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Portuguese Tissot-Superpole goes to Sykes
Portimao (Portugal), Saturday 5 July 2014 - Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) will start the 8th round's two World Superbike races from the front of the grid after winning this afternoon's Tissot-Superpole at a very hot and sunny Portimao circuit, his third in a row at the Portuguese track and 22nd Pole Position so far in his WSBK career.
A thrilling Superpole 1 saw David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike Team) progress to join the already seeded top ten from the combined free practice sessions with the 12 riders then doing battle for the final 15 minute grid deciding shoot-out.
The opening session wasn't without incident as after 4 minutes the red flags came out as the marshals tended to Claudio Corti (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) who had fell on the rollercoaster section of the circuit. He was taken to the medical centre for further checks. Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) also failed to record a time as his Aprilia developed a technical problem on his out lap.
In the final 15 minute Superpole 2, the times at the top changed almost every time a rider recorded a time but at the flag and with less than a second covering the top 9, Sykes emerged as the fastest, ahead of Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) and Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team), who will join him on row one tomorrow.
Row two will see Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team), Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) and other factory Aprilia rider Sylvain Guintoli, who recovered from a high speed FP4 crash to claim 6th.
In the battle of the EVO riders, Sylvain Barrier will start 10th and David Salom 12th.
Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) crashed in the final minute of the session and will therefore start 11th tomorrow.
Times: 1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'42.484 average 161.305 kph; 2. Rea (Honda) 1'42.765; 3. Davies (Ducati) 1'42.924; 4. Melandri (Aprilia) 1'43.038; 5. Baz (Kawasaki) 1'43.048; 6. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1'43.076; 7. Laverty (Suzuki) 1'43.245; 8. Giugliano (Ducati) 1'43.317; 9. Haslam (Honda) 1'43.475; 10. Barrier (BMW) 1'43.754; 11. Lowes (Suzuki) 1'43.840; 12. Salom (Kawasaki) 1'44.361; 13. Badovini (Bimota); 14. Canepa (Ducati); 15. Iddon (Bimota); 16. Morais (Kawasaki); 17. Staring (Kawasaki); 18. Andreozzi (Kawasaki); 19. Corti (MV Agusta) ; 20. Elias (Aprilia);
SECOND ROW FOR THE APRILIA RSV4s AT PORTIMÃO AFTER AN INCREDIBLY CLOSE SUPERPOLE.
MARCO MELANDRI, FOURTH, AND SYLVAIN GUINTOLI, SIXTH, ARE READY FOR TWO RACES WHICH PROMISE TO BE EXTREMELY EVENLY MATCHED.
Portimão, 5 July 2014 - The practice sessions and foretold what was to come: Superbike at Portimão will be come down to hundredths of seconds. With minimal gaps between the top 10 finishers, the battle for Superpole was extremely tight. The Aprilia riders took on the decisive session in two different states of mind. Marco Melandri had been fast in all the sessions, whereas Sylvain Guintoli was forced to skip the last free practice session due to a crash (without consequences despite the high speed) on the last turn.
In spite of a less then optimum feeling with the qualifier tyre, Melandri put to good use what he had learned from yesterday's tests and rode his RSV4 to within a shout of the front row (114 thousandths of a second). Fourth place on the grid is a good starting place and if the races go as expected we will see a compact group in the first phase, whereas the difference will be seen in the last laps. This is a situation that Marco has tried to prepare for as best he can with targeted testing on tyre life and a setting that will allow him to be consistently fast.
Marco Melandri: "I knew it would be a close Superpole. On this track it is very hard to stand out and a lot of riders showed their potential to be fast. I think we'll see a tight group tomorrow for the first ten laps and then we'll begin to see who did the best work on race pace. From that point of view starting from the fourth spot on the grid is not bad. I would have preferred the front row but I know that I've worked well on my pace. It isn't very easy to overtake on this track. The best place is on the final straight stretch as long as you come out of the last turn well. In any case we will be in the thick of it".
Crashing in FP4, Sylvain Guintoli had to deal with the strong wind that is a particular problem for him. It won't be a problem in the race but when the French rider was pushing the bike to the limit, as is typical in Superpole, he lost a bit of accuracy because of the strong gusts on the Portimão circuit. His session ended with the sixth spot on the grid, a position that doesn't worry Sylvain as he is confident that he'll be able to improve throughout the race.
