Solid Imola weekend for Scott Redding
Round seven of the 2023 FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) in the Italian city of Imola was a real scorcher. In extremely challenging conditions, the BMW Motorrad Motorsport teams and riders continued the positive trend from Donington Park (GBR). Scott Redding (GBR) from the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team laid the foundation for good race results with fifth place in Superpole.
Scott and teammate Loris Baz set themselves up nicely for the weekend ahead with fifth and ninth places in Saturday morning’s Superpole qualifying. Haslam was 14th. Gerloff, who had been among the fastest riders in the preceding sessions, was unfortunate with yellow flags and had to settle for 15th place. In race one on Saturday afternoon, Scott was initially able to stick with the leading group, but then struggled with the handling of his bike in the extreme temperatures. He consequently dropped back a few positions and eventually crossed the finish line tenth.
The temperatures were even higher on Sunday, with the thermometers already showing 33 degrees Celsius by the Superpole Race in the morning. Scott dropped back slightly in the turmoil at the start, and went on to finish ninth after ten laps.
As the afternoon was forecast to be even hotter, race control decided, after a meeting with the medical director of WorldSBK and all the riders, to reduce the second main race from 19 laps to 15. With the air temperature around 37 degrees, Scott gained three positions at the start and was running sixth after a few laps, before dropping back to seventh place. Baz was hot on his heels in ninth place in the same group of three. When Alex Lowes (GBR / Kawasaki) crashed in front of them on lap twelve, Baz climbed into seventh place with Scott now eighth. They went on to finish in these positions, separated by just half a second.
Round eight of the 2023 WorldSBK season will take place from 28th to 30th July at Most, in the Czech Republic.
ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team
(SP: 5 / R01: 10 / SP Race: 9 / R02: 8):
“The weekend has not been too bad, really. We had a good qualifying, the practices were not so bad. But we had a really high temperature coming in yesterday’s race and today. We just missed a little bit, really. When the grip drops from the temperature we seem to suffer a bit more than the other people. But from yesterday to today I tried to do something a little bit different, I tried to be a bit more calmer on the front tyre and it was better. The race was shorter but also it was so hot. I never felt this hot in a race, even atyAragón or Jerez when it was 42 degrees. It was not that hot as it is now. My hands were burning. It has been a good decision to make the race shorter because it was coming to a boiling point. Overall, regarding the hot conditions it has not been so bad for us here, we normally suffer more so I took some useable data that we can try to work on for the next races.”