Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the first day of practice at Portimao:
Giugliano the man to beat on opening day at Portimao
Kawasaki and Ducati lock out the top four of WorldSBK after Free Practice 2.
Davide Giugliano (ITA) - Turn 13
Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team) moved to the top of the WorldSBK times after the opening day of on track action at Portimao’s Autodromo Internacional do Algarve and will head into FP3 tomorrow as the man to beat, courtesy of his 1.43.323s lap set during the final five minutes of this afternoon’s second Free Practice session.
Behind Giugliano, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team), who leads the overall championship standings by 101 points, also improved despite missing out on the fastest time of the day by 0.058s.
Winner of both races last time out Tom Sykes put the second factory Kawasaki into 3rd overall, almost three tenths behind the leader as the top-12 riders were split by a second.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team) made it two Kawasaki and two Ducati riders in the top-4 with Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia) and Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) 5th and 6th. The Italian improved by one position from to FP1 despite an early crash, which cost him half an hour track-time.
Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) continued to improve to head into tomorrow’s decisive FP3 in 7th ahead of the Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils machine of Leon Haslam and the Pata Honda of Sylvain Guintoli completing the top eight. Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing – Red Devils) was 9th ahead of Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing Ducati).
The other riders inside the top 15 and looking to make it into Superpole 2 automatically tomorrow are: Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike Team), Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing), David Salom (Team Pedercini Kawasaki), Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Roman Ramos (Team Go Eleven Kawasaki).
Pata Honda positive after day one in Portugal
Pata Honda riders Sylvain Guintoli and Michael van der Mark finished in combined seventh and 11th places respectively after today’s two free practice sessions for round seven of the 2015 World Superbike championship at Portimao in Portugal.
The pace was set by Italian Davide Giugliano but Guintoli was pleased at the continuation of the positive progress taken from the last round at Donington Park. The 32-year-old Frenchman was 0.7s from Giugliano’s best time and is looking forward to further steps in tomorrow’s sessions.
After a difficult opening free practice this morning, Dutchman van der Mark was able to improve his lap time in spite of much higher track temperatures this afternoon.
He, too, is confident that adjustments to his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP will allow him to qualify well for tomorrow afternoon’s Superpole sessions that will determine final grid positions for Sunday’s two 20-lap races at the 4.592km Autodromo Internacional do Algarve.
Sylvain Guintoli - P7, 1m44.118s
Today was probably one of the best Friday’s we’ve had since the start of the season and we’re closer to the front than we’ve been. I feel quite good even though we still have quite a big margin to improve tomorrow. We’ve had a few bad days over race weekends this season, but I feel like today we’ve had a good one, so that’s really nice!
Michael van der Mark - P11, 1m44.388s
This morning was really difficult – we had a lot of problems and I really didn’t have a good feeling on the bike. For this afternoon we made some really big changes and started with completely different setting and immediately I had a better feeling. We only changed some small things on the bike during the session and made some positive steps. There are still a lot of things we can improve, but least I have a good feeling now, which gives us a base setting to go into tomorrow’s sessions.
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator
Michael was not happy with the setting this morning and he was uncomfortable with the way the bike handled. We tried to make some big steps to find a direction but couldn’t find the right way. This afternoon was much better – we concentrated on the priority points and made some improvements. He’s 11th but still only a few tenths from a top six position. Sylvain was quite quick from the start this morning and used only one tyre. We managed to make some more improvements this afternoon and, although there is still more work to do, it’s looking positive at the end of day one.
LEON HASLAM PLACES IN THE TOP 10 EVEN WITH JUST A FEW LAPS ON THE SHEETS
JORDI TORRES GAINS CONFIDENCE ON A COMPLEX TRACK AND FINISHES NINTH
Portimão, 5 June 2015 – The first two free practice sessions on the Portuguese weekend had both the Aprilia RSV4 RF bikes in the top ten. For the Aprilia Racing Red Devils riders this is the first step that needs to be improved in the decisive rounds Saturday.
Leon Haslam, still feeling the pain from his crash at Imola, had a technical problem in FP1 that hindered his work. So in FP2 the tough English rider gave it his all to make up for lost time, making some substantial changes to the setup on his RSV4 RF and finishing the combined standings in eighth place. In light of the events of the day, this is an encouraging position for Leon and his team.
