a third RR for the team, only narrowly missed qualifying for Superpole and will start from 16th.

To give his foot a rest before Superpole, Marco did not take part in the free practice early this afternoon. He was then the first rider to go out in Superpole 1. He only did one flying lap on race tyres, set the fastest time of the session and returned to the pits. Chaz also only needed one fast lap on race tyres to comfortably qualify for the second part of the Superpole. There, Marco did two laps on race tyres which directly brought him to Superpole 3. Chaz also began with race tyres and then did a second outing on a qualifying tyre, as he needed to improve his time. But the Welshman did not benefit from the extra-grip the tyre offers. He narrowly missed Superpole 3 by only a few hundredths of a second and had to settle for tenth. In the third and final session, Marco used his two qualifying tyres and set the fourth fastest time.

In the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup, IDM champion Markus Reiterberger (GER) took over duties on Sylvain’s BMW HP4. He finished sixth in today’s second qualifying session and thus will start tomorrow’s race from the second row. His team-mate Greg Gildenhuys (RSA) qualified tenth on the other HP4 in the BMW Motorrad GoldBet STK Team.

Marco Melandri:
Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:42.035 min (P6) / Fastest lap FP: -- / Fastest lap Superpole 3: 1:40.930 min (P4)
“On this track during winter testing the bike worked well and this weekend the bike has been working well too. This morning I chose to, and agreed with the team to sit out free practice to avoid overloading the ankle. Superpole was quite good, despite the fact I was not able to ride 100 percent in all sectors. In the first two Superpole sessions the ankle was okay, then in the third I started having some pain. I’m satisfied with the fourth place and I’m optimistic for tomorrow. We’re so close to our competitors, the race pace is good and the bike is okay. This afternoon I’ll do some more physio to the ankle to be fit for tomorrow.”

Chaz Davies:
Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:42.300 min (P7) / Fastest lap FP: 1:43.070 min (P9) / Fastest lap Superpole 2: 1:42.015 min (P10)
“I am not happy with today. It was a difficult afternoon. With the increasing temperatures we suffered from lack of grip. I crashed on the first lap of free practice and then in Superpole I was not able to get any advantage with the qualifying tyre which is something that happened to me for the first time this year. I could feel the grip but the way it was pushing the front did not allow me to use the tyre to its advantage. It was kind of frustrating because I did my best lap on a race tyre in Superpole 1 and after that I was not able to repeat it. We will now work on the set-up for the races as there are some areas where we still need to improve. We will check the data and see what we can do to be well prepared for tomorrow.”

Sylvain Barrier:
Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:42.933 min (P16) / Fastest lap FP: 1:42.842 min (P8)
“Of course I would have been very happy to be in Superpole but I missed it by one tenth of a second. It is my first time on this bike and that is part of the game so I am not really frustrated. We found some good settings for the race today and I am pretty happy for this. I’m getting more and more used to the bike and understand better what I can do with it. I did many laps on used tyres to find out how I can control the bike and I think it will be good in the race. The races will be very tough. I just need to keep calm and focus on braking, going through the apex and opening the throttle correctly. I am sure that during the race I will continue to learn as I can follow some riders and watch what they are doing. I am confident..”

Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“It was a quite positive day. Marco has some pain with his ankle but, despite everything, he did an excellent job in Superpole. Of course tomorrow will be much difficult because the race is very long but given the fact he’ll start in a good position he will do his best for the last races. Chaz unfortunately is not completely happy with the bike but he’s very motivated to have two good races tomorrow. We’ll continue working to set-up the bike and tomorrow morning in the warm up we’ll check the work we will do. Sylvain is improving on each outing, it was a pity he didn’t get into Superpole by just one tenth, even because he could have ridden some more laps getting more and more feeling with the bike. Tomorrow he’ll do his best to have a good race.

In the Superstock 1000 Cup, Markus secured a good grid position on the second row. We are sure that he will make good use of it and have a strong race. He is an experienced rider and he got acquainted with the HP4 and the DDC pretty soon. So we are optimistic that he will claim a good result for BMW.”

Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“It was not an easy day for our three riders but overall we have improved the performance of the bikes. We fixed some of the issues the riders had complained about yesterday and as a consequence we saw an improvement in the lap times. Marco has shown us today how strong motivation can overcome the pain of an injury and we were honestly surprised by what he could do in Superpole. He did not to ride in the free practice to avoid stressing the ankle and for this reason we could not use the session to fine tune the bike but the set-up is not bad anyway. He was fast with used tyres and then he did a very promising lap time with a fresh tyre in Superpole. So I am confident that tomorrow he will try to say ‘Goodbye’ to BMW with a good result. Chaz has improved the handling of his machine, it is a bit more agile which is what he was looking for but he is not confident with the front end of the bike. This is limiting his performance. He could not make best use of the qualifying tyre because he did not have the proper feeling in the front end to push. This is the area we want to improve for the race.

