Carlos Checa set the fastest lap of the weekend before crashing out while Jakub Smrz, out on a fast lap, also crashes before managing to top Checa. Jonathan Rea sets consistent quick laps early on, showing good race pace and Marco Melandri, the fastest bike in a straight line this weekend, also goes well, followed by Sylvain Guintoli.
This session started slowly, with a damp, patchy track. Riders were able to post fast times in the first sector, but the conditions meant the remaining sectors slowed them down to longer times than yesterday. Only towards the end of the session did riders start to put in faster laps than in the first timed session.
Press releases from the World Superbike teams, Infront and Miller Motorsports Park after the first day of practice in Utah:
Smrz Fastest in World Superbike Qualifying Practice
Hayes Tops AMA SuperBike, ‘Quest for 200’ Continues
TOOELE VALLEY, UTAH (May 26, 2012) — Jakub Smrz of the Czech Republic, riding the No. 96 Ducati 1098R for Liberty Racing Team Effenbert, recorded the fastest lap in Saturday’s qualifying practice for the FIM Superbike World Championship, the featured event of the BigM Weekend at Miller Motorsports Park.
Miller Motorsports Park in the US took the role of high altitude track off South Africa's Kyalami, providing racing against a backdrop of spectacular mountains with the thinner air sapping power off the bikes like no other track on the calendar.
The race is held on Monday, instead of the usual Sunday, to give the US fans three days of Memorial Day holiday weekend packed with AMA Pro and World Superbike races. The World Supersport championship doesn't race this weekend.
Jakub Smrz just edged out last year's double winner Carlos Checa out of provisional pole while Marco Melandri and Max Biaggi took the remaining spots on the provisional front row
It was a dry session, but with a headwind down the start/finish straight that sapped the bikes of their top speed and stability.
Brett McCormick, injured seriously in a crash at Assen, has recently been seen photographed with fans in Canada, wearing a neckbrace and standing tall. He is aiming to return to racing in August. The Effenbert Liberty Racing Team rider states that his thumb is healed and the pain in his broken neck has reduced enough for physiotherapy. The Canadian is tweeting regular updates on his Twitter feed.
In what continues to be a theme for 2012, another weekend's racing opens with wet weather. Jakub Smrz was consistently one of the faster men throughout the session and, on his last lap to the chequered flag, he was over two seconds faster than everyone else.
The first 30 minutes, most riders were lapping around 2'11 until the rain eased off a little, and at the end, everyone started putting in faster laps.
After the earlier press conference with Sylvain Guintoli, Miller Motorsports Park also organized a press conference with BMW Motorrad's Marco Melandri. Melandri faced questions on the difference between the V4s and BMW's inline 4, his adaptation to the BMW and that controversial incident in the final corner of race two at Donington Park. Below is the press release interview issued by Miller Motorsports Park with Melandri:
Miller Motorsports Park Presents: Five Questions with Marco Melandri
Press releases from the World Superbike teams ahead of this weekend's US round of WSBK at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah:
BMW Motorrad Motorsport - WSBK - Salt Lake City - Preview
The weather finally smiled on Ducati's testing efforts on Thursday, providing a full day of testing under excellent conditions. After parts of the first two days were lost to rain and a wet track, the sun shone all day Thursday, with the track being too hot, if anything. Though the post-test press release is as free of detailed information as ever, the positive vibe that came through in both the press release and in the responses from various sources at the test is evident.
Ducati is currently testing several new parts for their MotoGP machine, including a modified engine to soften power delivery. After the first day of riding by Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden, they issued the following press release:
Ducati Team at Mugello for first day of two-day test
The first day of a two-day test for the Ducati Team at the Mugello circuit started off rainy, keeping Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden in the garage.
That Suzuki is working on a MotoGP prototype for a return to the premier class at some point in the future - 2014 is the date Suzuki staff have referred to officially in all their communication - is well-known. There have been several reports of the bike being tested, but no real photos or information on the bike. Until yesterday.
Bridgestone's usual post-race debrief press release, in which Masao Azuma discusses how their tires performed in the torrential conditions at Le Mans:
French MotoGP™ debrief with Masao Azuma
Round 4: French MotoGP™ - Post-race debrief
Le Mans, Wednesday 23 May 2012
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium. Rear: Soft, Medium (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)