Provisional front row for Martin in Imola Steve Martin made an eye-catching start to the penultimate round of the Superbike World Championship at Imola, Italy, by qualifying on the provisional front row. The Australian posted a fastest lap of...
Provisional front row for Martin in Imola
Steve Martin made an eye-catching start to the penultimate round of the Superbike World Championship at Imola, Italy, by qualifying on the provisional front row.
The Australian posted a fastest lap of 1:50.028 to record the fourth fastest time of the first day's qualifying, as Troy Corser set the pace with a time of 1:49.161.
Significantly for the Foggy PETRONAS Racing team, Steve's time was more than two seconds faster than the previous best time on the FP1 at this circuit on Pirelli tyres.
Steve said: "I was really happy with a time of 1:50 flat but I also did some really good times on race tyres and I think there is more to come. The bike is improving all the time. We made strides forward with the handling at Lausitzring and, as this track is more technical, the handling of the bike is coming to the forefront. It's also bumpy and physical here so being a strong rider helps, especially when the bike is handling so well. The bike was wheelying a bit too much in the morning but we calmed that down for the afternoon. We weren't sure whether to use a qualifier today but, with five minutes to go, we didn't want to risk getting knocked out of Superpole."
Team-mate Garry McCoy struggled with suspension set-up during the afternoon session, having been 11th fastest in the morning on a drying track, and finished the day 20th with a time of 1:51.837.
Garry said: "We were not going too fast onto the back straight in the morning because the track was too wet but then, on a dry track in the afternoon, it was just horrible. When the bike gets light over the hill it starts moving around and is still moving around where I should be braking. So I am backing off way too early before going over the hill. You normally change the set-up a little bit from track to track but here the difference is like night and day and it's baffling me."
Friday qualifying, Superbike World Championship round 11, Imola, Italy: 1 Corser 1:49.161; 2 Vermeulen 1:49.280; 3 Lanzi 1:50.007; 4 Martin 1:50.028; 5 Chili 1:50.029; 6 Kagayama 1:50.126; 7 Pitt 1:51.142; 8 Toseland 1:50.487; 9 Muggeridge 1:50.537; 10 Laconi 1:50.560; 20 McCoy 1:51.837