Press releases from the teams and the series organizer after the first day of practice at Assen:
COLD AND RAINY WEATHER MARK THE FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE SESSIONS AT ASSEN.
SYLVAIN GUINTOLI, RANKING LEADER OF WSBK, AND EUGENE LAVERTY STAND OUT EVEN IN DIFFICULT CONDITIONS.
SECOND AND THIRD BEST TIMES IN THE FIRST QUALIFIERS FOR THE TWO APRILIA RACING TEAM STANDARD BEARERS.
Assen (Holland), 26 April 2013 – The first day of World Superbike practice sessions on the Dutch track at Assen was true to the forecast: cold and rainy weather hampered the first two sessions, free practice and qualifying practice, forcing the riders to lap in "full wet" mode.
This was an interlocutory Friday since it would seem that the conditions tomorrow and Sunday will be completely different. The standard bearers for Aprilia – ranking leader in the manufacturer championship – took advantage of the day to gather information and experience on the new 17 inch Pirelli wet tyres, an important aspect in the event of a race in the rain.
The slippery track allowed Sylvain Guintoli to show off his notorious riding qualities in the wet, although the rider did admit that he wasn't particularly aggressive in the sessions. His second time astride the RSV4 in the rain, after a day of testing at Jerez, confirmed Sylvain's excellent feeling with the Superbike from Veneto in various conditions. Proof of this sensation was borne out by the second best time he put on the boards during the afternoon qualifiers, a carbon copy of the placing he achieved in the morning's free practice session.
“I'm pleased with our work today – admitted Sylvain – since we are in second place without really trying for a quick time. This is the second time for me on the RSV4 in the wet and these sessions will probably not be much use to us for tomorrow and Sunday, but it is always good to gain experience in all the different conditions. I had the same good feeling in the wet that I already had during the tests at Jerez, and even though the rest of the weekend will be a completely different story I'm happy with these two sessions”.
Eugene Laverty also had excellent sessions, third at the end of the qualifiers and just as pleased as his team mate with the feeling on the bike on a wet track. Should conditions change, as expected, the riders will have two sessions before Superpole and the races, so they will need to stay focused in order not to waste precious time.
“Today the most important thing was not to make any pointless mistakes since it would seem that the rest of the weekend will be dry. This was our first real test with the 17 inch rain tyres and we are in the top three, so if it rains for any of the coming races we know we'll be ready. If the weather forecast bears out tomorrow we'll beginning working in view of the races, so on our long distance pace, aiming for a good result in Superpole so that we can do well on Sunday”.
BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team - WSBK - Assen - Qualifying Practice 1
The “TT Circuit” in Assen greeted the FIM Superbike World Championship with typically unpredictable Dutch weather. Yesterday, when teams and riders prepared for the third round of the 2013 season, there was some sunshine with mild temperatures, but today, when the action on the track unfolded, it rained and temperatures dropped under ten degrees Celsius. The BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team ended the day on the provisional second row. Factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA) rode his BMW S 1000 RR to fourth place in the wet first qualifying practice this afternoon. His team-mate Chaz Davies (GBR) was 14th after crashing halfway through the session. Chaz was on course for a lap time within the top 5 when he lost the rear of his RR and slid into the gravel. After the bike was repaired, Chaz went out on the track again in the closing stages of the session but did not improve on his time. In the free practice at noon, also under wet conditions, Marco and Chaz were third and fourth respectively.
In the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup, BMW Motorrad GoldBet STK Team’s rider Sylvain Barrier finished 11th in the first qualifying session on his BMW HP4. The Frenchman had a minor crash in the difficult conditions of the session. His team mate Greg Gildenhuys (RSA) was 19th.
Fastest lap Free Practice: 1:59.696 min (P3)/Fastest lap Qualifying Practice 1: 1:59.316 min (P4)
“Today it was cold, wet and due to the low temperatures, the tyres did not warm up and work properly. Even after many laps, it was not easy to ride. My plan was to check my physical condition and to be in the top 15. I did not want to risk too much by looking for a lap time. Anyway in case of a wet race I am feeling positive. We just need to improve a little bit in order to be faster at the entry to the corners. From tomorrow on, better weather conditions are predicted and the race should be dry. Tomorrow we will work to set the bike up to the different conditions.”
