Spies (Yamaha) powers to Superpole hat-trick at Valencia.
Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike) powered to his third Superpole position in three races at the Valencia track, the 24 year-old Texan once again proving to be the master of the new format. Spies, who had to switch to his second R1 machine in Superpole 2 after his first one developed a technical fault, set a record-breaking time of 1 minute 33.270 seconds, over half-a-second quicker than Neukirchner’s best mark from last year. Flanking Spies on the front row will be a trio of Ducati 1098 machines, headed by the surprising Regis Laconi, who won on this track back in 1999 with a Yamaha 500. The two factory Ducati Xerox riders Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio are in third and fourth place respectively.
Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike): "I was a bit worried about having to change bikes, we had an OK second Superpole but coming in we had a problem with the bike and had to revert back to the other one. It had a bit of a different set-up and I didn’t get to try it in the morning practice, but luckily the change worked out well."
Regis Laconi (Ducati DFX): "I’m very happy because the bike is working really good on this track and we are ready. I won my first race in GP ten years ago and it’s just a pleasure to be up here one more time. A big thanks to DFX and Ducati for giving me a great bike. I have had a couple of difficult years but I am happy now that I am back on a Ducati"
Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox): "I’m very happy for the front row. In the weekend I find a good solution for the race and I’ve already decided for the tyre. And I am feeling confident, so tomorrow I will try to do my best and win twice and that is my target"
Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox): "I’ve come from two races where I haven’t had very good results, but we found our way already on the Friday and I’m hoping for two good results tomorrow. We made a change on the bike and the feeling is much better now, similar to what it was like in pre-season testing."
The second row sees a double pairing, with Suzuki ahead of Honda. Yukio Kagayama took fifth from Max Neukirchner, while Jonathan Rea was seventh ahead of Carlos Checa. The Spanish rider just managed to avoid being eliminated in Superpole 2, setting his best time despite a fall. Broc Parkes again put in a positive performance for Kawasaki, setting 13th quickest time on his ZX-10R machine, just ahead of the BMW of Troy Corser, who had been expecting to go better in Superpole after a positive qualifying session. Once again the first knock-out phase saw some illustrious victims with Tom Sykes (Yamaha World Superbike) and Max Biaggi (Aprilia), one of the quickest riders throughout the day, not making the cut. The other Aprilia rider Shinya Nakano missed the Superpole after breaking his left collarbone in a crash in the morning. He was operated on today with the aim of being ready for the next round at Assen.
Times: 1. Spies B. (USA) Yamaha YZF R1 1’33.270; 2. Laconi R. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 1’33.955; 3. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 1’34.082; 4. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’34.259; 5. Kagayama Y. (JPN) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’34.755; 6. Neukirchner M. (GER) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’34.903; 7. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1’35.056; 8. Checa C. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 1’35.346 9. Kiyonari R. (JPN) Honda CBR1000RR 1’34.536; 10. Haslam L. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1’34.655; 11. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 1’34.684; 12. Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 1’34.742; 13. Parkes B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’34.823; 14. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 1’34.863; 15. Roberts B. (AUS) Ducati 1098R 1’35.082; 16. Hopkins J. (USA) Honda CBR1000RR 1’35.251; 17. Sykes T. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 1’35.203; 18. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’35.204; 19) Xaus R. (ESP) BMW S1000 RR 1’35.806; 20. Nakano S. (JPN) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’35.416
Supersport pole honours once again went to Cal Crutchlow on his factory Yamaha R6. In his debut season, the British rider powered to his second successive pole and was the only man under the 1’36" mark as he grabbed the top slot right at the end of the session. Crutchlow managed to prevent Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki) from taking the pole at his home circuit, last year’s winner settling for second place, less than two-tenths behind his rival. Making up the front row was the first Honda, ridden by Anthony West (Stiggy Racing) and the second Kawasaki of Katsuaki Fujiwara. Michele Pirro (Yamaha Lorenzini) scored an impressive fifth place on the grid, the best of the Italians, and he was joined by Honda Althea’s Mark Aitchison and Matthieu Lagrive, with Fabien Foret completing the Yamaha sandwich. Hannspree Ten Kate Honda’s two champions Andrew Pitt and Kenan Sofuoglu failed to shine and both will start from row 3, the reigning champion ninth but with three crashes to his name in the session, while the Turkish rider failed to find the right pace. Qatar winner Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda) could only manage the fourth row and will have his work cut out tomorrow to make much of an impression.
Times: 1. Crutchlow C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R6 1’35.865; 2. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’36.033; 3. West A. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 1’36.664; 4. Fujiwara K. (JPN) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’36.754; 5. Pirro M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’36.812; 6. Aitchison M. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 1’36.910; 7. Lagrive M. (FRA) Honda CBR600RR 1’36.918; 8. Foret F. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’37.013
The first pole position of the season went to Davide Giugliano, in his debut season for MV Agusta. The Italian managed hold off the attacks of Claudio Corti (Suzuki Alstare), penalized by a technical problem that left him a fraction behind. Alongside can be found another of the title favourites, Belgium’s Xavier Simeon (Ducati Xerox Junior Team), who overtook Frenchman Sylvain Barrier, the first Yamaha runner, on his final qualifying lap. The first qualifier on the second row was another Frenchman Maxime Berger (Ten Kate Honda), while 2008 Superstock 600 champion Loris Baz made a good impression in seventh place.
Times: 1. Giugliano D. (ITA) MV Agusta F4 312 R 1’37.302; 2. Corti C. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’37.461 3. Simeon X. (BEL) Ducati 1098R 1’37.868; 4. Barrier S. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R1 1’37.944; 5. Berger M. (FRA)Honda CBR1000RR 1’38.186; 6. Jezek O. (CZE) Honda CBR1000RR 1’38.265; 7. Baz L. (FRA)Yamaha YZF R1 1’38.300; 8. Fores J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’38.393
After dominating free practice, Danilo Petrucci (Yamaha Italia Trasimeno) did the same in qualifying to clinch pole position. The Italian was almost one second ahead of his chief rival, Belgium’s Vincent Lonbois (MTM Yamaha). Gino Rea (Ten Kate Honda) moved up the grid into third place, ahead of one of the favourites, Marco Bussolotti (Yamaha Italia Trasimeno).
Times: 1. Petrucci D. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’39.214; 2. Lonbois V. (BEL) Yamaha YZF R6 1’40.164; 3. Rea G. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 1’40.469; 4. Bussolotti M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’40.513; 5. La Marra E. (ITA)Honda CBR600RR 1’40.594; 6. Guarnoni J. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’40.865; 7. Kerschbaumer S. (AUT)Yamaha YZF R6 1’41.023; 8. Litjens J. (NED) Yamaha YZF R6 1’41.026