Castrol Honda’s Jonathan Rea nabbed the Superpole victory in France ahead of Eugene Laverty and Carlos Checa.
Under ideal weather conditions in central France Castrol Honda’s Jonathan Rea claimed a new circuit record at Magny-Cours with a time of 1’37.490. Just more than a tenth faster than fellow Irishman Eugene Laverty, Rea continued to impress onlookers after saving his best for last at the end of the final Superpole session.
“It was a strong lap but we’ve had a good base for most of the weekend and we knew we had to make an extra step to make Sunday more comfortable,” Rea said. “The guys gave me a great bike in free practice this afternoon and transformed some things with the balance of the bike, which gave me more confidence to push. So I kind of expected to be somewhere near the front but I didn’t expect the lap time to be that fast.”
“We thought that we’d be able to fight for a position on the front row and we managed to do that today,” Checa said. “We had a few problems between the first and second Superpole phases but my technicians worked extremely hard to resolve these and we took a great result in the end.”
World Superbike rookie Eugene Laverty earned his sixth front row start of the season at Magny-Cours.
“We’ve taken some good steps forward, partially resolving the problems which kept us from being fast in the sessions yesterday,” said Camier. “If we look at our race pace we can definitely make a play for it, even with the times as incredibly close as they are.”
With lap times being extremely competitive many riders were forced to use qualifying tires during the first Superpole session. Despite losing the final Superpole run to Rea, Laverty notched his sixth front row start on Saturday as the WSB rookie continues to have a remarkable debut season. Local favorite Sylvain Guintoli was kept off the front row by less than a tenth after finishing the day more than half a second behind Rea. Just behind the Frenchman was Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes, who set the fastest time of 1’37.650 during Superpole 2, but couldn’t duplicate the result in the final match up, leaving the Englishman to start Sunday’s races from sixth on the grid.
“We made quite a big change in Superpole and we have been struggling in the first sector all weekend,” Sykes said. “I thought I would still be able to sneak a front row start but it wasn’t to be.”
BMW Motorrad’s Leon Haslam was the highest finisher in the charts for BMW after recording a lap of 1’38.382. The Brit was the final rider within a second of Rea and completed a total of 40 laps around the French circuit. Meanwhile Yamaha’s Marco Melandri rounded out the second row after being 1.072 seconds adrift of Rea.
Pata Aprilia’s Noriyuki Haga failed making it into the final session and will head the third row ahead of Kawasaki’s Joan Lascorz. The Kawasaki rider was just 0.067 seconds behind Haga to earn 10th on the grid. Supersonic Racing’s Max Berger and BMW Motorrad’s Troy Corser trailed in 11th and 12th, respectively. During the first session Liberty Racing’s Jakub Smrz and Alstare Suzuki’s Michel Fabrizio failed to advance and will start the race from 13th and 14th on the grid, respectively.
Magny-Cours World Superbike Superpole 2011 Results:
1. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1’37.490
Carlos Checa: “We thought that we’d be able to fight for a position on the front row and we managed to do that today.”
2. Eugene Laverty (Yamaha) 1’37.600
3. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1’37.932
4. Leon Camier (Aprilia) 1’38.006
5. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati) 1’38.094
6. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’38.094
7. Leon Haslam (BMW) 1’38.382
8. Marco Melandri (Yamaha) 1’38.562
9. Noriyuki Haga (Aprilia) 1’38.137
10. Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki) 1’38.204
11. Max Berger (Ducati) 1’38.347
12. Troy Corser (BMW) 1’38.516
13. Jakub Smrz (Ducati) 1’38.524
14. Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki) 1’38.565
15. Mark Aitchison (Kawasaki) 1’38.623
16. Aryton Badovini (BMW) 1’38.687
Kawasaki Motocard.com’s Broc Parkes posted his third pole of the season on Saturday at Magny-Cours during World Supersport qualifying. The Aussie was just 0.002 seconds faster than Yamaha PakinGO’s Luca Scassa in the timesheets to deliver his second consecutive pole with a time of 1’41.395.
“It was a good lap time and I had a few goes at it,” said Parkes. “I made a couple of mistakes myself and then we finally got one together and it felt good. It’s good for me to be on pole but more important is tomorrow, and it should be a good race because the top times are really close.”
Meanwhile Lorenzini by Leoni Kawasaki’s Massimo Roccoli, who set the fastest pace on Friday, was third in the charts just 0.093 seconds behind Scassa followed by Parkalgar Honda’s Sam Lowes. Bogdanka PTR Honda’s James Ellison just missed the front row by 0.002 seconds, with Kawasaki Motocard.com’s David Salom, Hannspree Ten Kate Honda’s Fabien Foret, Yamaha ParkinGO’s Chaz Davies rounding out the second row for Sunday’s race.
Magny-Cours World Supersport Qualifying 2011 Results:
1. Broc Parkes (Kawasaki) 1’41.395
Broc Parkes claimed his second consecutive pole after defeating Luca Scassa by just 0.002 seconds in the charts.
2. Luca Scassa (Yamaha) 1’41.397
3. Massimo Roccoli (Kawasaki) 1’41.490
4. Sam Lowes (Honda) 1’41.586
5. James Ellison (Honda) 1’41.588
6. David Salom (Kawasaki) 1’41.614
7. Fabien Foret (Honda) 1’41.916
8. Chaz Davies (Yamaha) 1’41.952
9. Roberto Tamburini (Yamaha) 1’42.310
10. Ronan Quarmby (Triumph) 1’42.419
11. Florian Marino (Honda) 1’42.644
12. Alexander Lundh (Honda) 1’42.724
13. Gino Rea (Honda) 1’42.896
14. Vittorio Iannuzzo (Kawasaki) 1’42.949
15. Miguel Praia (Honda) 1’42.991