Press releases after the first day of practice and qualifying at the Silverstone round of World Superbikes:
Jules on provisional pole as PTR takes 1-2 at home round
PTR HONDA'S Jules Cluzel took pole position with his Bogdanka PTR Honda team mate Sam Lowes just behind him in a dream start to the British based tuning firm's home ninth round of the World Supersport Championship at Silverstone.
In damp but drying qualifying, Ronan Quarmby on his PTR Honda was 18th after posting the second fastest time in the morning's dry conditions. Martin Jessopp took 23rd in the tricky afternoon session. Rounding off an excellent performance by the PTR riders, Mathew Scholtz on his Bogdanka PTR Honda is provisionally fifth. There are further practice and qualifying sessions tomorrow before the race starts at 1330 GMT on Sunday August 5th.
Jules: "I enjoyed this afternoon in a wet but drying qualifying session. It was difficult but very enjoyable. When I was pushing on the wet parts I was getting my knee down; the grip in the wet is really nice at Silverstone. I was pushing and every lap was going faster. Maybe tomorrow it will be a full wet day and today's result may set the final gird position. I am happy."
Ronan: "This morning was one of my best first practice sessions and I felt really good and comfortable in second place. Then this afternoon there was misunderstanding about a medical check and I missed the first 15-minutes of qualifying. That threw me and I struggled to get into my rhythm on the damp track. I'll be back on it tomorrow."
Martin: "Today could have been a lot better but I had an asthma attack last night and got very little sleep. I struggled this morning but after the session my crew chief for this weekend James Buckingham found something on the data and we made good progress on set up for the afternoon. I had a good push in the wet and was quite far off the limit; which is encouraging. We will look through the data and set up but my priority is a good night's sleep for tomorrow."
Simon Buckmaster, PTR Honda Team Manager: "It's been a good first day for Jules in both the wet and dry and things are going in the right direction - he is in good shape whatever the weather. Ronan was very quick this morning but missed the start of qualifying over confusion about a medical check and lost momentum. He will be fine wet or dry tomorrow. Martin is hoping for better tomorrow after a tough start to the weekend."
Lowes provisional second at Silverstone
BOGDANKA PTR HONDA's Sam Lowes grabbed a provisional second position start for Sunday's round nine of the World Supersport Championship on his home ground at Silverstone in a wet first qualifying after topping the dry, first practice in the morning.
Silverstone rookie, Mathew Scholtz, on the other Bogdanka PTR Honda had an equally impressive start to the weekend by going fifth fastest in both sessions, to provisionally qualify on the second row with the second qualifying session for Sunday's race scheduled for tomorrow.
Swedish rider, Alexander Lundh, started his debut in the Bogdanka Honda PTR colours with a 25th position in the opening practice session, before a small problem with the electronics allowed him to only do a single lap in the afternoon to provisionally qualify in 31st position.
Sam Lowes: "I went out this morning and really enjoyed myself in the dry. The bike was working mega. We're not perfect in the dry but we have a direction to go and it's looking good. In the full wet conditions this afternoon I felt really good too and was quite a bit quicker than anybody else. Towards the end the track started to dry. I still pushed on but didn't want to push too much. We're second in the end with a good gap to third. We can still improve a bit in the dry but being fastest this morning, we're obviously not in a bad position. We're good in the wet too so I'm looking forward to the rest of the weekend regardless of the weather. I love Silverstone so I want to enjoy my home weekend and will try to get as many points as possible on Sunday."
Mathew Scholtz: "I'm really happy with how things went today. It was my first time on this track and this morning I just focused on learning it and finding the best lines. It seemed that the laptimes came easier than they have all year and I went faster and faster, ending the session in fifth. I managed to get the same result in the qualifying and I'm really happy about it. I feel we have a top five potential regardless of the weather so I'm really looking forward to tomorrow and want to start the race from the first two rows."
Alexander Lundh: "It was a good start to the weekend this morning and I was learning my way around in the first practice, understanding the bike and the tyres. I felt good and confident about improving my pace in the qualifying but unfortunately we had a problem with the electronics which meant I could only do one lap at the end of qualifying when the track was starting to dry out. We can make good progress tomorrow so I hope the second qualifying will be dry and we can improve today's times to get a better grid position for the race."
Simon Buckmaster, Bogdanka PTR Honda, Team Manager: "Sam has good pace wet or dry, especially in the dry. We will continue to improve with him before the race. Mathew is quick and very good in the dry and wet. It's a good boost for him ahead of second qualifying tomorrow."
