In the free practice at noon, also under wet conditions, Marco and Chaz were third and fourth respectively.
The “TT Circuit” in Assen greeted the FIM Superbike World Championship with typically unpredictable Dutch weather. Yesterday, when teams and riders prepared for the third round of the 2013 season, there was some sunshine with mild temperatures, but today, when the action on the track unfolded, it rained and temperatures dropped under ten degrees Celsius.
Chaz was on course for a lap time within the top 5 when he lost the rear of his RR and slid into the gravel. After the bike was repaired, Chaz went out on the track again in the closing stages of the session but did not improve on his time. In the free practice at noon, also under wet conditions, Marco and Chaz were third and fourth respectively.
In the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup, BMW Motorrad GoldBet STK Team’s rider Sylvain Barrier finished 11th in the first qualifying session on his BMW HP4. The Frenchman had a minor crash in the difficult conditions of the session. His team mate Greg Gildenhuys (RSA) was 19th.
Marco Melandri (Fastest lap Free Practice: 1:59.696 min - P3/Fastest lap Qualifying Practice 1: 1:59.316 min - P4): “Today it was cold, wet and due to the low temperatures, the tyres did not warm up and work properly. Even after many laps, it was not easy to ride. My plan was to check my physical condition and to be in the top 15. I did not want to risk too much by looking for a lap time.
Anyway in case of a wet race I am feeling positive. We just need to improve a little bit in order to be faster at the entry to the corners. From tomorrow on, better weather conditions are predicted and the race should be dry. Tomorrow we will work to set the bike up to the different conditions.”
Chaz Davies: (Fastest lap Free Practice: 2:00.728 min - P4/Fastest lap Qualifying Practice 1: 2:03.384 min - P14): “We know that the weather for the rest of the weekend should be fine so today it was only about doing laps in the wet and working a little bit for the event of rain.
I was pretty happy this morning, P4 was decent and my feeling for the bike was not too bad. We tried to make some changes for this afternoon but we are not sure yet if we are heading in the right direction.
The crash was not caused by the changes; I just lost the rear in the corner. It was just a small crash at the wrong time in the session as I did not manage many laps this afternoon. Tomorrow hopefully it is dry and I am just looking forward to riding again.”
Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team): “It was a typical ‘Assen Day’: bad weather with decreasing temperatures. Marco did a very good job. In these difficult conditions he did not risk anything and was gentle to his shoulder, which has still not recovered fully yet.
His fourth fastest lap time shows that he rode an excellent qualifying session. Halfway through the session, Chaz unfortunately slipped in the first left corner after a series of right corners.
The tyres had cooled down because of the air temperature. His crew did an excellent job and he was able to get back out on track before the end of the session.
He could not improve his time but he was able to check if everything worked well. In the end we are quite satisfied. If the weather is even worse tomorrow, we have already qualified for Superpole, but we expect better conditions, so tomorrow we will start to set the bike up to the new conditions.
In the Superstock class, it was the first time we have tested the new electronic damping system DDC in wet conditions. We have to work a lot to understand how to make it work properly in these conditions. Sylvain had a fall, but he is well and I am glad about that.”
Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team): “Today was not an easy day due to the weather conditions. The combination of very low temperatures and rain made it difficult for the rear tyres to warm up properly and as a result both riders struggled with rear grip.
Looking at Marco’s lap times and the time that Chaz did this morning, we are confident that we have a good pace even if the conditions are difficult. We took the opportunity to work in the wet and to set the chassis and the electronics up to these conditions.
Even if Chaz experienced a minor crash we collected enough data to prepare for rain, because you never know. However, we are confident we will have better weather conditions tomorrow and on Sunday and this is also what the weather forecast predicts. So we believe we are almost ready in case of rain and we are looking for dry track time.”
BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team