Sylvain Guintoli: "Unfortunately, as has happened during other weekends, the strong wind gave me some problems. It isn't a problem that will affect me during the race where pace is the priority, but when pushing the bike to the limit on a qualifier tyre I'm unable to be as accurate as I need to be to follow my ideal line. I have been really fast in practice recently and then I've struggled in the races, so I hope this is where that trend will be reversed! Now we need to carefully analyse the data and try some things during tomorrow morning's warm up sessions. If we are able to improve we will be able to shoot for a good result".
Davies and the Ducati Superbike Team qualify third for tomorrow's SBK races at Portimao
Portimao (Portugal), Saturday 5 July 2014 - Chaz Davies and the Ducati Superbike Team are very pleased to have earned a place on the front row of the grid for tomorrow's SBK races at Portimao. An impressive lap for the British rider in this afternoon's Superpole means that he will line up in third position for the two races that make up Round 8 of the 2014 Superbike World Championship; his teammate Davide Giugliano has qualified eighth.
The third timed practice session took place this morning in warm and sunny conditions (air temperature 24°C, track 36°C). Davies and his technicians continued to proceed in the right direction today, with the rider able to improve by a full second on his best time set yesterday. Despite the fact that he continued to lose a couple of tenths through the final long turn, Davies closed in fifth position with a best time of 1'43.287, just over one tenth of a second from leader Rea. Giugliano, continuing to work on set-up with his squad, dropped his time by 1.5 seconds. The progress made during the session, that resulted in a best lap of 1'43.441, placed him tenth at the session's end, though only three tenths of a second from Rea. Both Ducati Superbike riders therefore qualified directly for Superpole 2.
Superpole 2 - having completed two laps each on the race tyre, both Ducati Superbike men quickly returned to the track with the qualifying tyre. Davies immediately put in a solid 1'43.463 but still unsatisfied, and aware that he had made a couple of small mistakes during the lap, the British rider pushed to make a second lap on said qualifier, getting everything he could out of it and projecting himself into third position by setting an extremely fast lap time of 1'42.924. Thanks to this performance, Chaz earned himself a spot on the front row of tomorrow's race grid, his first front row start of the season.
Giugliano was only able to complete one fast lap with the ?Q', with the resulting lap time - 1'43.317 - placing him eighth at the conclusion of the Superpole. The Italian rider will therefore start on the third row of tomorrow's race grid.
Quotes after the day's sessions:
Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team #7) - 3rd (1'42.924)
"It's been a strange day. We made a few changes and switched engines as we normally do on Saturday but in the free practice we had a few problems, after a good timed practice earlier in the morning. Anyway, we improved a lot for qualifying. On the first lap with the qualifier, I made a little mistake here and there and got caught out a bit by the wind, but then I was able to do a solid second lap, which I hoped would be good enough for a second row start. It actually puts me on the front row so I'm really pleased with that. Overall I think we're starting to see the fruits of Ducati's labour, the updates mean we're starting to see improvement. As far as the races are concerned, it's meant to be a little cooler tomorrow which might help and then I just need to get off the line well and see what I can do."
Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team #34) - 8th (1'43.317)
"We've made many changes during today's sessions and although we've seen a definite improvement, it's still not enough to be able to fight for the front positions. We've struggled a bit to be honest; we did our best in the Superpole but today out best was eighth. I tried to make a second lap with the qualifying tyre but it was no good, the rear tyre was pushing hard on the front and the bike wheelied a lot, which penalizes us on an undulating track like Portimao. I can only do better tomorrow ..."
Front row for Rea in Portugal
Pata Honda's Jonathan Rea will start tomorrow's two eighth-round World Superbike Championship races from the front row of the grid after setting the second-fastest time in this afternoon's Superpole qualifying session at the Autodromo Internacional Algarve in Portugal.
After topping the combined free practice timing sheets this morning, Rea, 27, took his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP into Superpole in confident mood to lap the 4.593km Portimao circuit in a time of 1m42.765s, 0.2s behind the pole position time of Tom Sykes.
Rea's Pata Honda team-mate, Leon Haslam, was also in a positive frame-of-mind heading into Superpole after showing good speed in both today's free practice sessions. The 31-year-old was just 0.1s from Rea's fastest time in FP3 when the top ten riders were separated by just three tenths of a second.
As Superpole 2 began, Haslam set the third-fastest time on his initial run on race rubber, but was unable to significantly improve his time on the qualifying tyre and he will start tomorrow's two 20-lap races from the third row of the grid in ninth place.
