Press releases from the organizers and teams after the first day of practice at Imola:
WorldSBK: Davies on Top on Day 1 at Imola
Ducati rider flies the home flag for Italian manufacturer at home
Chaz Davies remained on top of the timesheets at the end of FP2 on Friday, with a 1’47.014 seeing him head Kawasaki Racing Team riders Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea. After a morning session interrupted by a red flag, FP2 was completed without stoppage for entry to Tissot-Superpole 2 to be decided. Tom Sykes did suffer a problem during the second session that saw the Kawasaki rider forced to return to the pits, but after moving from P8 in FP1 to P2 in FP2, the Yorkshireman will easily go through to Superpole 2.
The first session of the day was red-flagged due to track conditions, with oil on the track from an incident with 35 minutes on the clock when Kawasaki rider Tom Sykes was the pacesetter. Once cleared, practice resumed some minutes later as the pit lane reopened at 11:05 local time (GMT +2), with Chaz Davies then taking almost four tenths off Sykes’ time as he started a run of continually faster laps, eventually setting a 1’47.517 that saw him top the morning session by half a second from MV Agusta rider Leon Camier.
Camier was another local hero of sorts as the Brit kept MV Agusta’s great morning form in the second session, maintaining the position of the improving bike high up the timesheets in P5, but 4th overall on combined results. Markus Reiterberger was another rider who impressed in the afternoon after a steady and solid start for Althea BMW on Friday morning, with the German moving up to P4 in the second session and fifth overall. His teammate Jordi Torres also moved up the timesheets in FP2 into P6, with the Catalan rider taking eight tenths off his time from the morning.
IodaRacing’s Lorenzo Savadori remained the fastest Italian on Friday thanks to his time in FP1, and also remained in the top ten in FP2, ending the session in P9 on his Aprilia and P7 overall. Compatriot Davide Giugliano, on the second Aruba.it Racing – Ducati machine, was 11th in FP2 but gains entry to Tissot-Superpole 2 from his earlier lap time that puts him in P9 on the combined list. Matteo Baiocco, riding as replacement for injured Fabio Menghi at VFT, ended his fantastic Friday with direct entry to Superpole 2 as 10th quickest overall, and was the quickest Italian in the second practice session. With extra home motivation, each can be satisfied with the first day on track and the chance to go for more glory in both Tissot-Superpole and Race 1 on Saturday.
Sylvain Guintoli, despite a small crash near the end of the second session, made sure to get his Pata Yamaha into Superpole 2 and improved his lap time from the morning to end FP2 in P7; ending the day 8th on the combined timesheets as the YZF R1 starts to feel at home in WorldSBK. Teammate Alex Lowes also ended the second practice session inside the top ten, but just lost out on the chance to graduate straight to Superpole 2 and will be fighting to move through Superpole 1 alongside Honda riders Michael van der Mark and Nicky Hayden.
Honda Official WorldSBK Team had a difficult first day at Imola. Number 69 Nicky Hayden is a rookie at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari however, and teammate Michael van der Mark has so far proven one of the most consistent frontrunners in the paddock, so with a great podium record so far in the season, there is progress sure to be found before the points are awarded.
Chaz Davies tops Friday’s free practice sessions in Imola, Davide Giugliano in ninth position
The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team kicked off the fifth round of the WorldSBK championship in style in Imola, topping the time sheets with Chaz Davies, who posted the provisional best time during the Friday's free practice sessions. After taking the lead in the morning, Davies confirmed his competitiveness during FP2, improving his lap times by almost four tenths of a second and clocking 16 laps with an encouraging pace in race configuration. Davies finished day one with a personal best of 1:47.014, 0.333 seconds faster than his closest opponent Tom Sykes.
Davide Giugliano’s campaign started more a few more difficulties than expected. The Italian posted the ninth best time with a 1:48.384, 1.370 seconds behind his teammate. Giugliano, who only used one rear tyre until the half-way point of FP2 to optimize the work on the race setup, could not find the anticipated improvements on fresh tyres after clocking the fifth best lap in FP1. Both riders gained direct access to Superpole 2, scheduled for 10:55 (CET) Saturday.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 1:47.014 (1st)
“Given that this is only day one, we certainly can’t compain about our performance. I felt comfortable on the Panigale R since the very first exit, and the bike has been immediately more competitive on this track than last year. In the afternoon, we worked on the gearbox and managed to make further improvements, and I was also able to make a couple of longer runs with a quite constant rhythm. I tried two rear-tyre options, both of which seem to work. The choice will depend on the strategy one wants to adopt during the race. Anyways, it’s only Friday and we need to keep working. There are still a few tenths of a second up for grabs out there.”
Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #34) – 1:48.384 (9th)
“This track has suited me well in the past, but unfortunately we weren’t able to make the necessary steps forward today. I still can’t ride the way I want to, but for sure we’re not giving up, as we know we have the necessary tools to climb back. We simply have our work cut out for us. Unfortunately we won’t have much time to evaluate further changes before the race but, together with the team, we’ll think of all options, leaving no stone unturned. It will be very important to start strong tomorrow during FP3 to make a good Superpole, then anything can happen during the race.”
Honda WorldSBK duo looking for more at Imola
Round 5 – Italy
Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Italy
It was a challenging opening day of action for the Honda WorldSBK Team at Imola’s ‘Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari’ today, where the fifth round of the 2016 FIM Superbike World Championship is currently underway. At the end of Friday’s two one-hour long free practice sessions, Michael van der Mark ended up 14th while Nicky Hayden, who did his first laps of the Italian track on his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP, was 16th at the chequered flag of FP2. Therefore, unlike every other race so far this year, both riders will have to take part into Superpole 1 tomorrow.
Van der Mark and his crew worked hard to find a base set-up for the Dutchman’s Fireblade machine on the Italian track, which was partially resurfaced over the winter in two areas: from the uphill section leading to to ‘Acque Minerali’ (turns 10 and 11) to the ‘Variante Alta’ (turn 14) and between the two ‘Rivazza’ corners (turns 18 and 19) to the pit lane entrance. With today’s data to analyse, the team will plan further changes to the settings of the bike, which will be evaluated during tomorrow morning’s 15-minute FP3 – scheduled at 8:45.
Nicky Hayden had his first taste of the iconic Italian track, which lived up to its fame of being a difficult one to learn. The American was able to set his fastest time of the day with a couple of minutes left in today’s action and he is now looking forward to trying some new settings ahead of Superpole.
Michael van der Mark 60
14th / 1.49.166
I would lie if I say I’m happy with how things have gone today. It looks like we have yet to find the key to be quick on this track and this has certainly put us on the back foot somewhat, because so far this year we have always been competitive right from the off. I have a feeling we have been skirting around the problems today, but I’m confident that the guys will find a way to make the bike work as well as it did before.
Nicky Hayden 69
16th / 1'49.364
Overall it hasn’t been a positive day. Learning such a difficult track with this many elevation changes is never easy, plus there have been many little things that haven’t gone our way. Because of all this we couldn’t build any rhythm and make progress, and so now we have to try and make our way through Superpole 1. It’s really hard to tell how much is me being new here, or the bike set-up, because even Michael had his own struggles today. Right now, all we need to do is to get it together and refocus for tomorrow; hopefully we’ll be able to turn things around.
We’re obviously not happy with today’s results as we were expecting to be much higher up the timing sheets. We are now analysing the data gathered today but it seems that for some reason we struggled to find a setup that could give us a good grip around this track, and that applies to both riders. Of course, for Nicky it was also his first day of action here, which didn’t help. We now have a bit of time to go through everything in order to get a fresh start tomorrow morning.
Smooth sailing for the Althea BMW Racing Team on day one at Imola
Imola (Italy), Friday 29 April 2016:
A positive first day for the Althea BMW Racing team on track at Imola for its first ‘home’ race of the season. SBK riders Markus Reiterberger and Jordi Torres qualified in fifth and sixth place for tomorrow's Superpole 2, while Stock1000 rider Raffaele De Rosa dominated the free practices to finish first overall.
Torres and Reiterberger took to the track this morning for the first timed practice, using the first half of the hour-long session to get to grips with the track and build confidence, particularly Markus who has not raced here since 2012. During the second half of the session, the young German was able to make a good step to close with a best of 1’48.874 in ninth place. Spanish rider Jordi completed the session right behind his team-mate, tenth, thanks to a time of 1’48.880.
During the afternoon, both Althea BMW riders were able to make significant progress, identifying an effective set-up for their BMW S1000 RR bikes. Times dropped dramatically, with the pair lapping almost a second quicker than during the morning, to set respective best times of 1’47.949 (Reiterberger) and 1’48.077 (Torres), closing in fifth and sixth place and easily qualifying for tomorrow’s SP2.
