Front row start for HANNspree Ten Kate Honda's Toseland The second round of the 2007 World Superbike Championship continued today as all four seasons seemed to pass over Phillip Island in one day. The HANNspree Ten Kate Honda riders saw rain,...
Front row start for HANNspree Ten Kate Honda's Toseland
The second round of the 2007 World Superbike Championship continued today as all four seasons seemed to pass over Phillip Island in one day. The HANNspree Ten Kate Honda riders saw rain, wind and sunshine before completing the Superpole session this afternoon. Following an eventful day, James Toseland will start tomorrow's race from second position on the grid, while his team-mate Roberto Rolfo will begin from fifteenth.
Toseland spent much of the day in battle with current World Champion Troy Bayliss. The pair swapped places at the top of the timesheets throughout the weekend, with the British rider reigning yesterday and the Australian just ahead in today's rankings. The combined qualifying result saw Toseland enter Superpole as the second fastest rider - just one tenth of a second behind his rival.
The tense Superpole session took place in humid conditions with a strong wind that changed direction frequently. Toseland took to the track in the penultimate timed lap and stormed to the top of the rankings with a time of 1'32.198. Bayliss followed and finished the lap of his home track in an incredibly close time of 1'32.145 - just 0.053 seconds faster than Toseland. As a result, James will start from second on the grid.
Superpole was more difficult for Roberto Rolfo as a mechanical fault on his Honda CBR1000RR robbed him of a position in the top eight. From a best lap of 1'33.683 in the qualifying practices, Rolfo's Superpole time came in at 1'36.295 to place him fifteenth on the grid. Sixteenth position is reserved for Karl Muggeridge who crashed out in qualifying and was unable to take part in the session.
Ronald ten Kate, Team Manager:
"Even though we are not at the top of the timesheets today I have to say that I am very happy because we have found a very good race setting for the bikes, especially with James. I'm also happy with Roby's race set-up and race pace so we are ready to go tomorrow. Missing out on Superpole might look like a downer but it isn't really - it just would have been a nice bonus - and anyway we know that Troy Bayliss is very fast around Phillip Island. I am sorry for Roby as he was really ready for Superpole and we were aiming for a second row start for him. Unfortunately he had a technical problem with his bike so it wasn't to be. We are now just hoping that the weather is ok tomorrow and that we don't have to make any big changes."
"Qualifying has been great for me. My bike is working well and is ready to go, the team are working hard and everything is looking good for tomorrow. I wanted to take the success we had in Qatar and bring it here and I feel like so far we have achieved that. Obviously I would have liked Superpole, but I am happy with the front row and I'm looking forward to the race."
"I am really disappointed. Through no fault of anyone a technical diffculty with my bike caused me problems on the Superpole lap and I dropped down in the rankings. On the positive side though, it's been a satisfying weekend overall and I have a good package for the race that will hopefully establish us in the top ten of the Championship standings after tomorrow's race."