Results of the World Superbikes Superpole session, setting the grid for tomorrow's race at Phillip Island:
Leon Haslam took his first ever Superpole at Phillip Island, after squeezing out Ducati's Michel Fabrizio to take pole for Sunday's race. The Suzuki Alstare rider has been close to the front all weekend and strong at the tests a week ago, and Haslam finally made good on the promise he showed all last year.
Alongside Fabrizio is another newcomer, Cal Crutchlow rocketing to 3rd place and a front row start in his first World Superbike race. After a disastrous first day, the Yamaha engineers discarded the carbon fuel tank and tail section built for this season, replacing them with 2009 units. That switch has clearly paid off, as both Crutchlow and teammate James Toseland made it in to Superpole 3, and Toseland ended up 8th because he'd already been forced to use one of his two qualifying tires in the first Superpole session, leaving him to contest Superpole 3 on race tires.
Carlos Checa, who dominated practice on Saturday, could not capitalize during Superpole, though the Spanish veteran still starts from the front row. Sylvain Guintoli heads up the second row, directly behind his Alstare Suzuki teammate. Guintoli has another privateer Ducati beside him, in the shape of the Pata Ducati of Jakub Smrz. Johnny Rea will start from 7th, the Ulsterman still struggling to get the best out of grippy new tires. But Rea's aggressive style leaves no doubt that he'll be barging his way to the front during the race.
The big surprise of the session was the absence of two title contenders from Superpole 3. Max Biaggi is struggling with vibration both on corner entry and corner exit from the new tires that Pirelli have brought, and could only put his Aprilia into 11th place. Noriyuki Haga, the man who finished last year's championship in 2nd behind the phenomenon that is Ben Spies, went out on a race tire in Superpole 2 but could not put the time in he needed. The Xerox Ducati man missed the cut, and will have to start from 10th.
The weather, which was threatening to be very blustery and wet earlier in the week, appears to have cleared up, after a giant thunderstorm blew through the area overnight on Friday. Race day looks to be dry and not too hot, though the strong winds forecast will be a factor. But in just a few hours time, racing will be underway again at Phillip Island, and all will be right with the world.
|1||91||L. Haslam||GBR||Suzuki GSX-R1000||1'31.229||0.000|
|2||84||M. Fabrizio||ITA||Ducati 1098R||1'31.245||0.016||0.016|
|3||35||C. Crutchlow||GBR||Yamaha YZF R1||1'31.642||0.413||0.397|
|4||7||C. Checa||ESP||Ducati 1098R||1'31.671||0.442||0.029|
|5||50||S. Guintoli||FRA||Suzuki GSX-R1000||1'31.696||0.467||0.025|
|6||96||J. Smrz||CZE||Ducati 1098R||1'31.757||0.528||0.061|
|7||65||J. Rea||GBR||Honda CBR1000RR||1'31.912||0.683||0.155|
|8||52||J. Toseland||GBR||Yamaha YZF R1||1'32.019||0.790||0.107|
|Out after Superpole 2|
|9||57||L. Lanzi||ITA||Ducati 1098R||1'32.205||0.976||0.186|
|10||41||N. Haga||JPN||Ducati 1098R||1'32.229||1.000||0.024|
|11||3||M. Biaggi||ITA||Aprilia RSV4 1000 F.||1'32.293||1.064||0.064|
|12||66||T. Sykes||GBR||Kawasaki ZX 10R||1'32.398||1.169||0.105|
|13||11||T. Corser||AUS||BMW S1000 RR||1'32.430||1.201||0.032|
|14||77||C. Vermeulen||AUS||Kawasaki ZX 10R||1'32.561||1.332||0.131|
|15||111||R. Xaus||ESP||BMW S1000 RR||1'32.842||1.613||0.281|
|16||2||L. Camier||GBR||Aprilia RSV4 1000 F.||1'32.895||1.666||0.053|
|Out after Superpole 1|
|17||76||M. Neukirchner||GER||Honda CBR1000RR||1'32.782||1.553||-0.113|
|18||67||S. Byrne||GBR||Ducati 1098R||1'32.823||1.594||0.041|
|19||88||A. Pitt||AUS||BMW S1000 RR||1'33.207||1.978||0.384|
|20||123||R. Resch||AUT||BMW S1000 RR||1'33.390||2.161||0.183|
|Did not qualify for Superpole|
|21||25||J. Brookes||AUS||Honda CBR1000RR||1'33.901||2.672||0.511|
|22||31||V. Iannuzzo||ITA||Honda CBR1000RR||1'34.248||3.019||0.347|
|23||15||M. Baiocco||ITA||Kawasaki ZX 10R||1'35.297||4.068||1.049|
|24||95||R. Hayden||USA||Kawasaki ZX 10R||1'35.614||4.385||0.317|