WSBK standings after the first World Superbike race at Misano:
World Superbike's first race of the weekend would be 21 laps of Misano under a scattering of clouds.
Report and results follow:
Twenty seven bikes contested Superpole one, but only two could advance to the second session and fight for pole position.
Report and results follow:
Superpole qualifying would see oil, a red flag, a contender crashing and a new lap record.
Report and results follow:
The Pucetti Racing pair of Randy Krummenacher and Kenan Sofuoglu circled within a tenth of a second of each other with the Swiss rider comong out on top in this untimed session. Federico Caricasulo continued his weekend's strong performance a quarter of a second further back.
Jonathan Rea, Chaz Davies and Tom Sykes, the three men at the top of the championship, have the three fastest laps in this untimed session ahead of Davide Giugliano and the Hondas of Nicky Hayden and Michael van der Mark.
The top seven riders in the championship are in the top seven places, with just a pair of swapped places from their standings.
Attending races of series you don't normally cover is always informative and instructive. To paraphrase a famous quote, the World Superbike paddock is a foreign country, they do things differently there. While I feel I have a reasonable grasp of the workings of MotoGP, coming to WorldSBK at Misano both makes me all too conscious of how much I don't know, and lets me look at the Grand Prix paddock with fresh eyes.
World Superbikes is a much more human experience. The paddock is a friendlier, more relaxed place. The hospitality units are more modest and therefore more inviting, rather than the great gleaming monstrosities in the MotoGP paddock. That also creates more of a feeling of space: you are no longer jammed in between towering facades, but can still see the sky.
Then there's the paddock show. Free on Friday, but €20 extra on Saturday on Sunday, World Superbike fans at Misano get access to the paddock, and can watch the proceedings on screens set up in a giant tent, complete with live interviews with riders and commentary by host Michael Hill. It brings fans and riders together, and turns them into beings of flesh and blood, rather than the unapproachable and aloof status some MotoGP riders can attain. World Superbikes is very much the people's championship.
Kenan Sofuoglu heads to Superpole five hundredths of a second quicker than Federico Caricasulo. Randy Krummenacher was third quickest, even though he couldn't match his time from the morning, with Jules Cluzel in fourth, alongside PJ Jacobsen and Gino Rea on the provisional second row.
Alex Baldolini and Ayrton Badovini are the two quickest riders outside the top ten, both missing out on automatically qualifying for the second Superpole session by under a hundredth of a second.
Nicky Hayden ended the second timed session with the quickest time ahead of Markus Reiterberger on the BMW and Tom Sykes. Davide Giugliano qualified fourth quickest due to his time from the morning's session, the only rider in the top sixteen not to better his time from the first timed session.
Lorenzo Savadori and Anthony West are the two favourites to earn promotion into Superpole two.
Randy Krummenacher leads Gino Rea by over half a second with Kenan Sofuoglu, Ayrton Badovini and Jules Cluzel close behind.
After a morning dominated by Tom Sykes and Chaz Davies, a different Ducati broke through, with Xavi Fores setting the fastest lap twice before being overtaken by yet another Ducati as Davide Giugliano took control. Nicky Hayden and Tom Sykes were within a quarter of a second of Giugliano's best time.
While Johann Zarco is out in Japan, testing the Suzuki GSX-RR MotoGP bike, the 2017 MotoGP rider line up is starting to solidify further. Ironically, it is looking like Johann Zarco will not be the rider Suzuki selects to pilot its factory MotoGP bike alongside Andrea Iannone.
Team boss Davide Brivio is in Japan along with the test team to finalize their plans for 2017. At Barcelona, Brivio admitted to MotoMatters.com that he would be going to discuss Suzuki's choice of rider for next year. The Italian acknowledged that both Aleix Espargaro and Alex Rins were under discussion, and though he declined to state a preference, he did say "It's clear what our choice is."
Press releases previewing the upcoming Misano round of World Superbikes:
Past the Halfway Marker, All Bets Are Off
Now is the time for Rea’s rivals to roll the dice
Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli lies on the Riviera di Rimini in Italy, surrounded by the beaches of the glittering blue Adriatic coast. Now renamed in honour of fallen local hero and former 250 World Champion Marco Simoncelli, the circuit was remodeled in 2006 and the layout now winds clockwise around its 4km length, through the 10 turns before the final Misano corner that leads back onto the sun-bleached start-finish straight.
In 2015, the Italian track saw KRT pairing Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea split the wins down the middle, with Sykes victorious in the first and Rea in the second. The year before saw Sykes do the double, giving the man with 3 wins from the last 4 Races in 2016 good reason to be confident ahead of Round 8. With a full fifty points from Donington, Sykes is now the chaser on his teammate’s tail too, having overtaken Chaz Davies in the fight for P2 in the title. The Yorkshireman has momentum on his side.
It had to happen: VR is building his own museum in Italy
Knock down the Leaning Tower of Pisa and turn the Grand Canal into a car park, because Italy will soon have a tourist attraction to eclipse them all: Il Museo Rossi.
Work is already well advanced outside Tavullia (where else?) to create a museum that will house all manner of artefacts to trace Rossi’s career all the way from minimoto to MotoGP.
"I am not a very happy man," Tech 3 boss Hervé Poncharal told us on the Thursday before Barcelona. His problem? Attracting competitive riders to take the seats vacated by Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro. Their destination was emblematic of Poncharal's problem: at Barcelona, Espargaro announced he would be reunited with his Tech 3 teammate in the factory KTM team in 2017 and 2018.
So Poncharal found himself with the looming likelihood of fielding two rookies in 2017. The Tech 3 boss signed Jonas Folger back in Le Mans, while Johann Zarco is the prime candidate to fill the second Tech 3 seat. (Zarco is currently in Japan testing Suzuki's GSX-RR MotoGP machine. He is expected to sign with Tech 3 once Suzuki have announced they are signing Alex Rins to partner Andrea Iannone.)
The original hope was either to keep Pol Espargaro alongside Folger, to ensure consistency of results, or welcome Alex Rins into the fold on a factory Yamaha contract. Either way, it would ensure the publicity which is vital to keeping sponsors happy. Two rookies and no factory connections is a lot less appealing to the people who help provide the €8-€9 million it costs to run the Tech 3 team.