Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the first day of practice at the Motorland Aragon circuit:
Provisional second for Sheridan in Spain
PTR HONDA'S Sheridan Morais is in second place on the provisional grid for Sunday's second round of the World Supersport Championship at Aragon in Spain.
The South African showed his true colours as he got to grips with his PTR Honda. He lost track time at the opening round but is now learning about his 2013 race machine fast and there is plenty more speed and potential to be realised across the weekend.
Sheridan said: "That was a lot of fun and I am happy. Thank you to the team and everyone for supporting me. My PTR Honda is the business and I am looking forward to the rest of the weekend, I think there is more to come."
Luca Marconi took two seconds off his fastest lap from last year to take 17th on the grid. After securing his best result in the class on his debut for the team, he is upbeat and looking to improve further.
In 20th place is David Linortner, the Austrian rookie taking a measured approach to the weekend and building his effort. Matt Davies in 22nd place continues to impress on his second outing in the class. Nacho Calero crashed twice today losing track time at his home event and is 32nd but looking to improve.
There are further practice and qualifying sessions tomorrow before the race takes place at 1330CET on Sunday, 14th April.
Simon Buckmaster, PTR Honda Team Manager, said: "We are back where we should be. Considering the amount of riding time he lost in Oz, he did a fantastic job today. We can improve the bike, he can improve a bit, only first qualifying.
"Luca is doing a good job, waited for a tow on his last tyre. Showing has ability, needs to do it on his own. He is in good shape for qualifying.
"David had a big improvement in the afternoon, good shape. Matt - important to realise how young he is, learning all the time. Nacho had two crashes and he has a lot of work to do here and we are working with him on it."
Nemeth Takes It Easy On Day One At Motorland
Balazs Nemeth made a welcome return to the World Supersport championship today at Motorland Aragon, a little over six weeks after breaking his collarbone at the season opener in Phillip Island.
The likeable Hungarian who is this year riding under the Complus SMS Racing banner qualified in a provisional 31st in the opening qualifying practice but is hopeful of improving tomorrow.
Balazs Nemeth – Complus SMS Honda Racing: “This is the first ride since the crash in Phillip Island so I started carefully and then tried to go faster and faster. We have looked at the data and analysed it and we hope to improve in final qualifying. Tomorrow we hope to go faster as it was important today not to hurt myself.”
WORLD SBK. THE WEEKEND IS OFF TO A GOOD START FOR APRILIA RACING.
AT ARAGON EUGENE LAVERTY STOPS THE CLOCK WITH THE BEST TIME IN THE FIRST QUALIFIERS.
SYLVAIN GUINTOLI IS SATISFIED WITH HIS BIKE AND THE FIRST DAY.
Aragon (Spain), 12 April 2013 – Aprilia Racing, reigning WSBK champion team and ranking leader in the 2013 season, got off to a good start for the weekend leading up to the Sunday races for the second round of the championship on the Spanish track at Aragon.
After the double win during the opening round at Phillip Island, with Guintoli and Laverty winning both races and consequently finishing the weekend tied for first place in the rider standings, expectations are high for the Italian team. Expectations which, on the first day of testing (free practice in the morning and qualifiers in the afternoon) did not disappoint.
Eugene Laverty, with an excellent last lap, stopped the clock with the best time of the day at 1’58.548, leaving all the rivals behind and significantly improving with respect to his time in the morning free practice sessions (1’59.651) which had resulted in a strong fourth place.
Sylvain Guintoli also made a clear improvement, shaving well over a second off his times from the practice sessions and ending the first qualifiers with the sixth best time at 1’59.144.
As always Friday was spent looking for the best settings in view of tomorrow's Superpole and - above all - the races Sunday. However, Laverty's time and the excellent impressions Guintoli reported despite the fact that the Frenchman, only in his second race astride the RSV4, is still trying to find the right groove on the Spanish track, are excellent indicators for a weekend that promises to be quite heated, judging from the fact that the top 10 riders are all within one second of one another.
