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Sep 14, 2013

Sykes Wins eni FIM World Superbike Superpole In Turkey (Updated)

eni FIM Superbike World Championship: Tom Sykes (66).
eni FIM Superbike World Championship
Intercity Istanbul Park, Turkey
September 14, 2013
Qualifying Results, After Superpole (all on Pirelli tires):

From Superpole Knockout Session Three:

1. Tom SYKES, UK (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:54.872
2. Sylvain GUINTOLI, France (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:54.894
3. Davide GIUGLIANO, Italy (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:55.073
4. Eugene LAVERTY, Ireland (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:55.340
5. Toni ELIAS, Spain (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:55.546
6. Jules CLUZEL, France (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 1:55.614
7. Marco MELANDRI, Italy (BMW S1000RR), 1:56.402
8. Chaz DAVIES, UK (BMW S1000RR), 1:56.416
9. Leon HASLAM, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:56.463


From Superpole Knockout Session Two:

10. Mark AITCHISON, Australia (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:57.001
11. Federico SANDI, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:57.329
12. Michel FABRIZIO, Italy (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:57.371


From Superpole Knockout Session One:

13. Tolga UPRAK, Turkey (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 2:02.469
14. Yunus ERCELIK, Turkey (BMW S1000RR), 2:04.070
15. Vittorio IANNUZZO, Italy (BMW S1000RR), 2:39.610


Others:

16. Leon CAMIER, UK (Suzuki GSX-R1000), no time recorded
17. Carlos CHECA, Spain (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), no time recorded
18. Loris BAZ, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), no time recorded
19. Max NEUKIRCHNER, Germany (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), no time recorded
20. Ayrton BADOVINI, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), no time recorded




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

FIXI Crescent Suzuki's Leon Camier has returned to the Intercity Istanbul Park circuit following a successful operation on Friday evening to repair the broken bones he sustained in the first day of practice for the Turkish round of the eni FIM Superbike World championship.

Camier crashed at high-speed early-on in yesterday's first free practice session and after a preliminary diagnosis at the race-track he was transferred to a local hospital for an in-depth examination. The scans showed seven fractures to his right foot and an operation was needed to stabilise the injuries so that Camier could begin the healing process. He also has a hairline fracture to the right ankle and severe contusions to his left elbow from the crash.

The Englishman underwent a 90-minute operation in which three of his Metatarsals were pinned, screwed and wired. Camier was discharged from hospital this morning and returned to the circuit to be with the rest of the FIXI Crescent Suzuki team. He will now fly back to his home in Andorra to begin a thorough rehabilitation schedule in an attempt to regain his fitness, with the aim being to return for the final race of the season at Jerez in Spain on Sunday October 20th.

Leon Camier:

"I am obviously really disappointed with what happened yesterday and frustrated that I now have to miss some races. As far as the crash goes, I knew the grip was bad and I was riding accordingly in the conditions. I went through the first left-hander at the top of the hill and the rear just came round on me off the gas - I was really not expecting it to happen! It has left me with seven fractures in the foot and I've got wires, pins and screws in there. It was an intricate operation and the surgeon made sure he did the best job he could. We now have to work out how to get the best rehabilitation for it and I'll be pushing as hard as I can to come back for Jerez."




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

No track action for Badovini and Team SBK Ducati Alstare today at Istanbul Park

Istanbul (Turkey), Saturday 14 September 2013: a combination of yesterday’s accident and rain during this morning’s session unfortunately conditioned qualifying for Ayrton Badovini and Team SBK Ducati Alstare who, as a result, will start tomorrow’s races at Intercity Istanbul Park from last position.

Due to rain overnight the track was damp for the start of this morning’s second qualifying session. Badovini, who could not participate in yesterday’s first qualifying as a result of a crash in the previous practice session, originally planned to try and complete a few laps this morning despite the pain in his swollen left ankle. When it started to rain towards the middle of the session however, the Italian rider realized that he would be unable to record a lap time with which to position himself within the top fifteen and qualify for Superpole. He therefore decided, together with his team, to remain in the garage. Badovini also sat out of the final free practice session on the recommendation of the Clinica Mobile’s doctors who have continued treatment in order to help reduce the swelling of the ankle in preparation for tomorrow’s races.

