CHARPENTIER GETS LOST, THEN FINDS A FLYER
A technical problem left Winston Ten Kate Honda's Sebastien Charpentier lost at the back of the Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit at Imola, Italy during this afternoon's opening qualifying session for the eleventh round World Supersport championship event. But, on finally returning to his box, the Frenchman set a blistering pace to take provisional pole position for Sunday's 21-lap race.
Charpentier's team-mate, Katsuaki Fujiwara, did not ride this afternoon following an early crash during free practice this morning. The Japanese rider opted to sit out the 45-minute session, pending a medical assessment later today.
Ronald ten Kate -- team manager:
"That was a very hectic day for our Supersport team. The quick release system on a fuel line on Sebastien's main bike broke early in the session and, because of Imola's strange characteristics, it took 15-20 minutes for him to get back to the box, in spite of two of the team searching for him on scooters. It didn't leave us many options so he jumped on the spare bike for a couple of laps and was immediately fast. We made a small change towards the end of the session and he put in an amazing lap. For tomorrow, we'll be looking to improve his time and hopefully have Kats back in the box with us. His crash was one of those things but we've looked at the data and he wasn't going especially fast. He came across a group of slower riders and tried to pass but one of them changed his line without warning. The good news is that nothing is broken but we'll let him have some rest to get over today and see how he is tomorrow."
Sebastien Charpentier -- fastest, 1m51.788s
"I stopped early in the session on the back of the circuit in the woods but I didn't know how to get back. I thought I'd end up missing the whole session but, eventually, we got the bike and me on the back of a truck and managed to get to the box. After that, everything was fine -- the track and grip were good and there wasn't much traffic. But I still only managed to do a total of seven laps so I'm very happy with the time. I like the set up we have already but, for sure, it's possible to go even faster tomorrow. My good friend Frederic Bolley was here today -- he has a Supermoto event in Venice this weekend, but it was great to see him."
World Supersport, Imola -- provisional qualifying times: 1 Sebastien Charpentier FRA (Winston Ten Kate Honda) 1m51.788s, 2 Kevin Curtain AUS (Yamaha) 1:53.379, 3 Gianluca Nannelli ITA (Ducati) 1:53.704, 4 Michel Fabrizio ITA (Honda) 1:53.878, 5 Broc Parkes AUS (Yamaha) 1:54.136, 6 Alessandro Corradi ITA (Ducati) 1:54.193, 7 Stephane Chambon FRA (Honda) 1:54.239, 8 Javier Fores ESP (Suzuki) 1:54.397, 9 Fabien Foret FRA (Honda) 1:54.818, 10 Johan Sitgefelt SWE (Honda) 1:54.827