Sykes the top man at home on the opening day
Silverstone (UK), August 3 2012 – Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) posted the fastest lap of the first qualifying session at Silverstone in 2 minutes 06.115 seconds, heading off Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) in the process. The session was held on a basically dry track, with the fastest lap times just over two seconds from the absolute best.
Third place in the early rankings went to new Pata Racing Team Ducati signing Sylvain Guintoli while local favourite Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) pushed himself to fourth place and was followed home by another British competitor Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Racing Aprilia). Jakub Smrz (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert) was sixth and Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) slotted into seventh. The provisional front row was completed by Guintoli’s Pata team-mate, Lorenzo Zanetti.
With weather conditions expected to be changeable over race weekend, qualifying inside the top 16 today may prove important if the second and final session on Saturday morning finally proves to be wet. Many top names ended up down the order on day one, with Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 12th and Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) 17th, one position up on Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team).
Times: 1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 2'06.115 average 168.475 kph; 2. Checa (Ducati) 2'06.148; 3. Guintoli (Ducati) 2'06.576; 4. Camier (Suzuki) 2'06.617; 5. Davies (Aprilia) 2'06.684; 6. Smrz (Ducati) 2'06.795; 7. Laverty (Aprilia) 2'06.851; 8. Zanetti (Ducati) 2'06.869; 9. Berger (Ducati) 2'06.967; 10. Hopkins (Suzuki) 2'07.007; 11. Badovini (BMW) 2'07.089; 12. Melandri (BMW) 2'07.244; 13. Haslam (BMW) 2'07.401; 14. Canepa (Ducati) 2'07.404; 15. Baz (Kawasaki) 2'07.499; 16. Fabrizio (BMW) 2'07.658; etc.
A confident session in wet conditions from Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda) saw him head the first qualifying times in the Supersport class, the French rider heading off local man Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda) by 0.739 with a time of 2 minutes 23.241 seconds. Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Lorenzini) made himself the fastest Kawasaki rider in third place, while Alex Baldolini (Power Team by Suriano Triumph) gave his British machine a happy early homecoming by qualifying fourth of all 32 Supersport entrants. Mathew Scholtz (Bogdanka PTR Honda) enjoyed a great first qualifying session by going fifth, with recent Brno podium finisher Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda), sixth.
Times: 1. Cluzel (Honda) 2'23.241 average 148.332 kph; 2. Lowes (Honda) 2'23.980; 3. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 2'25.235; 4. Baldolini (Triumph) 2'26.656; 5. Scholtz (Honda) 2'27.072; 6. Parkes (Honda) 2'27.177; 7. Leonov (Yamaha) 2'27.302; 8. Day (Kawasaki) 2'27.455; etc.
Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki) posted a great lap of two minutes 18.265 seconds at Silverstone in the first qualifying session to lead the next closest rider Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) by over two seconds on a damp track surface. A cosmopolitan top three included Eddi La Marra on his Barni Racing Ducati Panigale 1199. Having moved from Superbike to Superstock for this round, Leandro Mercado (Pedercini Team Kawasaki) was fourth. Ondrej Jezek (SK Energy Racing Team Ducati) went fifth, with local rider for a local team Kevin Coghlan (DMC Racing Ducati) sixth.
Times: 1. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 2'18.265 average 153.670 kph; 2. Barrier (BMW) 2'20.431; 3. La Marra (Ducati) 2'22.632; 4. Mercado (Kawasaki) 2'23.833; 5. Jezek (Ducati) 2'24.111; 6. Coghlan (Ducati) 2'24.982; 7. Lussiana (Kawasaki) 2'25.616; 8. Savadori (Ducati) 2'25.644; etc.
Team GOELEVEN Kawasaki rider Matt Davies was fastest man in a wet qualifying session at Silverstone, picking a clean line in tricky conditions to go over a second quicker than the next fastest rider Lee Jackson (Chris Walker Race School Kawasaki). MTM Racing Yamaha’s Gauthier Duwelz secured a strong third place, from another top regular, EAB Ten Kate Junior Honda Team man Michael van der Mark. Christophe Ponsson (MRS Kawasaki) put himself fifth in the early qualifying rankings.
Times: 1. Davies (Kawasaki) 2'31.473 average 140.271 kph; 2. Jackson (Kawasaki) 2'32.591; 3. Duwelz (Yamaha) 2'32.806; 4. Vd Mark (Honda) 2'33.514; 5. Ponsson (Kawasaki) 2'34.691; 6. Salvadori (Yamaha) 2'35.981; 7. Gamarino (Kawasaki) 2'36.507; 8. Vitali (Yamaha) 2'36.598; etc.
