Friday, 27th September 2013.
It was a long and successful Friday for the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team at “Laguna Seca Raceway” (USA). Factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA) set a new best lap at the famous Californian racetrack and secured provisional pole-position with his BMW S 1000 RR. His team-mate Chaz Davies (GBR) finished today’s qualifying practices in fifth in the provisional second row although his afternoon was not trouble-free. The 12th race weekend of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship sees a different schedule than usual. After a free practice in the late morning, both qualifying practices were held this afternoon.
The day started well for the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team, with Chaz setting the fastest time in the free practice, directly followed by Marco, who finished the session in second. In the 45-minute qualifying practice one, Marco and Chaz were fourth and tenth respectively. The second qualifying practice in the late afternoon lasted for one hour.
Fastest lap Free Practice: 1:25.377 min (P2)/Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:23.775 min (P1).
“It was a great day, I had a lot of fun. This weekend’s schedule is quite different from the usual one. This is why we had defined a detailed working plan which we followed perfectly today. We mainly tried to improve my feeling with the front and to be faster with fresh tyres and the result was excellent. We made a big step forward and we will have a good potential for tomorrow’s Superpole and races. I feel good, my RR works very well and I’m very positive for tomorrow.”
Fastest lap Free Practice: 1:25.218 min (P1)/Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:24.334 min (P5).
“The day started very well obviously with P1 this morning but I expected the other guys would catch up pretty quickly. We did not have a good session this afternoon in the first qualifying practice. We went the wrong way with the set-up, seeing that the bike was very sensitive to changes. Then in the second qualifying practice, the bike was pretty good. We had definitely improved it; I was quite consistent and felt comfortable in the end. We still need to find a couple of tenths. Today’s schedule was pretty tight, there was not much time between the sessions so there was no way to do adaptions to the gearbox and things like that. We will do this tonight and hopefully will find some benefit there. In addition, we lost around 20 minutes in the last session of the day. That was a shame as I had stuff to try but despite that we are heading in the right direction with the bike. So we will try to further improve tomorrow and then to be ready for race one, which is pretty unusual to have it on a Saturday.”
Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“It has been a positive day. Marco rode two excellent qualifying sessions. He did a great job and the result confirms the work done. Chaz did well too, despite an issue which stopped him for quite a long time in the garage but could be fixed. Chaz kept calm and stayed concentrated, and as soon he went back on the track he did a strong qualifying session. We are quite confident for tomorrow, when we will have free practice, Superpole and race one. This is a new schedule which could work very well. Now we can enjoy this moment. Tomorrow will be a new day and we will see what happens. In any case we need to keep focused because this is the only way to fight for the championship.”
Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“It has been a very long and tough day for the guys but we were able to improve from session to session with both riders. I am quite happy with the work done by the team today. Marco was quite fast and consistent, especially at the end of the second qualifying practice. It seems that he has good confidence with his RR and he can push even when the tyre dropped. We will use tomorrow’s free practice to further improve the speed of the bike but overall we are confident that we are ready to attack in Superpole. It will be very important to make best use of the qualifying tyre. Marco used a different setting than usual today and we will see how this will work with the high-grip tyre. Chaz has been fast from the beginning on. He then unfortunately lost some track time due to the display failure. We still have to work a bit on his bike. He is consistent but we need to work on further improving the performance of his bike. We have a few ideas regarding the turning in and bike stability. The new schedule has a big impact on our normal way of working. Tomorrow we will already have the first race which gives us less time for preparation. That is why today was so important.”
BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team