CHARPENTIER LEADS QUALIFYING ON FIRST DAY AT PHILLIP ISLAND Sebastien Charpentier (Winston Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) needed only 12 laps to set the fastest time in the first qualifying session at Phillip Island, his 1'35.869 almost one second...
CHARPENTIER LEADS QUALIFYING ON FIRST DAY AT PHILLIP ISLAND
Sebastien Charpentier (Winston Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) needed only 12 laps to set the fastest time in the first qualifying session at Phillip Island, his 1'35.869 almost one second ahead of his nearest challenger after two session on the classic Australian circuit. Charpentier experimented with two different chassis configurations in the morning's unofficial session, before concentrating on setting a fast time this afternoon, with one more chance to improve on Saturday. In temperatures of 36C, and with track temperatures of 50C in today's qualifying session, Charpentier was fully 0.889 seconds up on his closest challenger, Broc Parkes.
Charpentier's team-mate, Kenan Sofuoglu (Winston Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) belied his rookie status in the team by securing fourth spot on the provisional grid, an immense achievement for any first-timer at this fast and challenging circuit. With more work to do in his set-up, to better handle the faster corners, Sofuoglu predicts that he should go even faster on the second day of qualifying.
Ronald Ten Kate -- Team Manager
"A very good start again for our weekend. We expected things to be a bit harder because the Yamaha guys, Curtain and Parkes, had already tested here in January, clocking fast times. Sebastien worked very well and we had two very different bike set-ups for him to test today, in the morning. Now he is very clear which set-up he wants, so we will build two identical bikes tomorrow and see if he can get the times down even more. We should be able to do low 1'35s to get pole. Big compliments to Kenan again, as he is the only rider in the top four who has never been to Phillip Island before and he is eating away at his times lap by lap. His riding will be even better when he learns the track even better. We are looking forward to tomorrow and there is definitely a little bit more to come from us."
Sebastien Charpentier -- WSS Winston Ten Kate Honda Rider
(1st position -- 1'35.869)
"I think that times can come down some more. Tomorrow I will try a new engine and I have many tyres left to use to stay at the front. The bike is OK, the grip in some corners is not perfect but we are OK because the Yamaha guys tested at this track one month ago. Considering that, out pace today is not too bad. I am ready for tomorrow and the race, for sure. I only did 12 laps today, keeping my energy, as I only had a few hours sleep last night."
Kenan Sofuoglu -- WSS Winston Ten Kate Honda Rider
(4th position -- 1'37.586)
"It's the first time at this circuit for me and it is a very special circuit for corner speed. At the moment I do not quite have the speed I need on the faster corners but today I learned a lot and tomorrow we will try something else. I had some problems in some corners so if we can find even more for the set-up tomorrow, we can go even faster. To come here for the first time in the world championship has not been easy but we are working hard."