In the Stock 1000 free practice sessions, current championship leader De Rosa immediately made his presence felt, lapping with consistently fast times in both of the day's sessions. His best lap of the morning – a 1’52.801, achieved in damp conditions – put him up into second, while during the afternoon he was able to really show his potential, setting the fastest overall time, 1’49.388, to finish first.
“I’m pleased. I’m really enjoying riding the bike here and fifth place is a good result for day one. The lap times are not so bad either; we’ve completed a decent long run and I was pretty happy with the pace. Then with new tyres and small change to the set-up, I was also able to set a good fast lap. It took me a little time this morning to find a good feeling with the track, and the bike, as I haven’t been here since 2012 but I’m feeling good, also because I think we still have room for improvement tomorrow.”
“At this point of the championship, we’re trying to find the bike’s limit, having accumulated a lot of information over previous weekends. Let’s say that we’re making lots of very small changes to improve the bike. This afternoon, I felt more confident and could push harder, which allowed me to set a fast time. There are still points of the track where we can improve, through the Variante Alta and Variante Bassa for example, because I struggle, with my particular riding style, with the changes of direction through the tight turns.”
Raffaele De Rosa
“This morning the track was still damp in certain places and so I was lacking a little confidence because of that but results were still positive. In the afternoon, we made a good start, going out on used tyres that were not bad at all. Then with the new tyres I could do a lot more of course, I thought there might be a drop after a few laps but performance remained constant. Perhaps I could be a little bit more precise through sector one but we can work on this tomorrow. We don’t need to make any big changes as I’m comfortable with the bike and everything is going well. I just hope we can complete a dry qualifying session tomorrow.”
Top Three Qualifying Positions For KRT Runners After Imola Day One
At the fifth round of the 2016 FIM Superbike World Championship at Imola in Italy Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea were second and third fastest respectively on their all-new Ninja ZX-10R machines after the first day of qualifying had been completed.
Although he lost some track time due to technical issues with his rear brake in the second one-hour long practice session today, Sykes improved his previous morning session best time with a 1’47.347. This put him second, and 0.097 seconds ahead of his team-mate Jonathan Rea, with one more 15 minute practice session and then Superpole qualifying to come later for both KRT riders.
Sykes could not get a planned long run/race simulation completed this afternoon but is confident that his machine set-up is already good, with just some final adjustments to be done in Saturday’s short third practice session.
With more track time available to him on Friday Rea completed a long run and will now make some small adjustments before Superpole on Saturday, which will be followed shortly afterwards by the first race of the weekend.
Rea and Sykes will hope to get their winning totals moving on again in Italy, starting on Saturday in race one and then finishing with the second race, which will be held on Sunday 1st May.
Dry weather conditions blessed the 4.936km long circuit all through day one’s practice sessions, despite some darker clouds appearing overhead at times.
Tom Sykes stated: “It was good to get second place in the time sheets, even though we had two problems with the rear brake. This also disturbed our pace but we have potential and for this I am happy. When I had the issue in the second run I was a little bit nervous but we still improved our lap time. I am happy with that. Overall I wanted to put a long run together but I think the bike is quote close to where we wanted to be. This is something positive. To improve the lap time in the afternoon session means that, all things considered, we have to be happy that we are second fastest. Chaz Davies has been unbelievably fast so we need to pay attention to that and see if tomorrow we can improve the bike a little bit over distance. I feel we are close enough to start race one now.”
Jonathan Rea stated: “We did a long run and we are working step-by-step this weekend, not making too many massive changes. We have been concentrating on electronics with Paolo. Both Paolo and Danilo, the other electronics engineer, have worked really strongly to give us a good engine brake strategy that we are developing. Today felt like a lot of testing had been done, so to put a race simulation on top of that gives a lot of information to help fine tune things. It looks like we can improve even further with that information and I am quite happy. I feel I have a got good rhythm and tomorrow is the big job. I felt like we ticked the boxes and we tried two options of race tyres. For me I feel quite clear that one of them will work better. It has been a good day and we really needed the track to be dry. I am making good progress and there are quite a few areas where we feel we can improve. Today we learned a lot.”
