World Superbike: Rea Rules, Gerloff 6th In FP2 At Catalunya

World Superbike: Rea Rules, Gerloff 6th In FP2 At Catalunya

© 2020, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

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SBK FP2

 

 

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

#CatalanWorldSBK – Day 1 

Razgatlioglu tops Friday WorldSBK running; Rea fastest in wet FP2

All five manufacturers show strong pace at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as Razgatlioglu goes fastest overall 

 

Toprak Razgatlioglu (54) in action at Catalunya. Photo courtesy Dorna.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (54) in action at Catalunya. Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

Day one of the Acerbis Catalunya Round for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship was a day of two halves as the mostly dry weather in the morning made way for mixed conditions in the afternoon; the track conditions at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya slowly improving after a shower soaked the track. Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) ended the day fastest after posting the best lap time in the dry Free Practice 1 session.

 

Jonathan Rea (1) was quickest in wet FP2 at Catalunya. Photo courtesy Dorna.
Jonathan Rea (1) was quickest in wet FP2 at Catalunya. Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

The combined classifications meant Razgatlioglu topped Friday’s running after a flurry of quick laps at the end of Lap 1 changed the order rapidly. The Turkish rider led a Yamaha 1-2-3 as teammate Michael van der Mark and American Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) finishing the day in third place.

 

Garrett Gerloff (31) getting sideways during FP1 at Catalunya. Photo courtesy Dorna.
Garrett Gerloff (31) getting sideways during FP1 at Catalunya. Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

All three riders were running as the session came to a close and kept improving their lap times with Gerloff putting in a stunning lap for third place right at the end of the session; allowing him to finish the day nearly a second clear of teammate Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team); the Italian in 14th place.

 

Alvaro Bautista (19). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Alvaro Bautista (19). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) had led the majority of the running in the opening practice session of the day but was one of a handful of riders who did not take to the track in the last few minutes of the session; the Spanish rider finishing the day in fourth place ahead of reigning Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK). Bautista’s Team HRC teammate, Leon Haslam, finished the day in 18th place but was running towards the front of the field in the wet Free Practice 2.

Rea had appeared to be unhappy during the early stages of Free Practice 1 but found lap time as the session progressed and ended the day in fifth place, with Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in eighth place as KRT finished with both bikes inside the top ten as they celebrated their home race. Rea ended the Free Practice 2 as the fastest rider in the wet session.

Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) finished the day in eighth place as BMW, who were strong in a test at the circuit in July, continue to show good pace at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Teammate Eugene Laverty finished the day in 12th place, just two tenths outside the top ten.

Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) was classified in ninth place for the day’s running, around seventh tenths away from Razgatlioglu’s pace, with Redding looking to start clawing back some of Rea’s 36-point Championship lead. Teammate Chaz Davies was in 11th place but with little to separate the two Ducati riders on the timesheets.

Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) was inside the top ten after Friday’s two practice sessions but was another who showed strong pace in the mixed conditions in the afternoon, finishing sixth in the second practice session although the Frenchman crashed in the latter stages of the session at Turn 7. Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) finished the day in 13th place after edging close to the top ten, finishing half a second away from Baz in tenth.

Jonas Folger (Bonovo Action by MGM Racing) was 15th after his first day of WorldSBK action after showing promising pace early in the opening session but falling down the order as others improved their lap time. Sylvain Barrier (Brixx Performance) was 19th for the day with Samuele Cavalieri (Barni Racing Team) in 20th on his WorldSBK debut, and rookie Valentin Debise (OUTDO Kawasaki TPR) completing the order.

Leandro Mercado (Motocorsa Racing) was declared unfit for the weekend following a crash in Free Practice 1 after he came off his bike, with the Argentinean taking to a local hospital where he was diagnosed with a right wrist fracture (radius and scaphoid). Takumi Takahashi (MIE Racing HONDA Team) crashed during the wet running at Turn 4; finishing the day in 17th place. Maximilian Scheib (ORELAC Racing VerdNatura) suffered a crash in the wet running in Free Practice 2 at the Turn 4 right-hander causing the session to be Red Flagged; Scheib taking to the medical centre for a check-up following the crash and later declared unfit with a right acromioclavicular joint injury and taken to a local hospital for further assessment.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:

Pata Yamaha Top Barcelona Friday Free Practice with Team 1-2

The Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team with Rizla enjoyed a competitive start to the first ever FIM Superbike World Championship event in Barcelona, with Toprak Razgatlıoğlu and Michael van der Mark going one-two in today’s free practice sessions, their best laps posted on Pirelli’s SCO standard race tyre during FP1. The lap times could not be challenged in the final session of the day due to wet track conditions.

