Jakub Smrz (Guandalini Ducati) brought Ben Spies’ seven-race Superpole record to an end with a new circuit best lap in the decisive qualifying session at Misano. The 26 year-old from the Czech Republic was in terrific form, powering his private Guandalini Ducati 1098 around the 4.226 km Misano World Circuit in a time of 1 minute 35.435 seconds. Second place in an exciting session, which was held under the constant threat of rain, went to Britain’s Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda), who has been fast all weekend. Spies was also on the pace on his team Yamaha World Superbike machine, but the Texan this time had to settle for the third slot, just ahead of one of his championship rivals, Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) in fourth.
Jakub Smrz: “I am really pleased with my first-ever Superpole, it’s a great feeling to be there. But not just my Superpole time was good, I also have a good race pace as well, and I hope to be able to fight against the other guys up at the front and get a podium in the races. Last year I went well at Misano, but I hope for a better result this time around.”
Jonathan Rea: “It’s been pretty good for us, we found a good time for the second place. A big thanks to my crew, they’ve been doing so much all week. We got through a fair amount of hardware at Magny-Cours testing and got a good base setting for this weekend. And finally in the last few sessions and qualifying we’ve been doing some good times, so hopefully it’ll all come good in the race tomorrow.”
Ben Spies: “A front row start is good anyway and congratulations to Jakub. We missed out today because we just didn’t have it when it counted. I’m happy with the bike and the race set-up is good, but to be honest we’re a little bit quicker than the guys we’re racing against for the championship and that’s a good thing. However I’m sure they’ll all be up there in the race tomorrow.”
Michel Fabrizio: “It’s important to be on the front row here at Misano and I start from the same position as last year, but this time in the race I hope to do better! I saw both this morning and this afternoon that my race pace was very similar to that of Ben’s so it’s clear that I’ll be running my race around him tomorrow.”
The Misano Superpole was also the first time Pirelli did not use their one-lap qualifying tyre, which has now been abandoned in favour of a new soft compound that can last up to five or more laps. The results were extraordinary because all four riders on the front row of the grid went quicker than last year’s mark set by Troy Corser in 1’35”993.
The second row of the grid sees Shane Byrne (Sterilgarda Ducati) holding down fifth place, with points leader Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) and the Ten Kate Honda duo of Carlos Checa and Ryuichi Kiyonari seventh and eighth. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing) was heading for a front row slot but failed to make the final run due to a technical problem and the Italian had to settle for ninth, ahead of Leon Haslam (Stiggy Racing Honda) and Fonsi Nieto, the leading Suzuki Alstare runner. The first BMW, that of Troy Corser, qualified on row 4, while after their encouraging form shown on Friday, the two Kawasakis of Broc Parkes and Jamie Hacking slipped down to the fifth row.
Times: 1. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 1’35.435; 2. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1’35.609; 3. Spies B. (USA) Yamaha YZF R1 1’35.631; 4. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’35.811; 5. Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 1’36.224; 6. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 1’36.277; 7. Checa C. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 1’36.537; 8. Kiyonari R. (JPN) Honda CBR1000RR 1’36.884; 9. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’36.439; 10. Haslam L. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1’36.510; 11. Nieto F. (ESP) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’36.510; 12. Nakano S. (JPN) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’36.682; 13. Kagayama Y. (JPN) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’36.916 ; 14. Sykes T. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 1’36.978; 15. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 1’36.994; 16. Lanzi L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’37.20
Italian Michele Pirro upset the applecart in Supersport qualifying at Misano with a blistering lap in the last few minutes to take pole. For the Yamaha Lorenzini man it was the first time he starts from the top slot, and it comes in his first season in the category. The last time an Italian started from Supersport pole was Michel Fabrizio (Honda) at Magny-Cours in 2005. The session was conditioned by a rain shower at the start, which kept the riders in their pit garages until ten minutes from the end. The final stages were hectic as all the riders went out on the drying track to set their time, and Pirro was the best at interpreting the changing track conditions. Leader Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha World Supersport) lines up alongside in an Italian sandwich, with 2006 Misano Supersport winner Massimo Roccoli (Intermoto Honda) third. Katsuaki Fujiwara took the first Kawasaki Provec machine to fourth, while Gianluca Nannelli (Triumph ParkinGo) showed good progress to grab the fifth slot. One of the protagonists of the season Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda) had some difficulty but lines up in eighth, one row ahead of three other possible candidates for the win, Andrew Pitt (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda), Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Provec) and Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda).
Times: 1. Pirro M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’40.498; 2. Crutchlow C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R6 1’40.508; 3. Roccoli M. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 1’40.509; 4. Fujiwara K. (JPN) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’40.994; 5. Nannelli G. (ITA) Triumph Daytona 675 1’41.109; 6. West A. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 1’41.425 ; 7. Aitchison M. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 1’41.458; 8. Laverty E. (IRL) Honda CBR600RR 1’41.459
Xavier Simeon (Ducati Xerox) powered to the pole position in the Superstock 1000 category with a new circuit best lap, knocking seven tenths off the previous mark. The Belgian rider made his attack two minutes from the end of the session, grabbing the lead from Maxime Berger (Ten Kate Honda). The front row was completed by Domenico Colucci (Barni Racing Ducati) of Italy and Santiago Barragan (Honda Holiday Gym) from Spain. Claudio Corti (Suzuki Alstare) made less of an impression today and only ended up with seventh quickest time, but the points leader was just a couple of tenths away from the front row.
Times: 1. Simeon X. (BEL) Ducati 1098R 1’39.329; 2. Berger M. (FRA) Honda CBR1000RR 1’39.498; 3. Colucci D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’39.814; 4. Barragan S. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 1’39.958; 5. Magnoni M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R1 1’40.111; 6. Barrier S. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R1 1’40.184; 7. Corti C. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’40.195; 8. Baz L. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R1 1’40.272
Pole position for the European 600 Superstock race went to a wild-card rider from a family with a famous name, Ferruccio Lamborghini (Yamaha), who took advantage of the rain showers in the last few minutes of the session to hold off points leader Danilo Petrucci. In an all-Italian and all-Yamaha front row, third place went to Marco Bussolotti (Yamaha Trasimeno) ahead of another wild-card Giuliano Gregorini (Baru Racing Yamaha). Britain’s Gino Rea (Ten Kate Honda), level on points with Petrucci at the top of the table, could only manage tenth place and starts from row 3.
Times: 1. Lamborghini F. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’41.803; 2. Petrucci D. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’42.117; 3. Bussolotti M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’42.235; 4. Gregorini G. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’42.498; 5. Guarnoni J. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’42.632; 6. Lonbois V. (BEL) Yamaha YZF R6 1’42.728; 7. La Marra E. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 1’42.784; 8. Boscoscuro A. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’43.003