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Oct 5, 2013

Sykes Earns World Superbike Superpole In Mixed Conditions At Magny-Cours (Updated)

eni FIM Superbike World Championship: Superpole winner Tom Sykes (center), with second-best qualifier Sylvain Guintoli (left) and third-fastest qualifier Davide Giugliano (right) at Magny-Cours.
eni FIM Superbike World Championship
Magny-Cours, France
October 5, 2013
Final Qualifying Results, After Superpole (all on Pirelli tires):

From Superpole Knockout Session Two (wet conditions):

1. Tom SYKES, UK (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:38.592
2. Sylvain GUINTOLI, France (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:39.397
3. Davide GIUGLIANO, Italy (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:39.933
4. Eugene LAVERTY, Ireland (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:40.410
5. Michel FABRIZIO, Italy (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:40.864
6. Ayrton BADOVINI, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), 1:40.926
7. Marco MELANDRI, Italy (BMW S1000RR), 1:41.361
8. Chaz DAVIES, UK (BMW S1000RR), 1:41.375
9. Vincent PHILIPPE, France (Suzuki GSX-R1000), no time recorded in SP2


From Superpole Knockout Session One (wet conditions):

10. Michele PIRRO, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), 1:47.871, crash
11. Toni ELIAS, Spain (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:47.886
12. Jules CLUZEL, France (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 1:48.221
13. David SALOM, Spain (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:48.916
14. Lorenzo LANZI, Italy (Ducati 1098R), 1:50.257
15. Leon HASLAM, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:51.796, crash


The Rest of the Grid (times from Friday's dry QP1 session):

16. Mark AITCHISON, Australia (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:41.137
17. Federico SANDI, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:41.281
18. Fabrizio LAI, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale), 1:42.474
19. Vittorio IANNUZZO, Italy (BMW S1000RR), 1:43.180




More, from a press release issued by SBK Press Office:

Tom Sykes makes it eight in today's Tissot-Superpole

Magny-Cours (France), Saturday 5 October 2013 - Tissot-Superpole for the French Round was held under mixed conditions and saw Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) claiming the front spot on the grid for the 8th time this year. The Brit will be joined on the first row by title contender Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team), who was able to elevate himself to second in the closing stages, and Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Aprilia).

By the start of the second "wet" session the track had started to dry, meaning most riders opted to use slick tyres. Times dropped considerably throughout the 20 minutes, with Sykes being the first rider to break into the 1'39s barrier with 9 minutes left, finally setting a blistering 1'38.592s in his last attempt for pole.

Other Championship contender Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) finished 4th ahead of Michel Fabrizio (Pata Honda World Superbike) and Ayrton Badovini (Team Ducati Alstare). Works BMW duo of Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies will move off – in tomorrow's two races – from the third row on the grid, along with Vincent Philippe, substitute rider for injured Leon Camier in the FIXI Crescent Suzuki Team.

Both Michele Pirro (Team Ducati Alstare), tenth, and Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike), fifteenth, crashed out at Turn 12 during Superpole 1: the Italian high-sided at mid-turn, landing badly on his back with no major consequences, while Leon Haslam low-sided while entering the corner, eventually crossing on foot the track to pick up his bike and successfully make it back to the pits.

Results: 1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'38.592 average 161.064 kph; 2. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1'39.397; 3. Giugliano (Aprilia) 1'39.933; 4. Laverty (Aprilia) 1'40.410; 5. Fabrizio (Honda) 1'40.864; 6. Badovini (Ducati) 1'40.926; 7. Melandri (BMW) 1'41.361; 8. Davies (BMW) 1'41.375; 9. Philippe (Suzuki) 1'47.691; 10. Pirro (Ducati); 11. Elias (Aprilia); 12. Cluzel (Suzuki); 13. Salom (Kawasaki); 14. Lanzi (Ducati); 15. Haslam (Honda).

European Junior Cup

Josh Harland (Easy Barber Racing) has secured the pole position for the Pata European Junior Cup, powered by Honda. Qualifying was ended early, with 16 minutes left, following the crash occurred by home rider Guillaume Raymond (Activbike) that brought to a red flag situation. Harland will be joined on first row by wildcard Valter Patronen (Honda Racing Finland) and Raymond, who escaped the crashed uninjured. Championship leader Jake Lewis (Jake Lewis Racing) will start from fourth place on the grid.

