2010 Portimao World Superbikes Qualifying Overall Result

Results and Summary:

Cal Crutchlow will start from pole for Sunday's World Superbike races at Portimao, after a blistering lap shattering Ben Spies' pole record from last year by nearly four tenths of a second. The Sterilgarda Yamaha man set the time early in the final Superpole session, then retired to the pits knowing that nobody was going to get anywhere near that time.

The nearest man to Crutchlow was Max Biaggi, but the Aprilia veteran was nearly half a second behind the young Briton. Biaggi was followed by another veteran, Althea Ducati's Carlos Checa, while the younger Leon Haslam finished up in 4th, completing the front row. While Crutchlow had a big lead, there was little to separate the rest of the front row. Ten Kate Honda's Johnny Rea heads up the second row, the Ulsterman not capable of matching the scorching lap he set in Superpole 2 in the final session, when it would have put him 2nd on the grid. Rea sits ahead of Jakub Smrz and Shane Byrne, with Troy Corser rounding out the second row.

A couple of big crashes affected both James Toseland and Max Neukirchner. Neukirchner crashed in Superpole 1, destroying his bike but making it through to Superpole 2, while Toseland suffered a huge highside in the final corner on his first fast lap of Superpole 2, taking a severe tumble but ending unhurt.  Both men OK but ended up on the fourth row of the grid.

The Xerox Ducati team had the worst of Superpole, however. Michel Fabrizio losing the front end and not being able to make it back to the pits in time to get back out could not all be put down to Fabrizio's own fault, but a lackluster show by Noriyuki Haga clearly could. Both Xerox Ducati men will start from the 5th row of the grid for tomorrow's two superbike races.

Results and Grid

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff
1 35 C. Crutchlow Yamaha YZF R1 1'42.092  
2 3 M. Biaggi Aprilia RSV4 1000 F. 1'42.513 0.421
3 7 C. Checa Ducati 1098R 1'42.586 0.494
4 91 L. Haslam Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'42.596 0.504
5 65 J. Rea Honda CBR1000RR 1'42.807 0.715
6 96 J. Smrz Ducati 1098R 1'42.889 0.797
7 67 S. Byrne Ducati 1098R 1'42.960 0.868
8 11 T. Corser BMW S1000 RR 1'43.152 1.060
Out after Superpole 2
9 50 S. Guintoli Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'42.984 0.892
10 111 R. Xaus BMW S1000 RR 1'42.999 0.907
11 2 L. Camier Aprilia RSV4 1000 F. 1'43.039 0.947
12 66 T. Sykes Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'43.199 1.107
13 76 M. Neukirchner Honda CBR1000RR 1'43.380 1.288
14 57 L. Lanzi Ducati 1098R 1'43.568 1.476
15 52 J. Toseland Yamaha YZF R1 1'49.401 7.309
16 99 L. Scassa Ducati 1098R    
Out after Superpole 1
17 84 M. Fabrizio Ducati 1098R 1'43.564 1.472
18 41 N. Haga Ducati 1098R 1'43.686 1.594
19 88 A. Pitt BMW S1000 RR 1'43.781 1.689
20 49 M. Tamada BMW S1000 RR 1'45.142 3.050
Not through to Superpole
21 32 S. Morais Honda CBR1000RR 1'45.520 3.428
22 15 M. Baiocco Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'45.610 3.518
23 31 V. Iannuzzo Honda CBR1000RR 1'45.795 3.703
24 95 R. Hayden Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'45.799 3.707
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Can't help but feel that, 2009 being such a letdown, Haga just may not have enough left for another realistic shot at the championship. Too bad, but, unless he's able to reenergize himself somehow, this season may just get longer and longer for him as it unfolds.

And if this season turns out not to be competitive, what then? Will Duc keep him around for another season, especially with younger guns increasingly supplanting the veterans? If not, can he get another ride that's competitive? Realistically, this may finally be his swan song.