Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the first day of practice at Magny-Cours:
Work in progress at Magny-Cours
Michel Fabrizio finished ninth in today’s first qualifying practice at Magny-Cours in France ahead of Sunday’s two 13th-round races. His Pata Honda team-mate Leon Haslam was 12th fastest as local rider Sylvain Guintoli took provisional pole position.
In damp but drying conditions this morning at the 4.411km circuit near Nevers in central France, Italian Fabrizio set the fastest time in his first event with circuit knowledge on Jonathan Rea’s CBR1000RR. Recent visits to Istanbul and Laguna Seca were new circuits for the 29-year-old and he is happy to be on familiar territory.
Haslam, who was sixth fastest this morning, continues to explore the parameters of the CBR as his injury-blighted season winds down, but the 30-year-old British rider and his crew admit to looking in the wrong direction today.
As long as the weather doesn’t intervene, Haslam is confident of improvement in qualifying and free practice sessions tomorrow morning before the afternoon’s Superpole to determine final grid positions for Sunday’s two 23-lap races at Magny-Cours.
Michel Fabrizio – P9
It was quite a good day and the feeling is improving. I am also happy to be on a track that I know – this makes the job easier for me. There are a couple of things we need to work on this evening but we know the area to work in. I think there is a lot of room to improve things but the main area will be with engine braking.
Leon Haslam – P12
It didn’t go so well this afternoon after we made a couple of steps but went the wrong way. We put a new tyre in but couldn’t go any faster, so I’m quite disappointed really. This morning wasn’t too bad and the start of qualifying was average, but we know what the wrong moves were and changing them will only improve the bike for tomorrow.
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
It was a difficult day with varying conditions but the qualifying session stayed dry and Michel went ninth fastest. We’re quite happy although there are still improvements to be made because lap times are not where they should be. Leon didn’t have such a good day and he doesn’t belong in 12th place. We went the wrong way with set-up so need to speak with him more and look at the data to improve things for tomorrow.
Room for improvement for Team SBK Ducati Alstare at Magny-Cours
Nevers (France), Friday 4 October 2013: Ayrton Badovini and Michele Pirro (Ducati Alstare) took to the Magny-Cours racetrack in France today for the first practice and qualifying sessions of this thirteenth round of the World Superbike championship.
On a damp track and in cool conditions, Ayrton and Michele took part in the weekend’s first practice session. The track began to dry out in part towards the end of the 45-minute session and times therefore began to drop. Ayrton recorded his best time in the final stages, closing in fourth place with a lap time of 1’43.8. Michele Pirro, taking part in his first weekend of Superbike competition, spent time working with his technicians in order to begin to set-up the bike to suit both rider and track. He made consistent progress, concluding in eighth place with a time of 1’44.3.
A short sharp rain shower just before first qualifying this afternoon did not prevent riders from recording some fast lap times. Starting to build confidence with both the new bike and the track, Michele made significant improvement during the session, registering his fastest lap in the final seconds (1’38.8) to close in tenth place. Ayrton, citing problems during braking, closed in thirteenth position with a best time of 1’40.2.
Ayrton Badovini: “Today was difficult, both in terms of the track conditions and due to the fact that we still haven’t been able to find a good set-up for my bike on this track. This morning I was only able to complete ten laps but nevertheless finished fourth. In the afternoon I hoped to improve and remain inside the top positions but unfortunately we were unable to do so. I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow so that we can continue to work and be ready for the Superpole.”
Michele Pirro: “I’m sorry that Carlos is unable to finish the season but I’m pleased to have this opportunity here this weekend. Conditions this morning were not easy but this afternoon we made a set-up modification and I was more comfortable, we were able to improve. Tomorrow we still have work to do in order to close the gap, as today we were a second from the leaders. There is room for improvement of course, especially through the second part of the turns, but considering today was my first day on track I’m quite satisfied. We’ll do everything we can to take a good result this weekend.”
