Assen, 20 April 2012 – Weather conditions conditioned the first day of practice sessions for the Assen Superbike round. After the morning session on a dry track, but in very low temperatures, the afternoon qualifiers were held for the most part in the rain, without giving the riders a chance to improve. Like what happened with Max Biaggi, hampered this morning by a few unexpected problems and forced to come in after just a few laps due to the foul weather.
The seventeenth final time complicates life a bit for the Aprilia Racing Team and for Max, especially since it could keep him out of Superpole if the track is wet tomorrow. The five time world champion makes no secret of his disappointment, but at the same time he is confident that he can sort out a weekend that started off in the worst possible way.
“We didn’t start off well. This morning we had some problems with the bike that caused us to lose precious time. In the afternoon we started after making some significant changes, but after a few minutes it began to rain and I was forced to come in. When you make such drastic changes you have to re-familiarise yourself with the bike and unfortunately I wasn’t able to build my confidence in the only fast lap I had, so we ended in seventeenth place. At the moment we are out of Superpole and that really disappoints me. We’ll see what tomorrow’s sessions bring”.
Eugene Laverty found a good feeling with his RSV4 and the Assen track quickly, putting a seventh place time on the boards in the first session. He maintained the good feeling even on the wet track, a condition that Eugene had the chance to tackle in the afternoon qualifiers. So the foundation has been laid and all that’s left now is to see what the weather brings tomorrow and to choose which path to follow in view of the races.
“The important thing today was to get into the top sixteen in order to secure a spot in Superpole in case it rains tomorrow. The feeling with the bike on dry track is promising, but I was also able to get around the track on the wet without any particular problems. No matter what the conditions are tomorrow, I’m confident I can do well. Depending on the weather, we’ll decide which set up to work on in view of the races, where our goal is still to get on the podium”.
Rain arrived just minutes into the session…
1. Sylvain Guintoli FRA Team Effenbert Liberty Racing 1098R 1m 37.600s
2. Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki Racing Team ZX-10R 1m 37.630s
3. Leon Camier GBR Crescent Fixi Suzuki GSX-R1000 1m 38.468s
4. Carlos Checa ESP Althea Racing 1098R 1m 38.665s
5. Jonathan Rea GBR Honda World Superbike Team CBR1000RR 1m 38.873s
6. Michel Fabrizio ITA BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet S1000RR 1m 39.062s
7. Ayrton Badovini ITA BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet S1000RR 1m 39.125s
8. Marco Melandri ITA BMW Motorrad Motorsport S1000RR 1m 39.127s
9. Maxime Berger FRA Team Effenbert Liberty Racing 1098R 1m 39.286s
10. Chaz Davies GBR ParkinGO MTC Racing RSV4 1m 39.362s
11. Eugene Laverty IRL Aprilia Racing Team RSV4 1m 39.485s
12. Jakub Smrz CZE Liberty Racing Team Effenbert 1098R 1m 39.605s
13. John Hopkins USA Crescent Fixi Suzuki GSX-R1000 1m 39.625s
14. Leon Haslam GBR BMW Motorrad Motorsport S1000RR 1m 39.770s
15. Brett Mccormick CAN Liberty Racing Team Effenbert 1098R 1m 39.915s
16. David Salom ESP Team Pedercini ZX-10R 1m 40.124s
17. Max Biaggi ITA Aprilia Racing Team RSV4 1m 40.231s
18. Niccolo Canepa ITA Red Devils Roma 1098R 1m 40.859s
19. Davide Giugliano ITA Althea Racing 1098R 1m 41.161s
20. Leandro Mercado ARG Team Pedercini ZX-10R 1m 41.693s
21. Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Honda World Superbike Team CBR1000RR 1m 41.768s
22. Mark Aitchison AUS Grillini Progea Superbike Team S1000RR 1m 43.144s
23. Lorenzo Zanetti ITA PATA Racing Team 1098R 1m 50.808s
Assen official WSBK lap records
Best lap: Jonathan Rea GBR HANNspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR 1m 34.944s (2010)
Race lap record: Jonathan Rea GBR HANNspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR 1m 36.312s (2010)