Press releases from the teams and organization after Saturday's race and qualifying at Imola:
WorldSBK Race 1: Full House
Ducati’s Davies takes victory from pole and smashes lap record
A stunning performance from Aruba.it rider Chaz Davies saw him take a comfortable victory in Race 1 at Imola, as Kawasaki pairing Rea and Sykes were left to fight it out for the other podium positions.
It was Davies and Rea who got the best starts from the front row of the grid, with Davide Giugliano struggling most as his teammate and the KRT riders got past him at the start of the race. With Davies leading the charge to escape, it was left to Rea, the only man seeming able to stay in touch with the Ducati rider, to try and chase him down.
With ten laps remaining, the reigning Champion ran wide at Turn 1 and the gap to teammate Sykes suddenly closed, with the KRT riders facing another inter-team battle as the Yorkshireman tried to stay in touch. Rea however managed to recover his rhythm and hold off his teammate to the line to minimize the damage in the Championship after a close challenge on the last lap.
Jordi Torres, who scored his first WorldSBK podium at Imola in 2015, had a stunning run for P4 on his Althea BMW machine at the team’s home race, ahead of second Aruba.it Racing – Ducati rider Davide Giugliano. Leon Camier, after a race of some ups and downs, crossed the line in sixth for another fantastic haul of points for home manufacturer MV Agusta.
Lorenzo Savadori on the Aprilia ran in the top 5 throughout the first part of the race, before the rookie succumbed to the pressure of riders behind. Michael van der Mark, after a difficult Superpole 2, was the winner of the battle for P7 and headed Savadori over the line, who saw the chequered flag in P8 just ahead of Imola rookie Nicky Hayden on the second Honda. Xavi Forés made up ground in the Race on his Barni Racing Team Ducati to lock out the top ten, just ahead of Alex Lowes after a difficult weekend for the Pata Yamaha squad.
Baiocco, Reiterberger, Brookes and DeAngelis completed the points scoring positions, with DeAngelis still suffering with an injury to his left hand at the Round closest to home for the San Marinese rider.
After losing some ground to Davies in Race 1, Jonathan Rea will be aiming for victory number 6 at Imola on Sunday in Race 2, where he has another chance to overtake Carlos Checa as most successful at the Italian track. Davies and Ducati are sure to put up at fight as the lights go out at 13:00 local time (GMT +2). Make sure to stay ahead of the curve on WorldSBK.com.
Brilliant victory for Chaz Davies in Race 1 in Imola, fifth place for Davide Giugliano
The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team seized the top step of the podium in Race 1 in Imola, the “home” track for the Borgo Panigale manufacturer and a favorite destination today for the many Ducati fans who cheered the riders in the paddock and the grandstands. Davies led the race from the first until the last corner after topping all previous sessions between practice and qualifying, taking the “holeshot” from pole position and the first, historic victory for the Panigale R in Italy.
Davies also posted the fastest lap of the race (rewriting the circuit record) with a blistering 1:46.700 during lap 3, pulling away from the group together with championship leader Jonathan Rea. During lap 8, a mistake by his rival in turn 7 allowed Davies to gain a five-second advantage, a margin he comfortably administered until the checkered flag.
Davide Giugliano, after fighting his way back from ninth place to take second position in Superpole, confirmed the progress made in terms of pace, finishing the race in fifth position despite a drop in the performance of his bike due to the detachment of an exhaust collector after a gear shift. Both riders will be back on track for Race 2, scheduled for 13:00 (CET) tomorrow.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 1st
“Today’s race was just perfect. I got a clean start and then I got my head down to push since the very first lap and make my own rhythm. At first, the gap between Jonathan and I was going back and forth, but after a few laps I tried to break away and then the pitboard signaled a five-second margin, but I kept pushing to stay in the high 1:47 mark as long as possible. To win here is different from any other track and simply special, Imola is Ducati’s backyard. From Aragon onwards, my Panigale R has always been competitive and in the ballpark. The latest engine upgrades allowed us to be on par with our rivals, and I want to thank Ducati for giving me a complete package. Now I hope we can repeat ourselves tomorrow. The forecast says it might rain, and we need to be ready no matter what.”
Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #34) – 5th
“The race started quite well for me after all. I didn’t have the pace to stay with the frontrunners, but I was trying to save the tyres until the rhythm dropped because I felt that I could recover some of the gap in the second half of the race and have a go at the podium, but after a few laps I suffered a drop in power and had to play on the defensive. The good thing is that we still managed to finish the race and bring home some important points. I want to stay positive, we’re not yet as competitive as we want to be but, compared with yesterday, we’ve made a big step forward. Tomorrow, even if the weather could mix things up, we’ll have another chance to make further improvements.”
Stefano Cecconi, Team Principal
“There isn’t a better place than Imola to celebrate a victory. The atmosphere here is just fantastic, and the passion of our supporters fills the air. With Chaz, we scored a ‘hat trick’ taking pole position, fastest lap and the victory. Davide recovered strongly since yesterday, both during Superpole and the race, where he managed to be consistent despite an issue. Tomorrow, our goal is to have both riders on the podium.”
Rea Second And Sykes Third After Race One At Imola
After a shortened 18-lap WorldSBK race one at Imola Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes placed second and third respectively, only separated by a few tenths of a second as they chased the podium places. Rea now takes a 40-point championship lead into the second race on Sunday, after a tough but rewarding battle around the undulating circuit in Italy. Sykes is a clear third overall approaching Sunday’s scheduled 19-lap race.
The Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari dished up two podium places for the all-new Ninja ZX-10R in the opening lunchtime WorldSBK race, despite the start being delayed after a collision between two riders on the warm-up lap.
At the start Rea and Sykes formed an early top three with eventual race winner Chaz Davies, with Rea continuing to keep pace just behind Davies as he pushed hard while the race developed.
‘JR’ was forced to drop back after experiencing an electronics issue under braking at times, running wide and off track at turn 7 at one point, but coming back onto the track surface just in front of his chasing team-mate Sykes.
With the two Kawasaki riders in close company for the final few laps, gaining something on each other in some sections and losing in some others, Sykes was just too far back on the final lap to attempt a decisive and safe pass.
Tom ended up just 0.323 seconds behind Jonathan after 18 laps at the intense and demanding 4.936km Imola parkland circuit.
Now the KRT duo have a day to prepare for the second Imola race, which may be held in less favourable weather conditions than the dry first race day. Both riders feel there are areas for improvement in machine set-up as they now aim to take top spot in race two.
Jonathan Rea stated: “In the beginning I felt good with Chaz and I managed to close the gap down to him. We have had some issues on the engine brake side and this caused me to run on. It was happening into the fast turn five and it took my confidence a little bit. When I made the mistake the gap changed. I am happy with my race because second is good as Chaz was on a different planet this morning. I was just happy to be there in the race at the beginning. I was the best of the rest today and now I’m happy to look forward to tomorrow, as I am sure we can improve the bike setup. I hear some mixed weather forecasts, and that we could have some rain, so I hope we can be prepared for whatever we get.”
Tom Sykes stated: ”It is difficult to pass here at Imola because it is a track that does not leave much of a margin for error. The only possibility to pass came in two areas and it would have been difficult to make a clean one. Considering the amount of practice time we lost on Friday we were probably not at a bad level. Consistency-wise the Ninja ZX-10R was good in the race but we just missed a bit of pure lap time, even in Superpole, and that will be our priority for tomorrow. We lost one maybe two seconds in the first laps and you do not close that kind of gap down very easily at this level. If I am able to ride the bike how I like I am sure we can be strong. We will keep working for this and hopefully make some improvements.”
Josh Hook (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) was the only other Kawasaki race finisher in the opening contest at Imola, in 17th place. A crash and subsequent collision with another rider’s machine for Dominic Schmitter (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) put him out of action for race one as he underwent medical checks. Saeed Al Sulaiti (Pedercini Racing Team Kawasaki) retired in the race. Ramos (Go Eleven Team Kawasaki) was injured in practice yesterday, as was Lucas Mahias (Pedercini Racing Team Kawasaki), and they did not start.
