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May 11, 2013

Sam Lowes Grabs World Supersport Pole Position At Monza

FIM Supersport World Championship: Sam Lowes (11).
FIM Supersport World Championship
Monza, Italy
May 11, 2013
Final Qualifying Results (all on Pireli tires):

1. Sam LOWES, UK (Yamaha YZF-R6), 1:47.899
2. Florian MARINO, France (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 1:48.154
3. Kenan SOFUOGLU, Turkey (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 1:48.417
4. Lorenzo ZANETTI, Italy (Honda CBR600RR), 1:48.504
5. Stefano CRUCIANI, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 1:48.658
6. Riccardo RUSSO, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 1:49.058
7. Michael VD MARK, Netherlands (Honda CBR600RR), 1:49.129
8. Kev COGHLAN, UK (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 1:49.132
9. Fabien FORET, France (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 1:49.204
10. Luca MARCONI, Italy (Honda CBR600RR), 1:49.386

More, from a press release issued by PTR Honda:

PTR HONDA'S Luca Marconi took an impressive 10th place in final qualification at the fourth round of the World Supersport Championship at his home round of Monza in Italy.

The Italian was sixth in the wet yesterday and 10th in the dry shows he is continuing to ride in some of the best form of his career. Luca said: "I am happy to be 10th, this is my best qualification in World Supersport. We will work more on my bike to improve top end speed and I think a top eight result is possible for the race."

Sheridan Morais will start in 12th, just behind his team mate, but is expected to improve over race distance.

Rookie Matt Davies improved dramatically to seize a career best 19th on the grid, putting him in contention for a points finish in the race. David Linortner in 23rd and Nacho Calero in 25th have improved and will be targeting the top 20 in the race, which starts at 1330CET on Sunday, 12th May.

Simon Buckmaster, PTR Honda Team Manager: "All of the PTR Honda riders improved significantly from this morning's free practice, with Luca really raising his game. He is riding well and has the potential to be well inside the top 10 in the race.

"Sheridan has shown he has the speed and also should be better over the race distance. He is not 100 per cent as he still has an injured shoulder from the last round, but he is still good enough for top six and that is our target.

"Matt got inside the top 20 as I suspected he would and I think has the potential to score his first World Championship points in the race. He is in good shape and is starting to impress.

"David still has plenty of room for improvement and we are working with him on that. Nacho improved a lot on lap time and we are also working with him to improve his riding performance. Both will be targeting the top 20 as they continue to learn about World Championship racing."

Final Qualification
1. Sam Lowes GBR Yakhnich Yamaha YZF-R6 1m 47.899s
2. Florian Marino FRA Intermoto PonyExpres Kawasaki ZX-6R 1m 48.154s
3. Kenan Sofuoglu TUR Mahi India Kawasaki ZX-6R 1m 48.417s
4. Lorenzo Zanetti ITA PATA Honda CBR600RR 1m 48.504s
5. Stefano Cruciani ITA Puccetti Kawasaki ZX-6R 1m 48.658s
6. Riccardo Russo ITA Puccetti Kawasaki ZX-6R 1m 49.058s
10. Luca Marconi ITA PTR Honda CBR600RR 1m 49.386s
12. Sheridan Morais RSA PTR Honda CBR600RR 1m 49.495s
19. Matt Davies AUS PTR Honda CBR600RR 1m 49.978s
23. David Linortner AUT PTR Honda CBR600RR 1m 50.564s
25. Nacho Calero Perez ESP PTR Honda CBR600RR 1m 50.711s

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

Zanetti’s best qualifying performance

Lorenzo Zanetti fired in his best qualifying performance of the season so far by taking fourth place in today’s final session in preparation for tomorrow’s fourth round World Supersport championship race at Monza in Italy.

The 26-year-old Pata Honda rider is looking for a good performance in his home round and the Italian lapped the 5.777km circuit in 1m48.504s, less than a tenth of a second from a front row start where Sam Lowes holds pole position.

Zanetti’s Pata Honda team-mate, Michael van der Mark, was seventh fastest this afternoon following a crash which threatened to end his qualifying early.

The 20-year-old Dutch ace’s crew - with a little assistance from Pata Honda World Superbike rider, Jonathan Rea - managed to repair his CBR600RR to enable him to complete the session for at the head of the third row.