Roman Ramos (Go Eleven Team Kawasaki) qualified 13th on the opening day at Imola, with stand-in rider Lucas Mahias (Pedercini Racing Team Kawasaki) once more substituting for the injured Sylvain Barrier, and going 18th fastest. Ramos was later declared unfit because of a fall and fracture to his first left metacarpus. Dominic Schmitter (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) placed 19th. Saeed Al Sulaiti (Pedercini Racing Team Kawasaki) was 21st and Josh Hook (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) 24th.
Race Day Preparation Friday's Focus for Pata Yamaha
Sylvain Guintoli and Alex Lowes got straight down to business at Imola's Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari today as the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team focused it's concentration on preparing for the first of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship's fifth round races. Having already proved over recent events that their WorldSBK-spec YZF-R1's have the pace to qualify well, the two Yamaha riders concentrated on long runs and tyre wear management for the majority of Friday's free practice concluding the two hour-long sessions in eighth and eleventh places respectively.
Confident with his machine's one-lap pace, after his consecutive front row qualifying performances at Aragon and Assen, Guintoli turned his attention to strategy and management for the opening sessions at the iconic Italian track. Notorious as one of the most technical on the WorldSBK calendar, the 4,936m undulating layout provided the perfect challenge to fine-tune his YZF-R1's set-up. Leaving his fast runs until the closing stages of this afternoon's free practice, the Frenchman unfortunately fell at the final chicane, failing to complete his best lap of the day and convert his projected P4 position. His earlier 1'48.342 time, however, remained enough to secure his top-ten classification and promotion into Saturday's Superpole 2 ahead of the 19-lap race at 13:00 local time.
Lowes concluded his first two free practice sessions at Imola narrowly missing out on automatic Superpole qualification by just 0.081 seconds. The British rider also spent Friday working through a detailed development programme, his consecutive set of fastest times coming early in the afternoon session. Missing out on a 1'48.0 best due to narrowly cutting the final chicane, Lowes' 1'48.600 lap, recorded on his third revolution, puts the 25-year-old in 11th place in the combined times and joining the early qualifying battle at 10:30 local time tomorrow morning.
8th / 1'48.342 / 32 laps
"A small crash in my fastest lap at the end of the session was disappointing but we are still firmly in the top ten for Superpole tomorrow so this is a positive. We have been continuing to work on the race development for the majority of today as this is the main area we still need to improve. We will keep working tomorrow but, for me, I just need to get my head down, push hard and let the technicians do their job! The solutions we are looking for are very difficult to pinpoint but I have confidence that we will get there."
11th / 1'48.600 / 34 laps
"A difficult day for us to be honest, I love this track but everything has to be working in harmony to allow us to chip away and find the best rhythm and that was quite difficult today. I had a small crash at the end of the morning session which didn't help but my main focus was to improve the performance on worn tyres. I felt quite good this afternoon until we reached about eight or nine laps and then we started to struggle a bit. We could do with another Friday to improve further before the first race really but I'm positive that the team, and myself, can make a decent step tomorrow morning and we will keep pushing for where we know we should be."
Paul Denning - Team Principal
"After the inconsistent weather at Assen and knowing the very technical character of the Imola Circuit we expected day one to be challenging here for the WorldSBK-specification YZF-R1 and so it has proved. We didn't see the potential best lap of either rider with Alex's best of a high '47 being cancelled due to a very small infringement at the last chicane and Sylvain crashing at the same corner when he was on schedule for third or fourth position. So, as we have seen at recent events, the ultimate lap time for both riders is there, but on both sides of the garage we are still searching for consistency on used tyres and to avoid a big lap-time drop once the grip reduces. There is very little time to prepare tomorrow before the first race but everybody is committed to making big improvements overnight."
Imola Round, Savadori goes directly in SP2, De Angelis is seventeenth
Imola, April 29, 2016 - The first day of practice on the circuit Enzo and Dino Ferrari in Imola for the Superbike Round number 5 of 2016 ended for Iodaracing pilots, Lorenzo Savadori and Alex De Angelis.
Lorenzo Savadori made the most of the knowledge of the previous seasons track in Superstock and good base set-point of his Aprilia RSV4 RF to center the goal of access to Superpole 2 by closing the FP2 with the ninth fastest time in 1.48.520 . The reigning Stock 1000 Champion has registered one of the best top speeds of FP2 in 289.8 Km/h.