“We worked quite a bit on the electronics today – explained Laverty – because I wasn't satisfied with them during free practice this morning, especially going into turns. There is still room for improvement but we're moving in the right direction and our times show it. We just need to make it easier to maintain the pace for more laps in view of the race. Tomorrow we'll see what happens, the track will probably have better grip so we'll adapt our setting in order to be ready Sunday”.
Sylvain's analysis is quite clear: “Today I didn't ride well, but I'm not too worried given my position and the gap with the front runners. It seems like the bike is working very well, I just need to settle down and ride calmly. Maybe the fact that I've never had good results at Aragon makes me a bit tense and my riding style needs to be smooth for my best performance. I think a good night's rest is what I need to get on the track tomorrow in the best possible conditions since my RSV4 is very effective here”.
Improvements for Pata Honda in Spain
Pata Honda World Superbike riders Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam have made a step forward in the development of their Honda CBR1000RR race machines during today’s opening practice and qualifying sessions at Motorland Aragon in Spain.
The duo’s preparations for this weekend’s second round World Superbike event at the 5.344km circuit 280km west of Barcelona included an intense six days of testing – both at Aragon and at the Alcarras circuit, 100km to the north east – in order to further develop a new electronics system on their machines.
Rea finished this afternoon’s 45-minute qualifying in fifth place, 0.5s off provisional pole sitter Eugene Laverty. Haslam, meanwhile, was unable to capitalise on the additional grip of a softer rear Pirelli and ended the session in 11th place.
Both riders are more confident of further improvement in tomorrow’s second qualifying and free practice ahead of the afternoon’s Superpole sessions to determine the final grid positions for Sunday’s races.
It’s clear that we’ve made some progress from last week’s Aragon test. Using the same tyre, I’ve been quite a bit quicker so going to Alcarras earlier this week for three more days, where we gained a lot of data and experience, was the right thing to do. We’re still working with base settings on engine braking so we’ll start working corner-by-corner tonight. There are some strong points now, and other areas that we need to work on. I feel like I’m being held back a bit by something, especially in third gear – it’s not wheelie control, so we’ll have to have a look at that tonight. It’s refreshing though, because we can start working on the chassis a little bit, now that the electronics are getting more consistent. I think we can make another step in the right direction there and come back stronger tomorrow.
This morning I felt pretty good – I did the whole session on the harder tyre and the bike was feeling a lot better than when we tested here last week. This afternoon we rolled out on the harder tyre again and it still felt pretty good, but when we put in the softer SC1 that the other guys were running we didn’t go any quicker. It made the bike react quite differently and made it feel like we had the old gremlins back. It’s not a big issue though, I think the guys now know how to resolve this problem and we’ll set the bike up for that specific tyre because we’re still getting a big difference in the electronics from tyre to tyre. As soon as we’ve got that sorted, we can do some more work on the chassis.
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
Jonathan managed fifth place today and we’re quite happy with that. We found that the progress we made in Alcarras is valid here, but the system still needs adjustment. The guys managed to make some quick adjustments and it’s still work in progress. For Leon there were a few more problems at the end and he ended up 11th. The change of tyre and grip level is affecting him quite a lot, so there’s a bit more work to do there. But we have another day tomorrow, so we’ll see what happens.
BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team - WSBK - Motorland Aragón - Qualifying Practice 1
The BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team had a good start to the second round of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship at Spanish track, “Motorland Aragón”. Factory riders Chaz Davies (GBR) and Marco Melandri (ITA) qualified for the provisional first and second rows aboard their BMW S 1000 RRs. The race weekend started with P1 for Marco and P2 for Chaz in today's free practice session at noon. In the first qualifying practice this afternoon, Chaz topped the time sheets until the closing seconds and finished second putting him on the provisional first row for the race. Marco returned to the garage a couple of minutes before the chequered flag in third place. However, during the last few minutes of the session, he slipped back one position and finished fourth, placing him on the provisional second row.
