Motul FIM Superbike World Championship
Chang International Circuit
March 23, 2018
Free Practice Three Results (all on Pirelli tires):
1. Jonathan Rea, UK (Kaw ZX-10RR), 1:33.327
2. Tom Sykes, UK (Kaw ZX-10RR), 1:33.384
3. Jordi Torres, Spain (MV Agusta F4 RC), 1:33.397
4. Marco Melandri, Italy (Duc Panigale R), 1:33.424
5. Chaz Davies, UK (Duc Panigale R), 1:33.435
6. Leon Camier, UK (Hon CBR1000RR SP2), 1:33.531
7. Michael Van Der Mark, Netherlands (Yam YZF-R1), 1:33.569
8. Xavi Fores, Spain (Duc Panigale R), 1:33.571, crash
9. Alex Lowes, UK (Yam YZF-R1), 1:33.855
10. Lorenzo Savadori, Italy (Apr RSV4 RF), 1:33.986
11. Loris Baz, France (BMW S1000RR), 1:34.011
12. Eugene Laverty, Ireland (Apr RSV4 RF), 1:34.186, crash
13. Leandro Mercado, Argentina (Kaw ZX-10RR), 1:34.420
14. Roman Ramos, Spain (Kaw ZX-10RR), 1:34.545
15. Jake Gagne, USA (Hon CBR1000RR SP2), 1:34.601
16. Yonny Hernandez, Colombia (Kaw ZX-10RR), 1:34.668
17. PJ Jacobsen, USA (Honda CBR1000RR SP2), 1:34.741
18. Toprak Razgatlioglu, Turkey (Kaw ZX-10RR), 1:34.968
19. Ondrej Jezek, Czech Republic (Yam YZF-R1), 1:36.648
More, from a press release issued by Gulf Althea BMW:
Baz sizes up the Chang track
Buriram (Thailand), Friday 23 March 2018
The Gulf Althea BMW Racing team is on track at the Chang International Circuit, taking part in round two of the 2018 Superbike World Championship. Having completed all three timed practice sessions with rider Loris Baz, the squad is satisfied with initial results.
Making his first visit to the Thai track, Baz used session one to get to the grips with the layout and assess his physical condition, before starting to work with his technicians to adapt the BMW S 1000 RR to the track and conditions. Making gradual progress on his bike throughout the day, the Frenchman was lying in eighth position by the end of first practice (1’34.615), before improving on his times during sessions two and three, to set a best time of 1’34.011 and place twelfth in the overall classification.
Although Loris is still suffering some shoulder pain following his accident at Phillip Island, the Frenchman is keen to improve on his performance tomorrow. Today’s results will see the Gulf Althea BMW Racing team participate in tomorrow’s Superpole1.
“We had a good day but I’m nevertheless a little frustrated. I learned the track quickly in session one and we were immediately fast this morning, but I feel we didn’t improve enough during the subsequent sessions. Everyone seems to have improved significantly compared to last year, the top 5 is already under the lap record, so we just need to work hard to try and close the gap tomorrow. It’s really close right now anyway, with 12 riders within just six tenths of a second. My shoulder is aching after the three sessions, but it’s not as bad as I expected so that’s good.”
More, from a press release issued by Barni Racing Team:
Forés is eighth after a crash in Thailand free practice
Buriram, 23rd March 2018. The Barni Racing Team rider Xavi Forés had an impressive Friday at Chang International Circuit of Buriram, Thailand, where the second round of MOTUL FIM WorldSBK Championship is taking place. The Spaniard was eighth at the end of the FP3 but by his 1’33.571 is only two and a half tenths of second far from the poleman Rea (Kawasaki). The result could be even better because, at the beginning of the FP3, Forés crashed due to a collision with Laverty and he was forced to take a jump in the mobile clinic suffering a small injury on his foot. Forés was able to be back on track before the checkered flag waved and cut down his best time.
As the action began the Spaniard was immediately fast finding the right setup on his Ducati Panigale R. Forés was on the top of the timesheet in the FP1 lapping at half a second below the lap record and in the FP2 he was more focused in finding the right setup for the race.
