A hectic opening day of action for the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship at Lausitzring has drawn to a close with Stefan Bradl in 12th place – despite an unfortunate tumble during FP2 – while his team mate for the German Round Davide Giugliano was 18th in the combined times of today’s two free practice sessions. Both riders will therefore take part in tomorrow’s Superpole 1, with the goal of advancing to the second session and battling for a spot on the first four rows of the grid for race one.
Free Practice 2 was red flagged with 35 minutes to go after Bradl crashed out on oil left by Alex Lowes’s bike at Turn 14 a few minutes earlier. The German rider got away with only a severely bruised and painful left elbow after x-rays showed no sign of fractures, but his condition will still be reviewed by the medical centre tomorrow morning before FP3. The considerable damage taken by his Fireblade during the crash, however, resulted in a considerable amount of extra work for Stefan’s crew, which was forced to put together a whole new bike.
But the drama was not over: a rain shower began shortly after the red flags were deployed, which further extended the break to approximately one hour and thirty minutes. As the session restarted, wet conditions made it impossible for any rider to improve their lap-times before the chequered flag.
Davide Giugliano picked up from where he left off here at Lausitzring three weeks ago in a test to continue his familiarisation with the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 machine. The 27-year-old from Rome tried different set-up options while assessing different ride heights, although his progression was affected by the aforementioned incidents of FP2. This robbed him of some much-needed dry track time.
World Superbike will return to action tomorrow morning with the 25-minute free practice 3 session, which will get underway at 8:45 local time (GMT +2), which will be followed by Superpole 1 (10:30) and race one (13:00).