In the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup, reigning champion Sylvain Barrier secured provisional pole position for the 2013 season opener at “Motorland Aragón”. The Frenchman of the BMW Motorrad GoldBet STK Team set the fastest time of the first qualifying session aboard his brand new BMW HP4. His team mate Greg Gildenhuys (RSA) finished sixth.
Fastest lap Free Practice: 1:59.041 min (P2)/Fastest lap Qualifying Practice 1: 1:58.652 min (P2)
“It was a good Friday, everyone has done a great job. We were able to confirm the success of the work we have done over the last month and today has proved that I now feel really comfortable on my RR. I was already happy with my race pace at Phillip Island and I knew we could improve on it even more. We did a couple of tests in between the rounds and BMW did a good job on the bike. After some teams tested here last week you could have expected that we would be a bit further behind but sometimes it is nice to come to a track without having done numerous laps there. We came here fresh and hungry and it was good. I did my fastest lap on used tyres, which is a good sign regarding race pace. Tomorrow we will try to increase the grip a little bit; that is the main thing. The bike is working very well but the grip is still limiting us. In addition, we will just do some fine tuning of the electronics and the power delivery.”
Fastest lap Free Practice: 1:58.510 min (P1)/Fastest lap Qualifying Practice 1: 1:58.944 min (P4)
“I am very happy because my shoulder is doing fine. This morning I had no pain at all. In the afternoon it was a bit sore but it is was not as bad as in Australia. I hope that my recovery will continue like this and that the strain from riding will not cause any inflammation. The bike is working quite well, apart from some little difficulties with grip, but the track conditions were not easy today. I am very confident and looking forward to the race. Anyway, my first target is to get fit and then to go faster and faster.”
Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“It was a positive day. The work we have done over the last month has transferred into positive results. Marco is not yet hundred percent fit but his shoulder is pretty well and he isn't suffering the pain that he had in Australia which makes us happy. Chaz is doing very well, as he did in Australia. His feeling with the RR is improving even more and the results are coming. This afternoon, the track conditions were a little bit worse than in the morning because of the temperature. Tomorrow we will continue our work on the track; we still have some things to test.
In the Superstock class, Sylvain was fastest in the morning and in the afternoon, while Greg was struggling to be consistently fast over a lap. We start the season with a new bike which we have worked hard on over the winter and I am very pleased with the results so far. Our goal, in fact, was to be competitive from the beginning and we are. Overall, we are very confident for tomorrow and for the race on Sunday.”
Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“Overall it was a positive start to the weekend, not only considering the provisional positions. For sure, it is nice to have our riders in second and fourth but we are mainly happy because we confirmed that the jobs we have done in the last month were going in the right direction and have brought the results we were hoping for. Both riders used the two sessions today to work on the chassis and the electronics. Chaz and his crew did a good job. He improved during the day but he is still looking for some more grip on the rear. We are confident that we know the right direction we should go from here. Marco was very fast in the first practice but in the afternoon he was struggling with the front end. The changes made for the first qualifying session did not go in the direction we expected, so tomorrow we will set his RR up differently in order to allow him to be faster.”
Provisional Spanish front row for van der Mark
Michael van der Mark maintained his good start to his debut World Supersport season by claiming a provisional front row slot for Sunday’s second round race at Motorland Aragon in Spain.
The 20-year-old Dutch flyer followed up his stunning podium in the opening round at Phillip Island, Australia, with an impressive display as the series returned to Europe. He is just 0.5s off the provisional pole time set by British rider Sam Lowes.
His Pata Honda World Supersport team-mate, Lorenzo Zanetti, set the 11th fastest time in today’s 45-minute qualifying session at the 5.344km Aragon circuit, but the Italian is confident of further improvements tomorrow.
