Cal Crutchlow again today left his World Superbike competitors standing-still as he smash the Brno lap record, over three tenths faster than the previous record taken by Troy Bayliss in 2008.
Cal dominated the entire World SBK Superpole, running the first two sessions on a race tyre, he was fastest in each heat and nearly half a second clear of his closest rival in the second Superpole.
Max Biaggi was second and prepared to defend a 37-point WSBK championship lead. Rea was a positive third, as he rebuilds from some less than satisfying recent results.
Ruben Xaus finished an impressive fourth, his best ever BWM Superbike qualifying position.
Cal Crutchlow says: “I definitely hoped to be here and I’d rather give away a pole for a race win, but you’ve got to take them when you can. I enjoyed that, it was a good session for us. Most of the sessions have been strong and my Yamaha is working well. Max is hard to beat in the championship and especially round here. I can see a big battle tomorrow, maybe ten guys at least at the start. I thought I could have got into the 57s because I was riding very deep into the corners, and I actually had another qualifier left but I’m happy with that.”
Max Biaggi says: “A first row result is good for me, but compared to last year’s race we’ve got a lot more work to do this weekend. Something we changed on the bike makes it a bit different so it’s not the same feeling. It’s better in other tracks but here we’ve got some difficulties. It’s getting a little bit better, the bike is not where I want, but I’m happy with my pace. We’ll see tomorrow.”
Jonathan Rea says: “It is hot out there, but there’s a lot of breeze so it’s not too bad. I actually didn’t really know where to go after Superpole because I haven’t been in the top 3 for some time. I’d just like to thank all of my team, our package isn’t perfect but what we do have in the Ten Kate garage is a really hard work ethic and we’re trying. Hopefully we can get away good tomorrow and try and stay with these two guys as long as we can. I’ve got nothing to lose!”
Ruben Xaus says: “First of all I’d like to give my best to Troy and hope he recovers as soon as possible because when two riders are on the team on fire, they go ahead. We did a good job today, the bike is now working well, we made a big step in Imola and physically I’m not feeling perfect but I was able to ride fast.”
Michel Fabrizio says: “We’ve been going really well in all the sessions so far and this morning was no different. I’m just sorry that Superpole didn’t really go as planned, as I had hoped to be on the front row to be honest but a few small things prevented me from putting together a clean lap and I finished in seventh. I’m still confident for the races as I know we have a good pace and, if I can make a good start, I think I can be up there with the guys at the front.”
Noriyuki Haga says: “In this morning’s qualifying I didn’t have the same level of feeling as yesterday, but we still found good pace and this gives me confidence for the races. Then came the Superpole and what can I say? We didn’t need two crashes like that. In the first I was maybe pushing too hard because I was very comfortable on the bike and knew I could make a fast lap; then in the second phase, and on the second bike, I immediately had a strange feeling, as if the front was too high and before I could react the same thing happened again – I lost the front and found myself back on the ground. Starting from the fourth row will be difficult but we hope we can get back on the path that we were following yesterday.”
Carlos Checa says: “As soon as I went out on track for the final session I could feel that the second qualifier, brand new, didn’t have the same grip as the first and was not as stable, which meant I could only do so much. I am, however, very satisfied when I look at our race pace. Over these two days we’ve spent some time trying some new solutions and now we’re on the right track. Tomorrow? It will be a difficult race because the heat means there is not much grip. The tyres have to last twenty laps but we’ll try our best, as ever…”
Shane Byrne says: “I want to thank the team because they’ve done a great job on the bike”, said “Shakey”, “In the first Superpole phase I set my best time so far this weekend (1m59.925) but I had a few problems with the front of the bike, and risked crashing in the second session. The race? It will be very difficult for me because after five or six laps my hand starts to bother me but I’ll give it my all and try to score two top ten finishes.”
Genesio Bevilacqua says: “TheSuperpole didn’t go as expected but I’m still confident ahead of the races. Both Carlos and Shakey have improved their times and we have a great pace. Checa may be able to fight against the leaders while Shane won’t be 100% due to his hand of course, but our goal is to take as many points as possible, keeping an eye on the team’s classification.”
