Qatar: Ten Kate Honda Friday report

Toseland on the front row as Rolfo continues to improve The HANNspree Ten Kate Honda World Superbike team finished final qualifying today with a tense Superpole session in the hot sun at Losail International Circuit in Qatar. James Toseland and...

Toseland on the front row as Rolfo continues to improve

The HANNspree Ten Kate Honda World Superbike team finished final qualifying today with a tense Superpole session in the hot sun at Losail International Circuit in Qatar. James Toseland and Roberto Rolfo will start the opening race of the 2007 World Superbike Championship in third and tenth grid positions respectively.

James Toseland has proved the competitiveness of his CBR1000RR by being at the top of the timesheets for most of this weekend's event. The British rider stormed to the top of the rankings and smashed the existing Qatar Superbike lap record with an impressive time of 1'58.681 in this morning's qualifying session.

This set him in good stead for the Superpole one-lap dash this afternoon and as the sun set over the Losail circuit he secured a third place starting position. Toseland's Superpole lap of 1'59.005 didn't match his previous best lap of the weekend set on a race tyre, but it was within six-tenths of a second of fastest rider Troy Corser.

Roberto Rolfo has continued to improve over the course of the first round qualifying sessions. The Italian rider's lap times in this morning's session were his fastest yet at the 5.4km Qatar track as he recorded a best time of 2'00.244. He entered Superpole in a strong position and put in an impressive lap to reach tenth place on the grid for the start of tomorrow's race.

Ronald ten Kate, Team Manager:

"The track conditions have been variable all weekend with the wind changing direction everyday. It is always difficult to be the fastest rider and go last in the Superpole qualifying competition. James has done a great job all weekend and whilst I felt we had a chance of pole position, a front row start is what really matters. Roby has made steady progress all weekend and I am confident of two good race results for both riders tomorrow."

James Toseland:

"I was really disappointed about the outcome of the Superpole, just because it's been going so well all weekend that I felt that it was time for a pole position. For the race tomorrow we have a good set-up, I've had a meeting with the team since the Superpole to fine tune the bike for tomorrow and I'm feeling confident. I think there will be four or five of us in the serious battle for first place so it should be a good race"

Roberto Roberto:

"This is my first Superpole performance with the CBR1000RR and I am still learning how to get the best from the bike. I am happy to be starting from tenth position as I am confident of improving even further in tomorrow's races. The strong wind died down towards the end of Superpole. This caused me a few problems but I don't think it effected the outcome. I am looking forward to tomorrow."

-credit: htkh

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers James Toseland , Troy Corser , Roberto Rolfo