Press releases from the organizers and teams after the first day of practice at Misano:
Rea fastest on opening day at Misano
World Champion tops the Friday timesheets in FP2 session
The first day’s action at the Pirelli Riviera Di Rimini Round concluded with the World Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) in familiar territory at the top of the combined practice timesheets. The Northern Irishman set down a 1’34.901 marker in the afternoon FP2 session, putting him just 0.03s ahead of the day’s second fastest rider Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), with Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) third best.
Rea recovered from some technical problems earlier in the day to lap faster than his rivals and put himself in a good position at the seventh round of the 2017 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship.
Sykes had been the quickest rider in FP1, followed by Rea and Melandri in the morning top three, but the Yorkshireman ended day with an uncharacteristic crash at the end of FP2.
Melandri finished his day a quarter of a second behind pace setter Rea and just under a tenth of a second ahead of Friday’s fourth best rider – his teammate Chaz Davies.
Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) made it four Britons in the top five, with Spaniards Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) and Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) in sixth and seventh respectively.
The top ten also featured Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team), Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) and Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team), with Lowes suffering two crashes in FP1.
Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) in 11th and Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) in 12th were two of the riders to miss out on automatic Tissot Superpole 2 classification so they will participate in SP1 on Saturday.
The WorldSBK riders will return to the track for FP3 on Saturday morning at 8.45am at local time, with SP1 at 10.30am, SP2 at 10.55am and Race 1 at 1pm.
#RiminiWorldSBK Fastest on Friday:
1. Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Racing Team 1.34.901
2. Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team +0.030
3. Marco Melandri Aruba.it Racing - Ducati +0.250
Rea And Sykes Set Leading Day One Times
After the first two FIM Superbike World Championship practice sessions were completed at Misano KRT riders Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes finished their opening day 1-2 respectively. They each now look forward to Superpole 2 on Saturday, which will determine their final grid positions for the first race of the weekend later tomorrow afternoon.
A recent test at Misano, shortly after the Donington Park race weekend, meant that both official Ninja ZX-10RR riders arrived in Italy with good initial settings on their machines. Safe in this knowledge, Tom and Jonathan were able to evaluate some new machine settings today, designed to aid their overall performance in the races.
Front end geometry and alternate tyre options front and back were the main points of focus for Rea, after he lost a few minutes in the pit-box with a small technical issue this morning.
Having set the fastest time in the morning session, with Rea just behind, Sykes lost his final chance to end up fastest of all with a small crash with an experimental set-up on his machine in FP2. He was still comfortably 0.220 seconds faster than the rider in third place.
Now the KRT team will face its rivals again in FP3, which does not count towards Superpole qualification, before taking on Superpole 2 to determined the grid positions for Saturday’s 21-lap race. Race one will take place on Saturday afternoon, at 1pm.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “The track feels a little bit more greasy than it did at the tests, not a huge amount, but in the tests I could ride in the 1’34s with ease, and I did so many, but now it is a little bit harder. Our bike works even with less grip on the track, which is important. This morning we confirmed a few items after our test here and in the afternoon we changed the position of the front of the bike a little bit, to try to give me more confidence on the brakes. We have our race tyre package defined already, and the way the bike is set-up, so tomorrow morning we can work on a long run in FP3 before Superpole starts.”
Tom Sykes, stated: “The track conditions were stable this afternoon even in the hot conditions, which gave a similar kind of pace compared to this morning. In FP1 I felt the track had less performance than we had in the tests, so we just missed some of that, that’s all. Because we were so good and consistent in the recent Misano test we wanted to explore a few little questions that we had, so at the end of FP2 we did not have our ideal set-up in. I tried to do what I normally do in a perfect scenario and just got caught out and lost the front. It was such a small crash and I am fit and ready to go. We learned a few things today so we will put those things in with our best set-up from testing and go racing.”
