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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Melandri Gets to Grips with Imola

Yamaha World Superbike Team riders Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty completed the first qualifying day at the iconic International Autodrome of Enzo and Dino Ferrari in Imola today in scorching hot sunshine.

After 12 years since his 125cc race victory, Melandri returned to his home track in Imola and got straight down to business discovering what the Italian circuit has to offer. The Romagnolo spent this morning’s free practice session getting familiar with the characteristics of the flowing circuit and working on understanding his lines with the powerful R1 machine. Throughout the afternoon’s first qualifying session Melandri made some minor adjustments to the suspension and the electronics, allowing him to shoot up to fourth place in the time sheets mid-session, a position he maintained until the final stages before dropping to fifth. The Italian lapped comfortably and consistently throughout the afternoon and ended the first day at Imola, confident ahead of a promising weekend on his home soil.

Teammate Eugene Laverty completed a less successful first day on the Italian circuit. Having spent the morning’s free practice session working through some minor changes to the base set up, the WSB Rookie was confident to continue making progress in the afternoon’s qualifying session. As the day progressed and the rubber on the newly surfaced track increased, Laverty struggled with a lack of grip on the rear of his machine, preventing him from improving his times. The Northern Irish rider completed the day in 18th place.

Marco Melandri

Yamaha World Superbike Team – 5th, 1’48.844

“Today went quite well, especially considering it’s a new track for me. We got off to a good start but we still have some improvements to make. It’s not easy to manage the horse power of the machine on the many inclines and declines this track has to offer. It was tough work to control the handling of the bike on the “false” straights, between one curve and the next. We have some adjustments to make for tomorrow but we are going in the right direction and hopefully we’ll make further progress in tomorrow’s second qualifying session.”

Eugene Laverty

Yamaha World Superbike Team – 18th, 1’49.991

“That was the toughest Friday I’ve had so far, by a long shot. We struggled with the new surface a lot. The morning wasn’t so bad but with more bikes lapping the track as the day went on, creating more rubber on the surface, the grip got worse and that’s causing us to struggle with our rear setting. We know what to do to improve the issue but we ran out of time in today’s session and got caught out. We have a lot of work ahead of us for tomorrow but we’ll do our best. It’s my learning year in Superbike and sometimes these things happen unfortunately.”

Andrea Dosoli – Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager

“It was a positive start for Marco today here at Imola. To complete the session in fifth place after 12 years since he last rode here is pretty good. He has put good consistent laps but is still struggling with the last sector. Our main target for tomorrow is to improve in this area, make some adjustments to the gearbox in order to find better feeling with the front of the machine and improve grip on the rear. We are not satisfied with Eugene’s times this afternoon. We expected him to improve form the morning’s free practice. He and the team will have to work very hard this evening to understand why he struggled so much in the qualifying session. He too will be making adjustments to gearbox and making some changes to the set up to find a better overall feeling on his machine.”

2011 World Superbike Italy

Imola 23/09/2011

1 Jonathan Rea Honda GBR 1’48.241
2 Carlos Checa Ducati ESP 1’48.400
3 Leon Haslam BMW GBR 1’48.701
4 Michel Fabrizio Suzuki ITA 1’48.726
5 Marco Melandri Yamaha ITA 1’48.844
6 Tom Sykes Kawasaki GBR 1’48.884
7 Sylvain Guintoli Ducati FRA 1’49.003
8 Maxime Berger Ducati FRA 1’49.023
9 Noriyuki Haga Aprilia JPN 1’49.041
10 Jakub Smrz Ducati CZE 1’49.072
11 Federico Sandi Aprilia ITA 1’49.125
12 Alessandro Polita Ducati ITA 1’49.134
13 Leon Camier Aprilia GBR 1’49.282
14 Ayrton Badovini BMW ITA 1’49.394
15 Mark Aitchison Kawasaki AUS 1’49.665
18 Eugene Laverty Yamaha GBR 1’49.991

Circuit Length:

Hot and Sunny

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

Fastest Lap Ever:
(Michel Fabrizio, 9/27/2009)

Last Years Winner:
Carlos Checa

Impressive First Qualifying for Yamaha ParkinGO Team at Imola

The Yamaha ParkinGO Team riders Luca Scassa and Chaz Davies didn’t waste any time today in Imola, the pair got straight down to business in the Italian sunshine to complete the first qualifying session in first and third places respectively.

Luca Scassa made an impressive start to the weekend at his home track. The Italian was immediately on the pace and making constant progress throughout the day. Having worked through some minor set up changes on his R6, Scassa proceeded to snatch the top of the time sheets from Fabien Foret in the dying minutes and completed the first qualifying session with a provisional pole.

Teammate and title favourite Chaz Davies put on an equally remarkable performance in the first qualifying session of a critical race weekend. Davies will be fighting for the Championship title this weekend and having completed in third place overall, the Welshman wrapped up day one in confidence. Davies intends making some further adjustments to his machine in tomorrow’s session ahead of Sunday’s significant race.

Luca Scassa

Yamaha ParkinGO Team – 1st, 1’52.375

“I’m really pleased with today’s result, it was a good start to an important weekend for me at my home track. I’ve trained a lot recently and I’m really focused on this race and the rest of the season, and will work very hard to climb up the standings. There is still some fine tuning to be done on the bike tomorrow ahead of the second qualifying session. I am confident that with the support of my numerous fans here at my home track, I can gain a podium finish on Sunday and maybe even a race win. That’s my goal and I’ll do my best to get there.”

Chaz Davies

Yamaha ParkinGO Team – 3rd, 1’52.736

“My goal today and tomorrow is to concentrate on improving the set-up of the bike without thinking about my chances of winning the title on Sunday. It’s an important weekend for me and I want to be in top form and fully confident with my machine before the race, where I’ll be battling to take the first title of my career. I don’t necessarily need to win on Sunday, but I’ll be pushing for a victory no matter what. ”

2011 World Supersport Italy

Imola 23/09/2011

1 Luca Scassa Yamaha ITA 1’52.375
2 Broc Parkes Kawasaki AUS 1’52.553
3 Chaz Davies Yamaha GBR 1’52.736
4 Fabien Foret Honda FRA 1’53.056
5 Alexander Lundh Honda SWE 1’53.301
6 Florian Marino Honda FRA 1’53.329
7 Roberto Tamburini Yamaha ITA 1’53.432
8 David Salom Kawasaki ESP 1’53.471
9 Robbin Harms Honda DNK 1’53.703
10 Sam Lowes Honda GBR 1’53.717
11 Massimo Roccoli Kawasaki ITA 1’53.761
12 Miguel Praia Honda POR 1’54.379
13 Vittorio Iannuzzo Kawasaki ITA 1’54.610
14 James Ellison Honda GBR 1’54.652
15 Ronan Quarmby Triumph RSA 1’54.786

Circuit Length:

Hot and Sunny

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

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

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