Britain’s Craig Jones secured his first ever World Supersport pole position at Vallelunga today with a scintillating 1m39.322.
Jones’ pole was his first since 2003 at Knockhill when he rode in British Supersport and couldn’t have come at a better time with the young Brit currently without a ride for 2008.
Craig Jones ended his pole lap with five minutes of the session still remaining and was forced to watch his rivals try and better his times alongside his Reve Ekerold squad.
The two Ten Kate Honda riders Sebastian Charpentier and Kenan Sofuoglu were his biggest threat, but despite being faster than Craig Jones through the first split were unable to match the Brits awesome second split time and ended the session in second and third place respectively.
Craig Jones said: “It was a good lap but it wasn’t perfect. I was pushing hard but I missed a couple of apexes. I’ve never really been a qualifier as I’ve always preferred to concentrate on my race pace and I can’t remember the last time I was on the front row.
“I managed to get the second split right, I pushed hard and just rode it well and that’s what made the difference today.”
Craig Jones currently sits ninth in the championship standings, but a good result in Vallelunga and next weekend at Magny Cours could escalate him as high as sixth in the 2007 championship standings.
Fourth place in the session went to local Italian Gianluca Vizziello onboard the RG Yamaha. Vizziello has been on the pace all weekend and is well placed for a strong finish in tomorrows 22 lap race.
Britain’s Tommy Hill survived a lucky escape after tangling with Italian Gianluca Nannelli early on in the session.
Hill stayed on but was unable to get fully dialled in and on the right tyre at the right time to move up the grid and will line up on the third row in 12th place.
Supersport Qualifying results:
1 JONES C. GBR Honda CBR600RR S1 1'40.854 S2 1'39.322
2 CHARPENTIER S. FRA Honda CBR600RR S1 1'39.733 S2 1'39.458
3 SOFUOGLU K. TUR Honda CBR600RR S1 1'40.408 S2 1'39.679
4 VIZZIELLO G. ITA Yamaha YZF-R6 S1 1'40.339 S2 1'39.800
5 PARKES B. AUS Yamaha YZF-R6 S1 1'40.969 S2 1'39.878
6 LASCORZ J. ESP Honda CBR600RR S1 1'41.320 S2 1'39.954
7 BROOKES J. AUS Honda CBR600RR S1 1'40.957 S2 1'39.965
8 SALOM D. ESP Yamaha YZF-R6 S1 1'41.195 S2 1'40.101
9 TODE A. GER Honda CBR600RR S1 1'41.018 S2 1'40.289
10 ROCCOLI M. ITA Yamaha YZF-R6 S1 1'41.135 S2 1'40.299
11 ALFONSI L. ITA Honda CBR600RR S1 1'42.045 S2 1'40.318
12 HILL T. GBR Yamaha YZF-R6 S1 1'40.815 S2 1'40.351
13 GIMBERT S. FRA Yamaha YZF-R6 S1 1'41.001 S2 1'40.378
14 FUJIWARA K. JPN Honda CBR600RR S1 1'40.775 S2 1'40.384
15 FORES J. ESP Honda CBR600RR S1 1'41.283 S2 1'40.566
16 KALLIO V. FIN Suzuki GSX-R600 S1 1'42.155 S2 1'40.786
17 CHECA D. ESP Yamaha YZF-R6 S1 1'41.571 S2 1'40.839
18 LAGRIVE M. FRA Honda CBR600RR S1 1'41.596 S2 1'40.863
19 FORET F. FRA Kawasaki ZX-6R S1 1'41.651 S2 1'40.915
20 LEBLANC G. FRA Honda CBR600RR S1 1'42.969 S2 1'40.922
21 VENEMAN B. NED Suzuki GSX-R600 S1 1'42.180 S2 1'40.948
22 RIBA P. ESP Kawasaki ZX-6R S1 1'41.356 S2 1'40.950
23 GOWLAND G. GBR Honda CBR600RR S1 1'42.475 S2 1'41.001
24 NEBEL S. GER Kawasaki ZX-6R S1 1'42.637 S2 1'41.129
25 CRUCIANI S. ITA Honda CBR600RR S1 1'42.091 S2 1'41.267
26 SANNA S. ITA Honda CBR600RR S1 1'41.669 S2 1'41.402
27 PRAIA M. POR Honda CBR600RR S1 1'41.594 S2 1'41.673
28 IVANOV V. RUS Yamaha YZF-R6 S1 1'42.301 S2 1'41.597
29 BOCCOLINI G. ITA Kawasaki ZX-6R S1 1'43.387 S2 1'41.646
30 TIZON A. ESP Yamaha YZF-R6 S1 1'44.022 S2 1'41.676
31 NANNELLI G. ITA Ducati 749R S1 1'42.811 S2 1'41.880
32 CORRADI A. ITA Ducati 749R S1 S2 1'41.904
33 FILLA M. CZE Honda CBR600RR S1 1'43.621 S2 1'42.263
34 ENJOLRAS J. FRA Yamaha YZF-R6 S1 1'42.532 S2 1'42.760