Equal Best Performance Sees Lascorz Into The Superpole Top Seven
October 15, 2011
WSBK, Portimao, Portugal, 15 October 2011 - Joan Lascorz scored a strong second row starting position at the final round of the year with his fellow official Kawasaki rider Tom Sykes working his way to the third row, in 10th place.
Lascorz has found the business of qualifying and superpole not always straightforward in his rookie WSBK season but positive developments in his machine set-up, particularly under braking, allowed him to exploit more of capabilities of his Ninja ZX-10R in pre-race trim. His superpole performance made him the fastest Kawasaki rider on show before raceday.
Starting from row two will be a nearly new experience for Joan, so he will be all out to stay with the leading riders in the early laps and make use of what is normally his strongest pace in the middle and at the end of races.
Sykes had the opposite experience of Lascorz in Superpole and qualifying, starting strong but not finding the set-up improvements to allow him to compete for spot on the front two rows. His third row start is not ideal but Sykes is determined to find a better way in the two 22-lap races scheduled for Sunday afternoon.
Mark Aitchison (Kawasaki Pedercini Team) made it into Superpole but a crash in the first session held him back and he could not make any more progress, ending up 16th.
Regular Ninja ZX-10R Roberto Rolfo (Kawasaki Pedercini Team) missed the final race of the year after suffering an injury in a cycling accident at home after the previous round, and was replaced at Portimao by Spanish rider Santiago Barragan. He qualified 22nd.
Joan Lascorz: “We made good improvements in braking and turning-in and I am happy with the bike so I made some good lap times. We did a lot of work with the engine braking and it has paid off. We have had some good pace in races this year but started too far from the front, so now I am going to start from the second row hopefully more things will be possible. I think we will have to concentrate our efforts around one tyre choice for tomorrow. The circuit is a bit bumpier than I remember, but that is the same for everyone.”
Tom Sykes: “We used a race tyre in superpole one and made it through to superpole two, but obviously I am not happy where we are with the bike settings this weekend. We started off strongly in the first session but I do not feel we have made massive progress since then. We need to make a plan for tomorrow because I feel we can be at the sharp end but we are not quite there at the moment. I am struggling with turning the bike off the brakes, which at this track you need to do a few times. Ultimately we know what we want to do and we will try to achieve it for the races tomorrow.”