2011 Canadian Pro Superbike Brett McCormick of Saskatchewan was 23rdquickest in Saturday’s Free Practice at the Nürburgring for the 12th round of the eni Superbike World Championship. The 21 year-old Canuck, learning the famed German venue for the first time, was happy with his progress, even though his quickest lap at 1:58.7 was off his morning best of 1:58.1.
“They weren’t great lap times, but overall, it was a pretty positive session,” explained the Team Effenbert Liberty Racing Ducati pilot. “I’m a little tired, I got here Wednesday from out west, and there is lots going on, getting back into it is a bit of a mental drain.”
“We left the set-up pretty much the way it was at the start of the day,” explained the racer referred to as “the kid.” “We added a little fork oil, getting ready for the race, but I guess we screwed up our tire testing plan. We started out on Pirelli scrubs, then we went with the soft front, and that was the only front we had for the session.”
“I tried the softer rear later, and that worked surprisingly well given how hot is out there,” continued McCormick, who is busy adjusting to the unexpected hot track temperatures. “So at least we have some ideas to work with and another session Sunday morning – but probably with not with the kind of heat we’ll get for the races.”
Sunday’s schedule includes two Superbike rounds, each twenty laps in length, a real work out if the weather is hot and sunny around the 5.137 km long ‘ring.
“I did a bunch of 57s, 57.7s, 57.8s, not too bad a pace given everything else, the tire mix-up,” considered McCormick. “The bike is now working pretty good overall, but we didn’t quite have the planted feeling I enjoyed in the morning. As well, the first rear slick we tried got a little greasy.”
As far as concerns go regarding McCormick’s neck, severely injured at the third SBK round at Assen in the Netherlands last April, SBK tour rookie Brett isn’t worried about his condition or conditioning. “I’ll go get a little physio on my neck, but there isn’t an issue, I don’t notice it on the bike,” stated McCormick. “They’ll stretch it out, massage it, but it doesn’t bug me. I’m just getting use to being back on board a 210 horsepower Ducati Superbike!”
Topping the time sheets during Free Practice at the Nürburgring was 2012 SBK Series Championship points contender Tom Sykes, who set the fastest time so far this weekend with a 154.966 effort on the works Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja. The previous best lap of the weekend was works Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR racer Jonathan Rea at 1:55.157, earlier today. Rea netted third in this session at 1:55.073.
Sykes effort suggests he will continue to be a major factor in Tissot SuperPole action, slated for this afternoon starting at 3 PM local time in the Eiffel Mountains.
The second best run belonged to Max Biaggi on the Aprilia RSV4 Factory at 1:54.969, followed by Rea and then SBK World Championship Series points leader Marco Melandri on his BMW Motorrad S1000RR at 1:55.233. Melandri’s outgoing team-mate, Leon Haslam, was right behind for fifth, followed by the impressive Leon Camier on the resurgent FIXI Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000.