Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams, as well as the series organizer, after the first day of practice in Portimao:
Rea sets the pace in Portugal
Jonathan Rea set the fastest time in this afternoon’s opening qualifying session at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal to take provisional pole position for Sunday’s two sixth-round World Superbike championship races.
The 26-year-old from Northern Ireland lapped the 4.592km circuit near Portimao in a time of 1m43.551s, ahead of fellow Ulsterman Eugene Laverty and British rider Tom Sykes who complete the provisional front row.
Rea’s Pata Honda team-mate, Leon Haslam, was 13th fastest in this afternoon’s 45-minute qualifying session, as he continues his recovery from a broken leg. The 30-year-old suffered some pain in this morning’s free practice session but was more comfortable this afternoon following pain-killing injections.
Jonathan Rea – P1, 1m43.551s
It was quite a frustrating day as we had loads and loads of problems, but the good thing is that it didn’t stand in the way of a good run at the end. So it’s mixed emotions really, because although my guys worked really quickly to resolve the problems, it was frustrating that we’re still having issues on the electronics side. I’m enjoying riding here and although our bike has improved a lot, it feels like the circuit is a little bit slower. It’s a mix of a lack of rubber and how bumpy it’s got in the last year. It’s hard to make a perfect set up and it needs a lot of rider input and thinking outside the box to make the bike work in the fast bumpy areas. But for day one we’ve gained a lot of data, especially in the engine braking area, and we’ve made better inroads than we did on day one at Donington. I just hope that tomorrow we can steer clear of any little gremlins and work on a race tyre. I tried three different tyres today and each one has positives and negatives, so we need to evaluate them some more tomorrow to make a choice.
Leon Haslam – P13, 1m45.075s
This morning I was actually in a lot more pain than I was at Donington! The ligaments and tendons in my knee are actually a bigger issue now. I can bend the knee how I want and put weight through my leg like I should, but it’s hammering the ligaments. It was better this afternoon after the clinic did some really good taping and gave me some pain-killers. I didn’t do as many laps this afternoon, but it definitely felt better than this morning. Honestly, we’re a little bit off the pace at the moment but I’m pretty confident that we’ll get closer. There’s still a lot to do with the bike and I’ve still got to put a lap together as well.
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
Leon is still suffering from his injury a bit and we’re trying to make the bike as comfortable and as good as it can be for him. We can do a little more tomorrow but we’ll all do the best we can and see how he goes. On the other side of the garage, it’s been quite a good day for Jonathan. He didn’t make many changes to the chassis – we just made the bike a bit more rideable with electronics and the rest he did himself. He’s quite good around here. After the second race at Donington, everyone is quite happy with this result and we hope it leads to a good weekend.
BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team - WSBK - Portimao - Qualifying Practice 1
Weather conditions: Partly cloudy, partly sunny.
Temperature: Air: 20 – 21 °C, Track: 31 – 37 °C
Number of riders participating: 19/18 from 12 teams
Fastest lap Free Practice: Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) 1:44.241 min
Fastest lap Qualifying Practice 1: Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) 1:43.551 min
Today, the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team finally had a Friday with weather conditions which allowed them to work properly. At the last few rounds, the teams of the FIM Superbike World Championship faced bad weather on Fridays, which lost them important time for setting up the bikes. However, today in Portimão (POR) it was different, there was partial cloud but after a short rain shower in the early morning, it was dry. BMW Motorrad factory riders Marco Melandri (ITA) and Chaz Davies (GBR) used the day to start setting up their BMW S 1000 RRs for the sixth round of the season. In the first qualifying practice in the afternoon, Marco qualified sixth on the provisional second row, directly followed by Chaz who was seventh on the third row.
In the first qualifying practice of the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup, Sylvain Barrier secured provisional pole position on his BMW HP4. The Frenchman of the BMW Motorrad GoldBet STK Team was seven tenths of a second faster than his closest rival. His team-mate Greg Gildenhuys (RSA), who has an injured left foot after his crash at Monza (ITA), finished eleventh.
