Sylvain Guintoli and Michael van der Mark had to work their Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SPs hard in this afternoon’s second free practice session of the 12th round World Superbike championship event at Magny-Cours in France.
Having finished the opening session this morning in fifth and ninth places respectively, the Pata Honda duo ended the day in 12th and 14th overall with neither rider able to significantly improve their lap times at the 4.411km Magny-Cours circuit.
Van der Mark, fresh from his podium result in the last round at Jerez in Spain is confident that a couple of changes to his CBR will allow him to climb the leader board in tomorrow morning’s third free practice which is timed for the afternoon Superpole qualifying sessions.
As a French rider, Magny-Cours is a home round for Guintoli who will be working with his crew this evening to adjust the geometry and settings of his CBR and fine-tune the Cosworth electronics package to maximise its potential in tomorrow’s sessions.
This morning was good straightaway. We were able to get into some decent lap times early on and we were only 0.4s from the front with a good time. But it then became a struggle to go faster this afternoon and I could only match the morning time and not improve. I felt like I was riding on the limit and couldn’t go any faster. We’ve got some different geometry and settings to use tomorrow morning to try and improve where we are weak, and we’re lacking a little on top speed, too. I know the track here really well and I know how to go fast quite quickly but improving after that has been quite difficult. – Sylvain Guintoli – P12
This morning’s session was quite good but in the last 10 minutes we had a small technical problem which meant that I couldn’t really push on the new tyre. This afternoon there were a couple of other problems which took some time to fix and that meant that I couldn’t really find a rhythm or get many laps together. The lap time at the end was getting better but not perfect. I just need to get some more laps and find that rhythm in order to make some steps forward with the bike. Michael van der Mark – P14
Mikey did not have a smooth day because we had some small technical and set-up issues which all together didn’t allow him to get into any kind of a rhythm. In the final run he was able to improve a little when he had to set a time but at the end of the day the setting for him was not the best and we have to improve that. We have another session to do that tomorrow and I’m sure that he can move up. Sylvain started really strong in the morning and stayed on used tyres throughout the session. In the afternoon we made some chassis changes but they didn’t really work out. In the end he almost matched his time from the morning but we didn’t have time to change back the adjustment that we made from the first session. We’ll do that for free practice tomorrow and hopefully start afresh like this morning. – Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator