Sam Lowes ended the free practice session fastest while Kenan Sofuoglu failed to go faster than his best time from yesterday. This is the first session of the weekend where Lowes has been faster than Sofuoglu, but if weather slows the second qualifying session down, Sofuoglu is still sitting in provisional pole. Florian Marino was able to record a couple of laps at the pace of his fastest, while Jack Kennedy and Michael Van Der Mark only registered a single 2'09 each. Lowes and Sofuoglu had ten and eleven laps under the 2'10 mark respectively, to put that into perspective.
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Tom Sykes, having crashed at the end of yesterday's qualifying session, spent most of the morming getting his new bike set up and was unable to improve on his time from the first timed session. Leon Camier was the fastest man of the morning, getting to within three hundredths of the provisional pole, but it wasn't enough to topple Sykes from the top spot. Sylvain Guintoli, carrying his shoulder injury, was third quickest, but put in the most 2'05 laps of the field, with his teammate Eugene Laverty closest to matching his pace.
While the news cycle focusses on MotoGP rider Cal Crutchlow’s signing with Ducati, riders at the World Superbike round at Silverstone are reminded of him through his 2010 lap record on the Yamaha R1.
Tom Sykes and Leon Camier once again post the quickest times, with Davide Giugliano keeping the Aprilia near the top. The Hondas of Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam also put in good times. Sykes, eight tenths clear of Camier, is still over a second off the qualifying record, but is within a tenth of a second of Cal Crutchlow's race lap record.
Kenan Sofuoglu continued to set the pace ahead of Sam Lowes in a session split by a red flag for spilled oil. Both front-runners are in good provisional positions if the British weather affects the final qualifying tomorrow, as has been suggested.
Tom Sykes unsurprisingly tops the table, with Leon Camier second fastest on the bike that currently holds the qualifying record, albeit with John Hopkins on it. The satellite Aprilias of Michel Fabrizio and Davide Giugliano continue their personal battle well ahead of the factory bikes of Eugene Laverty and championship leader Sylvain Guintoli.
Kenan Sofuoglu and Sam Lowes continue their close battle with Sofuoglu the fastest by under a tenth of a second. Ronan Quarmby, stepping in for Gabor Talmasci, was the only other rider to get within a second of the fastest time.
The loss of Andrea Antonelli cast a very long and very black shadow over the Moscow round of World Superbikes, In his second year in World Supersport, the popular 25 year old Italian was well thought of in the paddock, by friends and rivals alike. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.
The second World Superbike race at Moscow Raceway was cancelled for safety reasons due to horrendous rain.
The World Supersport race was red-flagged after just one lap as Andrea Antonelli was involved in a nasty crash on the straight. The one lap that was contested was a typical fight between Sam Lowes and Kenan Sofuoglu and Michael Van Der Mark was duelling with Vladimir Leonov for third.
The rain is too bad for a restart; there will be no more racing today, in any class. There is no news on Antonelli's condition as yet.
There are straight-forward races, there are confusing races and then there are flag-to-flag races in mixed conditions. Teams that practiced pitstops will have looked at the skies and considered the time likely not wasted. As the riders lined up on slicks under a grey sky, even if Sykes struggled to get off the line for the warm up lap, they couldn’t know just how different this race would be.
The weather at the Moscow Raceway relented just long enough to allow a nice dry Superpole. Rain in the sessions before and after luckily didn’t affect the centrepiece of Saturday’s entertainment. On a track like Moscow, with a plethora of first- and second-gear corners leading to a one kilometre straight, you would expect different bikes to perform well in different halves, with the nimble bikes owning the first two sectors, but being demolished in the last sector by the faster bikes, and qualifying played out this way.
Rain caused trouble for World Supersport qualifying.
In spite of Sam Lowes being the only rider able to get under 1'39, positions were all decided from times set in the first qualifying session and Kenan Sofuoglu will start from pole position ahead of, appropriately for Moscow, the two Yakhnich Yamahas of Sam Lowes and Vladimir Leonov.
After much speculation with the weather, Superpole was declared a dry session, even though clouds were looming overhead. The top fifteen compete over three sessions with only two qualifying tyres allocated to each rider, with riders eliminated at each stage.
Rain arrived and slowed proceedings down, with some riders not managing to even record a complete lap time. Tom Sykes was fastest ahead of the Suzukis of Leon Camier and Jules Cluzel while many teams prepared for potential rain tomorrow with pit stop practice. Carlos Checa, whose bike was built from a rolling chassis after his crash in the morning, came out at the end of the session, showing his hit on the head wouldn't keep him out of qualifying and racing.