For the fifth time of the 2010 World Superbike Championship, Cal Crutchlow has taken Superpole. The Yamaha Sterilgarda rider will start first on the grid at Silverstone on Sunday after a blistering fast superpole of 2:04.091.
His quick pace was only 0.7 of a second off the MotoGP pole time set by Fiat Yamaha rider Joge Lorenzo earlier this season. Crutchlow’s WSBK superpole would have started him on the second row of the MotoGP race.
Next on the grid is Hannspree Ten Kate Honda rider Jonathan Rea. The Northern Ireland native was followed during Superpole by Ducati Xerox’s Michel Fabrizio, P&G Aprilia’s Jakub Smrz and Suzuki Alstare’s Leon Haslam.
Here’s what the riders were saying after Saturday’s World Superbike Superpole sessions at Silverstone.
Cal Crutchlow says: ˝It is nice to have pole again, especially here at our home race, I had it last year at Donington as well. Coming back to the new Silverstone circuit is really good, it is a little but bumpy but not too bad. The lap time in Superpole was pretty good, I was absolutely desperate to do a 2.03, that was the target and the whole team were pumping me up to try it as it is the MotoGP pole time.”
“Unfortunately I made a mistake coming out of the fast left-handers so it was not to be. I think there are a lot of fast people here this weekend so it should be close exciting racing tomorrow. All credit to the Yamaha team they have delivered a really good package this weekend so I am looking forward to the racing.˝
Jonathan Rea says: “It’s really fun to ride here and tomorrow should deliver two fantastic races – there are so many good passing places. I want to thank all my fans and sponsors for coming out for my home race and I’ll certainly ride with a smile on my face tomorrow. The last two weeks have been a little crazy but it’s great to start the weekend at Silverstone like this..”
“It’s the front row, and you can’t ask for much more than to start a race from there. It was a great time by Cal and it was too fast for me today, but I’m enjoying riding the bike, it’s a lot of fun, and I think the 18 laps are going to go quite fast compared to my Suzuka adventure last weekend. So I’ll need to pull the pin quite early on and see what happens, but the bike’s good, the team’s good and track is awesome – you can’t help but smile when you’re riding round here!”
says: “I’m really happy with today’s result and I dedicate it to my team who have been working so hard this weekend. I love this new track and after the second session yesterday I felt confident that I’d be able to qualify on the front row today.”
“Superpole went very well; I chose to use a race tyre in the last phase because the first qualifier I’d used earlier hadn’t given me a great feeling, and my choice proved to be a good one. We have a good race pace I think, though Cal is faster, and I must say I’m feeling quite confident ahead of tomorrow’s races.”
Jakub Smrz says: “We made a huge step forward compared to Brno and I feel more comfortable than ever before on the Aprilia. I’m more confident and we can see the results and so my goal for tomorrow is to do just as well as today, but I have to make a good start and stay in the leading pack until the checkered flag.”
Leon Camier says: “The deleted time was only the last problem since I was never able to close out a clean lap due to the traffic on the track. It’s a shame when you think about what we demonstrated during all of the sessions. Honestly I didn’t expect to start on the fourth row. Anyway, I like Silverstone, we’ve done a good job, so I’m looking ahead and thinking about the two races tomorrow. It will be hard work!”
James Toseland says: ˝Things have been going pretty well this weekend, I have been quite pleased with the bike and things have been moving forward. The lap where I crashed I had my second qualifier in, it was working really well and when I came through the new section I tipped it left and it felt like something touched and picked up the front of the bike and away it went. It has really been one of those years this year. I am bitterly frustrated but we are still clinging on to the third row. We just have to brush ourselves down and get on with it tomorrow.”
Troy Corser says: “I am a bit disappointed. The bike is getting better and better. We have been playing a bit with the throttle connection and tried out what we already had in Misano and Mugello. But for this layout it did not work so well, so I think that we go back to what we had at the last race weekend.”
“The only real problem today were the tyres, we ended up with the wrong tyre to the wrong time. It was a brand new set of tyres, but I had little grip and went out on the grass. That was a bit strange. The race tyres seem to be okay and on used tyres I am not so far off the pace. I’ll try to make a good start and then we’ll see where we go. A podium is possible, for sure.”
says: “Unfortunately I continued to have some problems today and the difficulty I was having in turning the bike as I want haven’t yet been resolved. I hoped that with the qualifier we could have done better but that wasn’t the case today and I’m back on the fourth row. There are many strong riders here, including the Brits, and the races are going to be really tough. We’ll see what we are able to achieve.”
Ruben Xaus says: “Although tomorrow’s starting position is not bad at all, I cannot be happy with the third Superpole session. I was a little bit unlucky: We decided to go for the used qualifying tires, and with these tires you only have one quick lap. I followed Troy and Leon Haslam on my flying lap, and when Troy ran wide into the grass, Leon had to come off the gas, and I nearly lost the front.”
“That was it. I see a big question mark for tomorrow’s races: our starting position is not too bad, but my lap times on race tires were not too good so far. Nevertheless, I am a fighter, and I will push tomorrow.”
Max Biaggi says: “We still have some problems, especially in the section where the asphalt is the roughest. Lap performance is in fact conditioned by these difficulties, but tomorrow over the long distance the dynamics could change. We expect two hard races, hoping that the weather gives us a hand although anything is to be expected here in England. The home riders are doing very well – we are still lacking something in order to be quick. I hope that my team can put me into some better conditions tomorrow.”
Max Neukirchner says: “The problem is that I can’t keep the line in the corners and I don’t have any grip at the rear. It was bad yesterday but today it is even worse. We’ll try to make the bike completely different for tomorrow, like we had in the Assen test and working mostly on the rear, and we will see what happens. For now, it’s difficult to adapt my riding style to the bike when it is not turning. It has been a difficult day and tomorrow’s races will not be easy. I will try to get some good starts and do my best to get some better results.”
Tom Sykes: “We did a reasonable time on race tires and I pushed hard on qualifiers. I feel we reached the maximum potential of where we are at right now. Overall I am happy enough but tomorrow we need to keep working to get a little bit better balance for full race distance. We have been working well so far and I want to carry that through to race day. The track is good, I am enjoying riding around it.”
Carlos Checa says: “It was so easy to find yourself out of Superpole by just a fraction of a second today. With the first tyre I caught Camier who unintentionally slowed me down while with the second tyre I didn’t have a great feeling. I’m satisfied however with my race pace and I hope to make a strong start tomorrow in order to do my part. It will undoubtedly be a close race.”
Shane Byrne says: “I am really happy”, said Shane, “because after Brno I have finally understood the Superpole. And to have taken my best Superpole result yet here at my home track is of course great news. The team’s has done a really good job and tomorrow I will do my best to run two great races.”
Roger Lee Hayden says: “Due to the wet track conditions, this morning I lost a good opportunity to work with my technical staff to solve a few of our set up problems. Fortunately this afternoon we’re heading in the right direction. We’ve still got some work to do on the rear so I can take some of the corners like I want to, but I’m pretty happy for the improvements we have done in these two days and I want to thanks the guys in the team who have done a great job”.