Kawasaki’s Racing’s Tom Sykes topped the timesheet in the first World Superbike qualifying session at Moscow Raceway, edging out Althea Racing’s Davide Giugliano by a slight 0.048 seconds. BMW Motorrad GoldBet’s Marco Melandri ended the day third-fastest.
Dry, warm conditions prevailed the entire day at the circuit, allowing competitors to make the most of the morning’s practice session as they worked to dial-in their machines to suit the Russian track. Melandri was fastest during practice, moving past Giugliano in the final minutes. Giugliano, though, had been the dominant rider for nearly the entire session and only fell short of the fastest time by 0.071 seconds.
Giugliano pushed for the top-spot again in the afternoon, but had Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty, Sykes and Team Ducati Alstare’s Carlos Checa to contend with as the three riders upped their pace for qualifying. Laverty, Giugliano and Checa swapped the top-spot on the timesheet during the initial stages of the session, with Sykes moving to the lead midway through. The British rider was first to drop into the 1’35s and though Giugliano was able to snatch the lead back in the final minutes, Sykes’ last lap of the day proved his best, under the current Lap Record set by Melandri in 2012 but still over one second short of the Best Lap posted by Checa the same year.
Checa qualified fourth on the provisional grid, followed by Laverty in fifth. FIXI Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier ended in sixth followed by Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea in seventh.
Laverty’s teammate, Sylvain Guintoli, is recovering from a shoulder injury sustained during a bicycle accident the previous weekend. He spent the day testing his physical condition and ended with the 14th-fastest time.
"Today was a bit different than our usual Friday,” said Guintoli. “The first concern was to see if I was able to lean over on the bike, and we're OK there, although I'm obviously not riding at 100%. I need to work on finding the most comfortable riding position since the injury is only five days old and quite painful. My times are not the greatest, but in any case it's important to get into the top-15 to be in Superpole just in case it rains tomorrow.”
World Superbike Moscow Friday Results 2013:
1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’35.567
2. Davide Giugliano (Aprilia) 1’35.615
3. Marco Melandri (BMW) 1’35.891
4. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1’35.921
5. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) 1’35.964
6. Leon Camier (Suzuki) 1’36.013
7. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1’36.084
8. Michel Fabrizio (Aprilia) 1’36.162
9. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) 1’36.260
10. Chaz Davies (BMW) 1’36.303
11. Jules Cluzel (Suzuki) 1’36.304
12. Leon Haslam (Honda) 1’36.585
13. Ayrton Badovini (Ducati) 1’36.787
14. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) 1’36.820
15. Max Neukirchner (Ducati) 1’36.881
16. Federico Sandi (Kawasaki) 1’38.048
17. Vittorio Iannuzzo (BMW) 1’39.079
18. Lorenzo Savadori (Kawasaki) 1’39.504