Haga back to his Samurai best in Superpole at the Nurburgring Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) bounced back to his best form in today's qualifying sessions at the Nurburgring as he took his first Superpole win of the year and his seventh overall....
Haga back to his Samurai best in Superpole at the Nurburgring
Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) bounced back to his best form in today's qualifying sessions at the Nurburgring as he took his first Superpole win of the year and his seventh overall. At a circuit where he scored a brilliant double win last year, the championship leader made up for his recent difficult period with a commanding lap time of 1 minute 55.489 seconds, despite still not being at 100% from his Donington injury. Haga's lap time came in the final minutes of the third Superpole run, but he was unable to improve on the lap record time of Max Neukirchner (Suzuki Alstare), absent this year due to injury. Haga denied Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) of his maiden pole by just three-tenths of a second, the British rider lining up on the front row ahead of his fellow Honda man Leon Haslam (Stiggy Racing), on the front row for the second time this season. Fourth place went to Italian Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox), who pushed fellow title-chaser Ben Spies off the front row of the grid by just a whisker. The Texan, who has signed for Yamaha for the next two years, crashed in the afternoon session and didn't look as incisive in Superpole as he had in previous races.
Noriyuki Haga: "It's been good to get back into things yesterday and today, also I did my best lap in Superpole. The bike is really good for the feeling. I like this track but it's my first time here with Ducati so this is a good result. I needed a result like this for the championship battle, tomorrow I will just try and do my best."
Jonathan Rea: "I put a pretty good lap in at the start and thought it was enough so I rolled off a bit, but all credit to Nori, that was a really good lap. The bike's working really well here, I'm glad the guys didn't fall asleep on holiday during the summer break! We've come back with some development parts on the bike. I really love this circuit, but I can sleep solid tonight and look forward to things tomorrow."
Leon Haslam: "We've had a tough mid-season and the last race at Brno wasn't one of the best so to bounce back after the break with a front row start -- I've only had one this year -- is really good. I've really got to grips with this new circuit, which I've never been to, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow."
Michel Fabrizio: "I'm not particularly satisfied with fourth position on the grid. It was a bit difficult because we made some changes to the bike in the afternoon session and were only able to find the right set-up in the second Superpole run. But it's OK, the others are looking really strong, even the two guys next to me on the grid, so it'll be a good battle tomorrow."
Troy Corser again notched up a row 2 position on his BMW S1000 RR machine, confirming the German manufacturer's upward trend, while Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing) and Carlos Checa (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) completed the front two rows. The first Kawasaki, the ZX-10R of Makoto Tamada was on row 3, while Yukio Kagayama placed his Suzuki Alstare BRUX GSX-R1000 on the fourth row.
Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha World Supersport) once again powered to the front in Supersport qualifying, this time at a circuit where he has never raced before. The Coventry man utterly dominated the session to take his eighth pole of the year in 11 races with a time of 1 minute 57.866 seconds, a full 1.3 seconds clear of the next runners. Second place went to Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda), while the front row was completed by Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda), who had an engine blow-out in the morning run, and Garry McCoy on the improving Triumph 675. His ParkinGo team-mate Gianluca Nannelli was also in eighth place on row 2, behind Michele Pirro (Yamaha Lorenzini) in fifth and the Kawasaki Motocard duo of Katsuaki Fujiwara and Joan Lascorz. Italian Massimo Roccoli (Intermoto Czech Honda) posted ninth quickest time ahead of the experienced Andrew Pitt (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) in tenth.
A violent downpour marked qualifying for the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup, but the rider who managed to get the best out of the conditions was Frenchman Loriz Baz (MRS Yamaha), who bolted on a rear slick in the drying conditions to notch up his first pole in the category. Second was points leader Xavier Simeon (Ducati Xerox), quickest in the two free practice sessions. The front row is made up of Sylvain Barrier (Garnier Yamaha) and Andrea Antonelli (Yamaha Trasimeno), scoring his best result of the season so far and first Italian in the timesheets. Davide Giugliano (Celani Suzuki) was in sixth behind Austrian Rene Mahr (TKR Suzuki), while the other two title hopefuls Claudio Corti (Suzuki Alstare BRUX) and Maxime Berger (Ten Kate Honda) struggled and will start from 13th and 16th place respectively.
Vincent Lonbois' run of form continues as the MTM Yamaha man followed up his first pole position at Brno with the same result at the Nurburgring. The Belgian's time came right at the end of the session and he was the only one to dip under 2 minutes 06 seconds. Second place went to Italian Eddi La Marra (Honda Lorini), who qualified ahead of two more Italians, the Yamaha Trasimeno duo of points leader Danilo Petrucci and Marco Bussolotti, while the other two title chasers, Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Yamaha) and Gino Rea (Ten Kate Honda) are on row 2.