As a new event for the riders, Razgatlıoğlu and Van der Mark completed a further 17 and 14 laps respectively during FP2 to find good wet setups and understand the conditions should showers continue tomorrow.

With possible scattered thunderstorms forecast until late morning, the final Free Practice at 09:30 (GMT+2) and Tissot Superpole at 11:00 could prove challenging for the WorldSBK field. The first points-paying FIM Superbike World Championship race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya will likely take place in dry conditions at 14:00.

 

Toprak Razgatlioglu (54). Photo courtesy Pata Yamaha.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (54). Photo courtesy Pata Yamaha.

 

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu: P1 – 1’42.140

“Today we had a good start in FP1, but I still feel like we still have some work to do to improve more – this is normal after only one session. I’m happy with FP2 as we rode in wet conditions and normally this is my big weakness, but I had a good feeling on the Yamaha R1 today and I could understand the grip levels. Maybe 10th position is not “good”, but I feel like I am riding better in these conditions! We are happy with today, everything is working really well in the team and I am enjoying my R1 very much here in Barcelona – maybe too much after FP1, as I made a big “stoppie” for fun but Race Control were not so impressed, so I had to say sorry to them!”

 

Michael van der Mark (60). Photo courtesy Pata Yamaha.
Michael van der Mark (60). Photo courtesy Pata Yamaha.

 

Michael van der Mark: P2 – 1’42.309

“Really happy with the first day here in Barcelona, the conditions were different to the test but I felt very good with the bike immediately and the changes we made during FP1 were all positive. The bike’s also quite a lot different to what we had here at the test, so it was really interesting to see how the R1 was performing. I was really happy with how fast we were this morning, and also with the used tyre we had really good pace. In my fast lap I had a small moment, but even with this FP1 was great. FP2 was wet so I waited a little bit to see how track conditions were before I went out with the bike and to be honest I felt really comfortable. I was making progress every lap and in the end we tried a different bike set-up for these conditions but also the track was drying a lot. Happy with my bike, happy with FP1 and I think it was valuable to ride in FP2.”

Paul Denning, Team Principal

“A positive Friday and a good first day here in Barcelona both for us as Pata Yamaha and for WorldSBK. It’s a great facility, the circuit layout is fantastic and, as we hoped, it looks like a more “friendly” track for the R1 by comparison to Aragón. Both Mikey and Toprak had a great feeling straight away in FP1, running competitive and consistent lap times, while also managing to both make impressive laps on fresh rubber at the end of the session to go one and two. Equally important, the wet performance was good, with Mikey right at the sharp end as usual and Toprak improving significantly on what has previously been a weak point for him. Race distance will be a challenge on this circuit in terms of rear tyre durability, but we’ve made a strong start to the weekend and let’s hope it can continue.”

 

 

 

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

Cavalieri starts with the right foot in mixed conditions at Barcelona

Barcelona (SPA), 18 September 2020. The opening day of the sixth round of the WorldSBK on the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit was the first day of Samuele Cavalieri on the Ducati Panigale V4 R of the Barni Racing Team. The 23-year-old from Ferrara took to the track for the two free practice sessions held in mixed conditions: dry in the morning during the FP1, wet in the FP2 in the early afternoon.

Despite the weather did not facilitate the debut, Cavalieri performed well in both sessions finishing in P20 in Free Practice 1 (20 laps), placing himself in P8 in Free Practice 2 (16 laps). At his second experience in the Superbike World Championship, after the wild card in 2019 at Misano World Circuit, the Barni Racing Team rider focused mainly on the process of adapting on a bike he had never ridden before this day.