Fastest lap Free Practice: 2:00.728 min (P4)/Fastest lap Qualifying Practice 1: 2:03.384 min (P14)
“We know that the weather for the rest of the weekend should be fine so today it was only about doing laps in the wet and working a little bit for the event of rain. I was pretty happy this morning, P4 was decent and my feeling for the bike was not too bad. We tried to make some changes for this afternoon but we are not sure yet if we are heading in the right direction. The crash was not caused by the changes; I just lost the rear in the corner. It was just a small crash at the wrong time in the session as I did not manage many laps this afternoon. Tomorrow hopefully it is dry and I am just looking forward to riding again.”
Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“It was a typical ‘Assen Day’: bad weather with decreasing temperatures. Marco did a very good job. In these difficult conditions he did not risk anything and was gentle to his shoulder, which has still not recovered fully yet. His fourth fastest lap time shows that he rode an excellent qualifying session. Halfway through the session, Chaz unfortunately slipped in the first left corner after a series of right corners. The tyres had cooled down because of the air temperature. His crew did an excellent job and he was able to get back out on track before the end of the session. He could not improve his time but he was able to check if everything worked well. In the end we are quite satisfied. If the weather is even worse tomorrow, we have already qualified for Superpole, but we expect better conditions, so tomorrow we will start to set the bike up to the new conditions.
In the Superstock class, it was the first time we have tested the new electronic damping system DDC in wet conditions. We have to work a lot to understand how to make it work properly in these conditions. Sylvain had a fall, but he is well and I am glad about that.”
Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“Today was not an easy day due to the weather conditions. The combination of very low temperatures and rain made it difficult for the rear tyres to warm up properly and as a result both riders struggled with rear grip. Looking at Marco’s lap times and the time that Chaz did this morning, we are confident that we have a good pace even if the conditions are difficult. We took the opportunity to work in the wet and to set the chassis and the electronics up to these conditions. Even if Chaz experienced a minor crash we collected enough data to prepare for rain, because you never know. However, we are confident we will have better weather conditions tomorrow and on Sunday and this is also what the weather forecast predicts. So we believe we are almost ready in case of rain and we are looking for dry track time.”
Rea seventh at miserable Assen
Jonathan Rea set the seventh fastest time in today’s first qualifying session in Assen in The Netherlands in preparation for Sunday’s third round World Superbike championship races.
Rea’s Pata Honda team-mate, Leon Haslam, did not take part in qualifying after crashing in the morning free practice session, in which the 29-year-old British rider sustained a fractured leg (click here for details).
In cold and wet conditions at the 4.542km Assen circuit, Rea had a frustrating morning with a technical issue that prevented him completing more than a handful of laps.
The issue was rectified for the afternoon qualifying session and the 26-year-old from Northern Ireland continued to work on optimum settings for his Pata Honda CBR1000RR machine.
Jonathan Rea – P7, 2m00.197s
It’s been a really mixed day for me. The first session was a bit pointless, really – we had a problem with the machine that we couldn’t diagnose so I did three out and in laps, but the session was wasted without a timed lap. Session two was better and we discovered the problem was in the front of the bike and I had a lot more feeling, but at the end of the session I still needed more contact feeling with the rear, especially when I go off the gas. I hope the weather gets better, not just for me but for the fans who come here to Assen for the weekend. If it’s wet, we need to work in this direction tomorrow, but I hope it’s dry. I want to send my best wishes to my team-mate, Leon – he had a pretty bad crash this morning and he’s now in hospital waiting for an operation so I hope he bears up well.
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
Leon’s crash this morning has coloured the day for us, unfortunately. It’s a real shame and we all wish him a really quick recovery and we hope to see him back really, really soon. Jonathan had some problems with the bike this morning but we managed to solve them a little this afternoon. Still, he’s not completely happy with the setting and the way the bike is reacting in the wet but in the end he was seventh. That’s more or less OK for today but tomorrow and Sunday we expect dry weather and a completely different ball game.
Sixth for Badovini and Team SBK Ducati Alstare in first qualifying at Assen
Assen (The Netherlands), Friday 26 April 2013: Team SBK Ducati Alstare was faced with cold and wet conditions for today’s first qualifying session at the historic TT Circuit of Assen; sixth position for Ayrton Badovini and ninth for Carlos Checa on the Dutch track this afternoon.
