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Jun 30, 2012

Updated: Sykes Wins Another World Superbike Superpole, At Motorland Aragon

Tom Sykes (66).
FIM Superbike World Championship
Motorland Aragon, Spain
June 30, 2012
Final Qualifying Results, After Superpole (all on Pirelli tires):

From Superpole Knockout Session Three:

1. Tom SYKES, UK (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:56.552
2. Max BIAGGI, Italy (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:57.260
3. Eugene LAVERTY, Ireland (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:57.592
4. Leon HASLAM, UK (BMW S1000RR), 1:57.710
5. Marco MELANDRI, Italy (BMW S1000RR), 1:57.784
6. Jonathan REA, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:58.033
7. Carlos CHECA, Spain (Ducati 1098R), 1:58.243
8. Chaz DAVIES, UK (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:58.485

From Superpole Knockout Session Two:

9. Sylvain GUINTOLI, France (Ducati 1098R), 1:58.073
10. Ayrton BADOVINI, Italy (BMW S1000RR), 1:58.249
11. Davide GIUGLIANO, Italy (Ducati 1098R), 1:58.264
12. Jakub SMRZ, Czech Republic (Ducati 1098R), 1:59.160

From Superpole Knockout Session One:

13. Michel FABRIZIO, Italy (BMW S1000RR), 1:58.534
14. Leon CAMIER, UK (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 1:58.660
15. Loris BAZ, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:59.302
16. Lorenzo ZANETTI, Italy (Ducati 1098R), 1:59.549

The Rest of the Grid:

17. David SALOM, Spain (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:59.474
18. Hiroshi AOYAMA, Japan (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:59.686
19. Niccolo CANEPA, Italy (Ducati 1098R), 1:59.811
20. Maxime BERGER, France (Ducati 1098R), 2:00.164
21. John HOPKINS, USA (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 2:00.245
22. Leandro MERCADO, Argentina (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 2:00.975
23. Norino BRIGNOLA, Italy (BMW S1000RR), 2:03.823




More, from a press release issued by Infront Motor Sports:

Super six Tissot-Superpole wins for record breaker Sykes

MotorLand Aragon (Spain), June 30, 2012 Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) blasted the previous track best at MotorLand Aragon to record a time of 1 minute 56.552 seconds in Tissot-Superpole, earning his sixth pole position of the season. His new best time was over a second better than the best lap from 2011, a huge margin even at a relatively long circuit like MotorLand Aragon. It was all the more remarkable as his top speed was ten km/h less than the best of his rivals, and he made a mistake in one section of the circuit during his fastest lap.

Aprilia Racing Team riders Max Biaggi and Eugene Laverty were second and third respectively and the front row for Sunday's two 20-lap races was completed by Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport). Haslam's team-mate Marco Melandri was fifth in Tissot-Superpole, with Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) in sixth place.

Tom Sykes: "I took a bit of warming up to be honest. In the first two Superpole sessions I thought I was trying hard but obviously not hard enough. Then in SP3 I put a bit extra on the line and fortunately it paid off. I made a mistake in the last sector so to cross the line with that lap time I'm more than happy. We also had a good test here last week and I think we've closed the gap to the front guys on a hot and greasy track, which has been a big issue."

Max Biaggi: "We're looking good, we've been constantly in the top 4 or 5 but we knew that we would be from last year's strong races. Today we saw other manufacturers go closer and someone else go faster but it was an impressive lap time for Tom, congratulations to him, he was faster than anyone. We could only get second and it's not so bad but the races are going to be very hard tomorrow."

Eugene Laverty: "Superpole started well then in the second one I wasn't able to go so fast with a qualifying tyre and I thought that had spoiled my chances, but my last run was on a soft race tyre and that put me on the front row and made sure we'll be there challenging tomorrow. We haven't been out of the top 5 all weekend and it's been the strongest performance all year, so I'm feeling confident for the races."

Leon Haslam: "I've got to be happy with the front row, but I feel this weekend we've been a little bit on the back foot trying to find a good race set-up. But the guys have worked well and in the last two sessions and we found some better pace, and to put the bike on the front row as well has made me really happy."

