World Superbikes Portimao - Superpole and Qualifying Results

Superpole was a pretty damp affair, the rain getting worse as the session went on, only to start to clear after the session had ended. The miserable conditions saw several riders crashing, Ruben Xaus the first to go, followed later by Yukio Kagayama and Fonsi Nieto.

Troy Bayliss chose his moment wisely, and will end his career in World Superbikes starting from pole, ahead of two British riders, Cal Crutchlow and Johnny Rea – drawing comments that they must have felt right at home in the rain. Max Biaggi closes out the front row.

 

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World Superbikes Portimao - Saturday Afternoon Qualifying

It's Saturday afternoon, and the sun is starting to make way for clouds. For the moment, it's still bright, but there's no guarantee of that lasting. The second session of Supersport practice was run in pleasant, if not exactly warm conditions, and times continued to drop as ever more rubber was laid on the track.

Once again it was Kenan Sofuoglu who dominated the session, quickly dropping into the 1'45s, and setting the mark for pole at 1'45.156 before the session was even halfway done. Many would try, but the closest anyone would get would be Broc Parkes in the dying seconds of the session, getting to within 7/100ths on the Yamaha.

Holland's Barry Veneman will start from 3rd on the grid, the Hoegee Suzuki team having picked up the final couple of tenths they've been missing over the last few rounds. Veneman has Andrew Pitt on the other Ten Kate Honda beside him on the grid, the 2008 World Champion finishing out the front row.

Gianluca Nannelli heads up the second row of the grid on the Althea Honda, with Spanish rider Joan Lascorz dropping to 6th, from 3rd this morning. Josh Brookes will start from 7th, while American Josh Hayes was pushed down to 8th, and the end of the 2nd row. Hayes had started well, but dropped gradually down the order, as the other riders made good their knowledge deficit of the track.

In the afternoon's World Superbike free practice session, Troy Bayliss was out to avenge his indifferent time of this morning, and quickly topped the timesheets, setting his fastest time on his 2nd full lap out of the pits. This time, Bayliss' time was good enough to beat his team mate, Michel Fabrizio setting the 2nd fastest time, making it a Xerox Ducati 1-2. Cal Crutchlow continued his run of strong times, setting the 3rd fastest time, ahead of Noriyuki Haga and Carlos Checa.

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World Superbikes Portimao - Friday Afternoon Report

The weather continues to confuse and confound expectations here in Portugal, with rain and sunshine alternating almost minute by minute. The track, despite the sunshine, has barely been dry, however. As a consequence, times have been difficult to judge.

The World Supersport qualifying session was a case in point. The American Josh Hayes led for much of the session, having gone out on wet tires, and as a dry line was starting to appear, he pulled in for some intermediates. As he headed out of pit lane to start his next lap, it started to rain, and by the time he was halfway round the track, the dry line was completely gone, and his chance of provisional pole along with it.

In the end, it was the Frenchman Mathieu Lagrive who got it most right, topping the timesheets ahead of Hayes on the Parkalgar Honda, with Joan Lascorz and Gianluca Vizziello rounding out the front row. Kenan Sofuoglu continued to show just how much better he is on a Supersport bike than on a Superbike by setting the 5th fastest time, ahead of Gianluca Nanelli, with the Hoegee Suzukis of Barry Veneman and Didier van Keymeulen rounding out the second row. Jesco Gunther took 9th, while the 2008 World Supersport champion Andrew Pitt was down in 10th.

The disparity in times showed just how difficult the conditions were. Lagrive was 1.4 seconds faster than Hayes, while Hayes was 1.5 ahead of Lascorz. The top 10 are separated by 6.3 seconds.

The weather was slightly better for the World Superbike session, and for a while, it looked like being an all-British front row, with Ten Kate Honda's Johnny Rea, the HM Plant Hondas of Cal Crutchlow and Leon Haslam, and Ventaxia Honda's Chris Walker heading the timesheets. But by the end of the session, it was Troy Corser who took provisional pole, forcing Haslam down into 2nd, with the Ducatis of Michel Fabrizio and Ruben Xaus filling out the front row.

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Ronald ten Kate: "Once We Know The Rules, We'll Build A Bike"

When Dorna and the FIM first announced the provisional rules for the new 600cc four-stroke formula to replace the existing 250 class, the first thought that crossed most racing fans' minds was: "Ten Kate". The Dutch team has dominated the World Supersport – the world's premier 600cc four-stroke formula – since 2002, constantly managing to stay at least one step ahead of the competition, despite not enjoying the kind of factory support that other teams have had.
 

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Portimao World Superbikes - Friday Morning Report

Heavy rain overnight on Thursday meant the inaugural day of practice got off to a late start here in Portugal. There are still problems with drainage, and parts of the track were flooded. What was worse was mud on the track, which had to be cleaned off before proceedings could start.

