Superpole challenge after Silverstone misfortune for FPR Foggy PETRONAS Racing riders Craig Jones and Steve Martin came through an eventful first day of qualifying at Silverstone with work to do challenge for Superpole positions. Both riders...
Superpole challenge after Silverstone misfortune for FPR
Foggy PETRONAS Racing riders Craig Jones and Steve Martin came through an eventful first day of qualifying at Silverstone with work to do challenge for Superpole positions.
Both riders suffered bruising in high-side crashes at the Brooklands hairpin, where many riders perished during the first day of qualifying for the fifth round of the Superbike World Championship.
Craig bounced back from his morning mishap on a greasy section of the circuit, which caught out a number of riders throughout the day, to overcome further set-backs and finish just 0.6 seconds off the Superpole pace.
Steve was taken to the medical centre mid-way through the afternoon session but returned to the track, although still in clear discomfort.
Just two seconds separated the field at the shortest circuit on the calendar, with Troy Bayliss again leading the way, and the battle for Superpole positions tomorrow morning is expected to be intense, with variable weather conditions also a factor.
Craig, 24th fastest, said: "Every time I was getting into a rhythm there was an interruption. I was black-flagged for no reason, next there was a red flag when Steve crashed, and then we had to test something for tomorrow right at the end of the qualifying session when I felt I could have gone quicker. While a lot went wrong, we still came out with a decent result which is not too far off the Superpole pace. And I have been concentrating on set-up today so I can chase times a bit more tomorrow. I am not too focused on making Superpole, as I don't need to be on the first four rows to have a good start. But this year is all about learning for me and it would be nice to try a qualifying tyre. We are going to concentrate on gearing overnight and try and shorten the bike so that I have more grip through the twisty sections."
Steve, 27th fastest, said: "Things were looking good in the afternoon when I hit a patch where seven riders went down in the afternoon, so something was wrong with the track there. It was a massive high-side and I landed on my back and couldn't really walk straight after. It is difficult to get back in a groove after a crash like that, particularly on my second bike. Hopefully it will be dry tomorrow so that we can make further improvements but it is going to be tough to make Superpole tomorrow, although this is the kind of place where a little set-up change can make a big improvement."