World Champion Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati) echoed his race number by finishing seventh after Superpole. Fast 2012 rookie Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Team Aprilia), was eighth. The top ten was rounded out by Team Effenbert Liberty Racing rider Sylvain Guintoli and Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet). Checa's Althea Racing team-mate Davide Giugliano secured a third row starting spot in 11th place, while Jakub Smrz (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert) was 12th.

Times: 1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'56.552 average 165.063 kph; 2. Biaggi (Aprilia) 1'57.260; 3. Laverty (Aprilia) 1'57.592; 4. Haslam (BMW) 1'57.710; 5. Melandri (BMW) 1'57.784; 6. Rea (Honda) 1'58.033; 7. Checa (Ducati) 1'58.243; 8. Davies (Aprilia) 1'58.485; 9. Guintoli (Ducati) 1'58.073; 10. Badovini (BMW) 1'58.249; 11. Giugliano (Ducati) 1'58.264; 12. Smrz (Ducati) 1'59.160; 13. Fabrizio (BMW) 1'58.534; 14. Camier (Suzuki) 1'58.660; 15. Baz (Kawasaki) 1'59.302; 16. Zanetti (Ducati) 1'59.549; etc.


World Supersport

Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda) popped up to score pole in the Spanish sunshine with a lap time of 2 minutes 02.624 seconds, in what was a close final qualifying session. He headed off three Kawasaki riders, with Lorenzini pairing Sheridan Morais and Kenan Sofuoglu second and third respectively and the final front row slot being taken by Fabien Foret (Kawasaki Intermoto Step Racing).

Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda) scored fifth and Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda) sixth. All of the top six riders were covered by 0.271 seconds, indicating that Sunday's 18-lap race should be closely contested.

Times: 1. Cluzel (Honda) 2'02.624 average 156.889 kph; 2. Morais (Kawasaki) 2'02.665; 3. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 2'02.804; 4. Foret (Kawasaki) 2'02.882; 5. Lowes (Honda) 2'02.892; 6. Parkes (Honda) 2'02.895; 7. Iannuzzo (Triumph) 2'03.451; 8. Metcher (Yamaha) 2'03.701; etc.


Superstock 1000

Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) secured his third pole of the 2012 season after a tense competition in hot conditions at Motorland Aragon. He held off his compatriot Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki), with Barrier's team-mate Luca Baroni third and the Barni Racing Team Ducati 1199 Panigale of Eddi La Marra fourth.

Aussie star Bryan Staring (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) was a top five finisher, one place up on Markus Reiterberger (Team Alpha Racing BMW). British rider Kevin Coghlan (DMC Racing) was seventh on his Ducati Panigale.

Times: 1. Barrier (BMW) 2'02.709 average 156.781 kph; 2. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 2'02.720; 3. Baroni (BMW) 2'02.833; 4. La Marra (Ducati) 2'02.935; 5. Staring (Kawasaki) 2'02.986; 6. Reiterberger (BMW) 2'03.187; 7. Coghlan (Ducati) 2'03.739; 8. Savadori (Ducati) 2'03.769; etc.


Superstock 600 Race

Riccardo Russo (Yamaha Team Italia FMI) set a new lap record of 2 minutes 05.799 seconds on his way to the win in the shortened European Superstock 600 Championship race. After a red flag halted the first attempt the planned ten lap race dropped to six and the subsequent sprint saw some intense action at the front. Michael van der Mark (EAB Ten Kate Junior Honda) finished 1.514 seconds behind Russo while Gauthier Duwelz (MTM Yamaha) was third. Francesco Cocco (Team Pata by Martini Yamaha) was fourth in the race and Adrian Nestorovic (MTM Yamaha) was fifth. The race finish today was identical to the championship order. Russo has 106 points, van der Mark 99 and Duwelz 58.

Results: 1. Russo (Yamaha) 6 Laps/32.064 km in 12'41.673 average 151.548 kph; 2. Vd Mark (Honda) 1.514; 3. Duwelz (Yamaha) 4.594; 4. Cocco (Yamaha) 4.622; 5. Nestorovic (Yamaha) 5.642; 6. Davies (Kawasaki) 5.813; 7. Vitali (Yamaha) 8.545; 8. Suchet (Honda) 8.784; etc.

