Press releases from the organizers and some of the teams after qualifying and the first race of the weekend:
#RiminiWorldSBK – Day 2:
Wet Race 1 sees Rea victorious as Sykes and Bautista completes podium
Reigning World Champion masters Misano in tricky conditions while Sykes conquerers first podium with BMW
With the rain continuing to fall by the bucket-load, it was a delayed start to WorldSBK Race 1 at Misano, Italy. After a 20-minute delay, racing got underway in treacherous conditions but after just two full laps, the red flag was brought back out as the remain intensified. After the restart, drama unfolded all through the field, but it was Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) who made hay whilst the sun certainly did not shine!
With the race getting underway nearly 25 minutes late, it was a frantic opening few laps before the red flag was waved. Alex Lowes was the race leader ahead of Jonathan Rea, whilst Tom Sykes and Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) were right behind. After the red flag came out, positions for the new restart would be made up by the order of the riders at their most recent timing point.
As the race got underway for a second time for a reduce 18-lap distance, it was another great start for Jonathan Rea, who had the lead ahead of Lowes again, with Sykes third and Chaz Davies up to fourth, ahead of Bautista. Haslam was sixth but one of the biggest improvers was Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK). Thunder and lightening certainly made the opening laps very frightening, but the WorldSBK warriors continued to battle.
Conditions began to deteriorate and soon, riders began to drop back accordingly, with some eventually dropping out. Lowes began to close on rival Rea and at Turn 8 with 12 laps left to go. Behind the leading duo, it was Loris Baz who had got himself up into seventh place and was now beginning to close down Alvaro Bautista. One lap later, it was Bautista’s teammate Chaz Davies who went head-to-head with Leon Haslam.
However, with ten laps left to run, it was drama out front at Turn 12, as Alex Lowes crashed out of the lead to complete a miserable set of races for the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team rider. Now, it was Jonathan Rea who had the lead back. Behind Rea, Michele Pirro (BARNI Racing Team) crashed at the same corner. Tom Sykes was now second, and Leon Haslam was third, with Davies and Bautista behind.
It was drama with nine laps to go, with Michael Ruben Rinaldi (BARNI Racing Team) crashing at Turn 13, completing a wretched day for the BARNI outfit. Then at Turn 8, more spills, this time with Leon Haslam at Turn 8. The British rider remounted but retired with too much damage done. Chaz Davies was now third, but a small error allowed Bautista through, whilst Loris Baz was now fifth and Alessandro Delbianco (Althea Mie Racing Team) in sixth!
A small error from Davies allowed Bautista through into third, whilst Baz eventually closed down Davies to get fourth and then, the Frenchman hunted down Bautista, albeit not being able to close him down enough to pass. The battle for sixth was raging, as Delbianco came under pressure from Melandri, with the veteran Italian getting ahead of his rookie compatriot on the front straight. Delbianco was then swallowed up at Turn 8, as Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing), Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) and Yuki Takahashi (Moriwaki Althea Honda Team) moved ahead.
Out front, it was Rea who took the win, his 74th win and 10 years and one day after his first at the same track. Tom Sykes gave BMW their first podium since 2013 at Jerez and Alvaro Bautista salvaged a podium after an eventful first wet race. Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha) took the fourth place and was top Yamaha, ahead of Chaz Davies in fifth.
Marco Melandri held on to sixth place from 13th on the grid, whilst Toprak Razgatlioglu suffered a huge crash in the final sector of the last lap. Cortese picked up seventh ahead of Yuki Takahashi, Lorenzo Zanetti (Team Goeleven) and Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) – the Argentine picking up his first top ten in almost a year. Delbianco was a career-best 11th at the flag.
The championship gap is now down to 32 points as Jonathan Rea continues to make gains on Bautista. Tom Sykes, Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri were beneficiaries of Haslam’s crash, as they all close him down – Sykes moving up to eighth overall.
P1 - Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
“Today was so difficult to understand exactly the grip level. So I set my own rhythm at the beginning, which was pretty good, and Alex came past and he was on a different level! I wasn't prepared to push that much to stay there but he was really unfortunate cause he went down and he was incredible at the beginning. That gave me the gap to the rest and I see my pit board and understood that I could minimize the risks and keep the lap time constant till the end. I am super happy and I want to thanks Kawasaki and all my team, our fans and all the people that were here today".
P2 - Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team)
"Very happy! It is just credit to all the guys of the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. We worked really hard and finally, we got the result which I feel we deserved! It has been a long time and a fantastic feeling to enjoy riding again in wet conditions. The bike is giving some fantastic feelings back today and what the best place to do it than here in Misano with these fantastic fans. We will try to keep that momentum together and try to get the result tomorrow. Thanks to all and we will try again.
