FUJIWARA SECOND FASTEST IN MISANO HEAT
Katsuaki Fujiwara set the second fastest time in this afternoon's opening qualifying session for the sixth round World Supersport championship at Misano in Italy, missing provisional pole position set by Gianluca Nannelli by just one tenth of a second.
In hot and sunny conditions at the 4.060km Misano circuit, Fujiwara's Winston Ten Kate Honda team-mate, Sebastien Charpentier crashed out unhurt early in the 45-minute qualifying session. He recovered to set the seventh fastest time on his spare machine.
Ronald ten Kate - team manager:
"It wasn't the best start to a weekend that we've had this season but I'm really pleased with Katsuaki's progress after he spent this morning's free practice searching for the right set-up. He was very close to taking provisional pole but one thing's for sure: both the weather and the competition here are going to be red hot. Sébastien crashed on his third lap, I think, which left him with only one CBR600RR to ride for most of the session. It made things difficult because he obviously had to ride with some reserve. I know he has more to come though, as he has shown all season, so I'm sure he'll be back near the top tomorrow."
Katsuaki Fujiwara - second fastest, 1m38.343s
"We changed most of the settings on the bike after this morning's free practice - making the damping more and more soft as the day went on. The tyres were getting really hot out there and the weather was causing the suspension to move around more than usual. We'll check the data later on and see if we need to make some more changes tomorrow but I'm happy that we are working in the right direction."
Sébastien Charpentier - seventh fastest, 1m38.733s
"I'm not happy about the crash, for sure. I just lost the front going into the Tramonto corner at the end of the fast back straight. It made the rest of the session very difficult, especially in these hot conditions. We need to work some more on improving the rear grip as well but at least we have tomorrow's sessions to do that. This season has been going really well for me so far, so I'm not going to let one crash worry me too much; but I'm not used to being where I am after today!"
World Supersport, Misano - provisional qualifying times: 1 Gianluca Nannelli ITA (Ducati) 1m38.226, 2 Katsuaki Fujiwara JPN (Winston Ten Kate Honda) 1:38.343, 3 Fabien Foret FRA (Honda) 1:38.357, 4 Michel Fabrizio ITA (Honda) 1:38.387, 5 Kevin Curtain AUS (Yamaha) 1:38.463, 6 Broc Parkes AUS (Yamaha) 1:38.640, 7 Sébastien Charpentier FRA (Winston Ten Kate Honda) 1:38.733, 8 Alessandro Antonello ITA (Kawasaki) 1:38.904, 9 Cristiano Migliatori ITA (Kawasaki) 1:39.189, 10 Simone Sanna ITA (Honda) 1:39.244.