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Jun 28, 2013

Sykes On Provisional World Superbike Pole Position At Imola (Updated)

eni FIM Superbike World Championship: Tom Sykes (66).
eni FIM Superbike World Championship
Imola, Italy
June 28, 2013
Qualifying Session One Results (all on Pirelli tires):

1. Tom SYKES, UK (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:47.218
2. Jonathan REA, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:47.330
3. Michel FABRIZIO, Italy (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:47.619
4. Ayrton BADOVINI, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), 1:47.674
5. Davide GIUGLIANO, Italy (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:47.704
6. Marco MELANDRI, Italy (BMW S1000RR), 1:47.788
7. Sylvain GUINTOLI, France (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:47.878
8. Leon CAMIER, UK (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 1:48.147
9. Eugene LAVERTY, Ireland (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:48.316
10. Loris BAZ, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:48.668
11. Chaz DAVIES, UK (BMW S1000RR), 1:48.697
12. Carlos CHECA, Spain (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), 1:48.721
13. Leon HASLAM, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:48.725
14. Jules CLUZEL, France (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 1:49.150
15. Max NEUKIRCHNER, Germany (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), 1:49.194
16. Federico SANDI, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:49.987
17. Noriyuki HAGA, Japan (BMW S1000RR), 1:51.680
18. Vittorio IANNUZZO, Italy (BMW S1000RR), 1:52.268
19. Alexander LUNDH, Sweden (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:52.471

More, from a press release issued by Team Althea Racing:

A positive first day for Davide Giugliano at Imola

Team Althea Racing and Davide Giugliano are determined to do well during this weekend’s seventh round of the World Superbike Championship at Imola.

In this morning’s free practice Giugliano was immediately at ease and confident on board his RSV4. The Althea Racing rider closed this opening practice session in an excellent second place, thanks to a best lap time of 1’48.481. In the afternoon qualifying session, although unable to repeat the morning’s position, Davide nevertheless improved on his times and with a fastest lap of 1’47.704 he positioned himself fifth at the session’s end. Today was a positive day, during which Althea Racing worked hard and Davide Giugliano made the most of the potential that his RSV4 offers him.

Davide Giugliano : “Everything went well today, both this morning and this afternoon. I was able to obtain two strong results, without using the softer tyre solution. We preferred to concentrate on working with what will probably be the race tyre. I went out on track to try and regain a good sensation with the bike, something we’d lost to some extent at Portimao and I must say that I feel I managed to do that. I had fun riding my Aprilia today and this is an important factor in order to obtain the best results. In the afternoon we made some changes, and quickly identified the direction to move in. Tomorrow I hope to be able continue to work with my team as we’ve done today, so as to be as prepared as possible come race day.”

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

Rea on the pace in Imola

Jonathan Rea set the second-fastest time in this afternoon’s opening World Superbike qualifying session at Imola in Italy, just one tenth of a second off provisional pole sitter Tom Sykes.

The rain that had been forecast for today did not materialise and although the 45-minute session was run under an overcast sky it was on a dry Imola circuit.

Rea and his World Superbike rivals are preparing for Sunday’s two seventh-round championship races at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari and the 26-year-old from Northern Ireland lapped the iconic circuit in a time of 1m47.330s.

His Pata Honda team-mate, Leon Haslam, 30, was seventh fastest in this morning’s first free practice session at the 4.936km circuit, but went the wrong way with the settings on his CBR1000RR machine this afternoon and ended the day 13th fastest.

Jonathan Rea – P2, 1m47.330s

It’s been a really positive day, even with some electronics dramas at the beginning of this morning’s session, which cost me some time. The laps we did today were all quality and I was working closely straight away with the electronics guys, getting a good base setting and gathering data. When I was comfortable, we put some runs together and it was just positive. We worked on trying to find grip at the end and so we spent the whole qualifying session on the same tyre, finding out what’s likely to happen in the latter stages of the race. Imola seems to have quite a different surface from other circuits and it’s good for tyre life and traction control interference, which is less here. Without getting too excited, I’m quite positive but we have to continue working tomorrow to fine-tune the bike. The pace is already quite fast, but we need to make sure we’re at least on the first two rows for Sunday.

