Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport will start from the first row in the fourth round of the 2012 FIM Superbike World Championship. Factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA) finished third in the tricky conditions for today’s Superpole Qualifying after occupying the top spot for a long time. His team-mate Leon Haslam (GBR) experienced a setback after a strong start to the weekend and qualified 14th on his BMW S 1000 RR.

As predicted, the “Autodromo Nazionale di Monza” (ITA) saw changeable weather today with clouds, rain showers and some sun. The Superpole was declared wet, meaning that only two sessions of 20 minutes each take place and only the top eight riders of the first section qualify for the second part. Marco set the fastest time in Superpole 1, while Leon was struggling with some issues on rain tyres in the difficult conditions with a drying track. At the beginning of Superpole 2, Marco set the best time again but slipped back to third during the last minutes. On a partly wet and partly dry track, tyre choice again was a gamble. Marco’s crew chief Silvano Galbusera was missing in the garage today. After not feeling well in the morning, he underwent medical checks at a hospital. Chassis technician Peter Goddard took over his role and the whole Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport hopes to see Silvano back at the race track as soon as possible. BMW Motorrad Italia Goldbet SBK Team’s rider Michel Fabrizio (ITA) qualified 11th fastest today, while his team-mate Ayrton Badovini (ITA) will start from 13th on the grid.

Marco Melandri

Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:42.380 min (P2) / Fastest lap FP: 1:57.373 min (P19) / Fastest lap Superpole 2: 1:55.971 min (P3)

“Today’s conditions were really difficult. After our experiences in Assen I was quite worried about today’s Superpole in the wet but we can be very happy today. BMW Motorrad did a great job today, a big ‘Thank You’ to all my team. The bike is working better and better, and we can concentrate on the small things that make the difference. I hope for stable good weather tomorrow, then everything is possible for us. Our engine is really strong, and I am pushing for getting good starts tomorrow, because you can lose the race in the first corner here. I want to dedicate my races tomorrow to my crew chief Silvano Galbusera who cannot be here with us today. All the best, Silvano!”

Leon Haslam

Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:42.523 min (P3) / Fastest lap FP: 1:44.502 min (P3) / Fastest lap Superpole 1: 2:00.093 min (P14)

“Obviously I am really disappointed. In the in-between conditions, the rain tyre was only lasting one lap for most riders. Unfortunately I made a mistake on the first lap and from that point onwards it was impossible to do a proper lap time, although I tried to push. We have a good set-up for our RR, I am feeling good, so that was just frustrating. Anyway, I think we can win tomorrow, wet or dry. If it is in between, we need to work on making the tyre last, that is the only thing. But I think it is the same for everyone.”

Andrea Dosoli (Head of Race Operations)

“For sure it was a crazy day. We were expecting inconsistent conditions, and we could see that the forecast was right. We couldn’t work properly in any of today’s sessions due to the weather but at least we understand how the RR behaves in these extreme conditions. It is a pity that Leon starts from the fourth row after being so strong in the previous sessions but we are confident that with a good start he can quickly move through the field. We must congratulate Marco because he kept calm and used quite a good strategy. He knew that he could only do one lap with the rain tyre and he got the best out of it. Starting from the first row is a big help, especially if it is going to be a wet race. We are a bit concerned about the issues with the rain tyres on a drying track, but we will work on this for tomorrow. We also send best wishes to Silvano Galbusera. We missed him today and we hope to have him back very soon after his short pit-stop at the hospital.”