Having learnt the long complicated Brno track Yamaha World Superbike rider Ben Spies got down to business today in the second qualifying session. Spies speed was never on doubt and as the track knowledge increased so the lap times came down. He ended the session on the top spot a tenth of a second faster than nearest rival Max Biaggi although overall times put him in second behind the Italian. Biaggi’s claim to the top spot was short-lived as Spies went straight out in the first Superpole session to score the fastest time, without using a Q tyre. This was to be repeated in the following two heats as he switched to his two allotted Q tyres and again set himself apart from the Superbike pack, the only rider to dip twice below 1.59 seconds.
Tom Sykes performance echoed his team mate, having grasped the track layout he improved dramatically on yesterday’s times and finished the second qualifying session in sixth position under six hundreds of a second from Spies in first, giving him an overall provisional qualifying position of eighth. The afternoon brought what was possibly the best Superpole session yet of the season for Sykes. Using a Q for the first session he ended comfortably in tenth. Changing tactics for the second session, he waited in the garage until four minutes from the end before heading out on a second Q and again finishing comfortably in fifth behind Michel Fabrizio. The final session saw him re-use the Q to take eighth position and a well earned second row start on the grid for tomorrow’s races.
Ben Spies, Yamaha World Superbike Team (1st,1’58.868)
“It was a good Superpole session for us and it’s been a good weekend so far as well with the qualifying. We’ve been good with the race set up and we found something in the afternoon practice session that made the bike feel a lot better on race tyres. Superpole was good for us, we really got it together. I had a small problem in the last session but it was still good enough to get it done today but it was a tough one. We’ve got a good start position tomorrow and I think our bike is really good on the tyres here after a few laps so I think it’s going to be a good race-day. Michel will definitely be up there tomorrow and I think Max will be too. I love the circuit, it’s really wide, big and fast, it’s a beautiful track.”
Tom Sykes, Yamaha World Superbike Team (8th, 2’00.240)
“The qualifying wasn’t too bad, we finished eighth overall and to be honest we were just working on the settings on the bike. In the free practice we wanted to try something else but for some reason I felt a bit uncomfortable on the bike and wasn’t sure why so we switched to the second bike for Superpole. I felt straight at home again so tonight we’ll change everything to make sure both bikes are the same for tomorrow. I’m reasonably happy with row two, it’s better than where we have been starting from and it’s a good track to pass on. We should have a good race pace so we’ll try a couple more things in warm-up to see if we can improve some more and hope for dry weather. I’m looking forward to tomorrow now, I certainly feel with a good start it could be a good race round here. I’m looking forward to mixing it with everyone and getting on the podium!”
Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha World Superbike Team
“Nine Superpoles from ten races is really special, not something that everyone can do. The way both riders have worked this weekend has been really great. The pace on the race tyres is really good, and to be on the first two rows with another Superpole is fantastic. Up to now everything is good!”