Sylvain has improved his lap time a lot. Unfortunately he did not make it to the Superpole but it was very close. The good point is that every time he jumps on the bike he is improving his performance. Step by step he knows the bike better and he is able to get the best from it as we have seen in the second free practice where he made another step in tough conditions because the track temperature was high. So I expect that he can do a good race tomorrow. Race one will be important for him to understand how the competitors can handle 20 laps on a Superbike. It will be a good experience for him and I wish him all the best for tomorrow.”

More, from a press release issued by Aprilia:




Jerez, 19 October 2013 - The stated objective was to leave no space for his rivals and Eugene Laverty lived up to the expectations. Extremely fast in all the sessions, the Northern Irish rider rode his RSV4 to the second Superpole of the season on the Jerez circuit. Team mate Sylvain Guintoli stopped the clock with the fifth best time, in any case consoled by the good times he made during the practice sessions.

The Aprilia dominated Saturday at Jerez was completed with a third place by Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing), whereas the home town idol, Toni Elias, astride his Red Devils team Aprilia RSV4 fell victim to a crash right at the end and will have to settle for the sixth best time which in any case earns him an excellent spot on the second row.

Eugene and Sylvain managed Superpole 1 expertly, putting in strong times with race tyres and saving the two soft tyres for the more heated qualifying phases. In Superpole 2 they got down to business, with all the riders out of the pits on qualifying tyres and Eugene Laverty made his intentions known by setting the best provisional time, followed by Elias and team mate Guintoli.

In the final and decisive Superpole session Eugene outdid himself, shaving another two tenths off his time and stopping the clock at 1'40.620, a new fast lap for the category which earned him first place on the starting grid tomorrow and his second Superpole of the season after Silverstone. Sylvain Guintoli ran into a few difficulties with his second soft Pirelli tyre, in any case obtaining a promising fifth best time in the end.

Eugene Laverty: “Considering the gap behind Sykes, my only chance this weekend is to win both races. Starting ahead of the rest on the grid will definitely make that easier! Tomorrow I'll try to get off the line well and give it my all during the race. Sykes will also be starting from the front row and he'll definitely be trying to make his play to try and stop me, so that should make the races fairly interesting for the fans”.

Sylvain Guintoli: “As always this was quite a heated Superpole and in the end I was about a tenth off compared to the front row. The positive thing is that in any case we found good base setting during the practice session to be fast even on used tyres. It's always better to start from the front, but the fifth spot isn't a total disaster. I just need to stay focused and maintain my pace in the races tomorrow”.

More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Sykes On The Front Row For Season Showdown

WSBK, Jerez, Spain, 19 October 2013

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) came within 0.048 seconds of his ninth Superpole win of the year, earning a highly-prized front row start in the process as he goes for raceday success on Sunday.

Sykes had been on the leading mix at Jerez all through practice and qualifying although not pushing too hard in Superpole on the eve of the final raceday of the year, after a harmless fall in an earlier session.

Tom leads the championship by 37 points and starting Sunday’s races from second place on the grid puts him in an almost perfect position to finish the great job he, his team and Kawasaki have been doing all year.

Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) was all set to ride at the final round of the year as his fractured D4 vertebra had healed up so well in a short space of time, but final medical approval was not given for Loris, which prevented him from competing on his Ninja ZX-10R.

Mark Aitchison and his Team Pedercini Kawasaki team-mate Federico Sandi each qualified for the Superpole contest, with Sandi finishing up 14th. Aitchison had a series of great rides to the very last session in Superpole and he finished up a confident ninth on the grid.

In the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup class, Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki) will start the race from pole position on Sunday after taking the fastest lap in combined qualifying today. Kawasaki Team Pedercini rider Leandro Mercado was third fastest, with his team-mate Lorenzo Savadori seventh. Alessandro Andreozzi (Pedercini Team Kawasaki) was fourth and Romain Lanusse (Team MRS Kawasaki) fifth.