Now inside the Barni Racing Team garage begin the preparation to qualify well in Superpole 2 and ensure that the rider takes a leading grid position for race one.
Marco Barnabò, Principal Manager
“Unfortunately we missed almost completely FP3. Xavi back on track for the last two laps but he was injured and it’s not easy to feel at ease soon after a crash. Laverty didn’t see Xavi is coming and he closed the trajectory. Despite of this we are happy about the opening day. We worked well and i think it will be an interesting weekend.”
Xavi Forés, #12
“During FP3 i was spent more time in the clinic than on the bike. It was a pity because i was riding wise and I was already up there. Unfortunately when i crashed my foot stayed under the bike and my pinkie got injured. On the other side I must say that I’m happy for the feeling with the bike and I’m a little bit surprise to. Traditionally this is an unfavored track for us but we were fast right away. I hope to qualify well and if i get it I think I will be able to fight for the podium once again.”
More, from a press release issued by Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team:
Camier and Gagne on the pace in Thailand practice
Chang International Circuit, Thailand
On the opening day of the Thai WorldSBK round at Chang International Circuit, Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team riders Leon Camier and Jake Gagne got off to a solid start in what has a hotly contested day of action.
On a day where the top-ten quickest riders were separated by only half a second after three sessions, both Camier and Gagne showed competitive pace on the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2. From the outset in the morning Free Practice 1 session, Camier set a frantic pace and was near the top of the leaderboard in all the sessions and eventually finished in P6 overall with a best time of 1’33.435; a mere two-tenths of a second off the quickest time of the day.
On the #45 CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2, Jake Gagne continued to impress as the American rookie quickly got up to speed on his first visit to the Thai circuit. Gagne ended the day fourteenth quickest, his best lap time of 1’34.500 coming in Free Practice 2 and left him just 1.1 seconds off the pace.
The next WorldSBK session is Free Practice 4 which gets underway at 10:45 local time (GMT +7) tomorrow morning. Qualifying commences at 13:30 with Superpole 1, followed by Superpole 2 at 13:55 before Race 1 starts at 15:00.
Leon Camier 2
It was a good start from the first session today, the lap time came quite easily from the beginning so I felt competitive on the bike right away. My pace was good throughout all the sessions, but there’s still a few things we want to try tomorrow as I need to improve my race pace a little bit to take the fight to the top guys. We took another step today so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.
Jake Gagne 45
It was a good first day for me in Thailand on a track I’ve never ridden before. The circuit is easier to learn than some others, so I felt I got up to speed quickly. I made some good progress from the first to the second session and improved my lap time, but in the last session we made some changes which didn’t work for me so I couldn’t improve in FP3. I still learned a lot today and think I can get closer to the top ten tomorrow in qualifying and the race.
For our first day here in Thailand I’m quite happy how things went for Leon and Jake. On Leon’s side he was quick straight away and was able to improve in every session and we were able to try quite a few things on the chassis side today to find a good setting for qualifying and the race. For Jake, for his first time at the circuit he made a good step from the first to the second session, but was unable to improve in FP3 but overall he had a good first day and for sure will improve again tomorrow. The conditions will be a bit warmer tomorrow but we’re well prepared to fight for a good result.
More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:
Fast Opening Day For KRT Duo
After three track sessions during the first day of the FIM Superbike World Championship round at Buriram in Thailand KRT riders Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes finished first and second in the timesheets.
The intense 4.554km long Chang International Circuit has been a happy hunting ground for the current KRT riders, who have won all the previous WorldSBK races in Thailand between them.
After recent rule changes that limit Kawasaki to a lower maximum rpm limit than any other four cylinder machine, adjustments had to be made to the overall bike set-up of each rider as the day progressed. The result of this hard work saw Rea and Sykes respectively 1-2 in the pre-Superpole rankings.
Rea managed to complete a strong race simulation in FP3 and feels 100% fit after illness and a finger injury affected him on the opening weekend of the season in Australia, held one month ago.
Sykes was on course to record his best lap time relatively early in FP3 but was penalised for a yellow flag infringement following an accident between two other riders. With his class-leading lap finally discounted, he then had to go out and do a second fast lap, which took him to within 0.057 seconds of his team-mate Rea.