Points (after 5 of 10 rounds): 1. Russo 106; 2. Vd Mark 99; 3. Duwelz 58; 4. Calero Perez 50; 5. Vitali 42; 6. Gamarino 33; 7. Nestorovic 28; 8. Chesaux26; etc.


KTM European Junior Cup

Lukas Wimmer scored the pole time in the KTM European Junior Cup qualifying contest, with Javier Orellana from Spain second and his compatriot Gaston Garcia third. Italian runner Federico Fazzina was a top four rider, with Aussie pilot Jake Lewis fifth. Christian Vidal, another fast local rider, took his Duke 690 to sixth. British rider Jamie Patterson starts tomorrow's race from seventh place.

Times: 1. Wimmer (KTM) 2'17.601 average 139.813 kph; 2. Orellana (KTM) 2'18.356; 3. Garcia (KTM) 2'19.511; 4. Fazzina (KTM) 2'19.562; 5. Lewis (KTM) 2'20.255; 6. Vidal (KTM) 2'20.323; 7. Patterson (KTM) 2'20.717; 8. Demoulin (KTM) 2'21.252; etc.




More, from a press release issued by Effenbert Liberty Racing Team:

The hot Spanish Superpole tomorrow will force the Liberty Racing Team riders at a very hard comeback. Sylvain Guintoli, Kuba Smrž and Maxime Berger will start respectively from 9th, 12th and 20th place.

The Aragon WSBK Superpole seemed like a one of Dakar PS, with temperatures of the track near 60 degrees and the riders not only had to tame their bikes but also to deal with the oppressive sultry. The tomorrow races will be full hot and will see the Liberty Racing Team start from the third row with Sylvain Guintoli and Kuba Smrž respectively accredited the lap of 1'58 "073 and 1'59" 160, while Maxime Berger occupying the twentieth place , start from the fifth row with a time of 2'00 "164.

It must be said that just in the second fraction of the Superpole, Guintoli, after the pit stop to change the back tyre in order to improve his performance in the few minutes remaining, while completing his final lap went off for a problem with the front, losing the chance to snap a better place in the next crucial phase of the Superpole. The times of the day have showed the real possibility to be competitive for the races and strive not only to gather important championship points, but to challenge with the lead group. A dominating once again and starting from the first row was Tom Sykes that with the time of 1'56 .552 has made the track record. Biaggi, Haslam and Laverty complete the front row.




More, from a press release issued by Althea Racing:

SECOND ROW FOR CHECA (ALTHEA RACING) FOR TOMORROW'S SBK RACES AT HIS HOME TRACK OF MOTORLAND ARAGON

Aragon (Spain), Sunday 30th June 2012: after yesterday's extreme conditions, Althea Racing riders Carlos Checa and Davide Giugliano enjoyed slightly more manageable temperatures for today's Superpole at the Spanish circuit of MotorLand Aragon, qualifying for tomorrow's races in seventh and eleventh position respectively.
The second qualifying session took place this morning in much cooler conditions with respect to yesterday afternoon (air 25ËšC, asphalt 37ËšC) and consequently both Carlos and Davide were able to improve significantly on times set yesterday. During the 45-minute session Carlos lowered his best time by over two seconds and Davide by almost two seconds, recording fast times of 1'58.0 and 1'58.7. With these times both riders qualified easily for this afternoon's Superpole, in third (Carlos) and tenth (Davide) position.

Superpole 1: with the return of very high temperatures, almost like yesterday afternoon (58ËšC asphalt), Carlos and Davide both made a first exit on race rubber. Carlos' fast lap was interrupted when he met traffic ahead of him. This meant he had to make a second exit, during which he recorded a fastest lap of 1m57.7 which put him in first place at the end of this phase. Thanks to a time of 1m58.4 Davide closed in eleventh position, passing to the second phase together with his team-mate.

Superpole 2: this time Carlos went out on a qualifying tyre while Davide opted for a race tyre once more. Neither of them happy with their results, they both changed tyres and while Davide finished just outside of the top eight, losing out for only a few tenths and finishing in eleventh place, Carlos closed in sixth place with another 1m57.7.