 

Samuele Cavalieri

FP1: P20 (1’44.972) – FP2 (wet): P8 (1’56.680)

“This morning I did a lot of laps in order to get used to the bike as much as possible, the most important thing was to acquire informations. Looking for to be confortable on the saddle we did not even use the soft tyre. Too bad for the rain in the afternoon because it would have been important to continue to get familiar with a bike that I do not know neither in dry conditions. In the wet FP2, we had a good session as well . Tomorrow the weather forecast is still uncertain, if it should be dry we will continue the apprenticeship.”
Marco Barnabo, Team Principal:

“We tried not to make too many changes during the same session allowing Samuele to adapt to the Panigale V4 R. Making a lot of laps with the same set of tires we helped the rider to understand the behavior of the bike even with used tires. We need the right time to grow, we work step by step trying to improve session by session.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Aruba.it Racing Ducati:

#CatalanWorldSBK FP. Scott Redding and Chaz Davies ninth and eleventh respectively in a rain hampered opening day of free practice at the Catalunya Round

The first day of free practice for the Catalunya Round was a day of two halves with good weather prevailing in the morning session while this afternoon was affected by rain.

Scott Redding and Chaz Davies finished 9th and 11th respectively in the combined standings but this result is not indicative. The two riders of the Aruba.it Racing team – Ducati, were in fact among the very few to have lapped for the FP1 session with the same tire setting very interesting lap times.

In FP2 Scott and Chaz have become familiar with the circuit in wet conditions also in view of the possible rain forecast for late tomorrow morning.

 

Scott Redding (45). Photo courtesy Ducati,
Scott Redding (45). Photo courtesy Ducati,

 

Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #45)

“It was a very particular day that allowed us to go out on the track in different conditions. For this reason, I think it was a positive first day at the end of which we collected interesting data. In FP1 the feeling with the bike was good. We worked for a lot with the used tire and at the end of the session, I preferred not to try the time attack. The feelings are positive”.

 

Chaz Davies (7). Photo courtesy Yamaha.
Chaz Davies (7). Photo courtesy Yamaha.

 

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7)

“I am quite satisfied with what we did today, especially in FP1 in dry conditions. We completed many laps with the same tire and the race pace was incisive. We tried to improve the grip with positive results. The plan of the afternoon was to try other tires solutions but the rain did not allow us to do it. Anyway, I am very confident”.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Rea Fifth And Fastest In The Wet

KRT official WorldSBK riders Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes (KRT) finished up fifth and seventh fastest respectively after one dry and one wet free practice session during the opening day of track action at the Montmelo circuit in Catalunya.

The prospect of rain in the afternoon was clear before the first session of practice got underway at this 4.627km long circuit. For a time Rea and his crew had to work with his braking system before settling in to find a good machine balance and set-up in FP1, ending up fifth fastest and reaching a good level in their search for a strong dry weather set-up.

Having been ill at the most recent round of the championship in Motorland Aragon, Lowes arrived at this round fully fit and raring to go on his Ninja ZX-10RR. He was seventh overall after concentrating on machine set-up for full race distance in FP1.

In the afternoon the expected wet weather conditions arrived and although the track started to dry out eventually the lap times never got close to those set in FP1 this morning. Rea was fastest of all 22 riders on the slippery track surface, with Lowes 14th as he learned the nature of his machine in the wet, after facing very few wet sessions so far in his first season as a Kawasaki rider.

Free practice three takes place on Saturday morning, to be followed by Tissot-Superpole qualifying and the first 20 lap race of the weekend. On Sunday a 10-lap Tissot-Superpole ‘sprint’ and a full distance race two will end what is an eagerly anticipated first ever WorldSBK race weekend at KRT’s home round.

 

Jonathan Rea (1). Photo courtesy Kawasaki.
Jonathan Rea (1). Photo courtesy Kawasaki.

 

Jonathan Rea, stated: “In the end I felt quite good with the bike and found a good rhythm. This morning I had some issues in braking, when the lever was coming back too far, so the first half of the session was dealing with that. In the afternoon it was wet so we were just step-by-step finding the conditions. We have never ridden here in the wet so we were just looking out for those slippery areas. I almost got caught out in the afternoon when Maximilian Scheib fell just in front of me – and first of all I want to say that I hope he is OK. I was catching him and he lost the rear on the exit of turn five. I was right there and I got in between the bike and him, so I was so lucky. After day one I feel like we are quite prepared and I have experience in wet and dry conditions now. We know what we are dealing with.”

 

Alex Lowes (22). Photo courtesy Kawasaki.
Alex Lowes (22). Photo courtesy Kawasaki.