Melandri and Davies respectively in third and fourth position in Friday’s free-practice sessions at Misano
The 2017 WorldSBK Championship resumed action at Misano Adriatico (Italy) for the seventh round of the season and second “home race” for the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team after Imola. Building on the data collected during a two-day test on the Italian track earlier this month, Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies closed Friday’s free-practice sessions in third and fourth position respectively.
Melandri and Davies finished FP1 with the third and fourth-best time then constantly fought among the frontrunners but weren’t able to improve their lap times in hotter conditions during FP2. The duo thus closed the day respectively 0.250 and 0.349 seconds behind the provisional best time, both gaining direct access to Superpole.
The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team will be back on track tomorrow at 08:45 (CET) for the third and final free-practice session ahead of Superpole and Race 1, which is scheduled to start at 13:00.
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33) – 1:35.151 (3rd)
“I feel confident. It’s always a plus to finish day 1 within the top three, especially when it’s your home race. The team did a really great job after our last test here, analyzing the data and coming up with a setup that turned out to work quite well. After two difficult rounds, it seems we finally managed to put some issues behind. Now we’ll try to make further improvements, particularly in the first sector of the track, but I want to focus first and foremost on our race pace because, in these conditions, consistency will be crucial. I believe that, if we manage to exploit our potential, we can ride a solid race from start to finish.”
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 1:35.250 (4th)
“Today has been a bit more difficult than what we expected. I still don’t feel totally at ease on the bike, we need to work on the setup. In the test done here a couple of weeks ago we were a bit more competitive, but weather conditions were different today, hotter and more humid, and we struggled a bit more to make good lap times. In particular, I don't have enough confidence with the front, and we’re on the limit with grip. We also need to tweak a few things with the electronics. We analysed the data in depth, we’re working to improve and I’m confident we’ll be able to better express our potential tomorrow.”
Pata Yamaha Make Solid Start in the Misano Sun
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team's Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes made solid progress during Free Practice on Friday at a sun-drenched Misano, for round seven of the 2017 FIM World Superbike World Championship. Track temperatures reached 50°C and both riders worked hard in the heat to make it through to SP2 automatically, with van der Mark ending the day in eighth position and Lowes in tenth.
Van der Mark was feeling confident that he could hit the ground running here at Misano after only just missing out on the podium in race two at Donington and the team's subsequent private test at Misano two weeks ago. In FP1 he managed a 1:35.867, but didn't quite have the right feeling with his R1 to perform at his best. In FP2 van der Mark focused on trying to rediscover the feeling he had at the test, showing good consistency and promising race pace, improving to a 1:35.718 to end the day in eighth overall, 0.817s off the pace of the leader.
Lowes secured his maiden podium for the team in race one at Donington Park and was determined to carry on the good work the team did at the Misano test. Like his teammate though, he could not quite find the rhythm and feeling on his R1 that he enjoyed at the test in today's conditions. Despite a couple of small crashes in FP1 he ended the session in 11th with a 1'36.379. In the afternoon, the 26-year-old British rider managed to improve by almost half a second to set a 1:35.883 to finish in tenth overall and secure his passage through to SP2.
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team will be back in action on Saturday at Misano for FP3 at 8:45am local time, with qualifying starting at 10:30 and the 21-lap race scheduled for Sunday at 1pm in the afternoon.
Michael van der Mark
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team - 8th 1:35.718
"I have mixed feelings today. We left the test here two weeks ago full of confidence and I expected to come here and be fast straight away. It was a bit of a surprise, because we were struggling today in the areas that we improved during the test. For me it's a question of why are we struggling in those points, as the temperatures are the same as the test and the track is the same. In the end, we made it through to SP2 which is good, but we need to find the rhythm we had at the test. If we can do that we will be a lot closer to the guys at the front. We know we can do it, but first we have to find out why it is not working today. I had good consistency, but we were missing out under braking, and we have to try and find more grip."
