Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams at Monza:
ParkinGO MTC Racing Team
Monza 5th May 2012
Positive start of the day for Chaz, in eighth position as yesterday’s qualifying. The ParkinGO MTC rider has set a fast top speed (331.4 km/h) and a good pace from the start thanks to the new engine received from Aprilia this weekend.
The afternoon free practice before Superpole, has seen Chaz Davies lap with the fastest riders positioning himself in an excellent 6th place. At the end of the session though, with a pretty much dry track Chaz found rain at the last corner and crashed unexpectecly.
The team rebuilt the bike in a time record for Superpole, where the Davies, still sore, got the 16th fastest time.
My results on dry weather were quite good but I am not too happy about the crash this afternoon that put down our hopes in Superpole.
I want to thank the team for the great job done rebuilding my bike so fast for Superpole and I hope to repay them tomorrow with a good result.
Rea happy with fifth in mixed Monza Superpole
Jonathan Rea will start tomorrow’s fourth round World Superbike championship races at Monza in Italy from the second row of the grid after setting the fifth fastest time in today’s Superpole.
It was a day of varied weather conditions at Monza, with overnight rain keeping the track wet for this morning’s second qualifying session, preventing Hiroshi Aoyama from improving his time to secure a Superpole position.
Rea qualified for the final shoot-out thanks to his time from yesterday and with Superpole declared wet, the 25-year-old Northern Irishman progressed to Superpole two with the sixth fastest time on wet tyres.
He went one place better on intermediates in Superpole 2, as French rider Sylvain Guintoli took pole position for tomorrow’s two 19-lap races at the historic 5.777km Monza circuit.
Jonathan Rea – P5, 1m57.630s (Superpole 2)
I was quite happy with that as qualifying was held in really difficult conditions. In the end we decided to go out on an intermediate tyre but, seeing as that tyre is made from very hard rubber, it was quite difficult to find grip. Maybe we could have been a bit braver but, anyway, fifth is a good spot to start on the grid. It’s on the left side, albeit on row two, and my gameplan tomorrow is just to get stuck in and see what happens. It’s going to be a classic Monza tactical race, with slipstreaming and everything, which should be fun, but my target is to be in the lead bunch and work it out from there. My hope is that the weather is dry because I’m not comfortable racing in the wet. The wet tyre won’t survive any more than three laps for any rider and, in intermediate conditions, it’s a case of who wants to take the most risk. So, for me, the best racing for the fans and for fun, will be in the dry.
Hiroshi Aoyama – P20, 1m44.686s (Qualifying 1)
Yes, another difficult day in not very good conditions. I was really hoping that second qualifying this morning would be in the dry so that I could improve my lap time and get into Superpole. Unfortunately, it was wet so we could not improve and I also had a problem with my engine, so it was not so good. In this afternoon’s free practice, it was still not completely dry. I went out to continue learning the racetrack but the conditions were not good enough to improve the set-up. I hope it’s dry tomorrow but I guess the good thing about being 20th on the grid is that there’s nothing to lose!
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
Today was plagued by really dodgy conditions and a wet track in both morning and afternoon sessions. It almost dried out at the end of this morning’s session and Jonathan was happier with the different balance that we made with the bike. He was almost able to match his best dry time from yesterday. Hiroshi had a technical problem so, again, the guy who needs the most laps had some more misfortune, both from this and from the weather. This afternoon Jonathan was quite fast in the wet conditions and finished fourth and put it on the fifth spot on the grid in Superpole. In the last session the track was drying a little so we gave him intermediate tyres which almost worked. With a better machine balance for Jonathan, we’re confident and positive for tomorrow.
BMW Motorrad Motorsport - WSBK - Monza - Superpole
Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport will start from the first row in the fourth round of the 2012 FIM Superbike World Championship. Factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA) finished third in the tricky conditions for today’s Superpole Qualifying after occupying the top spot for a long time. His team-mate Leon Haslam (GBR) experienced a setback after a strong start to the weekend and qualified 14th on his BMW S 1000 RR.
