LEON ROBBED OF FRONT ROW BY RED FLAG. Team Suzuki Alstare rider Leon Haslam was on course for a place on the front row of the grid in Superpole 3 until crashes by Jonathan Rea (Honda) and Jakub Smrz (Ducati) caused the red flag to be brought out...
LEON ROBBED OF FRONT ROW BY RED FLAG.
Team Suzuki Alstare rider Leon Haslam was on course for a place on the front row of the grid in Superpole 3 until crashes by Jonathan Rea (Honda) and Jakub Smrz (Ducati) caused the red flag to be brought out and halt the session with just a few minutes remaining. Although Superpole 3 started again, Leon had already used up his qualifiers and was unable to go any faster and so will now start tomorrow's 21-lap races from the second row of the grid. His team mate, Sylvain, improved from yesterday and would've probably finished on the second row of the grid, but for the smallest of mistakes in one of the timed splits. The Frenchman will now start from row three.
Spaniard Carlos Checa (Ducati) shocked everybody by blasting his way to Superpole victory with a lap of 1:47.081, almost four tenths of a second faster than his nearest rival. Second was Max Biaggi (Aprilia), with Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) third and Jakub Smrz (Ducati) fourth.
Leon - 5th, 1:48.006
In final Superpole, I was on a flyer and, according to my first two splits, on course for the second or third quickest time. Then the red flag came out and that was the end of that. Although the session started again, I did not have any qualifiers to use and there really wasn't enough time to make an improvement, so row two it is for me. It's not so bad, because turn one is a long way off, but it could be bad if Max (Biaggi) makes a good start because the Aprilia is so fast and he could easily exit the first corner with a good advantage.
I'm pretty happy with my bike set-up, though of course I always think that we can improve it further. We will all sit down and look at the telemetry this evening and decide if we want to make some small changes in tomorrow morning's warm-up. One thing is sure - tomorrow's races are going to be long and hard and there are going to be some really good battles. The nature of this track suits the Ducatis and Aprilias and I think all of us four cylinder boys are going to have work our socks off to stay with them, but we will see what happens as the races play out. I am leading the championship now and I want to be still leading it when we leave tomorrow evening.
Sylvain - 12th, 1:48.162
Before Superpole I was pretty happy because I felt that we had made a big step forward today. I missed out on getting into Superpole 3 by a whisker, probably because of a very small mistake on my fast lap. As I said before, the very smallest of mistakes can be fatal at this level and that's how it was today. However, I am happy with the set-up of my bike and happy with my rhythm on the track today - especially as this is my first time here. The first turn is quite wide and I hope to make good starts and be in a good position as I head into it. If I can do that, I think I can fight with the front guys for sure. Tomorrow morning we'll make some small adjustments and see if we can improve the bike further, but really it's more or less ready to race now. I am looking forward to the races, having some good battles and getting some good results.
-source: suzuki alstare