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May 30, 2009

Updated: Spies Breaks Record, Earns Seventh Consecutive World Superbike Pole Position, At Miller

Ben Spies (19).
Sterilgarda Yamaha Motor Italia's Ben Spies made history today at Miller Motorsports Park. The 24-year-old Texan, participating in only his seventh World Superbike event, broke Doug Polen's long-standing record for the most consecutive pole positions in a season, six, by earning his seventh consecutive pole position during Saturday's Superpole qualifying.

World Superbike's knock-out Superpole format is never easy, but it was even more difficult as a thunderstorm threatened the track throughout the three-round event, causing riders and crews to constantly evaluate the situation. It did rain lightly during Superpole, leading to officials to display rain flags, but all riders stayed on slicks through all three rounds.

Spies and his crew gambled a bit, saving both of their softest qualifying tires for the final round, but it stayed dry enough for Spies to use one of the tires to its maximum and record a 1:48.344, which won the final round by 0.564 second over HANNspree Ten Kate Honda's Carlos Checa, winner of both races last year at Miller.

FIM Superbike World Championship
Miller Motorsports Park
Tooele, Utah
May 30, 2009
Provisional Superpole Results (all on Pirelli tires):

Superpole Three:

1. Ben Spies (Yam YZF-R1), 1:48.344
2. Carlos Checa (Hon CBR1000RR), 1:48.908
3. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Hon CBR1000RR), 1:49.243
4. Michel Fabrizio (Duc 1098F09), 1:49.434
5. Jakub Smrz (Duc 1098RS), 1:49.658
6. Shane Byrne (Duc 1098RS), 1:50.495
7. Broc Parkes (Kaw ZX-10R), 1:51.328
8. Jamie Hacking (Kaw ZX-10R), 1:51.438

Superpole Two:

9. Noriyuki Haga (Duc 1098F09), 1:49.516
10. Shinya Nakano (Apr RSV4 Factory), 1:49.528
11. Jonathan Rea (Hon CBR1000RR), 1:49.541
12. Leon Haslam (Hon CBR1000RR), 1:49.765
13. Yukio Kagayama (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:50.114
14. Fonsi Nieto (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:50.488
15. Luca Scassa (Kaw ZX-10R), 1:50.987
16. Max Biaggi (Apr RSV4 Factory), 1:51.351, crash

Superpole One:

17. Gregorio Lavilla (Duc 1098RS), 1:50.344
18. David Salom (Kaw ZX-10R), 1:50.633
19. Lorenzo Lanzi (Duc 1098RS), 1:50.868
20. Karl Muggeridge (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:51.004

The Rest of the Grid:

21. Troy Corser (BMW S1000 RR), 1:50.793
22. Tom Sykes (Yamaha YZF-R1), 1:50.807
23. Jake Zemke (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:51.072
24. Ruben Xaus (BMW S1000 RR), 1:51.166
25. Tommy Hill (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:51.451
26. Erwan Nigon (Yamaha YZF-R1), 1:52.137

More, from a press release issued by Ben Spies' publicist:


Yamaha ace wins record seventh straight Superpole

TOOELE, Utah (May 30, 2009) Ben Spies has exactly a half a season in World Superbike, but the 24-year-old Texan has already etched his name in the record books. Today in front of home fans at Miller Motorsports Park, Spies won Superpole for the seventh straight time this season, breaking the consecutive pole record established by fellow American Doug Polen in 1991. Spies turned a lap of 1:48:344 on the factory Yamaha R1, just beating the rain that hit the track during the final session to win the pole for Sunday's American rounds of the World Superbike Championship.

Spies has won the pole for every race so far this season and is rapidly earning the nickname of Mr. Superpole.

"It feels great to break the get into the record books," Spies said. "There have been some ups and downs, but the team is working hard, we've got a great bike and I do feel winning seven straight poles is a major accomplishment we can be proud of."

Doug Polen is on his way to Utah to watch the races tomorrow and he commented on his long-standing record being broken.

"If anyone was going to break the record I'm happy it was Ben that did it," said Polen, a two-time World Superbike Champion, just before boarding a plane to Salt Lake City. "I talked to him on the phone last night. We didn't really talk about the pole; we were just more or less catching up with everything that's going on. I'm going to text him now that I know he's got the Superpole record and congratulate him. He's a great rider and I hope he does well and breaks more records along the way."

