2018 Misano WorldSBK Friday Press Releases

Press releases after the first day of practice at Misano:

#RiminiWorldSBK Day 1: Milwaukee Aprilia duo end Friday on top in Italy

Mixed conditions around Italian track as rain stops play in FP3

Italian fans have something to shout about with Savadori on top to the end of Friday

Throwing up all sorts of surprises for the opening day of the Pirelli Riviera Di Rimini Round, it was Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) who ended the day at the top of the timing sheets whilst Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) made it a red bike lock out at the front. Morning sessions welcomed glorious sunshine and hot track temperatures, before the heavens opened and the rain fell in FP3, with most riders choosing to sit out of the final session of the day.

But Savadori will not be too displeased, leading a surprising Aprilia one two at the end of Friday. The Italian recorded one of his best results in 2017 at Misano, ending Race 2 in sixth, but judging by his FP2 pace the rider from Ravenna will hope to rank higher this year in front of his home fans.

He will also be encouraged by his teammate’s pace since Laguna Seca, showing the great improvements Milwaukee have made to the RSV4-RF. Laverty finished the day in second, and after ending a four year long run without a podium at the GEICO US Round, the Irishman could be in contention again at Misano.

Championship leader Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) ends Friday in third position, ahead of his closest title rivals. The Northern Irishman was just one thousandths of a second from Laverty, and after dominating most of Friday should be pleased going into the weekend, even considering the lack of track time.

Loriz Baz (GULF Althea BMW Racing Team) finishes the day close behind Rea in fourth, with Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) in fifth, and Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) rounding out the top six. Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was the second best home rider at Misano in seventh, and will be hoping to repeat his 2017 Race 2 win tomorrow.

With Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team) in eighth, Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) ninth, and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) completing the Tissot Superpole 2 positions in tenth, Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team) and Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK) were the biggest losers from the FP3 downpour. Rinaldi, on his return to WorldSBK after sitting out the Laguna Seca round, was just 45 thousandths of a second away from qualifying through to the Superpole 2, while van der Mark in twelfth will also have to fight through SP1 tomorrow.

Only Jordi Torres (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) tried out the damp Misano track in FP3, with both men over twenty seconds slower than their previous best times.

Could we see a seventh name added to the list of race winners in 2018? There’s only one way to find out, and that’s joining us tomorrow for the Superpoles 1 & 2, starting at 10:30 local time (08:30).

#RiminiWorldSBK at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli: Friday

1. Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) 1:34:562

2. Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) +0.440

3. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.441

Milwaukee Aprilia top of the times in Misano Free Practice

Misano World Circuit 06 / 07 / 2018

Free Practice Report #RiminiWorldSBK

Milwaukee Aprilia produced a dominant 1-2 performance in Free Practice at Misano on Friday as FP3 was rained off

After taking their maiden podium with third place for Eugene Laverty at Laguna Seca, the team arrived in Misano looking to continue their strong progress with the Aprilia.

Sunshine and high temperatures were the standard at the start of the day. Friday morning's FP1 saw Eugene and Lorenzo finish P8 and P11 respectively, setting similar times of 1'35.931 and 1'36.025.

Both riders improved greatly for the afternoon session, Lorenzo comfortably topping FP2 with a blistering lap of 1'34.562, +0.440 ahead of Eugene in P2 on a 1'35.002 and his closest competitor Rea in P3, just +0.001 off Eugene.

Ahead of the final FP3 session thunderstorms settled over Misano with showers covering the track. The humidity however caused the track to partially dry leaving it slippery and treacherous, meaning teams could not gain useful data for dry or full wet conditions. The session ran its full length but none of the field set representative times, with only two riders venturing out on track.

Despite the reduced running Friday's impressive times ensure another Superpole 2 pole shootout entry for the team. With such encouraging performance in Free Practice they can be confident of another good showing in Saturday qualifying before the battle for points in Race 1.

Free Practice 4 at #RiminiWorldSBK takes place on Saturday 7th July at 08:45 local time (GMT +1), ahead of Superpole at 10:30 and Race 1 at 13:00.

Lorenzo Savadori #32 - Aprilia RSV4-RF

FP1: 1'36.025 - P11

FP2: 1'34.562 - P1

FP3: No time set

Combined result: 1'34.562 - P1

Superpole 2 automatic entry

"It was a positive day of practice and I am happy with the performance. Of course tomorrow is the most important and we need to stay focused for that, but this was a good step.