There will basically be two goals tomorrow: getting in as many laps as possible in order to analyse the Aprilia's performance over race distance, and continuing treatments in the Mobile Clinic to keep the pain to his ribs under control. This is to ensure that he is in the best possible conditions for the races on Sunday.
Leon Haslam: “It wasn't an easy day for us. We missed FP1 so I think I must be the rider who improved the most from one session to the next! We have a lot of work to do. On this track taking a lot of laps is important in order to find a good pace. We'll try to do that tomorrow. My ribs have also been bothering me. I started without taking any medicine but then I worked with the Mobile Clinic to keep the pain under control. I must say that, even having lapped less than the others, the feeling was encouraging. We expect that Saturday will be just as demanding.”
Rookie Jordi Torres had to deal with one of the nicest but just as demanding tracks on the calendar. Portimão, where Jordi only had the chance to lap for one afternoon in the pre-season tests, has a lot of blind turns that demand maximum confidence from the rider. Today went well, with a final ninth place, so Torres and the team will be able to work in peace of mind, preparing for another step forward tomorrow. Two things are an indicator of this: the improvement of about 5 tenths of a second between the two sessions and the “ideal time” (calculated from the best sectors) which is 317 thousandths below the best performance the Spaniard put in.
Jordi Torres: “Despite having taken a few laps here during the tests, this is a difficult track to learn if you really want to go fast. There are a lot of turns without any visibility and you need to know them well to tackle them the right way. We are improving. We still can't get the RSV4 to perform well on the tightest turns so we need to do some more work on the setup. I'm pleased to be in the top 10. It is a good position for me, but now I need to gain confidence because in this championship nobody lets up on the gas!”.
Portimao Friday Practice
Portimao (Portugal) 5 June 2015
The seventh round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship got underway today for Team Althea Racing, with the Italian squad participating in the first day of qualifying at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve.
A tough track, high temperatures that reached 54°C and a fitness level that is still not 100% created some problems for Nico Terol who is racing at this track for the first time this weekend. The Spaniard worked with his team to test some different set-up solutions for his Ducati 1199 Panigale R and will work in tomorrow’s qualifying to improve his times that today prevented him from doing better than eighteenth.
Matteo Baiocco also had a lot of work to do, closing the afternoon’s session in tenth place, less than a second from the leader. The Italian has further room for improvement and having used today’s sessions to find good feeling with the bike and the track, tomorrow Matteo will strive to complete a solid qualifying that will allow him to enter Superpole 2.
The riders over in the Superstock 1000 category concluded the sessions with a positive second place finish for Raffaele De Rosa; thirteenth place for Luca Salvadori.
Raffaele, consistently placed at the top of the timesheets in today’s sessions, will aim to score the fastest overall time tomorrow in order to start Sunday’s race from pole. The podiums he has already achieved are not enough and the Italian is aiming for the top step of the rostrum, in order to gain important points for the championship standings.
Luca Salvadori, a 'rookie' in this category, is improving race after race, and also here in Portugal he has been consistent during today’s opening sessions. Tomorrow he too will try to lower his lap times to see if he can close inside the top ten.
Tomorrow will begin with Superstock 1000 free practice at 9:00 (local time), followed by the final Superbike qualifying, which will establish entry to the Superpole.
Giugliano and the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team lead the way today at Portimao
Portimao (Portugal), Friday 5 June 2015 – The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team, on track this weekend at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal for the seventh round of the Superbike World Championship, have enjoyed a very positive first day, closing the first two timed practice sessions first (Davide Giugliano) and fourth (Chaz Davies).
In the morning’s first timed practice, which took place in hot and sunny conditions (air temperature 28°C, track 45°C), Giugliano, not yet 100% physically-speaking and also suffering from flu-like symptoms this weekend, nevertheless pushed hard from the outset, immediately moving into first place. Continuing to improve on his lap times, he closed the session in second position, thanks to a best of 1’44.218. Davies worked well with his technicians, making some changes that clearly took his Panigale R in the right direction, allowing the Welshman to conclude with the fourth fastest time (1’44.412).
On an even hotter track (54°C), the Ducati men were able to consolidate the positive results of the morning’s session in the second practice. For this event, Ducati has made some technical updates available to the riders that include a new exhaust system developed and produced by Akrapovic. Initial feedback has proved to be encouraging. Giugliano was able to lower his time by almost a second (1’43.323), to close in final first position, while Davies also improved on his best time set this morning, by seven tenths, to conclude fourth (1’43.776).
