Spies defies the rain to take his eighth Superpole
Yamaha World Superbike superstar Ben Spies showed more of his unbeatable talent today, flying through the three Superpole sessions with ease. Despite rain drops starting to fall as the third and final session got under way, the American rider hit the track with an incredible display of speed and put down a pole grabbing lap less than two tenths off the Best Lap record put down in the dry by Fabrizio in the previous session. He was the only rider to drop under the 1.30 mark in the final session. Spies enjoyed a good qualifying session earlier in the day, perfecting his race set up and tyre choice, and finishing in third, just two tenths from session leader Fabrizio. Spies time was just 1.1 seconds off Valentino Rossi's 2007 qualifying time in the 2007 Donington MotoGP.
Team-mate Tom Sykes continued to show his potential today as he spent the majority of the second qualifying session in the top three, only dropping to sixth as the session drew to a close. Sykes started the Superpole sessions well, and went through to the second with ease. The second session saw him take what was thought to be a safe fifth place, only to be dropped to tenth at the last minute. With not enough time to get back out he missed out on the third and final session.
Ben Spies, Yamaha World Superbike Team (1st, 1'29.846)
"It was a good Superpole session for us, we almost got caught out as I think I was the last one to leave the garage. As soon as I came out of the pit lane I could see the drops start to come so I had to really attack the warm up lap. I told myself to nail the first sector so I could relax a little bit in the back half in case it rained a bit more. The first sector was brilliant, in the second and third rain drops were coming so I wanted to be careful not to touch any paint down. It was good to get up there to the front as it's a short start to turn one so it's a good position for us. The bike is working great on race tyres as well so I'm looking forward to what will be an exciting race."
Tom Sykes, Yamaha World Superbike Team (10th, 1'30.229)
"A bit of a shame, obviously I'm not impressed, on the qualifier I ran wide on lap one a little bit and didn't make it happen. It's especially frustrating as looking at the times in Superpole three a front row start was definitely on the cards for me. We messed up a bit in session two, really disappointing as race pace is up there and I wanted a good clean start for tomorrow. We're on row three so let's see what happens. I'm going to have to dig deep and make some passes. The qualifying session was ok, we definitely have a fast race pace, if we can get away clean we are in with a good chance tomorrow."
Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager
"Another Superpole is great, it just gives us more confidence for tomorrow with Ben. Tom has also been making great improvements compared to the last races. I think tomorrow the results will depend a lot on the weather, it could be wet or dry. I really hope it's dry as its always better to have a dry race, but whatever happens we are ready for both conditions."