Spies finished the final session over a half-second faster than second-place qualifier Carlos Checa - who won last year's race - on Miller's high-speed, 3.048 mile, 13-turn Outer Course. It marked the debut of the three-session knock-out Superpole format in America. There was a good bit of the drama added when light rain began falling during the final segment. Riders stayed on the track with slicks, but were unable to better the times set early in the final session.

Spies actually clocked his fastest lap in the second leg of the three-session Superpole, leading the way with a 1:48.319. He said he did feel a bit of pressure leading up to Superpole.

"I mean I wanted to treat it like any other qualifying session," he explained. "but there was some added drama today with the record on the line. That and the fact that I was expected to do well here at my home track, plus the weather moving in. All of that had my attention today. Anything less than winning the pole would have been tough to take and that's a tough position to be in."

Spies went on to explain that the team went with a race tire in the first Superpole session before moving to qualifiers in both the second and third sessions. He added he's happy with the race set-up the team has found and is ready for tomorrow's races.

"This track seems to bring out the best in some different teams and riders," Spies said. "It should make for some interesting racing tomorrow. We've got a couple of the American wild-card riders who could be a factor too. It has the potential to be one of the most exciting races of the season so far."

In the U.S., both World Superbike rounds from Utah can be watched back to back on Speed TV tomorrow (Sunday, May 31) starting at 5:00 pm Eastern.

More, from a press release issued by Pirelli:


May 30th 2009, Tooele, UT (United States) World Superbike rookie American has put Yamaha and Pirelli in the record books by breaking an eighteen-year old consecutive Superpole record, set in 1991 by fellow Texan Doug Polen on a Ducati 888 Superbike and Dunlop tyres. The new Superpole format has worked for the very consistent Spies who used his Pirelli DIABLO SUPERBIKE slicks and DIABLO SUPERBIKE qualifiers in the new three-session Superpole format to take the front spot on the grid in the first seven races of the 2009 season.

With a time of 1'48.344, Spies was just 0.15 seconds off the Best Lap time of HANNspree Ten Kate rider Carlos Checa time from 2008. His chances of lowering that time were interrupted by an approaching storm, which began to wet the track towards the end of the third 12-minute session. Spies was followed by Carlos Checa, whose double race win last year proved that he is comfortable at Miller Motorsports racetrack. Ten Kate Honda teammate Ryuichi Kiyonari and Ducati Xerox's Michel Fabrizio complete the front row of the grid going into tomorrow's Superpole.

This is Pirelli's second time racing at the newly constructed Miller Motorsports Park, which was confirmed today by representatives from the track and the organizer as a destination for the Superbike and Supersport World Championships for some years to come. The action tomorrow will also feature the Supersport class which was not present during the 2008 United States round. It was Spanish rider Joan Lascorz who took Kawasaki's first Supersport pole position of the season going into tomorrow's race.

For the Miller race, Pirelli identified the qualifying tyres with yellow adhesive logos on the sidewalls, in lieu of the new design which was introduced at Monza due the tyres needing to be container shipped long before the new design was produced. The yellow-striped and white "Long P" logo will be featured again at the 8th round of the championship at the San Marino track of Misano.

More, from a press release issued by Sterilgarda Team:

"Shakey" Byrne will start sixth in tomorrow's two races. It is his season personal best in practice as he put on a great performance in the Superpole. After working on setup in the official practice session this morning and in free practice in the afternoon, Byrne used race tyres in the first Superpole.

He managed to get in the second session after only one full speed corner. Later on, the mechanics breathed freely after nothing happened when Byrne slipped. In the second run, Byrne took the eighth time and made it to the third and last session where he finished sixth thus confirming his good form.

SHANE BYRNE | Ducati 1098R | 6th in 1'49.982: "We're ready for tomorrow when we hope to do well. I got a good feeling with both bike and track and I was fast with practice and race setup. The starting position is very good and I'm confident I have my shot at getting in the leading pack. I just hope to perform at my best and do well in both races".

