HANNspree Ten Kate Honda's World Supersport riders secured a provisional front row start for round six of championship at the Autodrome Nazionale Monza in Italy today. Sébastien Charpentier completed the 45-minute first qualifying session on the 5.793km track at the top of the timesheet, while team-mate Kenan Sofuoglu secured the second fastest time.
Charpentier has made a good recovery from injuries sustained earlier in the season and is fighting fit for this weekend's event. After experiencing a few small problems in the morning free practice, the determined Frenchman proved that he is back with a vengeance by setting the fastest lap in the official qualifying. He finished with a time of 1'50.711 - just over a tenth of a second away from the best lap he set at Monza in 2006.
Sofuoglu started the day on top form by setting the fastest lap in the morning free practice. He continued this strong performance by securing the best lap four times this afternoon, before his team-mate stole the top spot in the last few minutes of the session. Sofuoglu's final time of 1'50.791 was just 0.080 seconds off Charpentier's.
The team will be making small adjustments to the both riders' CBR600RRs overnight in order to maintain their top positions in tomorrow's second qualifying session.
Ronald ten Kate, Team Manager:
"Today has been a very good start to the weekend, although we still have a lot of work to do on the bikes. On a track like Monza the times will always be very close and we have a few small things to change on the set-up of the bike to make life easier for the riders. Hopefully we can find some improvements overnight and keep them on the front row for tomorrow."
"The session this afternoon was better than this morning. Sometimes you just wake up and don't have a good feeling and today was one of those days. This morning the feeling wasn't good and also the bike had a few small problems. The team worked really hard before the official session and I worked harder during the session so it was better. We still have some work to do on the bike and we will change a few things for tomorrow but this is normal for the first day. I am happy because I was pretty close to my best lap from last year. Tomorrow I'll work hard to make sure I get the best position I can for HANNspree Ten Kate Honda."
"It was a good qualifying session today. It's always on my mind to remain in the front row. I'm already seconds faster than I was here last year so I'm really pleased with that. Tomorrow I'll be aiming to stay in the top four and also work on my race distance because Monza is a long track. I'm happy with the bike - we don't have too much to change overnight and in fact, we haven't changed it too much since Assen. We have found a good base set-up now and I have high hopes for the weekend."
- 1. S. Charpentier, 1'50.711
- 2. K. Sofuoglu, 1'50.791
- 3. K. Fujiwara, 1'50.886
- 4. F. Foret, 1'51.098
- 5. B. Parkes, 1'51.557
- 6. B. Veneman, 1'51.837
- 7. P. Riba, 1'51.848
- 8. A. West, 1'51.867
- 9. G. Nannelli, 1'51.889
- 10. Y. Tiberio, 1'52.088