With track conditions at the Imola causing a near mutiny during the practice sessions, there was a panic in the WSBK paddock as to whether racing would occur at the Bologna circuit this weekend. After track officials cleaned the Imola tarmac, it became too slippery to ride upon. Whether due to the mixture of oil and water on the track, or the absence of the usual layers of rubber forming on the race line, the conditions caused riders to refuse to take to the track over safety concerns.
Commenting about the conditions, Ben Spies stated the course was slipperier than full wet conditions. Max Biaggi was also heard saying that the course was too slippery for racing, and that Sunday’s races could not take place on the course under these circumstances. Despite this, WSBK Superpole action still occurred, read on for more.
Scrambling to correct the error, the folks at Imola cleaned the surface again, declared the problem solved, and sent out WSS riders to begin their practice session. With the matter apparently resolved, this weekend’s stop at Imola, Italy could recommence, and it seems fitting that an Italian rider should take the Superpole at the resurgence of this historic Italian track.
Michel Fabrizio won the Superpole, with a squeaker over American Ben Spies. Fabrizio would seem to be out of the Championship hunt, but Spies still seemed to prefer to have his 10th Superpole victory, making a comment afterwards that he was surprised that Fabrizio didn’t help him out on this one, after taking him out of Race 1 at Brno. Spies is feeling the heat from Noriyuki Haga, who barely trails Spies by 18 points. With Haga lurking only .15 seconds behind Fabrizio, tomorrow’s races are shaping up to be some good ones. This Championship isn’t over yet folks.
Superpole Results from World Superbike at Imola, Italy:
1. M. Fabrizio (Ducati 1098R): 1′47.735
2. B. Spies (Yamaha YZF R1): 1′47.778
3. J. Rea (Honda CBR1000RR): 1′47.834
4. N. Haga (Ducati 1098R): 1′47.885
5. J. Smrz (Ducati 1098R): 1′48.156
6. M. Biaggi (Aprilia RSV4 Factory): 1′48.665
7. S. Byrne (Ducati 1098R): 1′49.092
8. M. Simoncelli (Aprilia RSV4 Factory ): 1′49.338