We need to do some more work on the life of both tyres, I tried the bigger profile front tyre in FP2, but at the moment we still need some more data to make a decision for the race choice.

Missing FP3 was not great of course because all track time is useful, but the bike is still fast so I am feeling good for me and for the team tomorrow."

Eugene Laverty #50 - Aprilia RSV4-RF

FP1: 1'35.931 - P8

FP2: 1'35.002 - P2

FP3: No time set

Combined result: 1'35.002 - P2

Superpole 2 entry

"It was a pretty strong day for us. At the end of FP2 we did a strong lap to go second without much effort, and the lap times were consistently quick.

It was a surprise because the bike was difficult here last year. I knew it would be better but I wasn't sure we would be able to match our pace in Laguna Seca, so far we have which is encouraging.

Missing the third session because of the weather isn't really an issue for us, the bike felt sgood at the end of FP2 so we don't have to catch up or make lots of changes. The main area to work on is corner entry on the front tyre which I don't want to push too hard, but we have FP4 and then a good chance in Superpole."

Rea Third And Sykes Tenth On First Day

Having found dry weather in only the first two of three planned Friday practice sessions at Misano a wet FP3 prevented any final improvement in lap times for KRT riders Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes today. Rea finished third fastest overall and Sykes was tenth. In a generally close period of practice in FP2 Tom was 0.823 seconds behind the lead rider but only 0.383 seconds from the second placed competitor.

After the undulations and dips of the previous Laguna Seca venue the flat and more geometric Misano presented both KRT riders and the technical staff with a whole new set of variables in the task of finding a strong machine set-up for this particular venue.

Despite losing the final free practice session to damp track conditions, with neither KRT rider taking to the track in FP3, Rea set competitive times throughout, and was the fastest of all in FP1. Sykes had been fifth in FP1, before he missed his planned attack on the stopwatch in FP3 due to the weather.

After his top ten finish today Sykes will join Rea in Superpole 2 tomorrow, to determine their final grip positions for the first of two 21-lap races at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.

Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) will compete in Superpole 1 on Saturday, after finishing 14th overall today. Yonny Hernandez (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was 16th and Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) 17th. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) finished up 18th in his comeback ride from the foot injury he suffered just two weeks ago at Laguna Seca.

WorldSBK race one at Misano is scheduled for 13.00, local time in Italy, with race two taking place on Sunday the 8th of July, also at 13.00.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “The character of this track is very different from Laguna Seca and it requires a different set-up, because it is very flat here. We are testing some new tyres with Pirelli and we do not really have a clear direction about that yet. When they brought the ‘big’ rear tyre it changed the character of the bike quite a lot and now with the bigger profile front tyre it just needs a bit of fine tuning. We are trying to understand that and which direction to go. But we were still fast, consistently really strong, and I am missing just a little bit of out-and-out one-lap pace.”

Tom Sykes, stated: “We started the two free practice sessions with fresh tyres, trying to work on race distance and understanding the bike. So I feel we have already got relatively decent speed over distance. We were going to look into the finer details of going fast over a single lap. Obviously, the weather in FP3 interrupted that. There is no real stress and the order is a little bit different from normal today. We will wait to see what we bring to the table tomorrow. It is interesting what Pirelli are bringing now. Tomorrow, in FP4, we will have a look at a different tyre combination and try to have a better go at it.”

Mixed fortunes for Lowes and van der Mark on opening day at Misano

Free practice

The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team enjoyed mixed fortunes on the opening day of Round 9 of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. Alex Lowes ended the day fifth on combined times, while Michael van der Mark was disappointed to miss out on automatic entry to Superpole 2 after finishing in 12th position. The two full time riders are joined on track this weekend by Niccolò Canepa, who finished today as the 15th fastest rider.

The first two free practice sessions were held in the hot and humid conditions for which Misano is renowned, but the onset of rain late in the afternoon meant that the third and final 40-minute session was a washout, with only two riders venturing out to set a lap time. This increased the challenge faced by the team to fully evaluate the extensive tyre options provided by Pirelli for the tyre manufacturer’s “home event”.

