The BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team concluded a not particularly easy Saturday at the French Circuit de Nevers, in Magny Cours. BMW factory riders, Marco Melandri (ITA) and Chaz Davies (GBR), qualified in seventh and eighth position respectively and will start tomorrow from the third row in the 13th round of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship.
The circuit was wet come 3pm local time therefore a wet Superpole was declared meaning there would be two twenty minute sessions instead of three staggered sessions. In Superpole 1, Marco went out on intermediate tyres and Chaz on wets. After setting the thirteenth fastest time, Chaz came into the pits to switch to intermediates. Chaz finished the first session in fifth and Marco in sixth, meaning they’d both progress to the next session.
The track had largely dried for the second session and both riders went straight out on slick tyres. With nine minutes to go, Chaz and Marco entered the pits for their first qualifying tyre. On their first attempt with qualifying tyres Chaz was fourth and Marco fifth. Both riders pitted for their second qualifying tyre with four minutes remaining. Both riders will start tomorrow’s races from the third row with Marco in seventh and Chaz in eighth place.
In the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup second qualifying session, Sylvain Barrier (FRA), factory rider of the BMW Motorrad GoldBet STK Team, missed out on pole position on his BMW HP4 by just one hundredth of a second after he got caught in traffic on his final attempt. He will start tomorrow’s race on the front row in second place, where he will be looking to win his second championship. Team mate, Greg Gildenhuys (RSA) qualified sixteenth and will start on the sixth row of the grid.
Marco Melandri (Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:54.696 min (P1) / Fastest lap FP: 1:56.289 min (P6)/ Fastest lap Superpole 2, 1:41.361 min, P7): “It was a difficult day, the weather was unstable and the track conditions changed a lot from one session to the other and even within the same session. The morning qualifying session was quite good but it was not the same in Superpole. In Superpole 2, when I went out with qualifying tyres it started to rain.
In some sectors it was quite damp and I took some risks but after the first lap I was not able to complete the second one positively. Tomorrow I’ll start from row three but if I am able to overtake a couple of riders early on I could be with the group who will fight for the win. I’m not completely satisfied but we can improve again even though there were positive aspects today. We’ll see how the race will go.”
Chaz Davies (Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:58.854 min (P13) / Fastest lap FP: 1:57.077 min (P8) / Fastest lap Superpole 2, 1:41.375 min, P8): “I’m not happy with today, I didn’t feel particularly good in the wet. We improved our lap time a little bit in the end but it’s not good enough. I’m really struggling for grip at the rear. The first Superpole session was OK and we did enough to get through. We started the second session OK as well but I don’t think I did a very good job with the first qualifying tyre.
When I put the second qualifying tyre in there were some small drops of rain in the second sector and maybe I backed off too much but in the end I didn’t push one hundred per cent as I didn’t know how much it had rained while I was in the pit box. It’s meant to be dry tomorrow so we need to work on the dry set up from yesterday in the morning and there will be nothing to take from today unless it is wet.”
Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team): “There were some very difficult conditions on the track today and lap times are quite far from the ones we’d normally see. Despite the track drying in the first Superpole, in the second session when our riders went out on qualifying tyres it started to rain again. Unfortunately we were not able to use the best window of time to use the qualifying tyres to their potential.
Tomorrow we’ll start from the third row but both our riders have already shown several times that they’re able to start well. This will be fundamental to achieve the best possible result. In Superstock, Sylvain is on the front row in second position and he’s showing to be very fast in all sectors. In his last lap of the session while attempting to get pole position he found some traffic in the last sector which slowed him. Greg on the other hand is a little further behind.”
Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team): “It was a difficult day. Unfortunately the weather conditions prevented us from evaluating the changes we’ve made to the bikes to improve the performance based on yesterday. We have seen today in the wet condition that Marco is quite fast, he was fastest in the second qualifying practice. With Chaz, we could not test what we have changed for him and we had another issue in wet conditions as he could not get enough grip from the rear end.
We were looking forward to Superpole but unfortunately in the second session it was not wet or dry and during the last stint with the qualifying tyre the riders did not want to take many risks because of the rain. Tomorrow morning we will evaluate the conditions and the machine. The weather forecast for tomorrow is dry, so in the warm up it will be important to understand if the direction taken last night is the right one. Starting from the third row is not helpful but as we’ve seen in the past, our riders can make good starts so we are confident for the race.”