P3 - Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing - Ducati)
"Conditions today were really tricky. After lining up on the grid we had to pull back into the garages, then we restarted and stopped again and keeping the concentration was difficult. It was my first race under the rain so I had a lot to understand. I used a lot of caution at the beginning and tried to understand the track conditions because there were times it was raining a lot and there was more water on track. Lap after lap I build up my confidence with the bike and the asphalt. I am happy because it was important to get some points and getting on the podium was really a good result for us today".
Race And Superpole Wins For Rea
Four-times World Champion Jonathan Rea and his KRT Ninja ZX-10RR dominated the proceedings at Misano on Saturday, taking his third Superpole of the year before running out a clear winner in a wet Race One. Rea’s win made it 130 WorldSBK race victories for Kawasaki riders since the series started in 1988, cementing Kawasaki’s position as the second-most successful manufacturer in this regard.
After overnight rains and damp patches this morning Tissot-Superpole was held in the dry, with Rea finishing 0.355 seconds faster than his closest rival.
As the skies darkened and then lighting storms dropped heavy rain in waves it took three attempts to hold what was finally an 18-lap race.
One ‘start’ was red flagged after just three laps had been completed. This period of track action did not count for points but it changed the grid positions in a shortened 18-lap finale on Saturday. All the riders took their eventual grid from where they had been ranked after three full laps, putting Rea second on the grid.
After the third start procedure in just over an hour Rea and Alex Lowes got clear of the chasing pack and disputed the race lead, until Lowes fell and Rea rode on alone to win by 3.692 seconds, with rainfall alternately intensifying and reducing as the race unfolded to a finish.
It was a promising race at the beginning for sixth place Superpole qualifier Leon Haslam (KRT) as he passed both factory Ducatis to move into third place. He suddenly fell and lost his entire gearchange and footpeg assembly, causing him to enter the pits and finally retire after lap 13.
Rea made up nine points on championship leader Alvaro Bautista today and there are two more WorldSBK races to come at Misano on Sunday 23 June. First there will be a ten-lap Tissot-Superpole race and then a final full distance race in the afternoon, scheduled for 21 laps.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “I had done next to zero laps in the wet this season, even in winter testing. The first time we came across the wet was in morning warm-up at Imola. The gamble to stay inside the box in the wet morning warm up today still paid off, but we did not expect the rain clouds to come for the race. I was very nervous as we did not really have a wet set-up. So we just tried to maximise our potential, ride my own race and our bike works well in these conditions. It is a very stable bike but the track was changing lap-to-lap. Sometimes we had a lot of surface water, sometimes zero surface water. You need much more concentration in a wet race, because the bike is moving much more underneath you and you have to be very precise, especially with the white lines and the kerbs. When Alex came past I was not prepared to take that risk to go that fast. When I was leading the race I tried to manage my rhythm and the gap to behind. Arturo my mechanic was super-good with my pit-board so I could enjoy the last lap.”
Leon Haslam, stated: “I finally got past both official Ducatis and I gapped them both straight away. I was starting to close in on Tom Sykes for second and then tried to close the gap. I had not had any really big wheel spins all through the race and then I had a massive highside out of turn five. I probably should have settled for third rather than push on to try and take second.”
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) was on course for seventh place after getting to the front of a battling group of riders, but he fell on the final lap as heavier rain reappeared and no-scored. Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) was tenth from the 15 finishers, in a race that featured 20 starters. Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was the final rider in the big midfield group, ending his day in 12th place.
BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team and Tom Sykes celebrate first podium for the new BMW S 1000 RR in WorldSBK.
Tom Sykes finishes runner-up in Saturday’s race in the FIM Superbike World Championship at Misano.
Team-mate Markus Reiterberger comes home 15th.
Dr. Markus Schramm: “We can be very proud of what we have achieved today”.
Misano. When the chequered flag was waved at Misano (ITA), the joy in the garage of the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team knew no bounds. Tom Sykes (GBR) finished runner-up in Saturday’s race to claim the first podium for the new BMW S 1000 RR in the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK). Despite racing in treacherous conditions, Sykes kept a cool head and was on course for a podium finish throughout the entire race which was red flagged due to rain. Team-mate Markus Reiterberger (GER) was 15th.
