HANNspree Ten Kate Honda's Sébastien Charpentier secured a hat-trick of Silverstone pole positions today ahead of tomorrow's 28-lap World Supersport Championship race. His team-mate Kenan Sofuoglu qualified second fastest to secure the next best spot.
The second qualifying session was dominated by the HANNspree Ten Kate Honda riders as they put on an incredible display of consistently fast riding. The duo set the new Silverstone best lap an impressive six times between them, swapping places between first and second on the timesheet for the entire 45 minutes.
Charpentier was the first to smash yesterday's fastest lap with a time of 1'27.824 just five minutes into the session. Sofuoglu followed this up by setting two new best laps in quick succession, two tenths of a second faster than his team-mate. Charpentier then proceeded to shave off another four tenths with a time of 1'27.239.
Ten minutes later and Sofuoglu set another new best lap, but Charpentier was determined to claim the pole position and pushed his CBR600RR to the limit in order to do so. With five minutes left to go, the Frenchman secured an incredible lap time of 1'26.706 - the first ever Silverstone Supersport lap under one minute 27 seconds and a full two seconds faster than his previous best lap of 2005. With riding like this, tomorrow's race promises to be one of the most thrilling of the season so far.
Ronald ten Kate, Team Manager:
"Most of the time my opinion of the riders is a modest 'not so bad', but actually now I have to say that that was very close to perfect and at the very least brilliant! We could see the boys were pushing each other quite a bit as they swapped new best laps six times. We could feel the atmosphere changing in the middle of the session, not to unfriendly, but certainly competitive. This is probably one of the most enjoyable sessions I have seen - similar to Imola last year, but even better. If we put the times in the context of today's Superbike laps, they really are just amazing. The riders have taken it to a new level. Anyway, the most important thing is tomorrow's race. We have a really good set-up for the bikes, not just for single fast laps but for consistent fast laps. I hope it is dry, but rain or dry , we are ready to race."
"After the crash yesterday afternoon I didn't have the chance to try for a fast lap because the rain came in. We got some good information from the first session yesterday and now the team understands the situation for me with my riding style and my feeling on the bike. We have a great set-up and I am aiming for the podium tomorrow. I hope the weather stays dry, but this is England so you can never be sure! I want to say thank you to my team because we had a great strategy today. The Pirelli tyres are unbelievable - there seems to be no limit and to get this time on a race tyre is very impressive. I am two seconds faster than last year, which is incredible. I am very, very happy - I have a good, strong feeling with the bike and everyone is really happy for me. Thank you for the support of the HANNspree Ten Kate Honda family."
"I achieved my ambition of the front row, although pole position would have been better. Anyway, I am really happy because I have a good average speed. I had a little crash this morning and I didn't want that to happen again even though I was still pushing really hard. Anyway, I have the consistency and this is the most important thing for tomorrow. I am ready for the race"
- 1 S.Charpentier - 1'26.706
- 2 K. Sofuoglu - 1'27.111
- 3 B. Parkes - 1'27.761
- 4 M. Roccoli - 1'27.793
- 5 F. Foret - 1'27.843
- 6 Y. Tiberio - 1'27.887
- 7 K. Fujiwara - 1'27.975
- 8 G. Nennelli - 1'28.080
- 9 R. Harms - 1'28.161
- 10 P. Riba - 1'28.343