Published on 30 Jun 2012 by Toni M.
Tom Sykes earned his sixth pole position of the season in today’s exciting Superpole session at the Motorland Aragon circuit. We can only imagine what the Kawasaki rider would have posted if he had the same speed as the BMW’s and Aprilia’s and hadn’t make a mistake in the first section of the Spanish track, but apparently only Max Biaggi is worried about the Kawasaki rider who he believes can last the race distance this time, while Marco Melandri believes that Sykes will fade as he always does.
Check out what some of the World Superbike riders had to say after the Superpole:
Tom Sykes - 1st
“Another pole position and it is fantastic. I wish we got points for pole position but we don’t. I think the forecast is for weather conditions to be a little bit cooler tomorrow which will make the racing faster for everybody. We will see what happens, because there were five guys who are looking fairly strong. We worked hard in the tests here last weekend. Kawasaki worked hard and my crew chief worked me very hard and we did the equivalent of around nine race distances in total over the three days, so hopefully that will pay off tomorrow and we can silence a few people. It was nice to win another Tissot watch for Superpole today. I have one in every location now, but I am always late anyway, so that idea has not quite worked out!”
Max Biaggi - 2nd
“This second place comes after some good test sessions which placed us consistently in the top five. I like this track. We were fast here last year as well, so it’s a shame about first place, but Tom was really faster than anyone else. I think tomorrow will be a battle. Most of the riders will be in the running and we’ll have to deal with the temperatures. We still have some uncertainties that we’ll try to resolve between this evening and the warm-up tomorrow morning”.
Eugene Laverty - 3rd
“The first row is definitely a good result but the most satisfying thing is the pace we’ve demonstrated during all the practice sessions. We did some work on the bike to solve the problems we had during the last few races and for the moment the results are quite encouraging. Things will be complicated tomorrow, but starting from the front is always an advantage, especially when there are several riders with a similar race pace”.
Leon Haslam - 4th
“I am pretty happy. In the test and all the practice sessions we have been playing catch-up a little bit. The feeling for the track and the bike has been good but we lacked a little bit on the lap time, also on the race distance. But today we made some really good steps and now I am really happy to put my RR on the front row and I am also confident that the race tyre is looking better, too. We are well prepared for the races, this is what we have been working on. It sometimes has been a little bit frustrating because we have not been looking for a lap time. Normally, the important thing is to get to a lap time and then maintain it. But it has been the other way around this weekend. We have been working on making the tyre last and now as we were getting the tyre to last, the lap time has become better, too. So this is a funny situation.”
Marco Melandri - 5th
“I am disappointed, because the first qualifying tyre was working very good, but with the second one it was completely different and we were struggling a lot. We had a lot of chatter and it was impossible to ride. Fortunately we have a good rhythm for the race. Of course it would have been better to start from the first row, but anyway, fifth place is okay. We will see what we can do in the race.”
Jonathan Rea - 6th
I’m quite happy really, because we’ve not been here before and to get sixth place at a new circuit, plus the technical problem we had in Q1 yesterday, when we lost half an hour of track time, is pretty good. Superpole 3 was my target and to be one place in from the outside of the track going into turn one is a pretty good gate. The bike’s working OK but, because of the lack of set-up data from last year, the gearbox is not perfect for this track. It’s getting more comfortable to ride now and the set-up is good and the guys are working really well. We have a bike that we can take from track to track without changing too much now, and that’s allowed me to learn the track here without chasing a set-up. Yes, we’ve put laps on tyres, but I haven’t done a long run yet, so we’re going into the race a little bit blind. It’s supposed to be cooler but I think our preferred race tyre should cope with that so I think we can sleep easy tonight. I’ve achieved today’s goal and I’m ready for two long, hot races tomorrow.
