@Rea on row two at #Miller
Jonathan Rea will start tomorrow’s two sixth round World Superbike championship races at Miller Motorsports Park in the USA from the second row of the grid after setting the fifth fastest time in today’s Superpole.
The 25-year-old from Northern Ireland qualified comfortably this morning for Superpole and was buoyed by a positive second free practice session. However, in Superpole 3, the qualifying tyre put in Rea’s Honda CBR1000RR performed slightly differently than his first from Superpole 2.
Rea was satisfied with fifth place overall as Jakub Smrz took pole position, with Carlos Checa, Tom Sykes and Davide Giuliano completing the front row for tomorrow’s two 21-lap races around the 4.9km Miller circuit near Salt Lake City in Utah.
Rea’s Honda World Superbike team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama continued his familiarisation with the Miller circuit today and continued to improve his lap times throughout the day.
However, Aoyama was unable to qualify for Superpole after this morning’s second qualifying session and the Japanese rider will start from the sixth row of the grid.
Jonathan Rea – P5, 1m48.563s
We got a lot of chatter from the last qualifying tyre, but the first one was really good so we ended up fifth. The bike is working really well around here and the difference between this year and last is massive. It’s clear the guys have got the CBR set up in good shape and hopefully we can carry on this form at a circuit where we expected to have to take a punt. But we’re in the right shape to race for the podium tomorrow and that’s a real motivation for me. We’ve done a lot of work on long distance on our race tyre, so we’re quite confident of its performance and I’m really looking forward to the races. Being on the second row doesn’t put the same pressure on as a front row start, so I hope we can put on a good show tomorrow.
Hiroshi Aoyama – P21, 1m50.963s
We have been able to improve in every session and with some more laps, I’m sure we could be higher. I’m not happy with the position, of course, but I hope we can continue to improve in the races tomorrow and to get into a better position then. We have only adjusted one or two things on the bike this weekend but we haven’t changed very much at all. There are some issues on corner exit so we will focus on this tonight and look for an improvement. Little by little the feeling has improved each session so we’ll keep going in this direction. It’s a shame that the first session yesterday was so wet because I think we could have made some more progress.
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
Hiroshi has improved quite a bit from yesterday, which is positive. Unfortunately, he didn’t quite make it into Superpole but I’m sure he’ll have some good races and pass some people for some better results. He doesn’t really have any big issues other than that he needs to do some more laps. Jonathan has really been on it today, especially in free practice this afternoon when he showed pace that no-one else had. It’s very encouraging for the races. We ended up fifth after Superpole because he had some chatter with his last set of tyres but we’re quite confident that he can race for the podium tomorrow. We’re really happy with the way he’s riding at the moment. Compared to last year, the bike is like night and day, so it’s very positive.
2012 World Superbike championship - round six , Miller Motorsports Park, USA
Final qualifying results:
1 Jakub Smrz (CZE) Ducati 1m47.626s
2 Carlos Checa (ESP) Ducati 1m47.810s
3 Tom Sykes (GBR) Kawasaki 1m48.062s
4 Davide Giuliano (ITA) Ducati 1m48.220s
5 Jonathan Rea (GBR) Honda World Superbike Team 1m48.563s
6 Sylvain Guintoli (FRA) Ducati 1m48.568s
7 Max Biaggi (ITA) Aprilia 1m48.794s
8 Eugene Laverty (IRL) Aprilia 1m49.175s
21 Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) Honda World Superbike Team 1m50.963 (QP2)
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