Having completed first practice yesterday, the Ducati Alstare rider can line up for tomorrow’s races, albeit from last position (sixteenth).

Ayrton’s team-mate Carlos Checa will unfortunately not return to the track this weekend after a crash yesterday morning left him with a contusion to the upper thorax and a suspected fracture of the left scaphoid.

Ayrton Badovini: “It didn’t make sense to try and ride today on the wet track. For now I can’t even get my foot in my boot – I tried a larger boot too but without success. So for today I’m resting up in the hope that my ankle is less swollen by tomorrow – it’s already looking a lot better than it did yesterday so I’m optimistic. Of course I would like to try and race tomorrow if my physical condition allows.”




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

Hard-contested Tissot-Superpole goes to Tom Sykes

Istanbul (Turkey), Saturday 14 September 2013 - The eni FIM Superbike World Championship riders could enjoy a dry and sunny Tissot-Superpole at the Intercity Istanbul Park, after the rainy morning that had slowed down their work at the Turkish venue. Track conditions allowed riders to push to the limit, resulting in a significant improvement in terms of lap times.

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) scored his 7th Tissot-Superpole of the season – the 18th of his career – after a thrilling finale that involved his main rival for the title Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team). Sykes was the first rider to break into the 1'54s early in the final session, but the Frenchman tried his best to outperform the rival during his last quick-lap attempt, eventually finishing behind the Brit for just 0.022 seconds.

Tom Sykes: “I am happy because this is a circuit I had never been to before and I only got two practice sessions yesterday. I am fighting a bit of a cold but the changes we made to the bike set-up last night were positive, the team great job and we went in the right direction. We just need to see if we can put this to good use tomorrow. It is funny how it goes because Sylvain Guintoli will be beside me on the grid. It seems we have been fighting all season, in qualifying and races, so it looks like it is going the distance!”

Sylvain Guintoli: “We were really close to pole, but during my last lap I did a few small mistakes that probably cost me those 22 thousands of a second. It would have been good to be on pole, but the most important thing is to start the races from the front row. I felt immediately at ease on this track and I think we can target some good results tomorrow. As I said the battle for the title has entered the crucial stage, I'm expecting two exciting races on a track that's pretty much new to everyone."

The two riders will be joined tomorrow, on the first row of the grid, by Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Aprilia), who got the better of Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team). The Irishman could not repeat the 1'54.9 set in Superpole 2, a time that would have helped him to finish in the top-3.

WSBK debutant Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) put up an impressive performance by ending up in fifth place - and only a 0.674 seconds gap from pole-sitter - ahead of Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki), Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet). Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike and Aussie Mark Aitchison (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) completed the top-10.

Tissot-Superpole times: 1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'54.872 average 167.351 kph; 2. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1'54.894; 3. Giugliano (Aprilia) 1'55.073; 4. Laverty (Aprilia) 1'55.340; 5. Elias (Aprilia) 1'55.546; 6. Cluzel (Suzuki) 1'55.614; 7. Melandri (BMW) 1'56.402; 8. Davies (BMW) 1'56.416; 9. Haslam (Honda) 1'56.463; 10. Aitchison (Kawasaki) 1'57.001; 11. Sandi (Kawasaki) 1'57.329; 12. Fabrizio (Honda) 1'57.371; 13. Uprak (Kawasaki) 2'02.469; 14. Ercelik (BMW) 2'04.070; 15. Iannuzzo (BMW) 2'39.610.

World Supersport

Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) delighted his home fans by securing the pole position after WSS Qualifying 2 at Intercity Istanbul Park. The Turk clocked in 1'58.380 seconds, showing an outstanding form onboard his ZX-6R. Sofuoglu dictated the pace this afternoon, while Championship leader Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha) had to play catch-up, eventually… (read more)

Times: 1. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 1'58.380 average 162.392 kph; 2. Lowes (Yamaha) 1'58.762; 3. Iddon (MV Agusta) 1'59.438; 4. Marino (Kawasaki) 1'59.595; 5. Coghlan (Kawasaki) 1'59.655; 6. Salom (Kawasaki) 1'59.672; 7. Vd Mark (Honda) 1'59.785; 8. Zanetti (Honda) 1'59.826; 9. De Rosa (Honda) 1'59.842; 10. Tamburini (Honda) 1'59.871; 11. Foret (Kawasaki) 1'59.970; 12. Leonov (Yamaha) 2'00.166; 13. Kennedy (Honda) 2'00.179; 14. Rolfo (MV Agusta) 2'00.327; 15. Scassa (Kawasaki) 2'00.351; etc.