A bit more difficulties for Alex De Angelis on his return to the track after the accident in the Netherland's Race2 warm-up which cause rupture of the extensor tendon of the little finger of his left hand, now in recovery. The rider from San Marino had to regain confidence with the track of Imola, where he rode last time in 1999. At the end of FP2, De Angelis clocked the seventeenth lap time in 1.49.649. For De Angelis, the goal is to seek a better set-up of his Aprilia RSV4 with RF data acquired in the two free practice sessions today.
ALEX DE ANGELIS # 15 - IMOLA ROUND - FP2 - 1.49.649 - SEVENTEENTH - "Today for me it was a difficult day as forecasted. I have difficulties in driving because they are forced to bend the little finger, so I can hardly keep the handlebar with only three fingers. Driving in this manner is not impossible but it's a bit 'strange, I have to get used to, because in this circuit there are many chicanes and so I think tomorrow it could already be better. Despite this we worked a lot on the bike even removing the power to the bike for the wheeling issue, but tonight we'll try to look at the data to find a solution to use all the horsepower into my Aprilia. Imola is one of the most difficult tracks in the world. To me to get on a new track (where not wandered from 1999) in a new category does not help because the bike is so moving for the natural behavior of the tires, plus there are many points where you are bent, then take the feeling is very difficult, once I get it I know that everything will get better. "
Imola Day 1:
The best quotes from the first day of action at #ImolaWorldSBK
Chaz Davies (Ducati)
Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki)
P1 - Chaz Davies @chazdavies
Aruba.it Racing - Ducati @ArubaRacing
"It’s been a good day. P1 this morning and P1 this afternoon…I can’t complain! It seemed like the bike was in the ballpark first thing this morning. I took it out and on the first run it felt like a few of the issues we struggled with last year were gone. Last year we had a different set of internal gear ratios and this year we’ve kind of changed our spread of gears a little bit and that immediately was a big help around here because Imola is quite critical for gear patterns. I’m pretty happy but I’ve got to keep in my mind that is only Friday, and keep working."
P2 - Tom Sykes @TheRealTomSykes
Kawasaki Racing Team @KRT_WorldSBK
"It’s been a mixed one to be honest. In Session 1 we were a bit on the back foot trying various solutions and then in Session 2 the initial feeling was good but then I started to have a problem with the rear brake. Luckily the problem was in an area where I wasn’t on lean angle, and my mechanic skills came out and I was able to get the ZX-10R back to the garage. We went back out but the tyres weren’t fully up to temperature and I was nervous, but we still improved our lap time and the bike felt good. The guys did a great job and fixed the bike but then the problem reoccurred so it upset the rhythm and what we wanted to do but we need to be happy because the pace is not so bad. We just need to look at what the opposition are doing and pay big attention to that. But honestly speaking, we have a good base setting and some good information to use for tomorrow’s FP3."
P3 - Jonathan Rea @jonathanrea
Kawasaki Racing Team @KRT_WorldSBK
"Pretty good to be honest. It’s been great to get some dry track time. In Assen we had some new parts coming from the electronics side but we never got chance to use it and here we’ve just been chipping away at that. In the afternoon we managed a Race simulation to let the guys learn more and more and have good information. I think we learned a lot today. The position's not so bad and I set my fastest lap in the middle of the race run so that’s quite encouraging and so for Friday, I’m quite happy."
P4 - Leon Camier @leoncamier
MV Agusta Reparto Corse @MVAgustaMotor
"Really really happy to be honest. We weren’t expecting to be this strong. There’s a few places we’re losing out that we’re hoping tomorrow can be reduced a bit, but all in all the chassis and electronics we’ve got working well. The problem is that tomorrow, the change we’re going to make with the engine is going to throw the electronics out a fair bit so we have to try and anticipate this as much as possible and be prepared for tomorrow morning because we’ve only got 15 minutes and then we’re straight into Superpole."
P7 - Lorenzo Savadori @lorysava32
“It was a good day for us. Ioda and Aprilia worked hard and I’m straight through to Superpole 2 so I’m very happy about that. Tomorrow I hope to improve the feeling with the bike and hope to make a good set up for the Race.”
