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Positive Free Practice Progress for Pata Yamaha at Misano

Pata Yamaha_061716

The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team began round eight – Riviera di Rimini – at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli today with a strong start from both Alex Lowes and Niccolò Canepa. Building on his recovery and fitness, Lowes worked consistently to regain his rhythm with the YZF-R1, promoting himself to Saturday’s Superpole 2 by securing seventh in the overall times, while Canepa focused on setting the Yamaha to his riding style, concluding the final session in 14th.

Having spent the past fortnight concentrating on rehabilitating his shoulder in preparation for the weekend, Lowes got straight down to work and safely inside the top ten from Friday morning. Utilising the two, one-hour practice sessions to hone his YZF-R1’s settings to the 4,226m Italian circuit, the British rider continued to test his strength and fitness, completing 40 laps and setting a best time of 1’35.493 by the close of the afternoon. Qualifying directly for Superpole 2 – on track at 10:55 local time – Lowes will continue to improve on his base setting as he returns for the final free practice at 08:45 tomorrow morning.

Developing on the knowledge gained from the private test a fortnight ago, Canepa reacquainted himself with the WorldSBK-spec YZF-R1 quickly at his native circuit. Focusing on setting the machine up ready for Saturday’s race, the Italian used Friday morning to work through the electronics strategies. Developing a wider plan during the afternoon practice, to allow the team to evaluate overnight, Canepa is confident they have found the correct direction to make further steps through tomorrow’s early morning practice, ahead of his first WorldSBK Superpole qualifying of 2016 at 10:30.

Alex Lowes
7th / 1’35.493 / 40 laps

“I’m feeling quite good on the bike and it’s getting better all the time. We’ve been working on a bit of everything today and still have plenty of work to do ready for tomorrow but not a bad first day. We need to try to get a bit of a better feeling on the front, keep working on the settings and on getting my confidence back up and see how we get on tomorrow!”

Niccolò Canepa
14th / 1’36.412 / 39 laps

“The first day is complete and for sure the position is not what I had expected but I have seen that the times are very close, only one second from pole is not too far considering it is the first day on the bike. We spent this morning working to find the best setting for me, especially with the electronics, but after that I was feeling good and the bike is working better. I needed to set the bike up for me and my style, and we have only had two hours on track, now we know what we need to do, so I am confident for tomorrow that we can make a good step ready for a good race tomorrow afternoon.”

Paul Denning – Team Principal

“The lap times are extremely close between all the top contenders here in Misano and it’s a tricky circuit to find the optimum balance and performance in the bike. The YZF-R1 is excelling in the fast, flowing sections of the track but we need to improve the corner entry and efficiency of the bike in the slower sections.

“Alex’s consistency has been excellent today, of course his fitness is not close to 100% but it is looking a lot more positive than it was at Donington Park so we will do what we can to improve the bike further in the short time available to us tomorrow morning and aim for a solid first race tomorrow afternoon.

“It’s Niccolò’s first race weekend with the team, he’s done a good job, with a gap of only one second to the fastest rider so to be in 14th place is a bit unfair, but that’s the nature of World Superbike. His feedback is excellent, he is clear on where the bike can be improved and we are looking forward to solid points in his first race with Pata Yamaha tomorrow.”

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