BMW Motorrad Motorsport riders Troy Corser and Ruben Xaus had mixed fortunes in Superpole qualifying at Portimao today. Troy easily qualified for Superpole 2 and 3, but Ruben was unable to progress any further than Superpole 1 and now faces a difficult start from the fifth row of the grid. Troy suffered hardly any of yesterday’s grip problems and passed from Superpole 1 into Superpole 2 and then into 3 without any drama. But then, a small crash in Superpole 3, effectively ruined his chances of a front row grid place and he will now start on row two. Ben Spies (Yamaha) took his eleventh Superpole victory of the season, with a lap of 1:42.412, over half a second ahead of his nearest rival, Shane Byrne (Ducati). Third quickest today is Michel Fabrizio (Ducat), with Jonathan Rea (Honda) fourth.
Troy – 8th, 1:44.719
Today, we didn’t have anything like the problems with grip we had yesterday and I was able to push a lot harder. We shortened the wheelbase to put a bit more weight on the rear end and also made some changes to the rear shock. The bike worked a lot better than yesterday and maybe part of yesterday’s problems might just have been tyre-related. So today, when everything started to work properly, I was happy and able to lap pretty quickly. On race rubber, I know I can run a good pace, so I’ve got to make good starts tomorrow and keep with the leaders. I had a little crash this afternoon in Superpole 3, when I pushed the front a bit too much and that cost me some time. I had already used my allocation of qualifying tyres so I knew that the second row was as good as it was going to get. But, I have made quick starts from further dow the grid before, so I am hopeful of good results tomorrow.
Ruben – 19th, 1:44.483
We definitely improved some things from yesterday and on soft tyres or race rubber I can make pretty good lap times. But when I tried a qualifying tyre, although the grip improved a bit, the bike got upset and it became very risky to push harder. We’ll look at the telemetry and try and work out how or why this happened and then see if we can make some adjustments. We had a little problem with one bike this afternoon and that cost me some time. Here I am trying to understand the recent things the guys have done to the bike, work out how they are affecting it and then how I must ride it. At the end of the work, there is always improvement, but these are the kind of things we have to do because this is the first year with the bike. Considering all this, I am very happy about the progress we are making and the potential that is still to come.
Berti Hauser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director)
The recent steps the team have done and the new engine spec have given us all something to thing about. But this is the way we progress and I am satisfied that we are continuing to go in a forward direction. I am happy that Troy did not suffer with the same problems as yesterday and for a while he made us dream that we would finally get a front row grid place. But we know what kind of starts he can make from down the grid, so we are all hopeful he has two good races tomorrow. Ruben is obviously not yet 100% physically and this track is very demanding, but we have had absolutely no complaint from him about when he is on the bike. There is no pressure on him this weekend and we hope that he has two safe races, comes away unhurt and with results we can all be happy about.