SYLVAIN GUINTOLI PUTS HIS SIGNATURE ON THE FIRST QUALIFIERS ON HIS HOME TRACK AFTER PUTTING IN THE SECOND BEST TIME IN FREE PRACTICE.
A FEW PROBLEMS FOR EUGENE LAVERTY WHO IS CLOSE TO THE FRONT RUNNERS IN ANY CASE WITH THE FIFTH BEST TIME OF THE DAY.
Magny-Cours, 4 October 2013 – The weather, always a key factor at Magny-Cours, had an impact again this year on the first day of World Superbike practice today. The damp track in the morning allowed the riders to go out on slicks only in the last portion of the free practice sessions where home star, Sylvain Guintoli, put in the second best time despite only taking a total of six laps.
Ninth best time, on the other hand, went to his team mate Eugene Laverty, fresh off of his victory at Laguna Seca but encountering a few difficulties on the French track with his RSV4 settings.
In spite of threatening clouds, the afternoon qualifiers were held on a basically dry track. Times dropped drastically although nothing close to the best potential of the category. At the end of the 45 minute session Sylvain Guintoli was at the top, consistently fast and putting in excellent times even on a used tyre. Once the electronics on his RSV4 had been fine tuned Eguene Laverty also took a big step forward, stopping the clock with the fifth best time at less than a tenth of a second from a virtual podium finish for the day.
For both Aprilia standard bearers, who theoretically could take the Manufacturer Title early by the end of the Magny-Cours round, tomorrow promises to be a decisive day. First of all for Superpole, given the poor chances of overtaking on the French track, and also because of the usual work they will be doing on sharpening race pace.
Sylvain Guintoli: “Today was a good day for us, not only because of the best time in the qualifiers but above all because of the feeling I have with my RSV4 here at Magny-Cours. I did my fast lap on a ten-lap old tyre and that means that we are definitely moving in the right direction. I want to focus on riding and being fast in every session. The first day went well, but what happens on Sunday is what counts!”
Eugene Laverty: “We lost half of the first session because of the weather and then we had some problems with the engine brake and traction control settings. Toward the end of the qualifiers we managed to close the gap on the front runners, but we still have a lot of work to do if we want to be consistently fast. We'll analyse the data this evening so we can come out for tomorrow's sessions in the best possible shape”.
IMPRESSIVE 1ST DAY FOR FIXI CRESCENT SUZUKI
Team Suzuki Press Office - October 4.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki had a very positive opening day to this weekend's eni FIM Superbike World Championship at Magny-Cours as Jules Cluzel took the fourth quickest time in qualifying and stand-in rider Vincent Philippe impressed on his debut.
Cluzel was consistently with the front-runners in both of today's sessions, even heading the timesheets during this morning's free practice in difficult conditions. He continued with this form into the first qualifying this afternoon and was regularly in the top-five, before eventually ending the session in fourth, just 0.671 from the top-spot. Cluzel is convinced he will be able to improve as the weekend continues and is eager to get a good result in front of his home crowd.
Philippe turned heads during his first-ever session on a Superbike as he immediately topped the time sheets in the damp conditions of this morning's free practice. He quickly settled into a smooth riding rhythm on the Yoshimura-powered GSX-R that was reminiscent of his World Endurance Championship style. This afternoon he was able to learn more about the bike in dry conditions and continued to impress as he recorded the seventh fastest time around the 4,411m French circuit. Philippe will be looking to improve further tomorrow and learn more about the bike as he heads towards his first races in World Superbike. The Frenchman was at Magny-Cours today as a substitute for the injured Leon Camier who is still recovering from the damage he sustained in Turkey. He had some of the pins removed from his foot this week and is continuing with a thorough fitness schedule to be fit for the final race of the season at Jerez.
Today's sessions were held in very changeable conditions with a constant threat of heavy rain always in the air.
Sylvain Guintoli set the fastest time in the first qualifying session, but with rain forecast for tomorrow morning, this afternoon's times look like being the ones that will decide the Superpole positions for tomorrow afternoon.