Leon Haslam – P13, 1m48.725s

The muscles in my leg were a little sore at the beginning of the qualifying session so I eased my way into it, trying a few changes to the bike. But we basically went back nearly to where we were this morning and ended up running out of time. I went something like half a second faster than this morning, but I though we’d be a lot quicker than we actually were because this morning’s time was on a used hard tyre. This afternoon we used a softer, new tyre and the time didn’t come, while everyone else went a lot quicker. I felt we had a good base this morning and just went the wrong way this afternoon, so it was a bit of a wasted session really. But we learned from it and we’ll make the right steps tomorrow.

Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator

Leon has more power in his leg now, which allows him to push the pegs more, but he had a tough day. The setting went in the wrong direction this afternoon and he lost some time, but we hope to find a better set-up for him to be able to produce a better pace tomorrow. Jonathan was in the top three all day and stayed with one tyre this afternoon, doing a lot of laps and improving his lap time. Besides Sykes, there was really nobody who could do that pace, so it was a good day for Jonathan.

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

Weather conditions: Cloudy with some sun.
Temperature: Air: 19 – 20 °C, Track: 30 – 38 °C
Number of riders participating: 19 from 12 teams
Fastest lap Free Practice: Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) 1:48.409 min
Fastest lap Qualifying Practice 1: Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) 1:47.218 min

The BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team has started its home round at the “Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari” at Imola (ITA). The iconic circuit hosts the seventh race weekend of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship. Factory rider and local hero, Marco Melandri (ITA) finished today’s first qualifying practice sixth on the provisional second row on his BMW S 1000 RR. His team-mate Chaz Davies (GBR) was 11th.

In the first qualifying practice of the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup, Sylvain Barrier (FRA) of the BMW Motorrad GoldBet STK Team finished third on the provisional front row on his BMW HP4. His team-mate Greg Gildenhuys (RSA), who is still affected by his injured left heel, finished 17th.
Marco Melandri:?
Fastest lap Free Practice: 1:48.977 min (P4)/Fastest lap Qualifying Practice 1: 1:47.788 min (P6)?
“This year in Imola we have higher temperatures and new 17” tyres and this is why we are evaluating new solutions and new tyres. Today we had good sessions; we are doing quite well. We have worked on preparing for the race and we did a good job. In fact, I did my best lap time on the tenth lap with used tyres. We were not quite as not fast as the guys in front, but we are heading in the right direction. Tomorrow will try some solutions especially to improve the speed in changing directions. We will have the time to complete our work. Overall, I am confident for the races.”?

Chaz Davies:?
Fastest lap Free Practice: 1:49.743 min (P13)/Fastest lap Qualifying Practice 1: 1:48.697 min (P11)
“I am not very happy with today. Every time I tried to push I was struggling with issues when turning into corners. It is something that I haven’t had to that extent before. We have not changed anything dramatic but when I try to push that happens. In addition we also need to try and find a solution for another issue, I am wheelying too much and lose quite a bit of time on the straight because of that. So we have to have a good look at the data and we need to make an easier bike to ride because when I don’t push, the lap time is faster.”

Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“Today the forecast had predicted bad weather; instead, luckily, the weather allowed us to work well. Marco is satisfied with his RR. Today he worked on preparing for the race using only one tyre and he showed a good race pace. Tomorrow we’ll fix some small details. Chaz had some issues; he was not able to be constantly fast in all sectors. We will analyse the data to enable him to catch up with the front tomorrow.

In the Superstock class we saw the Imola debut of our electronic damping system DDC. We worked on gaining data in order to make the suspension working properly. We did not look for the lap time but only to collect new data. Sylvain is doing well, tomorrow he will have the chance to improve. Greg is getting better and today was the first time for him on this track, in the end it was a positive day.”

Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“Today was very much work in progress. After it rained at night, the track was still a bit cold this morning but then it became better and better in the afternoon. With both crews we could already evaluate a few tyres and we have seen that, at least for today’s speed, the tyre life is not a big issue. With Chaz, we have to admit that the gap to the front is bigger than we expected. His ideal time, the combined time of his best sector time, is faster so the potential is there for a better lap time but he is not happy with how the bike brakes and turns into the corners. We have to work to improve the behavior of the bike in this area. We have clearly identified the issue and now we try to find a solution. With Marco overall it has been a positive first day. He was fast on used tyres which is a good sign for the race. As expected, the track is demanding a lot from the riders, we have seen many mistakes, even from the top guys. So we would like to improve not only in order to be faster but also to be more consistent by making the bike easier to handle on this specific track. There are a few sectors where Marco is losing a bit compared to the front guys and there we need to improve the turning of the bike a little bit.”

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

Positive fourth place for Badovini and Team SBK Ducati Alstare in today’s first qualifying at Imola

Imola (Italy), Friday 28 June 2013: Team SBK Ducati Alstare made a very encouraging start to the weekend’s work at the Imola circuit. Taking part in the first qualifying session of this, Round 7 of the World SBK Championship, Ayrton Badovini obtained a very positive fourth place finish; Carlos Checa closed twelfth.

In cloudy but fairly warm conditions (air temperature 19°C, track 30°C), the Ducati Alstare men took to the track this morning for the first free practice session. Badovini made a strong start to the weekend, positioning himself in the top five in the initial stages. Making some small changes to the set-up of their 1199 Panigale bikes, both Badovini and Checa were able to make solid progress throughout the 45-minute session, recording their fastest laps in the final seconds to conclude in eighth and ninth position with almost identical lap times – Badovini 1’49.281, Checa 1’49.291.

First qualifying took place in similar conditions later in the day, and Ayrton continued to work well with his team, improving almost immediately on the times set this morning. Finding a good pace, the Italian rider was able to improve consistently throughout the session, finishing in overall fourth position thanks to a fastest time of 1’47.6, just four tenths of a second from leader Sykes. Carlos improved by more than half a second but still has work to do in preparation for the races. He closed in twelfth position today, with a best time of 1’48.7.

Carlos Checa: “To be honest I hoped it would go a little better today, after our results in Portimao. I’m feeling strong, I like the track and in the past I’ve always gone well here. I don’t know, today we didn’t manage to find a solution that allows me to ride as I want to. During the last exit, with a modified set-up and a used tyre, I felt some improvement but then I didn’t have time to come back and change to a fresh tyre. Anyway, today’s only the first day, we’ll make some changes tonight and I’m sure that tomorrow we’ll see improvement.”

Ayrton Badovini: “I’m really happy with today’s results. It’s the first time that I’ve really been able to lap fast and find a good pace right from the start. It’s probably also due to the fact that I was able to really train and prepare properly for this round, now that my ankle is stronger. This is the kind of satisfaction we’ve been looking for. But this is only the start, and tomorrow we’ll continue with the work programme. The important thing is to remain focused on Sunday’s races. I’m confident and really want to do well here at Imola, at what is my home track and Ducati’s too.”

More, from a press release issued by SBK Press Office:

Iron Brain to boost the Superbike World Championship

Imola (Italy), Friday 28 June 2013 – The eni FIM Superbike World Championship is pleased to announce the partnership with Italian company Cortinetix Pharma, maker of the innovative Iron Brain, a “Brain Drink” that sets apart from all off-the-shelf drinks, as it’s mostly natural.

The power of Iron Brain - “Switch on your mind” - comes from its ingredients, that help keeping the concentration up, with positive effects on cognition: a mix of extracts of Amazonian plants (Ilex Paraguariensis, Paullinia Cupana and Coffea) with the addition of an Asian plant, the Ginkgo Biloba (used for millennia in oriental medicine), L-Theanine (contained in the leaves of green tea) and vitamins. Iron Brain has not no sugar, no aspartame, no preservatives, and it’s very low in calories.

