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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Second and Third Row Starts for Yamaha WSB Riders at Imola

Eugene Laverty and Marco Melandri fought hard in a challenging Superpole knockout this afternoon at the historic Italian circuit at Imola to qualify in fifth and 9th places on tomorrow’s race grid.

Eugene Laverty began the first Superpole session on a set of race tyres but with three minutes to go switched to qualifiers to produce a flying lap, clocking in an impressive 1’47.756, taking him to the fastest slot. The Northern Irish rider completed the tough second heat, which saw nine riders finish within three tenths of a second apart, in fifth place. Despite having already used both qualifiers, Laverty managed to better his lap time in the third and final session to maintain fifth place and a second row start on tomorrow’s grid.

Team-mate Melandri started Superpole well, making it through the first session in ninth place using a race tyre before switching to the qualifiers for the second heat. Unfortunately the Italian rider’s lap time was not sufficient to guarantee a place in the top eight so Melandri was forced to go back out with just 3 minutes left on the clock on the last set of qualifying tyres. Struggling with a chattering issue, the Romagnolo was unable to better his lap time and was bumped to ninth place, missing out on qualifying for the final session of the day by just 0.007 of a second. As a result Melandri will start from third row on the grid for tomorrow’s two races at his home circuit.

This morning’s second qualifying session was successful for both Yamaha World Superbike riders with Melandri and Laverty improving on yesterday’s qualifying times to complete the session in seventh and 11th places. Laverty made some adjustments to the weight distribution on his R1 in order to improve feeling with the rear of his machine. Despite losing some time in the last sector of the track, Melandri managed to complete the session with a good consistent race pace.

Eugene Laverty

Yamaha World Superbike Team – 5th, 1’47.929

“It was a much better day today than yesterday which is obvious from my position. Initially I wasn’t sure where I’d be today but I was confident it would go much better after our lengthy de-brief last night, where I understood the direction we needed to go in to make the difference. I am fortunate to be in a team with such good experience. The issue I had yesterday was new brand new for me, I never had that sensation on the bike before, and it’s nice that we were able to turn things around so quickly. I’ll be fighting for the podium tomorrow but it’ll be tough.”

Marco Melandri

Yamaha World Superbike Team – 9th , 1’47.781

“I’m relatively pleased with the day today. We improved the race pace quite lot and did a good run with race tyres in the second qualifying session which went quite well. Unfortunately the qualifying tyres in Superpole didn’t work out at all. We struggled from chattering in both in the second session and after half a lap the tyre lacked performance and I wasn’t able to improve my times. It’s a pity as we have a good race pace but now we’ll have to push hard to get in front on a track where it’s not easy to overtake. ”

Andrea Dosoli – Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager

“We knew the track at Imola wasn’t going to be easy for us and the Superpole results confirm this, even if there is an evident improvement from yesterday’s performance. Both riders have a good race pace but it’ll be crucial to get off to a good start. It’s a pity that Marco couldn’t make the most of either qualifiers to get a better result and missed out on Superpole three by just 0.007 of a second. Eugene was impressive, managing to improve yesterday’s time by a second. The team worked very hard and made good progress. Both riders have some fine tuning to do tomorrow in order to be more competitive and improve on the last sector of the track where they are losing precious time.”

2011 World Superbike Italy

Imola 24/09/2011

1 Carlos Checa Ducati ESP 1’47.196
2 Jonathan Rea Honda GBR 1’47.274
3 Noriyuki Haga Aprilia JPN 1’48.210
4 Tom Sykes Kawasaki GBR 1’47.468
5 Eugene Laverty Yamaha GBR 1’47.929
6 Leon Haslam BMW GBR 1’48.081
7 Ayrton Badovini BMW ITA 1’48.234
8 Sylvain Guintoli Ducati FRA 1’48.416
9 Marco Melandri Yamaha ITA 1’47.781
10 Leon Camier Aprilia GBR 1’47.858
11 Michel Fabrizio Suzuki ITA 1’48.126
12 Maxime Berger Ducati FRA 1’48.334
13 Jakub Smrz Ducati CZE 1’48.741
14 Federico Sandi Aprilia ITA 1’48.812
15 Troy Corser BMW AUS 1’48.894

Circuit Length:

Very Hot

Lap Record:
(Carlos Checa, 1/1/2010)

Fastest Lap Ever:
(Carlos Checa, 9/25/2011)

