Cluzel confident ahead of Misano race

CIA Landlord Insurance Honda rider, Jules Cluzel qualified on the front row of the grid in 2nd position for tomorrow’s World Supersport race at Misano, missing out on Pole Position by under a tenth of a second.  Cluzel lost time in his second run of Superpole Two when he caught Kyle Smith into the last corner but the 28-year-old has shown that he is more than ready to win his first World Supersport race of 2017.

Jules said: “I am really happy with qualifying because I had a really strong pace and I think we could have got pole position because I lost a few tenths in the last sector.  I was blocked so I can say for sure that I lost time.  We were less than a tenth from Kenan so for sure I had the possibility to make pole but I am still happy.  Most important is the race tomorrow,  I have the confidence so I am looking forward to it.  I think Kenan will be the most consistent rider tomorrow and the Yamaha boys will be there and really hot.  Mahias is here and he wants to fight, he doesn’t want to lose points.  Caricasulo already told me that he wants to fight for the victory and for his team mates so I think it will be hot tomorrow.  I need to take the positive things and try to win my first race of the season.”

There was disappointment in Superpole One for Hikari Okubo when the session was red-flagged as he was on two red-sectors to qualify for Superpole Two.  When the session re-started he was again on for the top of the timesheet when he clipped the kerb at the last corner and slid off.  He faces the unenviable challenge of starting the race tomorrow from 33rd position.

Robin Mulhauser did his best lap time of the weekend in SP1, qualifying 22nd.  The Swiss rider is looking to make more progress in tomorrow’s warm up and is hopeful he can battle for a points finish in the race.

Hiromichi Kunikawa made good progress in Free Practice 3 and qualified well in the afternoon’s SP1.  He is building confidence and getting steadily closer to the pack.  His target is to finish as close to the top twenty as possible in the race tomorrow.

CIA Landlord Insurance Team Manager, Simon Buckmaster said: “It was a really good qualifying for Jules.  We were confident that he would qualify on the first two rows but to be in 2nd position on the grid is fantastic.  We have good race pace and as I said after FP2, we went into qualifying in good shape and now we go into the race in a really good position.  There’s a little bit of chatter on the last turn so we’ll see if we can improve that for warm up.  It is going to be a tough race of course, as with all WSS races now.  There’s a really strong field there but we have a really good chance of the win tomorrow.  It was a real shame for Hikari, he had the potential for top six in this race.  It’s going to be tough for him from the back of the grid but he is a fighting guy and I’m sure he will get well into the points and get the best possible result.  Robin improved in SP1 so that’s positive.  It would be good for his confidence going into the summer break if he could finish in the points here at Misano.  Hiromichi is again at a circuit that is new to him but he is starting to work better so let’s see what we can do tomorrow to fight as hard as we can for the best finish.”

 

Superpole One Results

 

1 K. Smith 1’39.690

2 S. Morais 1’39.827

3 D. Stirpe 1’39.884

4 H. Soomer 1’40.062

5 L. Cresson 1’1’40.075

6 A. Zaccone 1’40.226

7 N. Calero 1’40.292

8 N. Tuuli 1’40.332

9 K. Ryde 1’40.431

  1. Z. Khairuddin 1’40.822

 

12 R. Mulhauser 1’40.879

 

20 H. Kunikawa 1’42.871

 

23 H. Okubo 1’43.772

 

 

Free Practices & Superpole Combined Results

 

1 K. Sofuoglu 1’38.672

2 J. Cluzel CIA Landlord Insurance Honda 1’38.770

3 F. Caricasulo 1’38.963

4 L. Mahias 1’39.156

5 C. Gamarino 1’39.235

6 L. Stapleford 1’ 39.433

7 S. Morais 1’39.517

8 P. Jacobsen 1’39.535

9 K. Smith 1’39.600

10 G. Rea 1’39.786

 

22 R. Mulhauser CIA Landlord Insurance Honda 1’40.879

30 H. Kunikawa CIA Landlord Insurance Honda 1’42.871

33 H. Okubo CIA Landlord Insurance Honda 1’43.772