Makoto Tamada was the top Kawasaki pre-race qualifier at the Nürburgring, earning a start on row three after posting 12th in Superpole qualifying.
Broc Parkes had been the leading Ninja ZX-10R rider for the most part in dry practice, but a small fall in Superpole one contributed to him finishing 15th on the grid. In regular qualifying, which determines which riders can go forward to Superpole, Parkes was 10th and Tamada 13th, in what proved to be a dry second session, after Friday’s wet start to the weekend.
The simulated race pace of the Kawasaki machines has been encouraging this weekend with recent technical improvements helping the team in the quest to maintain lap times over full race distance.
Sunday’s two 20-lap Superbike races are expected to be held in drier conditions than those that have affected many aspects of practice so far, but even if raceday dawns wet, the team has now gained experience of the circuit in all conditions.
Broc Parkes: “It wasn’t too bad but unfortunately I dropped the bike on the exit of the first corner in the first Superpole session. It is so slow there that it pretty much just fell over. I went back into the box and when we went back out on a qualifying tyre I didn’t quite have the confidence I wanted. It is OK, but I would have liked to be on the third row. We are still in there and got in the top 16 of Superpole again. Our race set-up is good, we ran almost the whole final untimed session on the same tyre and got 22 laps out of it. Now we have to look towards the race and get a few more things sorted for tomorrow.”
Makoto Tamada: “In the last race the machine was much better than the previous rounds and here we have continued to get a good feeling with it. In braking it is very strong and in the faster corners it is good, but in the slower corners we could improve a bit more. The races will be difficult but it is always tough in this class. We have made a tyre choice for this track and starting from row three is not so bad.”