Superpole 3: in this final session Checa, already guaranteed a place on the front two rows, pushed to the limit and closed with the seventh fastest time. He will therefore line up on the second row of the grid for tomorrow's races while his team-mate Davide will start behind him in eleventh place.

Carlos Checa:
"I am still in a good mood. Today was hard, yes, but we've done a great job because, even though we haven't tested at all here we were still able to go faster than we did last year. We also made a good step up between yesterday and today. We're losing 20km/h on the straight, we know this, but I'd say that, all things considered, we didn't do too badly. This morning we were able to work a lot better, gaining both grip and stability in the corners. Now we'll see what tomorrow's conditions will be, if it's hot like this afternoon I foresee two difficult races for us."

Davide Giugliano:
"This morning's conditions allowed us to work quite well and we saw a big improvement compared to yesterday. After the work we did in qualifying and practice I thought I'd be able to do more in the Superpole to be honest. But the temperatures went up again and it was difficult to push, I didn't have a great feeling with the tyres. At a certain point I also made a mistake and we finished eleventh. We need to see what we can do tomorrow, conditions permitting."




More, from a press release issued by Aprilia Racing:

SUPERPOLE AT ARAGON.

TWO APRILIAS ON THE FRONT ROW AFTER SUPERPOLE: MAX BIAGGI TAKES SECOND PLACE, FOLLOWED BY TEAM MATE EUGENE LAVERTY.

JUST ONE INCREDIBLE LAP BY SYKES PREVENTS THE APRILIA RACING TEAM FROM TAKING A ONE-TWO IN SUPERPOLE.

Aragon, 30 June 2012 The Aragon Superpole was the umpteenth confirmation of the level that the World Superbike Championship has reached. At the end of three very close sessions the Aprilia Racing Team finds itself with both riders on the front row: Max Biaggi and Eugene Laverty did not disappoint expectations after showing consistent speed throughout the weekend.

The Corsair's Superpole can be considered perfect. Max came through the first two sessions easily without making any mistakes and arriving at the last session in the best possible conditions. His time was surpassed only by a fantastic lap by Tom Sykes, the Superpole specialist: this, however, does not take away from Biaggi's performance, who will turn up on the starting grid tomorrow with absolute motivation.

Max Biaggi had this to say about his Superpole: "This second place comes after some good test sessions which placed us consistently in the top five. I like this track. We were fast here last year as well, so it's a shame about first place, but Tom was really faster than anyone else. I think tomorrow will be a battle. Most of the riders will be in the running and we'll have to deal with the temperatures. We still have some uncertainties that we'll try to resolve between this evening and the warm-up tomorrow morning".

Eugene Laverty also had an excellent Superpole, finishing in third place under the chequered flag. The Northern Irish rider proved to be fast during the sessions leading up to Superpole, confirming the progress made during the tests at Aragon last week. Eugene is well aware of the difficulties ahead, but he is also confident in his chances of battling for the positions that count.

"The first row is definitely a good result confirmed Eugene but the most satisfying thing is the pace we've demonstrated during all the practice sessions. We did some work on the bike to solve the problems we had during the last few races and for the moment the results are quite encouraging. Things will be complicated tomorrow, but starting from the front is always an advantage, especially when there are several riders with a similar race pace".




More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Sixth Pole Of The Season For Kawasaki And Sykes

WSBK, Motorland Aragon, Spain, 30 June 2012

A sixth pole position for Tom Sykes came at record-breaking pace on his official Kawasaki Racing Team Ninja ZX-10R, with his team-mate Loris Baz joining him in Superpole, where he earned a 15th place.

Sykes, who tested at Motorland Aragon alongside Baz and many of their championship rivals last week, was simply untouchable in the final Superpole Three session, taking a new track best of 1'56.552 seconds. This was more than a second aster than the previous best lap set in 2011, and well ahead of the previous 2012 new best lap, set earlier in the day by Marco Melandri.

In Superpole Three Sykes was 0.708 seconds ahead of Max Biaggi, despite Tom making a small mistake during his record breaking run around the 5.344km circuit. Sykes now has eight career Superpole wins to his credit.

Baz achieved his pre-race aim of qualifying for Superpole and ended up 15th on the grid in his first race visit to Aragon in this class. The young French rider now hopes to go for points in both 20-lap races on Sunday.