Best result of the season for Torres and the Althea BMW Racing Team in Race 1 at Imola
Imola (Italy), Saturday 30 April 2016:
Mixed results for the Althea BMW Racing Team in the first of the weekend’s home SBK races at the Imola circuit today. A fantastic result for Jordi Torres, who battled it out with riders close to the front of the action to finish this first race in fourth position. For Markus Reiterberger it was a more difficult outing, which he concluded in thirteenth place today.
In the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup, Raffaele De Rosa qualified in fourth position for tomorrow’s 14-lap race.
Superpole 2: Both Reiterberger and Torres qualified directly for today’s Superpole 2. On the race tyre, Markus set a 1’48.000, which put him in seventh while Torres was in tenth (1’48.459) when the session was stopped with a red flag, nine minutes from the end, after a bad accident for Guintoli. Once the session restarted after a short break, Markus returned to the track on the qualifier to record a fastest lap of 1’46.952, positioning eighth, while his teammate Jordi was able to go a tenth quicker, setting a 1’46.867 to qualify sixth.
SBK - Race 1: From sixth on the grid, Torres maintained this position through the opening laps. Hunting down Savadori, immediately ahead of him, he was able to pass the Italian on lap seven to move into fifth. In the space of just a few laps he also reached Giugliano, in fourth, and moved in front of him too on lap twelve. The Spanish rider was then able to hold fourth until the line, managing his race effectively and scoring his best result of the season so far, moving ever closer to the positions that count.
Reiterberger lost a couple of place through lap one, to find himself tenth in the initial stages. Despite his efforts, the young German struggled to maintain the kind of pace he needed to reach those ahead of him, also suffering from a small technical setback, which meant that he had to settle for final thirteenth position.
STK1000 - qualifying: De Rosa once again positioned among the frontrunners in today’s qualifying, making the most of the thirty-minute session and completing a series of fast laps with his BMW S1000 RR. A few minutes from the end, when the times of all the fastest riders started to come down, De Rosa was able to put in the fourth fastest time, stopping the clock at 1’50.013. The Althea BMW rider will therefore line up on row two of the grid for tomorrow’s 14-lap race.
“In the end we achieved our goal today, which was to get closer to the fastest guys. Perhaps we weren’t so close to Davies, but definitely closer to the Kawasakis, and this is important. We didn’t make any mistakes and I was able to maintain a good, consistent pace throughout the whole race. In this race I pushed to the limit and this brought results. The track is fun, even though my race today wasn’t perhaps that exciting in the sense that I was lapping almost always alone. Anyway, we’re pleased of course and will try to do more tomorrow.”
“My start was OK but then I lost some places through the first lap. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the same feeling with the bike as I’d had in qualifying and I don’t know why. Then I had a small technical problem that caused me to run into the gravel, twice, and I lost more positions. We didn’t really make any changes between Superpole and the race but the feeling was different, and the pace was not what I’d expected it to be. We’ll be looking to do better tomorrow.”
Raffaele De Rosa
“The qualifying started out well enough, on the used tyre but once I went back out on track with the new tyre there was a lot of traffic that prevented me from making a ‘clean’ lap. We didn’t make real changes during the session but we might try something tomorrow in warm-up. We’re more or less sorted with the bike and the pace I think, I’m just disappointed that I wasn’t able to qualify on the front row for tomorrow.”
Van der Mark seventh in Imola’s opening race, top 10 finish for Hayden
Round 5 – Italy
Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Italy
Michael van der Mark claimed a seventh place finish at the end of the 18-lap opening race at Imola’s ‘Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari’, the circuit hosting the fifth round of the 2016 FIM Superbike World Championship this weekend. His Honda WorldSBK team mate Nicky Hayden crossed the line in ninth position after running as high as seventh until the final two laps of the encounter.
Earlier today, Hayden and van der Mark successfully made it through Superpole 1 and, after the final qualifying session, they found themselves in ninth and eleventh place on the grid, respectively. The race started with a short delay due to a warm-up lap crash that involved two riders at the back of the field. Both Honda riders were able to maintain their qualifying positions in the early laps and, as the race entered its second half, they headed a six-way pack battling for seventh place.
