Wet weather determines all in Supersport practice Atrociously wet weather conditions made early qualifying a miserable experience for most on the first day at Donington Park, with Broc Parkes (Yamaha World Supersport Team) finishing 29th. Parkes...
Wet weather determines all in Supersport practice
Atrociously wet weather conditions made early qualifying a miserable experience for most on the first day at Donington Park, with Broc Parkes (Yamaha World Supersport Team) finishing 29th. Parkes has not had much previous experience of Donington Park, having fallen early and broken his collarbone in 2007, and finding the circuit wet from first to last on day one.
In his first ever WSS weekend Northern Ireland's Eugene Laverty had a positive experience, using his track knowledge and feel for the Donington circuit to impress with an eighth fastest time. He now hopes the Saturday practice and qualifying sessions will be dry, in order to get to know his new machine in a different set of track conditions.
The team has not yet used the new rider-control electronics package they had hoped to bring to Donington, due to a lack of time to do real world testing, but the system is expected to make its debut in the next round at Vallelunga.
In a day in which crashes were easy to come by, Josh Brookes, Massimo Roccoli, Katsuaki Fujiwara and several others also fell on the wet track surface.
Massimo Roccoli (Yamaha Team Italia Lorenzini by Leoni) was 17th quickest after an early fall in practice, while David Salom (Yamaha Spain World Supersport) splashed his way to 31st, one place ahead of his team-mate, Jason Crowe.
Eugene Laverty (8th - 1'49.169 - Yamaha World Supersport Team)
"To qualify on the provisional second row was a very good start for us. We made a small change to the rear tyre before my last pitlane exit and that cured the problem I had with the rear tyre moving around and immediately I went faster. In my last lap I was fastest of all in the first split, lost a little on the second split but my visor had steamed up by then, and I made a mistake on braking. Without that, fourth position was possible, but eighth position is near perfect anyway. The last three races I have had here to race it has been wet so I have had a lot of practice, but I want some time to run in the dry to understand the bike in those conditions. The guys in the team have been great and they are really clued up on how these bikes work, so when I give them the information they come up with solutions to the problems."
Broc Parkes (29th - 1'53.802 - Yamaha World Supersport Team)
"I was a little bit slow to get started this morning but I want to try another bike tomorrow, to compare against today. I have been down the order before and if was 17th or 18th I could maybe think my results were something to do with bad memories of falling last year. But to be 29th it's definitely something else. So we'll see how we go tomorrow. I fell as well but I only hurt my right ankle a little bit, so no problems with that."
Wilco Zeelenberg (Team Manager, Yamaha World Supersport Team)
"Broc didn't have any feeling on the rear, and he wanted to have a bit more feel to be able to push on and be up there, but he immediately highsided the thing proving that there is a traction issue. Eugene has fitted in well and is not complaining about anything, and overall he feels more confident on the bike. As a new rider that is unusual, especially in the conditions. We have to remember that Broc had a big crash here last year, and broke his collarbone, so that did not help his times in the morning. Now he is into it and trying so we will check the data and see how things are for tomorrow."
Massimo Roccoli (7th - 1'51.283 seconds - Yamaha Team Italia Lorenzini by Leoni)
"I was OK this morning until I had a crash with Jason Crowe; the bike was fine but that knocked my confidence a bit. Then in the afternoon qualifying the rain was incredibly heavy and with my set-up I could not go any faster. Tomorrow we will fit a different rear spring if it is wet again, to help us get more rear traction."