Ben Spies made it an impressive five Superpole triumphs in five races with a blistering lap in the decisive qualifying session at the Autodromo di Monza. The Yamaha World Superbike team’s Texan rookie star, who received his Superpole trophy from Troy Bayliss, totally disintegrated the Australian champion’s previous record mark of 1’44.931 to clinch the pole with a time of 1 minute 44.073 seconds. The only rider who was able to stay close to Spies throughout the 50 minute session was Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox), who had dominated qualifying, but who had to take second best by two-tenths. Third place on the grid went to Ryuichi Kiyonari (Ten Kate Honda), who is starting to come good again after a difficult start to the season. The Japanese rider, who almost won here twelve months ago, headed Max Neukirchner (Suzuki Alstare). The German was out of contention until a couple of minutes from the end, but he put in a last-minute effort to haul his GSXR into the fourth slot, making it four different makes, Yamaha, Ducati, Honda and Suzuki, on the first row of the grid.
Ben Spies: “It’s been a really good weekend for us so far, we’ve had these poles this year but I definitely wanted to get this one for Yamaha at their home track. Congratulations to Michel and Kiyo, they did great laps, we’ve kind of been working under the radar this weekend, very quiet, but it looks like it’s going to be a real dogfight tomorrow in the races.”
Michel Fabrizio: “I wanted the Superpole at all costs but Ben did a great lap. Hopefully tomorrow I can fight with him for the first time because we have never been up against each other so far. We’ll see what happens. In any case I have a much better feeling with this new Superpole formula, I didn’t like the one-lap sprint at all.”
Ryuichi Kiyonari: “Yesterday and today we tried to make the good setting and finally I could get the bike set up well to go fast. I hope I can get the same result as last year. Last year I almost won and I feel like I have a good chance to win tomorrow because my bike is very fast.”
Max Neukirchner: “I really like Monza with all the fans here, it’s a great atmosphere. My team did a very good job this weekend . I have a good race pace for tomorrow and hopefully I have made the right tyre choice, but I am so happy to be on the front row.”
The next rider up was Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox), who had to use his second allocated qualifier to save himself from the cut after the second run. Haga will be flanked on row 2 by Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda), Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing), who set the all-time fastest ever speed recorded in Superbike at 325.8 km/h, and Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki Alstare). In row 3 can be found the first BMW of Troy Corser, with the leading Kawasaki of the still injured Broc Parkes. The first Superpole run saw the elimination of two top privateers, Leon Haslam (Stiggy Racing Honda) and Jakub Smrz (Ducati Guandalini), both of whom scored podiums at Assen but who will now start from row 5 at Monza.
Monza Superpole Results: