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SUPERBIKES Corser on pole in Qatar

  Troy Corser powered his Motor Italia Yamaha to the 41st pole position of his career

 

at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar, the opening round of this years Superbike World Championship Corser had to work hard to hold off the challenge of Ruben Xaus and Max Biaggi, second and third respectively. Corser's time of 1'58.053 was four-tenths of a second quicker than the circuit's best lap, which the 36-year-old Australian set for Yamaha last year. Xaus and Biaggi, both on Ducati 1098 RS08 machines from the private Sterilgarda Go Eleven squad, were heading for a sensational 1-2 before Corser put in his quick lap. Alongside them on the grid for the two races tomorrow will be Alstare Suzuki's young German rider Max Neukirchner.

"I really like this track and the Yamaha seems to work well round here" declared Corser."Last year was a good result but now I feel more relaxed and at ease with the team. I've got to thank all the guys, they worked really hard in the tests which helped us a lot but now I've got to keep my head down and be consistent. We actually struggled a bit in the last free practice after making a few small changes but we went back to we know what works well and hopefully now we can go for the win tomorrow". 

"The team is working very well, I was here testing and was really focused on this race" said Xaus. "The bike worked perfect, the team is incredible, Max Biaggi next to me has given me really more motivation and also more focus so what can I say? Second and third and front row for the team is fantastic!" 

"I don't know if the factory is happy or not but we made an amazing job to be second and third" said Biaggi. "We have a kind of OK set-up for tomorrow, it all depends on the conditions. I more or less made an endurance run for the tyre and I know what it is doing. We will see tomorrow but it looks like it's going to be tough here as always".

"Today was not so bad for us, I was not testing here unlike my team-mates and I think we have now a good set-up" said Neukirchner. "For one lap we are really fast but I think we must try and do a good race to score some points tomorrow". 

Lorenzo Lanzi (RG Team) will line up on the outside of the second row in fifth place on another Ducati 1098 customer machine, a fraction ahead of Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB). Troy Bayliss could only manage seventh on the factory Ducati Xerox 1098, ahead of Yukio Kagayama (Alstare Suzuki) and Carlos Checa (HANNspree Ten Kate Honda), taking part in his first-ever Superpole, while Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) rounded out the top 10.

 Final qualifying times were; 

1          11 T. CORSER                        1'58.053  

2          111 R. XAUS                          1'58.689

3          3 M. BIAGGI                          1'58.767

4          76 M. NEUKIRCHNER          1'58.964

5          57 L. LANZI                           1'58.975

6          41 N. HAGA                           1'59.017  

7          21 T. BAYLISS                       1'59.224  

8         4 Y. KAGAYAMA                 1'59.285  

9          7 C. CHECA                           1'59.417  

10        84 M. FABRIZIO                    1'59.450  

11        10 F. NIETO                           1'59.921  

12        96 J. SMRZ                             1'59.984  

13        36 G. LAVILLA                      2'00.095  

14        54 K. SOFUOGLU                 2'00.313  

15        44 R. ROLFO                          2'01.208  

16        86 A. BADOVINI ITA            2'01.238  

17        194 S. GIMBERT FRA           2'00.554  

18        31 K. MUGGERIDGE             2'00.607  

19        94 D. CHECA                         2'00.643  

20        23 R. KIYONARI                   2'00.698  

21        13 V. IANNUZZO                  2'00.854  

22        83 R. HOLLAND                   2'00.971  

23        100 M.TAMADA                    2'01.303  

24        22 L. MORELLI ITA               2'01.396  

25        55 R. LACONI                        2'01.429  

26        38 S. NAKATOMI                 2'01.675  

27        88 S. AOYAMA JPN              2'02.059  

28        77 L. NAPOLEONE               2'05.516      

 

 

Sam Snape23/02/2008