Jonathan Rea set the second fastest time in this afternoon’s Superpole sessions to earn himself a place on the front row alongside pole setter Jakub Smrz for tomorrow’s two 24-lap eighth round World Superbike championship races at Misano in Italy.
Having topped the time sheets in the preceding free practice and the first two Superpole sessions, Rea missed on out his maiden pole position by just one tenth of a second after running new suspension on his Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR for the first time this weekend.
His team-mate, Carlos Checa, also found himself in the position of having to test new suspension whilst working on bike set-up for the 4.2km Misano circuit. However, the Spaniard also made it through to the final Superpole session to set the seventh fastest time for a second row start.
Jonathan Rea Speaks…(P2, 1’35.609s)
"I can’t thank the crew enough for working so hard this week. We got some new hardware to try at Magny-Cours and it’s been a bit of a rush to get everything together. In the last couple of sessions we managed to find some times and that’s given us a good starting position, which is what we needed and were aiming for. I want to thank the Ten Kate team for the belief they’ve had in me over the last few races – we’re really moving forward now and it’s a real buzz. We’re not anywhere near the limit with the new suspension yet and there’s still a lot more we can do. So I’m really looking forward to tomorrow and just hope it’s dry to give all the fans some really good races."
Carlos Checa Speaks… (P7, 1’36.537s)
"Well, I finished seventh in all the sessions except one, I think, so it was to be expected. But tomorrow we all hope for something a little higher! It’s good that finally I got a good feeling and we were able to improve the bike some more. In Superpole 3 I had to use a race tyre because I used both qualifiers in the second Superpole. I didn’t have the extra grip that might have improved the position but I went as fast on the race tyre anyway. The second row is not too bad – the bike is running very well on race tyres, we have the pace and we’re ready for the fight tomorrow."
Ronald ten Kate Speaks… (Team Manager)
"As anyone can understand, we chose a very difficult path for this weekend in Misano. But already, at this early stage, we can definitely say that we’ve made a step forward. A lot of credit has to go to Andreani Group for making our transition to Ohlins so smooth. For sure, we still have a long night ahead of us because we’re still at the very early stages of machine set-up, but it’s good to have both Hannspree riders in the front two rows and to have them in such good shape for tomorrow’s races."
2009 World Superbike championship, round eight – Misano, Italy
Final qualifying results:
1 Jakub Smrz (CZE) Ducati 1’35.435s
2 Jonathan Rea (GBR) Hannspree Ten Kate Honda 1’35.609s
3 Ben Spies (USA) Yamaha 1’35.631s
4 Michel Fabrizio (ITA) Ducati 1’35.811s
5 Shane Byrne (GBR) Ducati 1’36.224s
6 Noriyuki Haga (JPN) Ducati 1’36.277s
7 Carlos Checa (ESP) Hannspree Ten Kate Honda 1.36.537s
8 Ryuichi Kiyonari (JPN) Ten Kate Honda Racing 1’36.884s