As predicted, the “Autodromo Nazionale di Monza” (ITA) saw changeable weather today with clouds, rain showers and some sun. The Superpole was declared wet, meaning that only two sessions of 20 minutes each take place and only the top eight riders of the first section qualify for the second part. Marco set the fastest time in Superpole 1, while Leon was struggling with some issues on rain tyres in the difficult conditions with a drying track. At the beginning of Superpole 2, Marco set the best time again but slipped back to third during the last minutes. On a partly wet and partly dry track, tyre choice again was a gamble. Marco’s crew chief Silvano Galbusera was missing in the garage today. After not feeling well in the morning, he underwent medical checks at a hospital. Chassis technician Peter Goddard took over his role and the whole Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport hopes to see Silvano back at the race track as soon as possible. BMW Motorrad Italia Goldbet SBK Team’s rider Michel Fabrizio (ITA) qualified 11th fastest today, while his team-mate Ayrton Badovini (ITA) will start from 13th on the grid.
Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:42.380 min (P2) / Fastest lap FP: 1:57.373 min (P19) / Fastest lap Superpole 2: 1:55.971 min (P3)
“Today’s conditions were really difficult. After our experiences in Assen I was quite worried about today’s Superpole in the wet but we can be very happy today. BMW Motorrad did a great job today, a big ‘Thank You’ to all my team. The bike is working better and better, and we can concentrate on the small things that make the difference. I hope for stable good weather tomorrow, then everything is possible for us. Our engine is really strong, and I am pushing for getting good starts tomorrow, because you can lose the race in the first corner here. I want to dedicate my races tomorrow to my crew chief Silvano Galbusera who cannot be here with us today. All the best, Silvano!”
Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:42.523 min (P3) / Fastest lap FP: 1:44.502 min (P3) / Fastest lap Superpole 1: 2:00.093 min (P14)
“Obviously I am really disappointed. In the in-between conditions, the rain tyre was only lasting one lap for most riders. Unfortunately I made a mistake on the first lap and from that point onwards it was impossible to do a proper lap time, although I tried to push. We have a good set-up for our RR, I am feeling good, so that was just frustrating. Anyway, I think we can win tomorrow, wet or dry. If it is in between, we need to work on making the tyre last, that is the only thing. But I think it is the same for everyone.”
Andrea Dosoli (Head of Race Operations):
“For sure it was a crazy day. We were expecting inconsistent conditions, and we could see that the forecast was right. We couldn’t work properly in any of today’s sessions due to the weather but at least we understand how the RR behaves in these extreme conditions. It is a pity that Leon starts from the fourth row after being so strong in the previous sessions but we are confident that with a good start he can quickly move through the field. We must congratulate Marco because he kept calm and used quite a good strategy. He knew that he could only do one lap with the rain tyre and he got the best out of it. Starting from the first row is a big help, especially if it is going to be a wet race. We are a bit concerned about the issues with the rain tyres on a drying track, but we will work on this for tomorrow. We also send best wishes to Silvano Galbusera. We missed him today and we hope to have him back very soon after his short pit-stop at the hospital.”
Cluzel slashes lap time but stays 10th on grid
PTR HONDA'S Jules Cluzel took nearly a full second off his best time yesterday in morning dry practice but with the rain falling in the afternoon he could not improve on his qualifying position for the fourth round of the World Supersport Championship at Monza in Italy and will start from 10th.
Ronan Quarmby on his PTR Honda was quick in the morning but opted to sit out the afternoon wet session, as it was impossible to improve grid position. Martin Jessopp on the Riders PTR Honda also sat out the second wet qualifying after closely matching his times from yesterday during morning practice.
PTR stable mate Sam Lowes on a Bogdanka liveried bike will start from pole position in the race that starts at 1330 tomorrow, Sunday 6th May.
Jules: "Yeah, practice was OK. I lost a lot of time yesterday but this morning everything was right and if it is dry I have a good feeling for the race. However, it looks like it will be wet for tomorrow. I would prefer a dry race as I think I can go for the podium - I pray for the dry. If it is wet I will do my best and finish as high as I can."
Ronan: "The bike was much better this morning. We made some adjustments and there was a big improvement from yesterday. There's still a lot to come from me and it is a pity qualifying was wet or I would certainly have improved my lap time. The race is tomorrow and 12th isn't that bad; we will wait and see on the weather."
Martin: "We didn't get any luck with the weather, just before Superbikes it started to rain. This morning I went out in the dry and was seventh after 15-minutes, and was 14th with 20-minutes to go. I tried a different final tyre and got mugged; I couldn't get it to work on a single-balls out lap - I've never been good at the one off crazy lap. I have the pace for points if it is dry or if it is wet, the Riders PTR Honda is good and can overtake other bikes. I just want a good start and to get points regardless of the weather."
