Crutchlow Steals Superpole In Spain

Paul Carruthers | April 10, 2010

Sterilgarda Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow wasn’t at the top of the Superbike time sheets for any of the sessions held at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia, Spain, but he was there when it counted most – after today’s Superpole session.Crutchlow ended up earning his second-straight pole position after saving his best for very last, his 1:33.615 putting him at the top in the final Superpole 3 session. That lap was a ful 1.3 seconds faster than he’d gone throughout the weekend’s regular qualifying sessions.Crutchlow bested Spaniard Carlos Checa, the Althea Ducati rider not able to better his Superpole 2 leading time of 1:33.611. He ended with a 1:33.840 in the final portion of Superpole, but it will put him second on the front row for the two races.”It was good last year in Supersport, we had ten poles in total and we’ve now started the tally with two for this season which is great,” Crutclow said in a team release. “The team have worked really hard this weekend as it’s been difficult for us, quite like Australia, the grip level is not so good which is where we struggle. We went to Portugal and we had a lot of grip and the bike was fantastic, we’ve come here and it’s hard work again but we’re getting there. We’ll have another late night tonight and then I’ll look forward to the race tomorrow, it’s alright doing one fast lap but 23 is a different story. I think we surprised a few people today, I used the same tyres in the first qualification session today as I used yesterday, finishing in 15th but I wasn’t so worried. I knew if we could work through the stages we would be ok for the pole.”Max Biaggi, another who has been at or near the top for most of the weekend, ended up third in the final run against the clock, the Aprilia man posting a 1:33.860. He’d also gone a bit quicker in the Superpole 2. Biaggi had earned provisional pole position earlier in the day when he led a tightly knit group with the top 18 within a second of each other. Biaggi lapped at 1:34.218, a mark that was dashed when Superpole got rolling.The front row for the pair of races tomorrow will be filled by championship points leader Leon Haslam on the Alstare Suzuki.The second row will be headed by BMW’s Troy Corser and he’ll be joined there by Alstare Suzuki’s Sylvain Guintoli, Hannspree Ten Kate Honda’s Jonathan Rea and privateer DFX Corse Ducati rider Lorenzo Lanzi.James Toseland didn’t make the final-eight cut from Superpole 2, but he’ll lead row three after ending the session in ninth. The two factory Xerox Ducati’s of Michel Fabrizio and Noriyuki Haga and the Althea Ducati of Shane Byrne will line up next to Toseland on row three.Fabrizio actually led Superpole 1 with his 1:34.022, but he missed the cut for Superpole 3 when he ended up 10th in Superpole two – one spot better than Haga.American Roger Lee Hayden didn’t make it to Superpole, but he did outqualify one of the factory Kawasakis, ending regular qualifying in 22nd place with his 1:36.117 – just .013 away from qualifying for his first-ever Superpole.

Final Superpole

1.                  Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1:33.615

2.                  Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1:33.840

3.                  Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1:33.860

4.                  Leon Haslam (Suzuki) 1:33.961

5.                  Troy Corser (BMW) 1:34.059

6.                  Sylvain Guintoli (Suzuki) 1:34.073

7.                  Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1:34.235

8.                  Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati) 1:34.261

9.                  James Toseland (Yamaha) 1:33.988

10.                  Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) 1:34.021

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.