News 28 Jun 2009

WSBK: Aprilia has best Superpole of 2009 with front row

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The unpredictable British weather conditions made the SBK Superpole round at Donington even more exciting and uncertain. After the first two sessions took place on a dry track, a few drops of rain began to fall just as the green light from the pit lane gave the go ahead for the final eight. At first it seemed as though the weather would be inconsequential, but about halfway through the lap, it began to rain harder, making the track completely wet. In the end, Ben Spies, on his Yamaha, would take home the victory with a perfect race, despite the rain-soaked circuit, stopping the clock at 1:29:846.

Max Biaggi will start off tomorrow from second place after achieving a time of 1:30:080. The Roman driver passed the Superpole 1 with the top time on racing tyres at 1:30:351. During the second session, Max used his first qualifying tyre and finished in sixth place. In Superpole 3, after noticing the sporadic drops of rain, Biaggi decided to immediately start off with the last racing tyre available. This choice would prove to be winning. Max managed to complete the timed round on dry asphalt, making the most of the efficiency provided by the soft mixture. Only Spies, who started off a few seconds later, would manage to snatch away the Superpole after a perfect race on a track that was near impossible to navigate on slicks.

Shinya Nakano conquered his first chance to race in a Superbike round starting off from the first lane, thanks to his time of 1:30:671. The Japanese driver came through the first session in sixteenth place using racing tyres, and then qualified for the final eight with the fourth place time, using his qualifying tyres. Shinya adopted the same strategy used by his teammate for Superpole 3, starting off right away with used qualifying tyres from the previous round, given that the new Pirelli racing tyres from his previous race had a longer life with respect to the ones that he used earlier. On the dry track, Shinya achieved a time of 1:30:671 that would allow him to secure fourth place and take his RSV4 into the first lane.

“It was a very exciting Superpole,” declared Biaggi. “During the last lap, I noticed that the first drops of rain were beginning to fall and I started off immediately by trying to make the most of the track while it was still dry, and it went well. This time the rain helped us out. We had some rather good qualifying rounds, we’ve improved along the way, even if we aren’t as fast as we need to be yet. We still have too much trouble at the slowest portion of the track. I hope to have a great race tomorrow on this track, which I like a lot.”

“I’m very pleased,” said Nakano. “This is my first first lane in this category. When I saw the rain start to fall from the sky, I came out right away and tried my best to finish the lap. Fortunately, it went well. We’ve improved, but we’ve had quite a few problems on the wet track. I know this track well, and I hope to have a good race.”