Simon Buckmaster, PTR Honda Team Manager: "Jules is in really good shape for the race after finding a much better dry set up in practice. It was not possible for him to improve in qualifying as it rained but he has got a good feeling for the wet as well. Ronan was consistent and more confident this morning, which is a good sign. Martin on long runs looks in contention for a points finish but is struggling for one lap pace."
Lowes makes it a hat trick of pole positions
WET weather meant no-one was able to improve their first qualifying times at the fourth round of the World Supersport Championship at Monza in Italy, giving Bogdanka PTR Honda's Sam Lowes his third consecutive pole position of the season based on yesterday's times.
It also means that Mathew Scholtz on the second Bogdanka PTR Honda enjoys his best qualifying to date on the second row in eighth place.
Bogdanka Honda PTR racer Kieran Clarke will start from 32nd on the grid whilst he stands in for the injured Pawel Szkopek. The race starts at 1330 tomorrow, Sunday 6th May.
Sam: "I worked a lot on race pace this morning and on my 12th lap on a hard race tyre I did a 1min 48.2secs. I'm peaking; if it is a dry race I am in my best position ever. The weather is serious thunder and lightning right now and it could be wet or dry. I am just really happy; the bike's come on massively since last year and is the fastest out there. When I come behind anyone my Bogdanka PTR Honda is strong which is what you need here. It's great to get another pole but I'd give them all back for a win if I could."
Mathew: "Things have gone really well here at Monza and I'm very happy. I've qualified eighth which is the best I've done all season and hopefully we can have a solid race. We have a good set up for the race whether wet or dry - I am pretty confident we have strong race pace."
Simon Buckmaster, Bogdanka PTR Honda Team Manager: "Well done to Sam for his third pole position. Dry set up he is has found his best set up ever. He is good in the rain. Mathew went seventh quickest this morning in the dry and is looking good. He's settled in well for the race."
Kieran Clarke: "I was faster in morning practice than yesterday which means we keep on improving. It was a shame it rained this afternoon but I went out anyway to get a feeling for the wet conditions. It's going to be a tough race starting from 32nd but I'll go out and do my best tomorrow."
Parkes on second row at damp Monza
Final qualifying for tomorrow’s fourth round World Supersport race at Monza was wet this afternoon, preventing Broc Parkes from improving on his time from yesterday’s first session.
The 30-year-old Australian will therefore start tomorrow’s 16-lap race at the famous 5.777km Italian circuit from seventh place on the grid, with pole position taken by fellow Honda rider, Sam Lowes.
Broc Parkes – P7, 1m48.910s
It’s a bit frustrating, for sure, but the middle of row two isn’t so bad and I’m happy with the progress we’ve been able to make here. We had a problem with speed yesterday but worked on that overnight and then in free practice this morning – which was dry – I was able to go fastest. Qualifying this afternoon was still damp at the beginning and then, at the end, it started to rain more heavily, so I went out to get into a rhythm with the set-up that we’ll use tomorrow if it’s wet. I couldn’t go any faster, of course, but at least I think we have a setting for wet or dry conditions tomorrow.
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
Yesterday was difficult but we had a good idea on where we could find some time, so we changed engines and this brought a better speed for the bike. The biggest step, though, was a different setting on the rear shock and he managed to improve yesterday’s time by almost a second. That would have put him on the front row, but that was in free practice this morning. In the afternoon we had rain so Broc couldn’t improve his time. Tomorrow it might rain some more so we’ll have to see what we can do in the wet.
Guintoli takes first Tissot-Superpole, Sykes smashes records
Monza (Italy), Saturday 5 May 2012 - Sylvain Guintoli (Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing) made the best of the continuing difficult and changeable track conditions at Monza to record his first ever Tissot-Superpole win. At a circuit that was not expected to favour the twin-cylinders this was a surprise result to most but Guintoli richly deserved his pre-race success after a gamble to use a slick rear tyre on a slowly drying track paid off.
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) was unable to quite reach the level of Guintoli, as he failed to win the pole prize for the first time this year, but in the final free qualifying session he used the slipstream provided by another rider to take his ZX-10R to a new record top speed in SBK history, 339.5 km/h, which equates to over 210mph.
A wet Superpole was called which meant that there would be only two sessions, each of 20 minutes duration, with the slowest eight riders eliminated after the first session. As soon as the first part started bright sunshine dried the wet track, particularly on the main straight, but further small showers were evident around the lap before the finish.
Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) was third in Tissot-Superpole, Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) fourth.