Fastest lap Free Practice: 1:44.512 min (P5)/Fastest lap Qualifying Practice 1: 1:44.026 min (P6)
“Today we worked on the race set-up of the RR in order to prepare for Sunday. So I preferred to use only used tyres and I was not looking for a fast lap time. The test in Aragón confirmed the direction we have to head towards and, after Donington, we made a step forward. We continued working in this direction today and improved the front feeling. Tomorrow we will use the same strategy and we will also work on improving the rear. The track conditions were difficult because in some sectors the asphalt is in a pretty bad condition, it is as if there were waves. Overall it was a good day and I am satisfied.”
Fastest lap Free Practice: 1:44.462 min (P4)/Fastest lap Qualifying Practice 1: 1:44.245 min (P7)
“We worked on the chassis and trying to find the right balance for this circuit. Portimão is quite difficult. We were just trying to get a front feeling that I am happy with to give me a little bit more confidence to turn the bike in and then to set me up for the corner exit. That was the main thing we focused on today. We have some more work to do but there is still a long time until race day. We will check the data tonight and see if we will find something else in order to further improve tomorrow.”
Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“Today was a positive day, both in the Superbike class and in the Superstock class. Marco worked on preparing for Sundays races and only rode on used tyres and on them he showed a good race pace. He feels good and is comfortable on the bike. Tomorrow, with new tyres, he will improve his lap time. Chaz only has to improve in the last sector, where he loses some tenths of a second, we are analysing data to find the best way to help him. In summary, I am very confident for the races.
In the Superstock class we took advantage of the test we conducted last weekend. Sylvain was really fast today. The set-up of his bike is good and he also has a good race pace. Unfortunately Greg is not yet fully recovered. He will do his best and try to improve tomorrow.”
Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“Today was one of the first Fridays of the season on which we could work and we are glad that we had dry conditions. At last week’s test at Aragón, we tested a few ideas and today we could prove that some of them are working. Even if the track conditions are worse than we expected, it seems that the track has become bumpier, our ideas are still working. Both riders have been working on setting up the bike, rather than looking for performance on one flying lap. Marco has improved his feeling for the front end and tomorrow he would like to work a little bit more on the rear because it is a bit too nervous, especially on the bumps. Chaz is trying to get a better front feeling in order to better absorb the bumps and we still need to understand why he is losing a bit in the last sector. We are confident that during the night we can fix both issues and that we will be ready to fight in tomorrow’s qualifying practice. Our target is to start the races from the first two rows.”
Team SBK Ducati Alstare makes good progress today at Portimao
Portimao (Portugal), Friday 7 June 2013: Team SBK Ducati Alstare’s riders, Carlos Checa and Ayrton Badovini, were pleased with the progress made today at the Portimao circuit in Portugal, having completed first qualifying just a few tenths of a second from the frontrunners.
In the opening free practice session that took place in dry conditions (air temperature 20˚C, track 31˚C) Checa and Badovini both made some solid progress, continuing to improve lap times throughout the 45-minute session and recording a best of 1’45.0 and 1’45.7 respectively. These lap times placed Carlos and Ayrton in eleventh and thirteenth position at the session’s end.
In this afternoon’s qualifying session Badovini made a solid step up during the first phase, lowering his best time set in the morning's session by almost a second. The work carried out during the remainder of the session allowed him to improve further in the final stages, with the Italian rider recording a best of 1’44.5 that put him in eleventh place at the end of the session, one second from leader Rea. Checa too dropped his time by almost a second to conclude the first of two qualifying sessions in eighth position with a best of 1’44.2. The times of the top ten riders were so close that had the Spaniard gone just three tenths quicker he would have placed fourth. Both Ducati Alstare riders are confident that they will be able to continue in the right direction tomorrow.
Carlos Checa: “Today’s been quite a positive day. It seems like we’ve taken a step forward and this has allowed us to get closer to those ahead of us. In qualifying we reduced the gap between us and the leader to just over half a second and this bodes well. I think there’s been some improvement on the chassis side and as a result we’ve gone faster here than we have done until now. My shoulder hasn’t been an issue today, it's not yet 100% but it’s manageable when completing a short series of laps and so hasn’t bothered me too much.”
Ayrton Badovini: ‘Today’s probably been our best Friday in the dry since the start of the season, so we can say it’s been a positive one. We still need to improve in a couple of sections, there’s work to do in the last two corners for example where I’m losing precious time. We haven’t used anything different or new, rather I just feel like I’m finally getting to grips with the bike which has allowed me to improve. I think we have the potential to improve further tomorrow and am feeling optimistic.”