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

Spies (Yamaha) takes Magnificent 7

Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike) will start tomorrow's Utah US Round of the Hannspree FIM Superbike World Championship at Miller Motorsports Park from pole position after powering to a record seventh Superpole in seven races. The 24-year-old Texan wiped out the old record of six poles on the run set by fellow Texan Doug Polen in 1991. Spies was quickest both in Superpole 2 and Superpole 3 to take the front slot with a time of 1 minute 48.319 seconds. In Superpole 1 the fastest time of 1'49.261 was set by American Jamie Hacking, who surprised everyone on the Kawasaki World Superbike machine that has so far had a difficult start to the season. Second and third places on the grid went to the Ten Kate Honda pairing of Spain's Carlos Checa, last year's double race winner, and Ryuichi Kiyonari of Japan, while Italian Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) continued his good feeling with the Miller track with the final front row grid slot.

Shane Byrne (Sterilgarda Ducati) proved to be best of the Brits with a good run to sixth, a couple of tenths behind Jakub Smrz on a similar Guandalini 1098 machine. Broc Parkes and Hacking made it a positive day for Kawasaki with seventh and eighth places on the grid. Max Biaggi's unfortunate feeling with Superpole continued as Friday's provisional pole holder crashed during Superpole 2 and although the Italian managed to get back to the pits he was eliminated and will start from row 4 with sixteenth time. It was also a difficult Superpole for points leader Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) who had a nasty-looking crash in qualifying from which he came away bruised and battered. Haga was eliminated from the second knock-out phase and will start from row 3 with ninth quickest time. Spies and Fabrizio, respectively 88 and 85 points behind, may now have a chance to cut the gap tomorrow in the two 21-lap races.

Ben Spies: "It was a good session for us, the last few minutes there were some drops coming down and we were pretty nervous, but we'd worked well since this morning and I stuck to the plan in Superpole. I think we have a good race pace, there are a few guys that have good pace as well so the race should be interesting. Twelve months ago I didn't think I'd be here on pole at Miller in Superbike but it's great. I'm having a blast!"

Carlos Checa: "Finally this year I'm starting to be in the front group, I feel that the second place is very important to make a good start tomorrow. Overall it looks good, I hope the weather stays dry because at the end of the practice it was a little bit scary, with dark clouds and lightning! I don't know what is happening here at Miller, I always have a good feeling with this circuit, it's a good track with a lot of grip so we need to check why we have no grip in the other circuits!"

Ryuichi Kiyonari: "That was much better than Kyalami qualifying and the feeling with my Honda is much better than the recent races. As for my race pace for tomorrow I think it is a little bit not fast enough but if I can do a good start maybe I can follow the group and hope to get a podium."

Michel Fabrizio: "Superpole went well and I'm really pleased with my form, I start from the front row of the grid and out race pace is really good, let's see if we can do a couple of good races on this track tomorrow. We are losing a bit to the four-cylinder machines coming out of the turns but all things considered we are in a good position and for sure tomorrow we'll be competitive."

Times: 1. Spies B. (USA) Yamaha YZF R1 1'48.344; 2. Checa C. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 1'48.908; 3. Kiyonari R. (JPN) Honda CBR1000RR 1'49.243; 4. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1'49.434; 5. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 1'49.658; 6. Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 1'49.982; 7. Parkes B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'51.3288. Hacking J. (USA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'51.438; 9. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 1'49.516; 10. Nakano S. (JPN) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'49.528; 11. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1'49.541; 12. Haslam L. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1'49.765; 13. Kagayama Y. (JPN) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1'50.114; 14. Nieto F. (ESP) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1'50.488; 15. Scassa L. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'50.987; 16. Biaggi M. (ITA). Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'51.351

World Supersport

Joan Lascorz, 24 years old from Spain, scored his first-ever pole position in the seventh round of the Supersport World Championship at Miller Motorsports Park. This is the seventh time since 1999 a Kawasaki has started from pole, the last time being the Australian Round in 2007, with Fabien Foret on board. Lascorz's time of 1 minute 51.749 seconds on the Kawasaki ZX-6R was a fraction quicker than Irishman Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda), while points leader Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha World Supersport) qualified third. Italian Gianluca Nannelli produced a great performance on the ParkinGO 675 machine to give Triumph its first front row position in 2009, while another Italian Massimo Roccoli (Intermoto Honda) was fifth quickest. At the start of the session reigning world champion Andrew Pitt (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) was taken to the medical centre for slight concussion following a crash on his out lap but it is not serious. In 27th place (out of 29 starters) can be found Melissa Paris, 26 years old from California, who becomes the first woman to start a Supersport World Championship race, while the 28 year-old Canadian Marie-Joseé Boucher failed to qualify.