KTM European Junior Cup
Lukas Wimmer continued the recent run of good form that has taken him to the top of the table with the quickest time in the European Junior Cup’s sole free practice session for KTM Duke 690 machines at Silverstone. The young Austrian was half-a-second clear of his closest rival Javier Orellana, while another Spanish rider, Gaston Garcia, was a fraction behind in third, with Jean-Francois Demoulin from France in fourth.
Times: 1. Wimmer (KTM) 2'27.737 average 143.818 kph; 2. Orellana (KTM) 2'28.293; 3. Garcia (KTM) 2'28.401; 4. Demoulin (KTM) 2'28.986; 5. Pasek (KTM) 2'28.996; 6. Patterson (KTM) 2'29.539; 7. Daley (KTM) 2'29.799; 8. Wielebski (KTM) 2'31.020; etc.
BMW Motorrad Motorsport - WSBK - Silverstone - Qualifying Practice 1
Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport was welcomed by typically unpredictable British weather at Silverstone (GBR). The iconic circuit hosts the tenth round of the 2012 FIM Superbike World Championship. Today’s free practice started in dry conditions, but during the session, it began to rain. The showers stopped in time for the first qualifying practice in the afternoon. The sun came out, but the track only dried slowly during the session. Factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA) qualified provisional 12th on his BMW S 1000 RR. His team-mate, local hero Leon Haslam (GBR), was 13th. Ayrton Badovini and Michel Fabrizio (both ITA) of the BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet SBK Team finished 11th and 16th respectively.
Fastest lap Free Practice: 2:07.365 min (P5)/Fastest lap Qualifying Practice 1: 2:07.244 min (P12)
“The day was not easy. We were struggling with chattering and like that it was difficult to go fast. So we will try to improve this. The weather today was not such a big issue as we could wait in the garage but for tomorrow and Sunday it is going to be tricky because the track takes a long time to dry and you have so many different kinds of tarmac. Some parts of the track stay more wet, some less and the grip is completely different from one turn to another so it will not be easy.”
Fastest lap Free Practice: 2:08.047 min (P9)/Fastest lap Qualifying Practice 1: 2:07.401 min (P13)
“For us today was all about working on the set-up rather than trying to do fast lap times. Right now we are not too worried and just working setting up the RR for this track. The weather conditions were difficult. You always have in the back of your mind that it might rain and this morning we did just three laps in the dry and a couple in the rain so it was a kind of wasted session. This afternoon it stayed dry but during the first part of the session there were wet patches so it was difficult to do a full dry set-up but we made some good progress and I am positive for the rest of the weekend.”
Andrea Dosoli (Head of Race Operations):
“Today we experienced all the possibilities of weather that we can expect in England. We certainly have a lot of work to do on the bikes for both riders. Overall, the weather conditions did not help us to work on the set-up because the time on a dry track was limited. Both riders were struggling with grip which is quite normal after the rain and we will work on that. Marco still had some vibrations and he and his crew will work on fixing it. Leon and his crew will try to improve the bike’s balance so tonight we will analyse all the data to improve the feel for both riders for tomorrow’s qualifying practice.”
Tough return to SBK for Rea and Aoyama
Jonathan Rea and Hiroshi Aoyama both endured a difficult first day at Silverstone in the UK, the opening action for round 10 of the 2012 World Superbike championship in which local rider, Tom Sykes, took provisional pole position.
One of several rain showers fell after just a few laps of the first free practice session this morning restricting track time, and, although this afternoon’s qualifying session began slightly damp, both Honda World Superbike Team riders finished outside the top 16 provisional Superpole qualifiers.
Rea and Aoyama have just returned from contesting the famous Suzuka 8-hours race on different Honda CBR1000RR Fireblades, but some adjustment has been required to ride the more powerful, Pirelli-shod SBK specification version.
Jonathan Rea – P18
It’s been a very disappointing day to be caught out of the provisional top 16 for Superpole. My bike’s just not turning and I’m still struggling with the feeling from the throttle. It’s a little bit me, as well, adjusting back again after the 8-hour, because the two bikes are completely different, and with today’s sessions not being 100% dry, it’s taken me a little longer than I expected to get back up to speed. I hope it’s dry for second qualifying in the morning because it’s been one of our most difficult days today.
