The Superpole has seriously modified the final starting grid order for the 8 Hours of Doha, last round of the 2009 Qtel FIM Endurance World Championship. The British Yamaha Phase One Endurance took their first pole position of the season as James Ellison, who came second of the British Superbike, did an incredible 2’01.002 lap.
The Yamaha Phase One Endurance leads one of their strongest competitors, the Honda Michelin Power Research Team, who signed the second best lap time with Hugo Marchand. “We worked mainly to find the best race setup”, said Hugo Marchand, “as we are usually very fast during the qualifications but then we face some problems during the race”.
BK Maco Moto Racing scored a great third place in the Superpole with Jason Pridmore, who finds himself particularly comfortable on the Losail racetrack. The Slovakian team leads the Bolliger Team Switzerland, the Honda RMT 21 Racing Germany and the Suzuki RT Racing Team Moto Virus.
The only Superstock machine to compete in the Superpole, the Suzuki Qatar Endurance Racing Team, managed to get an impressive seventh position on the starting grid. Then is the Suzuki Team 18 Sapeurs Pompiers.
Great disappointment for the new 2009 Qtel FIM Endurance World Champion, Yamaha Austria Racing Team. Steve Martin was surprised as the bike did not stop sliding during his hot lap, and could not do better than a ninth place. The Suzuki AM Moto Racing Competition kept their tenth rank as in the qualifications.
QUALIFYING (before Superpole):
The second qualification session, which took place this morning on the Losail racetrack in Qatar, changed yesterday afternoon’s hierarchy. The Honda Michelin Power Research Team now leads the Yamaha Austria Racing Team and the Yamaha Phase One Endurance.
On the Honda Michelin, William Costes, Josep Monge and Hugo Marchand improved significantly their individual lap times. Hugo Marchand did his best in 2’01.775, and that will bring a significant advantage for Honda Michelin to dominate the session.
At Yamaha Austria, Steve Martin also improved his lap time in the first session this morning with a 2’01.545. However, YART takes the second position at the average time of its three riders. Steve Martin remains the fastest rider on track, and he has beaten last year record, signed by Matthieu Lagrive on SERT Suzuki in 2’01.754.
The British Yamaha Phase One Endurance also made impression during this morning qualification session, as Pedro Vallcaneras, Glen Richards and James Ellison were particularly fast. James Ellison even entered the trio of riders who are lapping below the 2’02 bar, with a best lap in 2’01.950.
Great performance as well for the Bolliger Team Switzerland. Horst Saiger, Eric Mizera and Patric Muff managed to place the Swiss Kawasaki in fourth place. The Yamaha BK Maco Moto Racing Team has then to move back in fifth place, despite a great 2’02.761 lap from Jason Pridmore on the Slovakian Yamaha.
The Suzuki Team 18 Sapeurs Pompiers is still in sixth place, ahead of the Honda RMT 21 Racing Germany, who seemed to have found a decent pace on the overheated Losail racetrack. In eighth place, the Suzuki Qatar Endurance Racing Team still holds the Superstock leadership; they will be the only representative of that class to enter the Superpole this afternoon, reserved to the ten fastest machines after the qualifications. We’ll see there the Suzuki RT Racing Team Moto Virus and AM Racing Competition. The Superpole will reallocate the ten first places on the final starting grid.
The start of the 8 Hours of Doha will take place tomorrow Saturday at 1 pm local time (GMT +3) for an arrival at 9 pm. The sunset comes at around 5 pm over the Losail racetrack.