Yamaha Claims Two Front Row Seats for Season Finale
Broc Parkes and Tommy Hill put in confident performances today to take second and fourth places respectively on the grid with another three Yamaha riders in the top eight for tomorrow's 13th and final Supersport race of the season.
Fog delayed the start of the morning's activity with the Superstock 1000 practice being rescheduled to later in the day. This meant that the Supersport riders were the first on track with the fog still lingering but both Parkes and Hill went well despite this and ended the morning practice in third and sixth respectively.
The fog had lifted for the afternoon's qualifying session and Parkes was the first rider of the session to improve his time from yesterday. Hill was the second rider to improve and moved up to fourth. Parkes went on to top the board after five laps but then a session-long battle ensued between Parkes, Charpentier and Sofuoglu for the top spot. Parkes was looking likely to take the honours in the final few minutes when he ran up against traffic on the last corner of his flying lap, causing him to miss pole by 0.2 seconds.
Hill made a strong show this afternoon, taking over a second off his time to move up from his provisional ninth qualifying place to take fourth - his first front row qualifying place since working with the team. The other Yamaha riders in the top eight tomorrow are: Gianluca Vizziello in sixth; Massimo Roccoli, who took seventh; and David Checa who took eighth. Both Checa and his team mate, Gimbert, crashed during the session but both were unhurt, with Gimbert re-joining the session later on.
Tomorrow's weather forecast is for similar conditions to today with fog in the morning and comparable temperatures, which will make for an interesting round up to the 2007 World Supersport Championship.
Broc Parkes (2nd - 1'42.213 - Yamaha World Supersport Team) "I'm a bit upset; I knew I had a good pace on my last flying lap right at the end and I'm confident I could've got pole if I hadn't come up against those back markers right at the end. But, there are no points for pole; it's tomorrow that counts. The bike's working really well; we've found the tyre for the race and everything is decided on for tomorrow. All the times are close so it's going to be a good battle. I'm looking forward to tomorrow!"
Tommy Hill (4th - 1'42.575 - Yamaha World Supersport Team) "I'm happy with how today's gone. It's been good for the team as well as me. Everyone's worked hard this weekend to help me; it's been hard swapping between the British Superbike R1 and World Supersport R6 because you have to ride them so differently. I still forget sometimes which riding style I'm meant to be using. I knew I could go quicker this afternoon; it was just about relaxing as much as anything. I'm not thinking about where I want to finish tomorrow; I just want to go out there, get a good start and go for it. My times have been consistent and I know I can run with the top riders." Massimo Roccoli (7th - 1'42.829 - Yamaha Team Italia) "I had two soft rear tyre options to try during today. I tried one in the second qualifying session but it didn't work too well. I'll try the second option tomorrow morning and then make a decision as to which one to use for the race. Tomorrow I'm aiming for a top five finish in order to finish in the top five of the championship standings."