The track temperatures in Superpole reached 58 degrees C but overall the temperature was lower than a blistering first day of action, when ambient temperatures almost reached 40 degrees C. Raceday is again expected to be a little cooler than today, which will make the results of morning warm-up essential for finding final race settings.

Pedercini Team Kawasaki riders David Salom and Leandro Mercado missed out on Superpole qualification, Salom by only one position at his home round. He starts 17th on the grid for Sunday's races. Mercado was 22nd in qualifying.

Tom Sykes: "Another pole position and it is fantastic. I wish we got points for pole position but we don't. I think the forecast is for weather conditions to be a little bit cooler tomorrow which will make the racing faster for everybody. We will see what happens, because there were five guys who are looking fairly strong. We worked hard in the tests here last weekend. Kawasaki worked hard and my crew chief worked me very hard and we did the equivalent of around nine race distances in total over the three days, so hopefully that will pay off tomorrow and we can silence a few people. It was nice to win another Tissot watch for Superpole today. I have one in every location now, but I am always late anyway, so that idea has not quite worked out!"

Loris Baz: "I am pretty satisfied to get into Superpole because that is one of my goals every time, to get into the top 16. I know it is very hard after that to get to the top level and all the way through Superpole. I had a crash in the test we did here last week and I lost a bit of confidence for a while. We tried some new settings over the weekend but I was not confident in the front still, so we decided this afternoon to go back to more like the settings we had before the fall, and I was OK. I have a good feeling back. I feel good for the races tomorrow and I think the bike will work well on the race tyres."




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

Aragón Qualifying Practice 2 & Superpole.
Saturday, 30th June 2012.

Weather conditions: Sunny.
Temperature: Air: 25 31 °C, Track: 37 58 °C
Number of riders participating: 23 from 13 teams
Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 1:57.491 min
Fastest lap Superpole 3: Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) 1:56.552 min


Starting from the first and second row, Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport is well positioned for tomorrow's races at Motorland Aragón. The Spanish track hosts the eighth round of the 2012 FIM Superbike World Championship. Factory rider Leon Haslam (GBR) finished today's Superpole qualifying in fourth position, in front of his team-mate Marco Melandri (ITA), who occupies fifth on the grid with his BMW S 1000 RR.

Earlier the second qualifying practice this morning had gone well for Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport. Marco, who had secured provisional pole position yesterday, was fastest, setting a new best lap and Leon was fourth. In Superpole one, both riders just did one flying lap on race tyres and qualified easily for Superpole 2. In this second part, both did only one outing on qualifying tyres, with Marco improving his own new best lap from the morning. In the deciding Superpole 3 Leon set the fourth quickest time, while Marco was fifth. This time it was Tom Sykes (GBR) who set another new best lap. Ayrton Badovini (ITA) of the BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet SBK Team will start from tenth place on his RR, and his team-mate Michel Fabrizio (ITA) from 13th.

Leon Haslam:
Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:58.144 min (P4) / Fastest lap FP: 1:58.899 min (P6) / Fastest lap Superpole 3: 1:57.710 min (P4)
"I am pretty happy. In the test and all the practice sessions we have been playing a little bit of catch-up. The feel for the track and the bike has been good. We lacked a little bit on the lap time and on the race distance as well but today we made some really progress and now I am really happy to have put my RR in the front row. I'm also confident that the race tyre is looking better too. We are well prepared for the races as that's what we have been working on. It's been a bit frustrating at times because we've not been looking for a lap time. Normally, the important thing is to get to a lap time and then maintain it but it has been the other way round this weekend. We've been working on making the tyre last and now that we have, the lap time has got better too. It's is a funny way round."

Marco Melandri:
Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:57.491 min (P1) / Fastest lap FP: 1:58.830 min (P4) / Fastest lap Superpole 3: 1:57.784 min (P5)
"I am disappointed, because the first qualifying tyre was working very well, but with the second one it was completely different and we struggled a lot. We had a lot of chatter and it was impossible to ride. Fortunately we have a good rhythm for the race. Of course it would have been better to start from the front row, but anyway, fifth place is okay. We will see what we can do in the races."

