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Sep 24, 2010

Sofuoglu Maintains Advantage During First World Supersport Qualifying Session At Imola

Kenan Sofuoglu (54) in action Friday at Imola.
FIM Supersport World Championship
Imola, Italy
September 24, 2010
Qualifying Session One Results (all on Pirelli tires):

1. Kenan SOFUOGLU, Turkey (Honda CBR600RR), 1:52.397
2. Eugene LAVERTY, Ireland (Honda CBR600RR), 1:53.279
3. Michele PIRRO, Italy (Honda CBR600RR), 1:53.333
4. Katsuaki FUJIWARA, Japan (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 1:53.541
5. Chaz DAVIES, Great Britain (Triumph Daytona 675), 1:53.723
6. Broc PARKES, Australia (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 1:53.798
7. Massimo ROCCOLI, Italy (Honda CBR600RR), 1:53.867
8. Mark AITCHISON, Australia (Honda CBR600RR), 1:53.981
9. Gino REA, Great Britain (Honda CBR600RR), 1:54.134
10. Davod SALOM, Spain (Triumph Daytona 675), 1:54.276
11. Matthieu LAGRIVE, France (Triumph Daytona 675), 1:54.385
12. Miguel PRAIA, Portugal (Honda CBR600RR), 1:54.400
13. Cristiano MIGLIORATI, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 1:54.447
14. Fabien FORET, France (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 1:54.665
15. Robbin HARMS, Denmark (Honda CBR600RR), 1:55.601
16. Roberto TAMBURINI, Italy (Yamaha YZF-R6), 1:55.894
17. Vittorio IANNUZZO, Italy (Triumph Daytona 675), 1:55.991
18. Ronan QUARMBY, South Africa (Honda CBR600RR), 1:56.137
19. Ginaluca VIZZIELLO, Italy (Honda CBR600RR), 1:56.225
20. Alessio PALUMBO, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 1:57.606
21. Giuseppe BARONE, Italy (Yamaha YZF-R6), 1:58.225
22. Bastien CHESAUX, Switzerland (Honda CBR600RR), 1:58.778
23. Alexander LUNDH, Sweden (Honda CBR600RR), 1:59.475
24. Imre TOTH, Hungary (Honda CBR600RR), 1:59.766
25. Eduard BLOKHIN, Russia (Yamaha YZF-R6), 2:05.251
26. Mauro GOFFI, Italy (Honda CBR600RR), 2:06.702

More, from a press release issued by Hannspree Ten Kate Honda:

Sofuoglu leads from the front in Italy

World Supersport championship leader, Kenan Sofuoglu, set the fastest time in today's rain-affected opening qualifying session for Sunday's penultimate race of the 2010 season at Imola in Italy. Second fastest was title rival, Eugene Laverty, nine tenths of a second slower Sofuoglu, with Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team-mate, Michele Pirro, third.

Sofuoglu and his Honda CBR600RR dominated both practice sessions today as he bids to extend his current 12-point lead in the 2010 series and reclaim the crown he won in 2007. However, the Turkish ace was still not able to match the pace he set during a July test at Imola.

Pirro returned to World Supersport action today after competing with Gresini Honda in last weekend's Moto2 race at Aragon in Spain. The Italian rider is still feeling the affects of his wrist injury but is determined to be in a position to help his team-mate's quest during Sunday's race at the historic Imola circuit.

Kenan Sofuoglu P1

Even though there is a gap of almost one second, I still feel quite slow out there. If the conditions are right tomorrow, maybe I'll try to take another second off my time but at the moment, the bike, the set-up and my feeling are all good. We'll wait to see what happens tomorrow, but at the moment there are not so many problems. We were one second faster this morning as well, and I'm finding it quite easy to put in these fast times. I'm still seven tenths off our testing time from July but conditions were quite different then and when I went with my good tyre this afternoon, there was some rain on the track. But hopefully, I'll be able to use that tyre tomorrow.

