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Mar 22, 2002

World Champion Pitt Takes Supersport Pole At Phillip Island

Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>By Glenn LeSanto<BR><BR>Andrew Pitt, the reigning Supersport World Champion, took a last-minute pole position during qualifying for Sunday's race.<BR><BR>Australian Pitt shoved Stephane Chambon off the top spot as the diminutive Frenchman sat in his pit garage swearing at the monitor. Chambon obviously thought his time of 1:35.812 wasn't going to be beaten and had taken off his gloves and helmet and was then forced to watch Pitt grab the pole from him.<BR><BR>Chambon and Pitt bumped pole winner at Valencia Fabien Foret down to third. James Whitham qualified fourth, setting the scene for an explosive start for tomorrow''s race.<BR><BR>The front row features one bike from each of the big four Japanese manufacturers and Bontempi is in fifth place on a Ducati. Foret is the only rider using Pirelli on the front row, the other three are all riding on Dunlops. The first nine grid positions are covered only by a one-second gap in qualifying times.<BR><BR>World Supersport<BR>Final qualifying times<BR>Phillip Island, 23 March 2002<BR><BR>1: A Pitt AUS Kawasaki 1:35.777<BR>2: S Chambon FRA Suzuki 1:35.812<BR>3: F Foret FRA Honda 1:36.041<BR>4: J Whitham GBR Yamaha 1:36.138<BR>5: P Bontempi ITA Ducati 1:36.315<BR>6: P Casoli ITA Yamaha 1:36.484<BR>7: I MacPherson GBR Honda 1:26.975<BR>8: J Teuchert GER Yamaha 1:36.676<BR>9: C Vermeulen AUS Honda 1:36.815<BR>10: J Ellison GBR Kawasaki 1:36.<BR><BR><BR>More, from a Team ten Kate press release:<BR><BR>Foret starts from front row again<BR><BR>The Ten Kate Honda rider and championship leader Fabien Foret will start Sunday's World Supersport championship race from the front row.<BR><BR>Foret was disappointed not to have made it two pole positions in a row after Andrew Pitt and Stephane Chambon just edged him out as the session<BR>came to a close.<BR><BR>"I was on a fast lap right at the end of qualifying," explained Foret, "my time through the first split was faster than Pitt's. But then I made some mistakes in the second section. I am still very confident because we have a very good race set up and I'm still starting from the front row."<BR><BR>Foret's teammate Iain MacPherson continued his steady improvement on the Ten Kate Honda CBR600FS that he first rode two weeks ago in Valencia.<BR><BR>"The team have been making some more fine adjustments to make the bike fit my riding style," commented the Scotsman. "I'm steadily improving my speed and while I would have liked to have pushed onto the front row, realistically I'm very happy to be on the second row it's one more step forward from Valencia."<BR><BR>Team Manager Ronald ten Kate was satisfied with both his riders, "Fabien was a little disappointed not to be on pole, but then we can't expect to qualify fastest every race. The important thing for Foret is that he's again starting from the front row. We have an excellent race set up with both the WP Suspension and his Pirelli tyres are working well as usual. The team is very confident that we'll get a good result from both our riders on Sunday."<BR><BR>Ronald ten Kate was full of praise for his new recruit Iain MacPherson, "Iain is a very professional rider and we always knew he had lots of potential. But he has surprised us with how quickly he is settling down in the team and he's making brilliant progress. I know he will be a very competitive rider very soon."<BR>