FIRST DAY OF SUPERBIKE PRACTICE AT THE AUTÓDROMO DO ALGARVE.
EUGENE LAVERTY AND SYLVAIN GUINTOLI START OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT AT PORTIMÃO, FINISHING THE QUALIFIERS IN SECOND AND FOURTH PLACE RESPECTIVELY.
Portimão, 7 June 2012 – The first day of Superbike practice on the Portuguese Portimão circuit provides an encouraging outlook for the Aprilia Racing Team, arriving at Algarve in the lead of the manufacturer standings. Both Sylvain Guintoli (ranking leader in the rider standings) and Eugene Laverty, despite not concentrating their sessions on achieving top times, ended the day in top positions. As confirmation of the excellent work done today, neither of the riders reported any particular problems or obvious difficulties in the customary briefing.
In any case, we’re still a long way from the podium on Sunday. Eugene, second in the afternoon qualifying session, confirmed his excellent feeling with the fast paced Autódromo do Algarve, finishing just 52 thousandths of a second behind Rea. At the end of the sessions Laverty identified a few small changes to make tomorrow in order to gain a bit of pace. His goal for Superpole tomorrow is to make it to the front row.
The strong wind caused a few puzzlers for Sylvain Guintoli, leader in the rider standings and fourth in the qualifiers today. The particular conditions of the track forced the Frenchman to make some substantial changes to the setting of his Aprilia RSV4. The times on the boards confirmed that the changes are moving in the right direction, providing an excellent starting point tomorrow for reducing the gap behind the front runners.
Eugene Laverty: "We made a lot of progress this afternoon. This morning I was seventh and it may sound strange, but I was pleased with the result because I had continued to use the same tyre without concentrating on the fast lap, but working instead on the setting. As always, my goal for tomorrow is the front row, because starting from up front is important. At the end of the first day of sessions I'm already quite satisfied with the work we've done. We haven't found any big problems - just a few areas where we still have room for improvement".
Sylvain Guintoli: "Today I had a few problems with the strong wind, especially this afternoon. We worked on the bike and made some important changes that I am pleased with and we are pretty close with the pace. I still haven't taken a really fast lap since I was focused quite a bit on find a good pace. We still need to find a couple tenths, so tomorrow we'll continue in this direction, preparing as best as possible for the races on Sunday".
SOLID DAY FOR FIXI CRESCENT SUZUKI AT PORTIMAO
Team Suzuki Press Office - June 7.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki's Leon Camier and Jules Cluzel finished comfortably inside the Superpole positions during today's first qualifying session for the sixth round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship at Portimao in Portugal.
Camier led the way for the FIXI Crescent Suzuki team as he posted the ninth-quickest time around the 4,592m Portuguese circuit. He made several changes to his machine throughout both the qualifying and free practices and is confident that he can improve his own riding further as the weekend progresses; and be able to challenge for a good result on race-day.
Cluzel was returning to a circuit that saw him take victory in the 600cc class last season, but the step-up to the Superbike class was a completely different affair and the ever-improving Frenchman made sure he used both sessions to gather as much information as possible for his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki. His 12th place was only one second off the fastest time of the day and Cluzel is convinced he can make steps tomorrow to further improve his time.
Today's conditions at Portimao were very windy with an overcast sky covering the circuit all day. Track temperatures this afternoon reached 37° C as Honda's Jonathan Rea took provisional pole.
Camier and Cluzel have a second qualifying session tomorrow morning where they will aim to consolidate their places in the top-15 to make sure they are in the afternoon's Superpole to get the best qualifying positions for Sunday's two races.
"We changed the bike a bit today because I felt that I wanted a bit more out of it and we certainly improved it - that's for sure. My consistency was a lot better as well, but I still need to find a bit more speed in some places. We still need to make some small changes, but only enough for me to get the feeling I want and then I can start to push and find the boundaries, then hopefully that will be good enough for race-pace. The wind was a bit difficult today; as you came down the start-finish straight it would try and blow you off the track. It was quite vicious there, but thankfully not as bad around the rest of the track."
