World Superbike Portimao Friday 2012

September 21, 2012
Byron Wilson
Byron Wilson
Associate Editor|Articles|Articles RSS

Byron's sure to be hunched over a laptop after the checkers are flown, caught in his own little version of heaven. Whether on dirt, street or a combination of both, MotoUSA's newest addition knows the only thing better than actually riding is telling the story of how things went down.

Marco Melandri had a disappointing qualifying session at Donington Park on Friday  taking 12th place.
Marco Melandri set the fastest lap time in Friday’s qualifying session at Portimao, the penultimate round of the season.

BMW Motorrad’s Marco Melandri came out on top in Friday’s World Superbike qualifying session at Portimao. The Italian rider beat out Aprilia Racing’s Eugene Laverty by 0.384 seconds. Kawasaki Racing’s Tom Sykes came in third-fastest, just half-second off Melandri’s top time. Honda’s Jonathan Rea trailed behind Sykes in fourth while Melandri’s teammate Leon Haslam rounded out the top five.

Melandri got off to a strong start at the Portuguese circuit, coming in second during the first practice session behind Sykes. The BMW ace took his worst result of the season in the previous round at Nurburgring, scoring a double DNF, and lost the points lead to Aprilia’s Max Biaggi as a result. He only lags by 9.5 and will work to be a force out front on Sunday, if he can address some of the bike issues that came up during the sessions Friday.

“The lap time was very good, but at the moment I am still worrying about the race,” said Melandri. “We struggled a lot with chattering and the race tire did not work so well for us. I can do one fast lap, but I cannot be consistent so we have a lot of work to do to try to make the bike smoother for the race. This morning the grip was not so good. This afternoon, when it was much warmer, the grip was better but we had more vibrations. We will now try to fix this issue but it is not easy.”

Sykes is also within striking distance of Biaggi’s lead, trailing by 26.5, and has been riding with much more confidence of late due to improvements on his ZX-10R which have helped him be fiercely competitive out front in the past two rounds.

FIXI Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier held to sixth, followed by Biaggi in seventh, who was only 0.800 off Melandri’s fastest lap. Current defending champion Carlos Checa of Althea Racing came in eighth, with BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet’s Michele Fabrizio and rookie Chaz Davies of ParkinGO MTC Racing taking ninth and 10th respectively.

World Superbike Portimao Friday Results 2012:
1. Marco Melandri (BMW) 1’43.196
2. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) 1’43.580
3. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’43.731
4. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1’43.886
5. Leon Haslam (BMW) 1’43.921
6. Leon Camier (Suzuki) 1’43.949
7. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1’43.996
8. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1’43.999
9. Michel Fabrizio (BMW) 1’44.373
10. Chaz Davies (Aprilia) 1’44.390
11. Ayrton Badovini (BMW) 1’44.429
12. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati) 1’44.499
13. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) 1’44.542
14. David Salom (Kawasaki) 1’44.552
15. Davide Giugliano (Ducati) 1’44.602
16. Lorenzo Zanetti (Ducati) 1’44.790
17. Brett McCormick (Ducati) 1’45.082
18. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda) 1’45.318
19. John Hopkins (Suzuki) 1’45.655
20. Alexander Lundh (Kawasaki) 1’45.817
21. Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati) 1’46.024
22. Matteo Baiocco (Ducati) 1’46.954
23. Norino Brignola (BMW) 1’48.416

Sam Lowes took first in Supersport qualifying at Donington Park on Friday.
Sam Lowes posted the fastest time in World Supersport qualifying at Portimao on Friday.

World Supersport

Bogdanka PTR’s Sam Lowes outpaced the field in World Supersport qualifying at Portimao on Friday. His PTR teammate, Jules Cluzel, was second-fastest, followed by Kawasaki Intermoto Step’s Fabien Foret in third. Ten Kate Racing’s Broc Parkes came in just 0.442 off Lowes’ time in fourth and MSD R-N Racing’s Florian Marino rounded out the top five.

“We had a few problems in the morning but worked round them for the qualifying,” said Lowes. “The track wasn’t too fast today but we’ve made a good step with the bike and will keep working towards the race tomorrow. We have a few things to try in the morning and will work on our race pace but things are looking good. I’m enjoying the track and looking forward to the rest of the weekend.”

Current points leader Kenan Sofuoglu of Kawasaki Lorenzini will need to improve on his sixth-place lap time by Sunday if he wants to seal up the 2012 WSS title in Portugal. Marino’s teammate Dan Linfoot trailed Sofuoglu in seventh, with Team PATA by Martini’s Massimo Roccoli taking eighth. Sheridan Morais of Kawasaki Lorenzini was ninth-fastest while Power Team by Suriano’s Vittorio Iannuzzo rouned out the top ten.

World Supersport Portimao Friday 2012 :
1. Sam Lowes (Honda) 1’46.080
2. Jules Cluzel (Honda) 1’46.374
3. Fabien Foret (Kawasaki) 1’46.399
4. Broc Parkes (Honda) 1’46.522
5. Florian Marino (Kawasaki) 1’46.827
6. Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 1’46.965
7. Dan Linfoot (Kawasaki) 1’47.027
8. Massimo Roccoli (Yamaha) 1’47.230
9. Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki) 1’47.332
10. Vittorio Iannuzzo (Triumph) 1’47.406
11. Vladimir Leonov (Yamaha) 1’47.603
12. Alex Baldolini (Triumph) 1’47.603
13. Roberto Tamburini (Honda) 1’47.669
14. Miguel Praia (Honda) 1’47.678
15. Andrea Antonelli (Yamaha) 1’47.798