Sylvain Guintoli: “First pole for me and in difficult conditions! Unlike Tom and Marco I’m hoping for rain tomorrow, I’ll probably do a dance before the race. Today I had to take a lot of risks, I decided to go with the slick tyres and some corners were still wet, so it was quite dangerous and the last lap was very exciting. I thought Tom had enough watches now and I could do with one for my wife!”
Tom Sykes: “We’ve done a good job over the race weekend, we’ve got a good consistent race pace, and hopefully it’ll be dry. Today it wasn’t to be; we got outpaced by the ‘snails’, but I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Obviously it’s great for the Kawasaki to be so fast, I had fantastic drive from the exit of the Parabolica and who better but Max to be directly in front, I had a lot of help from him! Setting a new record is just a little bit extra for the books!”
Marco Melandri: “For sure it’s a good result, it’s been such difficult weather. I’m happy now because after Assen I was a bit worried about the wet conditions. BMW made a good job, the bike is working better and it’s nice to be on the front row. We got a new engine one month ago and it’s working pretty good here. I hope the weather will be a bit more stable. I hope to give a good race to Silvano (Galbusera) who is not here today.”
The second row of the grid for Sunday’s races will be headed by Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) with Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing), Jakub Smrz (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert) and Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Ducati) alongside him. John Hopkins (Crescent FIXI Suzuki) and Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing) completed the top ten after just missing out on qualification for Superpole 2, but the most disappointed rider on the day was local man Michel Fabrizio (BMW Motorrad Italia Gold Bet) who had been fastest in combined qualifying but only 11th after Superpole. The last place on the third row was taken by Leon Camier (Crescent FIXI Suzuki).
Times: 1. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 1'54.276; 2. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'54.990; 3. Melandri M. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1'55.971; 4. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 1'56.793; 5. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1'57.630; 6. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'58.666; 7. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 1'59.718; 8. Giugliano D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 2'00.645; 9. Hopkins J. (USA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'59.489; 10. Laverty E. (IRL) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'59.680; 11. Fabrizio M. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1'59.681; 12. Camier L. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'59.845; 13. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1'59.978; 14. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 2'00.093; 15. Salom D. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 2'00.602; 16. Davies C. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 2'01.772; etc.
The white flag with a diagonal red cross that signifies rain on track was a near constant sight on the second day of action at Monza and thus Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda) took pole thanks to his Friday best time. It was his third straight pole position of the year, only missing out in the first round in Australia. With lap times over two minutes in the second qualifying session none of the riders improved in their opening day pace. Second on the grid for Sunday’s race will be Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki DeltaFin Lorenzini) who will be close to his team-mate Sheridan Morais. Another regular Kawasaki rider, Fabien Foret (Intermoto Step Racing) is fourth on the grid. Local rider Stefano Cruciani (Puccetti Racing Kawasaki Italia) takes fifth place, Roberto Tamburini (Team Lorini Honda) sixth.
Times: 1. Lowes S. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 1'47.601; 2. Sofuoglu K. (TUR) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'48.038; 3. Morais S. (RSA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'48.419; 4. Foret F. (FRA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'48.696; 5. Cruciani S. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'48.808; 6. Tamburini R. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 1'48.817; 7. Parkes B. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 1'48.910; 8. Scholtz M. (RSA) Honda CBR600RR 1'49.188; etc.
Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) will start the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup race from pole position after the final session was conducted in fully wet conditions today and therefore his Friday lap time was the fastest of all. Second on the combined qualifying sheets is Lorenzo Savadori (Barni Racing Team Italia) while Lorenzo Baroni (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) will get off the line from third sport on the grid, one place higher than Savadori’s team-mate Eddi La Marra (Barni Racing Team Italia).
Times: 1. Barrier S. (FRA) BMW S1000 RR 1'46.340; 2. Savadori L. (ITA) Ducati 1199 Panigale 1'46.776; 3. Baroni L. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1'46.917; 4. La Marra E. (ITA) Ducati 1199 Panigale 1'46.973; 5. Staring B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'47.237; 6. Bergman C. (SWE) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'47.342; 7. Reiterberger M. (GER) BMW S1000 RR 1'47.792; 8. Lussiana M. (FRA) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'47.814; etc.
The Superstock 600 race was postponed until Sunday, after the second Superbike race, after poor light, a flooded track and a lightning storm in very close proximity to the circuit made it unsafe to continue.
