For the first time in motorsports history, a global-racing event occurred on Russian soil. This was following round 11 of 14 in the 2012 World Superbike Championship at Moscow Raceway.
Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the first day of practice at Moscow Raceway:
BMW Motorrad Motorsport — WSBK — Moscow — Qualifying Practice 1
Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport began the first ever Russian round of the FIM Superbike World Championship by qualifying for the provisional first and third row. The eleventh round of the 2012 season is being held at the brand new “Moscow Raceway” near Volokolamsk (RUS). On Wednesday the team took part in the official Infront testing to get familiar with the track. Today, the normal race weekend began. Factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA) finished the first qualifying practice in fourth after having set the fastest lap in the free practice this morning. His team-mate Leon Haslam (GBR) qualified provisional ninth on his BMW S 1000 RR. Ayrton Badovini and Michel Fabrizio (both ITA) of the BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet SBK Team finished 15th and 16th respectively.
Fastest lap Free Practice: 1:35.799 min (P1)/Fastest lap Qualifying Practice 1: 1:35.772 min (P4)
“It is difficult because the conditions are changing very quickly. We have to try to understand which is the best tyre for the race and the best one for a lap time. Unfortunately we are struggling with the soft tyre. We get a lot of chatter and it is difficult to ride. But I am quite happy about the race. It will be difficult to fight for victory because the twin cylinder bikes are very fast on this track. They ride very easily in the first section. In the short tight corners there they gain four to five tenths on us so it will not be easy for us. For sure we will do our best.”
Fastest lap Free Practice: 1:36.720 min (P8)/Fastest lap Qualifying Practice 1: 1:36.039 min (P9)
“In comparison to the test we had some issues today. It was difficult to find the same feel as we had on Wednesday. We worked on this all day and also tried the different tyres that Pirelli have given us for the weekend. Our pace on race tyres was pretty good. We just need to fine tune so we can get the same feel we had here at the test. We definitely need to improve but overall it was a normal Friday.”
Andrea Dosoli (Head of Race Operations):
“We are making progress with our work. We have improved the set-up and our knowledge of the track compared to the Wednesday test. Both riders improved their performance with the race tyre but we are struggling with the soft tyre and this could be an issue in the Superpole. We think the SC1 does not work properly for us. It will be tough against the twin cylinder bikes which evidently have an advantage in the first section and we have to work hard to reduce the gap to them on that part of the track. There is still room for improvement and we are confident that we will be ready for tomorrow’s qualifying and Superpole to fight for the front row.”
Honda riders in Moscow top ten
Hiroshi Aoyama took a provisional second row grid slot with the eighth fastest time in today’s opening qualifying session at Moscow Raceway in Russia with his Honda World Superbike team-mate Jonathan Rea less than a tenth of a second further back in tenth place.
Provisional pole position was taken by Italian Davide Giuliano, closely followed by his team-mate and reigning champion Carlos Checa. Third placed Sylvain Guintoli is less than three tenths faster than Rea, suggesting some close racing on Sunday.
Following Wednesday’s official test, today marked the first time that the World Superbike machines had been ridden competitively on the new 3.931km Moscow Raceway track – a narrow, tight and twisty circuit 75km west of the Russian capital.
The riders will return for second qualifying tomorrow morning ahead of the afternoon’s Superpole sessions to determine final grid positions for Sunday’s two 25-lap races.
Hiroshi Aoyama – P8, 1m35.988s
I think today we found a better set-up than during the test on Wednesday. Of course, I want to improve in a couple of places on the track – both myself and the bike. In the last few minutes today we put in a new tyre, but there was a lot of traffic so I could not make the most of the grip level. The track is quite small so, even if another rider is slower, it’s difficult to pass. I also made a couple of mistakes so I think the lap time could have been better. Even on the harder tyre we were able to make some consistently good laps so, if the weather is OK tomorrow, we’ll see how much we can improve.
Jonathan Rea – P10, 1m36.061s
We’re getting things together a little better but there are still some areas where we can improve the bike in all sectors. The more we talk, the more we realise what direction we need to go in. The weight transfer is a little bit too much under braking which makes it quite difficult to control on a tight circuit like this. The test on Wednesday helped us to get the right gearbox in the bike with the right gearing, so we don’t have to worry about that going into tomorrow. But we’re still not where we want to be – the front two guys a little bit ahead, but it’s very close for the rest of us.
