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Apr 19, 2002

Edwards Second-fastest In Friday World Superbike Qualifying At Sugo

Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>By Glenn LeSanto<BR><BR>Colin Edwards was just edged out of provisional World Superbike pole by rival Honda rider Makato Tamada at Sugo. The Japanese wild card rider celebrated his fast lap in unusual style--by crashing!<BR><BR>Tamada was one of no less than eight crashers in the first qualifying session. The red flag was out twice, including once when Hitoyasu Izutsu<BR>ruled himself out of the World Superbike competition for perhaps two months. Izutsu broke his left arm when he highsided on the exit of the<BR>chicane, when he was fourth fastest in the session. Other tarmac-tasters included both the Bostrom brothers, Eric and Ben, as well as Lucio<BR>Pedercini, Steve Martin, Alessandro Antonello and Noriyuki Haga.<BR><BR>Despite his crash Haga managed to end up third fastest. Britain's Neil Hodgson kept his cool--and his Dunlop tyres in contact with the track--<BR>to finish fifth fastest.<BR><BR>Edwards uses Michelin tyres on his Castrol Honda while Tamada uses Dunlop and has tested extensively at Sugo--he's a Dunlop test rider and<BR>Sugo is a Dunlop test track! Edwards has tested once here since last season but Michelin engineers have tested Superbike tires a total of three times here since last year's race.<BR><BR>World Superbike, Sugo<BR>First Qualifying<BR>Fastest times:<BR>1. Makoto Tamada, Japan (Honda) 1:29.314<BR>2. Colin Edwards, USA (Honda) 1:29.454<BR>3. Noriyuki Haga, Japan (Aprilia) 1:29.495<BR>4. Hitoyasu Izutsu, Japan (Kawasaki) 1:29.612<BR>5. Neil Hodgson, GB (Ducati) 1:29.690<BR>6. Wataru Yoshikawa, Japan (Yamaha) 1:29.723<BR>7. Ben Bostrom, USA (Ducati) 1:29.773<BR>8. Troy Bayliss, Australia (Ducati) 1:29.773<BR>9. Akira Yanagawa, Japan (Kawasaki) 1:29.823<BR>10. Yuichi Takeda, Japan (Honda) 1:29.909<BR><BR><BR>Fujiwara fastest in first Supersport qualifying in Japan<BR><BR>Japanese wild card riders traditionally do well in Sugo, and there's already a Japanese rider at the top of the Supersport timesheet. But this time it isn't a wild card entry, it's Suzuki regular Katsuaki Fujiwara.<BR><BR>Fujiwara spent the last minutes of the session locked in a nail-biting battle with Fabien Foret. The pair finished only 0.01-second apart with Foret just losing out to the Japanese rider.<BR><BR>Fujiwara's time of 1:32.852 is a new Supersport best lap at Sugo.<BR><BR>Paolo Casoli was one of several riders putting in quick laps as the session closed, he was third fastest at 1:32.898. Casoli's teammate James Whitham was sixth fastest.<BR><BR>Piergiorgio Bontempi again looked promising on the only twin-cylinder machine in the top 10, putting his Ducati 748R into a provisional<BR>fourth on the grid.<BR><BR>The session was littered with crashes, with Karl Muggeridge, Iain MacPherson, Rob Frost, Christophe Cogan and Antonio Carlacci all falling<BR>without substantial injury.<BR><BR><BR>World Supersport, Sugo<BR>April 19, 2002<BR>Qualifying times:<BR>1. Katsuaki Fujiwara, Japan (Suzuki) 1:32.852<BR>2. Fabien Foret, France (Honda) 1:32.853<BR>3. Paolo Casoli, Italy (Yamaha) 1:32.898<BR>4. Piergiorgio Bontempi, Italy (Ducati) 1:33.265<BR>5. Stephane Chambon, France (Suzuki) 1:33.329<BR>6. James Whitham, GB (Yamaha) 1:33.333<BR>7. Karl Muggeridge, Australia (Honda) 1:33.356<BR>8. Chris Vermeulen, Australia (Honda) 1:33.370<BR>9. Tatsuya Yamaguchi, Japan (Honda) 1:33.371<BR>10. Iain MacPherson, GB (Honda) 1:33.402