Hiroshi Aoyama – P20
The feeling with the bike was not so good from the start of practice. I guess I was a little bit confused at the beginning because the bike is so different from the one I rode at Suzuka. The basic combination of the bike with this track is not so nice and we have to adapt a little bit the character of the bike to match the track. The rain lost us some time as well and I only did a couple of laps in the wet this morning. We need to check some more tomorrow in case there is rain on Sunday, too.
Pieter Breddels – team co-ordinator
We had various weather conditions today which took away a bit of track time from us and the riders found it a little hard to adapt from the Suzuka 8-hours machines they were riding in Japan last weekend. Hiroshi is missing those few tenths to move forward to a Superpole position and on Jonathan’s side there is quite a lot of work to do, but of course, we cannot be happy with these positions. We hope for better positions tomorrow.
CHECA (ALTHEA RACING) RESERVES PROVISIONAL SECOND PLACE ON THE SBK GRID FOR SUNDAY’S RACES AT SILVERSTONE
Silverstone (UK), Friday 3rd August 2012: the first SBK practice and qualifying sessions of the tenth round of the Superbike World Championship took place today at the Silverstone circuit in typically mixed conditions. Althea Racing rider Carlos Checa was pleased to close first qualifying in second position while his team-mate Davide Giugliano was victim of a crash this morning, closing afternoon qualifying in nineteenth place.
Black clouds were looming but the track was dry as Carlos and Davide went out for first practice this morning. Carlos went straight to the top of the timesheets after two laps, setting a series of fast times, the best of which remained the quickest time of the entire session. Towards mid-session rain started to fall and this unfortunately prevented the riders from making further improvement. Carlos thus closed in first place, with a time of 2m06.3, ahead of Sykes and Smrz.
Davide unfortunately crashed during his first exit and, having injured his hand in the fall, made a visit to the Clinica Mobile. His mechanics meanwhile worked to repair the damaged bike but a combination of the rain, and the time needed to fix Davide’s 1198, prevented him from returning to the track. Having completed just one lap early on, Giugliano closed in 20th position.
The afternoon qualifying session got underway on a damp track that continued to dry out during the 45-minutes available. Lap times therefore began to drop in the later stages and Carlos’ very last lap was his fastest of the session (2m06.1) and this ensured him of final second place at the session’s end.
As a result of this morning’s crash Davide and his technicians lost valuable time and consequently the young rider had difficulty recording the times needed to close inside the top sixteen. He finished in final nineteenth place with a time of 2m07.8. He therefore has everything to play for tomorrow morning, considering that only the first sixteen riders will participate in the Superpole.
“In the end qualifying went well for us, despite the fact that certain sections of the track were damp. Luckily the fastest parts of the track were dry and this allowed us to make a fast time. We’re happy in terms of time but there’s still work to do on the setting. We need the best possible setting and best possible grip to have a fighting chance. If it’s wet tomorrow everything becomes more unpredictable, but I feel that I also have good chances of success in wet conditions.”
“Unfortunately the crash this morning meant that we lost the way a little this afternoon. My right hand is hurting but it wasn’t just that, I was having trouble in general really and couldn’t put together the kind of lap I needed. We absolutely need to fight back tomorrow morning and I’m just hoping it stays dry for second qualifying, or we won’t have the opportunity to take part in the Superpole.”
WSBK - Positive Friday for Team Italia in Silverstone
In the Stk1000 Savadori and La Marra take provisional first and second row, Vitali is 8th in the Stk600 while Russo crashes without consequences.
An uncertain weather (dry free practice, wet qualifiers) characterized the first day on the English track.
In FIM Cup Superstock1000, after a good start during free practice (the Panigale 1199's first outing on this track), La Marra and Savadori conquer first and second row respectively during the first qualifying session.
La Marra posted the third best time of the day with a 2'22"632, behind provisional poleman Guarnoni and Barrier. Savadori, with a 2'25"644, is temporarily eighth on the grid.
In the UEM European Championship Superstock600, Australian Davies seized provisional pole with a 2'31"473, preceding Jackson, Duwlez and VD Mark.
Luca Vitali found a good feeling with his bike after free practice (he's at his first outing in Silverstone), posting the 8th best time in the wet during the afternoon with a 2'36"598.
Russo, who's fighting for the championship against VD Mark, had to wrap it up before the checkered flag. Second during free practice, the Italian had an inconsequential highside and did not return on track to allow his team to fix the bike.
Cristiano Migliorati (FMI Technical Coordinator)
"It was a positive Friday for us. Despite the changing weather, we worked well ahead of the race. La Marra used a rear slick on the drying track and posted a good lap time. Even Savadori's work is worth more than the 8th best time. Vitali is constantly improving in the Stk600, while Russo is optimistic despite the crash as his lap times were good. We aim at first or second row positions tomorrow, in any weather condition."