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
Hiroshi finished a really strong eighth today and he already showed in the test that he clicks with the track here. His crew kept working and made some positive steps and Hiroshi was able to keep improving his times, right to the end of the session. It’s fantastic to see after the struggles he’s had so far this season. I’m really happy for him and that side of the team – hopefully they can improve even more tomorrow. Jonathan lost a few tenths on his last run but it’s all very close so, on paper, it probably looks worse than it actually is. We’re in quite good shape considering we still have some improvements to make, so it’s work in progress.
ParkinGo MTC Racing Press Release Moscow Friday
Moscow, 24th August 2012
On the first day of the race weekend at Moscow Raceway, new circuit on the world superbike championship calendar, Chaz Davies and ParkinGO MTC Racing have been very fast, managing to place the Aprilia RSV4 in top five on both sessions.
Chaz Davies, second fastest in the free practice and fifth fastest on the first qualifying, has been on both practices the fastest Aprilia in the track, showing his riding skills on a track that for the first time this year equals veterans and rookies.
The British rider has worked on the set up of his bike, and placed himself between the best despite a red flag and a difficult weather forecast.
Tomorrow, if weather and temperature are good, Chaz and the team will work on the set up, for tomorrow’s Superpole and Sunday races.
Lowes impressive second in Russia on Friday
BOGDANKA PTR HONDA’s Sam Lowes finished the opening qualifying session for round ten of the World Supersport Championship in Russia in a close second position after topping the morning practice session and will be looking for more progress tomorrow.
Lowes had only done four laps in the qualifying session as an early crash meant the he was unable to return to the track after damaging his only bike, but it was still enough to get second on the provisional grid.
Mathew Scholtz had a small crash in the morning session but recovered his confidence to post 14th fastest time in the qualifying session as he too is targeting more improvements on the new Moscow Raceway track tomorrow.
Bogdanka Honda PTR’s Andrzej Chmielewski was 32nd today and is confident of more progress on Saturday having enjoyed his first official day with the squad.
Sam Lowes: «We crashed and only managed to do four laps in the qualifying so it’s not perfect but we’ve made big progress with the bike today. I did four laps on the hardest of the tyres and managed to do1:38.1, which kept me in second position, so it’s not a problem. I’m looking forward to tomorrow now as I know that with this bike we can do a very good lap time as well as a very good race on Sunday, so I’m looking forward to it.»
Mathew Scholtz: «I was pretty confident after the Wednesday test but struggled a bit this morning and ended the session with a crash. However, we changed a few things for the qualifying and I slowly picked up my pace. It seemed to work as I’m 14th and very confident that I can go faster tomorrow because we’ve made some changes to the bike. It feels easier to ride now and I think I can definitely improve.»
Andrzej Chmielewski: «We keep making progress and I’m happy. We’re quite far off as far as the position but I’m really enjoying the Supersport bike and I’m happy with the way we’re working with the team. I know I can improve tomorrow and we’re going in the right direction so I’m looking forward to making more progress. The kerbs that were slippery during the test, were painted and weren’t a problem today and I really enjoy the track itself too.»
Simon Buckmaster, Bogdanka PTR Honda Team Manager: «We made some change to the front setting with Sam and he is quite happy. He had a small crash after just four laps and still took second place. We are confident he will challenge at the front again. Mathew is up to 14th and improving. He is moving in the right direction.»
Jules secures impressive front row
PTR HONDA’S Jules Cluzel took fourth and a provisional front row start for Sunday’s 10th round of the World Supersport Championship at Moscow in Russia, despite trying a number of set-up changes that didn’t help improve his speed.
Ronan Quarmby on his PTR Honda crashed early on and wasn’t able to get back on track, ending 19th. Martin Jessopp on the Riders PTR Honda made good progress with his lap time and feeling and finished 25th. There are more practice and qualifying sessions tomorrow before the race takes place at 1330 local time on Sunday, August 26th.
Jules: «I am a little bit disappointed with fourth as I was looking for a better result. We tried some things and I think we did not go in the right direction. Also there was some rain. Anyway, tomorrow is looking OK and we will try again then.»
Ronan: «I’m really upset at qualifying 19th and not happy at all. At the start of the session I crashed. I don’t know what it is, I think it is just this track and it is really hard on the front end with the tyres. But tomorrow’s another qualifying session and I am determined to get on to front two rows.»
Martin: «My position is not what I want it to be but we are making good progress with settings and my feel with the bike. Thanks to the test we have a day extra here so I am hoping to make big improvements tomorrow and aim for the points in the race.»
