Motorcycle Racing News Spies, Sykes practice interviews Imola

Spies, Sykes practice interviews Imola

The first day of free practice did not go according to plan at Imola today. The first scheduled Superbike free practice session lasted for just two laps, with less than perfect conditions resulting in a huge high side crash for rider Tom Sykes. Luckily he walked away uninjured. Touring Car racing the weekend previously had resulted in a dirty track with minimal grip and spilt oil in places. The track was re-cleaned and practice got underway after several hours delay. Spies was quick from the word go, dropping into second position two tenths behind leader Byrne as soon as he started. He went on to take the lead until the closing moments, dropping to third as the free practice session ended.

Team mate Tom Sykes was working hard lower down the board, starting in 21st, the British rider improved his times to take 18th spot at the end. Sykes was still suffering from his huge high side crash which brought the first session to a premature end.

As a result of the closures and delays there will be just one qualifying session for the Superbike riders this weekend on the Saturday.

Ben Spies Speaks… (3rd, 1’50.213)

"We got straight down to it this afternoon when we could finally get on track. Since we lost a lot of time today we’ve been focusing on the race set-up. There’s a tyre that I think most people where on today which we haven’t tried yet so we’ll throw that in there tomorrow. We’ve got some time still to find, but we’re on it. The cleaning made a big difference to the track, and felt a lot better, although still slower than the test. I think it will get better tomorrow."

Tom Sykes Speaks… (18th, 1’51.922)

"It was a very strange day today, the first time I can remember most of the day being cancelled that’s for sure. It was a big crash for me this morning, I thought I was feeling ok from it but in the afternoon session I felt a bit sick so the knock was a bit more than I first thought. I’m going to have a nice sleep tonight and I’ll come out tomorrow swinging. I’m a bit disappointed in my times as I was doing good 1.50s and 1.49s in the test and am a bit off that so far today. We’ve got different settings on the bike to try so we’ll go back to basics and see what we can do tomorrow."

Massimo Meregalli Speaks… Yamaha World Superbike Team

"Today was definitely a strange day, we lost a complete session. Fortunately they found a way to clean the circuit so we had at least one practice today. In the end we are lucky to have already tested here so although we’ll miss the practice, we still have a good set up to work from. Tom had a big crash today but we’re happy that he’s fine and ok. We will have some work to do tomorrow, the bike needs some improvement as the temperature is very different from the test, so we are looking forward to getting started in the morning."


Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

2021 Triumph Trident 660 First Look: 42 Photos and 13 Fast Facts

With the Triumph Speed Triple and Street Triple getting continually more aggressive, Triumph is making its signature three-cylinder motor configuration approachable again with the...

Lieback’s Lounge: From Injury to 200-Lap Endurance Mini Moto Racing

Heading into July, I put around 7000 miles combined on my Ducati Multistrada and KTM 1190 Adventure R, and about 1000 miles on my...

Full of Hot Air? Exotogg Puts It To Good Use [Cold Weather Riding Vest]

Have you ever been told you’re full of hot air? Well, even if you haven’t, there’s a new product out from the U.K. that...

2021 KTM 350 XC-F Kailub Russell Edition First Look (12 Fast Facts)

KTM continues its tradition of special edition motorcycles to honor championship-winning riders. The good news is that buyers get a chance to own a...

2021 BMW R 18 Classic First Look: Touring Motorcycle (9 Fast Facts)

Hot on the heels of the 2021 BMW R 18 First Edition comes the 2021 BMW R 18 Classic. BMW goes for the touring...

2021 Yamaha YZ250F Review (13 First Ride Fast Facts)

We rode the new, upgraded 2021 Yamaha YZ250F at Glen Helen Raceway for a first ride impression. We were fans of the previous YZ250F, so...