MotorLand Aragon (Spain), June 30, 2012 – Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) blasted the previous track best at MotorLand Aragon to record a time of 1 minute 56.552 seconds in Tissot-Superpole, earning his sixth pole position of the season. His new best time was over a second better than the best lap from 2011, a huge margin even at a relatively long circuit like MotorLand Aragon. It was all the more remarkable as his top speed was ten km/h less than the best of his rivals, and he made a mistake in one section of the circuit during his fastest lap.
Aprilia Racing Team riders Max Biaggi and Eugene Laverty were second and third respectively and the front row for Sunday’s two 20-lap races was completed by Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport). Haslam’s team-mate Marco Melandri was fifth in Tissot-Superpole, with Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) in sixth place.
Tom Sykes: “I took a bit of warming up to be honest. In the first two Superpole sessions I thought I was trying hard but obviously not hard enough. Then in SP3 I put a bit extra on the line and fortunately it paid off. I made a mistake in the last sector so to cross the line with that lap time I’m more than happy. We also had a good test here last week and I think we’ve closed the gap to the front guys on a hot and greasy track, which has been a big issue.”
Max Biaggi: “We’re looking good, we’ve been constantly in the top 4 or 5 but we knew that we would be from last year’s strong races. Today we saw other manufacturers go closer and someone else go faster but it was an impressive lap time for Tom, congratulations to him, he was faster than anyone. We could only get second and it’s not so bad but the races are going to be very hard tomorrow.”
Eugene Laverty: “Superpole started well then in the second one I wasn’t able to go so fast with a qualifying tyre and I thought that had spoiled my chances, but my last run was on a soft race tyre and that put me on the front row and made sure we’ll be there challenging tomorrow. We haven’t been out of the top 5 all weekend and it’s been the strongest performance all year, so I’m feeling confident for the races.”
Leon Haslam: “I’ve got to be happy with the front row, but I feel this weekend we’ve been a little bit on the back foot trying to find a good race set-up. But the guys have worked well and in the last two sessions and we found some better pace, and to put the bike on the front row as well has made me really happy.”
World Champion Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati) echoed his race number by finishing seventh after Superpole. Fast 2012 rookie Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Team Aprilia), was eighth. The top ten was rounded out by Team Effenbert Liberty Racing rider Sylvain Guintoli and Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet). Checa’s Althea Racing team-mate Davide Giugliano secured a third row starting spot in 11th place, while Jakub Smrz (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert) was 12th.
Times: 1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’56.552 average 165.063 kph; 2. Biaggi (Aprilia) 1’57.260; 3. Laverty (Aprilia) 1’57.592; 4. Haslam (BMW) 1’57.710; 5. Melandri (BMW) 1’57.784; 6. Rea (Honda) 1’58.033; 7. Checa (Ducati) 1’58.243; 8. Davies (Aprilia) 1’58.485; 9. Guintoli (Ducati) 1’58.073; 10. Badovini (BMW) 1’58.249; 11. Giugliano (Ducati) 1’58.264; 12. Smrz (Ducati) 1’59.160; 13. Fabrizio (BMW) 1’58.534; 14. Camier (Suzuki) 1’58.660; 15. Baz (Kawasaki) 1’59.302; 16. Zanetti (Ducati) 1’59.549; etc.
Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda) popped up to score pole in the Spanish sunshine with a lap time of 2 minutes 02.624 seconds, in what was a close final qualifying session. He headed off three Kawasaki riders, with Lorenzini pairing Sheridan Morais and Kenan Sofuoglu second and third respectively and the final front row slot being taken by Fabien Foret (Kawasaki Intermoto Step Racing).
Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda) scored fifth and Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda) sixth. All of the top six riders were covered by 0.271 seconds, indicating that Sunday’s 18-lap race should be closely contested.
Times: 1. Cluzel (Honda) 2’02.624 average 156.889 kph; 2. Morais (Kawasaki) 2’02.665; 3. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 2’02.804; 4. Foret (Kawasaki) 2’02.882; 5. Lowes (Honda) 2’02.892; 6. Parkes (Honda) 2’02.895; 7. Iannuzzo (Triumph) 2’03.451; 8. Metcher (Yamaha) 2’03.701; etc.
Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) secured his third pole of the 2012 season after a tense competition in hot conditions at Motorland Aragon. He held off his compatriot Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki), with Barrier’s team-mate Luca Baroni third and the Barni Racing Team Ducati 1199 Panigale of Eddi La Marra fourth.
Aussie star Bryan Staring (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) was a top five finisher, one place up on Markus Reiterberger (Team Alpha Racing BMW). British rider Kevin Coghlan (DMC Racing) was seventh on his Ducati Panigale.
Times: 1. Barrier (BMW) 2’02.709 average 156.781 kph; 2. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 2’02.720; 3. Baroni (BMW) 2’02.833; 4. La Marra (Ducati) 2’02.935; 5. Staring (Kawasaki) 2’02.986; 6. Reiterberger (BMW) 2’03.187; 7. Coghlan (Ducati) 2’03.739; 8. Savadori (Ducati) 2’03.769; etc.
Superstock 600 – Race
Riccardo Russo (Yamaha Team Italia FMI) set a new lap record of 2 minutes 05.799 seconds on his way to the win in the shortened European Superstock 600 Championship race. After a red flag halted the first attempt the planned ten lap race dropped to six and the subsequent sprint saw some intense action at the front. Michael van der Mark (EAB Ten Kate Junior Honda) finished 1.514 seconds behind Russo while Gauthier Duwelz (MTM Yamaha) was third. Francesco Cocco (Team Pata by Martini Yamaha) was fourth in the race and Adrian Nestorovic (MTM Yamaha) was fifth. The race finish today was identical to the championship order. Russo has 106 points, van der Mark 99 and Duwelz 58.
Results: 1. Russo (Yamaha) 6 Laps/32.064 km in 12’41.673 average 151.548 kph; 2. Vd Mark (Honda) 1.514; 3. Duwelz (Yamaha) 4.594; 4. Cocco (Yamaha) 4.622; 5. Nestorovic (Yamaha) 5.642; 6. Davies (Kawasaki) 5.813; 7. Vitali (Yamaha) 8.545; 8. Suchet (Honda) 8.784; etc.
Points (after 5 of 10 rounds): 1. Russo 106; 2. Vd Mark 99; 3. Duwelz 58; 4. Calero Perez 50; 5. Vitali 42; 6. Gamarino 33; 7. Nestorovic 28; 8. Chesaux26; etc.
KTM European Junior Cup
Lukas Wimmer scored the pole time in the KTM European Junior Cup qualifying contest, with Javier Orellana from Spain second and his compatriot Gaston Garcia third. Italian runner Federico Fazzina was a top four rider, with Aussie pilot Jake Lewis fifth. Christian Vidal, another fast local rider, took his Duke 690 to sixth. British rider Jamie Patterson starts tomorrow’s race from seventh place.
Times: 1. Wimmer (KTM) 2’17.601 average 139.813 kph; 2. Orellana (KTM) 2’18.356; 3. Garcia (KTM) 2’19.511; 4. Fazzina (KTM) 2’19.562; 5. Lewis (KTM) 2’20.255; 6. Vidal (KTM) 2’20.323; 7. Patterson (KTM) 2’20.717; 8. Demoulin (KTM) 2’21.252; etc.