Jonathan Rea says: “I can’t fault the efforts of the guys in my team this weekend – they’ve all worked really hard to give me a bike that I can fight at the front with. And we have had to fight to get it up there. It’s still tough and we know that the package isn’t the easiest to take from race to race. However, we’ve made good progress with the chassis and the electronics since the first outing yesterday and the front row is a good rewa rd for that. We’re using slightly different electronics this weekend and it’s easy to forget that it takes some time to get it working on the sweet spot. The chatter has not really been an issue here, which is great, and we know that we can still achieve a pretty good pace when the tyre performance drops off. There’ll be two hard races tomorrow, and I hope to be up there at the end of both of them.”
Max Neukirchner says: “It was OK today for a lap! It might have been two, but someone was right on my line in Superpole 2 and I think it cost me maybe three tenths. That might have put me in the final Superpole for the front two rows but it wasn’t to be. I’m happy that today we made the bike more stable at the front when it’s in the corner and I did quite a few consecutive laps today in the low 2m01s range so I think the pace can be OK. We tested the new front tyre today, as w ell, and it gives a better feeling which should be good for the race. I don’t have the 100% feeling that I’d like, but I’m happy enough and the circuit characteristics are helping, too. The races will be tough, but they are the same for everyone, so I will try to get two good starts and see what happens.”
Max Biaggi says: “I’m happy with the starting position. The front row is always an encouraging result in spite of the fact that the high temperatures hurt us a little bit coming out of the medium-slow turns. With the hard work we did yesterday and this morning we were able to obtain good balance. The bike has consistently improved in spite of some small problems we had in the first practice on Friday. Tomorrow should be fun, there are quite a few of us in the game and we’ll need to have eyes in the back of our helmets! Anyway, I’m keen to do well here at Brno, both for our two first place standings and for the particular feeling that I have with this magnificent track”.
Leon Camier says: “We’ve sorted the situation after having struggled to find the most satisfactory set-up. There is still work to do, that much is clear, both on the bike and on my interpretation of the track. After the changes we made today grip has improved a lot. We’ll try to improve on some details tomorrow and prepare as best we can for the two races. It isn’t impossible to make a comeback here. The important thing is to stay focused on the goal and… give it everything we’ve got!”.
Jakub Smrz says: “I made a mistake unfortunately, which turned out to be decisive as I only had one bike. I’ll start way back, but I’m confident nonetheless I can ride a good race. I would like to thank the team for doing a great job at assembling the machine in just ten minutes”.
Lucca Scassa says (translated): “It ‘a great performance and are particularly happy with the result today. The team worked as best I could and not even anything wrong in the management of precious tires. The beauty is that still the feeling with supersoft is the highest level, the best performance in Superpole lap time I won the third race with the soft, an indication that the setting is perfect even though I still can not handle the big super-soft grip of the tire. Be among the first Ducati makes me proud, but we should not take euphoria, tomorrow things will be difficult for all other opponents certainly will not sit and watch. I am peaceful and I will do my race. Thank you so much to the whole group, I dedicate this career best result to them. ”
Ruben Xaus says: “First of all I hope Troy will be fit soon, and he can race in Silverstone. Obviously I am really happy with today’s result. I was not expecting fourth. I am still feeling the effects from the injury I sustained in Misano. My team has done a great job today and I must once again thank them for all their efforts and their hard work. Unfortunately I used two qualifying tyres in Superpole 2 to ensure I made it to Superpole 3. Therefore I went out in the final session with worn tyres and was unable to put in a really fast time. This really is the first time this year I have been able to benefit from the qualifying tyre, and I hope I can continue like this. We still have some areas where we can improve the bike, but overall it was incredible. I am really looking forward to the races tomorrow.”
Davide Tardozzi says: “The team and I are very, very happy with Ruben’s performance today. This is the best ever qualifying position for Ruben with this team and this is what we know he is capable of. Obviously it is disappointing not to have Troy out there, but Ruben did a great job for the whole team. It is quite clear to see the bike is improving, and Ruben is developing a good feeling. I think we could see both riders challenging for the top in future races. Our aim for tomorrow’s races is the top five. So let’s wait and see.”
Troy Corser says: “Unfortunately I cannot race this weekend. I feel quite exhausted right now, and I have a pain in my chest. It was a huge impact, and I am happy I was not hurt badly. I remember the crash pretty well: I somehow lost the rear, and then I highsided. I would have loved to race in Brno, but we all agree I need a couple of days to rest now to be able to start in Silverstone.”