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team - 10th 1:35.883
"Today has been tough. The track doesn't feel the same as it did at the test and we haven't been able to get the same feeling. We need to do a little bit of work but I didn't feel too bad this afternoon. It's always nice to ride this track, its 30°C and the sun is shining! Obviously, I don't want to be tenth but I improved my times, we got some good data and we will try and improve further tomorrow. We have had worse Fridays and the only thing that counts is the race. We just need to work on a few changes to give me a bit more confidence with the bike mid-corner, plus I will work on my style a little bit, and I am looking forward to making some good progress tomorrow."
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team Principal
"It was hard and hot work for both riders and the team here today in Misano. Having had a very successful test here directly after Donington, we hoped that the transition to the race weekend would be a little easier, but honestly speaking, we have struggled to replicate the same performance we experienced in the test. The track temperature is similar, so whether its track condition, humidity, or something that we are missing in the setting, it needs to be understood this evening. Despite that, both riders are performing at a very consistent level and our best lap times have come on older tyres, so it looks like we can maintain our pace quite well already. The plan is to find more outright performance from the Pata Yamaha R1 tomorrow, qualify as well as we can and try to take a good step forward."
Day of two halves for Bradl at Misano
Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, Italy
Stefan Bradl and the Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team have completed the first day of action for the Riviera di Rimini Round of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship, which is currently underway at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. The 27-year-old German rider was 17th in the combined times of today’s two free practice sessions and, therefore, his qualifying will begin in Superpole 1.
On board his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 machine, Bradl was near the top-10 in the early stages of the morning’s session, before improving on his personal best lap by 0.4secs with a few minutes to go. In the afternoon, however, with increased temperatures and due to a technical issue experienced throughout the session, Stefan was unable to make a further step forwards in terms of speed over a single lap.
World Superbike action will resume tomorrow morning at 8:45 local time (GMT +2) for the third free practice session of the weekend, which will be followed by Superpole 1 (10:30) and by the opening race of Round 7 (13:00).
Stefan Bradl 6
It was quite a busy day. This morning the feeling with the bike was not too bad; I feel that the test we did two weeks ago was very helpful, because we did make a step forwards with the electronics in terms of rideability and throttle connection with the rear wheel. In the afternoon, however, we started with used tyres and the lack of grip turned out to be a problem for everyone. Then we had a problem with the electronics which forced me into the pits for a long period, so I could not complete many laps. We lost a lot of time and that is the reason why we could not improve on our FP1 time. Our potential, though, is much higher, because my feeling with the bike this morning was very positive. Hopefully we’ll be able to turn it into a better performance tomorrow!
- Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team
We were happy to see Stefan feeling good with the bike this morning and we were looking forward to improving some more this afternoon. The track was really slippery in the afternoon – due to the heat - and that was causing a bit of spinning. Unfortunately, though, we couldn’t work on that because of the electronics issue we experienced, which required some extra effort back at the pit-box and which cost us some valuable time. We’re confident, however, that we can make a big step forwards tomorrow: we’ll make good use of FP3 and Superpole 1 and hopefully we’ll get to the race in a good position.
Althea BMW hard at work at Misano
Misano Adriatico (Italy), Friday 16 June 2017
The Althea BMW Racing team is busy on track at the Misano World Circuit, taking part in round 7 of the Superbike World Championship with its SBK riders Jordi Torres and Raffaele De Rosa, and its STK1000 representative, Marco Faccani.
SBK: In the first timed practice session, which took place in the Italian sunshine, Torres completed 23 laps, the best of which in 1’35.842, a time that saw him close in seventh position. De Rosa made a solid start with his technicians, concluding tenth thanks to a best time of 1’36.378.
In the afternoon’s second session, in hotter conditions (air 28°C, track 46°C), it was harder to push but Torres was able to lower his time by three tenths (1’35.537) to place sixth and qualify directly for tomorrow’s SP2. De Rosa will face SP1 having closed fourteenth thanks to the time he set this morning.