Marc Saurina, WSBK Commercial and Marketing Director: "The combination of science and technology in the preparation of the drink matches perfectly with the technological and genuine essence of World Superbike. This is the reason why we are extremely happy that this young Italian company has chosen to make its debut on the international stage by joining the eni FIM Superbike World Championship, starting from the Italian Round at Imola."

"We chose to connect our brand Iron Brain with the WSBK Championship" said Marco Zipoli, CEO of Cortinetix Pharma "as the partnership will allow our brand to quickly gain a first some popularity within young people, a very important target in our current market entry phase at both Italian and International level."

Iron Brain has been officially presented today on the Superbike Paddock Show stage at Imola's Autodromo Nazionale. The International and National Media could taste the drink and watch an outstanding performance by a special guest: the innovative and advanced small robot called Nao made a great presentation of the product and a special techno-dance performance.

In addition, a giant inflatable can is displayed at the SBK Village at Imola, to allow all spectators to get rid of the past by trashing the "traditional" drinks cans and trying the new era of “Brain Drink” beverage, with a free can of Iron Brain.

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

FIXI Crescent Suzuki racers pushing hard at Imola

FIXI Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier and Jules Cluzel will both be looking to make improvements in different areas during day two of this weekend’s eni FIM Superbike World Championship event from Imola in Italy.

Camier was happy enough with his day’s work onboard the Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R, as he used both of today’s sessions to work on the behaviour and performance of his machine on used tyres by completing a number of long runs on the same rubber. He made significant steps and even recorded his fastest time on the very last lap of a long run at the end of the first qualifying session this afternoon, to give him the eighth quickest time. Camier will now be looking to work on getting the most out of a tyre over one-lap to enhance his qualifying prospects and give him more of an opportunity in Sunday’s two races.

Cluzel spent his first day on a Superbike at the 4,936m Italian track learning how to adapt his riding style to that of the FIXI Crescent Suzuki and made steady progress throughout the day, before ending the qualifying session in 14th place. He will be working with his crew this evening to make the set-up work better from him, so that he can take the next step in performance as the weekend progresses.

Today’s two sessions were held in fine conditions as the predicted rain that was forecast failed to materialise. Track temperatures during this afternoon’s qualifying session reached 38°C, as Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes set the fastest time and took provisional pole position.

Camier and Cluzel will have a second qualifying session tomorrow morning to cement their positions in the afternoon’s Superpole, where they will battle it out to get the best grid places for Sunday’s two races.

Leon Camier:
“We have done a lot of laps on used tyres and doing some longer runs to see how the tyre behaves when it has started to wear and I think we are quite consistent, because I feel that I am going faster and faster on older tyres. We now need to concentrate more on one-lap so we can get a good qualifying position and make more of a difference with a new tyre at the start of a race. I went quickest on my last lap of a 10-lap run, so that is quite confidence inspiring, but now we need to get more out of me and the bike on a new tyre.”

Jules Cluzel:
“It has been a difficult day and this morning was quite hard because it was the first time I’ve ridden a Superbike here at Imola. I think this is the most difficult circuit for me to adapt to the Superbike style. This afternoon I thought it would be a better session, but at the end I found it hard to improve on my lap-time. I didn’t really enjoy myself on the bike today, so I hope we can get an improved setting for tomorrow to make the bike work better and then we should be able to go faster.”

Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“The predicted bad weather for today stayed away and it meant that we were able to get a lot of laps done, to start the preparations for Sunday’s races in decent track conditions. Imola is one of the classic circuits, but it is a difficult place to extract the maximum from a Superbike and we have a lot of details to work on this evening to make the job easier for both riders. That said, Leon being in eighth place and less than a second from the provisional pole is encouraging and as always he has a consistent rhythm. We just need to lift that pace to a higher level to compete with the fastest guys. Jules’s guys are also working hard to make his life a little easier and the bike more predictable on corner exit. As I say it’s not an easy track – especially the first time on a Superbike – so with a night’s sleep under his belt and some improvements to the FIXI Crescent Suzuki, we will see a stronger showing from him tomorrow.”