The contest for automatic Superpole 2 qualifying positions was particularly intense on day one in Thailand, with the top ten riders covered by only 0.528 seconds after all three 40 minute sessions had been completed.
Now the KRT riders face a 20 minute-long FP4 session on Saturday morning and then Superpole 2, which will determine their grid placings for the first race of the weekend. Race one, to be held over 20 laps, is scheduled to take place at 16.00, local time in Thailand.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “It feels good and the times are so close. Today I just worked through some set-up changes, arriving step-by-step at a good pace. In the last session today, which was held at the same time of day as the races will be, we decided to do a race simulation. I was very constant, not really fast, but constant to the end. We need to find a little bit more I think, for tomorrow. I tried to ride the bike like I did last year but with the final gearing, gearbox and rpm for this season, it is a very different bike. This morning I had to readjust my riding style so in the last two sessions we made some inroads and I felt a lot better. I have the information from the race simulation now, and it is good information.”
Tom Sykes, stated: “We set a fast lap time and I am happy enough, even through the confusion of a cancelled lap. We had to use a new set of tyres after that, which was not in our plan of attack, but we still made a faster lap. But aside from that, the bike is really consistent and we have continued on from Phillip Island. We are definitely prepared for the first race tomorrow. The chassis is working well. I hope tomorrow we can find a little bit extra anyway. Even in the hot conditions this afternoon, in both afternoon sessions, I really had a good feeling and feedback from the bike, even when the tyre drops. I am feeling really confident and optimistic for tomorrow.”
More, from a press release issued by Dorna WSBK Press Office:
#THAIWorldSBK– Day 1
Rea and Sykes back on top after tough day in Buriram
One second separates the top five after action filled FP3
After a tough start to the day, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) did what he does best and ended on top.
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) starred in Free Practice Three at the Chang International Circuit, where there was never much more than a tenth of a second separating the top five. Each of the best eight in the combined results set their fastest time in the third session, and rankings were therefore changeable throughout. But Rea continued a day of steady improvement, climbing from eleventh in FP1, to fourth in FP2 and finally to lead the list of automatic qualifiers to Saturday’s Tissot-Superpole session.
Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) was the biggest name not to improve in FP3 as, after heading the timesheets in FP2, he collided with Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team) in dramatic fashion. Both riders bit the asphalt but climbed back aboard their machines, Fores later confirmed fit to continue his weekend after suffering an abrasion to his toes. Both finished comfortably inside the top ten despite the incident: Fores, who finished FP1 on top, remained the lead independent rider as has become his custom in 2018, while Laverty dropped back to ninth.
Behind the lead British duo on the timesheets, Jordi Torres (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) finished third having, until the final batch of hot laps, sat first.
Aruba.it Racing – Ducati runners Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies made the biggest improvements in FP3. Australian double winner Melandri found almost a second to leap from tenth to fourth, and Davies showing no ill effects after his crash in FP2.
Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) was the top Honda runner throughout, with Yamaha also represented in the top ten through Michael Van Der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team). The Dutchman finished the session just two thousandths of a second clear of crash duo Fores and Laverty, with his teammate Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) also behind and occupying the last of the top ten positions.
Behind the break-away group of eight, there was a close contest to hold on to a place in the top ten: four riders separated by one and a half tenths of a second. Despite setting more laps than anyone in the three sessions combined, Loris Baz (GULF ALTHEA BMW Racing Team) was unable to force a seventh manufacturer into the day’s top ten, the Frenchman twelfth but well clear of the pack of independent riders directly behind.
WorldSBK riders take to the track at 10.45LT (+7 GMT) for FP4 ahead of a jam packed Saturday, with Superpole at 13.55 and the action kicking off with Race One at 16.00LT.
WorldSSP: Mahias takes to the top in Thailand
Free Practice One and Free Practice Two had an identical order among the top three finishers
Reigning world champion Mahias continues to shine in 2018
A familiar pecking order emerged after Free Practice Two for the FIM Supersport World Championship in Thailand. The lead duo in the series after the Australian Round, Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) and Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team), were comfortably fastest in FP1 but saw their advantage slashed in the second session.
Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) in particular made a significant gain during the day, closing over half a second on Mahias’ 1:37.469 time and to within three tenths of a second of top spot. But the Italian’s new fastest time only enabled him to remain in third position, just ahead of Jules Cluzel who completed a lead quartet of Yamaha runners.
Thai Wild Card riders Thitipong Warokorn (CORE Kawasaki Thailand Racing Team) and Ratthapong Wilairot (Yamaha Thailand Racing Team) finished just over a tenth of a second from one another, disputing the last of the top ten positions.
In what was a close session throughout, Lucas Mahias was one of only two among the top ten riders who failed to improve his pace in FP2. The other was Luke Stapleford (Profile Racing), who suffered a turn five crash less than ten minutes into the session and dropped from fifth to ninth overall.
The fastest seven ahead of him were eventually separated by less than half a second in the first two sessions combined, and with third place in particular having been closely contested right to the flag in Australia, indications are for a similarly close-fought race weekend in Thailand.
With Superpole on the agenda for Saturday, WorldSSP will prepare for Superpole to commence at 14.30LT.
More, from a press release issued by Pata Yamaha:
Pata Yamaha Make Good Progress on Friday In Buriram
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team got off to an encouraging start on an exciting and close-fought Friday at Round 2 of the 2018 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship in Thailand that saw half a second separate the top ten. Michael van der Mark impressed in the heat and humidity at the Chang International Circuit to end the day in seventh position on the overall timesheets, incredibly just 0.242s off the pace of the fastest rider. His teammate Alex Lowes showed good consistency, steadily improving in every session before ending the day in tenth overall, just 0.528s off the top.
Van der Mark worked his way steadily through the opening day in Thailand, with the 25-year-old Dutch rider making good progress as he managed to improve in each session. He eased his way into FP1, finishing in 12th overall with a 1:34.765. The 2014 WorldSSP Champion then stepped up a gear in FP2, improving by over seven-tenths to end the 40-minute session with a 1:34.068, which saw him move up to fifth overall. In the final track session of the day, van der Mark made some tweaks to his Pata Yamaha R1 and managed to shave another half a second off his time, to finish Friday in seventh overall and automatically make it through to SP2 on Saturday.
Lowes showed good pace straight out of the box in FP1, ending the session in sixth with a 1:34.437. The 27-year-old British rider then improved to a 1:34.144 in FP2 to finish in eighth overall just 0.293s behind the fastest rider. Just like his teammate, Lowes then managed to show good improvement again in FP3 to record a 1:33.855, which incredibly saw him end Friday in tenth position, despite only being 0.528s off the pace. The 2013 British Superbike Champion, therefore, joins his teammate in going directly through to SP2 and is confident there is more to come on Saturday.
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team return to action on Saturday at 10:45 am with the 20-minute FP4 session, ahead of SP2 at 1:55 pm local time, with Race 1 scheduled to start 4pm.
Michael van der Mark
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team – 7th – 1:33.569
“I’m really happy with today! We started quite solidly this morning but kept on improving bit by bit and it was pretty clear what I needed for the second session. We went out looking for rear grip but didn’t really find much, so we changed the bike a lot, then I found the grip and I was getting faster and faster. I was feeling quite good, I only felt that we need to make some small changes, so that’s what we did for the third session and I went out on used tyres and at the end of a longer run, I was still quite fast, which is a good sign for the race. I am happy to have put in a really fast lap at the end and we are looking forward to tomorrow! We have few things to tweak, but with the times so close, it should be a very exciting race.”
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team – 10th – 1:33.855
“It’s been a good day! We are slowly chipping away each time we go out. I did a longer run and felt okay on the bike and still have a few areas that we know we can improve for tomorrow. Overall, it was a decent day really, we are probably in a better position than P10 looks and I am looking forward to racing!”
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team Principal
“It has been a solid first day for the team and we have managed to get through most of the evaluations we were hoping to do over the course of the three sessions. The lap times here at Buriram are extremely close and small differences in performance are showing up as big gaps in terms of position. In general, the R1 is performing well at this circuit, we have a couple of areas to focus on, different priorities for both of the riders, but if we can maximise their potential and the potential of the R1 we could have two very interesting races!”
