TC extends Superpole all time record
Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia) overcame two practice crashes earlier in the weekend to score his 39th Superpole win at Losail, after qualifying second quickest in regulation practice.
Corser's lap of 1'58.402 was the fastest
of the weekend, and was set on race tyres, in his first ever meeting for his new Yamaha team.
A stunning lap by Max Biaggi (Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) in his first ever Superpole contest was a remarkable feat for the new SBK force, and looked for some time like his 1'58.724 would be the Superpole winner. He was only 0.322 seconds from Corser in the final analysis, and ran qualifying tyres in his flying lap.
Pre-Superpole fastest rider James Toseland (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) was last rider away but he made a couple of small errors in his Superpole lap, losing the chance of the win. In scoring third place he nonetheless earned a coveted front row start. Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia) went fourth fastest on his new R1, and joins the cream of the Superpole crop on the front row for Saturday's two 18-lap races.
Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati Xerox) slipped and slid to fifth fastest time in Superpole, and was one place ahead of a strangely subdued Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox), who only went sixth. Yukio Kagayama (Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) once more rounded out the top seven after a hot day of qualifying at the 5.380km Losail circuit. A quite brilliant second day for Max Neukirchner (Suzuki Germany) saw him take a 2006 specification GSX-R1000 to a second row start. in eighth place, impressing all who watched with his maturity in the pressurised scenario of Superpole.
Fonsi Nieto (PSG-1 Kawasaki Corse) only rated his fitness at 75% today but he punched hard in Superpole to take ninth best time out of 23 riders, despite his machine suffering from chatter and requiring a high degree of steering effort. Roby Rolfo (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) set a workmanlike lap to earn second spot on row three at Losail - and the last place inside the psychologically important top ten. Ruben Xaus (Team Sterilgarda Ducati) went 11th, with the hard pushing style of Michel Fabrizio (DFX Corse Honda) taking him to a third row starting place.
Regis Laconi (PSG-1 Kawasaki Corse) could not get the front end feel from his machine that he needed to set a lap better than the 13th fastest in Superpole, after qualifying 12th in regulation. He now starts from row four, one place ahead of the still developing Alto Evolution Hondas of Karl Muggeridge (14th) and Josh Brookes (15th). Yamaha YZF Team rider Shinichi Nakatomi was the last rider who made the Superpole cut and the last rider after Superpole was completed.
DFX Corse Honda rider Steve Martin failed to make Superpole by one place, with the LBR Racing MV Agusta of Christian Zaiser just under 0..3 seconds from Martin, in 18th place. British privateer Dean Ellison (Team Pedercini 999RS) was 20th, one place behind rookie Alessandro Polita (Celani Team Suzuki Italia).
The new generation of DIABLO SUPERBIKE tyres confirmed the results of the Pirelli tests at Losail in December. The best lap of last year was just destroyed by James Toseland in regulation qualifying, dropping the record on race tyres by 1.4" (after a 1'58.6 lap). Then In Superpole Troy Corser scored an even better time, also on race tyres.
After the second SBK qualifying session, the free sessions were saved for 'long runs', which indicated that with Pirellis and the right setup it's possible to compete for the whole race at record pace. In Superpole, the riders earned first row starts using both qualifying rubber (Biaggi, Toseland) and race tyre solutions (Haga, Corser). If raceday temperatures will allow it, some riders could race with the same tyre choice as Superpole, confirming the incredible level of performance reached by Pirelli's race tyres, thanks to the development carried on during the off-season.
SBK Press Office