Riders Carlos Checa and Ayrton Badovini took to a wet track for the first free practice session this morning. Rain showers continued throughout the morning but despite the tricky conditions the Ducati Alstare pair was able to complete a series of laps, with Ayrton in particular improving as the session went on. His final lap, a 2’02.5 recorded in the closing minutes, positioned him seventh overall at the session’s end while Carlos, three tenths behind Ayrton with a best of 2’02.8, finished in ninth position.
Rain continued during the afternoon meaning that riders had to face a similarly wet first qualifying session. Both riders made significant improvement with respect to the morning’s session, with Checa lowering his time by almost a second while Badovini lapped almost three seconds quicker than he had earlier in the day. Unfortunately the young Italian rider suffered a small crash in the final minutes of qualifying but, unhurt, he nevertheless finished in overall sixth position with a best time of 1’59.7, one of only six riders to lap in under 2 minutes this afternoon. Carlos, who worked with the technicians to prepare a good base setting suitable for the wet conditions, closed with a fastest lap of 2’01.7.
Ayrton Badovini: ‘We’ve worked well today. It’s a pity I crashed right at the end but it can happen in these conditions, and I didn’t get hurt thankfully. I must say that the two days we spent in Jerez have made a difference and today I have felt that the bike is really becoming mine, I feel more comfortable as far as my riding position is concerned. I’m sure that we’ll be able to improve further tomorrow, whatever the conditions might be like.’
Carlos Checa: ‘Today, in view of the conditions, we worked on identifying a good wet setting for the bike in case of future wet races. We’ve worked well, trying to see how the bike reacts in these conditions, how the tyres behave etc. We made some changes between the morning and afternoon sessions and I think we’ve made progress. I’m feeling confident, and forecasts show that it should be dry for the rest of the weekend so our aim is to improve our package as much as possible in preparation for Sunday’s races.’
CAMIER MAKES BRAVE COMEBACK AT ASSEN
Team Suzuki Press Office - April 26.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki racer Leon Camier made a fearless return to the racing arena today as he successfully completed the first day of practice for the eni FIM Superbike World Championship round at Assen, less than two weeks after serious injury.
Camier was passed fit to participate in this morning's free practice, with a further fitness test scheduled after the session to assess his condition to take part in the rest of the weekend's proceedings. Camier performed well in the treacherous conditions and recorded an inspiring eighth quickest time around the 4,542m Dutch circuit. He was then given the go ahead to partake in this afternoon's qualifying session and the rest of the weekend's events. Camier then produced another brave ride to post the 10th fastest time in first qualifying to see him safely into the provisional positions for tomorrow's Superpole. He will undergo further treatment this evening to make sure his is in the best possible condition for tomorrow's sessions and Sunday's races.
Jules Cluzel produced some impressive laps today as he set the eighth best time in the qualifying session on his first complete day onboard the Yoshimura-powered GSX-R in full wet conditions. He consistently improved on his lap-times and was in touch with the fastest group of riders all day. Cluzel looked composed and comfortable on his machine and is in a confident mood for the weekend ahead.
Today's practices took place in awful conditions with heavy rain falling constantly over the circuit and afternoon track temperatures only reaching 4°C. Tom Sykes set the provisional pole time, but the day was marred by an injury to Leon Haslam on a Honda. He crashed in this morning's practice and was taken to hospital in Assen, where he was diagnosed with a double-fracture to his lower left leg. FIXI Crescent Suzuki wishes him well for a speedy recovery.
Camier and Cluzel have a second qualifying session tomorrow morning where they will endeavour to confirm their places in the top-15 to make sure they are in the afternoon's Superpole to get the best qualifying positions for Sunday's two races.
"I'm happy that I can ride, but after about three of four laps my knee stiffens up and feels like it's blocked and it becomes really painful in the wet. I didn't have a particularly good feeling with the bike today, but maybe I was a bit stiff and not quite riding how I need to. I think that in the dry the feeling in my knee will be a bit worse, but I've got to take it as it comes and hopefully it will loosen off a bit more. We've still got about a day-and-a-half before the race, so I've got time for it to improve. Hopefully when race-day comes I can do the distance."
