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Jun 7, 2014

Cluzel Earns World Supersport Pole Position At Sepang

Jules Cluzel (16).

FIM Supersport World Championship

Sepang Circuit, Malaysia

June 7, 2014

Qualifying Results (all on Pirelli tires):

1. Jules CLUZEL, France (MV Agusta F3 675), 2:08.331

2. Kev COGHLAN, UK (Yamaha YZF-R6), 2:08.424

3. Michael VD MARK, Netherlands (Honda CBR600RR), 2:08.961

4. Kenan SOFUOGLU, Turkey (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 2:08.977

5. Roberto ROLFO, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 2:09.134

6. Lorenzo ZANETTI, Italy (Honda CBR600RR), 2:09.494

7. Zaghwan ZAIDI, Malaysia (Honda CBR600RR), 2:09.552

8. PJ JACOBSEN, USA (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 2:09.580

9. Jack KENNEDY, Ireland (Honda CBR600RR), 2:09.613

10. Rathapark WILAIROT, Thailand (Honda CBR600RR), 2:09.707 

More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Sofuoglu And Rolfo On The Second Row In Malaysia

Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Mahi Racing Team India) was the top Kawasaki qualifier at Sepang, taking his Ninja ZX-6R to fourth place for a start off the second row of the grid. At a track much used by the MotoGP classes, former GP rider Roby Rolfo (Kawasaki Team GO Eleven) was in good qualifying form, taking fifth spot and a second row starting position.

Sofuoglu’s progress to the second row included a loss of track time on occasion, but the triple world champion still managed to post a fast qualifying lap and take an important second row starting spot.

For Rolfo fifth place was a pre-race boost and he has high hopes of taking a season best finish in Sunday’s 14-lap WSS contest, scheduled for a midday start, just before the first Superbike race takes place.

Patrick Jacobsen (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) placed himself eighth on the starting grid for the Sepang race as he once more showed promise in his rookie season.

Florian Marino (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) had been fast all through the three free practice sessions but he was only able to finish 11th in qualifying, leaving him on the fourth row of the grid. Roberto Tamburini (San Carlo Puccetti Racing Kawasaki) was one place behind Marino, with Alessandro Nocco (San Carlo Puccetti Racing Kawasaki) 15th in qualifying today.

Christian Gamarino (Kawasaki Team Go Eleven) leads the sixth row of qualifying while Tony Covena (Kawasaki Ponyexpres Intermoto) was 22nd fastest.

Kenan Sofuoglu: “We had a technical problem and in the afternoon I got an issue after the first ten minutes of qualifying. We had some questions with the bike set-up after the first day so we decided to change things completely front and rear with settings we had not tried before. We were pleased that they worked, we put in a soft race tyre and immediately I did a very good qualifying time. I missed some track time in qualification after that and that made things more difficult. For tomorrow we can be positive because have already gone in a good direction with the set-up and we will try to modify some more in the morning warm-up. Then we will be ready to race.”

More, from a press release issued by Pata Honda Supersport Team:

Front row in sultry Sepang for van der Mark

Michael van der Mark will start tomorrow’s sixth-round World Supersport championship race from the front row of the grid after setting the third-fastest lap time in this afternoon’s qualifying session at Sepang in Malaysia.

The 21-year-old Pata Honda rider from Rotterdam in the Netherlands lapped the 5.548km circuit in a time of 2m08.961s – a little more than half a second off the pole position time of French rider Jules Cluzel.

However, having completed a race simulation in this morning’s third free practice session, series leader van der Mark has confidence in the race pace of his Pata Honda CBR600RR machine.

His Pata Honda team-mate Lorenzo Zanetti will start from the second row of the grid after a determined effort at the end of this afternoon’s hot qualifying session with track temperatures hovering around 60°C.

With a margin of just 0.058s, the Italian rider, 26, nudged Malaysian wildcard rider Zaqhwan Zaidi off the second row on his final lap. However, it was an impressive qualifying performance from the 19-year-old, who will start from the head of the third row on a Honda CBR600RR prepared by the Ten Kate Racing Products team from Pata Honda’s base in the Netherlands.

Michael van der Mark - P3, 2m08.961s

Yes, I’m really happy now I’ve had a chance to cool down! Qualifying actually didn’t go exactly to plan because we had a little issue on the bike and I was not able to get out at the beginning of the session. But the guys solved the problem quickly and I had some tyres to try to do some fast laps. I did some, and I think I could have done better, but I got held up many times by other riders. This morning in free practice we showed that we had a really good race pace and I’m pretty confident that tomorrow we can aim for the podium.

Lorenzo Zanetti - P6, 2m09.494s

I am not too disappointed with the second row because normally I am not really fast in qualifying. The front two rows are important for tomorrow, but even more important is that we have found a good way and a good solution. Yesterday and this morning I was losing a lot of time on corner exit, but the team found a good setting and this is positive for tomorrow’s race and my rhythm, and I’m very happy about this. Sure in the last few minutes today some riders were a little crazy but maybe the heat affected them a little. But the second row is good for me because, after not finishing at Donington, when I was fighting for another win, I want to fight again tomorrow.

Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator

Third place for Michael is fine because his race pace is looking quite strong and I think he can be one of the podium candidates again. Lorenzo struggled a bit this morning and he was not so happy, so we made some changes for the afternoon. These gave him back a bit of confidence and he’s in good spirits and looking forward to tomorrow. I must also congratulate the Ten Kate Racing Products team and the wildcard rider, Zaqhwan Zaidi. He has shown good speed in the practice sessions and is in seventh place on the grid as the third highest Honda rider. To perform like that at world championship level is a really good achievement and we all wish him the best of luck for the race tomorrow.

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