CHARPENTIER AND SOFUOGLU FIRST AND SECOND AGAIN Sebastien Charpentier (Winston Ten Kate Honda) made an impressive start to the final round of the year, taking provisional pole with a new track best time of 1'42.829, despite far from ideal...
CHARPENTIER AND SOFUOGLU FIRST AND SECOND AGAIN
Sebastien Charpentier (Winston Ten Kate Honda) made an impressive start to the final round of the year, taking provisional pole with a new track best time of 1'42.829, despite far from ideal early track conditions. In another display of impressive overall team performance, Kenan Sofuoglu (Winston Ten Kate Honda) was the second fastest rider, only 0.268 seconds behind Charpentier, despite suffering a crash on his 'hot' lap. In third place, Charpentier's great rival for the overall championship placing, Kevin Curtain, fell towards the end of the session. The morning session, not a qualifying session, was disrupted by an oil spill and the wet weather, which appeared overnight in central France, and threatened to wipe out the first day of action. As the track dried, the times came down, allowing Charpentier to show his best once more.
Ronald Ten Kate - Team Manager
"Another very good start to the weekend here, and we know what we can do at this track. We have to win the race and see what the opposition is doing. We have quite a gap back to the opposition, which is good, but unluckily for Kenan in his hot lap he had to pass a backmarker, who was cruising on the ideal line. So he made a mistake when shifting when he passed him and he had a high side. But he was fighting hard for pole position, like he was at Imola. So I am happy with him. The track conditions make it quite complicated but with the data of today we will work to improve things from here on. Tomorrow, for sure, we will be even faster and stronger."
Sebastien Charpentier - Winston Ten Kate Honda Rider
(Pole Position -- Fastest Lap 1'42.829 - 12 Laps)
"This morning the session was very strange, and this afternoon everything worked well. The track is very vicious - strange today. But I am happy, because I made a 1'42.8. I didn't push very hard so this was a nice surprise. I hope tomorrow that there will be an even better track for everyone. I hope my team-mate will be OK for tomorrow and the bike is ready for the race. Tyres we still have to decided because the weather is getting better."
Kenan Sofuoglu - Winston Ten Kate Honda Rider
(2nd Position -- Fastest Lap 1'43.097 - 15 Laps)
"I am OK, no real injury, even if I hurt my knee and my hand. I was on a hot lap, faster than my previous best, when I found another rider on the racing line, just cruising. I had to go round the outside to pass, and when I braked and went down the gearbox I must have been distracted, and went down one too many gears. That was enough to get the back end out of line and I high sided. I will be OK for tomorrow, and my times are already fast, so I hope for even more."
<pre> FIRST QUALIFYING: 1. Charpentier Winston Ten Kate Honda 1'42.829 2. Sofuoglu Winston Ten Kate Honda 1'43.097 3. Curtain Yamaha 1'43.765 4. Fujiwara Honda 1'44.032 5. Nannelli Ducati 1'44.170