"I am happy to have completed a whole Friday in dry conditions; it has helped us to try lots of stuff and we now have more data to improve the bike tomorrow. I am pleased with 12th because it is only one-second away from the best time and I think we can do better tomorrow. This is not an easy track because it is very bumpy and everybody is wheelying, but this is a good thing for us because it means we will be able to fight with all the other riders as we are all having the same things happen."
Paul Denning - Team Manager:
"Position-wise we would like both of the FIXI Crescent Suzuki riders to be further up the leaderboard today, but it has been a solid day's work so we can't complain. Leon has been regaining confidence following a difficult race-day at Donington and is progressing well step-by-step. The lap-times are extremely close, with Jules just one second from the fastest rider, but that one-second puts him down in 12th place! The team will be working hard tonight to give the riders a little more grip and a bit more confidence to see if we can eat away at the gap to the front row tomorrow morning."
Provisional Front Row For Kennedy In Portimao
Rivamoto were again the top Honda team in the World Supersport championship as Jack Kennedy propelled his CBR600cc machine onto the provisional front row of the grid in Portimao this afternoon.
The delight was clear for all to see when Kennedy returned to the garage to rapturous applause from his team after putting in another solid performance which surprised some team members given the undulating and challenging nature of the Portugese circuit.
Kennedy has only seen the Portimao circuit on one previous occasion in mixed weather conditions, making today’s fast start even more impressive.
Kennedy was the early pace setter, easily matching his free practice time from earlier today in which he was second, and for the opening twenty minutes, nobody could match the hard charging Dubliner.
Reigning champion Kenan Sofuoglu and current series leader Sam Lowes were the only riders to get close to the flying Kennedy, and in the end it would be the three of them battling it out for Pole Position for the final 24 minutes.
At the end of session the wind had increased and changed direction, which when coupled with a number of riders ‘touring’ prevented any further challenge. Nevertheless the team are satisfied with todays result.
Jack also spent some time trying different compounds of Pirelli tyre in an attempt to be in the best position come race day.
Jeremy McWilliams – Team Manager: “I feel like I am repeating myself but Jack has once again bettered our expectations by putting the Rivamoto Honda on the provisional front row. He looks like he isn’t exerting himself. The bike is working well and I am surprised that we are so far up in the results, I didn’t expect it so soon into the weekend. Portimao is renowned as one of the most difficult tracks on the calendar and Jack has once again surprised us all. We need to keep the momentum up but because we didn’t just chuck tyres at it we have something left for tomorrow. We did that time on a race tyre so it keeps us all motivated. “
Jack Kennedy – Provisional 3rd on the grid: “It’s been a great first day. I’m happy that the rain stayed away but I surprised myself a bit. The Rivamoto Honda is good, the team are working well and I’m really enjoying it.”
Sheridan in touch on first day in Portugal
PTR HONDA'S Sheridan Morais is seventh on the provisional grid for the sixth round of the World Supersport Championship at Parkalgar in Portugal, showing good pace but promising a lot more to come.
Sheridan said: "We should be better than seventh but I never got a quick clean last lap as I was held up. My ideal times suggest I should be fourth and that is encouraging. I'll be going for a big improvement tomorrow in final qualifying."
Luca Marconi in 15th is a fraction ahead of his rookie team mate Nacho Calero in 16th. Luca is aiming to step up the pace in second qualifying while Nacho is enjoying his best qualifying position of the season showing a marked improvement in his riding on the opening day.
David Linortner is 22nd and not where the team expects him to be after his excellent pace at the previous round. Matt Davies in 30th is suffering the effects of a morning crash that then led to a technical issue on his repaired bike in the afternoon. He is expected to jump up the time sheets tomorrow in final qualifying. The race takes place on Sunday, 9th June at 1330CET.
Simon Buckmaster, PTR Honda Team Manager: "Sheridan is going quite well and seventh is encouraging. He is losing a chunk on the last sector. We have over laid data from last year and that will improve tomorrow.
"It was a good job by Luca but he needs to stop looking for a tow. He has the ability to do the lap time himself and build on that and go for the top 10.
"Nacho made a big step forward and we need to consolidate that and turn it into consistent place. David knows what he needs to do to improve and we are expecting a big jump tomorrow.
