Aprilia Press Release:
First and second row on the starting grid for Aprilia, reigning world champion, on the Thai Buriram circuit.
It was a spectacular and heated Superpole right down to the end. Taking it with an advantage of just 11 thousandths of a second was Rea, followed by Aprilia standard bearer Leon Haslam, who put in two flying laps on a qualifier tire.
For Leon Haslam (leading the standings after victory in Australia) this is the second start from the front row in two races since making his début with the Aprilia RSV4. Leon was among the front runners from the beginning even in the practice sessions, giving the fans a show and taking full advantage of his RSV4. After putting the best time on the sheets with his first attempt on a qualifier Leon kept on, further improving his performance. Just a small mistake in the final phases kept him from winning his first Superpole with Aprilia, in any case taking a promising second position on the grid for the two races tomorrow.
The excellent work done in the garage during the practice sessions allowed Leon to line up on the grid with comforting results in terms of race pace, on a track where the high temperatures make proper tire management vital.
“I’m pleased with this Superpole. The first row was our goal. In the first lap with a qualifier I may have been a bit overly cautious, whereas in the second one I made a small mistake. In any case, in terms of race pace we are doing well. The guys at Aprilia have done a great job and the RSV4 adapted quickly to the new track. Tomorrow the track condition will be different and I expect that there will be several riders capable of making a play for the win.”
For Jordi Torres, a rookie in World Superbike this year, this was his first experience with a Pirelli Superpole tire since in Australia the last session had been suspended. In any case, the Spaniard handled this new situation well, finishing with the fifth best time which earns him a spot on the second row of the starting grid for tomorrow.
“I would have needed a few more laps during this weekend, but unfortunately the rain this morning made us miss a session. In FP4 we managed to do a great job, getting back up front, but first and foremost increasing my feeling with the RSV4. In Superpole for the first time I used a qualifier and the second row is not too bad at all, but when you ride an Aprilia it’s never enough! Tomorrow we’ll have to use the warmup wisely to improve further, especially in the braking sections where I still haven’t found the right solution to brake hard and keep the bike stable.”
For more information: www.aprilia.it