Sykes laid the foundation for his podium result in the morning’s dry Superpole qualifying when he landed his RR on the front row of the grid in third place. However, patience was initially the order of the day in the afternoon. A heavy shower caused the start of the race to be delayed by 25 minutes. Sykes defended third place and held on to the position until inclement weather caused the race to be red flagged. The race eventually restarted after a break of almost half an hour. Sykes once again showed his wet-weather ability, not only keeping the chasing pack at bay, but also opening up a small gap to fourth place. When leader Alex Lowes (GBR / Yamaha) crashed out on lap nine of 18, Sykes adopted second position – and never looked at risk of losing that place.
Reiterberger had finished 12th in Superpole qualifying. However, he fell back through the field in the opening stages of the race. After the interruption, he started the remaining 18 laps from 17th place. While many other riders crashed in the difficult conditions, Reiterberger guided his RR home in 15th place to pick up another world championship point.
Quotes after race one at Misano.
Dr. Markus Schramm, Head of BMW Motorrad: “Congratulations to Tom Sykes and the entire BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. It is fantastic that our fledgling project has been able to celebrate the first WorldSBK podium for the new BMW S 1000 RR at only the seventh event of the season. This is confirmation of the commitment, passion and hard work that everyone in the team has put into the project since we started out in the winter. I would like to say a big thank you to everyone. Tom gave a fantastic, commanding performance in the rain. And the team gave him a bike, in the RR, that was capable of a podium finish. We can be very proud of what we have achieved today.”
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “We have achieved our first goal with the new BMW S 1000 RR in WorldSBK – we made it onto the podium. That is excellent, and the best possible reward for all the hard work the team has tirelessly put in. We set ourselves the goal of improving consistently towards the front of the field. With Tom’s second place today, we have taken the next step. The track conditions were far from easy today, but Tom and the team mastered this challenge superbly. We hope we can back up this success tomorrow. Markus had a difficult race, but tomorrow is a new day and we are confident that the tide will turn again for him.”
Shaun Muir, Team Principal BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “We are absolutely delighted for everyone at BMW, for the whole project, for everyone in Germany and in Guisborough at SMR. It’s been a proper joint team effort and to have Dr. Markus Schramm, the Head of BMW Motorrad, here to witness that is absolutely fantastic. We took the gamble and did not go out with Tom this morning in the wet free practice three thinking it would be a dry afternoon, but the clouds opened up and it was wet all the way until the chequered flag came out. It was a very difficult, stressful period with the delayed start and the re-start. But anyway, we had a full 18-lap race and Tom thoroughly enjoyed riding in the wet and more than earned his P2 in the race. We’re absolutely excited. The downside is that Markus really had a difficult race. He got caught within the very back of the pack and there was a lot of spray and he ran off at turn eight. It was a tough day for Markus and he wants to put that behind him. But now we must celebrate the first podium for this new project. I think that is has come ahead of schedule and it’s certainly something that we should be proud of as the team. Hopefully we can build on this and keep the momentum going into tomorrow and into Donington Park.”
Tom Sykes: “To say that I am very happy would be a slight understatement. I am very, very happy and it’s just credit to all the guys in the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. We’ve been working really hard and finally we’ve got the result which I feel we deserve. We’ve been pushing forward and it’s absolutely fantastic. I really enjoyed riding in the wet conditions. The BMW S 1000 RR gave me some great feedback today and what a better place to do that than here at Misano in front of some amazing fans. So we will try and keep that momentum together and try to get the results tomorrow. Thanks to all!”
Markus Reiterberger: “Congratulations to Tom and the team on a superb result and the first podium for BMW. I was a little surprised that it rained this morning. However, I was happy about that, as I was quick in the rain during the test here. I gave it my all in Superpole, but it was only good enough for 12th on the grid. We just need to make a few more adjustments to the bike and my riding style. Unfortunately, the wet race was disappointing. I lost positions in the first part, as my starting position meant I had absolutely no visibility in the spray. I was then able to make up a few places in the second part of the race, but touched the white line during an overtaking manoeuvre, got my braking wrong and had to veer off into the gravel. After that, I just made sure I finished. Fortunately, I picked up a point.”
The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team takes home two good results in the pouring rain at the Misano World Circuit: a third place for Álvaro Bautista and a fifth place for Chaz Davies in Race 1.
Álvaro Bautista and Chaz Davies scored two good results today – a third and a fifth place respectively – in Race 1 at the Misano Adriatico circuit in Round 7 of the Superbike World Championship. Difficult conditions, with heavy downpours, caused delays in the starting procedure, initially scheduled for 14h00. In addition, the race was interrupted when the red flags came out after just three laps because the track conditions were impracticable. As a result, the race was shortened to 18 laps and was won by Rea (Kawasaki).
