“The bike is perfect”
Reigning World Supersport champion, Andrew Pitt, got 2009 off to an impressive start by setting the fastest time in today's opening qualifying session at the season opener at Phillip Island, Australia.
Pitt was joined on the provisional front
row by 2007 World Supersport champion and Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team-mate, Kenan Sofuoglu, who set the second fastest time, followed by Fabien Foret and Garry McCoy.
The Ten Kate Honda pair were the only two riders to lap the 4.445km Phillip Island circuit in under 1'35s this afternoon and the only two to head the timing sheets. As well as setting the fastest time today, Pitt attempted a simulation for Sunday's 21-lap race, which may well be run in cooler conditions than today's 31-degree sunshine.
Andrew Pitt – P1, 1'34.833s
“I don't have any problems at all, really, apart from a question mark over whether the rear tyre will last the race. We tried both the harder and softer compounds today, both in cool conditions this morning and when it was hotter this afternoon. Other than that, I've got no worries - the bike is perfect and the new crew is working really well.”
Kenan Sofuoglu – P2, 1'34.895s
“Today I was not pushing very hard for a fast lap time and, instead, I preferred to concentrate on being consistent. Tomorrow, we will simulate a race distance in free practice and aim to stay on the front row in the afternoon. As long as I can qualify there I know am capable of winning Sunday's race.”
Ronald ten Kate – team manager
“That was a good start to our first race weekend of the new season and it's good to have both riders already matching their best times from the test we had here last weekend. There are still some problems that we must iron out but, all in all, it's a perfect base to work from to prepare our race set-up.”