On a cold and windy Saturday at “Miller Motorsport Park” (USA), Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport qualified for the provisional first row. The circuit in Tooele/Utah, host of the sixth round of the 2012 season, welcomed the teams with some heavy rain in the morning, cold temperatures and gusty winds. Factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA) finished the closely fought first qualifying practice in third. Marco´s team-mate, Leon Haslam (GBR), qualified provisional 12th. The first twelve riders were separated by just 0.888 seconds. In Friday’s free practice session, Marco was second and Leon twelfth. BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet SBK Team rider Michel Fabrizio (ITA) finished the first qualifying practice in 13th with his team-mate Ayrton Badovini (ITA) in 14th. The Superpole will take place on Sunday and the race starts Monday.

Marco Melandri

Fastest lap Free Practice: 2:04.832 min (P2)/Fastest lap Qualifying P. 1: 1:50.038 min (P3)

“It has been a pretty good start to the weekend, as my RR worked consistently well under different conditions. Finding a good line was really tough in today’s qualifying as the wind was really gusty and coming from different directions every single lap. In the morning it was raining very hard but I am happy with our performance today. After Assen it was important for me to understand how the bike works in the wet, and we now know why we were not fast in the wet there. Now we will focus on Superpole.”

Leon Haslam

Fastest lap Free Practice: 2:07.191 min (P12)/Fastest lap Qualifying P. 1: 1:50.730 min (P12)

“I face similar issues to last year. We have issues with the engine brake, and we need to work on our electronics side to resolve this. Set-up wise I am riding the same as at Donington. Maybe it is the altitude here at Miller that makes the bike change the way it is working. I am confident that my crew and I will solve it. Thanks to all of them.”

Andrea Dosoli (Head of Race Operations)

“The weather conditions made this a tough day for us. The Salt Lake weather gave mixed conditions today with heavy rain in the morning and with a dry track and strong and gusty winds in the afternoon. I am glad that the bike performed well in both dry and wet conditions. Marco’s initial feedback was positive, which is a positive sign as Marco struggled here last year. Leon is still struggling. He had similar issues in the wet and the dry when entering the corners. We are working on the engine brake and the gearing to try to improve his feeling.”