James Toseland (Winston Ten Kate Honda) scored his best lap of the weekend to earn a place on the front row at the final round of the 2006 season. His 1'39.355 lap was the second best overall, as Troy Corser scored pole. Crucially, Toseland's rival for overall second in the championship, Noriyuki Haga, was only fifth fastest, and now starts from one row behind Toseland. James is two points ahead of Haga currently, and only has to keep his nose ahead of the Japanese rider in the 23-lap races to secure second in the final points standings.
Eighth away in Superpole, Karl Muggeridge (Winston Ten Kate Honda) jumped to the top of the Superpole ranking with his 1'39.911 lap, over a second faster than he was in regulation qualifying. He stayed there until Corser set his fastest lap, and Karl now starts the race from the front row, thanks to the fourth best time of the session.
Ronald Ten Kate - Team Manager;
"With both riders on the front row I am still a happy man, and all four of our riders, including the two in Supersport, got on the front row - which I think is quite remarkable. Both Superbike riders had good laps, just a few mistakes here and there. We know we had to be very fast to win this Superpole and we nearly made it anyway. It is important here to have both riders starting from the front row, because tomorrow is all about second place in the championship. Now we have the best starting point possible."
James Toseland - Winston Ten Kate Honda Rider (2nd Position - Fastest Lap 1'39.355 - 25 laps);
"I should stop watching other people's Superpole laps because at Imola Bayliss went as fast as Valentino Rossi and now Troy Corser went out here and beat my time! I put a pretty good lap together, to be fair, second fastest of the weekend, and second on the grid. So I'm in a good position to put together a challenge for second place in the championship, which is the most important thing. Earlier today my rival Haga and I went out and were fighting for about 25-minutes in practice, and he ended up a row behind on the grid. The Yamaha gets off the like OK, but I just need to keep in front of him. I can't fight for the championship win anymore, so I want this second place badly."
Karl Muggeridge - Winston Ten Kate Honda Rider (4th Position - Fastest Lap 1'39.911 - 23 laps);
"We've been fortunate this weekend because we tried a few things on my second bike, after my normal number one bike developed a gearbox problem. Testing here was a real benefit to us - it always is when you get the chance before you come to the race weekend. We had similar weather at the test but we have learned more about the track and the bike here than we did at the test. I would love to get on the podium tomorrow, that's what I'm going for."
Troy Corser- 1st, 1:39.147:
The Superpole lap felt more or less perfect and I'm really happy to have taken it here - in the last race of the year. We've been in pretty good shape all weekend really and have just been fine-tuning the bike over the past couple of days. It's always good to win Superpole and I am particularly pleased today for myself, for my mechanics and the entire Alstare crew. Last year I had to start from the fourth row of the grid here so I'm in much better shape this year! It's going to be a long, hard day tomorrow and I'm sure that the races are going to be tough, but I want to end the season with a couple of podiums for sure - and maybe a win.
Yukio Kagayama- 8th, 1:40.079:
The first part of my Superpole lap was good but the last part was not! The rear was spinning a lot and I just couldn't get good drive and that's why I lost time. But I think I have a good set-up for the race - after the good work we did this afternoon - and podiums are definitely possible. Troy-san was very strong today and I am sure that he will be very strong tomorrow, but there will be many other challengers for sure. The second part of my season has been much better than the first part and I would like to finish with two very good results.
Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia)
"Second row is ok, in fact in many ways fifth (on the grid) is better than third or fourth because I am on the outside going into the first corner. Race set-up is good but we're going to make a few changes to the gearbox settings to make it a little better still. The conditions made it pointless to ride in the morning session but this afternoon went well and I had fun riding in the group with Toseland."
Andrew Pitt (Yamaha Motor Italia);
"I made a mistake on the first sector of my superpole lap and for sure I'm disappointed to be starting ninth. But actually our race set-up is ok and we should be in good shape for the race. I did a good simulation in the practice and our race pace seems to be up there with everyone else."
Sebastien Gimbert (Yamaha Motor France);
"The first free practice session was difficult because I could not do many laps due to a small technical problem. Later on, we worked very well on the suspension and I was able to get into the 1:40 bracket. I can go fast with the bike and am able to make consistent laps. Tomorrow, I shall try to shine to thank my team, my mechanics and my sponsors. This is also the occasion to prove the qualities of the endurance riders."
Shinichi Nakatomi (Yamaha Motor France);
"Yesterday during the timed session, I could go faster and faster when I followed some riders like Chili, Nieto and Fabrizio. My best improvement was when I followed Troy Corser - I went one second quicker! Many riders here are following other riders. For me, it was a good progression. I am very happy to have made superpole but my settings for the race are also good. We only have very little details to improve and we do that step by step."
Norick Abe (Yamaha Motor France);
"Yesterday I was 18th and I wanted to qualify for superpole this morning. But the conditions were so bad that is was impossible. So I had to change my mind. We work on the bike to improve the setting. Tomorrow I must make a good race."
Alex Barros: "I must say that I am very disappointed about how Superpole went today. I also made a mistake and came wide in one corner in the last sector. Tomorrow we still have to find out the right tire for the race. But I am confident because my race-pace is not so bad. The crucial thing tomorrow will be a good start from fourth row."
- 1. Troy Corser, Suzuki, 1:39,147 (=160,162 km/h)
- 2. James Toseland, Honda, 1:39,355
- 3. Lorenzo Lanzi, Ducati, 1:39,773
- 4. Karl Muggeridge, Honda, 1:39,911
- 5. Noriyuki Haga,Yamaha, 1:39,914
- 6. Troy Bayliss, Ducati, 1:39,944
- 7. Max Neukirchner, Suzuki, 1:39,961
- 8. Yukio Kagayama, Suzuki, 1:40,079
- 9. Andrei Pitt, Yamaha, 1:40,090
- 10. Fonsi Nieto, Kawasaki, 1:40,270
- 11. Chris Walzer, Kawasaki, 1:40,307
- 12. Sebastien Gimbert, Yamaha, 1:40,61
- 13. Alex Barros, Klaffi-Honda, 1:41,113
- 14. Shinichi Nakatomi, Yamaha, 1:41,412
- 15. Regis Laconi, Kawasaki, 1:41,475
- 16. Michel Fabrizio, Honda, 1:41,975