More, from a press release issued by Althea Racing:

Giugliano and Team Althea score a front row start at Istanbul!

The second day of qualifying taking place today at Intercity Istanbul Park got underway on a wet track due to rain overnight. In the second qualifying session, team Althea Racing and rider Davide Giugliano preferred, as did most of the riders, not to go out on track, making one lap at most just to check conditions. The team used the time to practice a tyre change in pit lane. For second free practice the track was still damp and Giugliano only completed five laps, not wanting to risk a crash that could compromise the subsequent Superpole. With a lap time of 2’17”514, the Althea rider closed in tenth position.

In Superpole Davide confirmed the progress already made yesterday in first practice. Having finished phase one in sixth place (1’57”076), the Althea rider improved significantly in the second phase and with a time of 1’55”413 he qualified in second position for the third and final session. Using the final qualifying tyre, Giugliano stopped the clock on 1’55”073, concluding in third position behind Sykes and Guintoli and earning a position on the front row for tomorrow’s two 18-lap races.

Davide Giugliano: “I’m really pleased. We’ve worked well and have been rewarded with a result that’s in line with the effort put in by me and my team this weekend. I always give it my all and try to achieve the best possible result. Sometimes this is possible, other time we have more trouble. I expect two difficult races tomorrow, but I will face them calmly and with determination.”

Genesio Bevilacqua: “A great result for our rider on a track that is brand new for him and where he is up against some expert riders who have already raced here in MotoGP. I’m very pleased with the constant progress that Davide is making; together with his team he has been able to work hard, adopting strategies that have allowed him to achieve this solid result. We’re pleased to be on the front row and are confident ahead of tomorrow. We expect some good results that will reward the work of both the rider and the team.”




More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Sykes Posts Superpole Win Number Seven Of The Year!

WSBK, Istanbul Park, Turkey, 14 September 2013

Championship leader Tom Sykes took his Kawasaki Racing Team Ninja ZX-10R to the Superpole win in Turkey despite this being his first visit to the long and challenging 5.340km Istanbul Park circuit.

Sykes and his Kawasaki crew made set-up improvements to his Ninja ZX-10R overnight and they paid off for Tom on track, even though bad weather earlier in the day lost Tom valuable time at a circuit he had never ridden on before this weekend.

Using the first Superpole session, held in dry conditions, to verify the new set-up Sykes was fastest in the first and last of three Superpole contests, taking a narrow but important advantage of 0.022 seconds over his main championship rival Sylvain Guintoli.

Sykes’ reputation as the modern day Superpole maestro continued this weekend. He scored his seventh pre-race ‘win’ of the year in 11 attempts, took his career Superpole total to 18 and in doing so became the fourth most successful qualifier in the history of SBK racing in his own right. He only needs three more Superpole wins to equal the career total of SBK legend Carl Fogarty, who has 21 pole positions.

KRT rider Loris Baz will not ride this weekend to continue his recovery from injuries sustained at the previous round. Mark Aitchison (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) took 10th spot on the grid with Federico Sandi (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) 11th.

Tom Sykes: “I am happy because this is a circuit I had never been to before and I only got two practice sessions yesterday. I lost two sessions today to the weather so considering all this I am happy. I am fighting a bit of a cold but the changes we made to the bike set-up last night were positive. My crew chief Marcel and all the guys at Kawasaki do a great job and we went in the right direction. We were able to try the adjustments early in Superpole and it was clear to see we had a good direction. We just need to see if we can put this to good use tomorrow. It is funny how it goes because Sylvain Guintoli is right beside me on the grid tomorrow. It seems we have been fighting all season, in qualifying and races, so it looks like it is going the distance!”




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

Istanbul – Qualifying Practice 2 & Superpole.
Saturday, 14th September 2013.

