CHARPENTIER AND SOFULOFLU DOMINATE FINAL QUALIFYING Both Sebastien Charpentier (Winston Ten Kate Honda) and Kenan Sofuoglu (Winston Ten Kate Honda) improved on their Friday best time to secure a 1-2 start for their Dutch-based team, giving...
CHARPENTIER AND SOFULOFLU DOMINATE FINAL QUALIFYING
Both Sebastien Charpentier (Winston Ten Kate Honda) and Kenan Sofuoglu (Winston Ten Kate Honda) improved on their Friday best time to secure a 1-2 start for their Dutch-based team, giving them the best possible preparation for Sunday's 21-lap race. The last few minutes of qualifying were an exciting time in the Winston Ten Kate Honda pit, as the crews working with each rider had their own battle for supremacy on the track. It was a successful campaign for both, as the nearest challenger ended up some 1.2 seconds behind Charpentier and 0.9 seconds behind Sofuoglu. The top three was an all-Honda affair after Katsuaki Fujiwara scored third best time, heading off Charpentier's championship rival, Kevin Curtain. Charpentier needs to beat Curtain on Sunday, and try to keep as many riders between him and his great rival as possible, to stay in contention for the championship itself, by reducing Curtain's advantage going into the final round next weekend.
Ronald Ten Kate - Team Manager
"Big compliments to all my riders and my team staff who have been working very hard to have a strong day today. We also improved on what were already impressive times from yesterday, and at a certain point the feeling inside the garage was like there was an epic battle going on and Kenan was very determined to grab the pole. He did not succeed but he came very close so we have to express our admiration for his efforts. For the race configuration, we are quite fast and constant. It's all we want to concentrate on right now, trying to win the race tomorrow. I think this was one of the most exciting qualifying sessions inside this garage, because they broke the lap record, and it was incredible. It's great to see Seb back on his old form, dominating again like he did at the start of the season, before he suffered a serious injury. He has had some difficult times. The Magny-Cours test was the breakthrough for him, and now it is good to see that he is the true champion."
Sebastien Charpentier - Winston Ten Kate Honda Rider
(Pole Position - 1'52.245 -- 11 laps)
"Not bad, a new lap record, and the mechanics worked really hard to allow me to do this. The bike was nice today and the bike looks good for tomorrow. I worked in a good direction and I used just one new tyre. Now I am happy, and as the temperature was hotter than yesterday, things worked better today. The best thing about the race is that all the other top Supersport riders are some way behind, and we made many fast laps. I expect a very good race with Kenan tomorrow, and I'm going for maximum points. The strategy is to go into the lead and ride hard, and then have a look at the situation. I love this track, it is the best track in the world, and a very famous venue."
Kenan Sofuoglu - Winston Ten Kate Honda Rider
(Second Position - 1'52.541 - 12 laps)
"It's OK, and I was very close to pole. OK, I couldn't take it but it was a good thing that we could do constant 52s, and that is what will be important for the race. I hope that I can make a very good race tomorrow and that I can help Sebastien. He looks good and we were really fighting. He has more experience than me and therefore he could put it all together in one lap. I made a little mistake putting my best lap together as I was nervous, but it's OK."