"I am happy with today, because we were around the fourth of fifth position, maybe tomorrow second or third and then hopefully we can arrive at the first position on Sunday! I feel like it is easy to be fast, but I'm struggling to enjoy the bike because it is moving and spinning a lot. I think this is mostly due to the track condition, it's not the best and hopefully we won't have any more rain for tomorrow. Today a lot of rain was expected, but it never happened, but it is forecast for tonight so maybe we'll have these conditions tomorrow. I am only 0.6 from the leader, but I think it was possible to be faster, because at the end if we had put in the new tyre I could have been quicker. This is not the race today though and we have already made Superpole if it is raining tomorrow, so we have to be happy where we are. It looks like we have a good pace and this is important if the weather is bad tomorrow and we cannot do any more dry testing."
"It was a really good day for me and I am very happy. With the bad conditions on track this morning, I know these well and it was quite easy for me to adapt to the bike. The bike and the experience of the team really helped me, but I didn't expect to go so well, so I think in these conditions I will be ok. In the dry I didn't know how the bike behaved or how the tyres worked and I thought it would be difficult, but now when I see the lap-times I am really happy - to be where I am is really good. I had a good feeling from the front and rear tyres and the FIXI Crescent Suzuki is easy to ride and the electronics work very well. I had a little problem with the old tyre at the end of the session, so I need to try again tomorrow and see how my lines are and learn about the power of the bike, because in Endurance we use standard engines and they are very different to the Superbike. I am looking forward to tomorrow and the rest of the weekend; it is good to be here and I need to try some more things, especially the old tyre."
Paul Denning - Team Manager:
"As always seems to be the case Magny Cours brought quite mixed weather and difficult conditions for all the riders, but the track was good enough to at least use slicks and despite the low grip levels we were able to get some decent set-up work started. Jules is growing in confidence week-by-week and I think that his Superbike riding technique has improved on this type of slow-speed circuit compared to the start of the year. This means he is able to handle the slow-corner exits and slow-speed chicanes much better and understand how to get the bike around the track quickly and it is showing in the lap-times.
"Vincent has done a stunning job for his first day on a brand-new bike and on the Pirelli tyres that he has never used before. Ok he knows the track very well, but even so I don't think any of us expected him to settle in so quickly with the machine. It is a GSX-R, but it is very different to the World Endurance Championship bike that he usually campaigns. It has been a pleasure working with him on the first day; he's a gentleman and obviously a very fast rider, so let's see what the rest of the weekend can bring."
BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team - WSBK - Magny-Cours - Qualifying Practice 1
The BMW Motorrad Goldbet SBK Team got off to a strong start on Friday at “Circuit de Nevers, Magny-Cours” (FRA). Factory rider Chaz Davies (GBR) qualified third on the provisional front row in today’s first qualifying practice for the thirteenth round of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship. Marco Melandri (ITA) finished eighth after three outings in the qualifying practice, improving his lap time on each outing. In the morning’s free practice the track was wet following overnight rainfall. Chaz posted the third fastest time as the track was drying towards the end of the session while Marco opted to remain in the garage after his outing and was therefore eighteenth.
In the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup, Greg Gildenhuys (RSA) who rode at Magny-Cours for the first time last year, qualified eleventh on his BMW HP4. Championship leader, Sylvain Barrier (FRA) qualified sixteenth after pulling into the pits with a small issue in the first ten minutes of the qualifying session. Before he could get back out it started to rain, meaning he could not improve his time.
Fastest lap Free Practice: 1:43.842 min (P3) /Fastest lap Qualifying Practice 1: 1:39.378 min (P3)
“The position wasn’t too bad today but I’m not overly happy. I think we can improve the setting a decent amount. Considering how far away I feel we’re actually not too far away on the timesheets. We were lucky to have a dry day after the weather has been so mixed. It’s good to get some set up info for Sunday because it is meant to be dry but you never know. Generally it’s not been a bad day but there’s room for improvement. We’ve been working on the suspension mostly today; tomorrow we need to work more on the rear of the bike. We found a little bit more grip on my last outing but generally we need some more stability.”
