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Old 02-28-2009, 09:25 AM   #41
Grinchy
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Shane Byrne was unable to use his qualifier,
they couldn't get it mounted

Mr Superpole, Troy Corser caught out by new Superpole format
three knockout sessions but only two qualifiers!!!!
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Old 02-28-2009, 09:31 AM   #42
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Spies takes pole on WSBK debut
Ben Spies has taken pole position on his World Superbike debut after smashing the lap record around the Phillip Island circuit.

The big headline following a Superpole session that was rife with notable stories up and down the grid, Spies showed exactly why he is being touted for the title in his maiden season by setting a stunning pace when it mattered.

Having maintained a fairly low profile for much of the day as he chose to keep his running to a minimum, the American only just made it into the shootout after posting the seventh quickest time in Q2.

Nonetheless, once there, the Yamaha R1 was straight on the pace as Spies became very nearly the first rider ever to breach the 1min 31secs marker around the Australian track.

Even so, his lap of 1min 31.069 slices four tenths off Troy Bayliss' existing marker, while a similar margin separates the Yamaha rider from his closest competition.

That competition came, somewhat surprisingly, from Max Biaggi who marked a superb return to WSBK competition for Aprilia by claiming second position on the grid. Although his cause was aided by Jonathan Rea's decision not to attempt a final fast lap, Biaggi was always in contention for a front row position throughout qualifying and was richly rewarded for his efforts.

Rea, meanwhile, looked to be heading for pole position having set the pace during Q1 and much of Q2, despite limiting his track time to just a couple of laps on each occasion. However, his Q3 lap of 1min 31.596secs was no match for Spies, Rea subsequently choosing to save himself by settling for what remains an impressive first full-time outing for the Supersport graduate.

Completing a front row of four different manufacturers, Guandalini's Jakub Smrz maintained his fine pace from provisional qualifying to fly the Ducati flag, as well as front a strong privateer presence throughout the new Superpole format.

A success in terms of spectacle, not least in the way it played havoc with team tactics, the new knockout system helped provide a number of big upsets, most notably Noriyuki Haga's failure to reach the top eight shootout.

In fact, the Japanese rider wasn't even close, his best proving only good enough for an eventual 13th on the grid.

Instead, his team-mate Michel Fabrizio spared Xerox's blushes by qualifying a solid fifth, although the team will be bemused to see Haga comprehensively out paced by both Smrz and Regis Laconi.

Laconi had provided one of the day's star turns, the DFX rider taking the opportunity to fit qualification rubber at the end of Q2 to claim a new lap record, albeit until Spies went quicker in Q3 soon afterwards. Still, had Laconi managed reach the shootout without fitting new tyres, his best lap would have been good enough for second. Instead, he will start in eighth.

He will be joined on the second row by Leon Haslam, who did a fine job on the Stiggy Honda in sixth, while seventh place Carlos Checa is also worthy of a mention as he continues to overcome a painful shoulder injury.

As well as Haga, casualties from Q2 included both the Suzukis of Max Neukirchner and Yukio Kagayama. Kagayama paid the price for gambling to stay in the pit lane when riders behind him on the timesheets attempted one more stint, an error that leaves him 11th, while Neukirchner was barely in contention down in 14th.

Brits Tom Sykes and Shane Byrne also find themselves mired in the mid-field in 12th and 15th respectively, although both will take some heart from missing out on the top eight shootout by just over a tenth.

Before that, BMW's hopes of repeating their earlier top five form were dashed when Troy Corser and Ruben Xaus became the first high profile casualties of the new Superpole system. They will start 17th and 19th.
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Old 02-28-2009, 09:36 AM   #43
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!!!! It will be incredible if Spies can win his debut race.
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Old 02-28-2009, 12:26 PM   #44
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Spies V Rea, you know it's going to happen
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Old 02-28-2009, 01:08 PM   #45
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I'm sorry, but it is just funny to see a Pirelli had on that man's dome. I see he is already collecting hardware......woot woot.
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Old 02-28-2009, 01:13 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kawi jm View Post
I'm sorry, but it is just funny to see a Pirelli had on that man's dome. I see he is already collecting hardware......woot woot.
how about the YAMAHA across his chest??
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Old 02-28-2009, 01:17 PM   #47
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Lets hear some predictions for the race tomorrow.
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Old 02-28-2009, 01:18 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handozizle View Post
Lets hear some predictions for the race tomorrow.
see http://www.motohouston.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=83093
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Old 02-28-2009, 01:21 PM   #49
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Haga apologises, vows to give 500 per cent
Noriyuki Haga has apologised to fans for qualifying only 13th for the opening round of the 2009 World Superbike Championship, but insists he will thrive from a 'pressure free' starting position.

Haga was the highest-profile scalp from the new knockout Superpole format, the Japanese rider's best effort in Q2 failing to get him any higher than 13th position after failing to administer the correct tactics.

Indeed, Haga acknowledges that he and the team didn't get it right and even went so far as to apologise to those who have tipped him as the favourite for this year's title.

Even so, Haga is looking on the bright side, claiming that by missing out on pole position, he won't have the pressure associated with starting at the front.

“Unfortunately the new Superpole proved a little difficult for us, and perhaps we didn't have the right tactics today. This new format means teams have to have tactics and there is more of a gamble.

“I would have liked to be faster of course and apologise to the fans that I won't be further forward on the grid but anyway, at least I don't go into tomorrow under great pressure, as I would have been if I had made pole! I am already thinking about my game plan for the races.

“We know we have been fast in all the sessions so far, we are comfortable with the race setting and we have pretty much decided with regard to the tyre to use for tomorrow's races. I will give 500 per cent and I will go out there and do my best!”

It wasn't a disastrous qualifying session for the reigning champions, with Michel Fabrizio sparing Xerox's blushes by going fifth quickest. Nonetheless, the Italian continues to have concerns about tyre wear ahead of the races.

“I hoped to be able to go faster in the third Superpole but unfortunately, again due to tyre-wear, it was not an achievable goal. I can however be satisfied that we have the necessary race pace even if I wont be starting from the front row as I wished. We have worked hard all weekend and I have been consistently fast up until now so I am still confident for tomorrow's races.”
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Old 02-28-2009, 04:36 PM   #50
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Old 02-28-2009, 04:39 PM   #51
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Old 02-28-2009, 04:40 PM   #52
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Old 02-28-2009, 04:40 PM   #53
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Old 02-28-2009, 04:41 PM   #54
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Old 02-28-2009, 04:42 PM   #55
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Old 02-28-2009, 04:43 PM   #56
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Old 02-28-2009, 04:44 PM   #57
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Old 02-28-2009, 04:45 PM   #58
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Old 02-28-2009, 04:46 PM   #59
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Old 02-28-2009, 05:19 PM   #60
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