It was a difficult Saturday for the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team at Silverstone (GBR), but it ended in a kind of a conciliatory manner. Factory rider Chaz Davies (GBR) achieved the set target, which was to start from the front two rows. The Welshman finished sixth in today’s turbulent Superpole qualifying with his BMW S 1000 RR, thus starting the ninth round of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship from the second row. His team-mate Marco Melandri (ITA) was denied of his chance to attack in the Superpole qualifying by a mechanical issue and will start tomorrow’s races from 15th on the grid.
However, Marco was only able to do one flying lap before he had to stop beside the track because of a mechanical issue. Consequently, Superpole was over for him and he had to settle with 15th. Chaz meanwhile did two outings in the first part of the session. For the second one he used qualifying tyres and set the best time to progress to the next session. He made it through Superpole 2 into the final and deciding third session by using his other qualifying tyre. In Superpole 3, Chaz tried to do his best on race tyres, when the session was red flagged as it started to rain in parts of the track. The modus was changed to a “wet Superpole” of 20 minutes for those nine riders who had qualified for Superpole 3. Conditions were changing during this session and track action was quite reduced, but towards the end the track dried again and with three minutes to go, the riders went out again to battle a final showdown for the grid positions with Chaz putting in the sixth fastest time.
Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 2:06.057 min (P10) / Fastest lap FP: 2:06.441 min (P12) / Fastest lap Superpole 3: 2:06.369 min (P6) “We have reached the target of starting from the first two rows which is good but it was sort of a strange day. I have to admit that I was not totally happy with the bike in Superpole, it was a bit hard to ride. For one lap, when you try to squeeze out everything, it is a bit tough going but over race distance we did not seem to be too bad this morning. I have been reasonably happy with that but we still have to improve as the bike is struggling over the bumps. So we will work on that tonight and get it right for tomorrow. In the races we will be pushing for the podium. For sure it will be interesting because some guys have a good pace but I am not sure how sustainable that is over race distance here. The grip drops off pretty quickly here so we have to see how it goes tomorrow.”
Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 2:06.283 min (P11) / Fastest lap FP: 2:05.859 min (P6) / Fastest lap Superpole 1: 2:13.317 min (P15) “It was a difficult day. This morning I crashed quite heavily and hit the ground with my right hand and elbow. Now I have some pain in the fingers and I cannot bend my elbow properly. For this reason I cannot quickly release the brake and open the throttle. In Superpole, I did my best. I bit the bullet but then I had a mechanical issue on the second lap and in the end I could not take part in the qualifying session. The bike still struggles with the bumps but we are working on it. To start from the fifth row doesn’t make it easier, even if, in the end, we’re not really that bad. Now I need to rest to try to be in the best condition for tomorrow.”
Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“It was not a good day. On this track we struggle with the bumpy surface and we also had some bad luck. Marco, after this morning’s crash, tried to take part in Superpole despite the pain but then could only do one lap due to a mechanical issue. We still have some work to do to make the bike ready for the race as we were not able to complete our job. In addition, Marco probably will have some pain tomorrow but I’m sure he will do his best to limit the damage and to get the best result he can. Chaz is quite satisfied, he feels a little more comfortable than Marco on this track and over the day he was able to improve his performance. He is on good form for tomorrow. In the warm-up we will work further on improving our performance."
BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team