Lowes was both fast and consistent from the outset today, ending the first free practice session in second place, just 0.135s from the top spot. The 27-year-old British rider then improved his lap time in FP2 to secure fifth place on the timesheet, but the opportunity to improve further was denied him when FP3 was effectively rained off.

Van der Mark finished the opening 40-minute free practice session inside the top ten but slipped to 12th in FP2. The 25-year-old Dutch rider improved on his previous best lap time in the afternoon, but it wasn't a big enough step to secure him automatic entry into tomorrow's Superpole 2 session.

Canepa enjoyed a solid start to his second wildcard appearance of the season in Misano, posting a time of 1'36.136 in FP2 to finish the day 15th and less than one second from a top ten position.

The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team are back in action tomorrow, with FP4 at 08.45 CEST followed by Superpole 1 at 10.30 CEST.

Alex Lowes

Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team - P5 - 1:35.048

"I felt really good in both sessions today, improving the bike little by little and also managing to get some laps in on the new tyres Pirelli have brought this weekend. We're in quite a good position, but I just want to improve a little bit my feeling with the front of the R1 during the last part of corner entry, just to give me a bit more confidence. If I can do that then I think we can have a really strong race and challenge for the podium, which is my target."

Michael van der Mark

Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team - P12 - 1:35.663

"Overall a difficult day. I felt quite good this morning but we were missing in some areas. We improved things in FP2, but not as much as the other guys unfortunately. We had a clear plan for the final session today but then it started raining, which wasn't ideal. Now we will try the same plan in FP4 tomorrow morning and, hopefully, progress through to Superpole 2, because it's really important to start the race from the front three rows here in Misano."

Niccolò Canepa

Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team - P15 - 1:36.136

"I enjoyed today! It was great to get back on the Pata Yamaha R1 and I love riding here at Misano. I felt pretty good, it was a shame that it rained for FP3 as we effectively missed a session but I am happy with the work done in FP1 & FP2. I would have liked to be in the top ten but I am not that far back and it will be good to get the extra track time in SP1. We have some things to work on overnight but I am confident for qualifying and Race 1 tomorrow."

Paul Denning

Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team - Team Principal

"After two strong races in Laguna Seca we were expecting the R1 to work well here in Misano, even with the higher temperatures, and that's proved to be the case. Alex in particular had a good feeling from the start and has only needed minor adjustments to the base setting in order to be fast and, more importantly, very consistent. He's not wasted a single lap and despite missing FP3 because of the rain, as everyone did, we have enough information to make solid decisions as we go into FP4, qualifying and the first race.

Michael has had a less easy time finding his rhythm here, at a track at which he almost won at last year and has needed slightly bigger changes to the starting set up on his R1 in order to get fully comfortable and up to speed. That said, Michael's level as a racer is always completely different to the free practice result, the lap times are very close, so we fully expect we'll take a step tomorrow morning and Michael will be able to show his true potential over the course of the 21-lap race tomorrow.

Nico has shown very good pace here today and looks comfortable and fast – and most importantly happy! His Yamaha EU support crew are using the event both to go as fast as possible and to learn more development lessons for the future, so we are grateful for their efforts!"

Camier sixth quickest in mixed opening day at Misano

Riviera di Rimini Round

Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, Italy

Leon Camier was out of the blocks quickly at Misano today, the Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team rider setting the sixth quickest overall time in dry conditions on his CBR1000RR to secure a berth in Superpole 2 tomorrow.

The opening day of action at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli commenced in hot conditions and straight away Camier found a strong pace, setting the fourth quickest time in the first practice session this morning. The Briton’s form continued in the second practice session where he could improve his time – setting a personal best time of 1’35.211 to end the day six-tenths off the pace.

It was a more difficult start to the weekend for Jake Gagne, the American rider took time to find his way around the technical Misano circuit and then had a loss of track time in Free Practice 2 due to a minor technical issue. Gagne’s quickest time of the day was set in the first session, his 1’37.439 leaving him in 21st position overall.

After sunny and hot conditions for the first two sessions, rains arrived before the final session of the day, Free Practice 3, with neither rider heading out on the damp track. Camier’s sixth place overall means he qualifies for Superpole 2, while Gagne will head to Superpole 1 instead.

The next session is Free Practice 4 tomorrow at 0845 local time (GMT +2), with the Superpole sessions starting at 1030 before Race 1 commences at 1300.