Last Years Winner:
Carlos Checa

Qualifying 1 & Qualifying 2

1 Tom Sykes Kawasaki GBR 1’48.884 1’47.799
2 Jonathan Rea Honda GBR 1’48.241 1’47.973
3 Michel Fabrizio Suzuki ITA 1’48.726 1’48.103
4 Carlos Checa Ducati ESP 1’48.400 1’48.168
5 Noriyuki Haga Aprilia JPN 1’49.041 1’48.210
6 Leon Haslam BMW GBR 1’48.701 1’48.396
7 Marco Melandri Yamaha ITA 1’48.844 1’48.528
8 Jakub Smrz Ducati CZE 1’49.072 1’48.551
9 Leon Camier Aprilia GBR 1’49.282 1’48.624
10 Sylvain Guintoli Ducati FRA 1’49.003 1’48.691
11 Federico Sandi Aprilia ITA 1’49.125 1’48.715
12 Eugene Laverty Yamaha GBR 1’49.991 1’48.727
13 Troy Corser BMW AUS 1’50.011 1’48.879
14 Maxime Berger Ducati FRA 1’49.023 1’48.935
15 Ayrton Badovini BMW ITA 1’49.394 1’48.935

Impressive Performance Secures Front Row Starts for Scassa and Davies at Imola

Yamaha ParkinGO riders were on top form today at the iconic Italian circuit in Imola, where they completed the second qualifying session second and fourth fastest, securing two front row starts ahead of tomorrow’s important race day.

Luca Scassa continued yesterday’s impressive performance in today’s second qualifying session which was red flagged on two occasions as Menghi and Harms crashed out, leaving traces of oil on the track. Despite the interrupted track session, Scassa managed to top the time sheets on several occasions as he worked through a few minor adjustments to his R6 machine. The Italian will start tomorrow’s home race from second place on the grid having missed on pole position by just 0.075 of a second in the last 2 minutes of the session. Team-mate and title fighter Chaz Davies was on equally striking form in the Italian sunshine today. The Welshman worked hard throughout the day, making constant progress in search of a winning set-up ahead of tomorrow’s crucial race. Davies will start from fourth place and is confident to have what it takes to fight for the well-earned championship title. Currently leading the championship on 171 points, 59 points separates Davies from Salom in second place and 60 points from Foret in third. If Salom or Foret were to win tomorrow’s race, Davies would need to secure third place at the chequered flag to maintain the 50 point advantage he requires to bag the Championship title. Theoretically, pole starter Broc Parkes still contends for the title but he now remains 67 points behind Davies.

Luca Scassa

Yamaha ParkinGO Team – 2nd, 1’51.669

“I’m disappointed that I lost out on pole position. It’s my home race and I intend doing my very best for my numerous fans. I make some small changes to the set-up and we seem to be going in the right direction, but still have some fine tuning to do in the morning. I’m confident that I can fight for a race win, which would really mean a lot to me on this track.”

Chaz Davies

Yamaha ParkinGO Team – 4th, 1’51.852

“I’m happy enough with today. The Machine was working well. I thought I could get pole but I made too many mistakes and didn’t make it. I saw a 1’51.5 on the clock and thought it was good enough but it wasn’t. We made a few small changes to the set-up throughout the session and make constant progress. I’m confident on the bike and feel good ahead of tomorrow’s important race.”

2011 World Supersport Italy

Imola 24/09/2011

Circuit Length:

Very Hot

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

Fastest Lap Ever:
(Cal Crutchlow, 9/27/2009)

Qualifying 1 & Qualifying 2

1 Broc Parkes Kawasaki AUS 1’52.553 1’51.594
2 Luca Scassa Yamaha ITA 1’52.375 1’51.669
3 Florian Marino Honda FRA 1’53.329 1’51.737
4 Chaz Davies Yamaha GBR 1’52.736 1’51.852
5 David Salom Kawasaki ESP 1’53.471 1’52.120
6 Roberto Tamburini Yamaha ITA 1’53.432 1’52.140
7 Massimo Roccoli Kawasaki ITA 1’53.761 1’52.353
8 Sam Lowes Honda GBR 1’53.717 1’52.543
9 Gino Rea Honda GBR n/a 1’52.766
10 Ronan Quarmby Triumph RSA 1’54.786 1’52.844
11 Vittorio Iannuzzo Kawasaki ITA 1’54.610 1’53.014
12 Fabien Foret Honda FRA 1’53.056 1’53.144
13 Alexander Lundh Honda SWE 1’53.301 1’53.114
14 Robbin Harms Honda DNK 1’53.703 1’53.433
15 James Ellison Honda GBR 1’54.652 1’53.680