Fastest lap Free Practice: 1:53.012min (P18) /Fastest lap Qualifying Practice 1: 1:39.678 min (P8)
“Today the weather conditions were not easy. This morning in the free practice, the weather meant we could not make the best use of the session. In the afternoon in the first qualifying session the track was almost dry but there were still wet patches. Despite this we were able to improve, especially with the rear end. I’m still struggling with the front when entering the corner and the race pace is not close to the riders at the front. We will have to do our best to utilise the data we collected from the qualifying to set up the bike. For tomorrow I hope to have consistent weather, completely dry or wet.”
Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“Today we worked for the races and we improved, even if we still have room for more. Overall we’re quite satisfied, Chaz is third and Marco is eight and should it rain tomorrow both riders would still qualify for Superpole. Today weather conditions were difficult. This morning free practice was not used completely, while in the afternoon the track was still a little wet. Anyhow the weather conditions were the same for everyone.
In Superstock 1000, Greg is eleventh while Sylvain is a bit further back. In the qualifying session he had an issue and, unluckily, when it was fixed it had started to rain again and he could not improve. For sure tomorrow he’ll be able to return to his normal level.”
Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“It has been a tough day. In the morning we lost track time due to the conditions. We used the afternoon session to work on the machine. We are still far from the top guys and we are losing time mainly in the first sector. Both riders have improved the feeling during the session but both are struggling going into the corner. Marco is not confident with the front end of the bike and this is the area where our engineers will focus for tomorrow morning. Chaz and his crew will work on the setting but also on engine brake management. It is clear where we are losing and now we will improve the machine. We are confident that tomorrow we can offer a better package to both riders.”
Pata Honda’s Zanetti confident after day one
Lorenzo Zanetti took a provisional front row spot in today’s opening qualifying session for Sunday’s penultimate 2013 World Supersport championship race at Magny-Cours in France.
The 26-year-old Italian found a groove in variable weather conditions at the 4.411km circuit to qualify just behind championship protagonists Sam Lowes, who took provisional pole, and last round winner Kenan Sofuoglu.
Zanetti’s team-mate Michael van der Mark, 20, who finished on the podium last time out at Istanbul in Turkey, was seventh fastest today, but the young Dutch ace is confident of further improvement in tomorrow’s final qualifying session.
Lorenzo Zanetti – P3, 1m42.731s
For the first day I am quite happy. It was a little wet this morning and then a bit half-and-half later but I was comfortable. I had a good feeling in the dry, too, and when we put in the softer tyre the result was OK. We are not at lap record pace but the conditions were not so good but it was important to get a good position today in case of rain tomorrow. Race pace is OK but there are a couple of place on the track where I know I can improve.
Michael van der Mark – P7, 1m43.275s
I think we can be quite happy today. The conditions were a little bit so-so this morning but we went out to do a lot of laps and I finished in P3, so that was quite OK. The track is new for me on the Supersport CBR600RR so I need to find the right gears and stuff but qualifying was not too bad in the end. I was quite consistent but I need some more speed for tomorrow.
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
The weather was a little variable today and the track was wet but drying in the morning. It was dry this afternoon and Lorenzo was near the top of the charts all through the session. Because the weather is a little unstable his third place could be very important. Michael has also been in touch throughout the day but has little problems in the last two splits. There are a couple of things we can improve for tomorrow, but it’s been a pretty good start to the weekend.
ParkinGO MV Agusta Corse
Magny-Cours, 4th October 2013
Roberto Rolfo and Christian Iddon’s MV F3 675 of the ParkinGO MV Agusta Corse have been protagonist, in free practice and first qualifying.
Roberto Rolfo 15˚ in free practice, looking for the best set up, has ended up with the 11th best time in qualifying.
Christian Iddon, in his debut on the French circuit, has finished 4th in both sessions, definitively feeling comfortable in a patchy or dry track.
Both riders ParkinGO have performed well on the long runs and hot laps. The hope is for tomorrow and the second last grid of the season.