Weather conditions: Rain in the morning, sunny in the afternoon.
Temperature: Air: 19 – 25 °C, Track: 23 – 34 °C
Number of riders participating: 15 from 11 teams
Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) 1:56.190 min
Fastest lap Superpole 3: Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) 1:54.872 min

It was not a particularly easy Saturday for the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team at “Intercity Istanbul Park” (TUR). Due to the weather conditions the track action was mainly reduced to the Superpole qualifying in the afternoon, causing a loss of precious track time for the squad. Factory riders Marco Melandri (ITA) and Chaz Davies (GBR) will start tomorrow’s first ever Superbike races on Turkish soil from seventh and eighth on the third row respectively. The “Intercity Istanbul Park” hosts the 11th round of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship.

It was raining during this morning's second qualifying practice and Marco and Chaz opted not to go out on track along with many other riders. For the free practice at midday, the rain had stopped but conditions were still wet. The BMW duo spent most of the session in the garage waiting for the surface to dry and only went out on track shortly on their BMW S 1000 RRs.

In the afternoon, it was sunny again and Superpole started with dry conditions. Both Marco and Chaz did their first outing on race tyres. Chaz’ lap time was good enough to bring him into Superpole 2 and he returned to the garage after a couple more flying laps. Marco was on course to set the fastest time on his first lap but crashed in the final sector. He re-joined and rode back to the pits. With six minutes to go, he started a second attempt, again on race tyres. He set the second fastest time of the session and progressed to Superpole 2. In the next session, it took Marco one outing on race tyres to qualify for the final and deciding session. Chaz went out twice, once on race tyres and then on qualifying tyres to reach Superpole 3. In the final session, Marco put in his first qualifying tyre but he returned to the pits immediately to change to his second. With this, he set the seventh fastest time. Chaz only went out with five minutes to go, using his second qualifying tyre. But he had a sensor failure and qualified eighth, only a few thousandths of a second behind Marco.

Marco Melandri:
Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:56.749 min (P2) / Fastest lap FP: no timed lap / Fastest lap Superpole 3: 1:56.402 min (P7)
“I expected a better result because on race tyres we were quite fast, on a single flying lap as well, as we saw in Superpole 1. But we were not able to improve the time with the qualifying tyres because as soon as we put those on the bike became difficult to ride. I am looking forward to tomorrow in a positive way. The bike works better with race tyres, so this is an advantage. But tomorrow's races will be quite unpredictable. We have two new types of tyres and it will be important to choose the right one. The races will be very long. I am not starting from a good position and I will have to attack. To be fast on this track you have to ride smoothly and this is my riding style, so overall I'm quite optimistic for tomorrow.”

Chaz Davies:
Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:57.391 min (P7) / Fastest lap FP: 2:22.625 min (P11) / Fastest lap Superpole 3: 1:56.416 min (P8)
“This afternoon we finally got some dry weather but unfortunately we did not seem to have a lot of luck. In the first Superpole, I struggled with the grip of the rear tyre. We made some changes and chose a different tyre in Superpole 2 and it was much better. But in Superpole 3 I immediately felt that there was an issue. There was a sensor failure in the shifting system and I had to use the clutch again. That did not allow me to push as I wanted to so unfortunately we are eighth on the grid. We definitely did not show our potential and I think we were capable of front row or maybe just the sharp end of the second row. Tomorrow will be quite interesting. I think a lot of people are in the dark a bit. I guess no one has done a full race distance so far. In addition, the circuit is changing every time you go out, so tomorrow there could be more grip but it could also be harder on the tyres. The main thing is to make a good start and then we will see.”

Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“We are not satisfied with today’s Superpole. We expected a better result, consistent with what we had shown in the other qualifying sessions. Unfortunately with Marco we were not able to make best use of the qualifying tyres, while Chaz had bad luck with a sensor and could not improve his lap time. The results penalise us a bit. Tomorrow we will start from the third row and this does not help our riders. Anyway, we are quite confident for tomorrow’s races. Both our riders were quite fast with race tyres and the races will be long and difficult for everyone. It will be important to have a good start and immediately gain positions. Tomorrow we will see two interesting races, for sure.”

Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“Honestly we cannot be satisfied with today as we could not work as we had planned due to the bad weather conditions. We could not evaluate the changes to the settings and we could not properly test the tyres to select which one we will use in the race. Also, we are not happy with the Superpole. Chaz had a sensor issue which slowed his performance a bit and Marco had quite a lot of vibrations with the qualifying tyre so he could not improve compared to his best lap time with the race tyre. Considering what we have seen today as race pace, I think tomorrow we can expect good results and performances from our riders. For sure, starting from the third row won’t help so a good start will be very important and we will work on this in the warm-up tomorrow.”




