Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team target improvements after tough first day at Imola

After a tough start to the Imola WorldSBK round, the Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team are confident that there are improvements to be had over the rest of the race weekend as Jake Gagne and Jason O’Halloran continue their familiarisation at the technical Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari.

In his first ever outing at the challenging Imola circuit, Gagne was able to improve his lap time throughout the first two sessions of the day, but a crash at turn 12 at the start of Free Practice 3 meant that the American rider was unable to further improve his position in the final session. Gagne finished the day in P17 overall with a personal best lap time of 1’49.024, 2.3 seconds off the benchmark time of the day.

Stll recovering from broken ribs sustained in the Aragon round last month, Leon Camier bravely went out on track in Free Practice 1 and 2 to assess his physical condition on his return to track action and although able to set a competitive time over a single lap, his current physical condition meant completing the full race distance of 23 laps of the Imola circuit wasn’t feasible. As a result, it was decided to withdraw Camier from the remainder of the race weekend with his place filled by reserve rider Jason O’Halloran. The Australian rider got up to speed quickly in FP3 on the WorldSBK-spec CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 and he ended the day in 21st position overall with a best lap time of 1’50.259.

Today’s result means that both Gagne and O’Halloran will take place in the Superpole 1 Qualifying session tomorrow at 1030 local time (GMT +2) with the top two riders from that session graduating to Superpole 2. Race 1 will start at 1300 local time.

Leon Camier

Leon Camier 2

I was looking forward to riding today to see how I would feel on the bike as my recovery has gone quite well to this point. In the first session I was cautious to start with and although I was still in a lot of pain, I was still able to find a way to set a decent lap time although it was clear that I was still feeling the effects of my injury. However ,I thought I’d give it another go in Free Practice 2 with the purpose of seeing how I went over a longer run and it quickly become apparent after doing eight laps in a row that completing a race distance here at Imola this weekend just wasn’t possible. It was a tough decision to withdraw from the weekend but definitely the right one to make and I’ll now focus on trying to be ready for my home race at Donington in a couple of weeks time.

Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team

Jake Gagne

Jake Gagne 45

Imola is a really fun circuit with lots of different types of corners and elevation changes – its unlike any track I’ve ever ridden before. We made some good progress in the first two sessions of the day and changed some settings on the bike and each time I felt better when I headed out. I was looking forward to improving again in FP3 but unfortunately on my first flying lap I had a crash which was a shame as the bike felt really good and I’m sure I could’ve made another step. The good news is I didn’t hurt myself in the crash and I’m looking forward to getting back out there in FP4 and Superpole and hoping I can challenge for some points in Race 1.

Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team

Jason  O’Halloran

Jason O’Halloran 20

It was definitely a challenging way to enter a world championship weekend starting off in Free Practice 3 at a circuit I’ve never ridden a Superbike at and with a new team, but thankfully the team has been great and my initial feeling with the WorldSBK-spec Fireblade was really good. We stuck to using the one set of tyres for the whole session and didn’t make any setting changes – the bike was still set up for Leon – just so I could get used to everything, but I was able to steadily improve throughout the session and set my fastest lap on my very last lap. I can now sleep on what I learned today and tomorrow we can set the bike up more for me, so I’m confident we’ll be able to improve things tomorrow. My goal is just to keep progressing every time I get out on the bike.

Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team

Kervin Bos

Kervin Bos

Team Manager

The day started with Leon and Jake both riding, for Leon we knew it would be really tough for him as it’s only been a month since his crash at Aragon but he was quite brave to ride in the first two sessions, but in the end doing a race distance here at Imola isn’t possible for Leon, so we decided to not risk anything and instead look ahead to Donington which is his home race. Leon’s place was taken by Jason for FP3 and he had a good solid start, using only one set of tyres for the whole session and could set a respectable lap time so he’s doing a good job for us. Jake had a really good start to the day at a track he’s never ridden before, he continued to drop his lap time in the first two sessions but unfortunately had a crash at the start of FP3 which stopped his momentum. We have a few things to try for tomorrow for both riders; we’ll just keep pushing and I am confident we can do better tomorrow after a difficult first day.

Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team

Italian Round

Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Italy

WorldSBK 2018, Round 5

242

Friday 11 May 2018, 16:39 UTC
  • Air Temp: 242°C
  • Humidity: 57%
  • Ground Temp: 39°C

# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Chaz Davies 7 GBR Aruba.it Racing Ducati 1’46.686
2 Jonathan Rea 65 GBR Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki +0.000
3 Marco Melandri 33 ITA Aruba.it Racing Ducati +0.440
4 Lorenzo Savadori 32 ITA Milwaukee Aprilia Aprilia +0.710
5 Michael van der Mark 60 NDL Pata Yamaha Yamaha +0.775
6 Tom Sykes 66 GBR Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki +0.782
7 Xavi Fores 12 SPA BARNI Racing Team Ducati +0.843
8 Leon Haslam 91 GBR Puccetti Racing Kawasaki +0.877
9 Jordi Torres 81 SPA MV Agusta Reparto Corse MV Agusta +0.886
10 Michael Rinaldi ITA Aruba.it Racing Ducati +0.911
11 Eugene Laverty 50 GBR Milwaukee Aprilia Aprilia +0.977
12 Alex Lowes 22 GBR Pata Yamaha Yamaha +1.051
13 Toprak Razgatlioglu 54 TUR Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki +1.053
14 Loris Baz 76 FRA Althea BMW Racing Team BMW +1.601
15 Román Ramos 40 SPA Team Go Eleven Kawasaki +1.730
16 Leandro Mercado 36 ARG IodaRacing Team Aprilia +1.849
17 Jake Gagne 45 USA Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team Honda +2.338
18 Yonny Hernandez 68 COL Team Pedercini Kawasaki +2.669
19 PJ Jacobsen 99 USA Triple M Honda World Superbike Team Honda +2.792
20 Ondrej Jezek 37 CZE Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki +3.051
21 Jason O’Halloran 20 AUS Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team Honda +3.573
22 Vladimir Leonov 5 RUS SPB Racing Team Kawasaki +4.288
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