Blistering lap puts Toseland on pole
The final races of the 2007 World Superbike Championship will see HANNspree Ten Kate Honda's James Toseland start from pole position on the grid. The current series leader heads into tomorrow's two 23-lap races with a 29-point advantage and the clear aim of reclaiming the prestigious champion's title.
Although Toseland topped the free practice timesheets yesterday, he entered today's Superpole one-lap dash as the seventh fastest rider. However, the issues he had in qualifying were soon a distant memory as headed out on the 4.114km circuit aboard the Honda CBR1000RR.
The British rider secured a blisteringly fast time that shot him to the top of table and set a new Magny-Cours best Superbike lap. No other rider was able to match Toseland's impressive feat - including closest rivals Max Biaggi and Noriyuki Haga, who will start the races from sixth and fourth respectively.
After changing the set-up of his bike overnight, team-mate Roberto Rolfo was hoping for a place in the second row today. He qualified for Superpole as the fourteenth fastest rider but unfortunately he missed out on his ambition and will start from 11th on the grid.
Ronald ten Kate, Team Manager:
"We couldn't have asked for a better result from James today - his Superpole lap was nothing short of amazing. After the issues we have had during qualifying it was great to see James get out there and really go for it. It's his last Superbike round this weekend and it seems he was not going to let anybody take the last pole away from him. Anyway, we have done as much as we can do going into the race - let's see what tomorrow brings."
"I think I must have taken a bit of inspiration from watching Lewis Hamilton take pole position in his F1 championship quest today. I really wanted to get pole in my final World Superbike race and start from the best position possible to get the points I need. Qualifying had its ups and downs this weekend but I think we've got there and I am ready to put everything I have into reclaiming the championship title tomorrow."
"Although I didn't achieve my aim of getting on the second row, I am happy with the progress we have made with the set-up of the bike. I did quite a good lap in Superpole, but the standard of the other rider's laps was very high and we saw some very impressive times today. Anyway, I am looking to get two top five finishes for the last races of the season and I believe we are able to achieve this."