"I am very happy with the day; I was a little bit nervous because it was the first time in full wet conditions on the FIXI Crescent Suzuki. I did about five-laps in Jerez in the test in the wet, but the grip was completely different and it wasn't raining then. In the worst condition today the feeling was good, so that is a positive thing, last year in Supersport the grip was not as good and it wasn't as comfortable. I had a good rhythm and pace today and didn't make any mistakes so this is good for my confidence. Tomorrow looks like being a sunny day, so things will be better. Today was a bit of an interrogation for me to see how I could ride in the wet and I am happy with how everything went, because I know I am better in the wet at other tracks, so I think if it rains at those circuits we can go well.
"It was good to have Leon back on track today, he didn't look totally comfortable, but he is here and it's good for the team to have him riding again."
Paul Denning - Team Manager:
"We have accomplished everything we wanted to here on the first day at Assen, despite horrendous weather conditions. Both riders are safely in the top-10, we had no crashes in the treacherous conditions and we gathered a lot of data to help with the setting of the GSX-R for tomorrow. Leon has done an absolutely amazing job to be here, and without question it's a very painful exercise to ride the bike, but he's gritting his teeth and will be doing his best to achieve something positive over the weekend. Equally, Jules has done a sterling job today. It was his first real time on the Superbike in fully wet conditions and he has been competitive with the fastest group of riders all day long.
"I'd like to say thank-you once again to Damian Cudlin for being here at Assen as a reserve rider. It's been a pleasure to have him around, he knew that Leon was going to try and ride before the weekend started, and he has been totally professional in his short time with the team. I hope we get the chance to work with him again some time in the future.
"On behalf of the all at FIXI Crescent Suzuki, I'd also like to send our best wishes to Leon Haslam for a quick recovery following his accident today. We hope he gets well soon and makes a fast return to the WSB field."
Team Althea Racing - First day of qualifying at the Circuit Assen TT
Third round of the World Superbike Championship at Assen in the Netherlands. After the excellent heats provided at Motorland Aragon, Davide Giugliano and the Althea Racing team were eager to confirm their competitiveness also in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, the rain and the wet track affected Giugliano’s performance in the first free practice session this afternoon where he reached the twelfth position (2'03 "362) and was the author of a slide in the 5th curve of the track, thankfully without any physical consequences. The first session of qualifying completed this afternoon under the rain and Giugliano (1'59 "317) was consistently in the top positions of the ranking, finishing in the fifth place.
Tomorrow the weather forecast will have an improvement and therefore the Assen circuit should be dry for qualifications and Superpole.
Davide Giugliano: "This morning we did only few laps, because the mixed conditions of the track, only partially wet, did not allow us to try further. Even in the afternoon, under the rain, I didn’t run all the laps that I wanted to, but we still worked a lot on my RSV4 and we managed to find very fast and good pace that allowed me to finish in fifth place. But tomorrow the weather should be different and then we should get ready for a dry qualification and Superpole". Assen TT – Superbike first free practice session
1) Sykes (Kawasaki) – 2) Guintoli (Aprilia) – 3) Melandri (BMW) – 4) Davies (BMW) – 5) Haslam (Honda) – 6) Cluzel (Suzuki) – 7) Badovini (Ducati) ……..12) Giugliano (Aprilia)
Assen TT – Superbik first qualifying session
1) Sykes (Kawasaki) – 2) Guintoli (Aprilia) – 3) Laverty (Aprilia) – 4) Melandri (BMW) – 5) Giugliano (Aprilia) - 6) Badovini (Ducati) – 7) Rea (Honda)
Damage Limitation For Rivamoto At Assen On Day One
Building on a career best result in Aragon, Rivamoto’s Jack Kennedy arrived in Assen full of confidence.
With the weather typically wet at the famous Dutch circuit, there was no surprise to find that conditions for the days two sessions would be cold and damp meaning set-up would be even more important than usual but Kennedy who finished on the podium here in BSB last year was optimistic of a strong qualifying performance.
With grip levels playing on everyone’s mind and rain falling throughout qualifying, it looked as though Jack had left himself with an impossible task but the charger from Dublin saved his best till right until the end once again, moving into a provisional 15th on the grid in the dying seconds of the session.
More than 12 riders failed to finish the session after being caught out by the conditions so the Rivamoto team were highly satisfied with today’s result and are confident of further improvement with both of their riders tomorrow.