"Matt crashed in the morning and there were technical problems caused by that. We will put everything right for tomorrow and we expect a better second qualifying - especially as he is reporting better feel with his bike."
Pata Honda riders in Portuguese mix
Michael van der Mark and Lorenzo Zanetti finished in eighth and 13th places respectively in today’s opening qualifying session for Sunday’s sixth-round World Supersport race at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal.
Provisional pole position was taken by British rider and series leader Sam Lowes but both Pata Honda riders are confident of further improvement in tomorrow’s second free practice and qualifying sessions.
Today has been the first dry practice Friday since round two at Aragon and, with both Pata Honda riders being World Supersport debutants this season, the additional dry track time will prove useful for Sunday’s 20-lap race at the 4.592km Algarve circuit.
Michael van der Mark – P8, 1m47.115s
We started quite well today and I was fifth this morning. We made some changes for this afternoon but it was quite difficult to put everything together in one lap. The wind was quite strong, as well, and it made braking for the hairpin difficult to judge. I think both me and the bike can improve tomorrow to get back into the top five. If we put everything together, maybe even better, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.
Lorenzo Zanetti – P13, 1m47.481s
Well, Portimao is not my favourite track but I don’t think the position is too bad. I have not been in good condition today – I have a bit of flu, I think – but we’ll work for tomorrow and hope the weather continues to be OK. We tried every tyre today and I think we have found the right one for the race but we will hopefully test this with a race simulation tomorrow.
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
We clearly need to work on some sectors of the track with Michael, because he’s losing time in specific areas, but otherwise he had quite a smooth day without any major problems. There is room for improvement but I’m quite sure we’ll find some things for tomorrow because we have a lot of data here from previous years. Lorenzo’s position does not reflect his potential, I’m sure. He needs to find speed to do a lap by himself and the last run was on a tyre that he didn’t really like so I think he can also improve tomorrow.
Davies Shows Promise In Portimao Despite Technical Problem
Aussie Matt Davies ended day one of the 6th round of the World Supersport championship at the Portimao circuit in Portugal this afternoon in a disappointing 30th position after a technical problem triggered by an earlier tumble meant the talented youngster was sidelined within the first 10 minutes.
With the disappointment of Donington Park a fortnight ago behind him, Davies was confident of challenging for a top 15 starting position at the undulating ‘rollercoaster’ which is Portimao.
After a promising 21st overall in the morning free practice, Matt was disappointed to only complete 4 laps before the issue with the bike meant no further on track participation today.
The PTR Honda team will work hard overnight to ensure that Matt is in the best possible shape for final qualifying which takes place tomorrow afternoon at 1605 local time.
Gyofi 12th On Opening Day In Portugal
H-Moto BMW’s Alen Gyorfi produced his best qualifying result of the season to claim 12th on the grid ahead of the FIM Stock 1000cc Cup race at Portimao on Sunday.
The Hungarian, who continues to adapt to BMW power, after several seasons riding a Honda, made a massive improvement from the day’s earlier free practice session to take a provisional 4th row start.
The session was held in slightly windier conditions, but thankfully the sun continued to shine and Gyorfi was able to make the necessary adjustments to close the gap to the top ten.
Final qualifying is scheduled to take place at 1705 local time tomorrow and the whole team are confident that a top ten qualifying position is on the cards.
Schacht Continues To Adapt To WSS In Portugal
Danish rider Alex Schacht continues to adapt to life in World Supersport and has today finished in a provisional 28th position on the grid for Sunday’s 6th round of the championship.
After a steady start in the free practice session earlier, Alex and the team worked hard to find a good setting which should see the former UEM Superstock front runner able to challenge closer to the front.
The final qualifying session is scheduled to take place at 1605 local tomorrow with the race set to run over 20 laps at 1330 local time on Sunday.
Alex Schacht – Racing Team Toth: “The first day in Portimao has been difficult, we had a few problems finding the pace from the test. The bike is working perfect and we have a good set up. For tomorrow I’ll try to push more and get within 2 seconds from the pole time, that’s the target.”
ParkinGO MV Agusta Corse: getting used to track at Portimao
Portimao, 7th June 2013
Day to get used to the track for Roberto Rolfo , Christian Iddon and the MV Agusta F3 675 of the ParkinGO team.
