Having just one session of Friday practice before official qualifying did not help either Broc Parkes or Makoto Tamada in their preparations for Superpole, with only Broc making the first cut today.
An unacceptably slippery track surface was in evidence in the very first practice session on Friday, meaning that the opening day action had to be postponed after only five minutes and did not resume until the circuit was cleaned. A much-delayed untimed session was the only Superbike action to be completed on Friday, so the single pre-Superpole qualifying session came around after only one hour of track action had been carried out.
Parkes used the final untimed session before Superpole qualifying to try and find a set-up he could use to best effect, but when running soft Superpole qualifying tyres he experienced chatter from the machine. He just missed advancing to the second stage of Superpole and finally ran off track near the end of his first session, ending up 18th overall.
Makoto Tamada missed out on qualifying for Superpole, losing his best laptime after it was adjudged he had crossed the line just after the chequered flag to end the session. He is now 21st on the grid for Sunday’s two WSB races.
Broc Parkes: “We had a bit of chatter when we used the Superpole tyre. I went into a few of the corners and couldn’t keep the corner speed, because the chatter started in the rear but moved to the front. It hasn’t come easy here but we have a few more things to try, and we need to make another step forward tomorrow. But we are certainly better on race tyres than on qualifiers and we did an entire practice session on one tyre today, so we should be better in the races.”
Makoto Tamada: “I was unlucky to miss my fastest lap, which would have got me into Superpole. I used the same tyre in qualifying as I had before but the traction seemed less. So yesterday and today was not so easy, and we have yet to find a good setting. The bike works well in the chicanes, really not so bad, but under braking and exit we could be better. Tomorrow in warm-up we expect to find a good direction with the set-up for the races.”