Times: 1. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'51.749; 2. Laverty E. (IRL) Honda CBR600RR 1'51.829; 3. Crutchlow C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R6 1'52.051; 4. Nannelli G. (ITA) Triumph Daytona 675 1'52.659; 5. Roccoli M. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 1'52.726; 6. Sofuoglu K. (TUR) Honda CBR600RR 1'52.755; 7. McCoy G. (AUS) Triumph Daytona 675 1'52.794; 8. Foret F. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R6 1'52.827

More, from a press release issued by HANNspree Ten Kate Honda:

Carlos Checa set the third fastest time during a frantic and weather-affected Superpole session today to grab a front row start in tomorrow's two seventh round World Superbike championship races at Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City, USA. American Ben Spies set the fastest time this afternoon, taking a record seventh consecutive WSBK pole position.

The Spanish ace, who started from pole position and won both races here last year, has been running at the front since the first free practice session yesterday and is confident enough in his CBR1000RR Fireblade to think of a repetition of last year's results.

His Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team-mate Jonathan Rea, who is on his first visit to the 4.9km Miller circuit, will start from the third row of the grid for tomorrow's two 21-lap races after setting the eleventh fastest Superpole time.

The 22-year-old from Northern Ireland, crashed his number one machine in free practice, just before the three-stage Superpole session began. Despite a sore head, Rea made it through to Superpole 2, but a mistake during his second stint and the threat of rain stopped him progressing to the final eight.

Carlos Checa P2, 1'48.908s (Superpole 3)

It's been a difficult first half of the season but we have been steadily improving and the team is now working really well together, so I am very happy to start from the front row here. I don't know what it is about this place that makes me feel so comfortable on the bike but there is certainly more grip on the side of the tyre and the bike has been steadily improving for the last few rounds. It certainly won't be easy in the races tomorrow Ben (Spies) and three or four other riders are very fast, so we'll have to see what happens in the races. But, for sure, it feels very good to be at the front again and I hope to turn it into good results in the races tomorrow.

Jonathan Rea P11, 1'49.591s (Superpole 2)

I had a pretty big crash right at the end of the free practice session and that kind of upset my rhythm for Superpole. It's a shame because I was running in about sixth at the time after we found something in that first sector, where I was suffering yesterday. I made a mistake on my first qualifier in Superpole 2 and then I was distracted by the threat of rain and I ended up missing the cut by about three hundredths of a second. I'm pretty confident that we've got a good race set-up though, so I'll try to get a couple of really good starts tomorrow and see what happens.

Ronald ten Kate team manager

I'd almost call it a perfect weekend so far, with Carlos and our other team rider, Ryuichi Kiyonari, on the front row for tomorrow. They have both been on the pace since their very first laps at Miller and it's of course ideal to have them both at the front. Jonathan is picking up the pace quickly as well and I strongly believe that he showed the pace to deserve a place there as well. I think we're more than ready to race and to give the local guy and good run for his money.

More, from a press release issued by Xerox Ducati:


Miller Salt Lake City (USA), Saturday 30th May: Michel Fabrizio and Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) this afternoon took part in an entertaining Superpole session at Miller Motorsport park, with the onset of rain mid-way through the session causing extra excitement. Michel remained strong in each of the three mini-Superpole sessions, to snatch a valuable place on tomorrow's front row, in fourth position. Noriyuki, in pain after a heavy fall this morning, concluded the day in ninth place. Rain started to fall on parts of the track mid-way through the second phase of the Superpole but thankfully was not heavy enough to disrupt the final phase too much.

In the morning's qualifying both Michel Fabrizio and Noriyuki Haga were losing valuable time in the first split. The two riders and their teams made modifications to enable them to improve over that section and in the final minutes of the session, Michel made a big improvement over the first split which allowed him to register the fastest time of the session just a couple of minutes from the end. At exactly the same time Noriyuki was also picking up his pace but pushed perhaps a little too hard and was victim of a high-side. Noriyuki visited the medical centre but was fortunately found to be unhurt apart from a bad bruising to his back; Haga qualified for the subsequent Superpole in eighth position.