Lorenzo Zanetti – P4, 1.48.504s

Today it was dry and I started with the same settings as yesterday and had a good feeling with the bike. I was sitting in third place but then Sofuoglu went past me but I still felt I had a possibility for the front row. Unfortunately, when I started to push there were some drops of rain on the far side of the circuit and the session was over. I am happy though because the feeling on the bike is good and this is my home race, so it’s special. The bike is fast on the track and I will work hard in tomorrow’s race. I have two tyre options but we will wait until tomorrow before we decide.

Michael van der Mark – P7, 1m49.129s

We started quite fast in qualifying after a lot of changes this morning. It was feeling OK for the first few laps but then I made a mistake and turn seven and I crashed. It took quite a long time to get back because the marshalls did not want to let me have my bike. The guys worked really hard and even Jonathan [Rea] was helping, so I’m really grateful for that! After this I did my fastest lap time, but it was really difficult because it started to rain in the last few minutes. So it was a bit of a chaotic session but I think if we put all the good things together, we can be quite fast tomorrow.

Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator

Lorenzo got fourth, which is his best qualifying with the team so congratulations to him. He has been fast and running with the top guys in all the sessions and if it was not for some rain he might have been even closer to the front. But he did a really good job and for sure he can run for podium tomorrow. Michael crashed early this afternoon and he was able to come back with the bike. It always takes some time to repair the bike and losing the track time didn’t help us try to find the intermediate setting – a little like at Assen. We still have work to do to give him a better setting but we’ll sort something tomorrow to help him fight with the top guys.

2013 World Supersport championship, round four – Autodromo Nationale di Monza, Italy
Final qualifying results:
1 Sam Lowes (GBR) Yamaha 1m47.899s
2 Florian Marino (FRA) Kawasaki 1m48.154s
3 Kenan Sofuoglu (TUR) Kawasaki 1m48.417s
4 Lorenzo Zanetti (ITA) Pata Honda 1m48.504s
5 Stafano Cruciano (ITA)Kawasaki 1m48.658s
6 Roberto Russo (ITA) Kawasaki 1m49.058
7 Michael van der Mark (NED) Pata Honda 1m49.129s

More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Two Kawasakis On The Monza Front Row

WSS, Monza, Italy, 11 May 2013

Kawasaki Mahi Racing Team India rider Kenan Sofuoglu was third in qualifying at Monza, one place behind Florian Marino (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) with points leader Fabien Foret ninth.

A late and short-lived fall of rain around one or two areas of the 5.777km circuit prevented Sofuoglu for making a push for pole but he was, as ever, satisfied to be on the front row.

Rains on the first day of practice at Monza mean that he and his peers will have to work in warm-up before the race to make final tyre and set-up selections, for what is scheduled to be a 16-lap competition.

Foret was another rider caught out by the late fall of rain but he still took his Mahi Racing Team India Ninja ZX-6R to a top ten grid placing, starting off the third row of the grid in ninth place.

Young rider Marino is now looking forward to what will be only his third WSS race of the year as he performs stand-in duties for injured regular Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres team rider David Salom.

Luca Scassa (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) was 14th after experiencing some issues in final qualifying, while Kevin Coghlan (Kawasaki DMC-Lorenzini Team) was eighth, one place ahead of Foret.

Vladimir Ivanov (Kawasaki DMC-Lorenzini Team) went 16th on the grid, but with Puccetti Kawasaki duo Stefano Cruciani and Riccardo Russo fifth and sixth there were six Kawasaki riders in the top nine grid places at Monza.

Kenan Sofuoglu: “I was a little bit disappointed because we had some rain at the end and I could not make an improvement in final lap time because of this. The plan was to use the first 30 minutes of qualification to make a long run and to understand the bike then leave the last 15 minutes to go for a lap time. But then the rain started to drop. I tried it anyway but I touched the kerbs one time and almost fell. I felt that I did not need to take the risk because I was already in the front row. My goal is always to be on the front row after qualification. If I had a big crash going for pole I could have destroyed tomorrow. But of course the best lap times should be better than this. I think the level of the bike is good but I am not sure if the race set-up is perfect yet, so we will have to check in the warm-up tomorrow morning. We will look at the data and see where we can make up time.”

Fabien Foret: “Not such a good final qualifying session for us. We took our time to get it right and I had some fresh tyres to do a fast lap with but I could not use them because we did not have any luck with us. There was one cloud overhead and we had a small drop of rain and that stopped us being able to go faster at the end. We will see for tomorrow.”