Yamaha Sterilgarda’s Cal Crutchlow finished his World Superbike career with his sixth Superpole of the year in the season finale at Magny-Cours, France.The Brit, who’s headed to the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team in 2011, needed a new lap record to take the pole by the narrowest of margins. His lap of 1:37.699 mins. narrowly beat the previously lap record of 1:37.709 mins., set by the rider he’s replacing at Tech 3, Ben Spies.
“It’s nice to be going into my last World Superbike race before I head off with a pole position,” Crutchlow said. “It’s a good reward for Yamaha. They have put their trust and faith in me and so to give them a pole is good and I want to win to make it a race win tomorrow, that’s for sure.”We’ve struggled with a few things over the weekend, but maybe found something in the Superpole.”Team Suzuki Alstare’s Sylvain Guintoli missed out on a fairy tale home Superpole by .069 secs. Still, second on the grid is the Frenchman’s best result of the year as he faces an uncertain future. The team recently announced they’d be paring back to one rider, with a decision to be made Sunday evening.”What I wanted was the pole, but unfortunately Cal just managed to get it ahead of me,” Guintoli said. “Today was great. This morning when I was quickest in Q2 was good and I’m looking forward to tomorrow, because I’ve been so close to the podium so many times this year. I really wish I can get my first one here in front of the French public.”Pata B&G Aprilia’s Jakub Smrz made it three brands in the top three by finishing with the third fastest time and a mere .016 secs. behind Gunitoli. This was Smrz’s third front row in the last five races as he made a late season push on the Aprilia.”It was a really good day for me today and I am happy because in the last five races I have been three times on the front row,” Smrz said. ‘Unfortunately it’s the end of the season and we started with the Aprilia late and I didn’t achieve anything really good this season, but let’s hope for a good race this weekend and a better start next year.”Newly crowned World Superbike champion Max Biaggi (Alitalia Aprilia) filled out the front row as the first rider in the 1:38’s.”Compared to last weekend at Imola, things began decisively better here,” Biaggi, who is battling a minor ailment, said after his lap of 1:38.039 mins. “We’re fast, we are working well and if we can shave off just a little more I will have an excellent chance at staying up front and battling with the best riders.”The factory Ducati Xerox machines bookended row two in their last race in the championship. The factory will withdraw from World Superbike after this race, but will continue to support private teams. Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) was fifth, with teammate Nori Haga eighth. In between came Hannspree Ten Kate Honda’s Jonathan Rea and Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati).Troy Corser was on the row three pole with future teammate Leon Haslam, the pair separated by .077 secs. Departing BMW rider Ruben Xaus was 11th and Tom Sykes filled out the third row on his factory Kawasaki.
1. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1:37.699
2. Sylvain Guintoli (Suzuki) 1:37.768
3. Jakub Smrz (Aprilia) 1:37.784
4. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1:38.039
5. Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) 1:38.082
6. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1:38.155
7. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1:38.252
8. Nori Haga (Ducati) 1:38.421
9. Troy Corser (BMW) 1:38.250
10. Leon Haslam (Suzuki) 1:38.327