More, from a press release issued by Aprilia:




Imola, 28 June 2012 – The first responses are in from the Imola circuit, the second Italian round of the World Superbike Championship. It was a demanding Friday for the Aprilia Racing Team riders, facing a very particular and demanding track in terms of setup. The choices that had allowed Laverty and Guintoli to shine during the Portimão round don't seem to suit the turns for the track on the banks of the Santerno, so the two teams have been busy adapting the number 50 and number 68 RSV4s to the characteristics of the Enzo and Dino Ferrari Racetrack.

The weather has been cooperating despite the forecast for rain and threatening clouds, both sessions were held today on a dry track that was consistently improving, as the qualifying times clearly demonstrate. Tomorrow and Sunday the sun should raise the air temperature at Imola as high as the fans' expectations here at the Italian circuit.
Sylvain Guintoli, seventh in the afternoon qualifiers after the fifth best time in the free practice sessions, has put together a tight testing schedule with his mechanics for tomorrow with the goal of improving his race pace. The French rider has shown that he is comfortable at Imola and he will certainly be aiming to stay in the lead pack for the races on Sunday.

Sylvain Guintoli: "In the two sessions today we worked a lot to try and find new solutions. It looks like we'll have to use a completely different setup than the one we used in Portimão because Imola is a very particular track, where being precise and managing the power of the RSV4 becomes fundamental. The weather helped us since it didn't rain and we have a lot of tests scheduled for tomorrow so we'll be ready for the races on Sunday".

Eugene Laverty's pace is definitely better than the ninth best time he put on the boards during qualifiers would indicate. The fundamental problem for the Northern Irishman was traffic on the track which he encountered on three laps in a row on a new tyre while attempting to test out changes made to his RSV4. Realistically Eugene admits that he still needs to shave of a few tenths in order to compete at the same level as the other riders who demonstrated more speed during this first day of sessions, but the prospects for tomorrow far exceed the disappointment in today's result.

Eugene Laverty: "Today certainly wasn't a fantastic day for us. When I went out with a new tyre I ran into traffic three laps in a row, so fortunately what we see on paper today from the qualifiers is not our limit. I'm not disappointed, but a bit frustrated. I still need to shave a bit more off my times to be at the same level as Sykes and Rea who were quite fast today. I don't want to be dramatic about it, but we'll have a lot of work to do tomorrow".

In the meantime, in the Imola paddock the echo of the ART (Aprilia Racing Technology) undertaking can be heard, the CRT category bike ridden by Spaniard Aleix Espargaro which, during the MotoGP qualifiers at the Dutch track of Assen, put the seventh best time on the board, just a few hundredths from the second row, leaving various MotoGP prototypes behind. This performance was also repeated by the other Team Power Electronics Aspar standard bearer, Randy de Puniet, who took the ninth spot on the starting grid. Gigi Dall'Igna, Aprilia Racing Technical and Sport Director, commented with satisfaction: “The result from Holland was a great team effort. Both Espargaro and De Puniet confirmed the quality of the ART package. This is a project that embodies all the perfection of the Aprilia Racing mission, which is to provide top level racing technology, even to the point of being able to compete with absolute prototypes like MotoGP bikes. Results like this confirm the value of the experience Aprilia Racing has acquired in recent years competing with extremely high performance 4-stroke engines - years marked by the four SBK championships we've won”.

