Yamaha World Superbike (and soon to be MotoGP) rider Ben Spies stamped his authority on the Superpole three-session “shootout” by setting the quickest-ever lap by a motorcycle on the Portimao circuit to put himself in pole position for tomorrow’s two races, and a step closer to the World Superbike Championship. Spies’ main title rival, Ducati Xerox’ Nori Haga, struggled with traction issues and was unable to get past the second cutoff session, eventually qualifying tenth and putting the Japanese veteran on the third row. Joining Spies on the front row are Sterilgarda Ducati’s Shane Byrne, Haga’s teammate Michel Fabrizio, and Hanspree Ten Kate Honda’s Jonathan Rea.
"We've been working under the radar all weekend on a lot of different things,” said Spies. “Superpole was good for us, we kept pushing as hard as we could. Unfortunately Nori is back on the third row but we need anything we can get for track position. But it's not just about me and Nori tomorrow, there are other guys, we'll just run our own race and give it everything we've got to try and win both these things." Haga has won races before from a poor grid position, so Spies is taking nothing for granted.
Final Superpole Qualifying results:
1. Ben Spies (USA) Yamaha 1:42.412
2. Shane Byrne (GBR) Ducati 1:42.996
3. Michel Fabrizio (ITA) Ducati 1:43.015
4. Jonathan Rea (IRL) Honda 1:43.126
5. Leon Haslam (GBR) Honda 1:43.523
6. Max Biaggi (ITA) Aprilia 1:43.526
7. Fonsi Nieto (SPA) Ducati 1:43.553
8. Troy Corser (AUS) BMW 1:44.719
9. Jakub Smrz (CZE) Ducati 1:43.240
10. Nori Haga (JPN) Ducati 1:43.377