Times: 1. Harland 2'18.717 average 114.475 kph; 2. Patronen 2'19.381; 3. Raymond 2'19.553; 4. Lewis 2'20.797; 5. Flitcroft 2'20.937; 6. Manfredi 2'20.959; 7. Fernandez 2'21.218; 8. Eberhard 2'21.947; 9. Soomer 2'22.627; 10. Croft 2'22.636; etc.




More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Superpole Eight For Sykes And The 2013 Ninja ZX-10R

WSBK, Magny-Cours, France, 5 October 2013

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) won a wet Superpole contest at Magny Cours after a final fast lap laden with risk and eventual reward as he had to work his way past slower riders on the racing line.

Sykes was also fastest in the wet Superpole One session on a busy track with a narrow drying racing line along the 4.411km length of the French circuit. Sykes therefore entered the second and final wet Superpole session on a high and was fastest at the mid point before Eugene Laverty temporarily edged him out.

Selecting a qualifying rear tyre as the track slowly dried out, Sykes went for another Superpole win to add to his career total of 18. He achieved his ambition despite finding other riders cruising on the racing line on two occasions, forcing Tom to adapt his approach but still come out on top, by 0.805 seconds, from his championship rival Sylvain Guintoli. Sykes’ best time was a 1’38.592.

Tom is now on a total of 19 Superpole wins, making him the fourth best qualifier in the history of the championship.

David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) completed one Superpole session finishing 13th fastest, meaning he will start Sunday’s races off the fifth row of the grid. He overcame the affects of an earlier fall and his team did great work to get his machine ready for Superpole qualifying.

Aussie Mark Aitchison qualified 16th and his team-mate Federico Sandi took his Kawasaki Team Pedercini Ninja ZX-10R to 17th place.

Tom Sykes: “I am happy because we have proved again that we can do it and that the bike works well here. This is a great place to get pole position, especially in these conditions. Three riders in two corners made it very difficult for me in the fast lap so I am sue it was very exciting for those watching on TV! From where I was sitting it was quite dangerous. I hope it is dry tomorrow because if we have good conditions everybody will be fighting and putting on a good show for the crowd. The Ninja ZX-10R is working well but we can still improve it even more in wet conditions. In dry conditions we know what to expect. Overall we will go and relax now, get a good sleep and come out ready to race tomorrow.”

David Salom: “The track conditions were very difficult. I crashed yesterday but today I had a big crash and I have a lot of pain on my lower back. The bike was damaged but the team worked very well to change the bike and fix it, but in Superpole it was something of a lottery. I am happy because I was three positions higher on the grid than last week in Laguna Seca; even with these conditions. Now we will look at the telemetry and work for a set-up tomorrow. I hope the weather is good but maybe it will be wet, dry or something in the middle!”




More, from a press release issued by Team SBK Ducati Alstare:

A second row start for Badovini and Team SBK Ducati Alstare in tomorrow’s SBK races at Magny-Cours

Nevers (France), Saturday 5 October 2013: there were mixed conditions once again today at the Magny-Cours circuit in France where team SBK Ducati Alstare is taking part in the thirteenth round of the World Superbikes this weekend. In this afternoon’s Superpole, and on a wet track that dried out towards the end of the session, Ayrton Badovini qualified sixth while Michele Pirro, suffering a crash in the final stages, will start from tenth position in tomorrow’s races.

The morning’s second qualifying session took place on a wet track (16 degrees C air temperature, 16 degrees C track), giving riders the chance to test wet settings in case conditions are the same during tomorrow’s races. The track conditions meant that riders were unable to improve on times set in yesterday afternoon’s dry qualifying session, meaning that although Ayrton and Michele finished this session in fourth (1’55.9) and fifth place (1’56.1), they qualified in tenth (Michele) and thirteenth (Ayrton) place respectively for the afternoon’s Superpole.

In the final practice session, the times of all riders continued to drop, especially in the final stages. Badovini, at ease on the completely wet track, improved by half a second on this morning’s time. Pirro too was lapping well until a small crash at the second turn slowed him down; fortunately he suffered no injury in the fall.

Superpole 1: at the start of the first Superpole the track was very wet but it gradually started to dry throughout the session, meaning that lap times fell particularly in the latter stages. There were continuous changes at the top of the timesheets and Badovini, improving on his times lap after lap, was able to score the fourth fastest time at the session’s end (1’46.4), securing a place in phase two without difficulty.

