Kyalami: Suzuki Alstare qualifying report

LEON HAPPY WITH FIFTH AND READY TO RACE. Team Suzuki Alstare rider Leon Haslam battled away to the fifth fastest time in Superpole today and will start tomorrow's pair of 24-lap races from the second row of the grid. Although he would've liked a...

LEON HAPPY WITH FIFTH AND READY TO RACE.

Team Suzuki Alstare rider Leon Haslam battled away to the fifth fastest time in Superpole today and will start tomorrow's pair of 24-lap races from the second row of the grid. Although he would've liked a front row grid place, his position on the grid is well-placed for an attack into the first turn and he is prepared for what promises to be yet another action-packed raceday. Leon's team mate, Sylvain Guintoli, improved from yesterday and was charging towards the first two rows of the grid until the smallest of mistakes in Superpole 2 cost him a place in Superpole 3. Cal Crutchlow took Superpole today, his third of the season, with Yamaha team mate James Toseland second. Third was Carlos Checa (Ducati) with Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) fourth. The pace of qualifying was no less frantic than usual and at the end, just one second separated the top thirteen riders.

Leon - 5th, 1:37.401
I'm pretty happy with fifth place today and I actually prefer it to fourth because it is a better place from which to attack the first turn. It's an easier run and as long as I get a good start, I'm sure I'll be there or thereabouts. I'm happy because my race pace is good and my lap times on race rubber are good. It's going to be a tough day tomorrow and any one of about six or so riders could win a race. Kyalami is a difficult track to overtake on because there's more or less only one racing line. When you get off that line, to pass somebody for example, it's easy to get on a dirty and bumpy part of the track and make a mistake. The first corner is not very far away and after that there are a series of corners where it would be impossible to pass, so good starts are vital. Tomorrow morning we'll make a a few little tweaks to the bike and see if we can improve it further. But, if not, then it's ready to race and so am I.

Sylvain - 10th, 1:37.875
I am disappointed with my Superpole and but for a small mistake in a final split, I'm sure that I could have got into final Superpole. That would've given me at least a place on the second row, but now I will have to start tomorrow's races from row three. The first corner is quite close and so it's very important that I make two good starts. If I don't, I'm going to be in trouble for sure and it'll be difficult making up ground.

The good news is that I'm happy with my race set-up and very happy with my race tyres. It's a shame that I didn't qualify better, because I'm sure that it would've made my two races easier. As I said before, this championship is so competitive and the lap times are so close and if you make the smallest of errors you get punished a lot.

-source: suzuki alstare

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers Carlos Checa , James Toseland , Michel Fabrizio , Leon Haslam , Sylvain Guintoli , Cal Crutchlow