HANNspree Ten Kate Honda dominates first day qualifying
The British sun made a rare appearance for round ten of the 2007 World Supersport Championship at Brands Hatch today. The first day of qualifying ended successfully for HANNspree Ten Kate Honda, with Sebastien Charpentier and Kenan Sofuoglu claiming the top two spots on the timesheet.
Both Charpentier and Sofuoglu got to grips with the 3.703km circuit almost immediately, setting six fastest laps between them in this morning's free practice. They followed this up in the 45-minute official qualifying session with two fast laps apiece. The final result saw Charpentier secure the final best time with a 1'28.381 lap - just 0.005 seconds off the current Brands Hatch best Supersport lap, set by the Frenchman in 2005.
Team-mate Sofuoglu completed the session as the second fastest rider with a lap time of 1'28.793. The result sees the HANNspree Ten Kate duo well on the way to the front row of the grid for Sunday's 23-lap World Supersport race.
Ronald ten Kate, Team Manager:
"It's been a very good start to the weekend on the Supersport side of things, although there is still room for improvement on both sides of the garage. The pace we have had today will definitely allow us to concentrate on race set-up tomorrow. We can work to get ourselves prepared for the long race around here. I'm really happy for Sebastien - things seem to have gelled together for him today. We have made some drastic changes to the set-up of his bike and it seems to be working well. For Kenan, it is of course a special weekend but we will treat it as a normal weekend and see how far it goes."
"I am happy to be back at Brands Hatch and the weather is great today. The team have worked really hard since Brno and, although I still have more improvements to make, I think tomorrow I will be able to go faster. The changes have made riding this bike much more enjoyable because it has not been easy for me recently. Today has been good for everybody and tomorrow I hope to beat my 2005 lap record - I think this is possible."
"The circuit lay-out here is quite different from Brno so I have had to change my riding style a little bit. In the morning I was a little bit disappointed but this afternoon was better. I am really working hard again to be consistently fast. By tomorrow morning I want to do race distance and get a good race set-up so that I can concentrate on doing one fast lap in the afternoon. I am really happy to see Sebastien at the top of the timesheet. If your team-mate is fast, it motivates you to push hard. Hopefully we will be together for the whole weekend and get a double podium on Sunday."