Michael van der Mark – P3, 2m02.524s
Today was not bad. I was quite comfortable doing fast lap times as soon as I went out and in qualifying this afternoon I used three different tyres. I did my fastest time on the tyre that we didn’t expect to be so quick on and then, near the end, I got stuck behind some other riders. The test last week was good and the first day here has gone well, so I think we can go a little faster tomorrow and focus on the race set-up.
Lorenzo Zanetti – P11, 2m03.583s
If we look back at the test last week, I have improved my time by one second, which is good. The whole team is working very well towards a good result on Sunday. But I am still 1.5 seconds from the front and one second behind Michael, so I know we have some more work to do. For tomorrow it’s necessary to make another step in order to get into the first three rows of the grid, so we will check all the data with the team tonight and see where we can make some improvement and decide which strategy we need. I need to improve in the first sector and I know I am getting some lines wrong because I sometimes still use a superbike style.
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
Michael continues to impress us just by riding really well and he has been up with the top guys all day. He held second place for quite a long time this afternoon and in the end he finished third with a time that is already 0.6s faster than during the test last week. He’s stepping up his performance for this race weekend and there are no problems with the bike. Lorenzo was 11th with quite a good time, but he is not very consistent yet. He needed a bit of help to make that time but still he did it and he’s still improving. Now we are looking for some changes and improvements to get him into some kind of a rhythm.
Team Althea Racing - First day of testing at Motorland Aragon
Over a month from the first two races at Phillip Island, today the Althea Racing team is back on track at Motorland Aragon for the second round of the World Superbike Championship. The morning practice session took place on a dry track, under a sunny sky and a temperature of 18 degrees, Davide Giugliano and his coaching staff began working on the Aprilia RSV4 to fit the Spanish track. Davide reached the thirteenth time in 2'01 "601. During the first session of qualifications, the Althea Racing team has improved his lap time and with a 1'59 "599 climbed to tenth place. An encouraging result which demonstrates the quality of the work done by the technicians and Genesio Bevilacqua’s team rider. Tomorrow morning the second and final round of qualifications will take place, which will be important for Giugliano, he has to qualify for Superpole finding the best set-up for his RSV4.
Davide Giugliano: "It’s been a quite particular day. I was quite satisfied with this morning’s result, as I haven’t rode my bike since the two races at Phillip Island. Also I had never run with the Aprilia RSV4 on this track which I really like but it is difficult to understand. In the afternoon, the bike initially went really well and I was able to improve my lap time. Unfortunately, in the last ten minutes, when I tried to force my pace there were some problems that slowed me down. Nothing to worry about because my team is working to resolve them for the qualifications and tomorrow morning I'm sure we will continue to improve. "
CRASH LEAVES CAMIER DOUBTFUL TO RACE
Team Suzuki Press Office - April 12.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki's Leon Camier suffered a huge high-side during this afternoon's first qualifying session at Motorland Aragon that leaves his participation in the rest of this weekend's eni FIM Superbike World Championship event in serious doubt.
Camier had looked impressive during this morning's practice and was sitting in the top-three in the early stages of this afternoon's session, before he crashed at turn 10 on the 5,344m Spanish circuit. Camier flew spectacularly through the air before landing heavily and inflicting a serious damage to his left knee. He was immediately taken to the circuit's medical centre, where after an initial and thorough assessment by the staff of the Clinica Mobile he was immediately transferred to Alcaniz hospital for a further examination. The extent of his injury will be investigated meticulously before a decision is made about what treatment is required. A further announcement will be made once more information is available.
Jules Cluzel made a strong start to the weekend as he posted the eighth fastest time in the first qualifying session to leave him in a strong position to participate in tomorrow's Superpole. After a steady first session Cluzel picked up the pace this afternoon on his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R and is in a positive frame of mind as he heads into day two. His time of 1'59.414 leaves him comfortably within the provisional top-15 that will qualify for Saturday's Superpole and a position that could give him his first taste of the shoot-out after he narrowly missed out at the last round.
