Close battle at the Ring as Davies leads day 1
Davies grabs first position at the very end of first qualifying
Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) stormed to first place in the closing stages of World Superbike Qualifying 1 at the Nurburgring, to finish on top in qualifying for the first time in 2013. The Welshman put in a 1'55.034s lap-time just before the chequered flag to snatch first place from long-time leader Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) for only 0.017 seconds.
This was not the only change in position of the final part of the session, as many riders managed to better their lap-times at the last minute to climb up the timesheets: Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) dropped more than seven tenths of a second from his previous best lap time and finished third ahead of competitive Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) and Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike), to complete a top-5 of riders all on different machines.
Championship leader Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) finished sixth, ahead of fellow Frenchman Loris Baz. Silverstone Race 2 winner spend most part of the session in second place, but didn't manage to further improve in the final minutes. As the first ten riders were all within 0.671 seconds of each other, Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike), Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) and Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet), who ended up between 8th and 10th place, are way closer to the top than the positions suggest.
Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Team Aprilia) on the other hand, after his crash at Turn 4, lost valuable time and - given the tight times at the top - he finished well down the order in 12th place. His former team mate Carlos Checa (Team Ducati Alstare) didn't manage to put in a single fast lap today, as he lost control of his 1199 Panigale R at Turn 8 early on in the session.
Lowes on top, Sofuoglu narrows the gap
Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha) was once again on top of the timesheets after first qualifying of World Supersport at the Nurburgring. The Championship leader was able to break the 1'59s barrier and maintain the lead until the end of the session, even though his time was slightly slower than the one set in Free Practice 1.
The big gap the Brit had in the morning with the rest of the field was narrowed down by the rivals, as Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team Kawasaki) finished second, with just one tenth of a second gap, ahead of team mate Fabien Foret and Vladimir Leonov (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha).
Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport) ended up an encouraging fifth despite a crash at Turn 11, that left him uninjured, while Jack Kennedy (Rivamoto Honda) and Kev Coghlan (DMC-Lorenzini Kawasaki) were sixth and seventh respectively at the flag: the Scotsman was also halted by a crash at turn seven, with 5 minutes on the clock. The last part of the session saw also the crashes by Mathew Scholtz (Suriano Racing Team Suzuki) Luca Marconi (PTR Honda) and Riccardo Russo (Puccetti Racing Kawasaki).
After the second place in today's free practice, Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport) ended up only 12th behind Spaniard David Salom (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki).
Team SBK Ducati Alstare returns to work this weekend at the Nürburgring
A tough start to proceedings for Team SBK Ducati Alstare today at the Ring