Monza (Italy) – Mixed weather did not prevent eni FIM Superbike World Championship riders from tackling most of today’s qualifying session on dry conditions, so they were able to get up to full speed at the super-fast Monza's Autodromo Nazionale, following the rain that hampered the first part of the day.
The delay from the original schedule, caused by the presence of oil on the track from Supersport Qualifying 1, turned out in the end to be a good waiting for the riders.
Home-star Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) took the best out of the powerful BMW S 1000 RR to storm to first place with a lap-time of 1'42.883. The Italian is finally feeling comfortable with the front end of his bike and he’s looking forward to some more track time in order to find a proper set-up for race day.
Marco Melandri: “It is great to be back at the top. Today I had such a good feeling on the bike which I haven't had for a long time, I am so happy. In the team, we are doing such a great job and I think we now really understand what went wrong at the beginning of the season.
"We struggled with the front part of the bike. It was not absorbing the bumps and it was difficult to turn, now this is much better. Of course, we still don't have the perfect set-up, because 30 minutes track time in the dry is not enough. But we are starting from a good base and that means that we can fight for a good position at the end of the weekend.”
Following Melandri in 2nd place a revived Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike), who showed some good potential after the productive last week’s post-round test at Assen by finishing ahead of Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team), who set an incredible top-speed of 333,6 km/h.
The four-brand top-4 was completed by KRT Ninja ZX-10R of Tom Sykes, who lapped almost identically to the current Championship leader (0.011 seconds gap between 3rd and 4th place).
The 'well-known' top-speed performance of the RSV4 was also displayed by 6th place Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma), who recorded 331 km/h at the speed trap (matching Melandri's) but was preceded by another private Aprilia rider, the fellow Roman Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing), and followed by works rider of Noale's manufacturer Eugene Laverty. BMW's mixed day saw Chaz Davies' spectacular crash at Turn 10, that almost destroyed his bike.
World Supersport – Kev Coghlan leads the way
World Supersport Qualifying 1 saw improving conditions throughout the 45 minutes on track, with a bit of sunshine popping out from behind the clouds in the closing stages. Scotsman Kev Coghlan (DMC-Lorenzini Kawasaki Team) proved to be very comfortable on a damp Monza Circuit by setting a 1'59.339 towards the end of the session to precede home rider Andrea Antonelli (Goeleven Kawasaki) and the reigning Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki).
While the top-3 managed to lap within the 1'59 bracket, following riders were far in terms of lap-times. Sheridan Morais (PTR Honda) rode his CBR600RR to 4th place ahead of Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport) and Luca Marconi (PTR Honda).
Rookie Riccardo Russo (Puccetti Racing Kawasaki), is joined this weekend at Monza by team mate and Italian Championship rider Stefano Cruciani, who finished right behind him in 8th place. Assen race winner Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha) ended up only 13th, behind Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport) and fellow English Christian Iddon (Parkingo MV Agusta Corse).