Published on 09 Jun 2012 by Toni M.
Tomorrow’s World Superbike double header at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli (the name was officialized today) will be highly interesting and hopefully very fought out as the previous sessions were very tight and three of the title contenders, Max Biaggi, Marco Melandri and Carlos Checa will be starting in the third and fourth rows after a disastrous Superpole so everyone expects them to slice through the field.
Here’s what some of the the riders had to say after today’s Superpole
Tom Sykes - 1st
“It looks like the qualifying tyres change the balance of the bike and we have been working in a similar set-up direction all weekend. So it looks like when we get to qualifying the softer tyres really benefit our package. It is really valuable information and the data is something we can use to build on for the future. I used all but one of the five available rear tyre options they have here, maybe saving one to try tomorrow. I am quite happy with two of the tyres for race use right now so let’s see what tomorrow’s track conditions bring. I had a big moment at the end of Superpole one when I think I hit a little puddle of water on the rumple strip and the back end stepped out. There was no mistake on my part but just a bit of a puddle of water. I managed to hold tight on the handlebars and got through the moment OK.”
Jonathan Rea - 2nd
We need to work a bit on a qualifying set-up, because it was the exact same situation at Miller. In the last sector I had so much chatter with the qualifier, but luckily we don’t have to race on that. Front row though, I like that! I’m happy with a clear view into turn one, but that was an unbelievable lap from Tom [Sykes]. He’s exceptional at qualifying and a he’s a good racer, so we’ll see if we can take it to him tomorrow. My race tyre feels good and, although some of my championship rivals didn’t have a good session, we’ll just have to see what happens tomorrow. My season almost finished at turn 11 here last year, so to come back and qualify on the front row and to feel strong for tomorrow makes me very happy.
Ayrton Badovini - 3rd
“I’m very happy for me and my team. We want to be fast in the races as well as over a single lap, so let’s see what we can do tomorrow!”
Davide Giugliano - 4th
“It’s the second time this season that I’ll start from the front row and I’m very happy with that. I prefer not to say too much because anything can happen in the races but I will say that I feel that I am growing little by little and that we have taken a good result here today. I knew we would be able to do well here at Misano and to start from the front row is the first step. This doesn’t mean that we can relax as we still have everything to do tomorrow but I am feeling confident.”
Leon Haslam - 6th
“It has been a strange qualifying. It was really hot and it rained just minutes before the first part so we had to go out on slick tyres while the track was half dry and half wet. We stayed on the race tyre in Superpole 1. The main objective was to get onto the first two rows - that is where we need to be. In Superpole 2, we had chatter again with the qualifying tyre. We had a lot more grip, but we could not make use of it. At the end of qualifying I went out on the race tyre again, but we made a few mistakes with it, to be fair. I am looking forward to tomorrow. We have a good race set-up. Tyre-wise we have five different options this weekend so it took a lot to work out what we needed. The tyre I can do my best lap time on is the one we will use for the race so for me it’s looking pretty good.”
Eugene Laverty - 7th
“This was definitely my best Superpole of the year and compared with yesterday I’m much happier. The changes we made felt good. We still have a lot of work to do because tyre choice will be fundamental: there are a lot of options which could be good in the race. I think everyone is in the same boat though, so the races will be very close tomorrow. We’ll do our best and try to come out strong”.
Max Biaggi - 10th
“I can’t say that I’m satisfied. We got our timing wrong and weren’t able to stop and change tyres to try for another lap. I didn’t make it through to the second Superpole session, even if it was by a hair, and that cost me a good starting position for tomorrow. The races will be hard for us, as they always are when you start from behind. Tomorrow we will not be able to afford any mistakes and we’ll have to be focused in order not to lose any ground to our very strong rivals”.
Loris Baz - 11th
“I was able to be faster during Superpole but I got stuck behind another rider when I had a qualifying tyre on. Also, the conditions over the back of the track were peculiar as there was a wet corner there for a while. My objective was to be in Superpole and I got up to the third row so that is good. Second row was possible but I am happy with the way things have been going this weekend. We made a really big step with the new tyres, and also in race pace, so I am confident for the race tomorrow. I think I found something to help me in the more stop-and-go corners by changing my style but it is not east to change your style from one hour to another. The team and mechanics have all done a good job to let me ride well on the bike and be comfortable. I am really happy because everything is going really good.”
Marco Melandri - 13th
“It has been a very difficult day. It was raining a little bit at the beginning of Superpole. We did not change anything on the bike, but in Superpole it was a completely different bike compared to free practice. We will try to understand why. I did not get a good feel for the bike, I could not go fast. We tried the qualifying tyre for safety to improve the lap time, but I was suffering with quite a bit of chattering. I am not happy about today and it is going to be very tough tomorrow. Starting from the fourth row is not the best position here in Misano. Now we need to see what we can do tomorrow morning in terms of tyres and bike set-up.”
Leon Camier - 14th
“My race pace on normal rubber is competitive and things were looking good for Superpole this afternoon, but when the rain came down, it ruined everything. Although it stopped pretty soon, there were quite a few damp patches on the far side of the track and it was difficult to know how hard to push the bike. I wasn’t confident enough to push really hard, but I still thought I’d make Superpole 2 OK. Towards the end of Superpole 1, we fitted a new tyre, but once I got out on the track, I experienced chatter and that was that. I’ve practiced some starts and I’m happy with the way they went, so hopefully I’ll manage to get two good starts tomorrow. I’ve got some of the top guys nearby, so I think it’s going to be a pretty exciting tomorrow!”
Carlos Checa - 16th
“Maybe we should have clarified our strategy beforehand. There was a miscommunication. They gave me ‘box’ on the pitboard and I thought I needed to come in and change tyre while I should have stayed on track. It’s a shame because we had demonstrated that we had the potential to do well in today’s Superpole. Anyway, we’ll be starting from the fourth row tomorrow and will need to make a good recovery from there. The tyre choice will be key, so we’ll need to make an educated decision and then see what we can do.”
John Hopkins - 18th
“I spent the first part of this morning’s qualifying carrying on getting comfortable with the bike - and the track - and also did some long runs. I put in a soft tyre and went for my fast lap, but I was held up by a couple of slower riders when I was really going for it. There wasn’t enough time for me to pit and try again, so I guess I just was unlucky. With hindsight maybe I should’ve tried doing my fast lap a bit earlier, but that’s how it panned out today and I will have to live with it. I am normally a good starter and I’m confident I can be in the mix from the start. It’s easy to get held up at this track, so my aim is to be at least two rows forward by the time we all get to turn one and then keep making progress.”
Hiroshi Aoyama - 20th
This morning we changed the set-up but we didn’t find a good way so we came back a little bit in the afternoon. We didn’t come back completely so we found a different kind of problem. It meant that I couldn’t go fast so I’m not so happy.