Spies takes fifth World Superbike Superpole at Monza
Ben Spies made it an impressive five Superpole triumphs in five races with a blistering lap in the decisive qualifying session at the Autodromo di Monza. The Yamaha World Superbike team’s Texan rookie star, who received his Superpole trophy from Troy Bayliss, totally disintegrated the Australian champion’s previous record mark of 1’44.931 to clinch the pole with a time of 1 minute 44.073 seconds.
The only rider who was able to stay close to Spies throughout the 50 minute session was Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox), who had dominated qualifying, but who had to take second best by two-tenths. Third place on the grid went to Ryuichi Kiyonari (Ten Kate Honda), who is starting to come good again after a difficult start to the season. The Japanese rider, who almost won here twelve months ago, headed Max Neukirchner (Suzuki Alstare). The German was out of contention until a couple of minutes from the end, but he put in a last-minute effort to haul his GSXR into the fourth slot, making it four different makes, Yamaha, Ducati, Honda and Suzuki, on the first row of the grid.
Ben Spies Speaks…
"It’s been a really good weekend for us so far, we’ve had these poles this year but I definitely wanted to get this one for Yamaha at their home track. Congratulations to Michel and Kiyo, they did great laps, we’ve kind of been working under the radar this weekend, very quiet, but it looks like it’s going to be a real dogfight tomorrow in the races."
Michel Fabrizio Speaks…
"I wanted the Superpole at all costs but Ben did a great lap. Hopefully tomorrow I can fight with him for the first time because we have never been up against each other so far. We’ll see what happens. In any case I have a much better feeling with this new Superpole formula, I didn’t like the one-lap sprint at all."
Ryuichi Kiyonari Speaks…
"Yesterday and today we tried to make the good setting and finally I could get the bike set up well to go fast. I hope I can get the same result as last year. Last year I almost won and I feel like I have a good chance to win tomorrow because my bike is very fast."
Max Neukirchner Speaks…
"I really like Monza with all the fans here, it’s a great atmosphere. My team did a very good job this weekend . I have a good race pace for tomorrow and hopefully I have made the right tyre choice, but I am so happy to be on the front row."
The next rider up was Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox), who had to use his second allocated qualifier to save himself from the cut after the second run. Haga will be flanked on row 2 by Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda), Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing), who set the all-time fastest ever speed recorded in Superbike at 325.8 km/h, and Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki Alstare). In row 3 can be found the first BMW of Troy Corser, with the leading Kawasaki of the still injured Broc Parkes. The first Superpole run saw the elimination of two top privateers, Leon Haslam (Stiggy Racing Honda) and Jakub Smrz (Ducati Guandalini), both of whom scored podiums at Assen but who will now start from row 5 at Monza.
Times: 1. Spies B. (USA) Yamaha YZF R 1’44.073; 2. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’44.270; 3. Kiyonari R. (JPN) Honda CBR1000RR 1’44.642; 4. Neukirchner M. (GER) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’44.900; 5. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 1’45.096; 6. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1’45.170; 7. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’45.605; 8. Kagayama Y. (JPN) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’45.861; 9. Checa C. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 1’45.166; 10. Sykes T. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 1’45.383; 11. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 1’45.543; 12. Laconi R. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 1’45.663; 13. Parkes B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’46.368; 14. Xaus R. (ESP) BMW S1000 RR 1’46.571; 15. Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 1’46.593; 16. Nakano S. (JPN) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’46.928
There’s no stopping Britain’s Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha World Supersport), who powered to his fourth pole position in five races. The points leader improved the previous record mark by almost one-tenth, leaving it at 1 minute 49.706 seconds. Crutchlow, in his rookie Supersport season, will not have it easy in the race however, after being pushed hard all the way by Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Provec) and Fabien Foret (Yamaha World Supersport). The final front row qualifier was Assen winner Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda), who moved up the timesheets well after a disappointing Friday. The second row contains Mark Aitchison (Althea Honda), who crashed harmlessly today, and the Hannspree Ten Kate pairing of Kenan Sofuoglu and Andrew Pitt, who are over 1 second off the pole pace. Italian Gianluca Nannelli and Australian Garry McCoy were next up on the ParkinGo Be1 675 machines as Triumph attempt to get a slice of the Supersport glory.
Times: 1. Crutchlow C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R6 1’49.706; 2. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’49.739; 3. Foret F. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’49.803; 4. Laverty E. (IRL) Honda CBR600RR 1’50.006; 5. Aitchison M. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 1’50.407; 6. Sofuoglu K. (TUR) Honda CBR600RR 1’50.636; 7. Pitt A. (AUS)Honda CBR600RR 1’50.733; 8. Nannelli G. (ITA) Triumph Daytona 675 1’50.798
The three candidates for the Superstock 1000 title lived up to their star billing in the qualifying session, with the first pole position of the season going to Xavier Simeon (Ducati Xerox) in 1 minute 48.675 seconds. Just a fraction separated him from his chief rivals, Claudio Corti (Suzuki Alstare) and Maxime Berger (Ten Kate Honda), making tomorrow’s race a wide-open affair. The front row is completed by wild-card Domenico Colucci (Ducati Barni), who won last weekend’s Italianj championship race here. The other possible candidates for victory include Javier Fores (Kawasaki Pedercini) with fifth quickest time, who will have Daniele Beretta (Ducati Xerox) and Davide Giugliano (MV Agusta) alongside. Talented French youngster Loris Baz (MRS Yamaha) failed to emerge in qualifying and finished in 24th place on the grid.
Times: 1. Simeon X. (BEL) Ducati 1098R 1’48.675; 2. Corti C. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’48.825; 3. Berger M. (FRA) Honda CBR1000RR 1’49.062; 4. Colucci D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’49.178; 5. Fores J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’49.512; 6. Beretta D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’49.545; 7. Giugliano D. (ITA) MV Agusta F4 312 R 1’49.862; 8. Barrier S. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R1 1’49.864
An all-Italian and all-Yamaha front row made up the qualifying session for European Superstock 600. The pole position went to wild-card Ferruccio Lamborghini (Media Action), who edged out the two favourites Danilo Petrucci and Marco Bussolotti (Trasimeno), coming close to Baz’s 2008 record. The final front row slot went to Fabio Massei (M2 Racing), while Vincent Lonbois (MTM Yamaha) and championship leader Gino Rea (Ten Kate Honda) also line up on row 2.
Times: 1. Lamborghini F. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’53.605; 2. Petrucci D. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’53.813; 3. Bussolotti M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’54.370; 4. Massei F. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’54.452; 5. Gregorini G. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’54.915; 6. Lonbois V. (BEL) Yamaha YZF R6 1’55.079 7. Rea G. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 1’55.107; 8. La Marra E. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 1’55.178.