European Junior Cup
Poland’s Adrian Pasek negotiated the tricky Monza track surface to claim pole position in the European Junior Cup class, leading Kiwi Jake Lewis by 0.488 seconds. Third was British rider Joshua Harland, then Gaston Garcia from Spain, while top Italian rider was Kevin Chili, son of Pierfrancesco. Giuseppe Scarcella from Australia scored a top six grid placing. The race takes place tomorrow afternoon.
Times: 1. Pasek A. (POL) KTM Duke 690 2'15.199; 2. Lewis J. (NZL) KTM Duke 690 2'15.687; 3. Harland J. (GBR) KTM Duke 690 2'16.570; 4. Garcia G. (ESP) KTM Duke 690 2'17.638; 5. Chili K. (ITA) KTM Duke 690 2'17.696; 6. Scarcella G. (AUS) KTM Duke 690 2'17.889; 7. Wielebski A. (POL) KTM Duke 690 2'18.124; 8. Demoulin J. (FRA) KTM Duke 690 2'18.532; etc.
CHECA QUALIFIES FOURTH, GIUGLIANO EIGHTH FOR TOMORROW’S SBK RACES AT MONZA
Monza (Italy), Saturday 5th May 2012: the two Althea Racing riders Carlos Checa and Davide Giugliano were back on track at Monza today for the qualifying sessions of this fourth round of the 2012 World Championship. During a wet Superpole, Checa earned himself a place on the front row of tomorrow’s grid, in fourth position, while Giugliano will line up on the second row, in eighth place.
Earlier this morning, in variable conditions (air temperature 17˚C, track 18˚C), Checa and Giugliano waited until the final phase of the qualifying session before going out on a damp track. Carlos completed a series of laps in the last fifteen minutes, recording a best time of 1m45.1, while Davide took to the track right at the end of the session, completing just three laps with a fastest time of 1m46.2. Considering the track conditions, no-one was able to improve on yesterday’s qualifying times which means that the Althea pair qualified in ninth (Carlos) and tenth (Davide) place for this afternoon’s Superpole.
During the early afternoon’s free practice session, and on a wet track that dried out during the course of the 45-minutes available, Checa and Giugliano worked with their technicians to test the tyres. Times began to tumble towards the end of the session; Carlos was able to put in a 1m45.4 which put him in fourth place while Davide, who didn’t get in a ‘dry’ time, closed in eighteenth position with a best of 1m49.9.
Superpole was declared wet as although the rain had stopped, the asphalt remained very wet. Both riders went straight out on rain tyres and remained inside the top ten for the duration of this first phase (20 minutes in length). Carlos closed in eventual fifth position with Davide eighth, both therefore passing to the second phase of the Superpole. The track was starting to dry once it came to the second phase but riders nevertheless took to the track on rain tyres, with some of the top eight subsequently making some laps on slicks. Checa recorded a best of 1m56.7 which assured him of a place on the front row of tomorrow’s grid, in fourth place, while Giugliano will line up in eighth place thanks to a time of 2m00.6.
“In dry conditions it would have been impossible to close in the top four. Fortunately the wet/damp track gave us a hand in today’s Superpole and we took advantage of those mixed conditions. It’s definitely an advantage to start from the front row but tomorrow’s races will surely be conditioned by the weather. If the track’s completely wet then we know what to do but in conditions like those of today everyone will end up taking a risk one way or the other with regard to tyres.”
“It wasn’t easy but we’re satisfied with the work done and the fact that we’re on the second row. All day we’ve been working in these mixed conditions and if it’s like this tomorrow it’s be hard for all of us. Having said that it would have been difficult for the Ducati in the dry too, and so we’re happy with today’s result. We’ll see tomorrow how things are and then make some decisions.”
CRESCENT FIXI SUZUKI UPBEAT AT MONZA
Team Suzuki Press Office - May 5.
Crescent FIXI Suzuki's John Hopkins and Leon Camier will start tomorrow's Monza World Superbike Championship fourth round from row three of the grid after continually changing weather conditions at the Italian circuit made tyre choice and set-up extremely difficult this afternoon.
Hopkins, who will start in ninth position, was unlucky not to get through to the final top eight shoot-out after getting held up twice on his last flying lap, but overall feels more confident in the Yoshimura-powered GSX-R1000's wet set-up. Team-mate Camier starts from 12th on the grid after struggling to make his tyres work because of the difficult conditions, but is in an upbeat mood for tomorrow's race following a confidence-building day today.
