A HARD-FOUGHT SUPERPOLE AT KYALAMI; FABRIZIO (DUCATI XEROX) TO LINE UP FOURTH ON THE GRID TOMORROW Kyalami (South Africa), Saturday 15th May: today's Superpole at the South African track of Kyalami turned into an extremely close contest , when...
A HARD-FOUGHT SUPERPOLE AT KYALAMI; FABRIZIO (DUCATI XEROX) TO LINE UP FOURTH ON THE GRID TOMORROW
Kyalami (South Africa), Saturday 15th May: today's Superpole at the South African track of Kyalami turned into an extremely close contest , when the fastest seven riders finished the last phase of the Superpole within four tenths of a second of each other. Ducati Xerox rider Michel Fabrizio, at the end of two very positive days on track, closed today in fourth place, thus ensuring himself of a front row start for tomorrow's races.
Once again this morning, in the second qualifying session, Fabrizio was immediately, and consistently, fast and even though he was unable to improve on the time he set yesterday, he remained at the top of the timesheets until four minutes from the end of the session, when Jakub Smrz on the privateer Ducati went two tenths faster than the Roman rider, who therefore qualified in second place for the afternoon's Superpole. His team-mate Noriyuki was able to improve by a few tenths with respect to yesterday but this unfortunately did not change his overall position; the Japanese rider thus qualified thirteenth for Superpole.
Superpole 1. In the first phase of the Superpole both Noriyuki and Michel went out on race tyres. Michel did enough to find himself in tenth position and deemed a second exit unnecessary. Noriyuki, on the other hand, did go back out on a qualifier and closed this first session in fourteenth position.
Superpole 2. Fabrizio confronted this phase in the same way, exiting first on a race tyre to register the sixth fastest time, and then on a "Q" to take the fifth position overall. Noriyuki went straight out on a qualifier but the Japanese rider cited a lack of rear grip. Despite making a second exit on a race tyre, Haga was unable to improve and closed today's Superpole in sixteenth position. The times in this second phase were extremely close with the first eleven riders closing within half a second of each other.
Superpole 3. Once more composed of two exits for Michel, first with the qualifier used in the previous phase and the second with the new "Q". Just two tenths lost in the first split meant that Michel missed out on the pole position, which eventually went to Crutchlow on the Yamaha. The Italian rider's time, 1m37.368, ensured him of fourth position, completing a front row composed of Crutchlow, Toseland and Checa, all three of whom finished within a tenth of a second of each other.
"Today's Superpole was not at all easy. I had to really push and at one point I risked finding myself on the ground. I thought I'd finished in second but in the end it was fourth. Anyway, I'm on the front row tomorrow and am confident that I can make two great races. We've been going strong both today and yesterday and I know I have good race pace. Of course the competition is always the same but, from fourth on the grid, I think I can push for the win."
"Today I had problems due to a lack of rear grip. In the Superpole, even on the qualifier, I didn't have enough grip to be able to turn the bike and really push. We still have tomorrow morning to work on the bike and we'll do our best to improve."