2011 Imola World Superbike QP1 Results: Rea Takes Provisional Pole

Castrol Honda's Johnny Rea sits on provisional pole on Friday night at Imola, after a fast late lap during the first session of qualifying for the World Superbike series saw the Ulsterman dislodge Althea Ducati's Carlos Checa from the top spot. Checa was bumped down to 2nd, ahead of BMW's Leon Haslam, posting a fast time for the second session in a row, and Alstare Suzuki's Michel Fabrizio.

Checa's title rival Marco Melandri managed only the 5th fastest time during QP1, lapping the Imola circuit six tenths slower than Rea, and 0.441 slower than Carlos Checa. Max Biaggi is absent, after having been ruled out of the Imola WSBK round with a foot injury sustained at the Nurburgring.


Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff
1 4 J. REA Honda CBR1000RR 1'48.241  
2 7 C. CHECA Ducati 1098R 1'48.400 0.159
3 91 L. HASLAM BMW S1000 RR 1'48.701 0.460
4 84 M. FABRIZIO Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'48.726 0.485
5 33 M. MELANDRI Yamaha YZF R1 1'48.844 0.603
6 66 T. SYKES Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'48.884 0.643
7 50 S. GUINTOLI Ducati 1098R 1'49.003 0.762
8 121 M. BERGER Ducati 1098R 1'49.023 0.782
9 41 N. HAGA Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'49.041 0.800
10 96 J. SMRZ Ducati 1098R 1'49.072 0.831
11 23 F. SANDI Ducati 1098R 1'49.125 0.884
12 53 A. POLITA Ducati 1098R 1'49.134 0.893
13 2 L. CAMIER Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'49.282 1.041
14 86 A. BADOVINI BMW S1000 RR 1'49.394 1.153
15 8 M. AITCHISON Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'49.665 1.424
16 17 J. LASCORZ Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'49.781 1.540
17 111 R. XAUS Honda CBR1000RR 1'49.855 1.614
18 58 E. LAVERTY Yamaha YZF R1 1'49.991 1.750
19 11 T. CORSER BMW S1000 RR 1'50.011 1.770
20 15 M. BAIOCCO Ducati 1098R 1'50.104 1.863
21 44 R. ROLFO Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'51.086 2.845
22 112 J. FORES BMW S1000 RR 1'51.790 3.549


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Rea and the team made some major progress on the CBR1000rr recently... enough it seems to have given Rea more to battle with using the dated CBR. Can somebody explain the advantages the fly-by-wire system offers (and how it works) verses the cable unit???

In short: instead of operating the throttle valves directly, the twist grip only operates a potentiometer to give the intentions of the rider to the computer. The computer then determines what the movement of the throttle valves should be to give the result the rider wants. The actual throttle valves are opened by electric servo motors.

That means it can - among many other things - make an engine with a very irregular torque curve respond with a very linear and predictable delivery. That in turn means you can tune the engine higher without losing drivability. It also gives you a choice in different response modes, like we already see on many street bikes. Think also of different engine response in different gears, to make it friendlier in lower gears and sharper in higher gears.

Of course it also gives much more control possibilities when using traction control, wheelie control, launch control and also fuel consumption management in MotoGP. Tip: Aprilia has quite a lot of information on their ride-by-wire and APRC on their website.

In a way, the Suzuki Dual Throttle Valve as used from the GSX-R750 model year 2000 is already a sort of ride-by-wire, because as long as the computer does not open the secondary valve, you can twist the directly connected primary valve all you want, it won't go. That's why the DMS (Drive Mode selector) from 2007 onwards was an relatively easy feature.

Of course there's many pages to fill with all the possibilities and ways to accomplish it. I would guess there must be a lot somewhere on this website too.

Most of what you say is sound by me but just how does an electronic throttle system even out a torque curve without massive response lag - the engine still needs to get through that rpm blip? A ride-by-wire system might smooth things out a little but I cannot see how it can plug gapping holes.

it can possibly fill fill in a hole by opening the throttle. Obviously it can't do anything if they are already wide open... but in principle such holes would be at lower revs that would only be used in corners.

The system will top off peaks in the torque curve by giving less throttle valve opening (or possibly also change in ignition) there, while giving full opening in the zone where the dip is. So you sacrifice some peaks to get a more usable delivery.

As for lag in the response: computers work in megaherz frequencies, so what seems impossibly quick to us humans, is very slow from a computer's viewpoint. The stretch in a steel throttle cable probably gives more lag. Of course you need quick servos as well, which I guess will form the actual limitation in speed, but obviously they are fast enough, given their now widespread usage in racing.

thanks for the info, much appreciated. I wonder if this new system will appear on the 2014-2015 CBR1000rr someday... or is Honda still working on their own electronic package(s) with all the bells and whistles to accompany their new dual clutch system for the V4 that's still on the work-bench!