British riders Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) and Tom Sykes (Yamaha World Superbike) revelled in the poor conditions in today’s opening qualifying session at the Nurburgring. Braving the cold, wind and the rain at the German circuit Rea posted the quickest time of the day in 2 minutes 11.278 seconds to head the timesheets. The Northern Ireland youngster was half-a-second ahead of Sykes, who also pirouetted his YZF machine at one of the slower corners on his first visit to the circuit. An impressive third place went to Australian Troy Corser, who made further progress for BMW at the German manufacturer’s home race. Another British rider, youngster Richard Cooper, standing in for the injured Ruben Xaus, put in an impressive eleventh quickest time on the second BMW.
Both Ducati Xerox riders were well up in the timesheets. Michel Fabrizio was in fourth place while Noriyuki Haga shrugged off any residual damage from his recent injury to take fifth, three-tenths behind his team-mate. Sterilgarda Ducati’s Shane Byrne also came off his 1098 machine during the session but was able to post the sixth quickest time of the day, ahead of Leon Haslam (Stiggy Racing Honda), Jakub Smrz (Guandalini Ducati) and Ryuichi Kiyonari (Ten Kate Honda). Italian Luca Scassa made up the top 10 with a confident performance in the damp conditions on his Kawasaki Pedercini ZX10R.
For the moment championship challenger Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike) is down in 13th place as he gets to grips with another circuit he has never raced on before, one place ahead of Brno winner Max Biaggi on the first of the Aprilias, the Italian focusing on setting up the bike for tomorrow’s decisive sessions. Suzuki Alstare’s stand-in rider Karl Muggeridge was fifteenth quickest but would surely have improved had he not crashed out five minutes from the end.
Times: 1. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 2’11.278; 2. Sykes T. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 2’11.781; 3. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 2’12.086; 4. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 2’12.354; 5. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 2’12.635; 6. Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 2’12.819; 7. Haslam L. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 2’12.979; 8. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 2’13.089; 9. Kiyonari R. (JPN) Honda CBR1000RR 2’13.215; 10. Scassa L. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 2’13.238; 11. Cooper R. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 2’13.391; 12. Checa C. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 2’13.550; 13. Spies B. (USA) Yamaha YZF R1 2’13.898; 14. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 2’13.928; 15. Muggeridge K. (AUS) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 2’14.073; 16. Baiocco M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 2’14.075
Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha World Supersport) and Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) powered to the first two places in today’s single free practice session. Heavy rain at the start faded by the end, allowing the Supersport riders to get their times down, but the points leader and his Turkish rival proved to have an extra gear and Crutchlow went quickest with a time of 2 minutes 13.170 seconds. The rest were some way behind, Garry McCoy leading the chasing pack on his ParkinGo Triumph 675, but almost two seconds off the pace. McCoy grabbed third by just a whisker from newly-crowned Italian champion Michele Pirro (Yamaha Lorenzini), while Mark Aitchison (Honda Althea), Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Provec), Anthony West (Stiggy Racing Honda) and Andrew Pitt (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) made up the next four places. Crutchlow’s title rival Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda) was some way off the pace in ninth place, over three seconds behind Cal.
Times: 1. Crutchlow C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R6 2’13.170; 2. Sofuoglu K. (TUR) Honda CBR600RR 2’13.480; 3. McCoy G. (AUS) Triumph Daytona 675 2’15.119; 4. Pirro M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 2’15.120; 5. Aitchison M. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 2’15.675; 6. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 2’15.688; 7. West A. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 2’15.861; 8. Pitt A. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 2’15.863
The rain also conditioned the free practice session for the Superstock 1000 riders, but points leader Xavier (Ducati Xerox) appeared not to have any problems as he powered to the front with a time of 2 minutes 15.737 seconds The next man, second-placed Javier Fores (Kawasaki Pedercini) was a full 2.5 seconds down, with Sylvain Barrier (Garnier Yamaha) in third. Both Simeon’s rivals were in difficulty, Claudio Corti (Suzuki Alstare Brux) stuck in seventh but 6 seconds slower than the Belgian, with Maxime Berger (Ten Kate Honda) one place further back.
Times: 1. Simeon X. (BEL) Ducati 1098R 2’15.737; 2. Fores J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX 10R 2’18.226; 3. Barrier S. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R1 2’18.844; 4. Lammert D. (GER) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 2’19.269; 5. Lowes A. (GBR) MV Agusta F4 312 R 2’20.440; 6. Antonelli A. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R1 2’21.501; 7. Corti C. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 2’21.801; 8. Berger M. (FRA) Honda CBR1000RR 2’22.029
Marco Bussolotti (Yamaha Trasimeno) was the quickest on the first day of action in the European Superstock 600 category. The Italian was three-tenths faster than Britain’s Gino Rea (Ten Kate Honda) and eight-tenths quicker than points leader, team-mate Danilo Petrucci. The next place went to Belgian Vincent Lonbois (MTM Yamaha), making it four of the title contenders in the top 4., while the fifth contender, Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Yamaha), was in eighth.
Times: 1. Bussolotti M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 2’24.259; 2. Rea G. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 2’24.579; 3. Petrucci D. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 2’25.173; 4. Lonbois V. (BEL) Yamaha YZF R6 2’25.243; 5. La Marra E. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 2’25.353; 6. Von Gunten C. (SUI) Suzuki GSX-R600 2’27.188; 7. Morelli N. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 2’27.434; 8. Guarnoni J. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R6 2’27.966