Latest World Superbike Results
Tom Sykes, having crashed at the end of yesterday's qualifying session, spent most of the morming getting his new bike set up and was unable to improve on his time from the first timed session. Leon Camier was the fastest man of the morning, getting to within three hundredths of the provisional pole, but it wasn't enough to topple Sykes from the top spot. Sylvain Guintoli, carrying his shoulder injury, was third quickest, but put in the most 2'05 laps of the field, with his teammate Eugene Laverty closest to matching his pace.
The top fifteen head off to Superpole, with only the three slowest riders missing out.
While the news cycle focusses on MotoGP rider Cal Crutchlow’s signing with Ducati, riders at the World Superbike round at Silverstone are reminded of him through his 2010 lap record on the Yamaha R1.
An overcast morning gave way to a sunny afternoon, but last year, the rain shaped both races and gave Loris Baz a weekend to remember, while his teammate Tom Sykes struggled to make the best of a bad lot. At the tail end of a glorious English summer, the weather is once again going to be unpredictable, but, unfortunately for Baz, the rain is threatening for Saturday, not Sunday. Sykes needs this weekend to regain the championship lead from Sylvain Guintoli.
Tom Sykes and Leon Camier once again post the quickest times, with Davide Giugliano keeping the Aprilia near the top. The Hondas of Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam also put in good times. Sykes, eight tenths clear of Camier, is still over a second off the qualifying record, but is within a tenth of a second of Cal Crutchlow's race lap record.
Kenan Sofuoglu continued to set the pace ahead of Sam Lowes in a session split by a red flag for spilled oil. Both front-runners are in good provisional positions if the British weather affects the final qualifying tomorrow, as has been suggested.
Tom Sykes unsurprisingly tops the table, with Leon Camier second fastest on the bike that currently holds the qualifying record, albeit with John Hopkins on it. The satellite Aprilias of Michel Fabrizio and Davide Giugliano continue their personal battle well ahead of the factory bikes of Eugene Laverty and championship leader Sylvain Guintoli.
Kenan Sofuoglu and Sam Lowes continue their close battle with Sofuoglu the fastest by under a tenth of a second. Ronan Quarmby, stepping in for Gabor Talmasci, was the only other rider to get within a second of the fastest time.
The loss of Andrea Antonelli cast a very long and very black shadow over the Moscow round of World Superbikes, In his second year in World Supersport, the popular 25 year old Italian was well thought of in the paddock, by friends and rivals alike. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.
On track events are all overshadowed by the tragedy, yet we were introduced to a new aspect of World Superbike racing that serves to distract us from the depressing side of the sport. The wet conditions of the only World Superbike race run today gave us the first look at how flag-to-flag racing works. On days where rain is strong enough to normally stop a race, instead, riders have to race whatever the conditions, barring conditions deemed too dangerous. The single bike rule means that riders cannot, like they do in MotoGP, change bikes from one with a dry setup and tyres to one prepared for the wet. Instead, riders enter the pits, without crossing the boundary line to the garage that would signify they are no longer taking part in the active race, and change tyres and have their mechanics make a few suspension adjustments.
The second World Superbike race at Moscow Raceway was cancelled for safety reasons due to horrendous rain.
The World Supersport race was red-flagged after just one lap as Andrea Antonelli was involved in a nasty crash on the straight. The one lap that was contested was a typical fight between Sam Lowes and Kenan Sofuoglu and Michael Van Der Mark was duelling with Vladimir Leonov for third.
The rain is too bad for a restart; there will be no more racing today, in any class. There is no news on Antonelli's condition as yet.
There are straight-forward races, there are confusing races and then there are flag-to-flag races in mixed conditions. Teams that practiced pitstops will have looked at the skies and considered the time likely not wasted. As the riders lined up on slicks under a grey sky, even if Sykes struggled to get off the line for the warm up lap, they couldn’t know just how different this race would be.
The weather at the Moscow Raceway relented just long enough to allow a nice dry Superpole. Rain in the sessions before and after luckily didn’t affect the centrepiece of Saturday’s entertainment. On a track like Moscow, with a plethora of first- and second-gear corners leading to a one kilometre straight, you would expect different bikes to perform well in different halves, with the nimble bikes owning the first two sectors, but being demolished in the last sector by the faster bikes, and qualifying played out this way.
Rain caused trouble for World Supersport qualifying.
After much speculation with the weather, Superpole was declared a dry session, even though clouds were looming overhead. The top fifteen compete over three sessions with only two qualifying tyres allocated to each rider, with riders eliminated at each stage.
Rain arrived and slowed proceedings down, with some riders not managing to even record a complete lap time. Tom Sykes was fastest ahead of the Suzukis of Leon Camier and Jules Cluzel while many teams prepared for potential rain tomorrow with pit stop practice. Carlos Checa, whose bike was built from a rolling chassis after his crash in the morning, came out at the end of the session, showing his hit on the head wouldn't keep him out of qualifying and racing.
As the flag came out at the end of a drying session, it looked like another session with Sam Lowes snatching the top spot on his last lap, but instead, after Lowes set his last fast time, Roberto Rolfo on the MV Agusta came from nowhere and set a time two tenths faster. The track should dry out for the final qualifying later today.