Davies was very effective in the early stages in spite of the difficult conditions. The 32-year-old from Wales, who started from the ninth grid slot, rapidly made up ground until he reached fourth place. Unfortunately, a small problem meant he had to drop a few places but he did eventually finish the race in fifth. After qualifying fifth in this morning’s Superpole, Bautista took a few laps to gain confidence with the difficult conditions, which he had never encountered before in Superbike, but by running a careful second part of the race and capitalizing on the difficulties of other riders, he took home a well-deserved third place.
Tomorrow the ten-lap Superpole Race gets underway at 11.00 CET, with Race 2 following at 14.00.
Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #19) – 3rd
“Today there were many things new for me, first of all these difficult conditions. As well as doing my first Superbike race in the wet, with the delay in the start and the red flag two times, it was difficult to keep concentration. I made a cautious start to try and understand the conditions of the track; in some parts it was raining too hard while in others the situation was a bit better and when I understood that I could get my feeling and pace. Lap by lap I felt more feedback and went more to the limit so I’m happy for the feeling with this race. It was important to get points and to do it with a podium was a good result.”
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 5th
“It was the first wet race with the Panigale V4 R so overall it wasn’t such a bad performance. I had a problem in the middle of the race with the electronic shifter, then it cleared itself and was fine again, it was probably water-related. That upset my rhythm a bit because I was more or less in with the fight for the podium. I lost a bit of time trying to manually backshift, but to a limited effect. In the last four laps I got back into the rhythm again but the gap to the others was a bit too much. I was quite happy with the feeling with the bike in those conditions, it’s just a shame we didn’t really get to fight with the right package for the whole race distance.”
Missed Opportunity for Lowes as Baz Leads the Yamaha Charge in Misano
The weather made for tricky conditions in this afternoon's WorldSBK Race 1 in Misano. After a delay due to the onset of heavy rain it was Pata Yamaha WorldSBK rider, Alex Lowes, who took a commanding lead when the race finally got underway, only for the race to be stopped after three laps as the storm intensified. Seven laps into the restarted race and Lowes was back at the front and pulling away from Jonathan Rea, until the 28-year-old Briton was caught out by standing water on the inside of turn 11 and crashed out of the race. As a result, it was Loris Baz who was the first Yamaha rider home in fourth place, in just his second appearance on the Ten Kate Yamaha Supported WorldSBK R1. The GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK pairing of Marco Melandri and Sandro Cortese had an eventful race, battling throughout for position and eventually finishing in sixth and seventh places respectively.
It was Cortese who made the early running today, as an impressive Superpole performance saw him qualify second, to secure only his second front row start aboard the GRT Yamaha R1. Lowes headed up the second row having qualified fourth, while Melandri and Baz were expecting a tough race after securing positions 13 and 16 on the grid.
Disruption due to rain meant that WorldSBK Race 1 finally got underway at the third attempt, with Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes immediately pulling away at the head of the race. Lowes shadowed the reigning World Champion until the spray from Rea's bike made visibility an issue, at which point he made his move for the lead. Lowes had built up a lead of more than a second when he crashed out at turn 11 after aquaplaning on standing water.
In the meantime, Baz had managed to work his way through the field, passing the two GRT Yamaha riders who were battling for position in a six-rider group, and slotting into fifth place behind Leon Haslam and Alvaro Bautista. When Haslam crashed out the Frenchman pushed hard to catch Bautista for the final podium place but was unable to match the Spaniard's pace on a drying track and had to settle for fourth place at the line.
Melandri and Cortese got the better of the group in which they had been battling for the majority of the race, pulling away in the closing stages of the 18-lap race to secure sixth and seventh places at the chequered flag.
Pata Yamaha rider, Michael van der Mark, played no part in proceedings today, following a heavy crash in FP2 yesterday in which he sustained a concussion, a fractured Trapezium and Radius in his right arm and two fractured ribs on his right side. The Jerez race winner remained in Rimini Hospital overnight as a precautionary measure but has now been released. Van der Mark will undergo surgery on his fractured radius early next week, after which doctors will be able to better assess the time needed for recovery.
Pata Yamaha WorldSBK - DNF
"I felt good in the wet conditions this morning and the bike was working well. In the race I was waiting behind Jonathan because 18-laps is a long race in the wet and I didn't want to use up the soft compound rear tyre too early. There was a lot of water on track and at one point I was struggling to see through the spray thrown off Jonathan's bike, so I put in a pass and managed to pull a bit of a gap. I was feeling strong and hadn't had any slides at all, which is sometimes worse because it builds confidence. When I arrived into turn 11, I could see that there was a lot more water on the track than on the previous laps. I tried to brake a bit more before I went in but I just lost the rear as it aquaplaned and I was off. Sorry to the team and to Yamaha, a victory or at worst a podium was there, and it was shame to finish this way today."
GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK - P6
"It was a very, very difficult day, both in the dry and the wet. I never had the feeling with the bike that I was looking for, especially on maximum lean angle. During the race I made a mistake at the beginning when I tried to brake later to stay with the group, but the pace was simply not there today. Difficult conditions, a difficult race and a difficult situation. Tomorrow we will start the sprint race from the back because of the Jerez penalty, so I have nothing to lose. Top nine is the target, but I suspect it's not going to be easy."
GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK - P7
"It was a very tough race, as the conditions were very difficult but. It was a completely new situation for us, as we've never raced this bike in the rain, so it was a pretty steep learning curve for both me and the team. This meant we weren't in a position to fight for the top positions, but the goal was to finish the race with as many points as possible, and this is what we did. Of course, I'm not completely happy with seventh after qualifying second on the grid, but I think we have a good day ahead of us tomorrow, with two races in which we can build on what was, overall, a fairly positive start today."
Ten Kate Yamaha Supported WorldSBK - P4
"Four weeks ago, the team were still building the bike and everyone else had done 14 races, while we had completed not even one lap, so it feels good to finish fourth here today. I'm really happy with the result but also with the progress we've made with understanding the bike in the dry. I was angry with myself for crashing in Superpole this morning, but the race was cool. When Haslam crashed I pushed really hard to catch Bautista for the final podium place but, as the track started to dry, he was able to increase his pace and it wasn't possible to close him down. I'm really happy with the result and big thanks to all the guys in the team for their hard work."
Yuki Takahashi fights to finish 8th in Race 1 at a wet Misano, Kiyonari 14th
The first Superbike race of this Riviera di Rimini WorldSBK round was affected by a thunderstorm which meant that the start was delayed and then red-flagged just four laps after the lights went out due to the track conditions. The race was restarted a short time later but reduced to a distance of 18 laps.
Starting from 19th on the grid, Yuki Takahashi had already worked his way up to eleventh place before the race was interrupted. Re-starting from the fourth row (the grid established according to the positions the riders held at the time of the interruption), the rider fought hard in a group comprising fellow Honda rider Delbianco, Melandri, Cortese and Rinaldi. Despite the difficult conditions, and on and off rainfall, Takahashi ultimately crossed the finish line in a very positive eighth place.
Ryuichi Kiyonari finished inside the points zone, in fourteenth place, but it was a less than satisfactory result for him, as he was hoping for better feeling in the wet conditions and a better final race result.
Yuki Takahashi 72
“It was a good race for us as we were able to fight for a top ten position. Conditions were really tricky, and you had to ride as safely as possible but also fight as hard as possible! During the free practices we worked hard trying different settings in order to be as prepared as possible for this situation. The team did a very good job and I want to thank them for that. I’m very happy and hope we can continue in this way also tomorrow. At the same time, I’m sorry Leon (Camier) has had to miss this round and I hope to see him back in action very soon”.
Ryuichi Kiyonari 23
“I’m very disappointed because it was another difficult day for me. When we tested here three weeks ago, I had better feeling in both wet and the dry, but today I did not feel good in the rain. It was difficult for me to push so I tried to finish the race as well as possible and not crash the bike. At least we were able to gather some interesting data that will be useful in similar conditions in the future”.
P 9 FOR LORENZO ZANETTI AMONG THE STORMS!
What a busy day, three restarts, two red flags and repeated thunderstorms poured on the beautiful Misano track have affected the whole Saturday of races!
During the first practice, the Free Practice 3, the riders were able to test the bikes in "wet" conditions. A few laps to find the right configuration in the event of a wet race.
Lorenzo makes some laps without risking more than necessary, obtaining important data, then used in the afternoon.
Free Practices 3: P 14 1.50.966 + 4.482
Qualifying starts in the only moment of a dry track: Zanetti starts off well, entering P 12, two tenths behind the Top Ten. However, he is unable to take advantage of the qualifying tyre, a soft compound that can give more than one second advantage. Also due to a not perfect timing in the exit from the box, it ends in P 17. The rider from Brescia will be forced to race Race 1 all in comeback!
Superpole: P 17 1.36.634 +2.038
Race 1 starts under a real deluge!
As soon as the riders start the Warm Up Lap, Red Flag is displayed for a first storm; delayed race. Second attempt: the champions of the World SBK line up, they manage to start, but after only 3 laps it almost start to hail and the Race Direction is forced to stop the action. Again everyone inside the pits!
