McCormick’s best lap was a 1:58.3, not far from his qualifying time of 1:58.17. Riding for the Team Effenbert Liberty Racing Ducati program, McCormick opted to continue to work on settings prior to the pair of twenty lap races schedule for this afternoon at the 5.137 km long ‘ring.
Typically, racers and crews do not conduct suspension work immediately prior to the race, but McCormick has been out of action for the entire summer, recovering from serious injuries suffered in round two in the Netherlands. So McCormick is playing catch up with chassis set-up.
“We tried a new rear suspension link, it was a lot better,” started McCormick of his new parts work conducted in the 15 minute warm-up. “We had less overall side grip, but I don’t mind, we’re finishing the turns better than we ever have. “
“I was bedding in a new engine, new brake pads and clutch. I finally got a decent practice start, getting the hang of our new clutch set up.”
Although a major oil spill delayed the session by forty minutes, 21 year old McCormick was happy with the shape of the circuit. “The track was good, didn’t notice the oil, they always do a good job,” he explained. “I went about the same speed as in qualifying, but since then we’ve gone a bit backwards trying to find the right balance.”
“We’ll talk a little bit more before the first race. I think we are close to knowing what we want, what I need. Now the rear seems to be better, so overall, with a couple of more tweaks, I’m thinking we’re good.”
Weather at the Nürburgring is the best ever for a World SBK round, and everyone on hand is discussing the prospect of two 20-lap races in hot conditions around the physically demanding track.
“For my first weekend back, I know it’s going to be tough,” admitted McCormick. “So you dig deep – it’s the same for everyone. I’ve been motocrossing back home to train, bangin’ off guys in the sand, so I’m not worried about the traffic.”
With one team’s withdrawal, McCormick’s starting position on the feature race grid has moved up to row five on the inside, right beside his Ducati 1098R mounted Effenbert Beer-backed team-mates Lorenzo Lanzi and Maxime Berger. Since the initial turn at the Nürburgring is a tight right hander, an inside starting spot is consider an advantage.
Best in the warm-up was Tom Sykes, posting a lap at 1:55.4 on the factory Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja. Sykes’ rivals in the 2012 Championship title chase, points leader Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad S100RR) and Max Biaggi (Aprilia RSV4 Factory) were next best. Fourth quickest time belonged to the second factory BMW of Leon Haslam, clearly unaffected by his crash in Tissot-SuperPole action yesterday.