STK1000: Faccani didn’t waste any time in the first Stock1000 practice. Working hard with this team, he closed fifth at the end of the 30-minute session with a best time of 1’37.913. In the heat of the afternoon, riders waited until the final minutes before setting their fastest laps, at which point Marco recorded a 1’37.638 which saw him finish in fourth place.
“Today we made a good start at this track that, as we know, suits our bike quite well. I have to say that we’ve had less problems today than on some previous Fridays. We started with the set-up from last year more or less, making small changes throughout the day. My technicians worked hard to improve the rear grip and, despite the heat, we were able to take a small step forward. We need to make the most of this race as we really have a chance to do well.”
Raffaele De Rosa
"The day didn’t go as I’d hoped… The morning went a little better than the afternoon, when we spent time working with the used tyre. I feel a big better on the bike but we weren’t able to complete the work, in the sense that I was unable to set a fast lap in the final stages. The race is tomorrow anyway and I hope to be able to do well at Misano, particularly as I’m feeling better prepared.”
"We did a good job during the two sessions and I’m quite pleased as we already have a bike that I like. In the second session, we improved in terms of feeling, which is a good thing. We’re preparing for tomorrow, when we’ll need to work well in FP3 before pulling a time out of the bag in qualifying. Let’s see what we can do…”
WorldSSP: Strong Sofuoglu ahead of rivals
Kawasaki rider finishes Friday on top despite a late crash in FP2
World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was Friday’s sharpest rider in the WorldSSP class as he went round the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” in 1’39.102, in the afternoon FP2 session. Gino Rea (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) and PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) were also in the top three.
Sofuoglu’s best time put him +0.156s ahead of Briton Rea and +0.205s in front of third placed American Jacobsen. But it was not all plain sailing for Turkish rider Sofuoglu who lost some time in the morning session due to an engine problem and then crashed at Turn 8 in the final ten minutes of the FP2 session.
Behind the top three, Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) and Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) were also in a tightly packed top five split by just 0.274s.
A fraction adrift of Caricasulo, meanwhile, was his compatriot Christian Gamarino (BARDAHL EVAN BROS. Honda Racing) in sixth. Then in seventh place on the Triumph was Profile Racing rider Luke Stapleford.
Axel Bassani (3570 Puccetti Racing FMI), championship leader Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) and Anthony West (West Racing)
completed the list of ten riders going straight into Tissot Superpole 2 on Saturday. In the morning FP1 run Caricasulo, Mahias and Cluzel were the top three riders on track.
At the #RiminiWorldSBK round on Saturday the WorldSSP action commences at 9.20am local time with FP3, with SP1 at 2pm and SP2 at 2.25pm.
#RiminiWorldSSP Fastest on Friday
1. Kenan Sofuoglu Kawasaki Racing Team 1.39.02
2. Gino Rea Team Kawasaki Go Eleven +0.156
3. PJ Jacobsen MV Agusta Reparto Corse +0.205
GRT Yamaha Turn up the Heat on Friday at Misano
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team's Federico Caricasulo & Lucas Mahias enjoyed a promising Friday in the glorious sunshine at Misano for round seven of the 2017 FIM Supersport World Championship. Home hero Caricasulo led home a Yamaha 1-2 in FP2, with Mahias just 0.167s behind in second. In the afternoon, the team focused on race pace instead of putting in a hot lap, with both riders finding good consistency and rhythm. Caricasulo ended the day in fifth overall with his teammate Mahias in ninth, both making it through to SP2.
Caricasulo put on a show for the fans in his home race in FP1, immediately feeling comfortable around Misano on his R6. The 21-year-old Italian topped the morning session with a 1:39.376 and decided to use the warmer afternoon session to work on his pace for Sunday's race. Despite not trying to put in a hot lap, Caricasulo still managed a 1:39.521 in FP2, with his time from the morning good enough for fifth overall on Friday and just 0.274s off the pace of the leader.