Today's proceedings took place in bright sunshine with air temperatures reaching 23°C and track temperatures peaking at 39°C. Provisional pole was set by Eugene Laverty on an Aprilia. All riders will have a second qualifying session tomorrow morning to try and seal a place in the afternoon's Superpole, to enable them to fight for the best grid positions for Sunday's two races.
"I am happy with today's qualifying, because this morning the feeling was a bit strange; we tried a new tyre and I don't think it was the best one for long distance. This morning was really all about being back on track and getting up to speed, then this afternoon we used the same tyre we worked with at the test and everything seemed pretty good. I made a mistake in my fastest lap - on the slow hairpin - but I think we are in a good position to get into Superpole and then for the race. We have some ideas to make things a bit better and we will work on them tomorrow and see what happens.
"I want to wish Leon all the best and hope that he makes a quick recovery; we need him out on track, so the sooner he recovers the better."
Paul Denning - Team Manager:
"There are two ways of looking at the result of Leon's crash today and we should be grateful that his injuries aren't worse, because it was a massive impact. That said we're naturally hugely disappointed that it looks like he won't be able to race this weekend due to the severity of the open cut to his knee. It looks like it is going to require a lot of maintenance, cleaning and ongoing checks to ensure no infection sets in, and that a more serious complication doesn't occur. The rider's health is the priority, but we're equally disappointed because Leon had only made three laps - and used only the harder rear tyre - and still his lap-time was very competitive. The performance potential was very positive here following the test, so it looks like it will be a case of what might have been!
"Jules improved massively in this afternoon's session and if he can tidy up one or two key parts of the racetrack, he could be extremely competitive. He and his guys are now finding a mutual understanding of what he needs to go fast consistently and hopefully we can have a solid day tomorrow to prepare for the race."
Team SBK Ducati Alstare faces an uphill climb this weekend at MotorLand Aragon
Alcaniz (Spain), Friday 12 April 2013: Team SBK Ducati Alstare, on track this weekend for the second round of the World Superbike championship at MotorLand Aragon, have not had the easiest of first days – riders Carlos Checa and Ayrton Badovini closed first qualifying in twelfth and fourteenth position respectively.
The riders were pleased to be able to make the most of dry, sunny conditions during today’s first practice and qualifying sessions. Having not ridden their 1199 Panigale bikes since Phillip Island, an event from which both came away with injury, Carlos and Ayrton spent first practice getting back into the swing of things.
By the end of the first practice session Checa was lying in tenth position with a best time of 2’00.6 while team-mate Ayrton closed in fourteenth position thanks to a time of 2’01.6 recorded in the final stages. They continued to make gradual progress during the afternoon qualifying, with Carlos able to drop his best time set in the morning by six tenths of a second while Ayrton managed to shave a whole second off his earlier time.
Following last week’s test sessions, the two Ducati Alstare riders take advantage of a new engine configuration this weekend. An engine variation combined with a new exhaust has improved rideability and power delivery, something that Carlos and Ayrton have confirmed to be true after this first day on track.
Carlos Checa: ‘We still have limitations at this track that don’t allow us to record the kind of times we need but it’s a new bike and we realise that there is still a lot to do. We know that top speed is going to be an issue but here we are also suffering in the changes of direction and in terms of acceleration. We still have to work to do on the set-up to see how we can carry more speed out of the corners. To tell the truth I expected this kind of situation at Aragon – it’s one of the hardest tracks for us and the gap between the two and four-cylinders is not a surprise.’
Ayrton Badovini: ‘Fortunately I feel physically fit, I haven’t really had any problems from that point of view. I feel quite confident that we’ll be able to improve further tomorrow because we’ve already seen progress during today’s sessions. We also made a change towards the end of qualifying that made a difference and I felt more comfortable so we hope to continue in that direction tomorrow. Of course there’s a lot more to do but we expected a challenging time of it here. We’ll do our very best.’