Michel Fabrizio 1m49.4s
"In the qualifying this morning I was losing time in the first split, the part of the track I like least and on which we've been working since yesterday, but I put this to rights with a fast time in the second phase of the Superpole. It's just a shame that I then made a small mistake exiting a corner on a fast lap in the third phase which cost me a higher position on the grid, as I'm sure I could have finished second had I not made that error. Anyway starting from the front row is of course not bad and I hope to be able to make two good races as I did here last year."

Noriyuki Haga 1m49.5s
"Well I'm not a great fan of Saturday mornings at Miller! Last year I broke my collarbone and today I crashed again, perhaps my fault for pushing a little too hard while doing a long-run but fortunately the only consequence is a very sore back, that I hope doesn't cause me too many problems tomorrow. Anyway, I did my best in Superpole this afternoon; I could have been on the second row but I found traffic on track in the first two sessions and when I was about to go out again at the end of the second phase it started to rain. Tomorrow's races will be really hard and if Ben, as I'm sure he will, takes off, then I don't know whether I'll be able to stick with him but I'll try my best to take as many points as possible."

More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:

Seven-time Spies breaks the all-time Superpole record

Yamaha World Superbike phenomenon Ben Spies made it seven Superpoles in a row today at the Miller Motorsports Park, he is now the only rider ever in the history of Superbike to take seven consecutive poles in a row. Spies had spent the first qualifying session and free practice working and fine tuning the set-up of the bike, as the Superpole heats started, it was clear his hard work with the team had paid off as he laid down the fastest lap of each session to comfortably end on pole position for tomorrow's races. It was a fitting scene as thunder and lightning broke dramatically over the circuit as the 'Texan Terror' showed everyone how it should be done.

Team-mate Tom Sykes had struggled with his set-up during the morning practice and following qualifying session, ending with a 22nd position start on the grid for race day. After making several changes Sykes went out again for the afternoon free practice session and found the set up he was looking for. Finding another second and a half on his earlier times he was running in tenth for the free session. Although not an ideal start position the new settings will give him a good race pace and the opportunity to fight through the pack.

Ben Spies

Ben Spies, Yamaha World Superbike Team (1st, 1'48.344)
"It was a good set of sessions for us, the last few minutes of Superpole there was some drops coming down and I was pretty nervous but we had worked hard in free practice and qualifying on the tyres we were on and just went into Superpole and stuck to the plan and everything worked out. I think we'll have a good race pace for tomorrow, I think there's a few guys who have good pace as well so I think the race is going to be pretty interesting. "

Tom Sykes

Tom Sykes, Yamaha World Superbike Team (22nd, 1'50.807)
"In qualifying we really missed out, we didn't find the right direction fast enough and unfortunately didn't get to Superpole which was a big shame. For the final free practice we found an area of real improvement, the time was good enough for Superpole. So hopefully we can forget today and although we've got a bad starting position we can come out tomorrow focused and make the most of what we've got."

Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager
"One more pole for Ben, seven in a row is fantastic. The pace is really good and for sure we are able to fight for the race win tomorrow. I think there are two or three guys who will be tough so it should be a good race. On the other side of the garage Tom improved this afternoon with a better set-up in free practice, he made up almost a half second so this will give some motivation to push very hard tomorrow and fight to make up positions. In the end it's all about race day so lets see what happens."

More, from a press release issued by Ten Kate Honda:

Ten Kate Honda Racing's Ryuichi Kiyonari will start tomorrow's two seventh round World Superbike championship races at Salt Lake City, USA from the front row of the grid after setting the third fastest time in today's Superpole qualifying session.

Pole position was taken by American Ben Spies, who set a record with his seventh consecutive pole start, as Kiyonari's Ten Kate team-mate Carlos Checa was second.

After running ninth fastest in yesterday's opening qualifying session, Kiyonari revealed that some helpful advice from his team-mates improved his lap times around the 4.9km Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City.

For tomorrow's two 21-lappers, the Japanese ace is looking to at least match the double podium result he scored two rounds back at Monza, Italy on 10 May.

