SBK Superpole Phillip Island Jonathan Rea will start tomorrow’s opening two races of the 2010 World Superbike championship from the second row of the grid after setting the seventh fastest time in this afternoon’s Superpole qualifying session at Phillip Island, Australia.
In much cooler conditions than yesterday, the 23-year-old Hannspree Ten Kate Honda rider from Northern Ireland saved his allocated qualifying tyres for the final two Superpole sessions, but experienced no significant improvement in grip or subsequent lap times. Rea’s team-mate, Max Neukirchner, was eliminated after the first Superpole session after setting the 17th fastest time, but the German rider remains positive that improvements made in his CBR1000RR’s set-up will stand him in good stead for tomorrow’s two 22-lap races around the 4.445km Phillip Island circuit.Jonathan Rea Speaks… SBK Superpole – P7, 1’31.912s"We’ve struggled all weekend to get the most out of putting a new tyre in the bike. We had exactly the same this afternoon in Superpole when we got no more grip from the qualifiers than we had from the race tyre. Of course, I’m frustrated and quite disappointed to be starting from the second row. However, the positive thing is that our race pace has been improving steadily and I’m really excited that the racing finally starts properly tomorrow. I’m looking forward to getting amongst it, pushing to the front and seeing what we can do."Max Neukirchner Speaks… SBK Superpole – P17, 1’32.782s"I know it looks bad, and it’s not a great starting position, but I’m actually feeling quite positive. We made some improvements this morning and I went faster as well as being able to improve on the life of the tyre. We will make some more changes to follow that direction and try these in warm-up tomorrow morning. We have two long races tomorrow and I’m feeling very fit and positive. I don’t think I can win but it shouldn’t be so bad if we can keep making the progress we made today."Ronald ten Kate Speaks…. SBK Superpole"The race pace for both riders is looking well and we’ve definitely moved forward there. On the qualifiers during Superpole we couldn’t go any faster, however, and that’s a little frustrating to deal with. For the race, with Jonathan, we should be in a position to fight for a podium. On Max’s side we’ve been changing the bike a lot – especially at the rear. For sure, tomorrow we need to try some other settings during warm-up because we’re too far off at the moment."2010 World Superbike (SBK) Championship, round 1 – Phillip Island, Australia (4.445km)1. Haslam L. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’31.229; 2. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’31.245; 3. Crutchlow C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 1’31.642; 4. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 1’31.671; 5. Guintoli S. (FRA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’31.696; 6. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 1’31.757; 7. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1’31.912; 8. Toseland J. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 1’32.019; 9. Lanzi L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’32.205; 10. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 1’32.229; 11. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 1000 F. 1’32.293; 12. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’32.398; 13. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 1’32.430; 14. Vermeulen C. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’32.561; 15. Xaus R. (ESP) BMW S1000 RR 1’32.842; 16. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 1000 F. 1’32.895