Quotes after the day’s sessions:
Davide Giugliano - (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team #34) – 1st (1’43.323)
“We’re working really well and have made some changes that have allowed us to be faster, not only on the flying lap but also with regard to race distance. I’ve tried the new exhaust, and it’s an important help especially in terms of the engine’s power curve, which is now more progressive, cleaner. But we’ve also made some changes that allow me to be more at ease on the bike. I’ve started to enjoy this track today. Despite having the flu and a high temperature, I’m having fun riding my Panigale and this is helping me to be fast.”
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 4th (1’43.776)
“I’m not happy with the front of the bike to be honest and we need to make some steps to improve that tomorrow, possibly trying another tyre. I feel that I have to force too much to turn the bike and then this also compromises corner exit in certain places. I haven’t tried the exhaust yet but I tested other components that have given me certain advantages. Anyway, tomorrow will see us focus on working on the front of the bike, where I hope we’ll see some improvement.”
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki starts strong at Portimao as WSBK celebrates World Environment Day
A strong opening performance on his Voltcom Crescent Suzuki saw Alex Lowes secure the sixth fastest time during Friday’s free practice at Portimao in Portugal today.
Setting his fastest lap of the morning on his final revolution, Lowes overcame early challenges to claim third in the times for the opening session, with a 1’44.394. Continuing a consistence pace aboard his Yoshimura-powered machine for the afternoon encounter, the British racer completed a tally of 29 laps of the 4,592m circuit, his 1’43.942 best placing him sixth in the combined times ahead of Saturday’s final timed-for-qualifying session.
Randy de Puniet took to the Portuguese track for the first time on his Suzuki GSX-R1000 in fine conditions – his only previous visit to the Algarve circuit having been hit by inclement weather during pre-season testing – completing 23 laps during Friday’s two sessions. His still unsolved engine brake strategy hampering his study of the new layout, de Puniet concluded the day’s practice in 19th.
An FIM Environmental Ambassador since 2012, the Frenchman led the way this evening as WSBK contributed to the annual celebrations of World Environment Day with a Championship-wide photograph, Ducati’s Davide Giugliano topping the times on track with a 1’43.323.
Lowes and de Puniet return to the ‘rollercoaster’ at 09:45BST tomorrow morning for the first of two free practice sessions. Superpole commences at 15:00BST.
“A difficult day for us, we’re working hard, like every race but it is difficult to be quite as competitive as we want at the moment. I’m really enjoying the Portimao track and the team are working well, we just need to find a few settings to help make my job a bit easier tomorrow and to move forward across the weekend. It was a good day, but we’re not quite there yet!”
Randy de Puniet:
“It has been a difficult first day with a small crash this morning. I struggled with engine brake to stop the bike and in all the small corners I have no confidence in the front. We were working on that this afternoon but we have yet to find the best solution. I’m still hoping to improve tomorrow.
“I have been an Ambassador for the FIM Environmental project for the past three years and it is great to see the Championship coming together to support the message.”
Paul Denning - Team Manager:
“It is always nice to come to Portimao it’s a stunning race track, but an extremely challenging one for the riders and to get the bike working well. We obviously made big steps forward in Donington with the new electronics system but Portimao has thrown up one or two additional problems in terms of getting the settings right and making the bike a bit calmer and easier to ride on this undulating track. Alex has done extremely well to go third quickest in the first session and sixth overall, especially when we consider that there have been some fairly big issues today that we need to improve for tomorrow.
“Randy’s had another tough day struggling with front feeling and the character of the engine brake so all we can do is keep trying to find solutions to help him move forward.”
Cluzel commands Portimao WSS opening day
Jules Cluzel dominated the opening day of World Supersport action, powering his MV Agusta Reparto Corse machine to the top spot, despite failing to improve in the warmer afternoon session. His time from FP1 of 1.46.005s kept him 0.147s ahead of biggest rival and championship leader Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) who closed the gap to the Frenchman on his final lap of the second session.
Cluzel’s team mate Lorenzo Zanetti ended the day 3rd despite a small crash at turn 5 with 12 minutes to go. The Italian was unhurt. PJ Jacobsen made a solid start with his new team (CORE Motorsport Thailand) taking 4th, the American narrowly edging Gino Rea (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda) and Roberto Rolfo (Team Lorini) who were 5th and 6th respectively.