Jonathan Rea - P2
It was really windy for qualifying this afternoon and we made quite a big change to the set-up on the rear of the bike for Superpole after we'd compared data with Leon. It looked like he had a little bit more grip and it's really good that he's also on a good pace here this weekend because we can share data much better and I'm also learning some things from him. We've made a lot of progress here compared to the last few races and I'm really enjoying riding my bike here. We've gone back to basics, to something we know, and it's good to come to Portimao where we have a lot of data. I'm really excited about tomorrow's races. We've done a lot of laps on old tyres so we'll have to wait and see if all that hard work will pay off.
Leon Haslam - P9
Obviously I'm disappointed because I was P3 on the race tyre and I felt pretty confident that we could make another step with the qualifying tyre. On the first lap I had a small problem so I cruised to try and get some more life from the tyre. I had another problem going into turn five on the second lap and my best time ended up being on lap three when the tyre was finished. It's kind of frustrating because we've definitely been in the ball park to get back to the front boys there. But I'm feeling really good on the race tyre, we've done some good race runs so I'm looking forward to the two races tomorrow.
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator
It's been quite an exciting day and this morning we made quite a good breakthrough with Jonathan's electronics settings. He immediately went quick on used tyres and the feeling was back. In the afternoon for FP4 we tried a few settings changes which didn't really work so we went back to the morning set-up. He took second place on the grid which is a good place to start. He normally goes quite well here so I expect him to be in the fight for podium finishes tomorrow. Leon has been going extremely well this weekend and his pace is also good on used tyres. However, with the qualifier in Superpole, he got ninth on the grid but, just before putting in the qualifier, he was third fastest on the race tyre. That was a bit of a shame but everything is looking good for tomorrow and I think he can fight near the front which will be good for him and the whole team.
Sykes strings it all together to claim 22nd career Superpole
Portimao (Portugal), Saturday 5 July 2014 - Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) will start the 8th round's two World Superbike races from the front of the grid after winning this afternoon's Tissot-Superpole at a very hot and sunny Portimao circuit, his third in a row at the Portuguese track.
In the final 15 minute Superpole 2, the times at the top changed almost every time a rider recorded a time but at the flag and with less than a second covering the top 9, Sykes emerged as the fastest, ahead of Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) and Chaz Davies
Tom Sykes: "The Ninja ZX-10R is working well after we started quite steadily this weekend. We made some small changes to the bike every session and now I feel more comfortable on it. On the race tyre I was able to feel more comfortable and in Superpole, with the qualifying tyre, I just made it to the apexes a little bit easier. I am happy, especially after the changes we made today. I feel more comfortable and confident for the races tomorrow but I expect two difficult races. There are a lot of riders who are capable of running at the front but we will do the best we can."
Jonathan Rea: "We made quite a big change to the set-up on the rear of the bike for Superpole after we'd compared data with Leon. It is really good that he's also on a good pace here this weekend because we can share data much better and I'm also learning some things from him. We've made a lot of progress here compared to the last few races and I'm really enjoying riding my bike here. We've gone back to basics, to something we know, and it's good to come to Portimao where we have a lot of data. I'm really excited about tomorrow's races. We've done a lot of laps on old tyres so we'll have to wait and see if all that hard work will pay off.
Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) has grabbed the World Supersport Pole Position in the final ten minutes of today's qualifying session at Portimao in Portugal despite a late charge from series leader Michael van der Mark who will start 2nd. Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) improved as the session progressed eventually ensuring the final front spot in 3rd Jack Kennedy
Times: 1. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 1'45.924 average 156.067 kph; 2. Vd Mark (Honda) 1'46.002; 3. Cluzel (MV Agusta) 1'46.089; 4. Kennedy (Honda) 1'46.310; 5. De Rosa (Honda) 1'46.591; 6. Zanetti (Honda) 1'46.632; 7. Coghlan (Yamaha) 1'46.644; 8. Jacobsen (Kawasaki) 1'46.673; 9. Marino (Kawasaki) 1'46.726; 10. Roccoli (MV Agusta) 1'46.795; 11. Tamburini (Kawasaki) 1'47.074; 12. Rolfo (Kawasaki) 1'47.322; 13. Bussolotti (Honda) 1'47.391; 14. Wilairot (Honda) 1'47.525; 15. Debise (Honda) 1'47.744; 16. Menghi (Yamaha) 1'47.874; 17. Baldolini (MV Agusta) 1'48.024; 18. Marconi (Honda) 1'48.191; 19. Gamarino (Kawasaki) 1'48.242; 20. Coveña (Kawasaki) 1'48.310; 21. Nocco (Kawasaki) 1'48.820; 22. Calero (Honda) 1'49.365; 23. Ivanov (Yamaha) 1'49.933.
