Free Practice 1 started as the sun went down over the Losail International Circuit, creating a scene like no other on the WorldSBK calendar. Times steadily improved during the session as more and more running went on. Jake Gagne fell foul of the dusty circuit, running wide and falling but did still manage to end the session in seventh, two tenths back on team-mate Leon Camier in fourth.
The British rider was an unfortunate victim of a heavy fall at Turn 5 early in Free Practice 2. Despite Camier escaping major injury, he was unable to head back out in the session as his team repaired his machine.
Both riders put in their best lap times of the weekend so far in Free Practice 3, Jake Gagne again challenging for the top ten and a trip directly into Superpole 2. Times were tight and the American ended the opening day of practice in Qatar as the 13th fastest rider. Camier finished just a place behind in 14th, improving his time by half a second. Both are aiming to head through Superpole 1 and battle for a top twelve position on the grid from Race 1.
Free Practice 4 opens tomorrow’s action at 1425 Local Time (GMT +3) before Superpole at 1630 with the racing action starting at 1900 Local Time for the penultimate time in 2018.
Jake Gagne 45
It was a little fall today. Unfortunately I was a little bit wide early on so there was still some dirt on the track. I shouldn’t have held the brake on that long when I knew I was on the dirt. We started the day strong and then spent the second session experimenting a little bit, trying to figure out the setting and what tyres and what to run. Then we made more progress in that last session with the direction but I went around by myself and just got consistent laps. I didn’t really get a good flyer together unfortunately, we could have been there and the bike was certainly capable. Superpole 1 tomorrow, hopefully we can get some laps in to get into Superpole 2, which is still the goal.
Leon Camier 2
I’m alright, nothing too serious. A little bit sore after a big high side but no major worries. It was a real up and down day, we started fourth and I knew there was a lot still to come with the track. We’ve made steps but we are still looking for that one big step to go faster. Tomorrow we’re having a look at everything to try and find that speed. We were really strong early in the year and there were some changes and we haven’t been able to consistently find that speed again.
Both riders are OK after their crashes. Jake’s fall was quite small and most importantly he didn’t lose any of his confidence and he was able to be back on the pace straight away. Jake did a good job today and the team tried something a little bit different, getting some good information. I think Jake can make a good step tomorrow and will hopefully be fighting for Superpole 2 as that still remains the goal for the end of this year. It was a hard day in the office for Leon. FP1 was good but then he had a huge off in FP2 ay Turn 5 and then the feeling with the bike wasn’t there in FP3. We need to have a look at the setting before the crash and come back stronger tomorrow.
Losail International Circuit, Qatar
WorldSBK 2018, Round 13
- Air Temp: 28°C
- Humidity: 65%
- Ground Temp: 29°C
|#||Rider||Num||Nationality Nat.||Team||Constructor Constr.||Time/Gap|
|1||Eugene Laverty||50||GBR||Milwaukee Aprilia||Aprilia||1’57.323|
|2||Jonathan Rea||65||GBR||Kawasaki Racing Team||Kawasaki||+0.183|
|3||Tom Sykes||66||GBR||Kawasaki Racing Team||Kawasaki||+0.191|
|4||Alex Lowes||22||GBR||Pata Yamaha||Yamaha||+0.333|
|5||Lorenzo Savadori||32||ITA||Milwaukee Aprilia||Aprilia||+0.476|
|6||Loris Baz||76||FRA||Althea BMW Racing Team||BMW||+0.599|
|7||Marco Melandri||33||ITA||Aruba.it Racing||Ducati||+0.601|
|8||Michael van der Mark||60||NDL||Pata Yamaha||Yamaha||+0.657|
|9||Chaz Davies||7||GBR||Aruba.it Racing||Ducati||+0.723|
|10||Toprak Razgatlioglu||54||TUR||Grillini Racing Team||Kawasaki||+0.731|
|11||Leandro Mercado||36||ARG||IodaRacing Team||Aprilia||+0.850|
|12||Xavi Fores||12||SPA||BARNI Racing Team||Ducati||+0.918|
|13||Jake Gagne||45||USA||Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team||Honda||+1.233|
|14||Leon Camier||2||GBR||Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team||Honda||+1.891|
|15||Román Ramos||40||SPA||Team Go Eleven||Kawasaki||+2.462|
|16||Gabriele Ruiu||16||ITA||Team Pedercini||Kawasaki||+2.628|
|17||Max Scheib||77||CHI||MV Agusta Reparto Corse||MV Agusta||+3.182|