Andrea Dosoli (Head of Race Operations):
"It was a positive day. We improved the performance of both riders. The first two rows are a good starting position for this race. Both crews have been working hard and we are pleased to see the result of the changes made on the bikes from yesterday to today. Marco was quite fast and set a new best lap on the race tyre in the qualifying practice and on the qualifier in Superpole 2. Leon has got back the feeling he was missing yesterday. We are very happy that he will start from the front row which is very important for the tough races we expect tomorrow. It is a pity that Marco could not replicate what he has shown in all the qualifying practices and also in Superpole 2 due to a qualifying tyre which was not working as we expected, but even starting from the second row he can fight with the top guys tomorrow. Both riders have a very good pace. For sure, the races will not be easy because it will be hot, but both our riders are well prepared and we are convinced that we all will enjoy the races."




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

FIXI Crescent Suzuki racers Leon Camier and John Hopkins have a challenging day ahead of them tomorrow after the pair qualified on the fourth and sixth rows respectively for the eighth round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship at Aragon in Spain.

Camier (P14, 1'58.660) narrowly lost out on a higher grid position as he just missed out on the cut for the second Superpole session this afternoon. He will be looking to get away well from the grid at the 5,344m Spanish circuit on his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki and battle with the riders ahead of him early on. Camier is in a positive frame of mind and convinced that a good result is possible in tomorrow's races.

Hopkins (P21, 2'00,245) was again hit by the bad luck that has seemed to follow him around this season. He was forced to abort this morning's second qualifying session early with a mechanical issue - and due to the one bike rule he was unable to continue in the rest of the proceedings - and had to sit and watch, rather than attempt to improve on his time and secure a place in Superpole. Hopkins was able to take part in the second free practice later today and recorded the 13th quickest time, which indicates he will be able to run further up the pack on race-day.

Today's qualifying was again held in very warm conditions with track temperatures just slightly lower than yesterday's as it peaked at 58°C. Kawasaki's Tom Sykes will start from pole position after taking his sixth Superpole from eight attempts so far this year. Current Championship leader Max Biaggi will start from second on the grid with Eugene Laverty and Leon Haslam making up the rest of the front row.

FIXI Crescent Suzuki will line up for the first race from Motorland Aragon at 12.00hrs local time (11.00hrs BST) tomorrow, and with cooler temperatures forecast, this could help Camier and especially Hopkins, with more grip to allow them to brake later into turns and pick up places as the race progresses.

Leon Camier:

"The qualifying tyre we used in Superpole 1 caused a little front end chatter and so I took it steadily - maybe too steadily! If I had been less cautious, I might have got into Superpole 2, but I pushed as hard as I could. I'm pretty happy with our set-up, but I think that we can improve the settings on my GSX-R and that will give us a chance of being more competitive. At the moment, I can catch most people on the entry to the corners, but I can't keep up with them on the exits and that is a bit frustrating. I'll be doing everything I can to get a couple of good starts tomorrow and get into the mix right from the start."

John Hopkins:

"My bike had engine issues in this morning's qualifying session and because of this year's one bike rule I had to sit out the second part of the session after only having done a few laps. It was a shame because the conditions were a bit cooler than yesterday and it would've been the ideal time to go quicker. In the afternoon untimed session we made a couple of changes to the bike's set-up and I managed to go faster than I had been all weekend. My start position tomorrow is pretty horrible, but I am strong in the first couple of sectors, so I hope to make up a lot of ground before we get to the long back straight. If I can do that, then I am positive I can get a couple of decent results."

Jack Valentine -Team Manager:

"John had a technical issue this morning and his lap times before the problem weren't good enough to get into Superpole. Leon managed to get into Superpole quite easily and the plan was to run with a qualifier immediately in Superpole 1 to guarantee at least a third row on the grid, but Leon wasn't able to get the best of the tyre and finished the session on a soft race tyre - just missing out by the narrowest of margins. The competition is so hard that the smallest fractions-of-a-second can mean the difference between success and failure. We have a lot of technical expertise in the team and all of us at FIXI Crescent Suzuki will keep working to improve our overall performance. We need to do that first and then I am sure that the results will follow. Both our riders have good race pace and hopefully they will make good starts. It's going to be a long, hot, hard day, but I think we can leave Aragon with some good, solid results."