More, from a press release issued by Aprilia:

AN APRILIA FLAVOURED SUPERPOLE AT ISTANBUL: FOUR RSV4S IN THE TOP FIVE.

FIRST PLACE SLIPS THROUGH SYLVAIN GUINTOLI’S FINGERS AND GOES TO SYKES BY JUST 22 THOUSANDTHS OF A SECOND.

EUGENE LAVERTY FINISHES FOURTH WITH THE TWO RSV4S RIDDEN BY GIUGLIANO (ALTHEA RACING) AND ELIAS (RED DEVILS) FINISH THIRD AND FIFTH RESPECTIVELY.

Istanbul, 14 September 2013 – The Aprilia Racing riders had shown a promising feeling on the Turkish track at Istanbul from the start. Although it was preceded by two odd sessions with the riders waiting in their garages due to the wet track, the Superpole sessions this afternoon confirmed yesterday’s suspicions: Sylvain Guintoli just missed the pole by 22 thousandths of a second after an almost perfect lap, while Eugene Laverty wasn’t quite able to make the grade with his second qualifying tyre although he did finish with a strong fourth best time.

Aprilia’s domination was confirmed by the final positions of the two “satellite” RSV4s: Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) will start from the third spot on the grid and Toni Elias (Red Devils), making his Superbike début on the missile from Veneto, took a promising fifth place.

With a gap of just one point from the top spot in the standings, Sylvain Guintoli had made no secret of his ambitions for this Superpole. Comforted by the times he put on the boards yesterday and after being the fasted rider during the free practice sessions leading up to Superpole, the French rider easily came through the first two sessions. He aggressively took on his challengers in the top nine, succumbing only to the “specialist” Sykes, even admitting that he made a few small mistakes in the fast lap. In any case Sylvain takes home an excellent starting position for the two races tomorrow and he certainly has the tools to be able to aim for the top step of the podium.

Sylvain Guintoli: “We came really close today. On my last lap I made a few small errors that may have cost me those 22 thousandths. It would have been nice to take the pole, but the most important thing is to start from the front row. I felt at home on this track straight away and I think tomorrow I’ll be able to aim for two good results. As I already said, the battle for the championship is really getting heated up now, so there should be two exciting races tomorrow on a track which is basically new for everyone”.

Eugene Laverty also put in an excellent performance, steadily improving throughout the weekend until arriving just short of the podium in Superpole. The rider from Toomebridge put in the fastest time in Superpole 2, which was the best possible way to come through to the final session. Unfortunately Eugene struggled a bit with his second qualifying tyre taking the first spot on the second row of the grid. The two races tomorrow promise to be quite heated for him as well tomorrow with an excellent chance for a podium finish.

Eugene Laverty: “I put in the best time in Superpole 2 but I wasn’t able to repeat the performance in the last session. In any case, fourth place is nothing to look down on and tomorrow looks like it will be a battle between four riders where we’ll all be able to make a play for it. Race 1 should be especially interesting because none of us were really able to lap a lot today on race tyres since the track was wet, so that will make things even more uncertain”.




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

FIXI Crescent Suzuki's Jules Cluzel will start tomorrow's Turkish round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship from the second row of the grid after qualifying in sixth-place today.

Cluzel progressed to the Superpole courtesy of yesterday's qualifying time, after rain on the 5,340m Intercity Istanbul circuit made it impossible for any riders to improve this morning. The French rookie also sat out most of the second free practice due to the wet conditions, but as the track dried in the later stages he was able to post a couple of fast laps that saw him finish second on the timesheets. In Superpole 1 Cluzel comfortably advanced to the next session with the seventh fastest time, a feat he equalled in Superpole 2. In the final Superpole he posted a time of 1'55.614 on his Pirelli qualifying tyre, which was good enough to see him and the Yoshimura-powered GSX-R finish in sixth, just over 0.7 seconds behind pole-setter Tom Sykes.

