Imola: Yamaha Saturday notes

Spies picks up the pace on day two in Imola Day two at Imola saw a much improved track surface allowing Yamaha World superbike rider Ben Spies to get down to business and back to his blistering pace. The qualifying session saw him displaying ...

Spies picks up the pace on day two in Imola

Day two at Imola saw a much improved track surface allowing Yamaha World superbike rider Ben Spies to get down to business and back to his blistering pace. The qualifying session saw him displaying fast consistent laps, moving quickly to the top of the board with a 1.49.8 by midway through the session. As it drew to a close he improved again, laying down a 1.49.09 to take third at the end.

Superpole started with Spies on a race tyre, still laying down a 148.8 to take the second spot going into heat two. The qualifiers came out for the second round, where Spies shaved 0.6 seconds off his time, dropping to 1.48.2 and a pass through to the final round. As the heat drew to a close Spies put in an incredible last lap, and despite coming off the racing line for the last two corners still managing a 1.49.096, which was just beaten by Fabrizio in the last seconds by a mere 0.007 seconds. Spies will start tomorrow's races from the front row in second position, ahead of championship rival Haga.

Spies' team mate Tom Sykes had a more difficult day. The British rider worked hard in qualifying despite being still very sore from his big high side the day before. By mid-session he had managed to secure 13th on the board, then dropping to 16th at the end of the session. Sykes continued to struggle with the set up of the bike through the Superpole heats, making it through the first session with a 1'49.5 in 15th place. The second session saw him again working hard but he was unable to improve on his time and takes a 16th place grid position for Sunday's races.

Ben Spies, Yamaha World Superbike Team (2nd, 1'47.778)

"Qualifying was ok for us today, we tried some different tyres to yesterday and brought the times down a bit. The track definitely has more grip on it now so it's getting better and better for Sunday. It was a good Superpole session although I kind of blew it on the last section of my last flying lap and it cost us. We're on the front row and that's where we need to be so I'm looking forward to the race tomorrow. It's going to be a tough couple of races with a lot of guys up there so we're going to be banging around and having some fun which is what it's all about."

Tom Sykes, Yamaha World Superbike Team (16th, 1'49.681)

"Qualifying really didn't go to plan for me today. I have a big problem with the rear tyre. I'm struggling to keep the back steady to get the power on. I need to have a talk with the boys in the garage tonight and see if we can find a solution for warm up tomorrow morning. I'm still very sore from yesterday so it wasn't that fun on the bike but we tried as hard as possible."

Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager

"It's definitely a good result at the end of the session. We made some improvements on the bike and tomorrow we are ready to be the main protagonist. Tom is quite sore from his big crash yesterday, but he showed us that he wasn't going to give up and he gave us 100%, he had a great attitude. Tomorrow it will be a very tough race, there will be four or five riders up there fighting for the front."

-credit: yamaha

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers Ben Spies , Tom Sykes