Lorenzo Savadori (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) is the pole sitter for tomorrow's 14-lap FIM Superstock 1000 Cup race at Portimao after setting a 1'46.802s lap-time in the sole qualifying session for the series. The Italian rider edged points leader Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing Team Ducati) and Kyle Smith (Agro-On Wil Racedays Honda), second and third respectively, with the Englishman getting his first front row start of his rookie STK1000 year. Other title contender Ondrej Jezek
Times: 1. Savadori (Kawasaki) 1'46.802 average 154.784 kph; 2. Mercado (Ducati) 1'46.917; 3. Smith (Honda) 1'46.988; 4. Jezek (Ducati) 1'47.122; 5. McFadden (Kawasaki) 1'47.732; 6. Lanusse (Kawasaki) 1'47.844; 7. Day (Honda) 1'47.912; 8. Valk (Kawasaki) 1'48.050; 9. D'Annunzio (BMW) 1'48.102; 10. Sandi (BMW) 1'48.164; 11. Lussiana (Kawasaki) 1'48.211; 12. Massei (Ducati) 1'48.329; 13. Nemeth (Kawasaki) 1'48.512; 14. Muresan (BMW) 1'48.857; 15. Suchet (Kawasaki) 1'49.552; etc.
Superstock 600 - Race
Marco Faccani (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki) has won his 4th FIM Europe Superstock 600 race after dominating once again at a very sunny but windy Portimao circuit in Portugal. Turn one saw a group of midfield riders tumble, all thankfully without injury whilst at the front championship leader Faccani overtook Poleman Wayne Tessels (Wayne Racing Team Suzuki) before coming under... (read more)
Results: 1. Faccani (Kawasaki) 12 Laps/55.104 km in 21'58.928 average 150.406 kph; 2. Tessels (Suzuki) 4.029; 3. Caricasulo (Honda) 4.210; 4. Mikhalchik (Kawasaki) 10.744; 5. Bodis (Honda) 10.807; 6. Tucci (Kawasaki) 10.900; 7. Nestorovic (Yamaha) 12.330; 8. Lahti (Yamaha) 13.384; 9. Zaccone (Honda) 13.827; 10. Puffe (Kawasaki) 14.715; 11. Rouse (Honda) 18.068; 12. Salvadori (Kawasaki) 18.198; 13. Pittet (Yamaha) 25.010; 14. Casalotti (Yamaha) 25.278; 15. De Gruttola (Kawasaki) 25.916; etc.
Standings (Round 5 of 7): 1. Faccani 106; 2. Tessels 72; 3. Tuuli 58; 4. Tucci 55; 5. Caricasulo 46; 6. Salvadori 42; 7. Mikhalchik 40; 8. Manfredi 35; 9. Casalotti 27; 10. Duwelz 23; 11. Lahti 22; 12. Rinaldi 19; 13. Nestorovic 19; 14. Stirpe 16; 15. Zaccone 16; 16. Hartog 13; 17. Puffe 12; 18. Bodis 11; 19. Sabatino 11; 20. Morrentino 10; 21. Marchal 10; 22. Rouse 5; 23. Mercandelli 5; 24. Gobbi 5; 25. Lewis 5; 26. Pittet 5; 27. Zeelen 5; 28. Canducci 3; 29. Monti 2; 30. De Gruttola 1; 31. Patronen 1.
European Junior Cup
Javier Orellana (Europ Food S.L.) has secured the pole position for tomorrow's Pata European Junior Cup, powered by Honda, 10-lap race, courtesy of the 2'03.935s lap-time set in the second qualifying session held today. The young Spaniard, who is currently second in the standings, will be joined on the front row of the grid by compatriots Mika Perez (Cuna de Campeones) and points leader Augusto Fernandez (WIL Sport).
Times: 1. Orellana 2'03.935 average 133.386 kph; 2. Perez 2'04.517; 3. Fernandez 2'04.560; 4. Harland 2'04.824; 5. Fernandez 2'04.951; 6. Hubner 2'05.138; 7. Licciardi 2'05.327; 8. Soomer 2'05.864; 9. Hill 2'06.123; 10. Wisdom 2'06.161;11. Van Sikkelerus 2'06.537; 12. Ortt 2'06.694; 13. Ferreira 2'07.144; 14. Epis 2'07.389;15. London 2'07.460; 16. Somosi 2'07.604; 17. Van Schoonhoven 2'08.148; 18. Miebach 2'08.290; 19. Moreno 2'10.802.