Simon Buckmaster, PTR Honda Team Manager: «Jules went out on used tyres to start with, tried a few different settings that didn’t work and then there were a couple of spots of rain, so he didn’t have the ideal session. In the end he is fourth on the grid and we are confident he can improve tomorrow. Ronan crashed early in qualifying and bent the forks on his bike and we didn’t have time to repair it in the session; that is why he is 19th. The bike will be fixed overnight and he will be alright tomorrow — we expect him to challenge for the front two rows. Martin is still improving his lap times and has the potential to challenge for points. He is working well with his new crew chief and we want a good race finish from him this round.»
Giugliano leaps ahead at new Moscow track
Moscow Raceway (Russia), Friday 24 August 2012 – The Althea Racing Ducati pairing of Davide Giugliano and Carlos Checa led the field in the eni FIM Superbike World Championship first qualifying session at Moscow Raceway with Giugliano setting the best lap so far of 1 minute 35.074 seconds. They each had a trip onto the gravel at one point of the session but ended their first day in the best possible positions in any case.
Sylvain Guintoli (PATA Racing Team Ducati) made it a clean sweep for the Ducati riders inside the top three, with the first four-cylinder machine being that of Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) in fourth. Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Racing Aprilia) carried on his strong form from the morning session to go fifth in qualifying and be top Aprilia rider on show.
Fastest Kawasaki man Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) was sixth, while PATA Racing Team rider Lorenzo Zanetti claimed a fine seventh on a good day for the Ducati crews. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) proved to be the fastest Honda man, in eighth place, having been inside the top four at one time.
Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing) had a tough day and finished only 13th with John Hopkins (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) the first Suzuki rider in the day 1 rankings in 14th place.
The first qualifying session was held in dry conditions with overhead cloud making its presence felt, leaving air temperatures at a mild 18°C and track temperatures at 22°C.
Times: 1. Giugliano (Ducati) 1’35.074 average 148.848 kph; 2. Checa (Ducati) 1’35.284; 3. Guintoli (Ducati) 1’35.751; 4. Melandri (BMW) 1’35.772; 5. Davies (Aprilia) 1’35.828; 6. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’35.905; 7. Zanetti (Ducati) 1’35.980; 8. Aoyama (Honda) 1’35.988; 9. Haslam (BMW) 1’36.039; 10. Rea (Honda) 1’36.061; 11. Canepa (Ducati) 1’36.143; 12. Baz (Kawasaki) 1’36.174; 13. Biaggi (Aprilia) 1’36.236; 14. Hopkins (Suzuki) 1’36.293; 15. Badovini (BMW) 1’36.326; 16. Fabrizio (BMW) 1’36.442; etc.
Championship leader Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Lorenzini) headed the first FIM Supersport World Championship qualifying session at the Moscow Raceway, the Turk setting a best time of 1 minute 37.875 seconds to head off the push of Bogdanka PTR Honda rider Sam Lowes by 0.304 seconds. Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products) was third with another of this year’s top riders, Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda), securing fourth place before tomorrow’s final qualifying session takes place. Local hero Vladimir Leonov (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha) was fifth and in the leading mix once more after impressing all during testing on Wednesday. Qualifying today was interrupted by red flags at one time and some spots of rain fell for a short while in sector one, but to no real effect on the lap times.
Times: 1. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 1’37.875 average 144.589 kph; 2. Lowes (Honda) 1’38.179; 3. Parkes (Honda) 1’38.398; 4. Cluzel (Honda) 1’38.434; 5. Leonov (Yamaha) 1’38.615; 6. Talmacsi (Honda) 1’38.888; 7. Foret (Kawasaki) 1’38.892; 8. Morais (Kawasaki) 1’39.050; etc.
Coppa dei Due Paesi (Two Nations Cup)
Denis Sacchetti (SD Rider Team Kawasaki) took the early advantage in the Coppa dei Due Paesi at Moscow Raceway, the Italian rider just edging out homegrown talent Sergey Vlasov (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha) by 0.033 seconds. Dakota Mamola (Yakhnich Motorsports Yamaha) secured third place in a field of 24, with Jenez Prosenik (Japi Racing Team Yamaha) fourth.
Times: 1. Sacchetti (Kawasaki) 1’43.681 average 136.492 kph; 2. Vlasov (Yamaha) 1’43.714; 3. Mamola (Yamaha) 1’44.793; 4. Prosenik (Yamaha) 1’45.488; 5. Rosivall (Yamaha) 1’45.645; 6. Kiselev (Honda) 1’45.829; 7. Sangiorgi (Honda) 1’46.127; 8. Orlov (Yamaha) 1’48.183; etc.
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