First and second row: the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team has had a successful Superpole at “Moscow Raceway” (RUS). Factory rider Chaz Davies (GBR) claimed his best ever qualifying result in the FIM Superbike World Championship.

The Welshman finished second, putting his BMW S 1000 RR on the front row of the grid. His team-mate Marco Melandri (ITA) is also happy with qualifying. He finished fifth and thus will start the eighth round of the season from the second row.

Chaz Davies
Chaz Davies

Photo by: Dave Dyer

Changing weather made the conditions difficult today. After it had rained in the morning, the track was still wet when the riders went out for the second qualifying practice. Already, the two BMW factory riders were fast, with Marco setting the fastest time of the session and Chaz placing fifth.

During the free practice session in the early afternoon it started to rain again, so the track action was pretty limited. But then conditions bettered and for the Superpole, it was dry.

At the beginning of Superpole 1, both Chaz and Marco did two laps on race tyres and then returned to the garage, having comfortably qualified for the second part. In Superpole 2, Chaz again started with a race tyre, then he came to the pitlane to change to his first qualifying tyre.

With this, Chaz put in the second fastest time and progressed easily to the final session. Marco meanwhile started Superpole 2 with his first qualifying tyre. He returned to the garage, but to be on the safe side, he went out for another attempt with his second qualifying tyre with two and a half minutes to go. He set the fourth fastest time.

In the final and deciding Superpole 3, Chaz began with his second qualifying tyre and was temporarily fastest. In the end he slipped back to second when Davide Giugliano (ITA) set a better time to secure pole position. Marco did two outings in Superpole 3 with the qualifying tyres he had already used in the second part. Thus, he set the fifth fastest time.

Chaz Davies (Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:36.303 min, P10 / Fastest lap FP: 1:37.072 min, P4 / Fastest lap Superpole 3: 1:34.833 min, P2): “I am very happy. The result confirms the steps that we have taken all weekend have been right. We made the turning a little bit better and now I feel like I can actually force the front to turn rather than the bike deciding where it wants to go. We made some changes that have really helped.

I felt that I did not make the best lap, I lost a couple of tenths here and there, maybe enough to keep me off from pole but to get there you have to put it all together and I did not. But still I am very satisfied with the front row and am looking forward to the races.

I think it is going to be a battle tomorrow, it is going to be close off the line and whoever has the pace will stay at the front. I think that it will be between a few riders tomorrow. It will be interesting but I am pretty confident with my package and on the few laps we did today in the dry, I had a good pace.”

Marco Melandri: (Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:35.891 min, P3 / Fastest lap FP: 1:37.135 min, P5 / Fastest lap Superpole 3: 1:35.115 min, P5): “Today we have made a good step forward, especially on the race pace both in dry and wet conditions. We improved a lot in the last sector, while we have still some room for improvement in the first one. Tomorrow the weather will be the key.

In case the weather conditions change during the race, we will have to do a pit stop to change tyres. Tonight we will define a strategy to decide if and when it is better to do this. Tomorrow in the race many riders will be fighting for the top positions. On this track it is quite difficult to overtake but we could be at the front. Today’s fifth position is a good result, I feel good for the race and I’m happy.”

Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team): “It was a very positive day. Both our riders were fast in all conditions. This morning, in the wet, we were in front. This afternoon, when it was supposed to be the worst weather of the whole weekend, we had a dry Superpole. Chaz is back on the front row and this is good for his and the team’s mood.

Tomorrow in the races, I’m sure, he could do even better. Marco is quite serene and in the races he can also do very well. The weather is unpredictable and it changes quite fast. Tomorrow the team will have to be ready to manage all weather conditions and, in case they change, to manage them quickly. I am confident that tomorrow we will be able to have a good race in any conditions.”

Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team): “Overall it has been a good day. We have achieved our target for Superpole which was to start from the two front rows. But the most important point is that we have improved the performance of our RR. With both riders we have improved a few tenths in the first and last sectors where we are struggling.

And I have to say that I am satisfied with the job done by both crews in such difficult and unpredictable weather conditions. We managed to always be well prepared and we were fast in both dry and wet conditions. The races will not be easy. The start will be very important and quite a few riders will be able to fight for the podium but I am confident to say that our two riders will be among them.

So it is up to the guys to make a good start and up to the team tonight to analyse the data and to try to fine tune the RRs. Then we will use the warm-up to further improve the package.”

BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team