For crucial Assen race
Despite not making any improvement to his single best lap time from the first qualifying session on Friday, Sebastien Charpentier (Winston Ten Kate Honda) will start Sunday's 21- lap Assen Supersport race from an important pole position. Tied on points
with second place Assen qualifier Kevin Curtain, Charpentier has earned an advantage off the line, which may prove important on Sunday. His team-mate Kenan Sofuoglu (Winston Ten Kate Honda) pushed hard in the final two laps of the day and improved from 12th on Friday to ninth today, and thus starts from the head of the third row.
Dry yet cool weather greeted the start of both the final unofficial and timed qualifying sessions at Assen, but Charpentier was denied a chance to improve his time when a muscle spasm caused him to call a temporary halt, until he was checked over by medical staff.
Ronald Ten Kate – Team Manager
"The majority of the job was done yesterday by Seb, doing a blistering lap around the new Assen circuit. Today we had some problems as he suddenly found a muscle in his back aching, and we had to get that checked and dealt with by the Clinica Mobile this afternoon. It should be OK for tomorrow because he did not have a crash, so the damage cannot be a lot. I feel a bit sorry for Kenan, because he improved quite a bit from yesterday and he was riding strongly, but he couldn't get in that one perfect lap around here, and he made little mistakes all through his laps. But I am sure he is also up for a fight again tomorrow. We'll definitely see him further up the times sheets tomorrow for the race."
"I wanted to improve my time from yesterday, and everything was set, but I twisted a muscle in my back and decided to stop. After such a big lay off from injury to my back it was the only safe thing. The race is tomorrow, not today. I will get it massaged later again to straighten it out and starting from pole should be perfect."
"We made things better today with the set-up and my approach to this new style of Assen, but I just could not get in a completely clean lap. So I improved my time, but not as much as I wanted to. I know that a good start is essential and I'm sure I can make progress in real race conditions."
Winston Ten Kate Honda