 

Alex Lowes, stated: “I felt quite good this morning in the dry session. We used the same tyres for all of FP1 and we went well on them. We had a good test here so even though we did not get any dry track time in the afternoon today we feel quite good with the set-up of the bike. In the rain I tried some different settings on the bike but the track conditions were also drying up and changing so it was a strange session. I have not done many wet laps on the bike before so it was nice to get out in the rain. Now let’s see what the weather is like on Saturday. I feel great and three or four days after the Motorland race I was feeling completely relaxed. It is so nice to be here feeling good, feeling fresh, knowing I can attack the races rather than physically struggle for 20 laps.”

After the contrasting track conditions encountered in FP1 and FP2 Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was 13th overall and the leading independent Kawasaki rider. Former WorldSSP championship regular Valentin Debise (Outdo Kawasaki TPR) was 22nd after just one dry session of his first WorldSBK race weekend. The luckless Maximilian Scheib (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) was the rider who fell just in front of Rea in the wet afternoon session, suffering a separated AC joint in his right shoulder and being declared unfit to continue.

 

 

 

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

BMW Motorrad WorldSBK conclude Friday’s free practice at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

18.09.20
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team returned to action at the Catalunya-Barcelona circuit after completing todays two free practice sessions. This mornings FP1 saw #66 of Tom Sykes lap good consistent low 1’43.000’s, as he set to work on his race pace. Tom’s fastest lap was a 1’42.799 from this morning, putting him in P8 after FP1. Eugene Laverty equally had a solid FP1 and following on from his good form in the test here back in July, had good pace. Eugene went through FP1 lapping low 1’43.000 times which will bode well for him in the race tomorrow. Norge ended his FP1 in P12 (1’43.027).

FP2 was a different story for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team as the heavens opened, calling for a wet second practice. With times expectedly slower than this morning it gave the team a chance to dial in their wet settings and perfect it for the unexpected forecast this #CatalanWorldSBK weekend. Despite the rain Tom Sykes finished his FP2 in P7 with a (1’56.522), however eighth on combined results. Team-mate Eugene Laverty finished in P9, P12 also on todays combined FP1 and FP2 results.

 

Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsports Director 

“Our overall positions in FP1 and FP2 did not really reflect our performance today, I think we are better than we look on paper. We did not go out on fresh tyres in FP1 and could still lap some strong times towards the end, so this is a positive. For FP2 in the wet we were strong, but when the track began to dry, we made the decision to not take any risks hence the final positions. So overall pleased with today, lets see what the weather brings tomorrow for qualifying and race 1″

 

Tom Sykes (66). Photo courtesy BMW Motorrad Motorsports.
Tom Sykes (66). Photo courtesy BMW Motorrad Motorsports.

 

Tom Sykes

“I am feeling quite good at the end of the day, I also think P8 is not a true reflection of how we performed. We made a few changes to the BMW S 1000 RR this morning, found some good improvements here and there so this is great that we keep moving forward. I was happy with our consistency throughout the session and the gap to the top, before the soft tyres came out at the end. This afternoon we had a wet session and I wanted to see what grip we had available, so I certainly took it easy in the opening stages. Once I had the feeling on the bike the lap times began to come to us, for sure the changes we made in the morning session helped in the wet conditions so to be P3 / P4 and respectable gap to the top boys was pleasing. Obviously towards the end the track began to dry, we did plan to schedule a change but, in those conditions, there was not much need to risk it and as a result dropped down the timing sheets. I feel that today has been very successful and I am looking forward to seeing what tomorrow brings.”

 

Eugene Laverty (50). Photo courtesy BMW Motorrad Motorsports.
Eugene Laverty (50). Photo courtesy BMW Motorrad Motorsports.

 

Eugene Laverty

“Today was a good day, and right from start of the session we were up in the second and third positions for a while. We decided to stay on the used tyre as we were testing a different rear setting on the bike for the race, this meant we got bumped down the order towards the end but reality is we were likely in the top 6, which is the first time this year. The second session we ended up in P9, this was good for us as the last time I rode the bike in the wet was in Phillip Island, which we didn’t have a good feeling on. My aim as normal for tomorrow is to get up into that top 6 in qualifying, this will give us a real good chance for the opening race.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team:

Two-faced day for the GRT Team

The third to last round of the WorldSBK season, which for the first time makes a stop at the Barcelona circuit, began today with the first two free practice sessions, characterized by variable weather conditions. FP1, used by teams and riders to become familiar with the Spanish asphalt, was in fact disputed on the dry, while the rain came in the afternoon. FP2 therefore saw timed times that were not very indicative, but offered a minimum of experience to the teams in case the wet conditions reappear in the next few days.
For the duo of the GRT team, today brought mixed results: Gerloff, in fact, proved competitive right from the start, finishing the two sessions in third and sixth place, while Caricasulo, victim of a crash in FP1, struggled more , in 14th and 17th position.