Berthold Hauser says: “First of all, we all are more than happy Troy is okay so far and not more seriously hurt after his heavy crash. The bike somehow hit him and the impact was severe. According to Dr. Vincenzo Tota, Troy was thoroughly checked in the hospital.” “His injuries seem to be limited to several bruises, but he will need some time to recover over the next couple of days. We agreed unanimously it would be too risky to send him out racing here, although he is able to leave the hospital. Of course, we all feel sorry for Troy and it is a shame he cannot compete this weekend. We now hope he will be 100 per cent fit for the next race weekend in Silverstone.”
Cal Crutchlow says: “It’s great to be on pole today but I’d rather give away the pole for a race win, but you’ve got to take them when you can. I really enjoyed the Superpole, it was a good session for us, and we were strong through it all. We’re working well and I’m pleased with that but Max is definitely the one to beat tomorrow. All credit to the guys who are on the front row. I can see it being a big battle tomorrow; I don’t see one guy heading off but at least ten at the start and maybe five at the end. The lap was good, I think I could have done a 1.57 because I ran really deep into one corner which cost me a bit of time. We had another qualifier left sat in the garage but I didn’t need it in the end.”
James Toseland says: “I really struggled with the qualifier tyres today. I made it through the first session with no problems with a race tyre and was confident that we could get through the second with the qualifier. Unfortunately I couldn’t find the grip I was expecting. Our race pace is good, so it’s going to be important for me to have a good start to get with the front pack when they break.”
Massimo Meregalli says: “Cal did an incredible record lap today in Superpole. His race pace is also really good here this weekend so we have every confidence he can achieve a good result in both races tomorrow. James is going to have a tougher start than Cal on the third row but his race pace is also quite good so it’s important for him to have a good start and then I believe he can stay with the front pack and challenge them.”
Tom Sykes says: “We had been struggling for a while with the balance of the bike but we certainly found a better direction this afternoon. We made a couple of small changes in Superpole and we managed to dig deep and find a decent time on the qualifying tyre. Come tomorrow we have some good information to base our set-up on and we’ll try some more things in the morning warm-up. We want to find some consistency for the races to hopefully be up there. We want two good results tomorrow so I need to get away cleanly and stick with the front group.”
Chris Vermeulen says: “On day one we had reasonable pace and were closer to the front than we had been but we just haven’t improved as we expected to today. We tried a few things but we struggled with edge grip. I know a lot of other riders are in the same position but it seems to be affecting me a bit more than most. We will try something else new tomorrow in warm-up. We have a new front tyre here, from the test we did in Imola last week, and maybe we will use that in the race. But we still have to make the final decision.”
Roger Lee Hayden says: “Unfortunately I have not been able to enter the Superpole This morning it was warmer than yesterday and my bike had less grip on the rear tire. Tomorrow the race will be really very difficult for me, because of my starting position on the grid but mainly because of my physical condition. I hope Clinica Mobile will be able to help me reduce the pain which will allow me to races in the best possible manner. Tomorrow I’ll try my best to obtain a good result for me and for all my team. I want to thank all of them for their great help during the full weekend.”
Matteo Baiocco says: “I’m pretty satisfied because I entered the Superpole and also because during the free and qualifying sessions I found a good rhythm that will be very important in tomorrow’s races. In Superpole I used a soft tire but it didn’t give me any advantage and it didn’t help me to improve my lap time and to enter the second phase of the Superpole. In any case it was a good experience that I hope to repeat also in the next Superbike rounds. I’m confident for tomorrow races because of my good lap time and I’ll try my best to reach the better results”.
Brno Superbike – Superpole
1. 35 Crutchlow C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 1’58.018
2. 3 Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’58.743
3. 65 Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1’59.094
4. 111 Xaus R. (ESP) BMW S1000 RR 1’59.135
5. 50 Guintoli S. (FRA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’59.179
6. 99 Scassa L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’59.393
7. 84 Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’59.451
8. 7 Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 1’59.571
9. 57 Lanzi L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’59.699
10. 52 Toseland J. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 1’59.699
11. 76 Neukirchner M. (GER) Honda CBR1000RR 1’59.829
12. 66 Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’59.830
13. 2 Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’59.841
14. 91 Haslam L. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’59.995
15. 41 Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 2’00.258
16. 67 Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 2’00.564
17. 96 Smrz J. (CZE) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 2’00.341
18. 77 Vermeulen C. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX 10R 2’01.167
19. 15 Baiocco M. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 2’01.523
20. 11 Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 2’00.508
21. 23 Parkes B. (AUS) Honda CBR1000RR 2’01.463
22. 95 Hayden R. (USA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 2’01.826