Jeremy McWilliams – Team Manager: “Today’s qualifying session was all about damage limitation for us. The aim was to work on set-up and not chase a lap time. The riders at the top of the times today were really out on a limb but with no grip on the circuit and the conditions at their worst, we are happy to be in one piece and are happy with what we have achieved today with Jack. Edik had a couple of moments early on in the qualifying but he had a good session this morning and is happy with the setup that we have found for him. We are looking forward to tomorrow and are confident that we can improve with both of our bikes.”
Jack Kennedy – 15th on the provisional grid: “It was really tough out there. It was so slippery especially in the first few lap and couldn’t get any feeling for the bike. We tried a new setting and put a new tyre on right at the end which gave me a lot more feel and I managed to take a good chunk of time off right at the end. We aren’t too far away from the top guys now but I am sure things will be different tomorrow but I’m looking forward to it.”
Free Practice: Jack Kennedy – 12th – 1.50.999
Qualifying: Jack Kennedy – 15th – 2.07.000
Final qualifying for the 3rd round of the World Supersport championship will take place tomorrow at 1605 local time.
Steady opening for Pata Honda Supersport team
Michael van der Mark and Pata Honda team-mate Lorenzo Zanetti finished fifth eleventh respectively in today’s opening qualifying session for the third round World Supersport championship race at Assen in The Netherlands.
In cold, wet and thoroughly miserable conditions at the 4.542km circuit, both Pata Honda riders sat out most of this morning’s free practice session, completing only three laps between them on their CBR600RR machines.
At his home race, Dutch flyer van der Mark, who currently sits in second place in the championship standings, crashed unhurt early in this afternoon’s qualifying session but was able to rejoin after his crew had repaired his bike.
Zanetti continued to experience new conditions in his debut World Supersport season, the Italian looking for more progress in tomorrow’s predicted drier weather.
Michael van der Mark – P5, 2m04.944s
Yes, it was a little bit difficult today! It was wet, the track was too cold and we missed the grip. This morning was difficult because the track was drying and we didn’t want to destroy some tyres because in these conditions we have nothing to gain, but at the end I did some laps to check if the bike was OK. The qualifying session was completely wet and I went out with a good feeling but after 10 minutes I entered a corner and lost the rear because there was no grip so I had a little crash. The guys fixed the bike pretty fast and when I went out I had a good feeling again but it was really difficult. It was too cold today and there was not enough grip. But in the end we are in P5 and I think we have to be quite happy about this.
Lorenzo Zanetti – P11, 2.06.575s
It’s been a strange day because the weather is not so good. But it’s important for me to get confident with the track, especially on the bike in these conditions. I’ll just drive to get a good feeling on the bike but ended in eleventh position. I’m not so happy but it’s not so bad for the first day.
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
In the morning we just did a few laps because it was raining. It continued this afternoon but as it was qualifying we went out and did some more laps to get a feeling and a rhythm for the wet. Michael had a small crash but he was unhurt and back on track with 20 minutes left. He was steadily improving and ended up fifth but the gap is very small so it was a good job. Lorenzo managed to get eleventh and considering he is new to the bike here and to these conditions it was a pretty good.
ParkinGO and MV fast in Assen!
Assen, 26th april 2013
Iddon and Rolfo really fast in the wet free practice and first qualifying with the MV F3 675.
First position for Iddon in the morning free practice, already winner here in the British Supersport Championship in 2012 with Triumph and 9th place for Rolfo, who knows very well this circuit.
In the afternoon first qualifying, both MV riders have placed themselves on the top. Chris Iddon, after being in first position for the last ten minutes of the session, finished in an excellent second place right at the last minute. Rolfo, 7th, led the qualifying at the beginning and tried a few different settings on the wets.
The MV F3 675 is performing really well and tomorrow, despite today’s weather, the team is hoping for a good position on the grid.
I am happy to have found the right feeling with the bike; we have improved in everything we were having problems with.
During free practice the wet tyre has dropped down quite quickly because the track was only half wet but it gave us the right direction to do a good qualifying where I was first for a bit of time.
Obviously I would have liked to finish closer to the top but we didn’t have time as we tried different set ups.
We are quite confident for tomorrow. We are working well and we will try to get a good position on the grid.
It has been almost a perfect day.