While the track was fixed quickly, facilities around the circuit are a little more problematic, with power being alternated between the pit garages and the hospitality area, the electricity supply blowing fuses with alarming regularity. And because the outside of the track is still basically a construction site, vast quantities of rich brown mud is being tramped everywhere. At least there is an army of cleaners keeping the buildings almost spotless, but they are having to work for their money.

When practice commenced, times dropped rapidly as rubber started to be laid on the brand new surface. During the first free practice session of World Supersport, Joan Lascorz started quickly, before Parkalgar Honda's Josh Hayes took over the top spot. The Mississippian was making good use of the track knowledge acquired here during testing last week, and was getting quicker when he crashed going into turn 1. He ended the session in 5th place. Joan Lascorz took back the top spot while Hayes limped back to the pits with a damaged bike. 

Lascorz finished the session on top, ahead of Matthieu Lagrive, Kenan Sofuoglu, clearly much happier on a Supersport bike than he was on a Superbike, and the Dutch Hoegee Suzuki rider Barry Veneman.

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Live From Portimao - It's Wednesday And The Roads Aren't Done Yet

MotoGPMatters.com is in Portimao this weekend, to cover the World Superbikes finale, but mostly, to seize the last chance of seeing Troy Bayliss out on track. This morning, we headed out to find the circuit and give it the once over, and we have to say that it's an impressive facility. 

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MotoGP Winter Test Schedule For 125, 250 And MotoGP Classes

The schedule for the official tests has been announced. The MotoGP and smaller classes will test separately. Highlight of the test season is as ever the official IRTA test at Jerez, also known as Grand Prix Zero. Here, a BMW coupe will be up for grabs during a special qualifying session held on the last day.

MotoGP

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MotoGP 2008 Valencia Test Times Day 1 - Finalized

Times from the first day of testing at Valencia. These will be updated as soon as official times are available. All times were set using the new standard tires provided by Bridgestone, with a choice of either a soft or a hard compound available. For comparison, see the fastest lap each rider set during the race on Sunday.

Times courtesy of GPOne.com and Motociclismo.es

Times at 5pm, the end of the test:

1Casey StonerDucati1'32.46431 / 54
2Dani PedrosaHonda1'32.67224 / 60
3Valentino RossiYamaha1'32.92120 / 34
4Chris VermeulenSuzuki1'33.14241 / 67
5Loris CapirossiSuzuki1'33.32537 / 75
6Alex de AngelisHonda1'33.37535 / 77
7Jorge LorenzoYamaha1'33.55041 / 44
8Andrea DoviziosoHonda1'33.67538 / 57
9John HopkinsKawasaki1'33.76044 / 74
10Marco MelandriKawasaki1'33.78247 / 75
11Randy de PunietHonda1'33.83239 / 80
12Nicky HaydenDucati1'33.96074 / 79
13Toni EliasHonda1'34.12978 / 81
14Sete GibernauDucati1'34.45121 / 52
15Mika KallioDucati1'34.79357 / 60
16Olivier JacqueKawasaki1'34.92548 / 71
17Niccolo CanepaDucati1'34.99559 / 62
18Yuki TakahashiHonda1'35.20372 / 73
19Gabor TalmacsiAprilia1'38.47255 / 57

 

Fastest lap of each rider during the race on Sunday:

Pos.No.RiderManufacturerFast LapDiffDiff Previous
11Casey STONERDUCATI1'32.582  
22Dani PEDROSAHONDA1'32.7960.2140.214
346Valentino ROSSIYAMAHA1'33.0750.4930.279
44Andrea DOVIZIOSOHONDA1'33.3130.7310.238
569Nicky HAYDENHONDA1'33.3930.8110.080
65Colin EDWARDSYAMAHA1'33.3990.8170.006
756Shinya NAKANOHONDA1'33.5500.9680.151
865Loris CAPIROSSISUZUKI1'33.6261.0440.076
915Alex DE ANGELISHONDA1'33.8391.2570.213
1048Jorge LORENZOYAMAHA1'33.8841.3020.045
1121John HOPKINSKAWASAKI1'34.0351.4530.151
1233Marco MELANDRIDUCATI1'34.1171.5350.082
1352James TOSELANDYAMAHA1'34.1501.5680.033
1414Randy DE PUNIETHONDA1'34.2251.6430.075
1550Sylvain GUINTOLIDUCATI1'34.4621.8800.237
167Chris VERMEULENSUZUKI1'34.5952.0130.133
1724Toni ELIASDUCATI1'34.6342.0520.039
1813Anthony WESTKAWASAKI1'34.7152.1330.081

 

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2008 / 2009 Provisional Testing Schedule

With the new tire regulations comes a severely reduced MotoGP testing schedule. Here's the testing schedule as it stands:

October 27 - 28 Valencia Spain
November 26 - 27 Jerez Spain
February 5 - 7 Sepang Malaysia
March 1 - 3 Losail Qatar
March 28 - 29 IRTA Test, Jerez Spain

More details when they become available.

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