Tom Sykes: “Front row is our target and it has been all season, and it just so happens that we have had eight pole positions this year as a result. I would say it was possible to make pole today but we had a little hiccup and there was no need to test the boundaries again. I know what my potential is and we did not really utilise the full potential of myself, and the bike, in Superpole. We want to get a good clean start if we can tomorrow, get stuck in and see what happens. A couple of guys are going to be fast early on and we have just got to do what we normally do every weekend. That is my plan. I am quite happy with our race set-up on the Ninja ZX-10R and the only thing I am trying to think about is trying to win the races. The conditions do change between races, and race two is going to be hotter than race one, but I am sure every guy on the grid has taken that into consideration. I think all things considered the bike is good across mixed conditions. Over race distance of 21 laps, I am happy.”

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

Challenging raceday ahead for Pata Honda

Pata Honda riders Michel Fabrizio and Leon Haslam face a challenging final two 2013 World Superbike championship races at Jerez in Spain tomorrow. The CBR-mounted duo will start from 15th and 17th places respectively on the grid after final qualifying today.

Both riders complained of a lack of rear grip in today’s free practice and qualifying sessions – an issue that also faced Fabrizio yesterday, while Haslam found more consistency in his engine braking.

The Pata Honda pair were joined in the pitbox today by regular rider Jonathan Rea, who plans to test his CBR during a test at the 4.423km Jerez circuit on Tuesday, as he continues his recovery from the fractured femur he sustained in a raceday crash last month.

Michel Fabrizio

It’s been another difficult day and we haven’t really managed to solve the grip problems that I had yesterday. I think Leon had the same issue today. Although I was able to qualify for Superpole, we could not get the bike to work how I want so tomorrow will be very tough, both physically and mentally.

Leon Haslam

We made some changes to the electronics today, which seemed to stabilise the engine braking and, in the second free practice, we were able to make some more improvements. However, by that time I was out of Superpole so I know that tomorrow’s two races are going to be very difficult. However, we’ve got a test on Tuesday so we’ll also try to continue preparing for that.

Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator

There’s no disguising the fact that we’ve had some issues this weekend that we didn’t expect. We’ve had difficulty sorting them and providing the riders with solutions that will give them a bike with which to challenge nearer the front. However, we will keep working through tonight and tomorrow morning and try to get some better results in the race than we’ve been able to provide in qualifying.

More, from a press release issued by Althea Racing:

Giugliano scores front row start at Jerez

The second day of qualifying and final Superpole of the season took place today at the circuit of Jerez de la Frontera in Spain. Davide Giugliano, having started the weekend in the best possible way yesterday, by taking provisional pole, repeated his performance in this morning’s second and final qualifying session. The Althea rider earned first place and with a time of 1’41”371 he also recorded a best lap on the Spanish track. In the afternoon’s free practice Davide and his team refined the setting of their RSV4, in preparation for Superpole and tomorrow’s two races. Giugliano (1’42”716) finished seventh in the early afternoon’s free practice.

In Superpole Davide Giugliano and team Althea put in another great performance. In the first phase the young rider recorded the third fastest time, qualifying easily for the second sessions, where the team Althea rider obtained fifth place, proceeded as a result to the final phase. Here Giugliano made the most of the power of his RSV4 but also his last qualifying tyre and with a fantastic time of 1’40”839 he took third place and a place on the front row of the grid for tomorrow’s two 21 lap races.

Genesio Bevilacqua : “Everything’s gone well up until this point. Davide has been fast in every session, finishing both qualifying sessions in first place. In Superpole it’s difficult to make the most of the qualifying tyre but our rider put in a great performance and obtained a front row start which we’re really happy with. I’m especially pleased to have seen such consistency on Davide’s part, he’s demonstrated that he has great race pace. We know we can be fast over the race distance, seeing as in practice Giugliano completed 21 laps with the same tyres, with decent lap times. I’m optimistic for tomorrow and hope we can close the season in the best possible way.”

Davide Giugliano : “I’m really pleased to have scored a front row start. We could have done even better, but I was unable to make a perfect lap with the qualifier and so closed with the third fastest time which is nevertheless satisfying because I’ve shown consistency over the weekend. We have good race pace and the bike is well set up so I hope I can make two good races. Now I want to rest and wait for tomorrow so that I’m ready to give it my all.”

More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki News Service:

FIXI Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier has continued with his amazing comeback at this weekend’s Spanish round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship by progressing all the way to Superpole 3 this afternoon.