Roberto Rolfo (11th)
This morning we lost a lot of time looking for the right set up and we didn’t manage to improve.
In qualifying, we have managed to be quicker and better.
We still have some problems changing direction but the bike is definitely performing better. In the afternoon qualifying I have used the same tyre and I have to say that I am very satisfied of the behaviour of the bike in these conditions. We are ready for tomorrow. We will work to get a good position in the grid.
Christian Iddon (4th)
Is a brand new track for me but I liked it straight away. This morning I have used the firsts laps to understand better the track and then I concentrated on my pace.
Whn I am on my own the corner line is definitely better than when I am in the middle with other riders, the bike behaves a bit more nervous but still performing very well.
Either wet or dry with cold temperatures my ridding style goes very well with these conditions. I feel I can do better.
15th For Kennedy & Rivamoto In France On Day One
The Rivamoto team arrived at the Magny-Cours circuit near nevers in France for the penultimate round of the World Supersport championship with Jack Kennedy looking to build upon an already impressive debut World championship season.
The French circuit is one of the most technical tracks on the calendar, posting another new challenge for Kennedy who is riding on another circuit for the first time this weekend.
After overnight rain, the opening session was held on a damp track, but in typical fashion, Jack was soon up to speed, ending the free practice session in 8th. Edik Blokhin, the team’s other rider was an encouraging 29th.
By the time qualifying began, the track had virtually dried out giving both riders their first opportunity to ride at full speed.
As the session progressed and with Edik making steps forward, Jack was working hard, making as many laps as possible, searching for the best set-up for the conditions.
We are used to seeing a late surge from the team and especially Jack in the final moments of qualifying and today was no exception, as with less than twelve minutes to go, the Rivamoto Honda rider improved from 26th to 17th and then again to 15th position overall at the flag.
With the feeling that they simply ran out of time to improve further, the team are looking ahead to final qualifying with optimism.
Jack Kennedy – 15th position on the provisional grid: “The track is taking a bit of learning. 15th is not where we want to be but we made some good steps forward through the session. We will work hard to improve again for tomorrow and qualifying further up the grid.”
Jeremy McWilliams – Team Manager: “Jack’s still learning and a wet session like we had this morning only really tells you where the track goes so qualifying was like starting new. There is definitely more to come. Playing catch up isn’t ideal but we are there or there about.”
The final qualifying session will take place on a hopefully dry Magny-Cours circuit at 1635 local time.
Webb inside top 20 in first qualifying
PTR HONDA's Danny Webb took a fighting 19th in provisional qualifying for Sunday's 12th and penultimate round of the World Supersport Championship at Magny Cours in France.
The Londoner suffered a heavy crash in the morning session and his PTR technicians worked hard to get him out on track for qualifying. Danny said: "Every outing is a learning exercise and with a wet track in the morning and dry in the afternoon we have had it all. There are still improvements to come from me and the bike, so I am looking forward to seeing what we can achieve tomorrow."
PTR debutant Lee Johnston enjoyed an impressive start with 12th in the morning damp session and backed that up with 22nd in the afternoon. Still learning about his bike, the team, tyres and track, he is showing real promise.
Luca Marconi in 24th rode consistently and will be looking for more speed and an improved grid position in final qualifying.
New to World Championship racing, Corey Alexander from the USA was 28th. A good achievement in his first outing with the team, on a new bike, at a new circuit and with challenging weather conditions, he is expected to keep getting better all weekend.
Nacho Calero in 29th has some work to do to improve tomorrow and get to the top 20 that is his target for the race, which starts at 1330CET on Sunday, October 6th.
Simon Buckmaster, PTR Honda Team Manager: "Danny had a big crash in the morning and the team did very well to rebuild his bike and get him out in qualifying. 19th is a good start and he continues his progress in the class, we think he can go a fair bit faster still.
"Lee has really impressed us with his raw speed and determination first time in the class and with the team. He looks like he belongs here and he has obvious potential. Luca is riding OK but there is so much more to come from him and we all know it. We'll be working with him to get him fired up for tomorrow.