Championship leader Mahias was focused from the off. The 28-year-old French rider has a 30-point advantage in the standings and he ended the morning's FP1 session just 0.167s off the pace of his teammate in second. Knowing he had the one lap pace on his R6 he used the hotter afternoon session to work on a race simulation. Incredibly, he actually set his fastest time of the day during this simulation on old tyres, a 1:39.524, only 0.442s off the pace of the leader. This was good enough for ninth overall on the timesheets and to secure his place automatically in SP2 alongside his teammate, but Mahias is confident he has a lot more in reserve in regards to one-lap pace for Saturday's qualifying.
The GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team are back in action at 9:20am on Saturday morning for FP3, with SP2 starting at 11:55am local time in Misano.
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team - 5th 1:39.376
"We had a great start today! We made a wrong choice with a suspension setting this afternoon, so tomorrow we will go back to this morning's setup and I think we can be quicker. Misano is one of my favourite tracks, I like them all, but here is my home. I know here better than the others and if I find a good setting I can have a very good weekend."
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team - 9th 1:39.544
"My feeling is good. I tried to work towards the race today with a few long runs. In FP1 I set the second fastest time with an old tyre. Then I did a race simulation in FP2. I am very happy as the bike is more comfortable to ride, but there is an issue with the grip here at Misano as it was very hot today. After the simulation in FP2, we took the strategy to not go out again and set a hot lap, hence why I ended the day in ninth, but I am confident for tomorrow."
GRT Yamaha Offical WorldSSP Team Manager
"This morning was great. We managed a Yamaha 1-2 and we are very happy for that. This afternoon we went for a different strategy, hence why the guys were not at the top this afternoon. We wanted to focus on long runs, as we wanted to understand how the tyres will work at the end of the race in these temperatures. We know that the times may not that good, but we are focusing our strategy on the race pace and it was important for us to be able to gain an understanding of the feeling of riding at the end of the race. We are very happy as both riders were producing consistent lap times and tomorrow we will push to secure front row starts for both our riders tomorrow."
Cluzel looking good ahead of qualifying at Misano
Posted on 16th June 2017
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda’s Jules Cluzel claimed fourth place and automatic entry into Superpole 2 in a tightly packed top five in this afternoon’s World Supersport Free Practice 2 at Misano. The Frenchman displayed a really good race pace, lapping consistently in the 39s by the end of the afternoon session.
Jules said: “It was a good day because we kept constant with position and gaps. We didn’t go fast for just one lap. We tried some stuff at the beginning of the afternoon that didn’t really work then we tried something else that worked so we have good points that we proved this afternoon. The really good thing is race distance and pace. I am not really able right now to do a really fast lap with the new tyre, maybe tomorrow we will improve. I am faster after eight laps and that is good for the race so I can say I am happy with today.”
Hikari Okubo narrowly missed out on entry to Superpole 2 with 11th place and is looking in great shape to rectify that in Superpole 1 tomorrow.
Robin Mulhauser had a frustrating day with three crashes and was unable to fulfil his potential ending the day in 25th position.
Hiromichi Kunikawa also took a couple of falls which cost him valuable track time and momentum. The Japanese rider finished the day in 34th place.
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager, Simon Buckmaster said: “Jules is in a very good position in fourth. We are very confident going into qualifying tomorrow and looking in good shape for the race on Sunday so I’m happy with that. Hikari just missed out on SP2 so he will fight in SP1 tomorrow and he has a very good chance. We need to consider our tyre usage to have tyre for SP2 in the event he does go through. His crew chief, Kor has discussed some small improvements to find a little bit more to get him inside the top ten and qualifying in the best possible position. Robin started well but now he has crashed twice, three times including coming in to the pits which is certainly not ideal. He needs to calm down and refocus. He should be a second faster than he is and he should be challenging well inside the points. He needs to work with his crew and look to improve for SP1 tomorrow. Hiromichi is improving but the time lost to crashes makes it difficult to progress. We will see if we can improve for FP3 and just keep learning and be more consistent for the best possible result for him in the race on Sunday.”