Pirro was also making constant progress but unfortunately, just two minutes from the end, he suffered a highside at turn 12 while making a fast lap and this prevented him from advancing to phase two. Although suffering contusions to both his back and right elbow, his injuries are fortunately not serious and should not condition his performance in tomorrow’s races. He will line up in tenth position on the race grid, having recorded a best of 1’47.8.

Superpole 2: the track continued to dry rapidly and was almost completely dry by the end of the session, with times dropping dramatically as a result. In the final stages, Ayrton went out with a qualifying tyre, as did most of the other riders, and stopped the clock at 1’40.2 to secure final sixth position.

Ayrton Badovini: “It was a difficult Superpole. In the first phase the track was very wet and so that complicated the session. Then in the second phase the track had almost dried out but we were unable to find the right feeling in the short time available. It was our first opportunity to test the changes that we had made in dry conditions. Our grid position is not bad but, not having had the benefit of any dry practice sessions, it’s hard to say how tomorrow’s races will play out.”

Michele Pirro: “I’m really sorry about the crash, because we could have done well in today’s Superpole. I have hurt my back, my elbow too, but luckily it isn’t anything serious, just bruising really. The track was drying rapidly and I think I slipped on a small wet patch. It won’t be easy tomorrow from the fourth row but I’ll be giving it my all. The conditions will also play a part I imagine but I hope to be able to make a good start and score a good result.”




More, from a press release issued by Althea Racing:

An exceptional Giugliano scores third place in Superpole at Magny Cours

Rain characterised the second day of practice today at the Magny-Cours circuit in France. After a first positive day, this morning Davide Giugliano and team Althea Racing faced the second practice session on a wet track. Davide made 14 laps, recording the second fastest time (1’55”166), but without improving on yesterday’s time, therefore qualifying in overall sixth position. Davide easy qualified for this afternoon’s Superpole. In the final practice session Giugliano and team Althea’s technical staff worked on the wet seeing of their RSV4, in preparation for the subsequent Superpole and Davide topped the timesheets with a best of 1’54”384. The Superpole was declared wet and therefore consisted of two twenty-minute sessions. In the first phase Giugliano positioned seventh (1’46”825), thus progressing to phase two. The track was drying out and with perfect tactical precision, a few minutes from the end, team Althea decided to use a qualifying tyre which Davide made the most of, stopping the clocks at 1’39”933 and taking the overall third fastest time and a position on the front row of tomorrow’s grid for the two 23-lap races.

Genesio Bevilacqua: “I’m particularly pleased with the way Davide has been riding all weekend. Our rider has improved greatly; he is able to make the most out of both his riding style as well as our bike’s potential. I’m happy with what Giugliano has done today because I’m convinced that he deserves to be up there with the frontrunners of this championship. Furthermore, results such as that of today consolidate our faith in our abilities. Compliments to my team that is in perfect harmony with Davide’s growth and continues to work as hard as ever.”

Davide Giugliano: “I’m happy with this result although I actually thought we could do better. Having to face Superpole on a track that was drying out caught us off guard because we went out on track with a bike prepared for wet conditions. We were however constantly fast and I was able to score a good third place. I’m also pleased because we are at the end of the championship and am competing against very competitive riders that are fighting for the title. Tomorrow I’ll start from the front row although we don’t know what track conditions will be like. The practice sessions didn’t tell us who can be fast in the dry but I believe that we are ready whatever the conditions.”




More, from a press release issued by Aprilia:

A HARD FOUGHT SUPERPOLE FOR SYLVAIN GUINTOLI WHO WILL START FROM THE SECOND SPOT ON THE GRID TOMORROW AT MAGNY-COURS

FOURTH BEST TIME AND SECOND ROW FOR EUGENE LAVERTY, CONSOLED BY A GOOD RACE PACE.

THREE APRILIAS IN THE TOP FOUR SPOTS WITH DAVIDE GIUGLIANO'S THIRD PLACE.

Magny-Cours, 5 October 2013 – Hometown favourite Sylvain Guintoli did not let his French fans down as they cheered him on from the Magny-Cours grandstands. At the end of a rousing Superpole Sylvain had the second best time which places him on the front row of the starting grid for the races tomorrow. Eugene Laverty also put in an excellent performance, finishing fourth at the end of the two sessions. Thanks to the third best time by Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) there will be three RSV4s in the top four spots.

