Marco Melandri finished first qualifying practice sixth on the provisional second row on his BMW S 1000 RR and his team-mate Chaz Davies (GBR) was 11th.
The BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team has started its home round at the “Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari” at Imola (ITA). The iconic circuit hosts the seventh race weekend of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship.
In the first qualifying practice of the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup, Sylvain Barrier (FRA) of the BMW Motorrad GoldBet STK Team finished third on the provisional front row on his BMW HP4. His team-mate Greg Gildenhuys (RSA), who is still affected by his injured left heel, finished 17th.
Marco Melandri (Fastest lap Free Practice: 1:48.977 min - P4/Fastest lap Qualifying Practice 1: 1:47.788 min - P6): “This year in Imola we have higher temperatures and new 17” tyres and this is why we are evaluating new solutions and new tyres. Today we had good sessions; we are doing quite well.
We have worked on preparing for the race and we did a good job. In fact, I did my best lap time on the tenth lap with used tyres. We were not quite as not fast as the guys in front, but we are heading in the right direction. Tomorrow will try some solutions especially to improve the speed in changing directions. We will have the time to complete our work. Overall, I am confident for the races.”
Chaz Davies (Fastest lap Free Practice: 1:49.743 min - P13/Fastest lap Qualifying Practice 1: 1:48.697 min - P11): “I am not very happy with today. Every time I tried to push I was struggling with issues when turning into corners. It is something that I haven’t had to that extent before.
We have not changed anything dramatic but when I try to push that happens. In addition we also need to try and find a solution for another issue, I am wheelying too much and lose quite a bit of time on the straight because of that. So we have to have a good look at the data and we need to make an easier bike to ride because when I don’t push, the lap time is faster.”
Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team): “Today the forecast had predicted bad weather; instead, luckily, the weather allowed us to work well. Marco is satisfied with his RR. Today he worked on preparing for the race using only one tyre and he showed a good race pace.
Tomorrow we’ll fix some small details. Chaz had some issues; he was not able to be constantly fast in all sectors. We will analyse the data to enable him to catch up with the front tomorrow.
In the Superstock class we saw the Imola debut of our electronic damping system DDC. We worked on gaining data in order to make the suspension working properly. We did not look for the lap time but only to collect new data. Sylvain is doing well, tomorrow he will have the chance to improve. Greg is getting better and today was the first time for him on this track, in the end it was a positive day.”
Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team): “Today was very much work in progress. After it rained at night, the track was still a bit cold this morning but then it became better and better in the afternoon. With both crews we could already evaluate a few tyres and we have seen that, at least for today’s speed, the tyre life is not a big issue.
With Chaz, we have to admit that the gap to the front is bigger than we expected. His ideal time, the combined time of his best sector time, is faster so the potential is there for a better lap time but he is not happy with how the bike brakes and turns into the corners. We have to work to improve the behavior of the bike in this area.
We have clearly identified the issue and now we try to find a solution. With Marco overall it has been a positive first day. He was fast on used tyres which is a good sign for the race. As expected, the track is demanding a lot from the riders, we have seen many mistakes, even from the top guys.
So we would like to improve not only in order to be faster but also to be more consistent by making the bike easier to handle on this specific track. There are a few sectors where Marco is losing a bit compared to the front guys and there we need to improve the turning of the bike a little bit.”