World Superbike 2008 – Round 13 – Magny Cours (France)
Noriyuki Haga’s exceptional end-of-season run of form continues at Magny-Cours this weekend as the Yamaha Motor Italia WSB rider powered to the Superpole for tomorrow’s French Round races with a new best lap of 1 minute 38.444 seconds. For the Japanese rider, who notched up a double win here last year and another double two weeks ago at Vallelunga, it was his first pole of the season and his sixth overall. The one-lap dash was a hard-fought affair, with the top 4 ending up in the space of three-tenths of a second and four different bikes on the front row from Yamaha, Suzuki, Ducati and Honda. Lining up alongside Haga will be Fonsi Nieto (Suzuki Alstare), the Spaniard producing his best performance of the year, followed by championship leader Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) and Carlos Checa (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda).
Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB): “I’m doing very well in this period and I’m very happy for pole position, but the situation this weekend was not so good, it was raining and dry, and I cannot find the right settings but that situation is the same for everybody. I just have to check another setting for tomorrow and then I’ll be ready.”
Fonsi Nieto (Suzuki Alstare): “I’m very happy, for sure the Superpole is not one of my best things but I did a good job today. I hope to stay at the front tomorrow and fight for the podium. Last year I made a podium with Kawasaki but this year I will try and do the same for Suzuki.”
Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox): “I’m pretty happy with how the day has been, the weather has finally come good, and I’m happy to be on the front row. My second split was not quite right and in the last chicane I didn’t do a great job and missed out on the fastest time. I know I’m going to have to rein myself in tomorrow but I’m looking forward to a good race.”
Carlos Checa (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda): “Well, the front of the grid has a bit of a family feeling about it as my brother also went well and is one row behind me. We did some good testing here last week, the bike is going well and I’m happy to be on the front row.”
This time top Italian rider was Roberto Rolfo (Hannspree Honda Althea), who set fifth quickest time after going well all weekend. Sixth place went to Max Neukirchner (Alstare Suzuki) of Germany, who ruined any chance of a front-row slot when he overcooked it during the second sector, losing precious tenths. Carlos Checa’s brother Davide (Yamaha France Ipone GMT94) had a good run to seventh, just one-tenth in front of Max Biaggi (Sterilgarda Go Eleven Ducati), with two more Italians, Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) and Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati RG), winner here in 2005, next up on row 3. Title contender Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB) was looking a sure bet for a front row grid slot with his lap, but crashed out at the final turn.
1. Haga N. (JPN) Yamaha YZF-R1 1’38.444;
2. Nieto F. (ESP) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’38.574;
3. Bayliss T. (AUS) Ducati 1098 F08 1’38.666;
4. Checa C. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 1’38.765;
5. Rolfo R. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR 1’39.349;
6. Neukirchner M. (GER) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’39.480;
7. Checa D. (ESP) Yamaha YZF-R1 1’39.514;
8. Biaggi M. (ITA) Ducati 1098 RS 08 1’39.606;
9. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098 F08 1’39.627;
10. Lanzi L. (ITA) Ducati 1098 RS 08 1’39.957;
11. Xaus R. (ESP) Ducati 1098 RS 08 1’40.006;
12. Corser T. (AUS) Yamaha YZF-R1 0.000;
13. Gimbert S. (FRA) Yamaha YZF-R1 1’40.147;
14. Sofuoglu K. (TUR) Honda CBR1000RR 1’40.149;
15. Kagayama Y. (JPN) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’40.631;
16. Lavilla G. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 1’41.282.
FIM Supersport World Championship
Broc Parkes (Yamaha World Supersport) was back at the top after the second Supersport qualifying session, the Australian taking his seventh pole position of the year in 12 races. Behind Parkes was Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda), quickest on Friday, and the youngster from Northern Ireland was followed by championship leader Andrew Pitt (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda), who surged up into a front row start position, with the final place going to Didier Van Keymeulen (RES Software Suzuki) of Belgium. Australian Joshua Brookes (Hannspree Stiggy Motorsport Honda), also in with a chance of the title, was eighth quickest on row 2 that was also made up of Barry Veneman (RES Software Suzuki), Joan Lascorz (Glaner Motocard.com Honda) and Robbin Harms (Hannspree Stiggy Motorsport Honda). Frenchman Fabien Foret (Yamaha World Supersport), returning to action after a lengthy injury, will start from row 4.
1. Parkes B. (AUS) Yamaha YZF-R6 1’41.543;
2. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 1’41.912;
3. Pitt A. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 1’42.481;
4. Van Keymeulen D. (BEL) Suzuki GSX-R600 1’42.561;
5. Veneman B. (NED) Suzuki GSX-R600 1’42.668;
6. Lascorz J. (ESP) Honda CBR600RR 1’42.729;
7. Harms R. (DEN) Honda CBR600RR 1’42.926;
8. Brookes J. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 1’42.976.
Superstock 1000 FIM Cup
Matej Smrz (Intermoto Czech Honda) took the pole position for the penultimate round of the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup. The Czech rider set a superb lap of 1 minute 41.994 seconds, the only man to dip under the 1’42 mark, leaving his closest rival, Freddy Foray (Coutelle Junior Team Suzuki) trailing by almost one second. The front row is completed by Xavier Simeon (Alstare Suzuki) and Claudio Corti (Yamaha Motor Italia Junior Team), while the other three championship contenders Brendan Roberts (Ducati Xerox Junior Team), Maxime Berger (Hannspree IDS Ten Kate Honda) and Alessandro Polita (Sterilgarda Go Eleven Ducati) line up in fifth, seventh and eight respectively.
1. Smrz M. (CZE) Honda CBR1000RR 1’41.994;
2. Foray F. (FRA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 K8 1’42.892;
3. Simeon X. (BEL) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’43.187;
4. Corti C. (ITA) Yamaha YZF-R1 1’43.286;
5. Roberts B. (AUS) Ducati 1098R 1’43.464;
6. Millet J. (FRA) Yamaha YZF-R1 1’43.476;
7. Berger M. (FRA) Honda CBR1000RR 1’43.551;
8. Polita A. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’43.569.