At the Portuguese layout of the “autodromo International de Algarve”, not as warm as normal and with a bit of water during the free practice in the morning, both MV have finished the session quite far on the classification, twenty second position for Iddon and twenty third for Rolfo.
On first qualifying, things haven’t changed much, both riders have exchanged positions trying to get used to the track as quick as they can.
21st Position for Roberto Rolfo and 23rd for Christian Iddon with technical problems finishing earlier his session.
Tomorrow the team will search the right set up to allow both riders to get a better position on the grid.
SBK Stk600 - First and third row for San Carlo Team Italia in Portimao
After a positive Friday, the Italian riders will attack during the decisive qualifiers tomorrow
The Portuguese track saw the San Carlo Team Italia riders get off a good start during the fourth round of the European Stock600 Championship. Franco Morbidelli (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki ZX-6R #12) made the most out of his previous experience on this circuit. After being second during FP1, the Italian almost took provisional pole with the second best time (1'49"209), only 0.057 behind Nestorovic.
Alessandro Nocco (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki ZX-6R #81), at his debut in Portimao, quickly adjusted to the elevation changes and tricky lines. Eleventh after FP1, Nocco took more than 1.5 seconds off his times and posted a 1'50"034 that grants him 8th provisional position.
Cristiano Migliorati (FMI Technical Coordinator)
"We are very satisfied. We got good results in each session, Franco was consistently among the fastest riders and can aim at first row tomorrow. Alessandro scored a good result by being less than a second from provisional pole with just two sessions on this track under his belt, which confirms his talents. He can qualify in second row and, if the weather stays nice, attack during the race as well as his teammate."
Supersport World Championship
Riccardo Russo (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) posted the 12th best time after day 1 with a 1'47"375 that is a tenth faster than his previous best, 1.6 seconds behind provisional poleman Lowes. Russo's pace is consistent and will work on the fast lap tomorrow.
Jonathan Rea up to speed on Day 1
Portimao (Portugal), Friday 7 June 2013 - Close competition was the key factor in today's Qualifying 1 for the eni FIM Superbike World Championship. Under dry track conditions and good temperatures throughout all 45 minutes available the top-10 riders were - in the end - all within a second of each other. Ulsterman Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) stormed to the top in the final stages to secure 1st place for just 52 thousands of a second over Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) and 97 on the "King of Donington" Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team).
Factory Aprilia rider Sylvain Guintoli rode to a final 4th place followed by Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Aprilia) and works BMW duo of Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies. Carlos Checa (Team Ducati Alstare) showed some good signs of recovery - after the unfortunate but almost inevitable withdrawal from Race 2 in the previous round - to end up 8th ahead of Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki), Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Ayrton Badovini (Team Ducati Alstare).
French WSBK rookie Jules Cluzel (12th) lost control of his FIXI Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000 for a seemingly innocent crash at Turn 3 with few minutes left on the clock. It was again a tough ride for 13th place Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike), still dealing with the difficult left leg injury that is heavily affecting his performance.
No time set for Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma Aprilia), following the encouraging 2nd place in FP1, as the rider from Rome was stopped twice by technical problems on his RSV4
Times: 1. Rea (Honda) 1'43.551 average 159.643 kph; 2. Laverty (Aprilia) 1'43.603; 3. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'43.648; 4. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1'43.934; 5. Giugliano (Aprilia) 1'44.017; 6. Melandri (BMW) 1'44.026; 7. Davies (BMW) 1'44.245; 8. Checa (Ducati) 1'44.246; 9. Camier (Suzuki) 1'44.278; 10. Baz (Kawasaki) 1'44.496; 11. Badovini (Ducati) 1'44.550; 12. Cluzel (Suzuki) 1'44.593; 13. Haslam (Honda) 1'45.075; 14. Neukirchner (Ducati) 1'45.827; 15. Lundh (Kawasaki) 1'46.269; 16. Iannuzzo (BMW) 1'46.469; 17. Sandi (Kawasaki) 1'47.322; 18. Clementi (BMW) 1'47.844.
World Supersport - Sam Lowes continues to impress
After leading the first World Supersport free practice session, Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha) found himself on top again by setting the best lap-time in Q1. The current Championship leader was in 1st place already as the session was drawing to an end, but he decided to get back on track anyway to further improve his performance to a final 1'45.724, 0.522 seconds quicker than main rival for the World Supersport title Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki).
