It was a busy Saturday for the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team at its home race in Imola
Factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA) will start the seventh round of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship from the third row. In today’s Superpole, Marco finished seventh on his BMW S 1000 RR after he had crashed at the end of the free practice session at noon. His team-mate Chaz Davies (GBR) only narrowly missed the deciding Superpole 3 session and qualified tenth on the fourth row.
Marco’s crew repaired his bike in time to compete in this afternoon’s Superpole qualifiying. In the first part of the session, both Marco and Chaz began with a few laps on race tyres before changing to the first qualifying tyre with three minutes to go. Marco recorded the second fastest time of the session and Chaz was eleventh to proceed to Superpole 2. In this second part, both used the second qualifying tyre for their first outings. While Marco was sixth fastest and returned to the garage as his progression to Superpole 3 was not in danger, Chaz was ninth fastest and went out again on a race tyre. He improved his time but missed qualification for Superpole 3 by only a tenth of a second. The deciding Superpole 3 had to be red flagged after a few minutes due to track contamination following a crash. It took a quarter of an hour to clean up before the final five and a half minutes of the session could be completed. Marco, who was on a race tyre, set the seventh fastest time.
Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:47.658 min (P5) / Fastest lap FP: 1:47.872 min (P6) / Fastest lap Superpole 3: 1:47.221 min (P7) “It was a difficult day. In the free practice I crashed but it was a simple slide. Our guys fixed the bike quickly and I did not hurt myself. During the Superpole qualifying we struggled with the qualifying tyre and unfortunately it was not so good also with the race tyre. Our race pace is not as fast as the front guys, though we are only missing a little bit. For the races we need to make a step forward and try to find a solution. Tomorrow the start will be crucial because it is difficult to overtake on this track. Anyway, I want to try to fight for the front positions.”
Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“It was a very complicated day. We are not satisfied with the results. We still lack something to close the gap to the front. We must find a solution to put our riders in the position to have a good race. Marco has a decent lap time; it is not great, but I’m confident for the races. Chaz has struggled more, even though his feeling with the bike is better than yesterday. I hope we can find a solution for both. Tomorrow the races will be very hard for everyone. The track is very demanding for the riders. It will be important to have a good start to avoid the front riders pulling away. In any case, the races will be open to any result until the end.
In the Superstock class, every time we are on a new track we need some time to find the right setting for our new electronic damping system of our HP4. Our team did a very good job and enabled Sylvain to claim his fourth pole-position of the season. Tomorrow it will be a battle of three for the victory: Sylvain and the two riders from Ducati. Greg unfortunately did not improve from yesterday. We need to understand the reason. Anyway, we are looking forward to a good race tomorrow.”
Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“It was not an easy day. We did not achieve the grid positions we were hoping for. With Chaz, we made a step forward regarding the setting of the electronics and the chassis but he still is not 100 percent confident with the bike. We will try some different solutions in the warm-up and or confident we can improve. With Marco, we started well on Friday but today with the warmer temperatures and more rubber on the track we could not further improve with the front end feeling limiting us. So also for Marco the warm-up is important as a final preparation for the races. We hope that both riders will have a good start, then a lot is possible on this track.”