CIA Landlord Insurance Honda rider Jules Cluzel recorded his best time of the opening day at Philip Island late in Free Practice 2 putting him second on the timesheet, just 0.38s behind first place man Jacobsen. Jules was held up on his fast lap in the second session and is confident for qualifying tomorrow.
Hikari Okubo made it directly to Superpole 2 for the first time in his World Supersport career with his combined result of sixth position and he feels good about his chances of improvement tomorrow.
Robin Mulhauser was frustrated not to be faster at what he admits, is not his favourite circuit but he will push hard to improve his position with the aim of a points finish in the race on Sunday.
Jules Cluzel said: “I am happy because we went fast and I want to go fast! We improved the bike and we had some good information today. This afternoon the conditions were hotter and we went faster, just one tenth from Jacobsen who was really strong this morning and in the test. So it’s good because in my fast lap I made many mistakes, one big one in the last turn and on the straight because of riders waiting. That’s going to be good for tomorrow qualifying because if I make a perfect lap it can be a high 32.”
Hikari Okubo said: “I am happy that I am in Superpole 2. My lap time is better and position six is better. Tomorrow in Superpole 2 I want a fast lap and I will push harder for a better position.”
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager, Simon Buckmaster said: “Fantastic job by the team today. We had some issues getting Jules comfortable initially and we found the air control valve was sticking making the engine braking inconsistent. We solved that and he went into the 33s, second fastest in Free Practice 2 and second fastest overall.
It is the first time Hikari has gone straight to Superpole 2 and the first time in the top six. A really good push from him and he has done a really good job working with his crew. We are really pleased going into qualifying tomorrow. It is only the end of the first day and we can’t get too excited but we are in a really good position. We need to look at our data so that we can set ourselves up for the race because it’s points that count, there are no prizes for qualifying but it’s great to see Jules and Hikari do such a good job.
Robin didn’t go quicker this afternoon. He had the potential to but then on the run he was put off by some spots of rain at the last corner. There’s a lot more to come from him. He has more practice in Superpole 1 tomorrow and he is going to have to push and do his absolute best to get into Superpole 2. Our aim is to get him into the points and challenge for the top ten in his first race for CIA Landlord Insurance Honda and I believe we are on course for that.
So overall we are very happy with today’s results and we will work together to keep the momentum for tomorrow’s qualifying.”
World Supersport – Free Practices Combined Results
- P. Jacobsen 1’33.087
- J. Cluzel CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +0.380
- F. Caricasulo +0.515
- L. Mahias +0.538
- R. Rolfo +0.546
- H. Okubo CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +0.709
- A. Baldolini +0.853
- G. Rea +0.861
- L. Stapleford +0.862
- K. Smith +0.928
21. R. Mulhauser CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +1.800