Kennedy Hoping To Have Found Set Up At Aragon
Rivamoto Honda’s Jack Kennedy left it until his last flying lap to take a provisional 14th position on the grid for the 2nd round of the World Supersport championship at Motorland Aragon in Spain earlier this afternoon.
Having started the weekend with the base settings from their previous Aragon test the team found themselves chasing a new setting in both of today’s sessions.
Continuing the form of Phillip Island is something that the team are optimistic of as is the improvement in lap times from the team’s other rider Edik Blokhin who suffered a technical problem during the morning session which cost the Russian rider some valuable track time.
Jeremy McWilliams – Team Manager: “For a while it seemed like we were in ‘no mans land’ and in hindsight we needed a bit more time but Jack dug deep and salvaged something on his last lap. Edik’s bike suffered an oil leak which put him on the back foot but we have made some progress and we go into tomorrow confident of improving with both riders.”
Jack Kennedy –Rider: “The settings from the test we did didn’t really work so we started from square one again. This morning we moved forward after trying some new things. In qualifying we weren’t really on the pace despite improving our lap time and we were dropping down the order. The last lap was do or die and we managed to go a lot quicker and up to 14th. I got into the 2.03’s which is really good so I am really pleased and know we are going in the right direction with our changes. I just hope for more of that tomorrow.”
Eugene Laverty leads the way on Friday at Aragon
Alcaniz (Spain), Friday 12 April 2013 - A close battle characterised the first qualifying session for the eni FIM Superbike World Championship at MotorLand Aragon, and saw Irishman Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) topping the timesheets with a 1’58.548 set with few minutes to go.
“We worked quite a bit on the electronics today” explained Laverty “because I wasn't happy about it during free practice this morning, especially going into turns. There is still room for improvement but we're moving in the right direction, and our times show it. We just need to make our performance last longer race-wise. We'll see what happens tomorrow, the track will have more grip so we'll change our settings in order to be ready for Sunday”.
The Championship Leader was 0.104 second faster than 2nd place Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet), with Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Davies’ team mate, Marco Melandri, to follow.
“It was a good Friday, everyone has done a great job” said Davies. “We were able to confirm the success of the work we have done over the last month and today has proved that I now feel really comfortable on my RR. I was already happy with my pace at Phillip Island and I knew we could improve on it even more. We came here fresh and hungry and it was good. I did my fastest lap on used tyres, which is a good sign regarding race pace. The bike is working very well but the grip is still limiting us. In addition, we will just do some fine tuning of the electronics and the power delivery.”
Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) rode his CBR 1000 RR up to 5th position ahead of Phillip Island Race 1 winner Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) and the unfortunate Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki), who had a high-side at Turn 10 early in the session and was transferred first to the Medical Centre, where he was diagnosed with a left knee dislocation and a wound, then taken to the Alcaniz hospital, where he’s undergoing further examination. His participation to the rest of the round is seriously doubtful.
On the other hand, Jules Cluzel with the other GSX-R1000 bettered his morning’s performance and finished 8th, with Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Aprilia) to complete the top-10. A bit of a step back for Spaniard Carlos Checa (Team Ducati Alstare), who was 12th behind Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team).
Times: 1. Laverty (Aprilia) 1'58.548 average 162.284 kph; 2. Davies (BMW) 1'58.652; 3. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'58.887; 4. Melandri (BMW) 1'58.944; 5. Rea (Honda) 1'59.060; 6. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1'59.144; 7. Camier (Suzuki) 1'59.379; 8. Cluzel (Suzuki) 1'59.414; 9. Baz (Kawasaki) 1'59.423; 10. Giugliano (Aprilia) 1'59.599; 11. Haslam (Honda) 1'59.599; 12. Checa (Ducati) 2'00.004; 13. Fabrizio (Aprilia) 2'00.199; 14. Badovini (Ducati) 2'00.688; 15. Lundh (Kawasaki) 2'01.041; 16. Neukirchner (Ducati) 2'01.658; 17. Sandi (Kawasaki) 2'01.928; 18. Iannuzzo (BMW) 2'03.201; 19. Clementi (BMW) 2'03.233; 20. Aitchison (Ducati) 2'04.169.