On the penultimate lap, van der Mark made a successful move on his teammate, while Hayden had to give up one more place and was ninth at the chequered flag. After the traditional 15-minute warm-up scheduled for tomorrow morning at 9:25, the second and final race of the Italian round will get underway at 13:00 local time (GMT +2).
Michael van der Mark 60
This morning we started with a completely different set-up compared to yesterday and the feeling with the bike was definitely better. In Superpole 1 I found a bike that was much easier to ride and on the last lap, I had no time on my dashboard. I only realised I was first when I came back to the pits and that was such a relief! In Superpole 2, I had to give up on my lap with race tyres as Sylvain (Guintoli) crashed in front of me; when we restarted we went immediately for a Q tyre but I struggled with front grip and couldn’t improve. As soon as the race started, I found myself struggling while trying to stop the bike, so I knew it was going to be a long one. In the end I managed to pass Nicky for seventh, though. I have to be happy with the points we scored today but we need to solve our issues with the front grip if we want to be further up tomorrow.
Nicky Hayden 69
I must thank the team, because today the bike was much better than yesterday. They worked overnight and improved several things; we were able to drop a couple of seconds from my lap-time and advance into Superpole 2. In the early laps of the race I wasn’t going too badly but I had some little problems under braking as I couldn’t get the bike stopped as well as I wanted, so I had to slow down my pace and then I lost two places in the last two laps. We cannot be happy with the result but we were much closer today than yesterday so maybe if we can take one more step, tomorrow we can put up a good fight.
We made some changes to the chassis settings after this morning and things improved a little bit. In Superpole 2 Nicky made a couple of small mistakes during his flying lap, while with Michael we made the usual couple of adjustments to make the take the best out of the qualifying tyre, but this time they didn’t work. They both got a good start to the race but couldn’t keep the pace of the front-runners and, in the end, they battled for seventh place. Both pointed out that they couldn’t get the bike stopped the way they wanted and this means we still need to find the right combination between chassis settings and front tyre. We are currently analysing the data and we will come up with a plan for tomorrow morning and race two.
Lowes Fights on at Imola as Guintoli Falls
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team endured a difficult day at Imola's Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari today. Alex Lowes rode his solitary YZF-R1 to 11th place in the weekend's first race after an accident in Superpole qualifying meant Sylvain Guintoli was unable to take part.
A challenging qualifying session meant Lowes would start this afternoon's race from the head of the fifth row in 13th position and, as he has shown in previous weekends, his determination was evident from lights out. Immediately gaining positions, the young Brit began the contest running 11th, improving further to enter the top-10 by the sixth lap. A 12-lap battle ensued for the remainder of the race as six bikes vied for seventh place and, while Lowes swapped positions on a number of occasions, he was eventually beaten at the line to finish just outside of the hard-fought top-10. Five points brings his championship tally to 49, sitting him 11th in the standings heading in to tomorrow's final 19-lap race at 13:00 local time.
Guintoli had a strong morning, concluding the final free practice in seventh position as he prepared for the Superpole qualifier. Unfortunately, an intense high-side at turn 12 brought the Frenchman down hard and he was quickly recovered to the circuit's medical centre. Alert, conscious and talking he was transferred to Imola hospital for further investigation. Fortunately the checks have revealed no serious injuries and although he is in a lot of discomfort and will remain under observation overnight, he is in good spirits and hopes to return to the track tomorrow.
11th / +29.622 / 18 laps
"The actual race, results-wise was very disappointing today, especially as this weekend's goal was to try to bridge the gap to the front group. However, with everything that has gone on this weekend, with many differing issues, I actually felt I rode well during the race and it felt more like a test session as we got a lot of useful information from the bike. If the conditions are similar for tomorrow's race I'm quite optimistic that we could make a good step. I enjoyed the race and was in a decent battle with a few riders which was quite fun, I tried to make a move on the last lap and ended up losing a position which is a shame at the end of a race but we managed to stay consistent throughout the distance which is something we didn't have at Assen, so that is a positive. We are still far from being able to piece all the bits together which is where we need to be, so I'm disappointed overall but with definite positives to work on for tomorrow.