Lorenzo Savadori (Aprilia) and Markus Reiterberger (BMW)
Leon Camier (MV Agusta)
WorldSSP - Sofuoglu topped Day 1
P1 - Kenan Sofuoglu - @kenan_sofuoglu
Kawasaki Puccetti Racing
"This track is good personally for me and in the past I had good results here. I like hard braking and I like the fast chicanes, they're my style. The bike set up is very good, from this morning, and I’ve kept a similar set up. Now we play with the details in a small area and today when I did a long run I understood there’s something we need to change on the bike, but it was good that we got to do a long run. We can probably improve some tenths more. We’ll see in Superpole tomorrow, but it feels good, the team did a good job and the bike is at a good level."
WorldSSP: Sofuoglu reigns as Krummenacher closes up
Defending Champion quickest after first day on track at Imola
Kawasaki Puccetti Racing rider Kenan Sofuoglu has topped the first practice session at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola, leading ESS San Carlo Team Italia rider Alessandro Zaccone and his compatriot Federico Caricasulo. Reigning Champion Sofuoglu has thus far been chasing teammate Randy Krummenacher in the points standings since Phillip Island, and took advantage of his rookie teammate not knowing the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari to gain an advantage in the inter-team battle on Day 1.
Alessandro Zaccone, a rider forming part of the FIM Europe Supersport Cup, was the fastest Italian after a large improvement from FP1 to take his San Carlo Team Italia bike into P2, just ahead of fellow rookie Federico Caricasulo for Bardahl Evan Bros. Honda Racing. Both Zaccone and local Ravennate rider Caricasulo have shown great pace already in 2016 and further impressed at their home round, gaining entry to Tissot-Superpole 2.
Rookie Krummenacher ended FP1 in P11 after his first contact with the Imola circuit, and put in an incredible show of improvement in FP2 to end the day in P4 overall. Never having ridden at the daunting Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, the Swiss Championship leader can be more than satisfied with a much reduced gap to his veteran teammate Sofuoglu after the second session of the weekend.
MV Agusta Reparto Corse had more home glory to be proud of with Frenchman Jules Cluzel ending Friday in P5, just ahead of key 2015 title rival PJ Jacobsen on the Honda in P6. GRT rider Gino Rea kept his MV Agusta in P6 just behind the American by the end of the opening day, despite a crash in the final five minutes of FP2. Lorenzo Zanetti, Cluzel’s MV Agusta Reparto Corse teammate, finished the day in P8 ahead of Ayrton Badovini from Team Lorini and Team GOELEVEN’s Ondrej Jezek in P9 and P10 respectively.
WorldSSP Tissot-Superpole begins on Saturday at 11:30am local time (GMT +2), as those just outside the top ten fight through Superpole 1 to decide the grid for the race, with lights out at 11:20am on Sunday.
Solid work on race distance for PJ Jacobsen on opening day at Imola
Round 5 – Italy
Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Italy
PJ Jacobsen and the Honda WorldSSP Team have concluded the first day of action for the FIM Supersport World Championship at Imola in sixth place, with some good positives to bring into tomorrow’s free practice 3 and Superpole 2 sessions. The 22-year-old American spent almost the whole two-hour track-time available today working on race pace around the 4.936km Italian circuit, which proved once again to suit the Honda CBR600RR very well.
In the final minutes of the second session, Jacobsen was not able to put together a super quick-lap attempt that would have moved him further up the order. This was not helped by the vast field of 37 Supersport riders on track, a situation that characterises the European rounds, which include the FIM Europe Supersport Cup runners. WorldSSP action resumes tomorrow morning for the 15-minute FP3 session, scheduled at 9:15 local time (GMT+2) before the fifth-round Superpole, the second session of which begins at 11:55.
Patrick Jacobsen 2
6th / 1'52.425
Today we were able to do a great job, especially on race pace. I have been out on track a lot and put in a large number of laps; we didn’t use many tyres and this is why the fast lap didn’t come, but that wasn’t our concern for today. The bike feels really good in race configuration – we just needed a couple of small changes – but apart from that everything worked fine out of the box. I’m now really looking forward to tomorrow and hopefully we will make one step forward and have a good qualifying session.
We made a couple of adjustments to the bike set-up with ride height and damper settings during the day but it was mostly about putting in as many laps as possible, in order for PJ to get some rhythm and build confidence with the bike again. We ran a decent amount of laps with used tyres and the race simulation that came out was really promising. We just weren’t the fastest over a single lap due to some traffic, but we are not worried about it. We’re in the position we want to be and we hope to do even better tomorrow.
