Hopkins not so super in Misano Superpole
The blistering heat that dominated the opening day of qualifying at Misano, took a turn for the unexpected as wet conditions hovered over the track in the second series of qualifying today.
Having qualified safely for Superpole by posting the ninth fastest time in yesterday’s qualifying, Leon Haslam choose to remain in the garage for most of the session, and only ventured out on the wet track in the ultimate minutes to post the 11th fastest time on the board at the damp 4.226km long track. Haslam pushed himself through the first Superpole session, but lost his seventh fastest time in the second shootout after he had to give in three places and finished a final tenth place.
On the other side of the garage teammate John Hopkins had to skip the second qualifying as he struggled to fight the pain of his serious injuries. The American was left out of the Superpole following his 26th place in yesterday’s qualifying, and choose to remain in the garage to nurse his injuries in order to be fit for tomorrow’s race.
Leon Haslam Speaks… (P10, 1’36.510s)
"I am a little disappointed. I only had one clear lap behind another rider in the second Superpole, but then was held up by other riders as I tried for another lap. I thought I was sitting safe in seventh position, but obviously, it was not enough and I lost out on the last Superpole by less than a tenth of a second. We have a few issues we need to resolve just for the race set up, but all in all we have a good direction for tomorrow. If I have a good start in the race I can be there at the front."
John Hopkins Speaks… (P26)
"After yesterday’s session I am feeling really sore. I got some painkillers before the session, but I think I just pushed it a bit too much. I am breaking away the scar tissue at the moment. It is just better for me to take it easy today and concentrate on tomorrow. I will be doing the warm up and then see what we can do for the race. This weekend for me is important to get the strength in my leg back up and to get ready for the next race at Donington. "
Johan Stigefelt Speaks… (Team Manager)
"It is hard to say I am satisfied. I think we can do a lot better and need to improve our Superpole strategy. This is where we lose all the time. It is hard to keep up coming from tenth position and we can’t keep doing that while we could easily be riding top five. We have to change the strategy and work from there. It is very important to qualify well on the grid, sometimes it can make a whole race. Unfortunately, John had to miss out on today’s sessions as he is still in too much pain after his first sessions yesterday. I hope that he feels better tomorrow and ride the race. We will have to see how he feels in the warm up session."
1. J. Smrz 1’35.435
2. J. Rea 1’35.609
3. B. Spies 1’35.631
10. L. Haslam 1’37.490