FIXI Crescent Suzuki will only have one representative on the grid for tomorrow's two races after Leon Camier was forced to withdraw following his huge crash and subsequent operation yesterday. He was released from hospital this morning after surgery to insert screws, pins and wires into seven fractures in his right foot. Camier returned to the circuit to be with the team and will return to Andorra soon to begin his recuperation.

Tomorrow will see the first World Superbike races ever held in Turkey, the first of which gets underway at 13.00hrs local time (11.00hrs BST) with the second 18-lap instalment starting at 14.30hrs local time (12.30hrs BST).

Jules Cluzel:

"I am happy with Superpole, but a little bit disappointed because I think third or fourth was possible. I was not able to make the perfect lap, which was all my own fault. I tried some different stuff and sometimes it was working for me and sometimes not. We also tried some different traction and I was not really sure about it, so probably didn't push hard enough. I think it was certainly possible to be fourth, but this would have changed nothing as it is still the second row and I'm happy to be there. I am looking forward to tomorrow and hope we'll have a good feeling with the race tyre. Hopefully it will be dry for warm-up and we will try more laps with the race tyre to see how it performs."

"It was good to see Leon out of hospital and back at the track, I hope he gets well quickly and is back on the bike soon - it is good to have him on the other side of the garage and I will miss him."

Paul Denning - Team Manager:

"Today has been a strange day for the team in many ways here in Istanbul. Both of this morning's sessions were meaningless due to intermediate track conditions, so the only serious running has been the three very short Superpole sessions. That hasn't given Jules and his crew an awful lot to go on in terms of making the necessary improvements from yesterday, but it does look like some of the key points that they have been targeting have been dealt with and clearly Jules was able to find enough confidence to post a good enough lap - despite it not being perfect - and end up on the second-row. This will give him a good opportunity to get involved with the fastest riders tomorrow.

"Leon has been with us most of the day at the track. The condition of his foot is really not pleasant and on top of that he has been pretty ill coming out of the anaesthetic and the after-effects of the operation. Hopefully he'll be feeling better tomorrow and will be able to be with the team at the circuit and start the first steps of his rehabilitation."

Istanbul - eni FIM Superbike World Championship - Superpole: 1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'54.872: 2. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) +0.022+ 3. Davide Giugliano (Aprilia) +0.201: 4. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) +0.468: 5. Toni Elias (Aprilia) +0.674: 6. Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) +0.742.




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

Third row for Haslam in Istanbul

Leon Haslam will start tomorrow’s two 11th-round World Superbike races from the third row of the grid after setting the ninth-fastest time in this afternoon’s Superpole at Istanbul Park in Turkey.

The 30-year-old Pata Honda rider was unable to make the improvements he sought after yesterday’s qualifying after rain washed out much of this morning’s qualifying and practice sessions.

His stand-in team-mate, Michel Fabrizio, who is riding as a replacement for the injured Jonathan Rea, will start the two 18-lap races around the 5.340km circuit directly behind Haslam on the grid after setting the 12th-fastest time today.

Leon Haslam – P9, 1m56.463s

It didn’t help sitting in the garage today until Superpole, but that’s the way it goes with the weather sometimes. We tried a few things in Superpole 1, which weren’t amazing at the start but we made a good change on the race tyre. I was able to drop into the 56s on race rubber, which I was very happy with. We had a few of the old gremlins when we used the qualifiers and only went 0.3 or 0.4s faster. But there’s so much more potential to go a lot faster with some more track time. I felt we could at least get on the second row here, but we’ll have to do a bit more work tomorrow. Warm-up will be important for more track time. Hopefully it’ll be dry and we can go in the right direction.

Michel Fabrizio - P12, 1m57.371s

I am still learning the bike and the circuit step-by-step but I am happy. The feeling with the bike is improving but we will make a big change with the set-up of the bike tomorrow morning – both at the front and the rear – and try this in warm-up. I hope this can help but, at the moment, it is a combination of new rider, new bike new circuit.

Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator

We lost a complete session due to rain this morning and that stopped our progress because we needed all the track time we could get, especially with Michel being new to the bike. He ended up 12th and some issues have been revealed, which are interesting as he has come from a different machine. We improved with Leon but not enough – the others just improved more and the gap to the front is not how we would like it. We have warm-up tomorrow to try to give Leon a bike with which he can fight for top six or higher.