Carlos Checa - 7th
“I am still in a good mood. Today was hard, yes, but we’ve done a great job because, even though we haven’t tested at all here we were still able to go faster than we did last year. We also made a good step up between yesterday and today. We’re losing 20km/h on the straight, we know this, but I’d say that, all things considered, we didn’t do too badly. This morning we were able to work a lot better, gaining both grip and stability in the corners. Now we’ll see what tomorrow’s conditions will be, if it’s hot like this afternoon I foresee two difficult races for us.”
Ayrton Badovini -10th
“Today was quite positive, especially because we found a good race pace but it’s a shame about the Superpole. I couldn’t get the best out of the qualifying tyre and so I couldn’t make it through Superpole 2. We did a good job though and I practiced some starts with positive feedback, so I think tomorrow we can have two good races.”
Davide Giugliano - 11th
“This morning’s conditions allowed us to work quite well and we saw a big improvement compared to yesterday. After the work we did in qualifying and practice I thought I’d be able to do more in the Superpole to be honest. But the temperatures went up again and it was difficult to push, I didn’t have a great feeling with the tyres. At a certain point I also made a mistake and we finished eleventh. We need to see what we can do tomorrow, conditions permitting.”
Michel Fabrizio- 13th
“It’s been an unlucky Superpole. After trying to set a good lap time with a B compound race tyre, in the final stages I went out with a qualifier but I was slowed down on the warm-up lap by a rider who already ended his session and so I couldn’t cross the line before the chequered flag was waved. It’s a shame, but tomorrow will be race time and my pace is not so bad.”
Leon Camier - 14th
“The qualifying tyre we used in Superpole 1 caused a little front end chatter and so I took it steadily - maybe too steadily! If I had been less cautious, I might have got into Superpole 2, but I pushed as hard as I could. I’m pretty happy with our set-up, but I think that we can improve the settings on my GSX-R and that will give us a chance of being more competitive. At the moment, I can catch most people on the entry to the corners, but I can’t keep up with them on the exits and that is a bit frustrating. I’ll be doing everything I can to get a couple of good starts tomorrow and get into the mix right from the start.”
Loris Baz - 15th
“I am pretty satisfied to get into Superpole because that is one of my goals every time, to get into the top 16. I know it is very hard after that to get to the top level and all the way through Superpole. I had a crash in the test we did here last week and I lost a bit of confidence for a while. We tried some new settings over the weekend but I was not confident in the front still, so we decided this afternoon to go back to more like the settings we had before the fall, and I was OK. I have a good feeling back. I feel good for the races tomorrow and I think the bike will work well on the race tyres.”
Lorenzo Zanetti – 16th
I wanted the Superpole for me but also to reward the work of the whole team that was once again was outstanding. This morning I gave it all I had to get into the afternoon Superpole session and it was a good result which allowed me to check the set-up on my Ducati. Unfortunately in the first stintI crashed in the upper part track, but honestly it was my mistake because I was too. We can have a good race, even if starting so far back it is certainly not the best thing. I’d like to score some points again and finish the season in crescendo. ”
Hiroshi Aoyama - 18th
I was in a Superpole position until the last minute of qualifying this morning, and it is a pity that we lost that place. Although we could not improve yesterday afternoon, we were able to go quite a lot faster this morning. This was partly because of the lower temperature and also because of some small adjustments, which helped. In the end I was still missing a bit of feeling from the front so I could not do that little bit more that was needed. We worked some more on this part this afternoon but again the temperature went up so I couldn’t improve. We’ll work on the front feeling again for tomorrow morning and also for the races.
John Hopkins - 21st
“My bike had engine issues in this morning’s qualifying session and because of this year’s one bike rule I had to sit out the second part of the session after only having done a few laps. It was a shame because the conditions were a bit cooler than yesterday and it would’ve been the ideal time to go quicker. In the afternoon untimed session we made a couple of changes to the bike’s set-up and I managed to go faster than I had been all weekend. My start position tomorrow is pretty horrible, but I am strong in the first couple of sectors, so I hope to make up a lot of ground before we get to the long back straight. If I can do that, then I am positive I can get a couple of decent results.”