In free practice with the track half dry/wet I found my ideal conditions and I have to say I had a good feeling with the bike in my favourite track conditions.
In the afternoon we went step by step and I was there for a bit of time. First position got taken away at the last minute but it’s not important. Considering last year I won here a dry race, I know I am comfortable in all conditions and that’s very important for me.
Marconi splashes to 12th on provisional Assen grid
IN full wet weather, PTR Honda's Luca Marconi continued his recent run of good form by provisionally qualifying in 12th ahead of Sunday's third round of the World Supersport Championship.
Luca had taken fourth in the tricky morning damp session and relishes the wetter weather.
Rookie Matt Davies was next up in 20th, showing good skill and wet weather riding in his third race for the team. His fellow rookie Nacho Calero was not so lucky and missed much of the session after a crash, leaving him 29th
Sheridan Morais, coming from a runner-up spot at the Bol d'Or last weekend, was 21st. David Linortner, another rookie, was 25th in the difficult wet weather conditions
There are further practice and qualifying sessions tomorrow before the race on Sunday 28th April at 1330CET
Simon Buckmaster, PTR Honda Team Manager, said: "We have experienced problems before in the cold and wet and it is an area we need to improve the rear of the bike. I am not greatly concerned and we will work with Bitubo and be in a better position tomorrow
"Despite the rear end problems Luca continues to do well and is in provisional 12th. We will work on the set up of our bikes and improve."
Nemeth 18th In The Netherlands Despite Tumble
After finishing 10th in the opening free practice session at Assen earlier today, Hungarian Balazs Nemeth was full of optimism ahead of official qualifying this afternoon.
Balazs who is competing for the ComPlus SMS Honda team this year was loving the wet conditions and was hoping that the rain would continue, especially as it meant less strain on his still damaged collarbone.
A few suspension tweaks between sessions seemed to have worked and mid session, he was running comfortably inside the top 6.
As the other riders began to push harder, the times and the riders began to tumble. Unfortunately, Balazs was one of the riders to be caught out by the ever changing conditions, thankfully without further injury.
With one more session to go to determine the grid positions for Sunday’s race, Nemeth is hopeful of improving on his current 18th position tomorrow.
SBK Stk600 - Positive start for San Carlo Team Italia in Assen
Morbidelli and Nocco are on provisional third and fourth row respectively.
The Italian riders had a productive first day on the historic Dutch track, but the uncertain weather made it difficult for everyone.
A wet and slippery track saw Nocco and Morbidelli post the 5th and 9th best time during the morning free practice, but the wind and the rain did not slow down the San Carlo Team Italia riders, for the first time in Assen, during the first qualifying session.
Morbidelli posted the 7th best time (2'08"809), just a second from the front row, while Nocco did a 2'11"218 that granted him the 11th provisional place. The fastest rider was once again Duwlez with a 2'05"892.
The race is scheduled for 6 p.m. tomorrow.
Franco Morbidelli (Kawasaki ZX-6R #12)
7° 29 laps in 2'08"809 +3"917
Alessandro Nocco (Kawasaki ZX-6R #81)
11° 29 laps in 2'11"218 +5"326
Cristiano Migliorati (FMI Technical Coordinator)
"We took advantage of an adverse weather to learn the track. We didn't go after the best time as tomorrow's forecast is dry. The riders didn't have any problems and their feeling on the bike is positive. If it won't rain we'll attack to start at the front."
Improvement For Alex At Assen
After a difficult start to his 2013 campaign, Italian Alex Baldolini showed a glimpse of the speed that we know he has by securing a provisional second row start for the 3rd round of the World Supersport championship in Assen earlier today.
The Lorini Honda rider left until towards the end of the session to put in a series of fast laps and end the 45 minute session in a respectable 6th position.
The conditions during qualifying were far from ideal as the rain continued to fall meaning very tricky conditions for the riders.
Whatever the weather tomorrow and looking ahead to final qualifying, Alex is hopeful of repeating today’s performance and is confident that the team are not too far away in terms of setup.
Alex Baldolini – Lorini Honda: “The engine feels good and I have a good feeling with the bike in the wet. Towards the end of the session I was with some slower riders so it was a little difficult to improve more. We are not so far from the fastest time in the rain so we will see what we can do tomorrow.”
Final qualifying will commence at 1605 local time tomorrow.