 

Garrett Gerloff (31). Photo courtesy GRT Yamaha.
Garrett Gerloff (31). Photo courtesy GRT Yamaha.

 

Gerloff is satisfied with his Friday, but thinks he can improve something more to find the ideal set-up in the dry: “Today went pretty well. I wish I could say we found a magical setup or something, but no. We are using the same solutions as Aragón, which seem to work. Barcelona is more or less my home track, as I live not far away, and the home atmosphere gives me the right boost. The track is a lot of fun and seems to have been built especially for me, as I am a rider who prefers smooth cornering. In the wet I went well, the tires give me a lot of confidence and I can push hard, and I think that, dry or wet, we have a great base to build on. However, there is still a little bit that we want to improve regarding the dry setup, and I would have loved to have had another session without rain. Tomorrow I will give my best as usual both in qualifying and in the race, and let’s see what we can do. Thanks to the GRT team, with whom I have a great time, it’s a fantastic group that helps me a lot both on and off the track. ”

 

Federico Caricasulo (64). Photo courtesy GRT Yamaha.
Federico Caricasulo (64). Photo courtesy GRT Yamaha.

 

Caricasulo, on the other hand, had a difficult day, complicated by both his fall and the afternoon rain, but aims to get back in front tomorrow: “Today was not a very easy day. We started working with a view to the race in FP1 and when it was time to push for a time attack I ran into a crash. I was therefore unable to push with tires that were no longer new, and I fell behind in the standings. In the afternoon, however, we rode on water, a practically new condition on the Superbike for me, and I took the opportunity to do more laps and experience as much as possible. Now we are working to improve in all conditions, given the strange and mixed weather forecast, and tomorrow we aim to get back up. ”

The Technical Coordinator Damiano Evangelisti tells us about the positive and negative sides of today, and is convinced that we can aim for the top-10 again from Saturday: “Another Friday of intense work. It is true that we had tested here, but it is also true that, again, the conditions of this weekend and those of then do not match. We were coming from a very good last round, and this morning we decided with both riders to keep Aragón’s technical setup solutions. If they worked with Garrett, immediately offering him an excellent feeling and leading him to finish FP1 in an excellent position, with Federico we found some more difficulties, and a crash during the morning did not allow us to finish the work we had started. Then in the afternoon, unfortunately the rain came. However, having very little experience on the water with these riders, acquired in just one session during the winter, a full session in the wet has offered us a lot of useful information in case the same conditions reappear in the next races. In any case, for tomorrow we have already identified the areas of intervention, both in the dry and in the wet, and we are confident. As usual from the results on Friday it always seems that we have to chase, but normally between Saturday and Sunday we get closer. We are here to aim to consolidate the sensations and the positions conquered in Aragón, so we remain calm and we will certainly play tomorrow for the top ten. ” a whole session in the wet offered us a lot of useful information in case the same conditions reappear in the next races. In any case, for tomorrow we have already identified the areas of intervention, both in the dry and in the wet, and we are confident. As usual from the results on Friday it always seems that we have to chase, but normally between Saturday and Sunday we get closer. We are here to aim to consolidate the sensations and the positions conquered in Aragón, so we remain calm and we will certainly play tomorrow for the top ten. ” a whole session in the wet offered us a lot of useful information in case the same conditions reappear in the next races. In any case, for tomorrow we have already identified the areas of intervention, both in the dry and in the wet, and we are confident. As usual from the results on Friday it always seems that we have to chase, but normally between Saturday and Sunday we get closer. We are here to aim to consolidate the sensations and the positions conquered in Aragón, so we remain calm and we will certainly play tomorrow for the top ten. ” but normally between Saturday and Sunday we get closer. We are here to aim to consolidate the sensations and the positions conquered in Aragón, so we remain calm and we will certainly play tomorrow for the top ten. ” but normally between Saturday and Sunday we get closer. We are here to aim to consolidate the sensations and the positions conquered in Aragón, so we remain calm and we will certainly play tomorrow for the top ten. ”

The changes made in the evening will be tested in the third free practice session, which will take place tomorrow morning starting at 9am. Superpole and race 1 will follow at 11am and 2pm respectively.

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