Following the encouraging performance last time out at Donington, Irishman Jack Kennedy (Rivamoto Honda) proved to be again on the right pace in qualifying as he finished third ahead of an impressive David Salom (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki), considering his 4-round absence due to a complicated hand injury.
French WSS veteran Fabien Foret (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) ended up with a competitive 5th - despite a 1.225 seconds gap from the top - followed by Luca Scassa (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki), Sheridan Morais (PTR Honda) and the still injured - and unfortunate victim of a technical problem - Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport).
Times: 1. Lowes (Yamaha) 1'45.724 average 156.362 kph; 2. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 1'46.246; 3. Kennedy (Honda) 1'46.344; 4. Salom (Kawasaki) 1'46.718; 5. Foret (Kawasaki) 1'46.949; 6. Scassa (Kawasaki) 1'47.002; 7. Morais (Honda) 1'47.019; 8. Vd Mark (Honda) 1'47.115; 9. Antonelli (Kawasaki) 1'47.153; 10. Scholtz (Suzuki) 1'47.194; etc.
Defending STK1000 Champion Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) has made the most out of Qualifying 1 to get a provisional pole position, waiting for tomorrow afternoon's second session. The Frenchman was the only rider able to lap within the 1'45 seconds and was followed by race winner at Monza Lorenzo Savadori (Team Pedercini Kawasaki).
The former Italian and European 125 cc Champion managed to narrow the gap with the front - from 1.277 seconds in FP1 to a much smaller 0.699 - to finish ahead of Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki) and fellow-Italian Eddi La Marra (Barni Racing Ducati).
La Marra's team mate and current leader in the standings Niccolò Canepa had a steady start of the Portuguese Round, resulting in a 7th place at the flag behind Leandro Mercado (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) and Matthieu Lussiana (Team Aspi Kawasaki). A last-lap crash for Ondrej Jezek (SK Energy - Fany Gastro Ducati) at Turn 3 deprived the Czech rider of a chance to improve his final 10th place.
Times: 1. Barrier (BMW) 1'45.881 average 156.130 kph; 2. Savadori (Kawasaki) 1'46.580; 3. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 1'46.704; 4. La Marra (Ducati) 1'47.245; 5. Mercado (Kawasaki) 1'47.289; 6. Lussiana (Kawasaki) 1'47.817; 7. Canepa (Ducati) 1'47.961; 8. Bergman (Kawasaki) 1'48.124; 9. Bussolotti (BMW) 1'48.318; 10. Jezek (Ducati) 1'48.347; etc.
The sun popped out from behind the clouds before the start of Qualifying 1 meaning the STK600 riders could perform at their very best at the spectacular Autodromo do Algarve. Australia's Adrian Nestorovic (MTM-MVR Racing Team Yamaha) - who scored his maiden podium finish in the series last year at Portimao - and Franco Morbidelli (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki) were able to get ahead of early leader Gauthier Duwelz to finish 1st and 2nd respectively within 0.057 seconds of each other.
Duwelz, current Championship leader onboard his MTM-MVR Racing YZF-R6, was followed closely by Bastien Chesaux (EAB Ten Kate Junior Honda), the young Swiss rider completing a very tight top-4. Nito Racing Kawasaki's Tony Covena return to the series after his World Supersport debut resulted in a 5th place in the very first qualifying session for the Portuguese round to precede Christian Gamarino (Team Goeleven Kawasaki), Robin Mulhauser (MTM-MVR Racing Yamaha) and Alessandro Nocco (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki).
Times: 1. Nestorovic (Yamaha) 1'49.152 average 151.451 kph; 2. Morbidelli (Kawasaki) 1'49.209; 3. Duwelz (Yamaha) 1'49.272; 4. Chesaux (Honda) 1'49.330; 5. Coveña (Kawasaki) 1'49.719; 6. Gamarino (Kawasaki) 1'49.824; 7. Mulhauser (Yamaha) 1'50.015; 8. Nocco (Kawasaki) 1'50.034; 9. Cecchini (Honda) 1'50.356; 10. Marchal (Yamaha) 1'50.447; etc.