|Melandri finished day one on top at home track
Photo: World SBK
BMW Motorrad Goldbet rider Marco Melandri has finished the first qualifying session of the weekend at the top of the timing sheets, in tricky weather conditions at Monza.
An oil spillage and damp track conditions caused QP1 to be delayed, however once the session finally got going the track had more grip and the riders were able to understand their race pace ahead of Superpole tomorrow. Kawasaki Racing’s Loris Baz set the first fastest lap of the session, a cautious time of 1.48.878, this was soon to be brought down to 1.45.727 by Britain’s Chaz Davies, who crashed at turn 8 not long after setting the fastest time of the session. The Welshman walked away unscathed and went back out on his BMW once it had been repaired.
Kawasaki Racing’s Tom Sykes was the first rider to bring the times down to 1.44’s, but the Yorkshire Grinner didn’t lead the way for long as World Championship leader Sylvain Guintoli soon set a time of 1.43.826 which put him in first position. The French rider remained unchallenged for the final 20 minutes of the session, until Italian Marco Melandri stormed to the top of the timing sheets setting a time close to Max Biaggi’s lap record. Melandri’s time of 1.42.883 put him 0.627 ahead of Guintoli and secured his place in provisional pole position ahead of Superpole on Saturday.
Jonathan Rea shot up into second position ahead of Guintoli with two minutes of the session to go finishing just 0.274 seconds behind Melandri’s time. Tom Sykes finished in fourth position and Italian Davide Guigliano rounded out the top five, 0.740 off his compatriots time. Michel Fabrizio finished the session in sixth, ahead of Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty in seventh and Loris Baz in eighth. Injured Leon Camier put his Fixi Crescent Suzuki in 9th position with teammate Jules Cluzel who rounding out the top ten.
1. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) BMW S1000 RR 1’42.883