Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport had a difficult but productive day as it started into its home event at the Nürburgring (GER). The iconic race track hosts the third from last round of the 2012 FIM Superbike World Championship. Factory rider Leon Haslam (GBR) finished today’s first qualifying practice in fifth on the provisional second row. Leon is ignoring a lot of pain caused by the injury to his left shoulder he suffered two weeks ago when he crashed in race two at “Moscow Raceway” (RUS). Unfortunately, due to the pain, he could not ride as many laps as planned. His team-mate, Marco Melandri (ITA), qualified a provisional 12th. Marco had a crash in the early stages of the first qualifying practice when he lost control of his front tyre. However, his BMW S 1000 RR was not significantly damaged; Marco was able to ride back to the garage and continued the session after his bike was checked by his crew. Ayrton Badovini and Michel Fabrizio (both ITA) of the BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet SBK Team finished 14th and 15th respectively.

Leon Haslam

Fastest lap Free Practice: 1:57.354 min (P9)/Fastest lap Qualifying Practice 1: 1:55.828 min (P5)

“This morning I had some problems with my arm, which was strange because the injury was quite okay all last week. It was just a little sore, which is normal, but for some reason when I got on the bike this morning it was really painful. I had some treatment in between the sessions, and I then had some reaction on the tendon. It was difficult as the pain was quite bad, but hopefully in 12 hours’ time it will be better. When I suffered the injury initially they thought it was just muscle damage, but maybe now it is the tendon that I have torn. This is something that I need to sort out. From the sporting aspect the day was good. I was P5 and felt fine with the lap times. We did a good run on race tyres and, even if I could not do so many laps, I am pretty happy.”

Marco Melandri

Fastest lap Free Practice: 1:56.601 min (P3)/Fastest lap Qualifying Practice 1: 1:56.497 min (P12)

“This was a difficult day for me. In the afternoon I did not have a good feeling for the bike at all. This has never happened before this season. On top of that I had a strange crash in the first corner of my first flying lap. I had new brakes and did not want to brake too hard, so I went a little wide and crashed. Happily nothing serious happened to me or the bike. From then on my feeling for the bike was even worse. When we went for the softer tyre, chattering came back big time. I am confident we can improve tomorrow.”

Andrea Dosoli – Head of Race Operations

“Today was a difficult start into the weekend. Both riders are still struggling with the grip and the front feeling of their RRs. Marco had a good start to the day but was not happy with the feeling for the bike in the afternoon. We have to work hard to improve it. He lost the front of his S 1000 RR in the first corner of his first flying lap of today’s qualifying practice. This crash compromised his entire session. I have to congratulate Leon today. He is still suffering from pain in his left shoulder as a consequence of the crash in Moscow. As well as that just before qualifying practice, due to his medical treatment, this became worse. Still, Leon was able to score consistent good lap times. We are all proud of his efforts.”