Camier qualified for the Superpole due to another impressive performance in this morning’s final qualifying session which saw him finish in ninth place. He approached the Superpole with the same calm and dedicated manner that he has shown all weekend and after using a Pirelli qualifying rear tyre in the first session he easily made his way to part two with sixth position. The Englishman is still suffering the after-effects of the accident at Istanbul just four–weeks ago that left him hospitalised and needing surgery on seven broken bones in his right foot. Camier again used a qualifying tyre in his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R in Superpole 2 and repeated his performance from the first session to record sixth. The final part of Superpole for 2013 saw the Suzuki-man push as hard as he could on race-tyres to get a good grid position and he was pleased to secure a place at the front of the third row with seventh position. Camier will now be looking to be in the lead pack from the start of tomorrow’s races and plans to end the season with a flourish.

Jules Cluzel saw the disappointment of not qualifying for Superpole this morning quickly disappear, after some major setting changes to his FIXI Crescent Suzuki GSX-R enabled him make huge improvements in the final free practice session. The Frenchman couldn’t get the feel or grip he was after in the second qualifying session and was only able to finish 18th fastest, a position that forced his elimination from Superpole. His crew worked tirelessly to change almost every setting on his machine and it came to fruition as Cluzel recorded the second-fastest time in the session – almost half-of-a-second quicker than he had been all weekend so far. Cluzel will now need to make good starts in tomorrow’s races so that he can put today’s advances to good use.

Today’s sessions were held in humid conditions, but the threat of rain never materialised. Eugene Laverty will start tomorrow’s two 21-lap races from pole position, with championship leader Tom Sykes second on the grid, with the third protagonist that is in with a chance of securing the title on Sunday, Sylvain Guintoli, in fifth. The first race will get underway at 12.00hrs local time (11.00hrs BST) with the final race of the season heading for the off at 15.30hrs local time (14.30hrs BST).

Leon Camier:

“I am really pleased with the result, especially considering that I haven’t ridden the bike properly since Germany and had two massive crashes in that time. I have got my confidence back up and the bike was starting to feel more natural and I enjoyed that. We used the qualifying tyre in Superpole 1 and we didn’t really need to; in hindsight we could have saved it till the last session and then I think we could have been further up the grid – at least the next row. All-in-all, considering everything that has happened I am pretty happy with today. I really want to thank the whole team for keeping me calm and letting me build my confidence, rather than asking for more and creating other problems. The whole situation has been dealt with really well and I thank them for that.”

Jules Cluzel:

“It has been a strange day and I have had my worst qualifying of the year and also one of my best practice sessions. Yesterday I felt uncomfortable on the bike, so I was looking to improve today, but that didn’t happen and it was a bit of a disaster. I got stuck in the same lap-time and did all of them in the same tenth-of-a-second. I was really disappointed because it left me 18th and meant I couldn’t do Superpole. Les decided to change the bike and put the setting to how we had it at the winter test here, which was the second time I rode the FIXI Crescent Suzuki. The bike was much better, faster and easier to ride and I am disappointed we didn’t make this change before, but I at least had the chance to smile today and that was enough for me! I needed to prove that I was fast and that we just needed to set-up the bike. Tomorrow I will be looking for a comeback but it’s difficult to come from 18th here at Jerez and get a good result, but I will try my best and see what we can do.”

Paul Denning – Team Manager:

“Leon’s done another stellar job today for the FIXI Crescent Suzuki team and continued the great work that he started yesterday. The races will be tough from both a fitness and physical pain point of view, but he’s put himself in a solid position to perform at his best - whatever limitations might be there due to the pain and fatigue that he might be suffering. Adrenalin is a great healer though and when the lights go out to race at a great circuit like this at Jerez, I’m sure the throttle will be wide open and the problems of the last few weeks will be the last thing on his mind.

“It’s been a frustrating day for Jules and his crew; even though the lap-time gaps are very small we didn’t do enough this morning to achieve a decent time and despite everybody’s best efforts, including the rider - as we saw on the action footage he was definitely trying – we just didn’t have enough to progress to Superpole. The boys changed the bike quite considerably for the free practice and we went from 18th to second, so it was very much a case of what might have been. Jules has nothing to lose tomorrow and his confidence should have been boosted by what happened in free practice, so we are hoping he can end the season in a very positive way.”

Jerez – eni FIM Superbike World Championship – Superpole: 1. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) 1’40.620: 2. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) +0.048: 3. Davide Giugliano (Aprilia) +0.219: 4. Marco Melandri (BMW) +0.310: 5. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) +0.338. 7. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) +1.217. 18. Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) – no Superpole time.
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