Challenging First Qualifying for Yamaha World Superbike Team in Miller

The Yamaha World Superbike riders Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty got straight to work in Miller for today’s free practice and first qualifying sessions.

world superbike, world superbike racing, 2011 world superbike, 2011 miller world superbike, miller world superbike, miller motorsports parkThe unpredictable Utah skies threatened rain on occasions throughout the day but held off with just a few drops appearing towards the final minutes, yet not disrupting the riders from getting down to business, working on various chassis set-ups ahead of Monday’s Memorial Day races.

Marco Melandri took to the track for the first time, spending the morning’s free practice session getting familiar with what the technically demanding track has to offer.

The Italian encountered a lack of grip and experienced instability on taking the tight corners which inhibited him from putting in ideally fast laps.

Melandri completed the first day on the American circuit in 12th place. Team-mate Eugene Laverty also had a relatively challenging first day in Utah. This morning’s free practice saw him trying out his Yamaha R1 on a track where he has fond memories. After experiencing problems with the front of his machine at the early stages of the afternoon’s qualifying session, the Irishman managed to put in a fast lap to complete the day in eighth position.

Marco Melandri
Yamaha World Superbike Team – 12th, 1’50.136
“I was hoping to have a better first qualifying day today. I quite like the track but it’s certainly not easy. I’ve experienced some difficulty with the bike which is unfortunately not the same issue I encountered in previous races. We spent this afternoon’s session trying out different set-ups but we still have some work to do to find the best solution. Let’s hope it remains dry tomorrow so we can continue to work on finding a suitable race set up.”

Eugene Laverty
Yamaha World Superbike Team – 8th, 1’49.708
“I ended up in eighth position which isn’t bad. It’s important to be in the top two rows especially seeing that it’s threating rain for tomorrow. I was outside the top 16 for a while as I was having difficulty with the front of the bike. We worked on improving the set-up and put in a good time towards the end. I’m sure we have made a break through with the bike today. I was having trouble making the apex in this morning’s free practice but now I’m confident we are heading in the right direction.”

Andrea Dosoli – Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager
“We didn’t expect to have an easy weekend in Miller. It’s technically very demanding and it’s the first time here for Marco, so he has to get to know the track. As we can see from today’s results these suspicions have been confirmed. On experiencing a lack of grip and difficulty taking the curves, Marco spent the afternoon working on the bike’s chassis set-up but there’s still some work to be done. The team will spend this evening analyzing and interpreting the layout together with Marco so he can improve his style of riding and be able to better approach the highly technical track tomorrow.

Eugene did pretty well, completing the session in eighth. He managed to put in a good lap time and improved his ability to take curves after working on the front set up. He still needs to improve on closing the corners but I’m confident that on doing so he can be on the front row ahead of Monday’s races.”

2011 World Superbike United States
Salt Lake City 29/05/2011

1 Carlos Checa Ducati ESP 1’48.260
2 Leon Camier Aprilia GBR 1’49.055
3 Max Biaggi Aprilia ITA 1’49.306
4 Tom Sykes Kawasaki GBR 1’49.432
5 Troy Corser BMW AUS 1’49.552
6 Jonathan Rea Honda GBR 1’49.621
7 Jakub Smrz Ducati CZE 1’49.683
8 Eugene Laverty Yamaha GBR 1’49.708
9 Michel Fabrizio Suzuki ITA 1’49.855
10 Ayrton Badovini BMW ITA 1’49.881
11 Noriyuki Haga Aprilia JPN 1’49.938
12 Marco Melandri Yamaha ITA 1’50.136
13 Sylvain Guintoli Ducati FRA 1’50.140
14 Ruben Xaus Honda ESP 1’50.149
15 Josh Waters Suzuki AUS 1’50.153
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