Magny-Cours: Series Saturday notes

Spies equals Superpole record at Magny-Cours Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike) equaled the record of 10 Superpoles in his rookie WSB season to line up in the front slot for the penultimate round of the championship at Magny-Cours. The Texan ...

Spies equals Superpole record at Magny-Cours

Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike) equaled the record of 10 Superpoles in his rookie WSB season to line up in the front slot for the penultimate round of the championship at Magny-Cours. The Texan bolted on one of his two regulation Q-tyres in the final few minutes to stop the clocks with an incredible time of 1 minute 37.709 seconds, a new circuit best lap. Spies was the only rider to dip under the 1'38" mark, and his time left Northern Ireland's Jonathan Rea trailing four-tenths of a second behind in second place. Third quickest time went to Italian Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox), with Max Biaggi in fourth, the Aprilia Racing man knocking Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) off the front row of the grid with the final lap at his disposal.

Ben Spies: "It was a good lap, four-tenths ahead of the other guys, but we've been mainly working more on race tyres and fuel loads all weekend and trying to make the bike come good on Sunday and this was the first time we've really put in a really fast one. It's going to be a good race, the same four guys as last time, and Biaggi's very close, but I'm confident with the bike, unlike last week at Imola. It's good Johnny's up there again. I might buy him some dinner tonight to get him to help me out!"

Jonathan Rea: "We're in a good position anyway this weekend with race pace and I'm really happy, the team is working well and the bike's working excellent. It seems to be the same culprits up at the front again. We've been working on our starts all over the weekend, so we hope to get a good one. It's our test circuit here but nothing is really relevant because the pace is so much faster than last year and this one is all about who hangs in there at the end."

Michel Fabrizio: "I'm not very happy, this qualifying was very hard for me, my number 1 Ducati, which I was very happy with, broke down and the number two had a few problems and we had to change everything in a hurry and I wasn't really able to challenge in Superpole but a front row is OK anyway. Tomorrow for sure I will try for the win, if not I should have stayed stay at home, but then we'll see how things go during the race"

Max Biaggi: "It was a good performance and we are quite happy with the result. We have made a nice improvement from yesterday and today was a real improvement with the pace. The Aprilia is working better than before so now we are almost set up where we should be and tomorrow we are in the race for the win."

Leon Haslam (Stiggy Racing Honda) produced another storming performance to line up in sixth place behind Haga, while the surprise of the day came from Spain's Fonsi Nieto (Ducati DFX) in seventh, his best result of the season. The second row of the grid was completed by Troy Corser, his BMW again up in the front rows after the disappointment of Imola. Karl Muggeridge (Suzuki Alstare) had an encouraging Superpole session to end up on row 3, while Leon Camier finished his first Superpole on his Aprilia debut with 16th quickest time.

Supersport

Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha World Supersport) echoed his fellow Yamaha Superbike rider's performance with another pole position in Supersport, the British rider taking his tenth pole of the year in 13 rounds and his fifth in a row. Cal was also the only rider to get under the 1'41" mark, lapping six-tenths quicker than the previous record, in 1 minute 41.543 seconds, but he had to wait until the last couple of minutes to grab the pole as Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Motocard.com) had been quickest until then. The other two front row men were Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) and Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda), Crutchlow's rival in the title fight. Fifth place went to a positive Michele Pirro (Yamaha Lorenzini), despite a harmless crash at the end of the session. Behind can be found French rider Fabien Foret (Yamaha World Supersport), with Katsuaki Fujiwara (Kawasaki Motocard.com) and Mark Aitchison (Honda Althea) completing the second row.

Superstock 1000

Everything went according to plan in Superstock 1000 qualifying for Xavier Simeon (Ducati Xerox), who scored his fifth pole position of the season. The points leader, who needs just five points tomorrow to clinch the title, was the only rider to dip under 1'42", with a time of 1 minute 41.722 seconds. French rider Maxime Berger (Ten Kate Honda) put in a good run to take the second place on the grid, and he will be flanked by Ayrton Badovini (Aprilia JIR), once again up at the front one week after Imola. The first row is completed by another Frenchman, Sylvain Barrier (Garnier Yamaha). It will be a row 2 start instead for Claudio Corti (Suzuki Alstare), Simeon's only rival for the title.

Superstock 600

European Superstock 600 qualifying went the way of Marco Bussolotti, with the Yamaha Trasimeno man grabbing the top slot right at the end of a tough battle for pole. Bussolotti set a quickest time of 1 minute 45.547 seconds, but two-tenths off last year's quickest time set by Loris Baz. Alongside him on the front row will be Britain's Gino Rea (Ten Kate Honda), who is also still in with a shot at the title, while the top 2 in the championship, Danilo Petrucci (Yamaha Trasimeno) and Vincent Lonbois (MTM Yamaha) line up in eighth and fifth respectively. Imola winner Eddi La Marra (Honda Lorini) qualified seventh, but will try and repeat last week's result, while two more contenders for the win will be front-row starters Fredrik Karlsen (VD Heyden Yamaha) and Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Yamaha).

-credit: wsbk

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