Third entry on the track, this time is the right time to start Race 1: the water on the track is a lot, but the conditions are "good" to run.
Lorenzo starts off pretty badly and in the first few laps he waits: slowly he gets more and more familiar with the conditions at the limit of grip and he starts his comeback by scoring laps in line with the top positions!
He recovers Mercado and Razgatlioglu, passes them and launches himself in pursuit of the group fighting for the eighth position. Meanwhile heavy names crash in the gravel: Lowes, Pirro, Rinaldi and Haslam are betrayed by the wet asphalt.
Zanetti, waiting for the last two laps, brakes hard, goes many times on the inside and overtakes some riders of his group, conquering a ninth position; wonderful top ten and great demonstration of lucidity and coldness in not overdoing it!
Tomorrow the conditions will be dry, a real summer day not to be missed on the Misano World Circuit:
11.00 am the Superpole Race, at 14.00 green light for Race 2!
Lorenzo Zanetti (Rider):
"It was a very difficult day; with today's race conditions it was important to get to the checkered flag! Being able to hit the top ten is a very good result both for me and for the team!
It seems strange, but the V4-R, in two years of testing, I had never ridden in the wet. Furthermore, the qualifying was not particularly brilliant: with the soft race tyre we were quite fast, but we were not able to use the qualifying tyre.
We're not 100% set-up yet, but we're trying to do our best.
The day has gone today, we have achieved a good result, but now we are already working for tomorrow, in order to understand the small set-up problems and solve them in view of the two races!"
Delbianco eleventh in a wet SBK race one at Misano
Misano Adriatico (Italy), Saturday 22 June 2019
Alessandro Delbianco and the Althea MIE Racing team crossed the line eleventh in the first of the weekend’s Superbike races, which took place in wet conditions at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli this afternoon.
After a final free practice session early on, Delbianco lined up for the Superpole session at 11am local time. During the 25 minutes available to him, the Italian completed ten laps in all, on race and then qualifying tyres. His best reference, a 1’37.171 set early on, placed him nineteenth at the session’s end, which translated into a seventh row start for the afternoon’s race.
A heavy rain shower shortly before 2pm meant that the first Superbike race got underway a little late and took place on a wet track. From nineteenth on the grid, Delbianco got away well, already making up six positions in the first two laps. Unfortunately though, due to the track conditions, the race was interrupted on lap four, while Delbianco was lying twelfth.
The race was restarted a few minutes later, shortened by three laps and with a grid based on the positions the riders held at the time of the interruption. From twelfth on the grid then, Alessandro was already up to tenth by lap three. Maintaining a consistent pace despite the difficult conditions, the Althea MIE Racing rider continued to make progress, moving up to eighth place by lap ten. During the final stages, the young Italian lost a little ground while fighting in a group of other riders for seventh place. He nevertheless crossed the line in eleventh place to obtain his best result of the season so far, and five precious championship points.
“I’m not very happy to tell the truth. I like racing in the wet but I could have done much better than I did. The first half of the race went well, I had good pace and felt comfortable despite the tricky conditions. Unfortunately though, a small technical issue in the final stages caused me to lose some positions while I was fighting with other riders for seventh place. A pity, but that’s how it went and in the end I finished eleventh, earning a few points in the process.”
WorldSSP: Majestic Mahias makes Misano his own in Superpole
Giving Kawasaki a first pole position since 2017, Lucas Mahias heads the field ahead of Sunday’s race, with shocks and surprises aplenty
The 2019 FIM Supersport World Championship took to the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” for their Tissot Superpole session, which decided the grid ahead of Sunday’s race. Under darkening skies, it was frenetic action right through the 25-minutes as championship leader Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) crashed whilst a stunning late lap from Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) saw the former WorldSSP champion take pole.
Mahias had a steady session, on the limit throughout the 25-minute encounter, constantly sliding sideways as he looked to get in a strong lap time. In the closing stages, Mahias propelled himself up the order as he stormed to pole position, giving Kawasaki their first in WorldSSP since Kenan Sofuoglu in 2017 at Portimao. Federico Caricasulo (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) managed to get second ahead of his teammate Krummenacher, making for a spectacular race day. Mahias’ pole position is France’s 74th in the class.
Once again, it was an impressive showing from Hannes Soomer (MPM WILSport Racedays) who took his joint-best Superpole starting position with fourth place, comfortably finishing as top Honda. Behind him on the second row is Pirelli Thai Round winner Jules Cluzel (GMT94 YAMAHA), whilst wildcard Luca Ottaviani (SGM Tecnic) took a career-best sixth place and will look to be in the fight on Sunday.
