SECOND ROW FOR MAX. Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra rider Max Biaggi will start tomorrow's pair of Superbike World Championship races from the second row of the grid after qualifying fifth quickest in a 'Wet Superpole' session. In the...
SECOND ROW FOR MAX.
Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra rider Max Biaggi will start tomorrow's pair of Superbike World Championship races from the second row of the grid after qualifying fifth quickest in a 'Wet Superpole' session. In the afternoon untimed practice, it looked as if the track was drying out from the earlier rain, but ten minutes or so before the start of Superpole it began to drizzle and so a 'Wet Superpole' was called. That meant all sixteen Superpole competitors had fifty minutes in which to complete a maximum of twelve laps to determine the grid positions. Max's mechanics were making some suspension adjustments to his bike and he was unable to go out when the Superpole session started and so lost the opportunity to go out on track that was mostly dry and post a quick time before the conditions worsened. By the time Max went out, the track was quite wet and Max could not match the times of the riders who had posted their quick laps right at the beginning. His team mate Yukio Kagayama sat out most of Superpole and did not record a time because of a sore hand and will start form the fourth row of the grid. Fonsi Nieto (Kawasaki) took advantage of the best conditions at the start of the fifty minute session and set the fastest time, with team mate Regis Laconi second, Troy Bayliss (Ducati) third and Troy Corser (Yamaha) fourth.
Max - 5th, 1:56.746
I couldn't go out at the start of the Wet Superpole because my team were doing some suspension changes on my bike after the untimed session and the bike wasn't ready. So I missed out on making a lap or two when the conditions were not so bad. By the time I went out, the track was pretty wet and slippery. This place is a bit strange because there is a big variation in grip, maybe because of the rubber put down by cars. You have to really concentrate in every turn or you will crash. We didn't have much time to find a perfect set-up when it was dry, but we're not far off, so I hope that the races will be dry. I am comfortable in the wet, so that will not be a big problem either, but I think everybody would prefer it to be dry tomorrow.
Yukio - 16th, No time
When I crashed this morning, I hurt my hand and when Superpole was declared wet, there was no point risking any further injury, so I did not post a lap time. I will go the Clinica Mobile and see if they can do something to improve it, but at the moment it is quite painful. I intend racing tomorrow, but I will have to see how it is the morning.