Closest ever Superpole front row headed by Crutchlow In what was the closest ever period of Superpole qualifying in the Superbike World Championship, the top four riders, headed by Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha Sterilgarda), all finished with 0.125 ...
Closest ever Superpole front row headed by Crutchlow
In what was the closest ever period of Superpole qualifying in the Superbike World Championship, the top four riders, headed by Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha Sterilgarda), all finished with 0.125 seconds of each other. Crutchlow and second placed man James Toseland each beat Ben Spies' previous record best lap, with Crutchlow taking his third pole of the year with a 1 minute 37.243 second lap. Third fastest man when it mattered for grid positions was Carlos Checa from the Althea Ducati squad, and the front row was completed by Ducati Xerox rider, Michel Fabrizio.
Leon Haslam was fifth for Suzuki Alstare, while Ducati Pata B&G privateer Jakub Smrz (fastest in combined qualifying) was sixth in Superpole. The top eight was completed by Aprilia Alitalia duo, Max Biaggi and Leon Camier.
Superpole two was contested by the top 16 riders, but those to lose out on the chance to go for a front row start in Superpole 3 included privateer Luca Scassa (Supersonic Ducati), Sylvain Guintoli (Suzuki Alstare) plus other big names like Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) and Tom Sykes on his Kawasaki Racing Team machine, who was 12th.
Troy Corser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) was 13th after a good period of early qualifying was not improved on today. Local rider Sheridan Morais (EmTek Aprilia) was cheered all the way in Superpole and qualified 14th, taking a fourth row start. Noriyuki Haga, winner of each race here last year, was 16th in Superpole, having a tough time again.
Cal Crutchlow: "It didn't look like we were going to be one and two on the grid this weekend. Coming to what was Yamaha's worst track last year results-wise, as a team we have done a fantastic job to get first and second. It will be interesting tomorrow but today is today and we are first and second. If we get away and make a good start then it will make for entertaining racing."
James Toseland: "I went wide twice in my fast lap, and felt there was a high 1'36 in there. But to go from high 1'39s at the start of the weekend to even thinking about a high 1'36, it just gives great credit to the team. I came out this afternoon thinking, 'right this championship is still there and I am not prepared to just let it slip away.' To be second on the grid after being 17th this morning means I have to give thanks to everybody from the team and Clinica Mobile."
Carlos Checa: "Here again we are at track where the bike works quite well. We did the best qualifying job of the year because we did not know the track, but we knew that the Ducati was going to work. Finally it was very exciting in qualifying, one of the closest. I though these guys in front would maybe be in the 1'36s but we all did 1'37.2s. I think we will have exciting racing."
Michel Fabrizio: "I pushed very hard in Superpole and when I did a 37.3 I thought that was it, I would be second, but then I saw I was only fourth. But I have a lot of faith in myself and tomorrow I am going to do well in the races."
Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda) did a 1'40.812 lap in final qualifying to take pole in South Africa, heading off perennial challenger Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda). Third on the grid, despite pain from Friday's crash, was Sofuoglu's team-mate, Michele Pirro. With championship leader Joan Lascorz only eight, the best Kawasaki Motocard.com machine belonged to Katsuaki Fujiwara, fourth and in a front row starting position. Matthieu Lagrive (ParkinGO Triumph BE1) used his Friday time to claim fifth place, one position up on his team-mate Chaz Davies. Massimo Roccoli made good early ground for his Intermoto Czech Honda team, going seventh on the grid. Lance Isaacs (BikeFin Safe Sky Honda) was top local qualifier, 11th.