Ryuichi Kiyonari P3, 1'49.243s (Superpole 3)

I sat down with my Ten Kate Honda team-mates, Carlos and Kenan Sofuoglu, last night for some advice on riding Miller the right way. I was still not as consistent as I wanted to be today, but it was very useful advice and, I think, maybe allowed me to go three or four tenths quicker. I tried a slightly different riding style this morning, with different lines, different acceleration and different braking and it worked. We also played with the rear shock a lot and found another few tenths there. I think I can maintain a good race pace tomorrow as both the bike and the tyres are working very well. I need to concentrate very hard and we will have to see how the weather is tomorrow, but I am looking forward to the races.

Ronald ten Kate team manager

I'd almost call it a perfect weekend so far, with Kiyo-san and our other team rider, Carlos Checa, on the front row for tomorrow. They have both been on the pace since their very first laps at Miller and it's of course ideal to have them both at the front. I think we're ready to race and give the local guy a run for his money.

More, from a press release issued by Stiggy Racing Honda:

Haslam takes third row start at Miller Motorsports Park

Despite showing consistent pace, Leon Haslam was struggling to find the connection with the pace setters in the Superbike field in his first qualifying at the Miller track yesterday, and found himself fading to the lower regions of the time sheets. Improvement to the set up of his bike was still not perfect, but Haslam managed to pick up his pace in the second qualifying session and secured a place in the Superpole by setting the 13th best time.

Haslam used a qualifier tyre to further improve his fastest time in the first Superpole shoot out, and finished safely in a ninth place. Rain looked likely at the start of the seconds shoot out, as dark clouds moved in from the mountains surrounding the circuit. Leon Haslam set out for a flying lap that should see him launch into the top eight, but made a costly mistake. With another six minutes
remaining, he returned to the garage to fit another qualifier tyre in an attempt to qualify for the third and last shoot out, before the rain moved in and Haslam had to prematurely end his final chance to qualify on the first two rows. Haslam will now start tomorrow's Milller round from the 12th position on the grid that is once again
led by superpole superman Ben Spies.

Temporary Stiggy Racing Honda team mate Jake Zemke is still looking for ways to gain feeling with his Superbike, and unexpectedly failed to qualify for the Superpole sessions. He relegated to an unsatisfying 23rd position at the track that bares good memories for him from recent AMA races. Overnight work on the bike by his crew could improve his performance for tomorrow's race and allow him to chase some points before his home audience.

Leon Haslam, 1'49.765s, P12:
" The first Superpole session went pretty well and I ended up in ninth position. I hoped to further improve it in the second session and went out on a qualifier. As I set out on my flying lap to place myself in the top eight, I made a mistake in the last sector as I ran wide, and finished the session in 12th place. I returned to the
garage to pick up a new tyre and set out to improve my lap, but it had already started to rain so I had to return to the garage again. Overall, I am pleased with the progression we have been able to make so far. We need to make some more improvements for the race, but we have been making progression with the set-up and the lap times are coming. If we can keep them consistent we should be able to ride a
good race tomorrow."

Jake Zemke, 1'51.072s, P23:
" It is definitely not the day we had hoped it would be. I set out to improve at least half a second, but instead have only lost seconds today. The changes we had in mind to improve from yesterday did not seem to work out. I am looking for some improvement to get the bike to turn a little better and get the bike to work a little better for the race tomorrow."

Johan Stigefelt, Team Manager:
" We all expected to set better results here today, but this is how it is. At this level, half a second can make a difference of ten positions. We know it will not be easy, but we are working on getting the bike to work for the race tomorrow. Jake is still struggling to corner his machine, but I hope he can find the enjoyment of riding the machine and bring some points back home for us. Leon has also been struggling here. He managed to pick up his feeling with the bike a little bit this morning, but we are still a bit off the pace that is run at the front. But, the race is tomorrow and it could all change again for the better. "

More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Superb Second Row Starts For Parkes And Hacking

WSBK, Salt Lake City, USA, 31 May 2009

The best qualifying sessions of the year for the official Ninja ZX-10R riders put Broc Parkes seventh and Jamie Hacking eighth for Sunday's 21-lap World Superbike races.

This is the first time that Parkes has made it through to Superpole Three, but in doing so he guaranteed that he would have a first or second row starting position.
The Kawasaki World Superbike Racing Team's joy was redoubled when local rider Hacking, competing in place of the injured Makoto Tamada, slotted in just one place behind Parkes, displacing many more experienced WSB regulars in the process.

