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Jun 30, 2012

Updated: Cluzel Takes World Supersport Pole Position In Spain

Jules Cluzel (16).
FIM Supersport World Championship
Motorland Aragon, Spain
June 30, 2012
Final Qualifying Results (all on Pirelli tires):

1. Jules CLUZEL, France (Honda CBR600RR), 2:02.624
2. Sheridan MORAIS, South Africa (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 2:02.665
3. Kenan SOFUOGLU, Turkey (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 2:02.804
4. Fabien FORET, France (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 2:02.882
5. Sam LOWES, UK (Honda CBR600RR), 2:02.892
6. Broc PARKES, Australia (Honda CBR600RR), 2:02.895
7. Vittorio IANNUZZO, Italy (Triumph Daytona 675R), 2:03.451
8. Jed METCHER, Australia (Yamaha YZF-R6), 2:03.701
9. Romain LANUSSE, France (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 2:03.752
10. Matthew SCHOLTZ, South Africa (Honda CBR600RR), 2:03.773

14. Josh DAY, USA (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 2:04.155

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

Lowes aims high from second row

BOGDANKA PTR HONDA's Sam Lowes will start tomorrow's seventh round of the World Supersport Championship from fifth on the grid. Opening up the second row, the Briton will be aiming for another podium finish at the Motorland Aragon circuit in Spain.

World Supersport rookie, South African Mathew Scholtz, had one of his best qualifying results of the season and will be looking for a point scoring finish starting from tenth on the grid.

Pawel Szkopek qualified in 24th on his return from a leg injury and targets more progess tomorrow, with his goal to make it to the finish inside the top 20 when the lights go off at 13:30 CET.

Sam Lowes: "I'm happy with the bike and our setup and looking forward to the race tomorrow. I had one qualifying tyre left for the end of the qualifying session but I crashed. However I feel good when it comes to the race pace and my plan is to get on the podium in the race."

Mathew Scholtz: "I had a good feeling after yesterday and we improved this morning, even if I had a small crash. I struggled a little at the beginning of qualifying but we made a few more changes to the setup and I felt a lot better. I went out on a new tyre for the last few minutes and got a time which moved me up to tenth which I'm very happy about. It's one of my best qualifying results of the season so I hope to translate that to a point scoring finish tomorrow."

Pawel Szkopek: "I'm very happy with today. I wasn't a lot slower than my qualifying time last year, and after coming back from the injury and a three month break, that's not bad at all. We had a small problem in the end but the result is still fine. I need to rest now as the race will be long but I'd be happy with a top 20 finish and scoring points is not out of the question too."

Simon Buckmaster, Bogdanka PTR Honda Team Manager: "Everything was going well in the session for Sam and on the last lap he was up on splits but lost the front at turn 12. He's in fifth place and has good pace; I am sure he will be fighting for the podium tomorrow. Mathew has got better all weekend and done a great job to get on the third row. He's in a good position to challenge for his best finish of the season."

More, from a press release issued by PTR Honda:

Jules takes brilliant pole at Aragon

PTR HONDA'S Jules Cluzel said he could go faster and duly delivered with a stunning lap more than a second faster than his provisional qualifying time to take pole position at Aragon in Spain, the seventh round of the World Supersport Championship.

Ronan Quarmby bounced back from a crash yesterday to secure 11th on the third row of the grid. Riders PTR Honda racer Martin Jessopp was forced to miss the second qualifying session after a painful crash in morning practice. He dropped to 26th on the grid as times tumbled in cooler conditions but hopes to be on the start line for the race tomorrow at 1330 CET.

Jules: "I am happy as we improved my PTR Honda in practice and then again in qualifying. We worked on my braking points - they were the biggest problem - and have made a good step forward. Pole position is great but tomorrow the race is more important and I want to challenge for the podium again."

Ronan: "We made quite a big step from yesterday to take more than a second from my lap times and I came close to the second row today. Tomorrow I think I can get a good position and score points in the race. My PTR Honda feels better - we made a lot of changes and I think it will be good over race distance."

Martin: "I made a mistake by myself and didn't bed the tyre in on my out lap and crashed in practice. The bike came round on me and it turned into a massive high side. The good news is that there is nothing broken which is unusual for me, normal if I fall off a chair I'll break something. I have hurt my coxic and my right foot is many funny colours and swollen. I wasn't allowed out in qualifying so have give myself a rest and will see the doctors in the morning. I hope to get out in warm up and do the race."

Simon Buckmaster, PTR Honda Team Manager: "Jules has worked hard to improve his bike, braking points and himself and is looking very good for a podium challenge in the race - well done to him on his second pole of the season and PTR's sixth out of seven races! After yesterday's crash Ronan has gone from strength to strength and is right there; he should be fighting well inside the top 10 in the race and has done a good job. Martin didn't go out because of an earlier crash but will see medical staff in morning and we are all hoping he will be fit to ride."

More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Morais Second And Sofuoglu Third In Qualifying

WSS, Motorland Aragon, Spain, 30 June 2012

Kawasaki Lorenzini Supersport riders Sheridan Morais and Kenan Sofuoglu both set times to take them onto the front row after combined qualifying in Spain, with Sheridan second and Kenan third.

Both riders had some issues on day one but a great team effort overcame them in some style, with Morais very close to pole itself today and championship leader Sofuoglu just behind in third place. The top five riders were covered by only 0.271 seconds in qualifying.

Morais concentrated on finding a good race set-up for tomorrow's 18 lap contest, while Sofuoglu is working to be ready to compete at a high level despite pain from his old knee injury. His knee popped out of position as he exited a corner and had to be manipulated back into place shortly afterwards. He will receive more treatment and Kenan intends to race on Sunday to defend what is a useful championship lead of 22-points.

Conditions at Aragon cooled today after a blistering first day of action, but the track and air temperatures were still well into the higher end of the scale making every lap hard work for the riders.

Fabien Foret (Kawasaki Intermoto Step Racing) joined Sheridan and Kenan on the front row, going fourth on the grid. His team-mate Romain Lanusse was a more than respectable ninth in qualifying, just over a second from the fastest riders.

Kenan Sofuoglu: "The problem is my left knee because in the final lap, in the exit in the last corner, I think I dislocated it and it really hurt a lot. The Clinica Mobile staff are having a look so we will decide on things tomorrow. It is probably the meniscus causing trouble now and maybe a muscle spasm around the joint as well. The motorcycle is good and after a hard day yesterday the solution for the set-up and the bike itself is all OK. It is fundamental for me to race because I want to defend my championship lead and go on to try and win the title."

Sheridan Morais: "We have been working on set-up very hard because yesterday we had a glitch with the engine in qualifying. We only had one more engine so we have only been working on set-up for the race. I have not worried about a lap time until near the end of qualifying. We have three possible tyre choices and all of them could work, depending on the temperatures on raceday. I want to be sure which one would work best. When the guys put a soft tyre on and set it up for one quick lap, the lap time came pretty easy. I am really happy because we are not just P2, we were nearly P1. I am really happy with a front row start. We have been working very hard for this so I am looking forward to a good race tomorrow. The tyre choice we want to go with would suit the cooler conditions, so if it is hotter than today we have a tough choice to make."