British riders Craig Jones and Jonathan Rea will start tomorrow’s opening race of the 2008 World Supersport calendar on the front row after sensational performances in this afternoon’s final qualifying session.
Parkalgar Honda rider, Jones set the pace early on in the session and then after dropping down the order slightly upped the pace in the final minutes to post a string of 2min 02sec lap to secure his place on the front row.
Craig Jones said: “I’m happy with that and the time came pretty easily. With the problems we had in the first session of the weekend we’ve been playing a bit of catch up and it wasn’t until after free practice this morning that I knew how I needed to improve the bike.
“I changed gearing and some suspension set-up and the bike felt better. I think the race pace will be low 2min 02sec to start with so I think the top seven or eight guys are going to be up there to begin with and maybe four or five at the end – we’ll have to wait and see.”
Whilst Jones had a relatively simple route to the front row, Jonathan Rea did it the hard way after spectacularly high siding his Hannspree Ten Kate Honda at the final turn with less than 20 minutes to go.
After hobbling back to the pits instead of heading to the medical centre for treatment he went back out on the motorcycle and in his final flying lap escalated himself from outside the top ten up to fourth place.
Rea said: “I don’t know what happened really. I was getting on the gas pretty hard there to get a good run down the straight.
“I had quite a big slide but because I don’t have so much experience with the bike and tyres I tried to ride the slide like a would on a Superbike, but because I didn’t have as much power it just chattered away and spat me over the top.
“I’m basically fine just a bit battered and bruised and my right ankle it hurting a bit. My goal today was to get on the front row, which I’ve done so I’m happy.”
Honda’s Graeme Gowland also had a positive day after securing a fourth row start with a very credible 15th place in his first ride for the Dutch Benjan Racing team and first visit to the Qatar track.
Chris Walker suffered another tough day to finish in 20th spot after a lack of front end grip wrecked his chances of putting in a fast lap.
World Supersport qualifying two results:
Fabien Foret FRA Yamaha World Supersport 2'01.928
Craig JONES GBR Parkalgar Racing Team Honda 2'02.273
Matthieu Lagrive, FRA, Intermoto Czech Honda 2'02.554
Jonathan Rea, GBR, Hannspree Ten Kate Honda 2'02.617
Broc Parkes, AUS, Yamaha World Supersport Team 2'02.636
Joan Lascorz, ESP, Glaner Motocard.com Honda 2'02.718
Garry McCoy, AUS, Triumph SC 2'02.770
Ivan Clementi, ITA, Triumph Italia BE1 Racing 2'02.862
David Salom, ESP, Yamaha Spain 2'02.866
Andrew Pitt, AUS, Hannspree Ten Kate Honda 2'02.903
Mark Aitchison AUS, Triumph Italia BE1 Racing 2'02.964
Joshua Brookes, AUS, Hannspree Stiggy Motorsport Honda 2'02.986
Barry Veneman, NED, Ressoftware Hoegee Suzuki Team 2'03.205
Gianluca Nannelli, ITA, Hannspree Honda Althea 2'03.237
Graeme Gowland, GBR, Benjan Racing Team Honda 2'03.322
Gianluca Vizziello, ITA, Berry Racing Honda 2'03.428
Gregory Leblanc, FRA, CRS Grand Prix Honda 2'03.443
Miguel Praia, POR, Parkalgar Raing Team Honda 2'03.660
Katsuaki Fujiwara, JPN, Kawasaki Gil Motor Sport 2'03.959
Chris Walker, GBR, Kawasaki Gil Motorsport 2'03.994
A. ANTONELLI ITA Hannspree Honda Althea 2'04.046
Robbin HARMS DEN Hannspree Stiggy Motors Honda 2'04.178
Vesa Kallio, FIN, Benjan Racing Team Honda 2'04.349
Lorenzo ALFONSI ITA PMS Kawasaki 2'04.600
Mirko Giansanti, ITA, Berry Racing Honda 2'04.657
William DE ANGELIS RSM Intermoto Czech Honda 2'04.792
Didier Van Keymeulen, BEL, Ressoftware Hoegee Suzuki Team 2'04.867
Massimo Roccoli , ITA, Yamaha Lorenzini By Leoni 2'05.093
I Dionisi, ITA, Triumph SC 2'05.251
Santiago Barragan, ESP, Glaner Motocard.com Honda 2'05.550
Arnaud Vincent, FRA, Kawasaki Gil Motor Sport 2'05.941
Luka Nedog, SLO, CRS Grand Prix Honda 2'06.050
Danilo Dell'Omo, ITA, HP Racing Team Honda 2'07.323
Attila Magda, HUN, Factory Racing Honda 2'07.459
Gergo TALMACSI HUN Factory Racing Honda 2'07.882
J. PEDRO SUBIRATS ESP Yamaha Spain 2'09.188