Row three features big names, with Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing) heading it up. The Spaniard has plenty of experience at Misano and put it to good use ahead of Sunday’s race. Raffaele De Rosa (MV AGUSTA Reparto Corse) suffered his worst Tissot Superpole of the year at his home round, whilst Hikari Okubo (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was only able to get ninth at the end of the session. The top ten is completed by wildcard Lorenzo Gabellini (GOMMA Racing).
Big names outside of the top ten include Thomas Gradinger (Kallio Racing), back in 12th place and Corentin Perolari (GMT94 YAMAHA) in 15th. Peter Sebestyen (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda), who has taken top tens in the last two races, crashed at Turn 10 and was only able to finish 20th.
Pole position - Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing)
"I am really happy! I feel like if I have had won a race! My team worked so hard to give me a good bike and adapt it to my riding style. Step by step my feeling with the bike is improving. We didn't do a lot of testing this year so my experience is growing after each race that we do. We haven't changed anything on the bike since the beginning of the season, but I have just improved my feeling with it. After many years riding with Yamaha, this year I have had to learn how to ride the Kawasaki. Tomorrow for the race we expect different conditions and higher temperatures. Yesterday the conditions were similar and we made a race simulation, and my pace is not bad. We are ready for tomorrow!".
Mahias On Pole At Misano
Kawasaki Puccetti Racing WorldSSP rider Lucas Mahias secured a clear pole position for Sunday’s race at Misano with a lap time that put him 0.206 seconds ahead of his next nearest rival.
Mahias had been fifth again after qualifying on Friday, as he had been at Jerez, but this weekend he was able to make a difference in two sectors of the track during Superpole. He enjoyed his own first Superpole win since the final raced of the 2018 season. This was his eighth career Superpole. The team's other rider Hikari Okubo found some issues in Superpole that held him back in overall ninth position.
This was also Kawasaki’s first pre-race qualifying success since Kenan Sofuoglu put his Kawasaki Puccetti Racing machine on pole at the Portuguese round in 2017.
A home round at Misano for the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team has not been kind to their Japanese rider Hikari Okubo so far. He was 11th on Friday and then ninth today, after some strong showings at previous rounds in both qualifying and race conditions.
Now Okubo and his team will make preparations to ensure he gets back to his competitive best on raceday. The WorldSSP riders face a 19-lap race on Sunday, at the 4.226km long circuit on the Adriatic coast of Italy.
Lucas Mahias stated: “It is a very long time that I have not been on pole position, also for the team and Kawasaki. They have been working a lot to help me come back to this position so thanks to them. It is also good for me because it has been a long time since I smiled, and now my smile is back! I am confident for tomorrow even if the race is run in very hot conditions. Yesterday, in warm conditions, we worked a lot on long runs so I am confident for Sunday.”
Hikari Okubo, stated: “It was not a good qualifying this one. We had a few problems that held back our ability to get closer to the front. Now we will try to find the best set-up for raceday, try to make a good start and then have best race we can.”
Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) placed 11th in Superpole at his home round, while his team-mate Kyle Smith (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was 13th in Superpole, and will head up the fifth row of the starting grid.
Rob Hartog (Team Hartog – Against Cancer Kawasaki) was 18th, Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) 25th and Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team Kawasaki) 26th. Wildcard rider Roby Rolfo (Team Green Speed Kawasaki) was 30th in a field of 33 riders.
MISANO WORLD CIRCUIT MARCO SIMONCELLI: RANDY KRUMMENACHER SCORES A FRONT ROW START HAVING COMPLETED ONLY FOUR USEFUL LAPS
Misano Adriatico (Italy) 22 June 2019
The Supersport World Championship reaches its seventh round at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. The first two days of action have taken place in high temperatures. Randy Krummenacher, having finished Friday’s practice sessions in third place, was back on track this morning for the final free practice, in which he once again set the third fastest time. The Superpole session, which serves to establish positions on the starting grid, got underway at 11:40 local time. The Swiss rider headed out on track and was leading the pack through the opening laps. During his fifth lap though, a crash at turn eight forced him to return to the garage. Krummenacher, having completed only four laps, was nevertheless able to secure third place overall, preceded by Team Puccetti rider Mahias in first place and Italian rider Caricasulo, second.
A front-row start then for tomorrow’s 19-lap race that will get underway at 12:15 local time.
Randy Krummenacher, the current Supersport world championship leader, is confident and aware that he has the potential to score solid results and retain the championship lead.