"Corey has taken a massive step forward in coming to this class and he is riding well on a difficult first day. He has ability and determination and with more time on the bike we expect to see him climbing the timesheets.
"Nacho is behind where we anticipated, so we will be talking with him to find out what we can do to improve for next practice and final qualifying."
WSBK Stk600 - San Carlo Team Italia dominates in Magny Cours
Nocco conquers provisional pole ahead of Morbidelli in the second-to-last race of the championship.
Both in free practice and qualifiers, the Italians confirm their form on a humid track
Nocco proved his maturity, despite being just 16 years old, dominating both sessions on Friday and taking provisional pole on a tricky surface with a 1'44"706, the only lap under 1'45.
Morbidelli also enjoyed a positive outing. The championship leader was second in both sessions, controlling Gamarino, fourth, on whom he has a six point lead. The Italian posted a 1'45"513.
Cristiano Migliorati (FMI Technical Coordinator)
"The setup worked well for both the gearbox and the frame. Both riders like the track and today's result confirms that we are on the right track. We're still far from lap records simply because of the track conditions. We didn't push over the limit and stayed calm ahead of tomorrow, when we will aim at first row."
Riccardo Russo (Puccetti Racing Kawasaki) improved constantly throughout the day on the track where he was second last year in Stk600. After being 18th in the morning, the Italian forced the pace and climbed back to 12th, 1''4 behind provisional poleman Lowes.
Championship Leader Lewis 5th On Opening Day At Magny-Cours
New Zealand’s Jake Lewis arrived in France for the penultimate round of the PATA European Junior Cup with a slender 4 point advantage at the top of the standings.
The flying Kiwi who has 3 podium finishes to his name, including victories in Aragon, Spain and at Silverstone, UK, was in confident mood as the riders ventured out onto the Magny-Cours circuit for their opening Free Practice session.
Lewis, who has matured throughout the season, rode sensibly in the early stages before setting some impressive times, ending the session 5th but more importantly several places ahead of his nearest championship rival Robin Anne.
The conditions today were less than ideal, with a number of corners on the technical French circuit still damp from the earlier rain shower.
Tomorrow’s all important qualifying session is scheduled to take place at 1330 local time and judging by today’s final timesheet, Lewis is well placed to challenge for Pole Position.
Local Rider Raymond Heads The EJC Field In French Free Practice
After a gap of several weeks, the riders competing for the PATA European Junior Cup powered by Honda re-joined the World Superbike paddock for the penultimate round of the championship at the Magny -Cours circuit, France.
The championship is one of the closest in terms of riders still in with a shout of taking the title, so with 14 riders still mathematically capable of winning, this weekend’s race promises to be closer than ever, if that’s at all possible!
Today’s free practice session gave the group of talented youngsters their first glimpse of the technical French circuit, although for some it was a refresher, given their competing in 2012.
The session was initially headed by Guillaume Raymond who looked unstoppable for the majority of the session. The flying Frenchman dropped to second for a matter of seconds, before retaking the top spot.
Hannes Soomer (Estonia) left it until his final lap to leapfrog Kevin Manfredi for second position overall, the Italian then falling without injury in the closing minutes.
Augusto Fernandez was the top Spaniard in 4th position, a fraction ahead of the current championship leader, Kiwi Jake Lewis.
Michael Canducci (Italy), Javier Orellana (Spain), Peter Sebestyen (Hungary), Richard Bodis (Hungary) and Brit Josh Harland completed the top ten.
Championship contenders Robin Anne (France) and James Flitcroft (Great Britain) could only manage 11th and 15th respectively.
Stinius Viking Odegard suffered a technical problem mid session, while wildcard Volter Patronen (Finland) and Indonesian rider Ali Adriansyah Rusmiputro joined Manfredi on the floor.
Female riders Sabrina Paiuta (Brazil) and Amelie Demoulin (France) powered their PATA Honda CBR500cc machines to 24th and 30th positions.
All riders should be back on track tomorrow for official qualifying which is scheduled to run at 1330 local time.