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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Italy
WorldSBK 2018, Round 5
- 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|