Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport will tackle the seventh round of the FIM Superbike World Championship 2012 from the second row. Factory rider Leon Haslam (GBR) finished today’s Superpole qualifying at Misano (ITA) in sixth position. His team-mate, local hero Marco Melandri (ITA), will start from 13th on his BMW S 1000 RR. Shortly before the session, a thunderstorm hit the track so Superpole was declared “wet”, meaning that only two sessions of 20 minutes each were held. It was still spitting at the beginning of the first session, but then the track dried quickly.
After being third and fourth in the free practice before the Superpole qualifying, Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport had reason to be confident for the afternoon. In Superpole 1, Leon only used race tyres and was putting in consistent top five times that qualified him for the top eight riders competing in Superpole 2. Marco, on the other hand, struggled with the difficult conditions after the rain shower. With four minutes to go, he put a qualifying tyre on, but was unable to significantly improve his time. He finished 13th. In the first half of Superpole 2, Leon used his two available qualifying tyres, putting him second quickest. He then had to return to the harder and slower race tyres for the closing minutes and slipped back to sixth. Ayrton Badovini (ITA) of the BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet SBK Team will start from third place in the first row on his RR, his team-mate Michel Fabrizio (ITA) from 12th.
Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:36.378 min (P5) / Fastest lap FP: 1:36.538 min (P4) / Fastest lap Superpole 2: 1:36.283 min (P6)
“It has been a strange qualifying. It was really hot and it rained just minutes before the first part so we had to go out on slick tyres while the track was half dry and half wet. We stayed on the race tyre in Superpole 1. The main objective was to get onto the first two rows – that is where we need to be. In Superpole 2, we had chatter again with the qualifying tyre. We had a lot more grip, but we could not make use of it. At the end of qualifying I went out on the race tyre again, but we made a few mistakes with it, to be fair. I am looking forward to tomorrow. We have a good race set-up. Tyre-wise we have five different options this weekend so it took a lot to work out what we need. For me the tyre I can do my best lap time on is the one we use for the race so for me it’s looking pretty good.”
Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:36.749 min (P13) / Fastest lap FP: 1:36.333 min (P3) / Fastest lap Superpole 1: 1:37.806 min (P13)
“It has been a very difficult day. It was raining a little bit of the beginning of Superpole. We did not change anything on the bike, but in Superpole it was a completely different bike compared to free practice. We will try to understand why. I did not get a good feel for the bike, I could not go fast. We tried the qualifying tyre for safety to improve the lap time, but I was suffering with quite a bit of chattering with it. I am not happy about today and it is going to be very tough tomorrow. Starting from the fourth row is not the best position here in Misano. Now we need to see what we can do tomorrow morning in terms of tyres and bike set-up.”
Andrea Dosoli – Head of Race Operations
“In this morning‘s qualifying session we concentrated our work on the race pace, while in free practice we focused on performance. We can be pleased that both riders have improved their performance significantly compared to yesterday. Unfortunately the rain showers just before the start of Superpole qualifying mixed up everything. Leon’s approach to the first Superpole session was successful: He adapted well to the changing tarmac conditions and secured a starting position in the second row. This is important as we expect very tough races. Overall we are happy with the job done by Leon and his crew. Marco, conversely, struggled with the feeling of the bike after the changeable weather conditions. Tomorrow’s starting position does not reflect Marco’s potential, but we are confident that he will do well. We have seen in the last couple of races that with a good start anything is possible and Marco knows how to fight through the ranks.”