The track heated up for the second race and so did the racing.
The World Superbike race was held over 21 laps.
Misano, or Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli to give it its full name, was missed off last year's calendar, but its inclusion in the 2024 season was a welcome one. The first four qualifying sessions in World Superbike were led by an Italian on an Italian bike, with Davide Giugliano and Marco Melandri sharing the spoils, giving local fans plenty to cheer about.
Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after qualifying at Misano:
Superpole one, with the top two winning a place in the second superpole session, started in 30º weather.
Marco Melandri took the quickest time from Loris Baz, making this the fourth session with an Italian rider on an Italian bike going quickest. Sylvain Guintoli and Tom Sykes were quicker than Davide Giugliano in this untimed session.
Davide Giugliano closed the session with a 1'36.125, having fought with Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli for top spot all session. Loris Baz was fourth quickest. Alex Lowes was the factory rider missing out on Superpole two, while Tony Elias scraped through by two hundredths of a second, but his time set in FP2 kept Lowes in Superpole 2.
Press Releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the first day of practice at Misano:
Davide Giugliano set the fastest time ahead of Tom Sykes and Marco Melandri. Chaz Davies was fourth quickest on the second Ducati.
Marco Menaldri leads his teammate Sylvain Guintoli in the first session. Chaz Davies was third quickest.
Press releases from the series organizers, and the World Superbike and World Supersport teams ahead of this weekend's WSBK round at Misano:
The Superbike Commission, the body which runs the World Superbike championship, has finally agreed on a set of technical regulations for World Superbikes for 2015. The initial idea to switch to EVO regulations has now been dropped, with a compromise found to allow greater freedom of tuning, and retain more parity between production bikes. Electronics will remain open, though they will be regulated by price and must remain freely available.
The dropping of full EVO regulations came as a result of pressure from manufacturers such as Suzuki and Honda, whose current bikes are focused more on the road than, say, the Ducati and Aprilia. To remain competitive, they needed more freedom to tune the engine than the proposed Superstock regulations allow. Given the dominance of Ducati and Kawasaki in Superstock, the EVO regulations could have discouraged manufacturers from getting involved in World Superbike.
At the Barcelona round of MotoGP – or to give it its full title, the 'Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya' – title sponsors Monster Energy are to unveil a new flavor of their product, called 'The Doctor', marketed around Valentino Rossi. This is not a particularly unusual event at a MotoGP weekend. Almost every race there is a presentation for one product or another, linking in with a team, or a race, or a factory. If anything, the presentation of the Monster Energy drink is even more typical than most, featuring motorcycle racing's marketing dynamite Valentino Rossi promoting an energy drink, the financial backbone of the sport.
It is also a sign of the deep trouble in which motorcycle racing finds itself. Energy drinks are slowly taking over the role which tobacco once played, funding teams, riders and races, and acting as the foundation on which much of the sport is built. Red Bull funds three MotoGP rounds, a Moto3 team and backs a handful of riders in MotoGP and World Superbikes. Monster Energy sponsors two MotoGP rounds, is the title sponsor of the Tech 3 MotoGP squad, a major backer of the factory Yamaha squad and has a squadron of other riders which it supports in both MotoGP and World Superbike paddocks. Then there's the armada of other brands: Gresini's Go & Fun (a peculiar name if ever there was one), Drive M7 backing Aspar, Rockstar backing Spanish riders, Relentless, Burn, and far too many more to mention.
Why is the massive interest in backing motorcycle racing a bad thing? Because energy drinks, like the tobacco sponsors they replace, are facing a relentless onslaught to reduce the sale and marketing of the products. A long-standing ban of the sale of Red Bull – though strangely, only Red Bull – was struck down in France in 2008. Sale of energy drinks to under-18s has been banned in Lithuania. Some states and cities in the US are considering age bans on energy drink consumption. And perhaps more significantly, the American Medical Association has been pushing for a ban on marketing energy drinks to minors, a call which resulted in leaders in the industry being called to testify in front of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee of the US Senate.
The Sepang World Superbike races brought teammates to the fore today. All of the top teams have two-riders that need to get along and compete at the same time. Under the tropical sun, some of the partnerships may have changed beyond repair.
Press releases from the organizers and from the teams after Sunday's World Superbike and World Supersport races at Sepang: