World Superbike Superpole with Jakub Smrz (center) posting the fastest time, Leon Camier (left) coming in second and Sylvain Guintoli coming in third.
World Superbike Superpole at Silverstone was declared wet and conditions proved to be treacherous for some during the two, 20 minute sessions. Liberty Racing Team Effenbert’s Jakub Smrz logged the fastest time for his second Superpole of the season, with his first coming during the American round at Miller Motorsports Park. The Czech rider earned the top spot in the final seconds of SP2, getting ahead of FIXI Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier by just 0.036 on his last pass. New PATA Racing rider Sylvain Guintoli was third, with BMW Motorrad’s Leon Haslam rounding out the front row.
“It was a great performance in the wet,” said Smrz. “The conditions were really difficult, the rain was changing at every moment on every part of the track, but I was trying to improve lap by lap and then on the last lap I tried my best and it was enough for first place. We are used to these conditions this year, so we must be ready for everything tomorrow.”
The damp track claimed three victims during SP2 but, luckily, all came away unharmed. The first was Superpole master Tom Sykes of Kawasaki Racing. He’d just qualified for the second session, taking seventh in SP1, and was struggling to take what has been his customary position at the top. With about 10 minutes remaining, the British rider went down and remained in the pit for the rest of the session, leaving him in eighth-place. The second rider to go down was Althea Racing’s Carlos Checa. The current defending world champion came out of SP1 in first and was showing the form that won him both races in 2011. The Spaniard was running in third-place when he lost his bike, just two minutes after Sykes took his spill. Checa’s teammate Giugliano was the third rider to go down during SP2 and his crash came near the end of the session while he was running in first. Giugliano will head up the second row on Sunday, followed by BMW Motorrad’s Marco Melandri, Checa and Sykes.
It appeared for a while during SP1 that Sykes’ teammate Loris Baz would qualify on to SP2, but he was bumped just out of position late in the session and will head up the third row. He was followed by Honda’s Jonathan Rea and current points leader Max Biaggi of Aprilia Racing.
“I pushed to the limit, but there was no way to do any better,” said Biaggi. “To be honest, we’re not very far off the race place. We need to work on tweaking a few things in order to have a good pace. Given the way the weather shifts I think that it will be important to aim for consistent performance rather than pure performance, in the hopes that the warm-up conditions tomorrow morning will be useful in view of the races.”
Jakub Smrz took his second superpole of the season at Silverstone. His first came during the American round at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah.
World Superbike Silverstone Superpole 2012:
1. Jakub Smrz (Ducati) 2’20.810
2. Leon Camier (Suzuki) 2’20.846
3. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati) 2’21.385
4. Leon Haslam (BMW) 2’21.613
5. Davide Giugliano (Ducati) 2’21.951
6. Marco Melandri (BMW) 2’21.960
7. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 2’23.356
8. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 2’24.025
9. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) 2’23.777
10. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 2’23.889
11. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 2’24.176
12. John Hopkins (Suzuki) 2’24.274
13. Maxime Berger (Ducati) 2’24.294
14. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) 2’25.260
15. Michel Fabrizio (BMW) 2’26.137
16. Chaz Davies (Aprilia) 2’26.360
17. Niccolo Canepa (Ducati)
18. Ayrton Badovini (BMW)
19. Lorenzo Zanetti (Ducati)
20. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda)
21. David Salom (Kawasaki)
22. David Johnson (Kawasaki)
23. Norino Brignola (BMW)
24. Brett McCormick (Ducati)
French rider Jules Cluzel of PTR Honda earned pole position in an all Honda top-five finish in World Supersport at Silverstone, beating out PTR teammate Sam Lowes by just over one second. Alex Lundh took third followed by Mathew Sholtz who will round out the front row on Sunday.
“This morning conditions were mixed but we went out and were pleased to be fastest,” said Cluzel. “Then this afternoon I didn’t feel as comfortable on my bike so we made some changes to set up and everything felt good. At the end I was pushing hard on the drying line and I am happy with my third pole position of the season. More important is tomorrow and the race, I want to score good points for the Championship.”
Racing Team Toth’s Imre Toth will head up the second row, making him the only rider qualifying in the top five that isn’t with PTR Honda. Yakhnich Motorsport’s Vladimir Leonov broke up the CBR600RR party, posting the sixth-fastest time aboard his Yamaha YZF-R6. The Russian was followed by yet another PTR Honda pilot, Ronan Quarmby, in seventh with Bike Service R.T.’s Andrea Antonelli in eighth.
World Supersport Silverstone Superpole Results:
1. Jules Cluzel (Honda) 2’22.258
2. Sam Lowes (Honda) 2’23.264
3. Alex Lundh (Honda) 2’23.522
4. Mathew Scholtz (Honda) 2’23.844
5. Imre Toth (Honda) 2’23.967
6. Vladimir Leonov (Yamaha) 2’24.611
7. Ronan Quarmby (Honda) 2’24.821
8. Andrea Antonelli (Yamaha) 2’24.840
9. Alex Baldolini (Triumph) 2’25.042
10. Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 2’25.235
11. Raffaelle De Rosa (Honda) 2’25.367
12. Balazs Nemeth (Honda) 2’25.991
13. Romain Lanusse (Kawasaki) 2’26.097
14. Gabor Talmacsi (Honda) 2’26.107
15. Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki) 2’26.326