Final Qualifying Session
After yesterday's cool conditions the sun was out for Saturday's second and final qualifying session for round three of the Superside FIM Sidecar World Championship. Track temperatures rose to 42 degrees.
Steve Webster & Paul Woodhead completed just a handful of laps on their Castrol Suzuki, confident that their overnight pole position time would not be bettered. "We kept an eye on the monitors, just in case they got closer, but we thought we had done enough to stay on pole" said Woody.
It was the battle for second position that kept everybody intrigued. The Steinhausen racing pairing of Jörg Steinhausen & Trevor Hopkinson were second overnight, but Championship leaders Tim & Tristan Reeves were in determined mood, and within 5 minutes had moved their Team Roberts Racing LCR-Suzuki a tenth of a second ahead of their German rival.
Steinhausen responded immediately to once again move behind Webster, but it was only to last 10 minutes as the Reeves brothers went back out and produced a stunning time to close to with 2 tenths of a second of the Castrol pair's pole time.
Try as he would, Steini could not better his time, and ended the session 3rd fastest - still an important front row start for tomorrow's race.
The German/Swiss pair of Mike Roscher & Adolf Hänni maintained their 4th position on the Hänni Racing Team LCR-Suzuki, ensuring the top four positions mirrored that of Round 2 in Hungary.
Andy Laidlow & Patrick Farrance found some more time, and moved up from 7th to 5th position. "I'm getting better at qualifying" said Laidlow afterwards "I've fitted an onboard lap timer display so I can now gauge how we are getting on - and it seems to be working". The former Scottish Championship will start from the second row of the grid in only his 3rd World Championship event.
Bill Philp & Rick Long were the biggest improvers in the session, jumping from 12th to 6th position on the 155 Media Race Team LCR-Yamaha R1. "Lee, our team manager, told us we couldn't have any dinner unless we got to 6th position! I looked around and saw Rick mouthing the word food - so I thought we had better go for it" joked the ever smiling Philp, who just beat an impressive Jos Moser & Ueli Wafler. The Austrian/Swiss Wild-Card team using their circuit knowledge from the German championship races to good effect.
Bernd Grabmüller was an early casualty, falling from the side of the Gemini Racing LCR-Yamaha at the slow turn 2. He was quickly to his feet and back onboard joining his brother Michael, but the young Austrians decided to return to the pits and will start from 19th position.