Published on 21 Jul 2012 by Toni M.
Today’s Superpole at Brno circuit was a complicated affair, Davide Giugliano’s Ducati spewed oil after being hit by two pebbles that punctured the fairing and the oil radiator and the session had to be red flagged until the track was cleaned up.
After a long delay it starting drizzling for a few minutes and the session was declared wet, even if the track was barely damp, but come rain or sun, you can count on Tom Sykes whipping his Kawasaki around the circuit to bag another pole position, his seventh this season.
The question is will he finally be able to turn his first place on the grid into a win and not wear out his rear tire after a third of the race? Marco Melandri is gunning for another podium spot, but he’s fighting chatter problems that make his use up his race tires too soon and he’ll have Carlos Checa and Eugene Laverty to worry about as both have been very consistant and fast so far this weekend.
Max Biaggi and his team made a very incharacteristical error not using a qualifying tire in SP1 and he’ll have to take off in 14th, on a track where he has won eleven times in the past.
Tom Sykes -1st
“I think overall things are looking not too bad for tomorrow. I think there is no question that the Kawasaki and I have got the speed to do this sort of thing in one lap. In terms of race performance we will see how we go but I am fairly confident for the races tomorrow. We have tried three different tyres and got a lot of information this weekend. Hopefully we can convert pole position but that has been difficult this year. I am sure I will sleep well tonight and come out swinging tomorrow.”
Carlos Checa - 2nd
“We’ve been working well all weekend. We identified a good set-up at Aragon and, having continued the work here, I’d say we’re at a good point now. What happened to Davide was a real shame but in the end we were both able to take strong results, despite the threat of rain in that last Superpole session. I think this is already a significant result for the team, as our performances prove that we can be competitive at this track. Tomorrow we’ll be fighting hard – I’m feeling confident that we can do well.”
Eugene Laverty - 3rd
“This has been a good weekend for us so far, we’ve been fast from the first sessions, continuing the positive trend we started in Aragon. Tomorrow we can do well, although, like everyone else, we still have some doubts about tyre choices because of the poor grip on the track. Hopefully the temperature will go up a bit, but in any case we’re ready to give one hundred percent”.
Davide Giugliano - 4th
“First of all I want to say that I’m really sorry for what happened and for the fact that it affected other riders’ Superpole performance. I heard something hit my bike but I didn’t immediately notice that I was losing oil. I hurt my left forearm in the crash but it’s nothing serious I don’t think. It was great to see Carlos’ technicians come and help my guys to get the bike fixed in time – I therefore want to thank the entire team for giving me the chance to go back out in the last session. It was a hard and emotional day but we can be satisfied with the final result I think. This is the first time I’ve been able to interpret this track so well, and so I’m feeling confident for tomorrow’s races.”
Marco Melandri - 5th
“Starting from fifth position here in Brno is not too bad. First of all, I start on the outside of the track which hopefully allows me to carry more speed into the first corner. Also, the way to the first corner is quite long, and last but not least there are opportunities for passing on this circuit. Still, I am not happy that the qualifying tyre does not work on our bike. Again, I did my fastest lap times on the race tyre. That means that something is wrong. Compared to yesterday, we improved the chattering on the race tyre, but I still struggled a little bit. I don’t think I could be much faster but I have a lot better race rhythm. Overall, I am confident for tomorrow.”
Jonathan Rea - 6th
I’m quite satisfied with sixth today, especially after yesterday. In the final Superpole session, we only had a race tyre left to go out on. I was a little bit worried because there were quite a few qualifiers still kicking around, but we managed to put a good lap together. While I’m happy with where I qualified, I’m still not completely happy with the bike. We still need to make a few adjustments overnight to try in warm-up tomorrow morning. But at least we’re on the front two rows and our race pace is OK. We still need to improve our out-and-out lap speed for the first five or ten laps of the race, but we’re working on that.
Leon Haslam - 7th
“I am quite happy. This is one of the circuits where I have always had issues, but slowly and surely we are getting a set-up for the bike and I am changing my riding style to try and get to where we need to be, which is at the front. We made a big improvement for Superpole and hopefully we can make some more improvements for tomorrow. The conditions in the afternoon were quite tricky, with the rain coming down and oil on two corners, so everyone was a little cautious. Some took more risks than others. The races will be hard, but we will keep pushing and if we can keep improving as we have done today then I want to fight for the podium for sure.
David Salom - 11th
“I’m very satisfied with my morning qualifying and with the first phase of the Superpole. Unfortunately in the second phase I crashed because of some oil on the track and I was not able to restart because my bike was badly damaged. This morning I was able to improve my best lap time and enter Superpole. We solved some problems on the electronics of the bike and they are now working very well. We improved the bike set up and so I’m confident for tomorrow’s race. I’ll try my best to get two good results.”
Leon Camier - 13th
“Our FIXI Crescent Suzuki has definitely improved a bit since the last round in Aragon and I’m pretty happy with it and the set-up on race tyres. In Superpole 1 we started out on a race tyre and I found myself in a bit of a freight train at first, but the good news is that I was staying with the fast guys fairly easily and that felt pretty good. When we put in the qualifying tyre to go faster, I felt it chatter almost right from the start of the lap. I pushed as hard as I could, but the chatter got worse and I nearly lost the front a couple of times. If I hadn’t had the chatter, I’m sure I would’ve qualified for Superpole 2, and then who knows how far I could’ve gone.”
Max Biaggi - 14th
The mistake today cost us quite a bit. We could definitely have started closer to the front if we had used a qualifying tyre straight away like the others. In any case we’ve struggled the whole weekend and that is very odd since we’ve always been fast here. Tomorrow will be hard. Starting from the fourth row on a track that rides like this one is definitely not the best place to be”.
Loris Baz - 15th
“I just missed a gear in the last corner. Normally I do the first part in second and the second part in third but I missed the gear between the corners and I just couldn’t do the lap time I wanted. It was looking like I would finish well but I ended up 15th. I think we have a good race pace because we improved a lot this morning, but it would have been great to start the races from the second row.”
John Hopkins - 16th
“Basically we spent most of the day working on finding a good set-up and trying to improve the chatter. We also tried some different tyres and, at the end of normal qualifying, the bike had the least amount of chatter it’s had all season. I started Superpole 1 on race tyres and made a couple of little mistakes and I don’t think I maximised the potential of the tyres. We put in a qualifier late on in Superpole 1 and, because we’ve been struggling all year with them, I was bit sceptical about how they would perform, so I was a bit cautious at first. I then started to go quicker, but misjudged the amount of time left and the chequered flag came down before I could put in a faster lap.”
Hiroshi Aoyama - 18th
We improved from yesterday to today, which is quite positive, and then we improved from this morning, using a new swingarm in the free practice. It gives a little bit more drive grip, which is good, but because we only just tried it, we still need to make some adjustments for tomorrow. Yesterday I was struggling with the front feeling and although it’s still the same today, the rear has become better and, with that, the lap time improved. We’ll try another setting in the warm-up when I hope to improve the front feeling so I can push harder in the races.