The first Superpole of the 2010 SBK season held many surprises. Without a real favourite to win, it was Leon Haslam who turned in the best time at this very difficult Australian track at Philip Island.
And it was eleventh place for Max Biaggi with a time of 1:32:850, which he obtained in Superpole2. The Roman driver passed the first stage in seventh place, using his first available racing tyre. During the second, he used the first qualifying tyre, but he was left out of the final eight by a tenth of a second.
Leon Camier ended up in the fourth row with a time of 1:32:293. The young English driver passed the SP1 in tenth position with the racing tyres. During the second stage, Leon used his first qualifying tyre, but was forced to return to the pits because he was blocked by the other drivers. So he re-entered the track with the second available racing tyre, but at the fourth turn he lost control of the front wheel and fell to the ground. He managed to get up and continue, but had no time left for a last attempt and re-entered the pits in sixteenth place.
"It’s the same problem,” declared Biaggi. “We suffer too much because of the rough terrain and it creates skips and annoying vibrations. So we can’t take advantage of the bend angle and the ideal lines and therefore we don’t use the power that we have available. Also, the new qualifying tyres aren’t helping us because, in order to last for several laps, they don’t offer the necessary grip that we would need to make time. Just like last year, Philip Island has proven to be a difficult track for us, I can’t drive as I should, and I lose those precious tenths of a second along the track.”
“I’m very sorry,” said Camier. “I ran stronger with the racing tyre than with the qualifying tyre. In Superpole 2 I lost time with Toseland who blocked me on a good lap and I had to return to the pits. So I changed to the other racing tyre and at curve 4, when I had already had a good intermediate time, I lost control of the front wheel and ended up on the ground. It’s a real shame because with 2-3 tenths of a second less, I could have started off from the third row. This morning, the bike was working much better and I achieved good times, but there’s still a lot of work to do for tomorrow’s two races.”
Max Biaggi opens the season with the sixth fastest time (1:32:850) 0:695 behind the best time achieved by the Spaniard Carlos Checa (1:32:155). A fall halfway through the trial, without any physical consequences for the driver, contributed to complicating the Roman’s quest for the best configuration for his Aprilia RSV4 in preparation for Sunday’s races.
During the trial run session, Max recorded a maximum speed of 319.8 km/h,a new absolute record at the Philip Island track and testimony to the Aprilia 4-cylinder bike’s ability to reach extremely high speeds.
Rookie Leon Camier managed to finish in eleventh place with a time of 1:33:296. The young English driver is continuing to improve his feeling with the difficult Australian track, even if he is still having some suspension problems.
"This track is giving us trouble,” declared Biaggi. “In the long curves, the bike suffers on the disconnections, not smooth them and you can feel the skips, so we aren’t able to maintain the ideal lines and that’s a real problem for us. The fall was also a consequence of this problem, and because of the vibrations in the curve at the first bend, I lost control of the front wheel, but luckily I wasn’t hurt.”
“We know what we need to do,” said Camier, “but we’re still struggling to achieve exactly what it is we want. We have problems coming out of the turns and in changing directions which doesn’t allow me to drive the way I’d like to. Now the season has begun and it’s time to get down to business and I’m not satisfied because I realize there’s still a lot to be done.”