World Supersport Final Qualifying
Ten Kate dominate World Supersport qualifying
The Ten Kate Honda’s of Pere Riba and Fabien Foret dominated today’s final qualifying for the World Supersport championship race on Sunday. Both Riba and Foret have shown brilliant form all season, starting with a superb race win at the first round in Valencia for Riba. As the pair scorched to the top of the time sheet during Saturday’s qualifying session the competition literally fell away – third place qualifier Kevin Curtain crashed with only minutes to go, ruining his chance of a last gasp assault on the ‘Yellow Armada’ as the Ten Kate Honda team is known.
There were jubilant scenes in the Ten Kate Honda garage as the two riders returned on their Honda CBR600FS bikes.
“We worked very hard for this,” explained pole sitter Foret with a smile, “we’ve done loads of testing and it’s paid off. I am so happy for the team who have all contributed to this pole position. My mechanics, the Pirelli tyres and the bike are all working perfectly.” But the 28-year-old Frenchman realises that there’s still a race to be won. “I am already thinking about the race. Sure, the pole position is very important but the podium is even more so. But for us to qualify in first and second is very good for the team’s morale!”
His teammate Pere Riba was happy to have qualified second, especially as the only rider faster than him today was from his own team. But Riba was still a little disappointed, “I’m happy, I started from second on the grid at Valencia and won the race. But I am disappointed because I felt I could go faster.” The 31-year-old from Matadepera in Spain said he had been on a fast lap in the closing stages when he was held up for a couple of corners by a slower rider. “I knew it would have been my fastest lap of the session but I lost just a little time passing someone. But the most important thing is that the team is doing so well and that we have the bike and tyres well set up for the race on Sunday.”
Team manager Ronald ten Kate was also smiling, “It is a fantastic feeling!” he said. “But the podium is the most important goal and, while I am very pleased to be in the first two places for qualifying, I am even happier that we have been able to use this session to find a good set up for the race. Everything is working so well, the Pirelli tyres, the White Power suspension and the Honda CBR600FS bikes.”
Kevin Curtain and Adam Fergusson, both Australians and both riding Hondas, complete the front row – making it an all Honda affair. It wasn’t a good session for the championship leader Paolo Casoli who qualified down in tenth. Karl Muggeridge, who’s running second in the title had a better day, he finished fifth fastest – and joined the top four in the 1 minute 43 second bracket. Vitto Guareschi, who has enjoyed several pole positions this season, saw his session ruined when he crashed out. An innocuous looking low-side turned into a spectacular crash when his bike burst into flames as it slid across the track. Marshals were quick on the scene and extinguished the flames – but ruined the engine in the process. The bike was still running and sucked in the foam, which dries up bearing surfaces on contact. All the Dienza Ducati team can do with the motor know is make an expensive ornament from it!
Final World Supersport championship qualifying times:1. Fabien Foret, France (Ten Kate Honda) 1m 43.526s,2. Pere Riba, Spain (Ten Kate Honda) 1m 43.686s,3. Kevin Curtain, Australia (Honda) 1m 43.720s,4. Adam Fergusson, Australia (Honda) 1m 43.765s5. Karl Muggeridge, Australia (Suzuki) 1m 43.996s,6. Jorg Teuchert, Germany (Yamaha) 1m 44.140s,7. Katsuaki Fujiwara, Japan (Suzuki) 1m 44.327s,8. Piergiorgio Bontempi, Italy (Yamaha) 1m 44.419s,9. Christophe Cogan, France (Yamaha) 1m 44.446s,10. Paolo Casoli, Italy (Yamaha) 1m 44.474s.
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