Smith searching for better feeling
Fri, 29 Apr 2016
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda rider Kyle Smith narrowly missed out on the top ten on day one at the Autodromo Internationale Enzo e Dino Ferrari Imola circuit following crashes in both free practice one and free practice two. A monumental effort by his crew enabled him to get back out following his tumble in the second session where, with just time enough remaining for two complete laps, he finished the day in 12th position.
“Not the best way to start a weekend. I had a crash this morning and a crash this afternoon. I’m not finding the feeling I need and I’m a bit off on lap times, I feel like I’ve hit a brick wall. We are going to make some big changes to the bike to see if we can solve some problems and dig in tomorrow.”
The legendary circuit of Imola is undulating and in its very nature, challenging. Young Stefan Hill had a high speed crash in the second session and fortunately escaped without injury. Christoffer Bergman will be hoping he can improve on 28th position tomorrow. Japan’s Hikari Okubo, still in his learning year of World Supersport, will also expect to improve on his position of 30th.
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager, Simon Buckmaster:
“It has been a challenging day today. We are missing the feel for the front with Kyle and he slid off in both sessions. Despite this his crew did a fantastic job to get him back out and he just missed out on Superpole 2 but we have the chance to put this right in Superpole 1 tomorrow. We can look at the extra track time as a bonus. We will study the data with Kyle and work with Ohlins to give him the feeling he needs to challenge at the front where he should be.”
Supersport - San Carlo Team Italia enters in the Superpole-2
Great performance of Alessandro Zaccone, who enters in SP2 thanks to his 2nd time overall (1st in the European standings), Axel Bassani (4th in ESS) ready to redeem himself.
The first "home race" weekend of 2016 season starts in the best way for San Carlo Team Italia. After two sessions of free practice at the Autodromo Internazionale 'Enzo e Dino Ferrari' of Imola, Alessandro Zaccone is second overall and leader of the FIM Europe Supersport Cup, author of a great lap in 1'52"082 at just 241 thousandths from the World champion Kenan Sofuoglu and he is already qualified for the Superpole-2 of tomorrow.
A sensational performance from the seventeen-year-old Zaccone, who has improved his time every lap and has been able to reach a second time overall, which proves once again technical and speed potential of the team as already highlighted in the two previous rounds of the calendar.
Arrived at the track of Santerno as leader of the FIM Europe Supersport Cup, Axel Bassani has lived a day under the expectations, with a time in 1'54"468(4th in ESS,24th in World Championship) that prefigures a progressive improvement in the standings tomorrow, between the last session of free practice and Superpole-1.
Alessandro Zaccone (San Carlo Team Italia - Kawasaki ZX-6R #61) 1'52"082
1st FIM Europe Supersport Cup & 2nd FIM Supersport World Championship
"I am very satisfied with this performance and with the good feeling with the bike. This morning we were not able to ride so much due to a little setback, but in those few laps I already found the potential to do well. And the second session confirmed these sensations: the bike is amazing, the team has worked really well and that's the result. We will do our best to repeat this result tomorrow."
Axel Bassani (San Carlo Team Italia - Kawasaki ZX-6R #47) 1'54"468
4th FIM Europe Supersport Cup & 24th FIM Supersport World Championship
"It was not a positive day at all. The first session didn't go as we expected, while in the second session I crashed, suddenly, at the Variante Alta due to a beginning of highside. We are far from the first riders of the category and from our habitual levels, so tomorrow we will try to improve, finding the right solutions to a comeback. I will do my best in order to leave behind this difficult day."
"It was an amazing result during a day with a lot of racing pulse. After a setback, Alessandro was able to do only few laps this morning, but from the first time he went out on track, he had the right attitude to reach such a result. In the break between the two sessions, the mechanics did a great job while Alessandro kept focusing, being more motivated to give his best during the second session. On track, he has ridden very well and the fact that tomorrow we will be in the Superpole-2 to get an important result on the starting grid, proves it. Here at Imola, it's important to start in the first rows: since there's not a real straight line, but a series of bends and chicanes, the first lap can be crucial. We will carry on this way, in order to repeat these great levels also tomorrow."
"The two sessions of free practice have been quite complicated for Axel. We are trying to understand what hasn't worked today because, honestly, we are too far. The result is under our expectations, so tomorrow we'll do a complete reset in order to be again the positions in live with the potential of team and rider. Let's hope that it was just an unlucky day..."