Latest World Superbike Results
Jules Cluzel didn't manage to match Sam Lowes's time from yesterday, but neither did Lowes. Cluzel improved his own time though, while Broc Parkes sat three hundredths of a second behind him on the timing sheet. Parkes was almost a tenth ahead of Lowes, with the Kawasakis of Fabien Foret and Sheridan Morais behind them.
Title leader Kenan Sofuoglu was tenth fastest this morning, but will likely improve significantly on that in qualifying this afternoon.
Championship leader Max Biaggi sits on provisional pole, ahead of this afternoon's Superpole, having run a late fast lap that Tom Sykes could not beat. The BMWs of Marco Melandri and Leon Haslam fill out the remainder of the provisional front row, while the team mates of the top two, Eugene Laverty and Loris Baz, head the provisional second row. Jonathan Rea and Leon Camier take seventh and eighth, locking all the Ducatis out of the front two rows.
John Hopkins misses out on Superpole, while the mustachioed Canadian rookie Brett McCormick, fresh from scoring his first World Championship point and recovering from a broken neck, sneaks into 16th place.
Biaggi's performance shows that he's still very much in the fight for his second Superbike title.
In what might be the last World Superbike weekend at Portimao for a few years, the World Supersport championship could be decided on Sunday, while the World Superbike title will likely be decided on the last race of the year, in a fortnight's time.
Marco Melandri, winner in race two last year, set a time on race tyres that was faster than his best race lap last year, over a third of a second ahead of Eugene Laverty, who was second in race two last year. Tom Sykes, this year's king of qualifying, was quicker than last year's pole-man Jonathan Rea, adjusting back to his Honda Fireblade fresh from his MotoGP ride on Casey Stoner's bike.
The top eight were all within a second, with Melandri being the only rider to beat Carlos Checa's 2011 QP1 time of 1'43.579.
Sam Lowes swaps top places from this morning with fellow PTR rider Jules Cluzel as the two maintain their dominance.
Tom Sykes set an early target for the rest of the pack to reach, with Three BMWs and the Suzuki of Leon Camier eventually getting to within two-tenths of a second. It looks like another Tissot is on the cards for the Kawasaki man, with the championship leader Marco Melandri getting on terms with the track early.
In sun-kissed Portugal, Jules Cluzel opens the penultimate World Supersport weekend with almost a half-second lead over fellow PTR rider Sam Lowes.
The Nürburgring gave us an exciting weekend of surprises, twists and turns. Hopes were raised then dashed. Dreams were broken and made true. The championship looked to be going in one direction then another.
With as many thrills and spills as race one, the second race brought an unexpected finish and championship consequences.
In a race that would be vital for the championship, a fast pace was set by the race leader, ensuring that there would be few overtakes in the earlier stages, and that the fast men left the slow far behind.
Race one was held on a dry, warm and windy track with quite a few DNFs due to front end crashes.
The Nürburgring in Germany is an iconic location. The famous 13-mile Nordschleife attached to the GP track is a mecca for motorsports fanatics wanting to test their bravery and car factories wanting to test their latest models. The GP-Strecke is the GP track that the Superbikes race at. It was completed in 1984 and is used for Formula 1, DTM, World Superbikes and others. It was built on the site of the old Sudschleife, the south ring to the Nordschleife's north ring, and connects to the larger track at the tight Coca Cola curve that leads on to the start/finish straight. The first corner is a bowl-shaped hairpin, a scene of many comings together in the past, and the rest of the track is comprised of many different corners and few straights, so don't expect high-gearing slipstreaming to feature here.
The front row of the World Supersport race was separated by under a third of a second.
Germany gave us a dry superpole, with three sessions whittling down the top sixteen to their final grid positions.
Early on, Tom Sykes set a blistering 1'54.996 and the rest of the session everyone set about trying to get close to it. With five minutes remaining, Max Biaggi put in two laps within a tenth of a second but even this couldn't topple the qualifying king. Jonathan Rea continued his good form ahead of the BMWs of Marco Melandri and Leon Haslam and the rest of the top ten were within just over a second of Sykes.
Will Carlos Checa's outright qualifying record of 1'54.144 fall when the qualifiers go on?