More, from a press release issued by Aruba.it Racing Ducati:
Melandri and Davies finish Friday’s practice sessions at Buriram in 4th and 5th position respectively but very close to the top
A month after the opening round in Australia, which resulted in a double win, the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team resumed action at Buriram (Thailand) for the second round of the 2018 WorldSBK Championship. Friday’s free-practice sessions, which were held in more favorable weather conditions compared with the past – with about 30 degrees in the atmosphere – resulted in a close fight at the top of the time sheets, with five riders within a tenth of a second.
Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies joined this group by posting respectively the fourth and fifth fastest time of the day, separated by only 11 thousandths of a second. Both riders focused their work on race pace, improving their best lap times by circa one second throughout the day. The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati will resume action Saturday at 10:45 local time (CET +6) for the fourth and final free-practice session ahead of Superpole and Race 1, scheduled to start at 16:00.
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #33) – 1:33.424 (4th)
“It was a good day. Luckily the temperatures were more mild than usual so it was actually nice to ride here and I had fun. My feeling with the bike is OK. We still need to put together a few pieces of the puzzle but I’m quite confident ahead of the race, though anything can happen with such narrow gaps in the time sheets. We worked methodically on race pace, but we were also able to set a competitive lap time on fresh tires, which means we have good balance overall.”
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7) – 1:33.435 (5th)
“We improved steadily throughout the day despite a couple of issues in FP2 and FP3 that delayed our progress a little bit. The most important thing is that we’re not at all far from the top, and we can still improve, especially in terms of grip and stability under braking. At the moment it’s a work in progress and it’s hard to make predictions because we’re all very close, so tomorrow’s morning session will be important to verify a few things and tick the last boxes ahead of Race 1.”
More, from a press release issued by MV Agusta:
TEAM MV AGUSTA REPARTO CORSE AMONG THE BEST ON OPENING DAY IN THAILAND
Jordi Torres ended up 3rd on the opening day of action at the Chang International Circuit. Raffaele De Rosa and Ayrton Badovini got the 8th and 15th position in WorldSSP for Team MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag.
WorldSBK – Team MV Agusta Reparto Corse
Although the long straights of the Chang International Circuit do not enhance the skills of the F4 RC, Jordi Torres and his team stand out among the best riders of this opening day, with the Spaniard getting the 3rd position in the overall timesheet.
Setting a good pace, Torres close third after the first free practice session. In FP3 he managed to low his lap time by 0,9s, closing in 1’33.397: a time that places him in the 3rd overall position.
Tomorrow Jordi will be back on track for the Tissot-Superpole2 (13:55 local time) and for the first race of the Thai round (16.00 local time).
WorldSSP – Team MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag
After getting familiar with the MV Agusta F3 675 machine on the Thai circuit in the morning FP1, both the riders were able to further improve their lap time in the second and final qualifying heats, with De Rosa setting the 8th fastest time ( 1’38.112) and entering the Tissot-Superpole2, despite this was the first time he rode on this track. Teammate Ayrton Badovini closed 15th (1’38.661) still searching for the best setting on his bike.
Jordi Torres – Today we had two major goals: to set a fast lap time and, on the other hand, to understand which was the best tire choice for the race. We can definitely say that we have achieved them both. We tried different solutions, both in terms of tires and settings, and our choices proved to be the right ones. We managed to start really strong already from the first round and in FP3 we did that extra step needed to get us in front. Now we have to stay focused on the two races of the weekend.
Raffaele De Rosa – Considering this was the first time I rode on this track, I am quite satisfied with the access to the SP2. This circuit isn’t a particularly difficult one but certainly it would have helped me greatly knowing the track. Coming to the race weekend, we must definitely improve our race pace. Tomorrow we will try to push hard starting from the FP3, to bridge the gap with the front guys and estimate our potential for the race.
Ayrton Badovini – I’m certainly not satisfied with this position. I still miss a little bit of feeling with the bike but, above all, I am still not fast enough on the lap. When we change the tire I cannot make the difference like Raffaele does. However, I am confident we can have a good race weekend, we have several strategies to fix this situation and starting from the afternoon we will get back to work on the data.