Round Seven – Misano – Friday Report
The opening day of WorldSBK action concluded after FP2, with action and drama aplenty in the 50-minute session. Numerous crashes were scattered throughout the session, including Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), although he was unscathed.
Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) was on top at the end of the day, with Rea in second and Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) in third.
The Dutchman suffered an enormous accident at the end of the session, bringing a red flag out just moments after the chequered flag was shown. Having won at Jerez, the former WorldSSP champion was on a mission before a huge high-side at the end of the session saw him thrown in the air, bringing out a red flag. After examination in the medical centre van der Mark was diagnosed with concussion, fractures to the radius and trapezium bones in his right wrist and fractures to ribs nine and ten on his right side. The Pata Yamaha rider was transported to Rimini Hospital, where he will remain under observation for 24 hours as a precautionary measure, before undergoing surgery to plate the radius fracture.
Pata Yamaha Team Principal – Paul Denning
“When you see an accident as severe as Michael’s today, it really brings home the risks that all the riders take when they are pushing to the limits. Thankfully he is ‘basically’ ok, despite injuries that will rule him out of the races this weekend. Of course, this is a huge disappointment for him, the team and for Yamaha because – following Jerez’s superb victory – Michael’s outright pace and consistency here in Misano had set him up to again challenge for the race wins. His parents, girlfriend Nadieh and Andrea Dosoli are with him at the hospital, we know he is in good medical hands and at this moment everybody involved in Yamaha’s WorldSBK project sends Michael all the best wishes and positive energies we can for a swift recovery. His potential is clear and we can’t wait to see Michael back on the R1.”
As his team-mate was carted off to hospital, Alex Lowes completed the top five overall and proved he in the mix for a podium result this weekend.
Alex Lowes – P5
“The track temperature is a lot higher and the track is more slippery than it was when we were here for the test a few weeks ago. Today we just worked through the program, staying on used tyres, but I still need to find a bit more confidence with the front of the bike. We’ll have a look through the data tonight to find a solution ready for tomorrow, but the main thing is that Michael is relatively okay after what was a big crash in FP2. That’s not how you want to end the day after setting the fastest time but, hopefully, he’ll be back on the bike very soon and I wish him all the best.”
The Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK duo of Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam suffered crashes on their way to second and tenth respectively.
Haslam was the first crasher in the opening part of FP2, whilst Rea crashed at Turn 2 in the closing stages, having been top for the majority of the day.
Leon Haslam – P10
“We ran out of track time today because a crash hindered us in something we wanted to try. We have been suffering from a little lack of front grip more than anything. We still have to work because compared to the test we had here recently the track is a bit greasier, a bit more slippery. It is totally different from the test until now. We had a certain way and feeling at the test and it is now a completely different way that we need to look for.”
It was a positive day for Rea, as he goes in search of returning to winning ways and taking the battle to Alvaro Bautista.
Jonathan Rea – P2
“It is much hotter than it was at the test we had here recently. There was not a lot of rubber down at the test but even today the grip levels are lower. But saying that, it feels more normal especially compared to Jerez last time out, where the grip levels were so high you were pushing the tyres into the ground. The bike is moving around a little here and we are just trying to understand where we are with it. I felt we had a really good pace and my speed was good today, and we understood some different tyres. It is now clear the tyre we are going to use. For the first day I feel not bad; actually comfortable on the bike.”
Bautista’s day was comparably uneventful at Misano, with him being one of the few top names who didn’t crash – although he crashed during the Misano test. Bautista was quick in all of the sectors, topping the timesheets in the final sector but not featuring too prominently throughout the rest of the lap.
Álvaro Bautista – P3
“Today was rather a difficult day and it was conditioned by the hot weather and the lack of grip. We’re all lapping quite slowly, there isn’t much grip both in the front and the rear so it’s easy to make a mistake, but we’re working hard to improve the feeling. This morning I didn’t have a particularly good feeling with the choice of tyre, while in the afternoon things were better, the bike was more stable and we managed to improve our time, but only by a bit. For the moment our ideas are quite clear about which type of tyre to use and we’ll have a look at the data this evening but I’m very confident for Superpole and tomorrow’s race.”
Team-mate Chaz Davies did not improve his time in the second session and finished the day in eighth overall.
