Press releases from the series organizer and the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after qualifying at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand:
Superpole One was contested on a dry track under relatively cool conditions.
Leon Haslam recorded a 1'34.253, the quickest time of the weekend, in this untimed session, as riders tried to make up for the lost timed session this morning. Jonathan Rea was only three hundreths slower, with Alex Lowes a further two tenths behind.
Anucha Nakcharoensri crashed eight minutes into the session and was stretchered away to the medical centre, but he has been deemed fit to race tomorrow.
The session started with rain in sectors one and two, but as riders headed out, the rain picked up and the whole track was wet. Only seven riders recorded seven slow laps and, with six minutes left, Anucha Nakcharoensri crashed, bringing out a red flag.
As the restart was further delayed for clearing standing water, the session was just cancelled.
Superpole positions and quaifying will essentially be taken from Friday's results.
World Superbike added a new circuit for 2015, the Chang Circuit in Buriram, Thailand. The track was designed by Herman Tilke for a wealthy Thai businessman, and former politician, Newin Chidchob who wants to bring Formula One to the country. The track is next to New I-Mobile Stadium, known as Thunder Castle, the stadium for the football team Buriram United, also owned by Chidchob. His aim is to make Buriram the destination in Thailand for sport, as it doesn't have the beaches or mountains that other tourism regions have.
The circuit is 4.554km long and has a 1km straight after the first turn, with a shorter straight to bring the riders back to the very physical infield, and then presents them with a series of turns that eventually bring them back to the start/finish straight. There are twelve turns, seven right, five left, and the track is very flat and wide, ideal for open-wheel cars and very safe for motorbikes, with very little elevation change and large run-offs.
Press releases from the organizers and some of the teams after the first day of practice at the Chang, Thailand round of World Superbikes:
Alex Lowes pipped Jonathan Rea by less than seven hundredths of a second to record the weekend's fastest time of 1'34.685. Chaz Davies and Leon Haslam recorded identical times, six tenths further back. Troy Bayliss was seventh quickest in the second race weekend of his surprise comeback.
The temperature was 36°C under a slight haze.
Joint title leader Jonathan Rea set the pace early on and was quickest throughout most of the session. He ended the session three quarters of a second ahead of his teammate Tom Sykes.
Rookie Jordi Torres was third quickest, beating Chaz Davies by five hundredths of a second.
The series organizer and teams issued the following press releases ahead of this weekend's inaugural World Superbike round at the Chang International Circuit at Buriram in Thailand. This includes a press release from the series organizer with details of which broadcasters around the world will have coverage of the races:
It has been a relatively quiet week in the world of motorcycle racing, with much of the focus on preparations for 2015 rather than actual on-track action. The past week has seen riders spending more time on stage than on track, as many teams have presented their 2015 racing programs. This is but the calm before the storm, however: from Saturday, there is another bumper period of world championship action, with MotoGP testing at Qatar from 14th-16th March, Moto2 hitting Jerez from 17th-19th, followed by the second round of World Superbikes at the Chang circuit in Thailand from 20th-22nd.
There have been some bikes from other series circulating in the past week, however. The British BSB series has been testing in Spain, the MXGP championship has raced in Thailand, two weeks ahead of the World Superbike series' first visit to the country, and in the US, Florida is gearing up for the Daytona 200.
A piece of history?
That race will be a rather peculiar affair. When Daytona Motorsports Group lost the contract to run the AMA road racing series, tough negotations began with MotoAmerica, the new sanctioning body for AMA. The DMG overestimated their bargaining position, and MotoAmerica were happy to pass up on the Daytona 200. Once a historic event with a big name line up, the race has slipped gradually into international obscurity and domestic impopularity.
Aprilia Racing boss Romano Albesiano has big shoes to fill. Taking over from Gigi Dall'Igna, Albesiano must continue the legacy of success which his predecessor left for him. He got off to a good start, Sylvain Guintoli lifting the World Superbike title in Albesiano's first year at the helm. Now comes the hard part, following up on that success and expanding into MotoGP.