Parkes has improved his level of fitness since the previous round, but is still not quite 100% back to normal, making his pre-race performances all the more worthy of recognition. Unlike many of his regular WSB rivals, he had never ridden at Miller before first practice on Friday afternoon, but was fast and adept from the very start.
Hacking has a greater level of experience of the 4.907km Miller Motorsports Park than his new team-mate, but as he races a 600cc machine this season in the AMA series his immediate promotion into the upper echelons of WSB qualifying is a singularly impressive achievement. He even headed the entire field after Superpole One.

The strong pre-race results are a boost for all in the Kawasaki World Superbike Racing Team members, but their immediate attentions now turn to the races on Sunday, and the possibility of a return of the rain which arrived late today. Impressive lighting strikes all around the circuit were the backdrop to most of Superpole, and very light rain was evident on the riders' visors towards the end, although the track surface proved to be largely dry.

Broc Parkes: "That's the best qualifying this year. This is my first time here and straight out of the box we were quite fast. The bike works well, but we haven't got a perfect race set-up yet. I think we can work around that for tomorrow. I'm really happy for the team because we are going forward. I'm also starting to get my fitness back again because it's been two weeks since Kyalami. Jamie has a lot of local knowledge and that has brought quite a lot into the team. That's been really good. The track is lots of fun, big, open and flowing, and that's what I like. It reminds me a lot of Qatar."

Jamie Hacking: "To have gone all the way through every Superpole session, with a total of just over three hours on this bike, I'm pleased. We have a good, really good, race set-up on the bike, got the race tyres picked and I am real happy with it. Obviously I would have liked to have improved more but with the conditions we had out there, it wasn't worth risking crashing a bike and having to start all over. None of the corners were wet, but you could see the water on the visor and feel it on your neck, you knew it was not truly dry. We had a very good shot at the front two rows there, and it should be a good race. I'm really looking forward to it. "

More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki Press Office:

Team Suzuki Alstare Brux rider Yukio Kagayama ignored the pain from two broken bones in his right foot and ankle to qualify 13th in the seventh-round World Superbike Superpole at Miller Motorsport Park in America.

Yesterday's visit to the hospital in Tooele, revealed broken bones in his right heel and ankle and he was advised not to race this weekend. The doctors also said that the normal recovery time for this kind of injury is six months! But Kagayama was determined to ride and after consultations with the Clinica Mobile and the local doctors he persuaded them all to let him try to ride in the morning qualifying and the reassess the situation afterwards.

Kagayama had pain-killing injections and put in a superb performance and qualified for Superpole without a problem. After another examination - and more persuasion - he was allowed to ride.

His team mate Fonsi Nieto improved greatly and made Superpole 1 and ended with the 14th quickest lap time and will start alongside Kagayama on the grid.

American Ben Spies (Yamaha) took his seventh pole of the season to go into the record books with the most consecutive pole positions. Second was last year's Miller double winner Carlos Checa (Honda) with Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) third and Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) fourth.

Yukio Kagayama - 13th, 1:50.114:

"I am a racer and I want to race, so for me, I had to get on my bike today. My right foot has to be very strongly strapped and getting my boot on and off is not so easy! I cannot put any weight on my foot, because of the broken bone in my right heel, so I have to use crutches to walk around. On the bike, it's not so bad and I can ride without too much of a problem. I had some injections this morning, but not this afternoon. I am lucky that it is my left foot that was not injured, because that one is used more on the bike and I don't think I would've been able to ride today or this weekend. Some people say that I am crazy, but this is just me. I want to race and if I think I can do it, then I will do it. For sure tomorrow will be hard because of two races in hot conditions, but I will do the best I can and hopefully I can make some good results."

Fonsi Nieto - 14th, 1:50.488:

"My feeling with the bike was much better today because it was smoother to ride and we found a good direction. In the afternoon, I tried to do consistent fast laps on race tyres in preparation for the races tomorrow. My bike was not so different to yesterday, but the small changes have helped quite a bit and so I am happier. The grip was better in the morning qualifying when the temperature was a bit cooler, but not so good in the afternoon when the temperatures went up. Considering that this is my second race weekend with this bike, I think my qualifying position is not so bad and now I hope we can make good results tomorrow."