"I also really hope that Sylvain is ok, your teammate is always the first person you want to beat but I have a lot of respect for him and I know how he feels at the moment so I really hope he is alright and can come back as soon as possible."
Paul Denning - Team Principal
"Our first thoughts today have to immediately turn to Sylvain and the incredible high-side he had in Superpole this morning. Luckily his injuries, while still to be determined in fine-detail, are not serious and after such a frightening accident we can all be thankful for that. As we currently speak he is still in Imola hospital receiving good care and undergoing checks, we hope that he will be released tomorrow and we can announce some detailed news regarding his recovery and when he will be able to re-join the team.
"For Alex, the day was a combination of negatives but with some clear light at the end of the tunnel. Some technical problems in qualifying stopped him from advancing from SP1 so a 14th place start at Imola, one of the most difficult circuits to pass on, was never going to make life easy. The positives are that the YZF-R1 was more consistent over distance than yesterday, that Alex could maintain a reasonable pace towards the end of the race and was able to fight with the group, racing for seventh position. Alex was frustrated not to have got to the front of that group but encouraged by the improved handling and consistency in the bike, so whatever the weather we will try to take some further steps for tomorrow and achieve the best possible result for both Alex and the team."
Race1 Imola Round, Savadori end in the top ten, De Angelis is 15th
Imola, April 30, 2016 - The first race of the fifth round of the Superbike 2016 ended for the Iodaracing Team riders, Lorenzo Savadori and Alex De Angelis with an eighth and fifteenth place respectively.
Lorenzo Savadori who started from the second row with the fifth fastest time achieved in SP2, started well at lightning signal managing to stay in touch with the leading group until the seventh lap when a mistake in braking make him lost two positions. Subsequently, Savadori began a duel with former MotoGP world champion Nicky Hayden and the british Leon Camier with he fought until the end of the race, when he prevailed over the American finishing eighth.
Different situation for Alex De Angelis which had a very though race. The San Marino rider, which still isn't physically at 100%, started in the second group of the race, with he remained for the first part of the race. Later, De Angelis, managed his conditions in order to preserve his fifteenth position. De Angelis is racing on track in spite of his left hand little finger injured in the Race2' warm-up race in the Netherlands. The finger has not yet fully recovered from the surgery done in the Martini Hospital in Groningen.
LORENZO SAVADORI # 32 - IMOLA ROUND - RACE 1 - EIGHTH - "What I expected to do was to improve in the second half of the race cause that is the most critical part for us but we didn't. In the second lap I can do almost always the fastest time of my race and then the situation changes and the times get up. What we need to do is change this way improving my pace in the second part of the race, in order to be more competitive. What we will do now is to study the data we have collected in the race looking to the tomorrow's Race2. I had a very troubled race for some little errors I did and for this reason I found myself in a group a little slower than me, but I could not pass them. All in all it was a race positive starting from the second row and then run at Imola with all my friends and with a fantastic crowd who cheers is beautiful. As always with the Iodaracing and the Aprilia engineers will do our best for a good Race2 tomorrow".
ALEX DE ANGELIS 15# - ROUND IMOLA - RACE1 - FIFTEEN - "For me this was a very hard race, because I am not well physically and more the bike is very heavy in the direction changes. Unfortunately we have not yet managed to find a ideal set up for the bike to help me to drive in the many chicanes on this circuit, so I made a double effort. I managed to do a pretty good start staying in my little group, then I made a "straight" and I was alone, and then I'm focused to bring home the fifteenth's point for the championship. Before my arriving here in Imola, we knew I would have to grit my teeth especially for the finger that still bleeds after each practice session, I hope things, if not solved, at least go better in Malaysia. "
WorldSSP: Cluzel takes pole for MV Agusta at home
Stunning lap sees Frenchman head the timesheets, Sofuoglu P2
After a slight delay to the start of the Tissot-Superpole qualifying sessions for World Supersport after an earlier stoppage in WorldSBK, Roberto Rolfo on his MV Agusta was the initial pacesetter in Superpole 1, leading FIM Europe Supersport cup rider Axel Bassani riding for home team San Carlo Team Italia. Local rider Alex Baldolini, after a good showing of pace on Friday, then took over the final graduation spot to Superpole 2 before the last fast laps of the session saw times tumble and Zulfahmi Khairuddin take the top spot. It was the Malaysian rider who went through to Superpole 2 as the fastest, alongside Alex Baldolini after the Italian improved his lap time to beat Nico Terol and Assen winner Kyle Smith for the final place in the second session.
A further delay due to track conditions saw Superpole 2 delayed a few more minutes, before bikes headed out on track to fight for the grid placements for the Race on Sunday. After Kawasaki Puccetti Racing rider Sofuoglu set the pace for much of the weekend, the Turkish rider continued to top the timesheets throughout the majority of the Superpole 2 session, until MV Agusta Reparto Corse rider Jules Cluzel put in a final push for the front and took provisional pole with little of the session remaining. With Sofuoglu pushed down to second, the Turk was unable to improve and will start the Race from P2. Honda rider PJ Jacobsen locked out the front row in P3 to get his title back on track, and points leader Randy Krummenacher put in an impressive rookie performance to take P4 and head up the second row.
Pole sitter Jules Cluzel’s MV Agusta Reparto Corse Italian teammate Lorenzo Zanetti was the quickest Italian rider, heading Ayrton Badovini, Federico Caricasulo and Alex Baldolini in a great show of Italian talent in the top 10. Assen podium finisher Gino Rea came home in P9 for GRT Racing Team, ahead of Jezek, Khairuddin and ESS rider Alessandro Zaccone for home team San Carlo Team Italia.
The lights go out for the WorldSSP Race on Sunday at 11:20am local time (GMT +2), for another stunning Supersport showdown.
First And Second Row Starts For Sofuoglu And Krummenacher
After a busy Superpole 2 session at Imola Kawasaki Puccetti Racing riders Kenan Sofuoglu and Randy Krummenacher placed second and fourth respectively and will now start from strong grid placings close to the top of a field of 37 riders.
On a dry track surface the competition was hot for final start positions for Sunday’s 17-lap race, which will be the fifth of the 2016 season. Sofuoglu was looking to improve his best lap time to take pole but was caught out by when he came around to start his final lap and missed his chance to have his fastest lap count.
Always a rider aiming for a front row start as it puts him in an ideal position for raceday itself, Sofuoglu is already satisfied with his overall pace. He feels ready to push himself to try for his second race win of the season on Sunday.
Similar to Sofuoglu Krummenacher, the championship leader after four rounds, is looking for his second race win of the year. He found a different feel than he expected from his rear tyre in Superpole, however, when he took to the track for one final push for a grid position.
He still put in a good Superpole qualifying time and went fourth on the grid as a result. Randy worked on race pace once he had learned the layout of the complex and undulating Imola circuit, which he rates very highly in terms of its layout. This weekend is his first race experience of Imola.
With changeable weather forecast for Sunday the possibility of a wet race remains, which will mean some sharp and decisive work will be needed to prepare for the 17-lap WorldSSP race. If it is dry both Kawasaki Puccetti Racing riders are confident in their current set-ups allowing them to compete strongly for the podium places.
Kenan Sofuoglu stated: “I expected to get pole position at the end but honestly I made a mistake to stay for a long time on track with the same tyre. I came back to put the second tyre on, to go for a lap time. I did my fastest lap time but it was too late. When the time board went out I had done one lap too many. Anyway, we had a fast pace and we knew we could stay in some very fast lap times. Tomorrow we are hoping for some dry track time. We will see what we get and for me it is not really a big problem if it is a wet race. For sure the most important thing is who gets the 25 points tomorrow.”