Chaz Davies – P8
“It was quite a positive first day and even though my position maybe doesn’t show it, the feeling with the bike wasn’t bad at all. I think we’ve got margin to improve, the only problem is that there isn’t much time available tomorrow morning for us to apply the right modifications. Today the track was really slippery and it was hard for everyone. I’m suffering with a lack of grip; in addition, I had a bit of a problem with my first tyre at the start of FP2 which meant we had to modify the workflow, but when we changed the tyre my Panigale V4 R immediately went better.”
Both GRT Yamaha WorldSBK riders were inside the top ten, as Sandro Cortese popped into fourth position on the combined times and made plenty of headlines, finishing as second Yamaha.
Sandro Cortese – P4
“A very positive day, which started with a good feeling this morning after the test here and the last races in Jerez. This afternoon we made a significant improvement again, in what was a very good free practice session for us, as we worked towards the first race. The lap times were consistent, the pace was good and I’m really looking forward to the race tomorrow.”
Home-hero Marco Melandri was ninth on the combined times but didn’t improve his time in FP2.
Marco Melandri – P9
“The first day here in Misano proved very difficult because of the track conditions. I don’t think anyone was expecting such a lack of grip, which made the front and rear so unpredictable and the bike so difficult to ride. Tyre endurance also seems to be an issue, but the main goal is to try and improve the available grip for tomorrow. My feeling is not so bad, but I need to feel more comfortable on the bike if we are to improve.”
A positive opening day concluded well for Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), who will go in search of continuing his pole-run from years gone-by, with seven consecutive poles in the last seven seasons. With the 2013 WorldSBK champion in the fight at the front, he looks set for a strong weekend.
Tom Sykes – P6
“I’m very happy with our Friday free practice. I came here and sat down with my crew chief and we made a plan for the weekend. I have to say that the whole BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team have worked very well today. We had a very structured effort in FP1. I’ve not been on track too long in FP1 but that was good because we set some changes to the BMW S 1000 RR which obviously gave us our direction for FP2 and I have to say that I’m happy with the outcome of today’s efforts. On paper we look quite strong. But in reality when I’m on the track with the bike – you’ve probably heard from many riders and you’ve seen that the lap times are a bit off – the track is very greasy. It’ really quite unpredictable and the track could change from hour to hour. So, yes, I’m happy with our performance and quite surprised with the pace there at the end. Tomorrow is another day and we just try to build a little bit further on the information we got today. But we won’t do anything too drastic now, just a couple of minor modifications and then go racing.”
Teammate Markus Reiterberger was less than a second off of top slot, but back in 13th.
Markus Reiterberger – P13
“The first day at Misano was a bit more difficult than expected. Misano in general does not offer too much grip but today, the track conditions out there were really difficult. The first free practice was okay, we ticked every box on our list and then made some changes for the second practice. At the beginning of FP2, I had to return to the pits due to a brake issue. We changed the brake disks and that helped. For a long time, I was able to stay within the top-seven but then I lost the front. Unfortunately, the damage on the bike prevented me from continuing the session. That was a pity as we had quite some items on our test list and we could not work through them all as a result. But in general, we know what we have to do and are in a positive mood for the rest of the weekend.”
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (BARNI Racing Team) had a positive day and was the second Independent rider in seventh place. With less than half a second off, Rinaldi is in the mix at his home round and primed for a good result. Fellow countryman, teammate and wildcard Michele Pirro completed the day in 12th.
|1||M. Van Der Mark||Yamaha YZF R1||1m36.021|
|2||J. Rea||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1m36.029|
|3||A. Bautista||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1m36.156|
|4||S. Cortese||Yamaha YZF R1||1m36.267|
|5||A. Lowes||Yamaha YZF R1||1m36.380|
|6||T. Sykes||BMW S1000 RR||1m36.382|
|7||M. Rinaldi||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1m36.463|
|8||C. Davies||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1m36.544|
|9||M. Melandri||Yamaha YZF R1||1m36.629|
|10||L. Haslam||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1m36.714|
|11||T. Razgatlioglu||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1m36.774|
|12||M. Pirro||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1m36.884|
|13||M. Reiterberger||BMW S1000 RR||1m36.968|
|14||J. Torres||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1m37.109|
|15||L. Zanetti||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1m37.217|
|16||S. Cavalieri||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1m37.309|
|17||L. Baz||Yamaha YZF R1||1m37.490|
|18||L. Mercado||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1m37.597|
|19||A. Delbianco||Honda CBR1000RR||1m38.532|
|20||Y. Takahashi||Honda CBR1000RR||1m38.578|
|21||R. Kiyonari||Honda CBR1000RR||1m38.842|
|22||D. Schmitter||Yamaha YZF R1||1m39.508|