Action Delayed At Imola

Gordon Ritchie | September 25, 2009

The opening shots of the first World Superbike practice session at Imola proved to be duds, as the track – particularly in the chicane sections – proved so slippery that every rider who made it around the lap pulled in, most thinking they had a flat, or over-inflated tires, and in one or two cases, they also thought, incorrectly, that their engines were leaking oil.The problem appeared to be with the track surface, or with something on it the surface, although nothing was evident to those who were following other riders – or to the FIM and track staff who inspected the surface after all the riders had pulled in one by one. Tom Sykes had crashed out on his Yamaha by that time, hurting his right toe and heel.An impromptu meeting between Claude Danis, the FIM Safety Officer, and the top riders in pitlane gave way to an official discussion behind closed doors.Danis stated after a meeting with the riders and team-managers: “The decision is made, the we will wash all the track, because it seems that the track is slippery, there is no doubt about that, and it has been confirmed by the all the riders and the marshals, and we saw the bikes moving around round all the track. For which reason we do not know, maybe because of oil coming from a car race last weekend, but anyway… We will wash all the track, and the track will be dry, I don’t know when, sometime this evening, and we will try to have a free practice session this evening for Superbike.”We await further developments.

Gordon Ritchie | World Superbike Editor

You may not understand Ritchie and his Scottish accent if you had him on the phone, but you can definitely understand what he writes as our World Superbike editor.