The World Superbike Championship has returned to us, helping fill the winter snow & rain blues. Coming to us this weekend from Phillip Island, Australia, WSBK shows some new faces in the Superpole mix now that Ben Spies has left World Superbike for greener pastures. With the weather holding out, Superpole at PI had some surprising results, and some not so surprising results. Click past the break to get the low down.
Leon Haslam will lead the pack this Sunday, taking his first Superpole victory ever. After the Ducati dominance earlier in the week, we see only one member from Rosso Corsa making the front of the grid: Michel Fabrizio.
Noticeably absent is Noriyuki Haga, who has been struggling all week. Haga will start from the 10th position, which is a bit of a change for last year’s runner-up. Haga won’t be alone though, as 2009’s 4th place finisher, Max Biaggi, will start behind Haga in the 11th position. Biaggi’s Alitalia Aprilia RSV4 has been suffering from tire/suspension issues, which always seem to throw the Italian off his mark.
Another surprise was James Toseland, who while navigating his way to the final round of the Superpole qualifying event, did so on qualifying tires. This meant the British rider had to compete in the third round on race tires, which put him at an obvious disadvantage. As such, he’ll start 8th and hope to pick up positions on Sunday.
With a plethora of riders having something to prove tomorrow, all eyes will be watching for an early indication of how the 2010 World Superbike season will play out. Stay tuned race fans.
Superpole Results from World Superbike at Phillip Island, Australia:
|1||91||L. Haslam||Suzuki GSX-R1000||1’31.229||0.000||–|
|2||84||M. Fabrizio||Ducati 1098R||1’31.245||0.016||0.016|
|3||35||C. Crutchlow||Yamaha YZF R1||1’31.642||0.413||0.397|
|4||7||C. Checa||Ducati 1098R||1’31.671||0.442||0.029|
|5||50||S. Guintoli||Suzuki GSX-R1000||1’31.696||0.467||0.025|
|6||96||J. Smrz||Ducati 1098R||1’31.757||0.528||0.061|
|7||65||J. Rea||Honda CBR1000RR||1’31.912||0.683||0.155|
|8||52||J. Toseland||Yamaha YZF R1||1’32.019||0.790||0.107|
|Out after Superpole 2|
|9||57||L. Lanzi||Ducati 1098R||1’32.205||0.976||0.186|
|10||41||N. Haga||Ducati 1098R||1’32.229||1.000||0.024|
|11||3||M. Biaggi||Aprilia RSV4 1000 F.||1’32.293||1.064||0.064|
|12||66||T. Sykes||Kawasaki ZX 10R||1’32.398||1.169||0.105|
|13||11||T. Corser||BMW S1000 RR||1’32.430||1.201||0.032|
|14||77||C. Vermeulen||Kawasaki ZX 10R||1’32.561||1.332||0.131|
|15||111||R. Xaus||BMW S1000 RR||1’32.842||1.613||0.281|
|16||2||L. Camier||Aprilia RSV4 1000 F.||1’32.895||1.666||0.053|
|Out after Superpole 1|
|17||76||M. Neukirchner||Honda CBR1000RR||1’32.782||1.553||-0.113|
|18||67||S. Byrne||Ducati 1098R||1’32.823||1.594||0.041|
|19||88||A. Pitt||BMW S1000 RR||1’33.207||1.978||0.384|
|20||123||R. Resch||BMW S1000 RR||1’33.390||2.161||0.183|
|Did not qualify for Superpole|
|21||25||J. Brookes||Honda CBR1000RR||1’33.901||2.672||0.511|
|22||31||V. Iannuzzo||Honda CBR1000RR||1’34.248||3.019||0.347|
|23||15||M. Baiocco||Kawasaki ZX 10R||1’35.297||4.068||1.049|
|24||95||R. Hayden||Kawasaki ZX 10R||1’35.614||4.385||0.317|