WSB : Andrew pays penalty for superpole 'disaster'
Round: 7 - Czech Republic
Date: 16 July 2005
Yamaha Motor Italia rider Andrew Pitt will start tomorrow's Czech round of the
Superbike World Championship from the fourth row of the grid after a disastrous
superpole lap saw him drop eight places from his qualifying time to 13th after
the one lap shootout.
After ending yesterday's first qualifying session at the Brno circuit down in
15th, the Australian had been in much improved form today - setting the fourth
fastest time in second qualifying and the third quickest time of the afternoon
free practice. However the former Supersport World Champion failed to find his
rhythm in the one timed lap that decided his grid position and will have to
start the race from the fourth row.
Team-mate Noriyuki Haga missed out on superpole and starts tomorrow's two 20-lap
races from the fifth row after failing to improve his qualifying time from
Friday. The popular Japanese ace was again able to run consistently in the 2'04
second bracket on race rubber, but again was unable to find the one second
advantage gained by his rivals on qualifying tyres. With most riders improving
their time from yesterday, Haga slid back from 10th in the overnight standings
to 18th on the final grid, although Nori-chan did confirm his prowess around the
Czech circuit by taking half a second from his qualifying time to end the
afternoon free practice session in eighth place.
Despite the lower than expected grid positions, both riders remain confident of
improving their positions in the race on the basis of their times on the race
settings which will ultimately decide their fate in tomorrow's races.
Yamaha Motor France's Norick Abe set his best lap of the weekend in superpole to
take 11th on the grid, an improvement from 15th in regular qualifying. Like his
colleagues in the Italian team, the Japanese has shown speed and consistency all
weekend at a circuit he knows and likes from his Grand Prix days. Team-mate
Sebastien Gimbert will start from 22nd on his return from injury.
Two Spanish R1 riders also featured in the superpole session. Jose-Luis Cardoso
ended the day as the top Yamaha runner - his 2'03.492 proving good enough for
eighth place and the second row of the grid, while newly crowned French
superbike champion David Checa ended up 10th on the Yamaha GMT94 R1.
Championship leader Troy Corser (Suzuki) was fastest in the superpole session
with a 2'02.694 lap time to see off defending champion James Toseland (Ducati)
and the Hondas of Max Neukirchner and Chris Vermeulen.
Andrew Pitt (Yamaha Motor Italia)
"What can I say? My superpole lap was a complete disaster! All day we've been
making good progress but on the lap that mattered I didn't go fast enough.
Before I went out the team old me to relax but I think I relaxed too much and
didn't go fast enough! When I was coming in I actually thought it was quite a
good lap, so it was disappointing to come in and see the lap time - but that's
how it is with superpole. We're good for the race though, and that's what
Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia)
"Today was much the same as yesterday, I needed some more grip on my fastest
lap. Again I made my best lap on the race tyre and for the race I think our
settings are not so bad. Of course, it is disappointing not to make superpole
and tomorrow will be tough. But at Misano I started 21st and finished sixth.
Starting 18th maybe I can arrive on the podium! For sure tonight we will make
some more changes to try and improve the grip performance in the race."
Norick Abe (Yamaha Motor France)
"At the last race in Misano I was so bad because bike was spinning everywhere.
Here it is better, not perfect but much better and I hope we can find some
improvements for tomorrow. I am happy with my superpole lap, although I was a
little surprised that so many other riders improved. But from the third row it
is possible to make a good start and I think tomorrow it is possible to fight
for the podium."
Massimo Meregalli (Team Coordinator - Yamaha Motor Italia)
"The qualifying times today do not show our real level because on race tyres our
riders are able to run times as fast and consistent as any of our rivals.
Noriyuki is a little frustrated because he could not make a faster lap to get
into superpole but I think tomorrow we can see him come through like he did in
Misano. Andrew has been strong all day but was perhaps just a little too
cautious on his superpole lap. I think he too will show his true form in the
Round: 7 - Czech Republic
Circuit Length: 5403m
Date: 16 July 2005
Session 2 :
Pos.Rider Manufacturer Nat. 1st Qualifying 2nd Qualifying Superpole
1 T. Corser Suzuki AUS 2' 3.487 2' 3.083 2' 2.694
2 J. Toseland Ducati GBR 2' 4.613 2' 3.941 2' 3.180
3 M. Neukirchner Honda GER 2' 3.912 2' 3.398 2' 3.214
4 C. Vermeulen Honda AUS 2' 4.436 2' 3.669 2' 3.247
5 K. Muggeridge Honda AUS 2' 4.862 2' 3.808 2' 3.252
6 C. Walker Kawasaki GBR 2' 3.064 2' 4.571 2' 3.429
7 Y. Kagayama Suzuki JPN 2' 4.782 2' 3.837 2' 3.473
8 J. Cardoso Yamaha ESP 2' 3.917 2' 4.810 2' 3.492
9 R. Laconi Ducati FRA 2' 4.184 2' 5.112 2' 3.756
10 D. Checa Yamaha ESP 2' 5.399 2' 4.168 2' 3.913
11 N. Abe Yamaha JPN 2' 4.824 2' 4.393 2' 3.954
12 G. McCoy Petronas AUS 2' 5.155 2' 4.472 2' 3.969
13 A. Pitt Yamaha AUS 2' 4.882 2' 3.776 2' 4.352
14 M. Sanchini Kawasaki ITA 2' 4.330 2' 5.621 2' 4.633
15 I. Clementi Ducati ITA 2' 4.336 2' 4.863 2' 5.281
16 L. Lanzi Ducati ITA 2' 4.912 2' 4.174 2' 5.649
18 N. Haga Yamaha JPN 2' 4.729 2' 4.841
22 S. Gimbert Yamaha FRA 2' 5.882 2' 5.269
23 G. Vizziello Yamaha ITA 2' 5.943 2' 5.446
25 L. Alfonsi Yamaha ITA 2' 7.240 2' 5.518
29 M. Praia Yamaha POR 2' 9.108 2' 7.599
R6 men optimistic in Brno
Yamaha Motor Germany's Australian duo Kevin Curtain and Broc Parkes go into
tomorrow's seventh round of the Supersport World Championship at Brno in a
positive mood after taking front row starts in today's final qualifying session.
Curtain topped the timesheets for most of the session, only for championship
leader Sebastien Charpentier (Honda) to dip under his 2'06.703 lap time late in
the session. Despite this, Curtain feels confident that his team has found a
set-up that will allow him to challenge for victory in tomorrow's 20-lap race.
All weekend the team's strategy has been to concentrate on perfecting the race
settings and endurance test tyres, with both riders able to record good lap
times on well used tyres.
Parkes enjoyed his best qualifying performance of the year with fourth, just
behind Italian Michel Fabrizio (Honda). The 23-year-old New South Welshman,
second in the championship last year, clocked a best of 2'07.188 and like
Curtain was happy to be circulating consistently in the 2'07 bracket. Having
secured the important front row starts, both men are looking to record podium
finishes and improve their championship positions.
"I think we're in good shape for the race. We've done a lot of laps on old tyres
so we know that we can do the race distance and what sort of lap times we can
do. The main thing is that we're on the front row and I'm pretty confidence that
we can keep our pace throughout the race."
"Like Kevin I've been working towards the race and I think that I can be right
up there in the race. Kevin and I have been right up there in every session and
it was only at the end that a couple of Hondas we're able to knock us off the
top. But we know what we can do in the race and I'm feeling quite confident."