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

Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport rider Troy Corser missed out on getting into Superpole qualifying at Miller Motorsport Park today by just two thousandths of a second. After yesterday's difficulties Troy and Ruben both knew that today would be a hard day and that making Superpole itself would be a tough ask. But both Troy and Ruben muscled their way round the 4.96 kilometre circuit as best they could and had it not been for a red flag right at the end of today's final qualifying session they would have made Superpole. There were less than three minutes on the clock remaining when all the riders went out to complete final qualifying , but not enough time for Troy and Ruben to lap any quicker.

American Ben Spies (Yamaha) took his seventh pole of the season to go into the record books with the most consecutive pole positions. Second was last year's Miller double winner Carlos Checa (Honda), with Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) third and Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) fourth.

Troy - 21st, 1:50.793
Of course I am disappointed not to make Superpole - the first time this season - and it feels bad to miss out by such a small margin, but that's how it goes sometimes. At the moment, the team and I are a bit of a loss to understand exactly what is going on with the bike here. Every track is new for us and poses problems, but for some reason, it seems to be a bit worse here than other tracks.

Maybe it's because this track has a lot of fast entry and exit corners and we haven't been able to get our bike dialled in for this kind of situation yet. I rode my number two bike in the afternoon and although the set-up was different, the feeling was more or less the same. At the moment, we're struggling to get the bike round the track, but we'll have another look at all the data this evening and see if we can make some improvements in the morning warm up.

Ruben - 24th, 1:51.166
I have no doubt that we are all working hard and I am proud of what me and my team are doing. We know our present limitations and we have to work hard at getting the best we can. When I lean the bike over at the maximum lean angle I am getting some chatter, so we will make some changes to the bike and I will adapt my style and try not to lean over so much. I think Troy and I are both in the same situation, but don't worry we are not giving up. The positive side of my grid position is that I am so far back I do not have to worry about anybody hitting me from behind - except the safety car!

Berti Hauser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director)
The reason for not getting into Superpole is that we have not been able to get the bike to use the tyres in the proper manner. The softest tyre we have to use to get good lap times is still too hard for us to get sufficient grip to push for the faster lap times - that last tenth of a second which would make a big difference. When you look at the softest tyre we use here, after ten laps or so it looks like the tyre is brand new and that is not normal.

Not making Superpole is a hard surprise for us, but it's important that we understand what we need to do, as others have. We have to find a solution to use the available tyres well and find good grip with them. With this bike and tyre at this particular track, in these conditions, and especially when the gap between 3rd and 20th place is so small, we just have to be faster. The red flag caused by Haga in final qualifying was a bit of bad luck for us, but we should not have been in a difficult position at that stage and so we will have to do better in the future. We have to find the key to this bike, but I am positive that we will do this and improve.

More, from a press release issued by Troy Corser's publicist:


After a difficult Friday and not so easy Saturday, Troy was on course for getting into Superpole qualifying, until a red flag came out on his hot lap right at the end of final qualifying. Haga's fall caused the red flag, less than three minutes from the end of qualifying, and although the session was restarted, Troy did not have enough time to go any faster.

American Ben Spies (Yamaha) took his seventh pole of the season to go into the record books with the most consecutive pole positions. Second was last year's Miller double winner Carlos Checa (Honda), with Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) third and Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) fourth.

Troy - 21st, 1:50.793
I am not sure, but I think I would've qualified for Superpole if it had not been for the red flag. Then there was not enough time to go any quicker and so I missed getting into Superpole qualifying by just two thousandths of a seconds! The gap between third and twentieth in regular qualifying was just a second, so you can see how tight things are and a fraction of a second makes all the difference. It's the first time this season I've missed out on Superpole and now it means that I've got to make the two best starts of my career if I am to have any chance of doing good tomorrow.

At the moment, we don't fully understand what's going on with the bike (at this track) and until we do that, we are going to struggle. The bike seems to be a bit worse here than other tracks, but whatever the reason, we have to find a solution. We are limited with what tyres we can use and that is not helping, but we have to work out ways of managing with what we have got and that's going to take a lot of work.
It's been a bit frustrating so far this weekend, but I am hoping we can find something in the morning warm-up and have a couple of good races. I have started way down the grid before and made good results, so let's hope I can do it again tomorrow.
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