Kyle Smith (Pata Honda World Supersport Team), Alex Baldolini (Race Department ATK#25), Marco Faccani (San Carlo Puccetti Racing) and Martin Cardenas (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda) completed the top ten.
Miguel Praia (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda) is making his final World Championship appearance this weekend. The local rider who is replacing the injured Kieran Clarke finished the day in a respectable 17th.
Fast fifth for Gino on Friday
Fri, 05 Jun 2015
CIA LANDLORDS INSURANCE HONDA’S Gino Rea left it until his last lap of the day to secure fifth place on the time sheets at the seventh round of the World Supersport Championship at Parkalgar in Portugal.
Gino said: “This morning I struggled with the front end in the slow turns. We used a harder tyre this afternoon and I tipped off. I didn’t pull into the pits as we only had one lap to go and I managed to go faster with no rear brake and half a foot peg. That was definitely a positive end to the day.
“We are working on set up and tyres as well as electronics and still have time to come. The important thing is I feel comfortable and I am enjoying my bike and the track. I am struggling a little bit with my injured foot, especially here, where there are a lot of right turns and you need to push down on the pegs. We will look at finding a solution for that.”
Martin Cardenas is getting to grips with the challenging circuit quickly, ending the day 10th and within touching distance of the top six. Riccardo Russo closely followed him in 11th on his CIA Landlords Insurance Honda.
Local hero Miguel Praia finished a respectable 17th on the timesheets. It will be his last international race with the same team and circuit he raced for between 2008-2012 and a large crowd is expected on Sunday to say farewell to him.
Miguel is taking the place of the injured Kieran Clarke who remains in hospital in England recovering from injuries sustained in a track day crash late last month. He is no longer in intensive care.
There is practice followed by a single qualification session tomorrow before the race takes place at 1140 local time on Sunday, June 7th.
CIA Landlords Insurance Honda’s Simon Buckmaster said: “There is some work to do with Gino and we need more front feel for him. We are working hard together.
“Martin has been here before so knows the track. The lap times from sixth to 10th are close. He has started the weekend well and could possibly have his strongest performance of the year so far.
“Ricky lost the first session with a blown engine on his second lap. 11th this afternoon is pretty good and we will look to move up the sheets tomorrow.
“Miguel has been riding on a 1000cc bike in Brazil so is adjusting to the Supersport bike. It is good to be working with him again and we are looking forward to see what he can do tomorrow.”
Smith seventh in Portuguese sun
Pata Honda rider Kyle Smith set the seventh fastest time in today’s combined free practice sessions as he prepares his Honda CBR600RR for Sunday’s seventh round World Supersport championship race at Portimao in Portugal.
The 23-year-old British rider set a time of 1m47.176s around the sweeping and undulating 4.592km of the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, 25 km from Portimao.
Smith is looking for a solid finish in Sunday’s 18-lap race after crashing in both previous outings and he is confident of further improvements in both lap time and provisional grid position ahead of final qualifying tomorrow afternoon.
Kyle Smith - P7, 1m47.176s
This morning went OK but we made some changes to the bike and I don’t think it was the improvement we were looking for. We’ve just been over some of the data to prepare a plan for tomorrow. I feel pretty comfortable even though the lap times didn’t come in that second session. I was having to put too much lean angle on the bike to get it to turn this morning so we played around with the geometry a little. I think we can sort that out and see how it goes tomorrow.
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator
It was not a bad day in the end but the temperatures went up a lot this afternoon, which gave us some problems with the grip and the feeling at the front of the CBR. We have to come up with a plan to fix that so we’ll continue working tonight and tomorrow.
Superstock 600 - 1st and 2nd for San Carlo Team Italia in the first practice in Algarve
Tucci and Rinaldi in 1st and 2nd place on this Friday of practice at Portimao.
The weekend of San Carlo Team Italia at the Autodromo International do Algarve of Portimao, fourth round of the European Superstock 600 Championship, starts in the best way. In the first free practice Andrea Tucci and Michael Ruben Rinaldi were respectively 1st and 2nd in the combined timesheet of FP1-FP2, confirming the speed potential of the previous three rounds among Aragon, Assen and Imola.