CAMIER ON FRONT-ROW PACE AT SILVERSTONE
Team Suzuki Press Office - August 3.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki's Leon Camier produced a strong performance on day one of the 10th round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship from the team's home track at Silverstone to record the fourth-quickest time.
Camier settled into a good groove in this morning's first free practice session and would have recorded a faster time, but the English weather intervened and heavy rain stopped him from improving. During this afternoon's first qualifying session, Camier was consistently in the top-five in the sunny, but blustery, conditions and ended the session with a time of 2'06.617 from his 14 laps around the 5,902m Silverstone circuit.
John Hopkins (2'07.007, 14 laps) also weighed in with one of his best Friday performances of the year so far as he posted the 10th-quickest time during this afternoon's session to equal his position on day one at Aragon. Hopkins started to show the form around the Northamptonshire track that gave him pole position in last year's WSB race when he appeared as a wild-card rider for the Crescent Suzuki team. He was pleased with his day's work on his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R and is feeling in a confident mood for the weekend ahead.
Today's best time was set by Englishman Tom Sykes with Carlos Checa and Sylvain Guintoli accompanying Camier on the provisional front row. Current Championship leader Max Biaggi is down in 17th place. As things stand, the two FIXI Crescent Suzuki racers are comfortably inside the top-16 for tomorrow's Superpole and with rain forecast for Saturday, it looks like Camier and Hopkins will be competing in that session for the best grid positions for Sunday's two races.
"Today was one of my best first day results so far and it could've been better! I had a small problem with a harsh feeling with a tyre this afternoon - otherwise I could've lapped even quicker. Conditions were a bit tricky today. The morning session started dry and before the rain came down, I spent the time getting used to my FIXI Crescent Suzuki again, after riding the Yoshimura Suzuki in the Suzuka 8-hour race last week. It took a little time to dial myself in and then the rain fell, but our rain set-up worked pretty well, so I'm happy about that. Although there was no rain during this afternoon's timed qualifying, there were a lot of damp patches so you had to be aware of them and not push too hard. The track then dried out and everybody started going for it. I began with a hard tyre than switched to a softer one, but the feeling going into the turns was a bit harsh, otherwise I could've gone faster for sure. The GSX-R's chassis feels good and there is definitely an improvement in the engine performance when I am following other riders; and the initial punch out of the corners is also better, so I'm really looking forward to tomorrow."
"The weather caught me out a bit this morning and I hadn't put in a decent lap when the rain came down. I started the session re-learning the track and building my confidence and then pitted to put on some fresh rubber. But while I was in the pits, it started raining and my chance of a fast lap was gone. The bike felt pretty good in the wet though and that was encouraging. Timed qualifying began with wet patches all over the track, so you had to be careful. We kept working on improving the bike as the track dried and, by the end, the FIXI Crescent Suzuki felt pretty good - by far the best it has been all year. I'm also happy because I had a bit of a breakthrough today: I felt I could throw the bike into the corners and was confident that it would stick. It was a good session for me and I felt pumped by the end."
Jack Valentine - Team Manager:
"Today was a very satisfying day and we are where we should be. All the hard work the FIXI Crescent Suzuki team has put in is paying off and it shows on the track. Now we've got to maintain this performance tomorrow and do well in qualifying and Superpole. I'm happy both riders are easily in the provisional top-16, so if it rains in tomorrow morning's qualifying we're all set for Superpole. It's great to have Leon in the top four today and John in the top 10, though John would've gone faster if he had not had a problem with his boot getting caught up in the rear foot plate! It's been a good day for the team and hopefully there's more to come tomorrow."
Silverstone, Chaz Davies and ParkinGO fast already on the first qualifying
Silverstone, 3rd August 2012
Fast straight away on his Aprilia RSV4 during the first qualifying with the 5th best time, the British rider knows that there is still work to do this weekend and room for improvement.
Chaz is the best Aprilia in qualifying with 14 laps done. The session has seen some riders having a few problems and not all the home riders in the position they would like to be yet.
Tomorrow’s goal is to get in Superpole and be able to try different things for different weather conditions in case it rains.
The fifth position is definitely positive even if we know we can still improve our Aprilia. We are overall working to improve the feeling of the bike and a few other problems caused by the Formula 1.
If the weather conditions don’t change, I am quite confident I can do a good Superpole.