#RK21: “Despite the crash during Superpole, I am pleased and positive. This morning, along with my team, we decided to try a technical solution that clearly wasn’t ideal. After just four laps, I fell but fortunately I was unhurt. I nevertheless set a time that allowed me to score third place on the grid and, thanks to today’s experience, we know what to do for the race. I think we’ll see a good battle tomorrow. I’m ready and feeling positive, I want to maintain and reinforce my position in the standings, and it would be great to be able to celebrate a podium here in Italy, where I have my family and friends who have come to support me.”
Front Row for Caricasulo and Krummenacher in Misano
The Bardahl Evan Bros. Yamaha Supported WorldSSP teammates, Federico Caricasulo and Randy Krummenacher, will line up side by side on the front row of the WorldSSP grid in Misano tomorrow, after qualifying second and third respectively in Superpole. The two Yamaha riders, who have dominated the class so far this season, had no answer to former Supersport World Champion, Lucas Mahias, who claimed his first pole position of the season today.
GMT94 Yamaha Supported WorldSSP rider, Jules Cluzel, who finished on the podium last time out in Jerez qualified fifth fastest today, with Isaac Viñales two places further back in seventh aboard the first of the Kallio Racing Yamaha Supported WorldSSP R6 machines.
It proved a tough Superpole session for Kallio Racing Yamaha’s Thomas Gradinger, who will start tomorrow's 19-lap WorldSSP race from the fourth row of the grid after qualifying 12th today. GMT94 Yamaha's Corentin Perolari will start from position 15, while Loris Cresson will start from position 24 on the grid.
WorldSSP300: Gonzalez heads mixed-up WorldSSP300 grid
With rain interfering with the WorldSSP300 grid, it was another spectacular Tissot Superpole session at Misano
In a rain-affected WorldSSP300 Tissot Superpole session, the grid for the main race on Sunday will see a staggered approach, with those riders in Group A starting from odd grid positions in first, third, fifth etc, and even position starting slots for Group B riders, in a second, fourth, sixth etc format. With this situation, Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) took pole position ahead of Andy Verdoïa (BCD Yamaha MS Racing) and Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300) in third.
Gonzalez took to the circuit when it was dry, putting in a strong banker-lap to top Group A, before the rain began to fall with just under five minutes to go. In the Group B session, France’s Andy Verdoïa finished on top which put him in second on the grid on the combined timesheets. The Yamaha rider will look to take his first win and remain in the title fight on Sunday. Reigning WorldSSP300 Champion Ana Carrasco took third, as she looks to continue her bounce back in form.
Having been in the top five at Jerez, it was Victor Steeman (Freudenberg KTM Junior Team) who headed the second row from Group B, ahead of Indonesian rider Galang Hendra Pratama (Semakin Di Depan Biblion Motoxracing) from Group A and Italian wildcard Emanuele Vocino (GRADARACorse) in sixth, having placed third in the wet Group B. He will look to repeat Manuel Bastianelli’s (Prodina IRCOS Kawasaki) achievement from 2018, by taking a win as a wildcard at Misano.
Down the order, it will be the Last Chance Race for the likes of Omar Bonoli (Team Trasimeno Yamaha) and Tom Edwards (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team), whilst Marc Garcia (DS Junior Team) slipped to 15th and only a few places ahead of Scott Deroue in 18th for the main race on Sunday.
Despite a delay in proceedings due to the weather, it was a frantic WorldSSP300 Last Chance Race, run at the Misano circuit over 13 laps. As usual, the top six finishers go through to join the regular riders on the grid for Sunday’s main race and leading them over the line was Kevin Sabatucci (Team Trasimeno Yamaha).
Starting from 21st, Sabatucci had to work hard to get to the front of the field and at one point, he didn’t look like he would feature. However, it was a crash for race leader Bahattin Sofuoglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing by TSM) that closed the leading group up and put more value on the leading positions.
At the line, Sabatucci saw off Maximilian (Freudenberg KTM WorldSSP Team) and Enzo De La Vega (Team MHP Racing – Patrick Pons). In fourth place was Nick Kalinin (Nutec – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki), with Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez (DS Junior Team) and Tom Edwards (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) completing the list of riders who will join the rest of the field on Sunday! Dino Iozzo (Nutec – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) just missed out and finished seventh.
Pole Position - Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team)
"I am very happy with this result. We knew that with the changing conditions today was going to be difficult, so I tried to put in my best lap in the first minutes of the session to get a good position on the grid for tomorrow. I felt really comfortable on the bike, and I have to say thanks for that to my team. I think that we will be able to fight again for the win".