Scarperia, 23rd March 2012 – the first round of the Campionato Italiano Velocita’ got underway today at the Tuscan track of Mugello. More than 130 riders over seven different categories make up the Italian Championship, with the Moto3 category making its highly anticipated debut this season. After the morning’s first free practice sessions, the afternoon brought the first qualifying sessions, with some predictable results but also many surprises in the official standings.
FIRST QUALIFYING RESULTS – At the end of the first official qualifying session there were three unexpected names at the top of the Stock 600 timesheets: the first is Gennaro Sabatino, Yamaha rider with Prorace Squadra Corse, who snatched the ‘virtual’ pole thanks to a best time of 1m56.272. The 19 year old rider, from Naples, held off Yuri Menchetti (Yamaha rider, 18 years old from Barberino del Mugello), Manuel Grandi (Yamaha – Team Trasimeno) e Luca Vitali (Yamaha – Team Italia FMI).
The Stock 1000 saw the return of one of the mainplayers of the latest world Supersport championship, Alessio Corradi. 35 years old and from Langhirano, Alessio rode his Aprilia (Team Nuova M2) to the top of the timesheets with a 1m53.894. Behind him were Fabrizio Perotti (BMW – Play Racing), Alessio Velini (BMW – 2R Antonellini by Bargy) and Tuscan rider Lorenzo Alfonsi (BMW – Play Racing). Leading in the Superbike category, thanks to a fastest lap time of 1m52.162, was current Italian champion Matteo Baiocco on board the Ducati of Team Barni. He was able to defend himself from competition in the form of ‘old rivals’ (in order) Ivan Clementi (BMW – Asia Competition), Fabrizio Lai (Ducati – Althea Racing by Echo) and Luca Conforti (Ducati – Team Barni).
In the Moto3 category, which made his official debut today, the best time was recorded by Imola man Kevin Calia (Honda – Team Elle 2 Ciatti) who, having made the jump from 125 Gp, secured provisional pole with a 2m04.529. On the front row with him are German rider Luca Grunwald (Honda), Matteo Ferrari (Honda) and Manuel Pagliani (Oral – Gabrielli Team). An Indian twist to the 125 Gp: former Italian champion Riccardo Moretti made the best lap on board the Mahindra (2m01.413 his best time), followed by 14 year old Lorenzo Dalla Porta (O.R. by 2B Corse – Zack M.), Germany’s Max Enderlein on the KTM and Emilian Andrea Mantovani on the Aprilia.
Current Italian champion Ilario Dionisi, from Lazio, secured the fastest time in Supersport, riding the Honda of team Scuderia Improve. His best time, a 1m54.980, was two tenths of a second quicker than that recorded by Roberto Tamburini (wild-card on the Honda). Third for Stefano Cruciani (Kawasaki – Puccetti Racing) and fourth for Alessandro Gramigni, another wildcard, on board the Yamaha. In Moto2 it was Bolognese Ferruccio Lamborghini from Team Quarantaquattro Racing who came in first (1m56.028), followed by 2011 champion Alessandro Andreozzi (Andreozzi R.C.) and Danish rider Robbin Harms (Bimota by Edo Racing). See all times at www.civ.tv
CIV OF CHAMPIONS: CADALORA CHEERS ON MAMOLA’S SON – During the morning Luca Cadalora, former 125 and 250 world champion and runner up in the 500 championship in 1994, arrived at the circuit. Cadalora, 48 and a native of Modena, entered the CIV Hall of Fame last year for having won four Italian titles during his career. He was at the track today to meet his friend Randy Mamola, four times runner up in the 500 world championship between 1980 and 1987 on the Suzuki, Honda and Yamaha. The 53 year old from California is supporting his son Dakota who debuts in the Stock 600 category of the CIV this season. In Team Yakhnich’s garage, between one anecdote and another, Cadalora gave the 17-year old some advice – the youngster closed the first free practice session in thirteenth position (out of 40 entries) with a best time of 1m58.876. “There is something of Randy’s DNA here because right from the start he has been able to lap with really good times”, said Luca. “It’s not easy to immediately find the right lines at this track and it’s not easy to compete in the CIV against such stiff competition but Dakota seems very focused and has faith in the bike. I hope he does well, has fun and maybe even reaches our level…”
HALL OF FAME: FABRIZIO PIROVANO ARRIVES – Tomorrow afternoon, once the official qualifying closes at 17.45, the Pirelli CIVillage will take centre stage. First is the press conference by team Oral “M3”, participating in the Moto3 category, which will be followed by the announcement of the first name of 2012 to enter into the CIV Hall of Fame: Fabrizio Pirovano will receive the certificate and celebrative painting for his four Italian titles, won between 1990 and 1994 on board the Yamaha and the Ducati. At the same time, “Piro” will award certificates to the participants of the CIV4you initiative, run in collaboration with Motor Bike Expo. Attention will then turn to the day’s frontrunners will the Dellorto Pole Position presentations. In the morning, at 12 noon, the official CIV presentation will take place in the press room, with FMI President Paolo Sesti and FMI Road Racing Coordinator, Alfredo Mastropasqua.
LIVE RACING ON TV AND INTERNET – On Sunday live coverage will began at 11.30am on Nuvolari (ch. 144 Sky and Digital Terrestrial) with the Stock 600 and Stock 1000 races while on Sportitalia 2 (ch. 226 Sky and Digital Terrestrial) the Superbike, 125 Gp/Moto3 and Supersport/Moto2 races will kick off from 1.45pm. The Mugello round will also have good coverage abroad thanks to Motors TV (coverage of the event across Europe) and with TenSports, Indian television that will broadcast the 125/Moto3 category. Moto Tv (ch. 237 Sky) will also show repeats of the races next week. The racing is also broadcast on the Internet, in live streaming on the CIV website in collaboration with Sportube.tv. The videos will also be available on Youtube at www.youtube.com/civmoto while you can also follow the CIV on FB (www.facebook.com/civ.tv) and on Twitter (@Civ.tv).
USEFUL INFO – The second free practices begin tomorrow at 9.55am while official qualifying will start at 2.30pm, at the end of which the race grid will be established. Racing will get underway on Sunday morning, with the Stock 600 at 11.45, followed by the other categories. Tomorrow you can come and watch qualifying at a price of 10 euros for a field ticket that includes paddock entry (5 euros for under 18’s, women and FMI members) while on Sunday tickets cost 20 euros (15 for concessions). The under 14’s and residents of Scarperia town enter free.