Sykes uncatchable on wet Day 1 at Assen
Assen (The Netherlands), Friday 26 April 2013 - Tom Sykes is renowned for his amazing skills on the wet and in World Superbike Qualifying 1 the Kawasaki Racing Team rider has shown his whole potential with these track conditions. Sykes has topped the timesheets courtesy of a 1'57.190 lap-time, 1.634 seconds faster than current Championship leader Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team), who scored his maiden WSBK victory on the wet at Assen last year. The two riders finished same way in the morning's Free Practice 1, dominating the field on Day 1 at the TT Circuit.
Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) ended up Q1 in 3rd position, showing renewed confidence after the unfortunate race day at Aragon. The Toomebridge-born rider finished ahead of Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet), who proved to be more at ease on the wet than his team mate and double-race winner at Aragon Chaz Davies, 14th at the chequered flag.
After a small crash in the morning's Free Practice 1 at the Turn 5, Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Aprilia) was 5th followed by Ayrton Badovini (Team Alstare Ducati) - who lost control of his 1199 Panigale at Turn 16 with 3 minutes to go.
A stoic Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki), after the early week doubts on his participation to the round, was on track today - despite his left knee injury - to complete Qualifying 1 with an encouraging 10th place behind Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team), team mate Jules Cluzel and Carlos Checa (Team Ducati Alstare).
Bad news for Pata Honda Team following Leon Haslam's Free Practice 1 crash at Turn 7: Haslam was taken to hospital in Assen where X-rays confirmed fractures to both his tibia and fibula in his lower left leg. The 29-year-old British rider is being transferred to hospital in Groningen where a specialist will operate later today to pin Haslam's leg.
Times: 1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'57.190 average 139.527 kph; 2. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1'58.824; 3. Laverty (Aprilia) 1'59.068; 4. Melandri (BMW) 1'59.316; 5. Giugliano (Aprilia) 1'59.317; 6. Badovini (Ducati) 1'59.754; 7. Rea (Honda) 2'00.197; 8. Cluzel (Suzuki) 2'00.553; 9. Checa (Ducati) 2'01.706; 10. Camier (Suzuki) 2'01.728; 11. Fabrizio (Aprilia) 2'02.039; 12. Aitchison (Ducati) 2'02.685; 13. Baz (Kawasaki) 2'02.915; 14. Davies (BMW) 2'03.384; 15. Lundh (Kawasaki) 2'04.401; 16. Neukirchner (Ducati) 2'04.582; 17. Clementi (BMW) 2'04.849; 18. Iannuzzo (BMW) 2'19.197; NC. Sandi (Kawasaki) 2'07.893.
World Supersport - Antonelli storms to the top in Q1
Andrea Antonelli (Team Goeleven Kawasaki) stormed to the first place at the very end of a rain-soaked Q1, snatching the top-spot in the timesheets from Christian Iddon (ParkinGO MV Agusta Corse) - who led morning's Free Practice 1 ahead of the Italian - for just 0.085 seconds. Assen is not a new track for the English rookie, as Iddon raced last year the British Supersport round on the Dutch track with impressive results (a win and second place in the two races).
Mathew Scholtz brought his Suriano Racing Team Suzuki up to 3rd place, to precede defending champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki), Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport), who crashed at Turn 10 in the early minutes, and Alex Baldolini (Team Lorini Honda). 7th place for Roberto Rolfo (ParkinGO MV Agusta Corse), a rider well known for his skills on the wet.
Italy's Fabio Menghi (VFT Racing Yamaha) had to undergo further checks at the Medical Centre after crashing out of Turn 8 and was diagnosed with an AC joint dislocation. No major consequences for Nacho Calero Perez (Honda PTR), Matt Davies (PTR Honda), Luca Scassa (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki) and Balasz Nemeth (Com Plus SMS Racing Honda), who fell off their bikes during the session.
Championship leader Fabien Foret (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki) chose to remain in the garage due to the adverse weather conditions.
Times: 1. Antonelli (Kawasaki) 2'04.455 average 131.382 kph; 2. Iddon (MV Agusta) 2'04.540; 3. Scholtz (Suzuki) 2'04.562; 4. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 2'04.818; 5. Vd Mark (Honda) 2'04.944; 6. Baldolini (Honda) 2'05.091; 7. Rolfo (MV Agusta) 2'05.302; 8. De Rosa (Honda) 2'05.673; 9. Leonov (Yamaha) 2'05.823; 10. Talmacsi (Honda) 2'06.260; etc.
