QUALIFYING 2 REPORT
To the delight of The Yamaha World Superbike Team’s home crowd rider Ben Spies effortlessly rode his R1 to take an incredible fifth consecutive Superpole of the year, again breaking the lap record in the process. Having spent the two qualifying sessions fine tuning his set up for race day, Spies took it relatively easy for the first two Superpole heats, ensuring he made it through to the final eight without using a qualifier tyre. As the final heat started, out came the new Pirelli qualifier tyre with its distinctive yellow stripe, and the lap time tumbled as Spies displayed what is now becoming almost expected, a scorching Superpole lap and a new lap record.
Team-mate Tom Spies had a more frustrating Superpole experience, having started well on a qualifier in the first session he made it through safely to the second. The young British rider’s flying lap saw him quick enough through the first two splits to go through to the final session, however he came up against another rider on a slow down lap halfway round the infamous Parabolica corner, losing nearly half a second in the process and sealing his fate outside the top ten for the final heat. Sykes will now start tomorrow’s races from the third row of the grid.
Ben Spies, Yamaha World Superbike Team (1st, 1’44.073)
"It’s been really good here at Monza this weekend. The approach has been a bit different, we’ve kind of tried to sneak up on everyone and been working really hard on the race setup through the sessions. We’ve been working quietly away in the garage and I think the bike is going to be really good in the race. I really wanted to get this one for Yamaha on their home track so it was great to be able to take the Superpole for the team. It looks like it could be a bit of a dogfight tomorrow, hopefully we’ll have some guys up there to mix it up and shake up the points a little bit."
Tom Sykes, Yamaha World Superbike Team (10th 1’45.383)
"Qualifying was a fairly steady session, we tried a couple more things to cross some boxes, so it was constructive. We got some more information out of it which helped towards the Superpole. We did the first Superpole heat ok, the aim of the game was to get into the top sixteen and we did that. I was fairly confident for the second one, I knew I was on a good lap and everything felt really nice and smooth but coming into the last corner, Kiyonari was in front of me. He was going pretty slowly and then sat up and we nearly came together. I lost half a second there and didn’t have time to get back and change tyres for another go. I’m very disappointed as I feel that our race pace for tomorrow is quite strong and we are having to start from row three. Hopefully we can get a good clean start and get through the first chicane and try and go with the leading bunch as I know we can stay with them."
Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager
"After the pole position we are quite confident that tomorrow we can run a good race. Here in Monza the two races will be really close at the start with a lot of riders in a tight pack for the first half but I think after that just a few riders will fight for the win. I think tomorrow we will see two very good races."