Although the Superpole was declared "wet", two thirds of it was actually held on asphalt dry enough to justify using slick tyres. In any case the wet procedure reduced the action to two 20 minute sessions with 15 riders in the first and nine passing through to the second to make a play for their spot on the grid. Aprilia riders Guintoli and Laverty chose to start, as did almost all their rivals, with wet tyres, later returning to the garage when the track began to improve to change them out. The timing allowed Sylvain and Eugene to come through the first session easily, saving their energy (and the two qualifying tyres) for the second, decisive 20 minute Superpole.

With the track basically dry, Sylvain took full advantage of his second Pirelli soft tyre, stopping the clock at 1’39.397 to earn the second spot on the starting grid for the two races tomorrow. The French rider, lying third in the Rider Championship standings, Will be able to count on the excellent work done over the past two days of practice on both a dry and wet track. No matter what conditions the weather brings tomorrow, Sylvain knows that he has what it takes to be a key player on his home track.

Sylvain Guintoli: “The conditions were difficult this afternoon with a lot of wet spots that were hard to see. It was a tricky situation but in the end we came away with an important second spot on the grid. In the last few laps I even broke the front fairing with my helmet and I'm sure that made me lose a bit of time. In any case my race pace is fast and I want to stay focused on riding as well as possible without making any calculations. I'm hoping for two dry races tomorrow. I was very fast in these conditions yesterday and I'd like to give my French fans something to cheer about.”

Eugene Laverty's fourth place finish satisfied the Northern Irish rider who rode a good Superpole where he only lost a bit of ground with his second qualifying tyre. Being in the front two rows was the minimum goal for Eugene, well aware that starting out front on a track like this one is a huge advantage. The good progress demonstrated throughout the practice sessions prior to Superpole are a good indicator that Laverty, lying second in the rider standings, will be able set his sights on the top prize.

Eugene Laverty: "Today was a productive day. I struggled in the first wet session this morning but we made up for it in the second where I finished fourth, so I'd say I have a good race pace even on a wet track. Superpole was a "mixed" one and I'm pleased with my fourth place in the end. Starting from the front two rows is crucial. Tomorrow we'll be pushing hard looking for a win and hoping for two dry races”.




More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad Motorsport:

Magny-Cours – Qualifying Practice 2 & Superpole.
Saturday, 5th October 2013.

Weather conditions: Rain in the morning, cloudy with some rain in the afternoon
Temperature: Air: 19 – 20 °C, Track: 17 – 22 °C
Number of riders participating: 19 from 12 teams
Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team) 1:54.696 min.
Fastest lap Superpole 2: Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) 1:38.592 min


The BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team concluded a not particularly easy Saturday at the French Circuit de Nevers, in Magny Cours. BMW factory riders, Marco Melandri (ITA) and Chaz Davies (GBR), qualified in seventh and eighth position respectively and will start tomorrow from the third row in the 13th round of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship.

In second qualifying practice this morning, factory rider Marco Melandri was fastest on his BMW S 1000 RR in wet conditions. His team mate, Chaz Davies was 13th. Due to the conditions, riders did not improve their times from yesterday’s dry session and the ranking remained the same. Having taken third and eighth respectively in the dry session on Friday, Chaz and Marco secured their place in Superpole.

The circuit was wet come 3pm local time therefore a wet Superpole was declared meaning there would be two twenty minute sessions instead of three staggered sessions. In Superpole 1, Marco went out on intermediate tyres and Chaz on wets. After setting the thirteenth fastest time, Chaz came into the pits to switch to intermediates. Chaz finished the first session in fifth and Marco in sixth, meaning they’d both progress to the next session.

The track had largely dried for the second session and both riders went straight out on slick tyres. With nine minutes to go, Chaz and Marco entered the pits for their first qualifying tyre. On their first attempt with qualifying tyres Chaz was fourth and Marco fifth. Both riders pitted for their second qualifying tyre with four minutes remaining. Both riders will start tomorrow’s races from the third row with Marco in seventh and Chaz in eighth place.

In the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup second qualifying session, Sylvain Barrier (FRA), factory rider of the BMW Motorrad GoldBet STK Team, missed out on pole position on his BMW HP4 by just one hundredth of a second after he got caught in traffic on his final attempt. He will start tomorrow’s race on the front row in second place, where he will be looking to win his second championship. Team mate, Greg Gildenhuys (RSA) qualified sixteenth and will start on the sixth row of the grid.


