Nurburgring: Suzuki Alstare Saturday report

FRONT ROW FOR SYLVAIN! LEON JUST BEHIND. Team Suzuki Alstare rider Sylvain Guintoli had his best Superpole of the season and will start tomorrow's pair of 20-lap races from the front row of the grid. The Frenchman was in tremendous form today,...

FRONT ROW FOR SYLVAIN! LEON JUST BEHIND.

Team Suzuki Alstare rider Sylvain Guintoli had his best Superpole of the season and will start tomorrow's pair of 20-lap races from the front row of the grid. The Frenchman was in tremendous form today, particularly in Superpole 2, when he ended up the fastest. It took a record lap from Max Biaggi (Aprilia) to knock Sylvain down the order, but he held on to third quickest, just behind Carlos Checa (Ducati). Leon had struggled a little in regular practice and qualifying, but dug deep and improved in Superpole. He was the fastest rider in Superpole 1, fifth in Superpole 2 and that's where he ended up also in Superpole 3.

Sylvain - 3rd, 1:54.934

After going fastest in the second Superpole I thought I could go even better in Superpole 3, but I had no more qualifying tyres left. I had burned one getting stuck behind people, so I had to put a used one on for

the last part of the last session. But I am happy because I have a good pace and I like this track. This circuit is fantastic! I just love the whole speed thing and, considering that this is my first time here, I'm very happy with how things have gone so far.

The first corner is more technical, but the rest of the track, with all the blind approaches and fast corners, is brilliant. At the moment, I do not know what my race tyres will be because I have done similar times with each main tyre. So, before making the final choice, we'll analyse things and work out which ones we'll use. I think tomorrow is going to be a good day and I can't wait for races to start.

Leon - 5th, 1: 55.16

The tyres that we have here are the same concept as the tyres we had in Brno and Misano and we struggled with them there. Ultimately I feel that the new tyre has more grip and lasts longer but, at the moment, the problem is that the extra grip on the rear is hampering the way the bike is steering. That's something we found in Brno and Misano and it is something we just have to work hard at trying to find a solution. Sylvain is getting the tyres to work well and that has helped us.

I am quickest on a race tyre set-up, on the old 625 tyre. To compete against everyone else on race tyres like I did in Superpole was good. We have made some headway with the new tyre and have one more chance to make it work. Overall though, our bike works well here and I like the track. I'm sure tomorrow will be a good battle and I'm really looking forward to it.

-source: suzuki alstare

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers Carlos Checa , Sylvain Guintoli