2007 Champion Niccolò Canepa (Barni Racing Team Ducati) rode his Ducati 1199 Panigale to an impressive 2'01.830 on the wet Dutch track in QP1, that meant a 1st place for the Italian rider. The difficult weather condition proved to work well for Eddi La Marra as well, as 2012 runner-up finished second despite a 0.957 gap from his team mate. A completely turn around in terms of performance for current Champion Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad GoldBet), who has been by far the quickest in the morning Free Practice on in-between track conditions: the French rider ended up Qualifying 1 with an unusual 11th place and a crash at Turn 8.
Recent Bol d'Or winner Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki) was 3rd followed by another 1199 Panigale rider, Czech Ondrej Jezek (SK Energy - Fany Gastro Ducati), Italian Marco Bussolotti (Rider Promotion by T. Trasimeno BMW) and Christoffer Bergman (BWG Racing Kawasaki).
An unlucky Qualifying 1 for Aragon podium finisher Leandro Mercado (Team Pedercini Kawasaki), who crashed at Turn 9 and had to go to the Medical Centre.
Times: 1. Canepa (Ducati) 2'01.830 average 134.213 kph; 2. La Marra (Ducati) 2'02.787; 3. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 2'03.719; 4. Jezek (Ducati) 2'04.381; 5. Bussolotti (BMW) 2'04.726; 6. Bergman (Kawasaki) 2'04.776; 7. Lussiana (Kawasaki) 2'04.997; 8. Savadori (Kawasaki) 2'05.326; 9. Andreozzi (Kawasaki) 2'05.362; 10. Lanusse (Kawasaki) 2'05.810; etc.
Light but continuous rain and strong winds hampered the 4542m of the Dutch track during STK600 Qualifying 1, with red flags displayed four times during the 45 minutes on track due to several crashes.
Gauthier Duwelz (MTM Racing Yamaha) led the way thanks to a 2'05.892 ahead of Dutch wild-card Rob Hartog (NIWA Racing Team Suzuki). The current STK600 Championship Leader - who was also quickest in the morning's Free Practice 1 - and Hartog made a big difference by lapping in the 2'05 bracket, while the rest of the field was far behind in terms of lap-times.
Randy Mamola's son Dakota finished 3rd onboard his Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha after a quick last-lap attempt, followed by Swiss Bastien Chesaux (EAB Ten Kate Junior Team), Italy's Riccardo Cecchini (Team Lorini Honda) and Aussie Adrian Nestorovic (MTM Racing Team Yamaha). Rookie and former European Junior Cup rider Jean Francois Demoulin (JFA Performance Honda) was one of the many riders to lose control of their bikes, but the only one had to be taken to the Medical Centre (right hip concussion).
Times: 1. Duwelz (Yamaha) 2'05.892 average 129.883 kph; 2. Hartog (Suzuki) 2'05.966; 3. Mamola (Yamaha) 2'08.154; 4. Chesaux (Honda) 2'08.703; 5. Cecchini (Honda) 2'08.899; 6. Nestorovic (Yamaha) 2'09.412; 7. Morbidelli (Kawasaki) 2'09.809; 8. Basic (Yamaha) 2'10.030; 9. Gamarino (Kawasaki) 2'10.673; 10. D'Annunzio (Yamaha) 2'10.830; etc.
European Junior Cup
Italian youngster Kevin Manfredi (Newton Trasformatori) has dominated the opening free practice of the Pata European Junior Cup, powered by Honda today. Manfredi, who finished the opening round in Aragon in 9th looked smooth and comfortable from the start and was never headed throughout the 45 minute session eventually securing over a second advantage from his nearest rival, Hungary’s Peter Sebestyen (World Management).
Times: 1. Manfredi (Honda) 2'13.357 average 122.612 kph; 2. Sebestyen 2'14.549; 3. Ebehard 2'15.809; 4. Raymond 2'15.832; 5. Fernandez 2'16.176; 6. Hubner 2'16.268; 7. Harland 2'16.327; 8. Pittet 2'16.384; 9. Fernandez 2'16.473; 10. Orellana 2'16.543; etc.