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Sep 22, 2012

Parkes Takes World Supersport Pole Position At Portugal

Broc Parkes (23).
FIM Supersport World Championship
Portimao, Portugal
September 22, 2012
Final Qualifying Results (all on Pirelli tires):

1. Broc PARKES, Australia (Honda CBR600RR), 1:45.408
2. Fabien FORET, France (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 1:45.458
3. Jules CLUZEL, France (Honda CBR600RR), 1:45.459
4. Sam LOWES, UK (Honda CBR600RR), 1:45.567
5. Sheridan MORAIS, South Africa (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 1:45.877
6. Vladimir LEONOV, Russia (Yamaha YZF-R6), 1:45.999
7. Kenan SOFUOGLU, Turkey (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 1:46.965
8. Florian MARINO, France (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 1:46.221
9. Massimo ROCCOLI, Italy (Yamaha YZF-R6), 1:46.383
10. Alex BALDOLINI, Italy (Triumph Daytona 675), 1:46.580

More, from a press release issued by Bogdanka PTR Honda:

BOGDANKA PTR HONDA's Sam Lowes will start tomorrow's penultimate race of the 2012 World Supersport Championship from fourth on the grid and will be aiming to fight for a podium finish at Portimao in Portugal.

Mathew Scholtz on the other Bogdanka PTR Honda improved yesterday's time by 1.5 seconds to qualify in 11th position, on the third row, and he'll be targeting at least a point scoring finish with one eye on the top ten result.

Bogdanka Honda PTR's Adrian Pasek will start his first World Supersport race from 31st on the grid after bettering his Friday's time by 0.7 of a second, as he's looking to gather as much crucial experience as possible. Tomorrow's race will start at 14:30 CET.

Sam Lowes: "We have the bike working really well, have a good race pace and I'm feeling really good ahead of the race. I went out on the hard tyre first and then changed to a soft one at the end of qualifying but we had a bit of a problem with it and I couldn't improve the time I set on my race tyre. I had no grip and had to come straight back in. I feel we could've been higher on the grid today but the important thing is that we have a good race pace and I'm really looking forward to Sunday."

Mathew Scholtz: "We've improved our times from yesterday and worked on the race pace, and things are looking quite good for the race. It's a new circuit for me, but we've still managed to get my Bogdanka PTR Honda on the third row and it's a good starting point for the race. I can't wait to get going tomorrow and will be looking to get another point scoring finish under my belt, but I would really like to match the tenth position from Russia."

Adrian Pasek: "I've felt a lot better today and started getting to grips with the World Supersport-spec Bogdanka Honda PTR bike. I'm still losing around 1.5 seconds in just two corners, but it's only a matter of my riding style, not the bike! We're heading in the right direction so I'm really looking forward to tomorrow. After the first two days here I know what I need to improve, especially when it comes to my fitness and training. Racing a different bike in the European Junior Cup requires a different preparation so I'm quite tired - especially as it's very hot here this weekend, but it's all good. The main target for the race is to get as much experience under my belt as possible and bring the bike home in my debut."

Simon Buckmaster, Bogdanka PTR Honda Team Manager: "Sam is in good shape for the race after being held up by slower riders on the racing line at the end of qualifying. His qualifying tyre did not perform as we would have hoped but on race tyres he is looking good. Mathew has done a good job and improved all weekend; it is good work by him and the Bogdanka PTR Honda team and he looks like he can threaten the top 10 in the race."

More, from a press release issued by PTR Honda:

PTR HONDA'S Jules Cluzel will start tomorrow's 12th and penultimate round of the World Supersport Championship at Parkalgar in Portugal from third on the front of the grid and has the pace to challenge for the podium in the race.

Ronan Quarmby showed real pace in free practice but couldn't replicate it in qualifying and will start from 20th on the grid looking for a good start. Martin Jessop on the Riders PTR Honda will start from 29th and is expecting to finish much higher. The race starts at 1330GMT tomorrow, Sunday 23rd September.

Jules: "I am quite disappointed as I was expecting a better time with the soft tyre. I thought it was possible but I maybe had the wrong tyre or a problem with it and was not able to go faster. My race pace is good enough though. I know the circuit now, we will see tomorrow where we are faster and slower than other riders as so far I have run by myself with no one to compare against. My plan is to do my best. The target is to win and hopefully Kenan will be lower than fourth so we can take the title fight to my home round at Magny Cours."

Ronan: "Everything gelled in free practice but I struggled in qualifying again. I need everything to gel in the race tomorrow as I want a good result here and I'll be doing my best - thanks to all my fans and followers for their support, it really helps."

Martin: "On my second qualifying lap on a soft tyre I had a puncture and lost 15-minutes. My bike felt a lot different from this morning and I am not happy; I've left myself a lot of work to do tomorrow. I'm on the outside of the grid and I always go forward in the race. I love the track but didn't quite make it happen this afternoon, I'll do my best to make it work for the race."

Simon Buckmaster, PTR Honda Team Manager: "Everything is good with Jules, his race pace is fantastic. He is on the front row but something needs to be done about people touring on the racing line looking for a tow in the interests of safety. He's in great shape for the race. Ronan looked good in free practice but wasn't able to convert in qualifying. With a good start he can have a strong race. Martin had a puncture which held him back and he will be back trying in the race."

More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Morais Fifth And Sofuoglu Seventh In Portimao Qualifying

Fabien Foret (Kawasaki Intermoto Step) was top Ninja ZX-6R qualifier in second place, with championship leader Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Lorenzini) seventh, his team-mate Sheridan Morais 5th.

On the eve of Sofuoglu having his first chance to grasp the 2012 FIM Supersport World Championship title the clear points leader had a difficult couple of days in trying to find an ideal set-up for the increasingly bumpy Portimao circuit, but still qualified on the second row in seventh place.

Morais, had a few issues with his machine set-up in practice, due to a fall at the previous round, came on well to score fifth on the grid in what were warm and sunny conditions all round over both days of qualifying.

Fabien Foret (Intermoto Step Racing Kawasaki) had a strong final qualifying session, the rider from France only missing out on pole by 0.050 seconds. His team-mate Romain Lanusse (Kawasaki Intermoto Step Racing) was only 18th, but a great ride from MSD R-N Racing Team India Kawasaki's Florian Marino put him into eighth place, one behind Sofuoglu. Dan Linfoot was 16th on his MSD R-N machine.

For Sofuoglu improvements will be made of his machine set-up in the final warm-up session on Sunday morning and the Turkish rider aims to do enough to make sure he wins the World Championship this weekend, rather than have to go to Magny-Cours for the final round still needing points.

Kenan Sofuoglu: "It has not been easy here because we brought the same basic set-up we have been using all year to this race but yesterday morning it was not working the way we wanted it to, or even in the later sessions. In qualifying today we put in a whole new setting, a completely different way, which looks like it brought us a one second improvement - then we have a problem with grip level. The good thing now is that we reached a not too bad lap time to qualify and we will fix our race set-up in warm-up tomorrow. I do not like the fact that I am starting from seventh position on the grid, but no problem, I am sure we can make positions back again."

Sheridan Morais: "On day one we struggled a bit but I am quite happy today. Just before the last part of qualifying yesterday we found that there was a bit of unseen damage to the chassis from our crash at Nürburgring. We got through qualifying and the guys in the team worked hard to put a new frame in the bike and today it was way better, back to normal. The bike was a pleasure to ride today and there are only a few little things to change for raceday. I was still able to do lots of fast laps today so I am looking forward to the race. I wanted to be front row but there is a decent run down to turn one, so I want to get up into the top four in the first corners."