Leon Camier 2

I'm really happy with how today went, we have found a good direction with the setting of the bike and the Fireblade was working really well around Misano. Everyone in the top ten is really close on lap times, but I could set a really good pace on old tyres, so I think we're in a good place for qualifying and the race. I'm feeling a lot more competitive than I have in the last couple of rounds, so tomorrow should be good for us.

- Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team

Jake Gagne 45

It's good to be back at Misano but it was a tough start to the day for me as I was trying to find out my lines and get comfortable on the bike. Unfortunately between the small problem we had in Free Practice 2 and the rain late in the afternoon, I didn't get a lot of track time but the forecast for tomorrow looks good so we'll get out there and do our best to make some improvements in qualifying and the race.

- Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team

Kervin Bos

Team Manager

We were able to show some good pace today at Misano, with Leon being competitive straight away and setting some quick lap times on both new and used tyres. We've found a good direction with his CBR1000RR and there's still some room for improvement so we hope he can challenge for the top five tomorrow. We also trialled a new aerodynamic package on Leon's bike and this seems to be a good step also which is positive for us. Unfortunately for Jake today it wasn't so easy as he struggled to get up to speed and the lack of track time hurt him especially. However, he has shown in the past he can improve over the weekend, so in fine conditions tomorrow we're confident he can take a step forward.

The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team back to work at Misano for the second home round: Melandri 7th and Davies 9th in free-practice

The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team resumed action today at Misano, home of the ninth round of the 2018 WorldSBK Championship and second "home race" after Imola, for the opening free-practice sessions. In a day characterized by mixed weather, with a sunny sky in the morning and intermittent rain in the afternoon, the riders worked mostly on tire selection during FP1 and FP2 and stayed in the garage in FP3 given that the forecast is dry for the rest of the weekend. Both Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies gained direct access to Superpole 2, posting the seventh (1:35.294) and ninth (1:35.369) best time respectively, divided by only 0.075 seconds.

Michael Ruben Rinaldi also took it back to the track with the Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team. The rookie took more than a second off his best time in between sessions and posted the 11th time overall. The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team and the Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team will resume action on Saturday, June 7th, at 08:45 local time (CET) for the last free-practice session ahead of Superpole and Race 1, which is scheduled to start at 13:00 local time.

Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33) – 1:35.294 (7th)

"It's been a positive day even though unfortunately we lost a session that could have been crucial for us. We had several tire options to try and it wasn't easy to find the best compromise with the setup. We would have needed more time, while we still have some questions to answer, so FP4 will be particularly important. We hope that conditions stay consistent, because the track is faster in the morning hours. As usual, the goal is to be fast in Superpole and make the most of our potential during the race."

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 1:35.369 (9th)

"We have a lot of tire options to try here, so we've been trying to check everything and surprisingly we managed to do that, even though we had to rush a bit through our program because of the weather. We probably all tried to make sure to be safe for Superpole 2 in case it rained. We did our fastest lap on a fresh tire, though one that is not usually our preferred choice. I was hoping to do a little bit more, but it's the same for everybody and we'll have another go at it in FP4 to make sure we tick all the boxes. We're quite clear-minded ahead of tomorrow anyway, which is good."

Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team #21) – 1:35.439 (11th)

"Today we managed to do a lot of work despite missing one session because of the rain. However, I'm still not entirely satisfied with our pace. It's a pity, because in FP3 we could have tried some more modifications to be more competitive, and also try to gain direct access to Superpole 2, but we'll just resume our program in FP4. I'm confident, we can still make strides."

Solid progress for Gulf Althea BMW on day one at Misano

Misano Adriatico (Italy), Friday 6 July 2018

The ninth round of the Superbike World Championship is taking place this weekend at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. The Gulf Althea BMW Racing team, racing at what is its home track, has completed today’s practice sessions with Loris Baz, competing in the Superbike class, and Alessandro Delbianco, running in the Stock1000.

SBK: Baz got off to a good start in the first timed practice, putting together a series of quick laps on board his BMW S 1000 RR. The Frenchman closed the session in seventh place with a best time of 1’35.781. In the second session the times of all the riders started to drop; Loris made good progress during the forty minutes available to him, particularly in the latter stages, when he set his best, a 1’35.025 thanks to which he placed fourth. The final session was essentially rendered useless due to rain. Loris, along with most of his fellow riders, chose not to go out, meaning that he retained fourth position at the end of the day. Well inside the top ten, Baz therefore qualifies directly for tomorrow’s Superpole2.

