After a tough start to the Imola WorldSBK round, the Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team are confident that there are improvements to be had over the rest of the race weekend as Jake Gagne and Jason O’Halloran continue their familiarisation at the technical Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari.
In his first ever outing at the challenging Imola circuit, Gagne was able to improve his lap time throughout the first two sessions of the day, but a crash at turn 12 at the start of Free Practice 3 meant that the American rider was unable to further improve his position in the final session. Gagne finished the day in P17 overall with a personal best lap time of 1’49.024, 2.3 seconds off the benchmark time of the day.
Stll recovering from broken ribs sustained in the Aragon round last month, Leon Camier bravely went out on track in Free Practice 1 and 2 to assess his physical condition on his return to track action and although able to set a competitive time over a single lap, his current physical condition meant completing the full race distance of 23 laps of the Imola circuit wasn’t feasible. As a result, it was decided to withdraw Camier from the remainder of the race weekend with his place filled by reserve rider Jason O’Halloran. The Australian rider got up to speed quickly in FP3 on the WorldSBK-spec CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 and he ended the day in 21st position overall with a best lap time of 1’50.259.
Today’s result means that both Gagne and O’Halloran will take place in the Superpole 1 Qualifying session tomorrow at 1030 local time (GMT +2) with the top two riders from that session graduating to Superpole 2. Race 1 will start at 1300 local time.