World Supersport - Lowes makes the difference in QP1 with a new Best Lap
A new Best Lap of the MotorLand Aragon for the series was set today by Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha) in Qualifying 1. Despite not being 100% following last week's crash while testing here, the Brit lapped the 5344 m Spanish track in 2'01.930 and was 0.463 second faster than Sheridan Morais, who brought his PTR Honda machine into second place.
Rookie sensation Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport) was third, ahead of Reigning Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki), Italy's Luca Scassa (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) and DMC Lorenzini Kawasaki duo of Kev Coghlan and Vladimir Ivanov.
Supersport veteran Fabien Foret (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) ended up in 8th place, followed by Russian Vladimir Leonov (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha) and Florian Marino, who made his comeback to the series by replacing injured David Salom in the Intermoto Ponyexpres Team.
An unlucky QP1 for WSS rookies Nacho Calero (Honda PTR) and Riccardo Russo (San Carlo Team Italia), both crashed within the first 20 minutes on track. 2007 125cc World Champion Gabor Talmacsi (Prorace Honda) and South Africa's Mathew Scholtz (Suriano Racing Team) did the same as well, later on in the session.
Times: 1. Lowes (Yamaha) 2'01.930 average 157.782 kph; 2. Morais (Honda) 2'02.393; 3. Vd Mark (Honda) 2'02.524; 4. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 2'02.557; 5. Scassa (Kawasaki) 2'02.738; 6. Coghlan (Kawasaki) 2'03.018; 7. Ivanov (Kawasaki) 2'03.030; 8. Foret (Kawasaki) 2'03.076; 9. Leonov (Yamaha) 2'03.083; 10. Marino (Kawasaki) 2'03.532; etc.
Reigning Champion Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad GoldBet STK Team) set the fastest time in FIM Superstock 1000 Cup Qualifying 1. Onboard the new BMW S 1000 RR HP4, the Oyonnax-born rider was once again the only one able to lap within the 2'01 bracket, despite being almost 0.7s slower than in the morning session.
Argentinean Leandro Mercado (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) improved his lap-time and finished again in 2nd place, ahead of Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki), 2012 runner-up Eddi La Marra (Barni Racing Team Ducati) and team mate Lorenzo Savadori.
Top-10 was completed by Greg Gildenhuys (BMW Motorrad GoldBet), 2007 STK1000 Champion Niccolò Canepa (Ducati Barni Racing), Romain Lanusse (Team MRS Kawasaki), Alessandro Andreozzi (Team Pedercini) and Spanish wild-card Enrique Ferrer (Targobank CNS Motosport BMW).
Times: 1. Barrier (BMW) 2'01.762 average 158.000 kph; 2. Mercado (Kawasaki) 2'02.144; 3. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 2'02.523; 4. La Marra (Ducati) 2'02.544; 5. Savadori (Kawasaki) 2'02.555; 6. Gildenhuys (BMW) 2'02.796; 7. Canepa (Ducati) 2'03.026; 8. Lanusse (Kawasaki) 2'03.598; 9. Andreozzi (Kawasaki) 2'03.641; 10. Ferrer (BMW) 2'03.874; etc.
The 45-minutes maiden qualifying session for the Superstock 600 European Championship saw Gauthier Duwelz (MTM Racing Yamaha) on top in the blazing sunshine of Alcaniz's MotorLand Aragon, courtesy of a 2'05.577 and despite a crash with 20 minutes to go. The 19 year old from Belgium finished ahead of team mate Robin Mulhauser, who was able to make it to the top positions in the final minutes of the session.