STK1000: Delbianco was out on track for the two Stock1000 practice sessions. Having fractured his left humerus two weeks ago during the Imola CIV round, the Italian used the opening session to better evaluate his physical condition. Completing thirteen laps during the 30-minute session, the Gulf Althea BMW rider recorded a best time of 1’38.224, closing eighth. Back on track during the afternoon, Alessandro immediately lowered his time, just before a few drops of rain started to fall in certain sections of the track. Able to improve further in the final stages (1’37.254), Delbianco concluded fifth overall.

Loris Baz

“I am very happy with how today has gone. I think the track grip helps us a lot here, as we don’t need the electronics so much, and it’s also a track where feeling at the front of the bike is important, if you’re confident there then you’re able to push. I think I could have done a little better even, as I made a few mistakes on my fast lap but I’m happy anyway. It’s the first time we’ve been able to work on pace on Friday, rather than set-up, and today proves that when everything’s working well, we can be fast. The aim was to get straight through to SP2, which we’ve done, and I hope to be able to qualify on the front two rows tomorrow. I’d like to be able to fight for the podium, particularly considering that this is the team’s home race.”

Alessandro Delbianco

“My shoulder’s a little painful but we’re holding in there. I’m struggling a little through the left-handers but fortunately there are more right-hand turns at this track. The important thing is to be in the top five and so for now I’m pleased. I really like the bike the guys have prepared for me, there’s little to change in that respect, rather than the bike, it’s me the rider who hopes to be able to take a step forward tomorrow.”

WorldSSP: Caricasulo leads GRT charge in Misano Free Practice

Italian delights home fans with top spot ahead of Mahias and Cluzel

Italian home hero Caricasulo leads the way on his home track

Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) has bounced back from a disappointing race last time out at Brno, setting the fastest time on Friday at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, as the FIM Supersport World Championship returns from a four week break for the eighth round of the season.

The Italian’s Free Practice 1 time of 1’38.204 was enough to top the combined timesheets, as the rain made its appearance less than fifteen minutes into the second session. Only six riders of the 34 present at the Pirelli Riviera di Rimini Round were able to better their morning times, with the ten Superpole 2 riders remaining unchanged.

Just one rider improved his position from one session to the other, with Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) making it a GRT one two in Rimini, 0.259 seconds behind his teammate. He edges ahead of fellow Frenchman Jules Cluzel (NRT) in third, who is looking to score his fourth win in the last five races.

Raffaele De Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag) scored the fourth fastest time in Friday, again the best non Yamaha bike out on track. Championship leader Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing) finished the day in fifth position, slightly improving his best time in FP2, but still half a second behind Caricasulo.

Kyle Smith (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) took the sixth fastest time on the Honda, in only his second race since returning to the CIA Landlord team. Seventh was Anthony West (EAB antwest Racing), with One Event rider Stefano Valtulini (Pleo Racing Team) in eighth position.

Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) could only finish the day with the ninth fastest time, nearly nine tenths of a second slower than Caricasulo, with wildcard Marco Bussolotti (Team ROSSO CORSA) taking the final spot in tomorrow’s Superpole 2 just ahead of Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) in eleventh.

Will any of the WorldSSP top four take the leading spot on Sunday’s grid, or will we see a surprise at the front? Find out as the Superpole 1 kicks off right after the WorldSBK Race 1 at 14:00 local time (12:00 GMT).

#RiminiWorldSBK WorldSSP at

Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli: Friday

1. Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) 1:38:204

2. Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) +0.259

3. Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) +0.281

One-two for GRT Yamaha as rain curtails practice at Misano

Free practice

The GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team dominated the opening day of Round 9 of the FIM Supersport World Championship at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, with Federico Caricasulo and Lucas Mahias finishing one-two on the timesheet. European Supersport Cup rider, Alfonso Coppola, improved his feeling with the bike once again to finish a creditable 18th.

While this morning's FP1 session was held in the hot and humid conditions so typical of Misano, this afternoon's second 50-minute session was effectively ended at the halfway point as rain showers arrived over the circuit.

