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Laverty Second Fastest in First Qualifying

After less than a week since the last round of the World Superbike Championship in Imola, the Yamaha World Superbike team was back on track today on the warm and sunny French circuit at Magny Cours. This is the penultimate round of the 2011 season and Melandri and Laverty, determined to impress on Sunday, got straight down to business in today’s free practice and first qualifying session.

Marco Melandri spent the day getting familiar with the tight chicanes and fast curves the formula one track has to offer. Having improved on his lines in the earlier free practice session, the Italian proceeded to make further progress in the afternoon to complete the day in fourteenth place with just less than 0.681 of a second separating him from the leader. Team-mate Eugene Laverty was consistent throughout the day, making minor adjustments to the rear set up on his machine to produce faster laps towards the end and finish the first qualifying session in an impressive second place just 0.012 behind championship leader, Carlos Checa.

Both riders will be making further changes and adjustments to their R1’s in tomorrow morning’s qualifying practice in search of a more ideal race set up ahead of Sunday’s important two races where Melandri will be battling to take the championship title fight to the last round in Portimao, while Laverty will be looking to climb to third place in the classification.

Eugene Laverty

Yamaha World Superbike Team – 2nd, 1’38.664

“It was a really good first qualifying session, finishing second in the time sheets is the highest I have been all year. The closest I have been to this at such an early stage in the weekend was at Monza when we were third, so hopefully that is a good omen. We did two long runs to get a lot of work done on race distance. We are struggling a little with rear grip, having a lot of spinning but we made a step mid-way and again at the end which gave us a clear direction of what we need to do, so hopefully we can continue working towards making further improvements tomorrow. ”

Marco Melandri

Yamaha World Superbike Team – 14th, 1’39.333

“Today wasn’t a bad day even if we didn’t end the session with a good result. It was a day I spent getting to know the track and the various sectors and having used little rubber I think there is plenty of room for improvement. This afternoon we spent the session trying to understand where we need to change from the base set up and we’ll definitely be working on improving the change of direction to have a more agile bike tomorrow. We also need to make some adjustments to the rear set up in search of better grip but I’m confident I will be a lot stronger in tomorrow’s second qualifying.”

Andrea Dosoli – Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager

“It was a good start to the weekend in Magny Cours. The R1 has been successful here before and it looks like it has potential again. Eugene is demonstrating that he is consistent with race tyre and has also produced fast lap times. The team needs to work on improving the rear grip but they know what to do to be more consistent again tomorrow. Marco spent the day learning the lines of the track as it’s his first time in Magny Cours. He made several mistakes in the morning but improved by the afternoon. He has a good pace but is lacking in the confidence he requires to push hard enough to improve lap times. The team will work hard this evening to improve change of direction which is crucial on this track and try to find a better rear grip set – up. I’m not concerned about Marco’s position, he is only 0.68 of a second behind the leader and there aren’t any particularly difficult sectors for our R1.”

2011 World Superbike France

Magny Cours 30/09/2011

1 Carlos Checa Ducati ESP 1’38.652
2 Eugene Laverty Yamaha GBR 1’38.664
3 Sylvain Guintoli Ducati FRA 1’38.741
4 Tom Sykes Kawasaki GBR 1’38.860
5 Jakub Smrz Ducati CZE 1’38.942
6 Jonathan Rea Honda GBR 1’38.957
7 Leon Haslam BMW GBR 1’38.977
8 Noriyuki Haga Aprilia JPN 1’39.019
9 Troy Corser BMW AUS 1’39.025
10 Joan Lascorz Kawasaki ESP 1’39.063
11 Maxime Berger Ducati FRA 1’39.196
12 Mark Aitchison Kawasaki AUS 1’39.220
13 Ayrton Badovini BMW ITA 1’39.309
14 Marco Melandri Yamaha ITA 1’39.333
15 Michel Fabrizio Suzuki ITA 1’39.504

Circuit Length:
4411

Weather:
Hot and Sunny

Lap Record:
1’38.619
(Noriyuki Haga, 1/1/2009)

Fastest Lap Ever:
1’37.699
(Cal Crutchlow, 10/3/2010)

Last Years Winner:
Max Biaggi

Positive First Qualifying for Yamaha ParkinGo in Magny Cours.

Yamaha ParkinGo riders Luca Scassa and Chaz Davies completed today’s warm and sunny first qualifying session on the French track in Magny Cours, in fourth and eighth places respectively. Determined to put the difficult weekend in Imola well behind them and concentrate on the important race day ahead, The Yamaha ParkinGO team made the most of the morning’s free practice session and consequent first qualifying, making various minor adjustments to the base set up on the R6 machines in search of a suitable race setting.

Luca Scassa got straight to business, making minor changes to the front set up on his machine ahead of tomorrow’s second qualifying session. Making constant progress throughout the day, the Italian managed to produce faster lap times towards the end of the session. Team-mate and title favourite Chaz Davies was less fortunate in the first qualifying session on the French Formula one style track. An electrical issue disrupted his track time and the Welshman was not able to complete more than nine laps. Davies will be fighting once again this weekend to grasp the championship title. With 35 points ahead of his closest adversary, the Yamaha ParkinGO team is confident that Davies will be on top form yet again on Sunday to take a well – deserved first title of his professional career.

Luca Scassa

Yamaha ParkinGO Team -4th, 1’42.247

“We still have some improvements to make on the front of the bike to take the curves better. Once these adjustments are made I’m confident I’ll be able to lap the track faster. I’m aiming for a front row start on Sunday and hopefully be in a position to fight for a race win. I want to take off where I left on In Imola, consistently fast and closing on the leader, but this time I hope to push to the end and secure a place on the podium, at least.”

Chaz Davies

Yamaha ParkinGO Team – 8th 1’42.662

“I had an electrical issue at the early stages of the session and was unable to get sufficient track time. For the little amount of time that I was out there my lap times improved lap after lap which I am pleased with. The bike seems to be working well, I just need to put in a few more laps to gain better confidence. Hopefully I’ll get more time in tomorrow’s morning’s session to be able to make some further adjustments and in order to be in a position to improve lap times and get a good qualifying position for Sunday’s grid.”

2011 World Supersport France

Magny Cours 30/09/2011

1 Massimo Roccoli Kawasaki ITA 1’41.498
2 Broc Parkes Kawasaki AUS 1’42.060
3 David Salom Kawasaki ESP 1’42.148
4 Luca Scassa Yamaha ITA 1’42.247
5 Fabien Foret Honda FRA 1’42.384
6 Sam Lowes Honda GBR 1’42.519
7 Florian Marino Honda FRA 1’42.644
8 Chaz Davies Yamaha GBR 1’42.662
9 Roberto Tamburini Yamaha ITA 1’42.680
10 Gino Rea Honda GBR 1’43.127
11 James Ellison Honda GBR 1’43.164
12 Balazs Nemeth Honda HUN 1’43.249
13 Ronan Quarmby Triumph RSA 1’43.328
14 Pawel Szkopek Honda POL 1’43.562
15 Vittorio Iannuzzo Kawasaki ITA 1’43.656
21 Louis Bulle Yamaha FRA 1’44.143
27 Danilo Marrancone Yamaha ITA 1’45.747
30 Eduard Blokhin Yamaha RUS 1’48.629
31 Oleg Pozdneev Yamaha RUS 1’49.550

Circuit Length:
4411

Weather:
Hot and Sunny

Lap Record:
1’41.407
(Cal Crutchlow, 1/1/2009)

Fastest Lap Ever:
1’40.980
(Cal Crutchlow, 10/4/2009)