Ben Spies has once again trounced the competition to take pole position at Donington Park for the ninth round of the World Superbike Championship.
He made it through to the top eight shoot out and immediately went out and set a time of 1min 29.846secs. Spies’ Yamaha squad timed it well as the diminished adhesion flags were being shown and he set his time just before the conditions deteriorated.
Spies said: “That last session was a bit hectic with the rain. I was last out and saw the rain so I had to hustle to get a dry time. I was fast in the first sector as there was rain out the back.
"The bike set-up is good we made big changes on Friday for the wet so rain or dry we are there. I like the track and I have some knowledge of it, I knew what the bike needed to do. It is nice to have other people in the mix but tomorrow will be tough.”
Max Biaggi on the Aprilia took second place, he said: “We made good progress on Friday the set-up is better and improving.
"We are not the fastest and in qualifying we were lucky as after one lap it was raining. It is good to be at Donington, I like the track. It is all new for us but we improve a little every time.”
Top Brit was Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne who placed his Sterilgarda Ducati in third place for his home round. He commented: “That was a good session. It was important to get through the first section without using a qualifier as you only get two and we wanted to keep one for the last session.
"In the second session the team made a good call and told me to use the qualifier as the rain was coming so we needed to do something. It has been an up and down weekend just riding around trying to get to the bottom of things.
"I’ve got one bike set-up just like my BSB bike and one which we have been developing since America. It will be two long tough races tomorrow and you don’t know what the weather will do. Let’s see how we end up.”
Completing the unusual front row was Shinya Nakano on the second Aprilia. Nakano said: “We had some luck, already we do fast lap and then there were some drops of rain so I made one lap and a good time.
"That is my best qualifying in Superbike so far. On Friday we struggle in the rain condition but the lap times are coming better. I know Donington very well and it is great pleasure to race in front of many fans.”
1. B. SPIES USA Yamaha 1'29.846
2. M.BIAGGI ITA Aprilia 1'30.080
3. S. BYRNE GBR Ducati 1'30.535
4. S. NAKANO JPN Aprilia 1'30.671
5. M.FABRIZIO ITA Ducati 1'30.734
6. N. HAGA JPN Ducati 1'31.023
7. C. CHECA ESP Honda 1'31.342
8. J. SMRZ CZE Ducati 1'34.797
9. L. HASLAM GBR Honda 1'30.159
10. T. SYKES GBR Yamaha 1'30.229
11. J. HOPKINS USA Honda 1'30.272
12. J. REA GBR Honda 1'30.387
13. G.LAVILLA ESP Ducati 1'30.612
14. J. ELLISON GBR Yamaha 1'30.816
15. T. CORSER AUS BMW 1'30.916
16. R. XAUS ESP BMW 1'31.120
17. L. CAMIER GBR Yamaha 1'31.176
18. Y. KAGAYAMA JPN Suzuki 1'31.215
19. L. LANZI ITA Ducati 1'31.217
20. R. KIYONARI JPN Honda 1'31.260