Apr 19, 2002
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Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>Hodgson Goes On Top Before Superpole<BR><BR>By Glenn LeSanto<BR><BR>Britain's Neil Hodgson nipped into provisional pole in the last moments of final World Superbike qualifying in Sugo.<BR><BR>It means Hodgson will have the luxury of knowing exactly what he needs to do in Superpole as the fastest qualifying rider does his flying lap last, after watching all the other riders do their laps.<BR><BR>As the session ended Ruben Xaus crashed at the third corner, followed shortly by Noriyuki Haga. Oil flags were then waved, slowing the session and ruining all chance of posting faster times by any riders who had been saving their best for last.<BR><BR>Before Hodgson's lap Makato Tamada and Colin Edwards had been scrapping over provisional pole. Usually, it's the riders on Dunlops doing well at Sugo, which is a Dunlop test track, but Edwards, like eighth-fastest Troy Bayliss, is a Michelin rider.<BR><BR>Hitoyasu Izutsu finished with the sixth fastest time, despite not riding at all today after breaking his arm in a crash yesterday. His time becomes void and all the riders behind him will move up a place, giving Juan Borja, who was 17th-fastest, a Superpole place.<BR><BR><BR>Combined qualifying times:<BR><BR>1. Neil Hodgson, GB, Ducati, 1:28.778<BR><BR>2. Colin Edwards, USA, Castrol Honda, 1:28.949<BR><BR>3. Makoto Tamada, Japan, Honda, 1:29.208<BR><BR>4. Noriyuki Haga, Japan, Aprilia, 1: 29.416<BR><BR>5.Ben Bostrom, USA, Ducati, 1:29.423<BR><BR>6.Hitoyasu Izutsu, Japan, Kawasaki, 1:29.612<BR><BR>7.Wataru Yoshikawa, Japan, Yamaha, 1:29.723<BR><BR>8.Troy Bayliss, Australia, Ducati, 1: 29.773<BR><BR>9.Akira Yanagawa, Japan, Kawasaki, 1:29.823<BR><BR>10.Yuichi Takeda, Japan, Honda, 1:29.909<BR><BR><BR>Superpole still to come. <BR><BR> <BR>World Supersport<BR>Saturday morning free practice<BR>Sugo, Japan<BR><BR>1. Paolo Casoli, Italy, Yamaha, 1:33.022<BR>2. Stephane Chambon, France, Suzuki, 1:33.232<BR>3. Katsuaki Fujiwara, Japan, Suzuki, 1:33.265<BR>4. Christian Kellner, Germany, Yamaha, 1:33.616<BR>5. Andrew Pitt, Australia, Kawasaki, 1:33.807<BR>6. Alessio Corradi, Italy, Yamaha, 1:33.875<BR>7. Tatsuya Yamaguchi, Japan, Honda, 1:33.892<BR>8. Piergiorgio Bontempi, Italy, Ducati, 1:33.900<BR>9. Fabien Foret, France, Honda,1:33.903<BR>10. James Whitham, GB, Yamaha, 1:33.921<BR>11. Karl Muggeridge, Australia, Honda, 1:33.978<BR> <BR>