Michele Pirro P3

In general, I'm happy but the weather was not so good at the end. Also, it took me a while to adjust to the different feeling from the Moto2 bike that I rode last week in Spain. My wrist is still a little p ainful but it's much better than Nurburgring and it will be good for these last two races. This afternoon the feeling was much better on the bike but then the rain came. I think we have a good solution to try for tomorrow because my mechanics are good! The bike now feels OK and tomorrow I think we can improve the chassis some more. It's important to help Kenan as much as I can this weekend so I will try to follow him.

Ronald ten Kate team manager

Getting both riders on the provisional front row is a great way to kick things off this weekend and it's good to have Kenan almost a second ahead. It's a pity that it started to rain halfway through the qualifying session this afternoon, which prevented the guys further developing their set up for the race. Hopefully tomorrow will not be one of those in-between solutions, but the forecast for the rest of the weekend remains unsure with a likelihood of rain. It would be good to get a chance to work on a wet setting in case it rains on Sunday.

More, from a press release issued by Parkalgar Honda:

Laverty strong second in rain-hit first qualifying

PARKALGAR HONDA'S Eugene Laverty is in provisional second place on the grid for Sunday's 12th and penultimate round of the World Supersport Championship at Imola in Italy after the first qualifying session was cut short by rain.

Parkalgar Honda racer Miguel Praia is 12th and confident of improvement tomorrow after being baulked on two of his fast laps before the rain arrived. The race takes place at 1330CET on Sunday 26th September at Imola near Bologna in Italy.

Eugene: "It is a shame it rained as we were just getting into our stride and making good improvements so to lose track time is frustrating. We have a new Pirelli tyre and it looks as though it has a lot of potential so we will be busy tomorrow working on that. Kenan tested here in July with the new tyre so he has a slight advantage today but we are closing him down quick."

Miguel: "I was held up in two of my faster laps before the rain otherwise I think I would have been in the top 10. We have looked at the data and I have the pace for the second row at the moment so that is encouraging and I hope tomorrow it does not rain so we can improve on my starting position. I need a good result here if I want to get into the top 10 of the Championship overall, that is my only aim."

Simon Buckmaster, Parkalgar Honda Team Manager: "Before the rain Eugene was making rapid improvements and we expect him to continue in that vein tomorrow. Miguel was also looking good and was unfortunate to come across slower traffic on two fast laps that would have placed him higher up the grid; but we are confident he has the potential to improve. Let's hope it stays dry for qualifying tomorrow so we can up the ante."

More, from a press release issued by ParkinGO Triumph BE1 Racing:

Day one at Imola was influenced by rain today. Just a few minutes after the start of qualifying practice, an annoying light rain started falling down, which made the surface of the Santerno circuit very slippery, forcing the riders to return to the pits. Work will resume tomorrow, but there is still the risk of rain for the afternoon as well.

CHAZ DAVIES | Triumph Daytona 675 | 5th in 1'53.723 : "I like this track a lot, it's here that I made my debut with Triumph last year. Despite posting the fifth fastest time, there's still a lot to be improved, especially time-wise. However, I'm confident I can ride a good race here".

DAVID SALOM | Triumph Daytona 675 | 10th in 1'54.276 : "We were on the right path here, unfortunately the weather stopped us. I hope to make some progress tomorrow and hopefully get a starting position in the first two rows".

MATTHIEU LAGRIVE | Triumph Daytona 675 | 11th in 1'54.385 : "I was hoping to have more time setting up the bike, but I think we can aim for a good result on this track nonetheless".

VITTORIO IANNUZZO | Triumph Daytona 675 | 17th in 1'55.991 : "I managed to improve my time from this morning in just a few laps, but I had to return to the pit box to change tyres just a few minutes before the rain started. Unfortunately, when I was getting ready to take to the track again it started raining and I finished way back. I hope to redeem myself tomorrow, if the weather will allow it".