Encouraged by the first seasonal podium achieved at the Santerno, Andrea Tucci started the weekend in Algarve with the right attitude, getting, during the first session, the best lap of the day in 1'48"270. Focusing on comparative tests about the set-up, in the afternoon Tucci had a crash at Turn 3, without consequences, which didn't compromise the excellent feeling with his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R #44, among the beautiful "rise and fall" of the Portuguese track.
The "Day1" at Portimao of Michael Ruben Rinaldi was likewise positive. After a series of unlucky episodes that relegated him in the third place of the standings, the rider from Rimini got, in the second session, a 1'48"287, best lap in the session and second best lap of the day at just 17 thousandths from his teammate Tucci, completing the excellent "double" of San Carlo Team Italia.
Andrea Tucci (San Carlo Team Italia - Kawasaki ZX-6R #44) 1st, 1'48"270
"It was a very positive first day. This morning I was immediately very fast, having a good pace and competitive lap time, 4/10 better than the second and 1" than the third. In the afternoon I rode with the same set of tyres of the morning and I was the fastest on track again, then I crashed with new tyres. It was nothing serious, I got back on my bike and I got interesting times. This makes me confident for tomorrow, I have a good feeling with the bike and with the team we worked very well during the whole day.".
Michael Rinaldi (San Carlo Team Italia - Kawasaki ZX-6R #21) 2nd, 1'48"287
"I am happy with the work done today. In the second session I got the best time, this makes me confident for tomorrow. Talking about the set-up, we have no trouble, we only have to make a little change to optimise the downhill braking point at the end of the box straight road, but as a whole we can be satisfied and confident for tomorrow.".
Stefano Cruciani (Sports Manager - San Carlo Team Italia STK600)
"It's an excellent start. This morning Tucci dominated the session, getting interesting times with used tyres, the only setback was a crash this afternoon in the little turn in first gear, but it was nothing serious or problematic. We are satisfied with his performance, and it's the same for Rinaldi, very fast in the two sessions and particularly in the second session he got the best time with new tyres as the other riders. The potential of the team is very high and we have proved it today, so we only have to carry on this way in qualifying and race.".
Friday's Words & Pictures
Round 7 of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship began today with the two opening free practice sessions that, combined with the third one scheduled for tomorrow at 9:45am local time (GMT+1) will decide the twenty riders qualifying for the Portuguese Tissot-Superpole. Here is what some of the protagonists of today's action had to say during this afternoon's official press conference.
Davide Giugliano - Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team - 1st
Facebook: Davide-Giugliano Twitter: @DavideGiugliano Instagram: DavideGiugliano34
"We worked hard during the two sessions to improve the feeling, which we did. This is only the first day. I am confident ahead of tomorrow's Superpole and we are hopeful to have the pace in the two races on Sunday."
Jonathan Rea - Kawasaki Racing Team - 2nd
Facebook: JonathanReaOfficial Twitter: @jonathanrea Instagram: @jonathan_rea
"Another good day for us. Everyone in the team is working well and we were able to find a good setting almost immediately. Despite today being all about Kawasaki and Ducati, we cannot lose sight of our nearest rival in the points Leon Haslam. For sure he is nursing an injury but he is a fighter and he'll be up there on Sunday."
Tom Sykes - Kawasaki Racing Team - 3rd
Facebook: Tom-Sykes-66 Twitter: TheRealTomSykes
"I have arrived here full of confidence and it would be great to repeat what we achieved at Donington Park. The circuit this year is bumpier which I think explains why the times are not maybe as quick as we expected. It's only Friday so we must keep working to put ourselves in the best position."
Alex Lowes - Voltcom Crescent Suzuki - 6th
Facebook: AlexLowes22Official Twitter: @alexlowes22 Instagram: @alexlowes22
"We made a big step forward with the bike at Donington and we have started the weekend here with the same set-up. I knew we could be quick but a third place on the opening day was a bit of a surprise. Nevertheless we showed this afternoon that we have the pace to run within the top-6, which gives me confidence for the rest of the weeekend."
Sylvain Guintoli - Pata Honda World Superbike - 7th
Facebook: SylvainGuintoliOfficialPage Twitter: SylvainGuintoli Instagram: SylvainGuintoli
"It's been a more positive weekend so far. Everybody knows the level we have been at but we found some things in the last race and they seem to be working here. Of course after the highs of last year it has been a tough start to the season but everyone is working, we will not give up and the goal is to put the Honda as close to the top step as possible before the end of the year."