Marco Melandri:
Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:54.696 min (P1) / Fastest lap FP: 1:56.289 min (P6)/ Fastest lap Superpole 2: 1:41.361 min (P7)
“It was a difficult day, the weather was unstable and the track conditions changed a lot from one session to the other and even within the same session. The morning qualifying session was quite good but it was not the same in Superpole. In Superpole 2, when I went out with qualifying tyres it started to rain. In some sectors it was quite damp and I took some risks but after the first lap I was not able to complete the second one positively. Tomorrow I’ll start from row three but if I am able to overtake a couple of riders early on I could be with the group who will fight for the win. I’m not completely satisfied but we can improve again even though there were positive aspects today. We’ll see how the race will go.”


Chaz Davies:
Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:58.854 min (P13) / Fastest lap FP: 1:57.077 min (P8) / Fastest lap Superpole 2: 1:41.375 min (P8)
“I’m not happy with today, I didn’t feel particularly good in the wet. We improved our lap time a little bit in the end but it’s not good enough. I’m really struggling for grip at the rear. The first Superpole session was OK and we did enough to get through. We started the second session OK as well but I don’t think I did a very good job with the first qualifying tyre. When I put the second qualifying tyre in there were some small drops of rain in the second sector and maybe I backed off too much but in the end I didn’t push one hundred per cent as I didn’t know how much it had rained while I was in the pit box. It’s meant to be dry tomorrow so we need to work on the dry set up from yesterday in the morning and there will be nothing to take from today unless it is wet.”


Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“There were some very difficult conditions on the track today and lap times are quite far from the ones we’d normally see. Despite the track drying in the first Superpole, in the second session when our riders went out on qualifying tyres it started to rain again. Unfortunately we were not able to use the best window of time to use the qualifying tyres to their potential. Tomorrow we’ll start from the third row but both our riders have already shown several times that they’re able to start well. This will be fundamental to achieve the best possible result. In Superstock, Sylvain is on the front row in second position and he’s showing to be very fast in all sectors. In his last lap of the session while attempting to get pole position he found some traffic in the last sector which slowed him. Greg on the other hand is a little further behind.”


Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“It was a difficult day. Unfortunately the weather conditions prevented us from evaluating the changes we’ve made to the bikes to improve the performance based on yesterday. We have seen today in the wet condition that Marco is quite fast, he was fastest in the second qualifying practice. With Chaz, we could not test what we have changed for him and we had another issue in wet conditions as he could not get enough grip from the rear end. We were looking forward to Superpole but unfortunately in the second session it was not wet or dry and during the last stint with the qualifying tyre and they did not want to take many risks because of the rain. Tomorrow morning we will evaluate the conditions and the machine. The weather forecast for tomorrow is dry, so in the warm up it will be important to understand if the direction taken last night is the right one. Starting from the third row is not helpful but as we’ve seen in the past, our riders can make good starts so we are confident for the race.”




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

Second row for Fabrizio in France

Pata Honda rider Michel Fabrizio will start tomorrow’s 13th-round World Superbike championship race from the second row of the grid after setting the fifth fastest time in this afternoon’s Superpole sessions at Magny-Cours in France.

With heavy overnight rain and showers right up to 15.00hrs, Superpole started with a wet track and was reduced to two 20-minute sessions, from which British rider Tom Sykes emerged in pole position.

Fabrizio left it late in the drying second session to secure his best start for the Pata Honda team since he replaced the injured Jonathan Rea at Istanbul in Turkey last month. The 29-year-old from Rome, Italy had to push hard on a qualifying tyre on his final lap to secure the second row starting position.

His Pata Honda team-mate Leon Haslam was one of the first riders out on intermediate tyres in the wet-dry conditions of Superpole 1 but crashed near the end of the session. The 30-year-old British rider managed to bring the bike back to the pits for repairs but, on his return to the track, he hit two damp patches as he pushed to reach Superpole 2 and was unable to progress.

Michel Fabrizio – P5

I didn’t really have any problems apart from confidence and not knowing how hard to push on the wet track at the beginning of Superpole. The feeling was not so good but I knew that I really had to push on my last lap to improve my position. It was very important for me to start on the second row, so I’m very happy to be there. If it’s dry tomorrow I think I could go with Giugliano and Laverty so I hope to have two good races.

Leon Haslam – P15

I went out with intermediates when others were on full wets and I hit a wet patch and crashed. I was able to go out again on the same tyres but made another big mistake with the one lap that I got and that was that. The pace was easy enough to stay with but I made a mistake with the crash and then another when I managed to get back out. We haven’t had any more dry time today so it’s hard to say whether we’ve made any progress. Tomorrow will be a gamble, wet or dry, so we’ll have to see how it goes.

Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator

We struggled with rear grip in the wet this morning so have work to do there. It began to dry in Superpole and Leon was a little unlucky with the crash and then had two little moments which didn’t allow him to improve. Michel managed to get fifth when the track was still not completely dry so well done to him and the team. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring but we hope it’s something good.




More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki News Service:

FIXI Crescent Suzuki's stand-in rider Vincent Philippe will start this weekend's eni FIM Superbike World Championship races at Magny-Cours from the third row after qualifying in ninth today.

The Suzuki Endurance Racing Team World Endurance Champion made it through to this afternoon's Superpole after a torrential downpour left the 4,411m French circuit too wet this morning for any rider to improve on their time in today's second qualifying. Superpole was declared wet, due to damp patches around the track, so it was two 20-minute sessions instead of the normal staggered three.

Philippe - who is substituting for Leon Camier at this weekend's event - made steady progress in the first session and also got the feel of the Pirelli intermediate tyres on the tricky surface. He recorded the ninth fastest time on his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R, which saw him progress to Superpole 2, but unfortunately an issue with his front brakes meant he was unable to set a time, as his crew worked feverishly to rectify the fault. Philippe was able to get on track right at the end of the session, but couldn't record a lap to better his position. He was happy with his experience in Superpole and is looking forward to tomorrow's two races.

Jules Cluzel had a day he would like to forget after an electrical setback kept him in the garage for most of this morning's wet qualifying and he then suffered with a crash in the final free practice later in the day. Cluzel had qualified for Superpole courtesy of his time yesterday, but a mistake by the French rookie in the first session cost him dear as he misjudged the time remaining and was unable to get in a fast-lap on his last exit. He missed-out on qualifying for Superpole 2 and will start tomorrow's races from 12th on the grid. He was left angry and frustrated with today's proceedings, but in a determined mood for Sunday.

Today's conditions made things difficult for all riders, but Tom Sykes managed to impress yet again in Superpole, taking his eighth title of the season. FIXI Crescent Suzuki will take to the track for a warm-up tomorrow morning ahead of the race action that gets underway at 12.00hrs local time (11.00hrs BST), with the second 23-lap event heading off at 15.30hrs local time (14.30hrs BST).

Vincent Philippe:

"I am happy with today because to do the second Superpole was very exciting and a nice thing to be involved in. During the rain conditions this morning I tried to feel how the bike worked in those conditions and try the Pirelli wet, which was a new tyre for me. I didn't have a good feeling, but I continued to push, but at the end of the session I was not too happy about the situation. In the mixed conditions this afternoon we used the intermediate tyre and this was much better for me and in the first session of Superpole I didn't want to push too hard because it was still wet and I wanted to get into the second one. I was happy to get to Superpole 2, but it felt strange because I would like to have fought in that session, but we had a problem with the brakes, but that's how it is. Tomorrow will be better conditions and I want to have a pleasurable race and fight with good guys."

Jules Cluzel:

"I think yesterday was our best Friday of the season, but maybe today was our worst Saturday! I did one bad lap this morning due to an electrical problem and after that the second free practice was wet and I didn't have a good feeling on the bike and then had a crash. In Superpole I made a big mistake because I should have stopped earlier and then be able to have a minimum of two or three laps, but then I was not fast enough on my out-lap and I only managed one-lap. I am really disappointed because I think I could have qualified easily for the second session. Yesterday we did a 39.3 on the dry tyre in conditions like this afternoon and I think I could have gone quicker. I am angry about today and with myself: I think I can now make some good races tomorrow, because I have nothing to lose, so I will be going for it!"

Paul Denning - Team Manager:

"Twenty-four-hours can be a long time in racing and the very smooth competitive day we had on Friday was replaced by some difficulties today. The conditions weren't easy for anybody, but we just didn't quite get the luck running in our favour this afternoon in qualifying. It was a shame Jules missed out on Superpole 2, because I think in the drying conditions - as we saw yesterday - he would have been very competitive. Vincent has had an interesting second day as a Superbike rider; he did a great job to make Superpole 2 and the top-nine, but then unfortunately the technical problem meant that he didn't have the chance to progress any further. Jules is pretty angry with the result this afternoon, but we are sure he will give it all has from the start tomorrow and Vincent is looking to finish the weekend in a positive way, so we are looking forward to good climax to an interesting weekend here at Magny-Cours."