Randy Krummenacher stated: “Qualifying for Superpole did not go perfectly. My rear tyres had two different feelings. The same tyre choices, but completely different in feeling so I could not push in the right way, which confused me a bit. Anyway, I felt that even with this problem I could push in every lap. I think my consistency is very good and I am ready to be at the front. I feel confident for tomorrow. Fourth position is OK on the grid and I think at the end it was all good. We have a competitive package and good consistency so I am ready. I never expected this track to be so difficult but I have learned it and I think every lap helps me to do better and better. I love the track, but you have to know it well to be competitive and to push hard.”
Ondrej Jezek (GoEleven Kawasaki), Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) and Alessandro Zaccone (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki) made a running flush of Kawasaki riders from tenth to 12th place on the WorldSSP grid. Axel Bassani (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki) was 17th after Superpole and Jezek’s GoEleven team-mate Christian Gamarino was 18th.
Front row start for Jacobsen and the Honda WorldSSP Team in Italy
Round 5 – Italy
Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Italy
PJ Jacobsen and the Honda WorldSSP Team will start tomorrow’s fifth-round World Supersport race from the front row of the field, after finishing third in today’s Superpole 2 at Imola’s ‘Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari’. Courtesy of this result, Jacobsen maintains his positive string in qualifying: this year the 22-year-old American has so far never started a race lower than fourth on the grid.
Despite the limited track-time available today – 30 overall minutes equally distributed between FP3 and Superpole 2 – Jacobsen was able to further test his own race rhythm, with a good sequence of competitive lap-times put together by last year’s WorldSSP Vice Champion. With virtually no change made to the settings of bike from yesterday, PJ was able to build speed upon speed aboard his Honda CBR600RR and he is now looking forward to the 17-lap race, which will get underway tomorrow at 11:20 local time (GMT +2).
Patrick Jacobsen 2
3rd / 1'51.535
It’s great to be back on the front row! We worked very hard during the weekend and our race pace is really good, so I’m looking forward to the race now. I hope the weather stays as good as today, not just for us but also for the many fans who will come to watch the race. Our goal is obviously to challenge for the podium and the win and if it rains, we’ll deal with it. I struggled here a little bit over the last two years, but I love the track and it’s really a good one to ride with my Honda CBR600RR.
We spent the whole morning session working further on our race rhythm, to confirm the good indications we had from yesterday. We were again very fast and consistent, virtually matching Sofuoglu and Cluzel’s pace. We left the bike almost untouched from FP2 and this is a very good sign for us. In qualifying, he was able to put together a great lap and the front row is exactly what we needed, given PJ’s ability to make blazing starts in the race. All in all, I think we are ready to race and to fight for honours.
Supersport - New pole in the FIM Europe Supersport Cup for San Carlo Team Italia
Alessandro Zaccone, the only one rider of FIM Europe Supersport Cup in Superpole-2, will start from the fourth row while Axel Bassani improves and completes the 1-2 of the team
As already happened in the inaugural round of the season at MotorLand Aragón of Alcañiz, San Carlo Team Italia gets a great double in FIM Europe Supersport Cup during the Superpole at Imola, session that gave the pole to Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta) in 1'51"132. The young Alessandro Zaccone and Axel Bassani are respectively 1st and 2nd in their class, 12th and 17th in Supersport World Championship.
The only rider of the European cup to be qualified for the Superpole-2 thanks to the second time overall of yesterday, Alessandro Zaccone, got, in 1'52"491, the twelfth position of the starting grid, but also the pole position of ESS, the second one for him after Alcañiz.
Encouraging steps forward for Axel Basssni. After the first problematical day, the sixteen-year-old rider from Feltre has improved a lot in Superpole-1 and got, in 1'53"073 the seventeenth place on the starting grid, second in FIM Europe Supersport Cup that completed the 1-2 of San Carlo Team Italia.
Alessandro Zaccone (San Carlo Team Italia - Kawasaki ZX-6R #61)
1st FIM Europe Supersport Cup & 12th FIM Supersport World Championship
"To conquer the pole of the European Cup is a positive fact. But I am not satisfied with this performance. In Superpole, also because of the traffic, I haven't been able to do a clear lap and this precluded us the possibility to start up ahead. Yesterday we were faster, and it proves that we could have done better than the fourth row. Anyway we have proved our potential, we know which is our level and tomorrow we'll do our best to get an important result, obviously without neglecting our goal of the European Cup."