Caricasulo secured the top spot on the combined timesheet with a time of 1: 38.204, set during the first free practice session. The Italian was unable to improve on this time during FP2 before being forced back to the pit box by the rain.

Third in this morning's free practice, a fast lap of 1:38.463 during the early stages of FP2 saw the Mahias move up to second place, just 0.259s off the time of his GRT Yamaha teammate.

For Coppola, who is still adapting to the Yamaha YZF-R6 machine in his first season racing in WorldSSP, the rain disrupted second session meant he wasn't able to better his lap time from this morning, but remains confident of improvement during tomorrow's final free practice session.

Federico Caricasulo

GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team - P1 - 1:38.204

"We started in a good way this morning, but I wasn't happy to miss the second half of this afternoon's session because of the rain, as we had some things to test on the bike to give us a direction for tomorrow. It's not a problem though as we still have FP3 to test what we missed in this session and it's always good to end the day in first position."

Lucas Mahias

GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team - P2 - 1:38.463

"I'm really happy with the improvements we've made to the bike, it's just a shame that the rain arrived this afternoon when we have so much more to test. But with the updated engine I was faster after just three laps in FP2. We will continue to work tomorrow in FP3, even if the session is quite short, but I'm confident for qualifying and the race."

Alfonso Coppola

GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Junior Team - P18 - 1:39.762

"Free practice one this morning wasn't bad, 1.5s to the first position. The second free practice session was an important one for me, but the rain meant it wasn't possible to improve my lap time. In this moment it's important to keep calm and to study for tomorrow, ready to continue working in free practice 3."

Filippo Conti

GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team - Team Manager

"It was a very good day today and I'm very proud to see our riders at the top of the timesheet. This morning we were quick from the start, with Federico and Lucas first and third, which was a good result. In the afternoon we had some things to test on the bike but then it started raining. Even so Lucas managed to put in a good lap early in the session to go second, which meant we ended the first day in Misano better than expected. We made a good job with Alfonso this morning, trying a different set up, which brought an improvement. Unfortunately we weren't able to build on this in the afternoon because of the rain, but I am confident that we'll see further improvement tomorrow. Thanks to the team for a good job and thanks to Yamaha for the support and the improvement, which is important at this point in the season."

Top Six & Superpole Two for Smith

Posted on 6th July 2018

CIA Landlord Insurance Honda’s Kyle Smith ended the opening day of round eight of the World Supersport Championship at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli sixth on the combined timesheets and claims automatic entry to Superpole 2 tomorrow.

Smith’s time of 1’38.954 was set in morning Free Practice One as rain interrupted the second session after less than fifteen minutes. Only Mahias improve his position from the morning session and the top ten remained unchanged.

Smith said: “It was a positive start to the weekend. We started off with the setting we had in Brno which we knew we had stuff to try being the first race back. Every time we’ve tried something and gone back on track we’ve gone that little bit faster so I’m feeling confident for tomorrow.”

New rider to the team Peter Sebestyen was happy with his first performance with CIA Landlord Insurance Honda ending the day in 28th position on the combined timesheets. The Hungarian rider would undoubtedly have benefitted from more dry track time in the afternoon session but with no further rain forecast for the rest of the weekend, there was nothing to be gained by going out on track.

Sebestyen said: “The first practice was great I wanted to feel the bike and try everything out. I really just tried to do lots of laps to understand the bike as it is the first time I’ve ridden the Honda CBR600RR. I was very happy after the first practice because I like the team, the bike and everything. Afterwards we checked the data recorder and I can see where I can be much faster so I think it will be a good weekend.”

CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “A really positive start for Kyle, it’s looking good for the weekend. We can improve a little bit on feel, the one thing we did learn from the few laps in the second session was which tyre we are going to use for the race so that’s a positive. There’s no more rain forecast for the rest of the weekend so let’s keep on it and fight for the best qualifying on the first two rows. Realistically we have a very good chance of doing that.”

“For Peter this morning was ok. From his point of view more dry track time would have been better but it wasn’t to be, it’s the same for everyone. It really wasn’t wet enough to go out and he will keep improving as the weekend goes on. Realistically he is 0.9s off twentieth position so there is improvement there. We need to fight to finish inside the top twenty and build from there for the rest of the season.”

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