Despite the qualifying and Superpole sessions held in neither fully wet or dry conditions - which made getting the tyres to perform to their best virtually impossible - Hopkins and Camier remain positive for Sunday's races.
Sylvain Guintoli on a Ducati secured his first-ever World Superbike pole position this afternoon to put him at the front of the grid for tomorrow's races.
Hopkins and Camier take to the track for the first race in Monza tomorrow at 12.00hrs local time (11.00hrs BST), but with similar weather forecast it looks like tyre choice will be an all important factor.
John Hopkins - 9th, 1'59.489:
"The weather has been very up and down all day and that has made life difficult for all of us. There was never a time when the track was either wet or dry and so finding a good set-up in changing conditions was not easy. This afternoon I had an off-track excursion when I suddenly hit a soaking wet part of the track. The conditions had been dry, but rain had fallen just before the Parabolica. There were no warning flags out and when I braked in my usual place, at about 180 mph, I hit the wet track. I managed to keep the bike upright through the gravel and gently laid it down when I was close to the tyre wall.
"In 'Wet Superpole,' I tried full Wets, but the track wasn't really wet enough and the tyres wore out very quickly. If the conditions are the same tomorrow, I think we'll all have some problems. I feel a huge improvement in the bike on rain tyres compared to Assen. I also feel much more confident about riding in the wet and feel positive I can get some good results tomorrow."
Leon Camier -12th, 1'59,845:
"The conditions were changeable today and that made it difficult for us. Today I tried to get my confidence back after the Assen weekend and I feel I have made some good progress in that direction. It's been hard to get a good set-up today because the conditions never stayed consistent in any one session. We tried full wets, but the track was never really wet enough and the tyres were shot after a couple of laps. The bike feels OK and, depending on the conditions and how the tyres last, I think I can finish with good results tomorrow."
Jack Valentine - Team Manager:
"The conditions were very on-off today and it's been hard coping with all the changes in the weather but I am pleased with the team's performance, especially with the improvement in the electronics. It's been difficult to set good times all weekend and I think we were a bit unlucky in 'Wet Superpole' because John should have gone into the final eight. I'm sure he would've managed if he hadn't been held up on his flying lap at the end of the session.
"I'm pretty happy generally because we've made a step forward today despite the dodgy conditions. My only worry for tomorrow is if the conditions (half wet, half dry) are the same as today because the tyres don't look as if they'll last. But the situation will be the same for everybody and there will be a lot of gambling with tyre choice, which may produce some strange results. It's good to see that John and Leon are feeling more confident again and that makes me think we can get some positive results tomorrow."
WBSK Monza: rain steals the show. Nobody tops Friday's time in Stk1000, while Stk600 is postponed
The weather played a huge role on Saturday in Monza
Both in the last free practice and qualifying session of the Stock1000, riders were not able to improve yesterday's times. Tomorrow, the Barni Racing Team Italia duo will start from first row thanks to their solid performance on Friday on the dry.
In today's tricky conditions, Eddi La Marra seemed comfortable. Despite his complicated affair with the rain, the rider was consistently in the front. Lorenzo Savadori, on the other hand, struggled in the wet and preferred not to push, focusing on the setup and race pace in case the weather does not change by tomorrow.
Lorenzo Savarodi (Barni Racing Team Ducati#32)
"I was hoping to do better even in the wet, but I had some issues. We risk wasting Friday's work. If it rains tomorrow, I'll have to play defense. If not, I'll be in the front."
Eddi La Marra (Barni Racing Team Ducati#47)
"I was comfortable even in these difficult conditions. The bike is fast, but I still hope to race in the dry. Anyway, I expect to be competitive."
The European Championship Stock600 was postponed. The morning qualifiers in the wet did not change the positions on the grid, with the Russo-Vitali duo ready to fight for the win, starting from 1st and 2nd position respectively.
A thunderstorm around 6pm (when the race was scheduled) forced Race Direction to suspend the race. After the warm-up, Russo signaled how it was impossible to ride in some places of the track. After verifying the conditions were not safe, the event was postponed to tomorrow, after WSBK Race 2.
Riccardo Russo (Team Italia FMI Yamaha#84)
"It was impossible to race. They took the right decision. I hope the conditions improve by tomorrow."
Luca Vitali (Team Italia FMI Yamaha#70)
"Riding in the wet is not my strong suit, but it would have been really impossible and dangerous to race today. It was the correct decision to postpone."