Axel Bassani (San Carlo Team Italia - Kawasaki ZX-6R #47)
2nd FIM Europe Supersport Cup & 17th FIM Supersport World Championship
"In the 15 minutes of free practice of this morning, we have improved more than 1" compared to yesterday and I was already satisfied with the steps forward. Unfortunately in the Superpole I haven't found the right wake to enter in the SP2, but we have made some progress if we think of yesterday. The gap is limited, tomorrow in race we'll try to do our best!"
"We are satisfied with the pole position in the European Cup, but we could have done better. I think that Alessandro could have reached the 1'51" that was at his level, but unfortunately he wasn't able to get it in Superpole due to a series of events. Maybe because of the traffic but also because of the emotion, we got the twelfth place and the pole position in the European cup, but it would have been useful to start one or two rows ahead. Tomorrow we will work hard to get a result in line with our expectations, without neglecting the variable weather conditions."
"Compared to yesterday, we made some steps forward and Axel is finding again feeling on the bike. This morning in free practice he was seventh overall, while in the Superpole he has missed the clear lap to enter in SP2. The good news is that he has improved 2" compared to yesterday's times in the first practice. He's second on the grid of the European cup and we have the premises to do a comeback race tomorrow."
Imola Day 2
P1 - Chaz Davies @chazdavies
Aruba.it Racing - Ducati @ArubaRacing
"Johnny (Rea) is always a fast starter so I wasn’t expecting to lead into the first corner. I made a good start, put my head down and set some really quick lap times early on. I didn’t know how it was going to play out. I don’t know what tyre the others guys ran so I don’t know if they were a bit harder than me or the same so I didn’t how my bike was going to feel in the latter stages of the race. But it felt like our pace was just quick as the other guys if not a bit stronger even at the end. We are very, very happy to win here at Imola. For Ducati it is basically their back garden, so it’s really important. Thanks to Ducati and all my team for giving me a great motorcycle and I’m just glad I can show what it is capable of."
P2 - Jonathan Rea @jonathanrea
Kawasaki Racing Team @KRT_WorldSBK
"I'm happy, because Chaz had something special today. In the beginning I stayed quite close, until I made a mistake. The problem I had at Aragon and Thailand where the rear locked happened quite a lot in that race so we need to dig deeper and see what’s really happening, because as soon as it happened two or three times my confidence dropped a lot. In the beginning I felt good with Chaz (Davies), on the first lap the gap was big but then I managed to keep it stable until I made the mistake. Then that was all it took. Tomorrow is a new day and I’m looking forward to that."
P3 - Tom Sykes @TheRealTomSykes
Kawasaki Racing Team @KRT_WorldSBK
"It was just difficult (to overtake Rea), here at Imola, it’s a track that doesn’t leave much margin for error. I think we had a possibility in some areas but it would have been difficult to make a clean pass. I just didn’t quite have the last minerals to make it happen, but overall considering the amount of time we lost on Friday we are probably not at a bad level. Consistency wise I feel it’s acceptable, but for sure we are missing lap times. We suffered also in Superpole and it is a priority for tomorrow to try and fix this."
P5 - Davide Giugliano @DavideGiugliano
Aruba.it Racing - Ducati @ArubaRacing
"I didn't have great pace in the race and then my exhaust broke. This is racing. The great thing about World Superbike is that we have another Race tomorrow, so now I'm going to go back to my box and speak to my crew to find improvements and go better."
WorldSSP - Pole for Cluzel at MV Agusta's home round
P1 - Jules Cluzel - @JulesCluzel16
MV Agusta Reparto Corse @MVAgustaMotor
"I'm really happy because we've improved all weekend, and we had to after the disaster in Assen. It looks like we understand what's happening and I am strong now. We still have to improve but I'm really happy. Today was a great day, but tomorrow is a different day and it looks like the conditions could change so we have to concentrate. It's great to be the fastest in Saturday qualifying but tomorrow it's like reset and start from zero so I will try to do my best and hopefully to be on the podium, and try to win the race."