Laguna Seca returns to the World Superbike calendar in 2013
Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) proved the fastest rider on day one at Portimao, with a 1 minute 43.196 second lap taking him ahead of Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing). Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) was third, and completing a sequence of different machines in the top four places, Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) was fourth.
Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) posted a time to get him into the top five, while Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) continued his run of good form in sixth place. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing) was seventh and 2011 World Champion Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) eighth in a field of 23 riders. Checa was 0.803 seconds from Melandri’s best time.
Michel Fabrizio (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) scored ninth on the provisional grid, while Nürburgring race winner Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Aprilia) secured tenth place. Fabrizio’s team-mate Ayrton Badovini was 11th and Ducati privateer Sylvain Guintoli (PATA Racing) completed the top 12 places. Gorgeous sunshine bathed the first day qualifying sessions, with temperatures almost reaching 30 degrees.
Times: 1. Melandri (BMW) 1’43.196 average 160.192 kph; 2. Laverty (Aprilia) 1’43.580; 3. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’43.731; 4. Rea (Honda) 1’43.886; 5. Haslam (BMW) 1’43.921; 6. Camier (Suzuki) 1’43.949; 7. Biaggi (Aprilia) 1’43.996; 8. Checa (Ducati) 1’43.999; 9. Fabrizio (BMW) 1’44.373; 10. Davies (Aprilia) 1’44.390; 11. Badovini (BMW) 1’44.429; 12. Guintoli (Ducati) 1’44.499; 13. Baz (Kawasaki) 1’44.542; 14. Salom (Kawasaki) 1’44.552; 15. Giugliano (Ducati) 1’44.602; 16. Zanetti (Ducati) 1’44.790; etc.
Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda) eased away to the overnight provisional pole position at Portimao, setting a 1 minute 46.080 seconds lap time to lead his PTR team-mate Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda).
A close third behind Cluzel was Fabien Foret (Intermoto Step Racing Kawasaki) the top Kawasaki rider in the rankings, with another Honda rider Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products) fourth. A great ride from MSD R-N Racing Team India Kawasaki rider Florian Marino put him fifth, with championship leader Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Lorenzini) inside the top six.
Times: 1. Lowes (Honda) 1’46.080 average 155.837 kph; 2. Cluzel (Honda) 1’46.374; 3. Foret (Kawasaki) 1’46.399; 4. Parkes (Honda) 1’46.522; 5. Marino (Kawasaki) 1’46.827; 6. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 1’46.965; 7. Linfoot (Kawasaki) 1’47.027; 8. Roccoli (Yamaha) 1’47.230; 9. Morais (Kawasaki) 1’47.289; 10. Iannuzzo (Triumph) 1’47.332; etc.
Frenchman Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) led the field home in the first qualifying session at Portimao, with the remaining championship contenders packing out the top places. Bryan Staring (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) was second fastest, Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki) was third, with Christoffer Bergman (BWG Racing Kawasaki) completing the early top four. Championship leader Eddi La Marra (Barni Racing Team Italia Ducati) was fifth, 0.839 seconds from the leading position.
Times: 1. Barrier (BMW) 1’46.700 average 154.932 kph; 2. Staring (Kawasaki) 1’47.133; 3. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 1’47.237; 4. Bergman (Kawasaki) 1’47.328; 5. La Marra (Ducati) 1’47.539; 6. Lussiana (Kawasaki) 1’47.616; 7. Massei (Honda) 1’47.792; 8. Barragan (Kawasaki) 1’47.831; 9. Savadori (Ducati) 1’47.986; 10. Mercado (Kawasaki) 1’48.169; etc.
Warm and dry conditions helped the top three UEM European Superstock 600 Championship riders make an early impact in the first qualifying session, with Riccardo Russo (Team Italia FMI Yamaha) posting the fastest time, Adrian Nestorovic (Team MTM Racing Yamaha) going second and Michael van der Mark (EAB Ten Kate Junior Team) third. These three were separated by only 0.088 seconds, as van Der Mark and Russo continue their fight to see which one of them will be champion this season. MTM rider Mike Jones (MTM Racing Team Yamaha) was fourth in first qualifying, just over a second from Russo.
Times: 1. Russo (Yamaha) 1’48.357 average 152.562 kph; 2. Nestorovic (Yamaha) 1’48.438; 3. Vd Mark (Honda) 1’48.445; 4. Jones (Yamaha) 1’49.431; 5. Cecchini (Honda) 1’49.701; 6. Calero Perez (Yamaha) 1’49.780; 7. Davies (Kawasaki) 1’49.832; 8. Chesaux (Honda) 1’49.912; 9. Vitali (Yamaha) 1’49.988; 10. Schacht (Honda) 1’50.076; etc.
Laguna Seca returns to the World Superbike calendar in 2013
Following a three-year agreement between Infront Motor Sports and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the United States Round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship will take place at the Californian circuit next season and in 2014 and 2015.
The confirmed date for the 2013 event will be 27-29 September, and it marks the return of the championship to the spectacular Monterey circuit for the first time after an eight-year absence. The last World Superbike round was held at Laguna Seca in 2004.
Paolo Flammini, CEO of Infront Motor Sports, declared: “We are absolutely delighted to be returning to Laguna Seca for the US Round for the first time since 2004. Over the ten-year period in which we were last there, we witnessed an extraordinary growth in interest and in overall attendance and we are sure that this event will once again become one of the most prestigious on the calendar. The return of Laguna Seca to the Superbike World Championship, with its six competing manufacturers, will definitely be a boost to the championship’s growth in the US market as California has a special tradition and offers significant opportunities for the motorcycle industry, sponsors and media.”
“We have a strong history with World Superbike and are thrilled to have them commit to a three-year race schedule,” says Gill Campbell, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca CEO/general manager. “Their return to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca solidifies our position as THE premier circuit in the U.S. for motorcycle racing.”
About the FIM Superbike World Championship
The FIM Superbike World Championship features a high number of riders, teams and manufacturers (Aprilia, BMW, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki and Suzuki), racing with high-performance bikes that are similar to those available on the market for normal everyday road use. The championship’s well-tried formula of two races at each round, Pirelli’s one-make tyre supply, as well as stable technical regulations over the years, have helped World Superbike become a truly exciting spectacle for millions of TV spectators and fans around the world.
Media coverage of the FIM Superbike World Championship is firmly established worldwide and is helping to align the strength of the series across the scale. Overall, under Infront’s tenure, live coverage has increased steadily since 2007 and the number of broadcast partners has grown by 40 per cent. In 2011, the series reached a cumulative audience of 460 million viewers with 3,300 broadcast hours worldwide.
source: infrontsports.com, worldsbk.com