Jonathan Rea will start tomorrow’s two seventh-round eni FIM World Superbike Championship races from the front row of the grid after setting the second fastest time in today’s Superpole qualifying.
The final shoot-out for grid positions for tomorrow’s two 24-lap races at the 4.226km, re-named ‘Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli’ was declared wet. However, the clouds that produced a short rain shower as Superpole started moved off and the track quickly dried, allowing lap times to fall.
Although some of the championship’s main protagonists were caught out in the unusual situation, Rea and pole position man, Tom Sykes, fought through to the second 20-minute Superpole session, with local riders Ayrton Badovini and Davide Giuliano rounding out the front row.
Rea’s Honda World Superbike team-mate, Hiroshi Aoyama, made some changes to his machine for this morning’s regulation qualifying session, but was unable to improve his time enough to qualify for Superpole. The Japanese rider will start tomorrow’s races from 20th on the grid.
Jonathan Rea – P2, 1m35.991s (Superpole 2) We need to work a bit on a qualifying set-up, because it was the exact same situation at Miller. In the last sector I had so much chatter with the qualifier, but luckily we don’t have to race on that. Front row though, I like that! I’m happy with a clear view into turn one, but that was an unbelievable lap from Tom [Sykes]. He’s exceptional at qualifying and a he’s a good racer, so we’ll see if we can take it to him tomorrow. My race tyre feels good and, although some of my championship rivals didn’t have a good session, we’ll just have to see what happens tomorrow. My season almost finished at turn 11 here last year, so to come back and qualify on the front row and to feel strong for tomorrow makes me very happy.
Hiroshi Aoyama – P20, 1m37.250s (Q2) This morning we changed the set-up but we didn’t find a good way so we came back a little bit in the afternoon. We didn’t come back completely so we found a different kind of problem. It meant that I couldn’t go fast so I’m not so happy.
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator For Hiroshi we tried quite a big change in this morning’s qualifying session, because he wasn’t quite there yesterday. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out so we missed Superpole again. In the afternoon we went back to yesterday’s settings which was better, but we lost some track time this morning, so he still needs to improve. Jonathan has had a really good day and he finished in a strong second with a good, goodrace rhythm, so he has all the ingredients to aim for the podium. Well done, again, to him and the team and let’s hope for some good racing tomorrow.
2012 eni FIM World Superbike championship – round seven , Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, Italy
Final qualifying results:
Tom Sykes (GBR) Kawasaki 1m35.375s
Jonathan Rea (GBR) Honda World Superbike Team 1m35.991s
Davide Giuliano (ITA) Ducati 1m36.083s
Ayrton Badovini (ITA) BMW 1m36.147s
Jakub Smrz (CZE) Ducati 1m36.183s
Leon Haslam (GBR) BMW 1m36.283s
Eugene Laverty (IRL) Aprilia 1m36.365s
Sylvain Guintoli (FRA) Ducati 1m36.559s
20 Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) Honda World Superbike Team (QP2) 1m37.250s