The 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship kicked off and the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team have started the new season with great positions on the provisional first and second rows of the grid. Factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA) finished today’s first qualifying practice at the curtain raiser in Phillip Island (AUS) in third. His new team-mate Chaz Davies (GBR) was fifth in his first ever qualifying session on his BMW S 1000 RR. Marco began the first qualifying session with the fastest times and was leading for a long duration. In the end, he had a gap of just 0.222 seconds to Michel Fabrizio (ITA), who qualified for the provisional pole position. Chaz classified in the middle of the field and catapulted himself up to fifth in the final minute of the session staying under the 1:32-mark for the first time.
Fastest lap Free Practice: 1:32.057 min (P6)/Fastest lap Qualifying Practice 1: 1:31.539 min (P3) “I’m happy with both of the sessions today. We have made good progress for the race. Our goal was to find a solution to preserve tyres and we have suceeded. The track and the bike have improved a lot and my shoulder is feeling much better. For the first time I was able to ride more than two laps without the pain increasing too much, so now I’m confident for the race. Tomorrow we’ll continue our work. I’m feeling positive and looking forward to the race.”
Fastest lap Free Practice: 1:32.046 min (P5)/Fastest lap Qualifying Practice 1: 1:31.638 min (P5) “I am very happy. Since the last day of testing the guys have worked very hard and we came out with a good setting for today. Since we have been here, the RR has been improving all the time and everything is coming together now. I am starting to really feel like the bike is mine and I am starting to understand what effect the different changes have to this bike. In the beginning of the qualifying, we also did some work on a used tyre from the morning’s practice and I was really surprised how well the bike was working and how competitive the lap times were. For tomorrow, we’ll try to get a little bit more bump compliance in turning and we will work on fine tuning the electronics. I feel good about tomorrow when the most important thing is the Superpole - especially now as the grid is three to a row and not four.”
Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“The session this morning was not as positive as we would have hoped. Unfortunately Marco had a technical issue in free practice, which only allowed him to do seven laps. Between free practice and qualifyng practice the team worked very hard so that Marco could have a complete qualifying session in the afternoon. Marco was consistent over both sessions and this makes us really confident for the race. Chaz also did a very good job, he’s improving his feeling with the bike and he’s happy with today’s results. I’m very satisfied with the team; they have all done a very good job. We’re going to work to solve the issues we have experienced ready for the race on Sunday.”
Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“The qualifying practice went quite well for us. We have improved the consistency of our performance; we have tried the new tyres from Pirelli but also made some important changes to the settings of the bikes. Both riders benefitted from these changes and from the tyres. There are few areas where we are losing a bit of time but overall we are happy with the job we have done. Chaz improved his speed over one fast lap clocking his first 1:31-lap since we arrived here, while Marco did consistently fast lap times over a long period. Tomorrow we have still one more tyre to be tested before Superpole and we will work again on the tyre life and on the overall fine tuning.”
Communication BMW Sports - www.bmw.de -