Bastien Chesaux (EAB Ten Kate Junior Team Honda) was third, followed by Team Italia's Franco Morbidelli, Tony Coveña (Nito Racing Kawasaki) and Aussie Adrian Nestorovic - third rider for the MTM Racing Team - who fell off his YZF-R6 at Turn 7 early in the session. 7th place for Riccardo Cecchini was the last rider to lap within a second gap from the leader.
Rookie Alesssandro Nocco (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki) had a small crash at Turn 9 but he was OK straight after, while France's Mathieu Marchal, was driven to the Medical Centre after losing control of his Coutelle Racing Yamaha.
Times: 1. Duwelz (Yamaha) 2'05.577 average 153.200 kph; 2. Mulhauser (Yamaha) 2'05.683; 3. Chesaux (Honda) 2'05.690; 4. Morbidelli (Kawasaki) 2'05.877; 5. Coveña (Kawasaki) 2'05.982; 6. Nestorovic (Yamaha) 2'06.452; 7. Cecchini (Honda) 2'06.475; 8. Schmitter (Yamaha) 2'07.074; 9. Mamola (Yamaha) 2'07.167; 10. Gamarino (Kawasaki) 2'07.194; etc.
European Junior Cup
The Pata European Junior Cup, powered by Honda had its first taste of the 2013 season at MotorLand Aragon, as the 35 entries performed today’s 45-minute Free Practice. Spaniard Illan Fernandez topped the timesheets with a 2’27.064 lap-time, followed by France’s Guillaume Raymond, who starred last year’s season finale as wildcard (a win and a 3rd place in the two races), in second place. Wildcard Augusto Fernandez was 3rd ahead of New Zealand’s Jake Lewis.
Times: 1. Fernandez (Honda) 2'27.064 average 130.817 kph; 2. Raymond (Honda) 2'27.347; 3. Fernandez (Honda) 2'27.464; 4. Lewis (Honda) 2'27.722; 5. Rusmiputro (Honda) 2'28.141; 6. Mykhalchyk (Honda) 2'28.162; 7. Canducci (Honda) 2'28.241; 8. Manfredi (Honda) 2'28.276; 9. Orellana (Honda) 2'28.694; 10. Bodis (Honda) 2'28.723; etc.
WSBK Stk600 - San Carlo Team Italia in second row with Morbidelli. Nocco is 13th
The European Stock600 championship kicks off in Spain
In the first day of free practice and qualifiers, Belgian rider Duwlez shone and confirmed his candidacy for the win. San Carlo Team Italia riders also had a positive debut.
Duwlez beat the previous lap record by Russo with a laptime of 2'05"454 during free practice, and secured the provisional pole position with a 2'05"577. Franco Morbidelli (25 laps) is fourth and opens the second row, with a 2'05"877 that puts the Roman only three tenths from the provisional pole position.
His teammate Alessandro Nocco (21 laps), who was fast for the first half of the session, had an innocuous crash that hindered the last minutes of qualifiers. He posted the 13th time with a 2'07"363, 1"786 behind Duwlez.
Tomorrow morning the riders will have the second and decisive session of qualifiers. The race will be at 6 p.m. local time, and will be broadcasted on Italia2.
Franco Morbidelli Kawasaki ZX-6R#12
Alessandro Nocco Kawasaki ZX-6R#8
Cristiano Migliorati (FMI Technical Coordinator)
"I'm satisfied with our first outing. We were focused on getting back on race mode after the winter tests. We were a little tense during free practice but worked well afterwards. I'm not overtly enthusiastic about Morbidelli's 4th time as he took advantage of a new tyre, just as much as I'm not disappointed by Nocco's crash. Both riders can aim at second row tomorrow."
Supersport World Championship
The second race of Supersport saw the debut of Riccardo Russo (who rode for Team Italia the past two years) on the Team Puccetti's Kawasaki. He was 7th during free practice, 8 tenths behind Sofuoglu, but in qualifiers had a crash that compromised his session. Despite showing a pace deserving first row, he closed in 13th position with a 2'03"862, 1"9 behind poleman Lowes.