World Superbike round four / World Supersport round three - Sugo, Japan
Tamada scoops Sugo pole position
Makoto Tamada starts Sunday's two races in round four of the World Superbike championship from pole position after winning the Superpole final qualifying competition at the Sugo circuit in Japan. Colin Edwards (Castrol Honda - Michelin) starts on the second row as wild card riders fill half of top 10 places while Paolo Casoli takes pole position for round three of the World Supersport championship.
Honda's Japanese wild card rider Makoto Tamada scooped pole position for the fourth round of the World Superbike championship with the fastest lap in the tense Superpole final qualifying competition on Saturday afternoon at the Sugo track in Japan.
Tamada was favourite to set the best lap time and the 24-year-old leads a front row which includes Hitoyasu Izutsu (Kawasaki), Troy Corser (Aprilia) and Ben Bostrom (Ducati) as four different manufacturers - two Japanese, two Italian - are represented on the front row for the two 25-lap races.
Colin Edwards (Castrol Honda - Michelin) sits on row two and the 27-year-old admits it's been a tough weekend, he said: "This is the hardest we've worked all year and we're still putting in the effort tonight and tomorrow morning."
Edwards added: "It's always a tough round in Japan but the team and Michelin are working hard to get two good race results."
Edwards is in eighth place and alongside him are fifth-placed Shinichi Ito (Honda), Neil Hodgson (Ducati) and Akira Yanagawa (Kawasaki).
Championship leader Troy Bayliss (Ducati Infostrada - Michelin) will start from 17th place after narrowly missing out on the Superpole competition - for the fastest 16 riders in official qualifying. Tady Okada (Castrol Honda - Michelin) is in 16th after a disappointing Superpole lap.
Paolo Casoli earned his second successive pole position and lines up on the front row of the grid with team-mate James Whitham in third and the G. Ten Kate Honda pairing of Fabien Foret and Pere Riba second and fourth respectively.
The final Supersport session was stopped three times, once for oil on the track and twice to assist crashed riders. Wild Osamu Deguchi and Antonio Carlacci both crashed, both escaping serious injury.
Piergiorgio Bontempi heads row two which includes last week's race winner Kevin Curtain (Honda BKM - Michelin Pilot) in seventh place despite the Australian rider crashing in Saturday's final qualifying session, escaping injury.
Adam Fergusson (Alpha Technik Castrol Honda - Michelin Pilot) - runner-up to Curtain at Phillip Island last Sunday - starts from the third row of the grid, in 12th place.