More, from a press release issued by SBK Press Office:

Sykes tops the timesheets in Day 1

Imola (Italy), Friday 28 June 2013 – In the opening day of Round 7 Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) managed to steal the show by placing himself on top in Qualifying 1 after the 1st place achieved in late morning's free practice. Last year's runner up set a 1'47.218 seconds lap-time in his penultimate attempt to edge a competitive Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike), who did a good job… (read more)

Times: 1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'47.218 average 165.733 kph; 2. Rea (Honda) 1'47.330; 3. Fabrizio (Aprilia) 1'47.619; 4. Badovini (Ducati) 1'47.674; 5. Giugliano (Aprilia) 1'47.704; 6. Melandri (BMW) 1'47.788; 7. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1'47.878; 8. Camier (Suzuki) 1'48.147; 9. Laverty (Aprilia) 1'48.316; 10. Baz (Kawasaki) 1'48.668; 11. Davies (BMW) 1'48.697; 12. Checa (Ducati) 1'48.721; 13. Haslam (Honda) 1'48.725; 14. Cluzel (Suzuki) 1'49.150; 15. Neukirchner (Ducati) 1'49.194; 16. Sandi (Kawasaki) 1'49.987; 17. Haga (BMW) 1'51.680; 18. Iannuzzo (BMW) 1'52.268; 19. Lundh (Kawasaki) 1'52.471.

World Supersport – Sam Lowes dominates the field

Championship leader Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha) has set the pace in today's Qualifying 1, topping the timesheets courtesy of a 1'51.104 seconds lap-time, already the new Best Lap. The young Brit was already on the lead in the closing stages, but decided to push for an even quicker time… (read more)

Times: 1. Lowes (Yamaha) 1'51.104 average 159.937 kph; 2. Russo (Kawasaki) 1'51.826; 3. Vd Mark (Honda) 1'52.083; 4. Zanetti (Honda) 1'52.259; 5. Scassa (Kawasaki) 1'52.365; 6. Ivanov (Kawasaki) 1'52.713; 7. Morais (Honda) 1'52.716; 8. Foret (Kawasaki) 1'52.777; 9. Kennedy (Honda) 1'52.785; 10. Antonelli (Kawasaki) 1'52.867; etc.

Superstock 1000 – Perfect lap for Niccolò Canepa

Niccolò Canepa (Barni Racing Ducati) has put in an incredible 1'50.338 seconds lap-time to secure provisional pole-position over team mate Eddi La Marra after Qualifying 1. The young but experienced rider from Genova was the only one able to lap within the 1'50s, showing an outstanding… (read more)

Times: 1. Canepa (Ducati) 1'50.338 average 161.047 kph; 2. La Marra (Ducati) 1'51.153; 3. Barrier (BMW) 1'51.169; 4. Mercado (Kawasaki) 1'51.599; 5. Jezek (Ducati) 1'51.649; 6. Savadori (Kawasaki) 1'52.254; 7. Lanusse (Kawasaki) 1'52.475; 8. Bussolotti (BMW) 1'53.020; 9. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 1'53.070; 10. Andreozzi (Kawasaki) 1'53.087; etc.

Superstock 600 – Nocco leads the way

The first qualifying session for the Superstock 600 European Championship saw the San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki duo of Alessandro Nocco and Franco Morbidelli – race winner last time out at Portimao - leading the timesheets under the cloudy skies of Imola's Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari… (read more)

Times: 1. Nocco (Kawasaki) 1'54.299 average 155.466 kph; 2. Morbidelli (Kawasaki) 1'54.377; 3. Gamarino (Kawasaki) 1'54.850; 4. Coveña (Kawasaki) 1'54.876; 5. Morrentino (Yamaha) 1'55.173; 6. Salvadori (Yamaha) 1'55.427; 7. Mercandelli (Yamaha) 1'55.641; 8. Casalotti (Yamaha) 1'55.703; 9. Chesaux (Honda) 1'55.703; 10. Tuuli (Yamaha) 1'55.749; etc.

European Junior Cup – Free Practice

Times: 1. Raymond (Honda) 2'15.224 average 131.409 kph; 2. Bodis (Honda) 2'15.828; 3. Manfredi (Honda) 2'15.919; 4. Canducci (Honda) 2'16.105; 5. Sebestyen (Honda) 2'16.159; 6. Orellana (Honda) 2'16.177; 7. Harland (Honda) 2'16.270; 8. Flitcroft (Honda) 2'16.702; 9. Fernandez (Honda) 2'16.895; 10. Anne (Honda) 2'16.944; etc.