Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Eugene Laverty will start todays’s two eni FIM Superbike World Championship races at the Misano World Circuit ‘Marco Simoncelli’ in Italy from the third-row, but he is positive for a good result.
After a solid morning’s work in free practice, Laverty was confident in his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki’s race performance, and - having already qualified for the second Superpole session - the Irishman set-about the real task of grid-qualification for the last 15-minute stint. But, after bettering his times, an unexpected issue prevented him from capitalising on his progress. However, his 1’36.043 lap-time saw him rounding-out the third-row.
Team-mate Alex Lowes had a difficult day at the Italian track: Safeguarding his place in Superpole two with his initial free practice performance on-board his GSX-R1000, Lowes’ best time of 1’36.489 sees him on the fourth-row in 11th place for the two 21-lap races, but the British racer is determined to challenge come Sunday.
A large Italian crowd and glorious 31°C sunshine greeted qualifying at the Misano Adriatico circuit as Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes stole Superpole with a 1’34.883 - setting a new best lap for the first time since Troy Corser’s lap-record in 2010. Althea’s Niccolo Canepa secured the highest EVO time of the day.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki returns to track-action at 10:30hrs local time (09:30BST) for the first of Sunday’s two races, with the second outing beginning at 13:10hrs local time (12:10BST).
“During free practice today we made a big improvement with our race setting and I was much more content. In Superpole we had a problem with corner entry, the bike was skipping and jumping in braking and we have to find-out the reason for that. Our Superpole didn’t go well - third row - but our race-pace is good, so that’s positive for tomorrow!”
“It’s been a difficult day today and we haven’t qualified where we need to be but I’m really enjoying the Misano circuit. We have some work to do overnight before the two races and hopefully I can come back on the Suzuki GSX-R and fight for a good result tomorrow.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“We haven’t found the sweet spot in Superpole in a lot of races this year but today’s result is particularly disappointing because on Eugene’s side we’ve made some good improvements to the bike, but an unexpected problem held us back during the qualifying laps. On Alex’s side there unfortunately haven’t been any improvements since yesterday; in fact the performance-level has gone backwards relative to Friday’s result. We now need to see what we can do to help Alex with the bike, and he needs to do what he can to regain some confidence for tomorrow morning. The races here are quite challenging at 21 laps each, but consistency on used tyres with the GSX-R has been great again this weekend so let’s hope we come good in the second-half of the race and can move up the grid.”
Misano – eni FIM Superbike World Championship – Superpole: 1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’34.883: 2. Davide Giugliano (Ducati) +0.196: 3. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) +0.223: 4. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) +0.371: 5. Marco Melandri (Aprilia) +0.433. 9. Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) +1.160. 11. Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) +1.606.