Parkes and Foret both on provisional front row Yamaha riders took two of the four places on the provisional front row at Phillip Island, after Fabien Foret and Broc Parkes (both Yamaha World Supersport Team) each set times less than a quarter of...
Parkes and Foret both on provisional front row
Yamaha riders took two of the four places on the provisional front row at Phillip Island, after Fabien Foret and Broc Parkes (both Yamaha World Supersport Team) each set times less than a quarter of a second from provisional pole position man, Andrew Pitt.
Parkes, competing at his home race only a week after winning the first round of the World Supersport Championship at Qatar, came closest to the top spot and was only 0.080 seconds from the fastest lap of the first qualifying session. Due to track surface and temperature changes, Parkes could not match the class-leading lap time of 1'34.6 seconds he set in winter testing. Despite not feeling able to push to the maximum right now, his best lap on the all-new Yamaha YZF-R6 today was just over half a second from the current official lap record of 1'34.976.
Qualifying was a generally positive experience for Foret also, only 0.168 seconds from his team-mate on the time sheets, but he also had issues with his set-up in the current track conditions.
Each rider has one more session in which to improve their times and grid placings, and with the first day starting off wet, the team will be hoping that predictions of good weather and warmer temperatures on Saturday prove to be accurate.
David Salom (Yamaha Spain World Supersport Team) carried on his good work from Qatar, setting the 11th quickest time in a massive field of 36 riders. Massimo Roccoli played safe with set-up for his machine and finished day one 17th, planning the changes he will make to his chassis set-up tomorrow before going for a better qualifying time.
Broc Parkes (2nd - 1'35.506 - Yamaha World Supersport Team)
"It's strange here today because there is just less grip from the tarmac than we had in the winter test and my time is not quite as good. I think for tomorrow I will have one bike set-up like it was at the tests, and one more like our Qatar set-up, and see which one works best. We spent a bit more time in the garage today, just trying to get the best out of the set-up, than we expected, not so much just going out and setting good lap times and trying out tyres."
Fabien Foret (3rd- 1'35.674 - Yamaha World Supersport Team)
"It's always good to be near the front but I am not that happy because we tested here in the winter for three days and I cannot get the feel and the feedback that I really want. I could have maybe made an even better time, but I had a little front end slide entering one corner. We need to improve the feel from the tyre and get both more sidegrip and drive grip on this temperature of track surface. It's important for the lap time at this track to have both of those things, because you spend a lot of time leaned over in certain corners, and need good drive onto the straights. I think there will be more to come tomorrow."
Wilco Zeelenberg - Team Manager, Yamaha World Supersport Team
"Having both riders on the front row is a good result for us on the first day. The riders posted competitive times but not with the degree of safety we are happy with. We came here with settings from Qatar, because we know we were fast there. Now we are working out how to change things for tomorrow to allow the riders to be on the pace and still have a good feel for the available tyre grip and the feedback from the track. The track is not reacting the same as it was during the test and there is a big difference in surface temperature. We do not want to go too far away from the machine settings we had such good experiences with in Qatar, but it is fair to say that both riders will start tomorrow with one bike setup more like the Qatar one, and one more like they used in the Phillip Island winter tests."
David Salom (11th:- 1'36.581 - Yamaha Spain World Supersport Team)
"The track layout at Phillip Island is a bit more complicated than the one at Qatar so it takes more time to get the settings right and learn where to make up some time. The other main thing to remember after only one day on the track is that many, many of our competitors are Australian riders, and they know this track very well. And they are racing at home, of course!"