A small group of journalists spoke to Albesiano at the Aprilia launch in Milan. In a wide-ranging conversation, the Aprilia boss covered many topics, including explaining why the Noale firm came back to MotoGP a year ahead of schedule, touching on what the new bike Aprilia is working on for 2016 and beyond might look like, and the 2016 rules in MotoGP. Albesiano also talked about the World Superbike season, the return of Troy Bayliss, and what it takes to be successful as a racer at this level. Finally, Albesiano discussed the future of two stroke engines, and whether he could see them making a return to racing.
Q: Aprilia has some ambitious plans for 2015?
Romano Albesiano: I think it's very clear from the presence here. We race in all the top categories, big bikes everywhere. But the main project is to develop this MotoGP target, that's the main point.
Q: The objective for this year is to focus on development, preparing for 2016?
RA: Yes, sure. We need to be realistic. We cannot expect big results this year. But we also don't want to be on the last row! But you need to be somewhere and fight with the good guys in order to check your level, to stress your people, to stress the parts, to make progress quicker than any other way.
The JR Racing Team appears to be on the verge of collapse. The team, set up with financial backing from the Dominican Republic, ostensibly to promote a circuit to be built on the Caribbean island, was set to run BMW S1000RR bikes in the World Superbike championship, with Ayrton Badovini and Toni Elias as riders. The team had enlisted the support of Troy Corser, and had strong backing from Alpha Racing in Germany and BMW. However, team manager Gemma Voces Pons today issued a press release stating that they have yet to receive "a single cent" from the team owners, Yoselyn Robinson and Manfredi Lombardi.
After the burst of activity leading up to last week, things have once again calmed down in the world of international motorcycle racing. Neither MotoGP nor World Superbikes are testing – though BSB are preparing for their season by testing in Spain – and as a consequence, news is thin on the ground. But not completely absent, so here is our weekly round up of what is happening in MotoGP and WSBK. And in this case, further abroad.
Casey Stoner to make a sort of return?
The fact that Casey Stoner spent a few days lapping at Sepang at the request of HRC came as no surprise. Stoner is, after all, a fully paid-up Honda test rider, and has been put to work to help develop the Honda RC213V for this year and next. When HRC issued a press release casually mentioning that Stoner had put in a few laps on the Suzuka 8 Hour CBR1000RR endurance bike, that raised an eyebrow.
Troy Bayliss is to race again in World Superbikes. The Australian will once again replace the injured Davide Giugliano in the Aruba.it Ducati squad at the Thai round of WSBK at the Chang circuit. Whether Bayliss will also replace Giugliano at Aragon and Assen is yet to be decided.
Official confirmation came as rumors started to emerge this morning, after Bayliss posted a rather coy status update on his Facebook page, stating only "See you soon." Unsurprisingly, that set Social Media ablaze with speculation, with various news sources claiming with varying degrees of confidence that the decision had already been taken. Their eagerness was vindicated earlier, when Ducati finally issued an official press release confirming Bayliss' return.
The Misano World Circuit is to be completely resurfaced. Under the direction of Studio Dromo, the engineering and circuit designing firm run by Jarno Zaffelli, the track is to receive a new layer of asphalt, especially formulated to cope with the stresses of both world championship racing and exposure to the salt sea air which blows in from the Adriatic coast. The work is due to continue until 10th March, and Studio Dromo issued the following press release describing the work in detail.
MISANO WORLD CIRCUIT: NEW ASPHALT FOR THE INTERNATIONAL RACETRACK
Works of resurfacing of 4,226 meters on the international circuit has started.
The project and site engineering is from designer Jarno Zaffelli, owner of the studio Dromo. The works will be done by specialized company Pesaresi SpA in Rimini using feeders technologies for the very first time in Italy.
Misano World Circuit, March, 1st, 2015 – Technology and safety characterize the intervention that the property of the Misano World Circuit, the Santa Monica SpA, decided to carry on the eve of the 2015 sport season. It's been a few days that the Works of complete resurfacing of the circuit has started, and they will continue - weather permitting - until March 10.