Second row start for Smith at Losail

CIA Landlord Insurance Honda’s Kyle Smith pulled it out of the bag with sixth position on the last lap of Superpole 2 today at the Losail International Circuit.

Smith improved again in the qualifying session getting down to the 01.5s for the first time this weekend and starts tomorrow’s floodlit 15-lap race at the Qatari circuit from the second row of the grid.

Smith said: “I think it was a positive qualifying.   I was hoping for that sort of position but I wasn’t expecting it after this morning where it didn’t go too smoothly.   We’ve managed to make an improvement and we’re closer to the front so hopefully we can hold a good pace and put up a good fight.”

Superpole 1 was another frustrating session for Hungarian teammate Peter Sebestyen at the flowing 5.380km circuit.   Despite good feeling on the Honda CBR600RR he was unable to improve his time and will start the race tomorrow from the sixth row of the grid in sixteenth position.

Sebestyen said: “Superpole was not what I wanted, the rear was sliding also on the entry to the corners and under acceleration but I felt good on the bike and I thought I would have good speed.  It’s strange because I feel really good on the bike and I wanted to make an improvement on yesterday but it just didn’t happen.  We will check the data and I will have better pace for the race.”

Simon Buckmaster said: “That was a really good performance by Kyle it puts us in a good position to fight in the leading group and to challenge for a podium finish.  Kyle always has great race pace so that’s a good confidence build for him and for the whole team.”

“This is a very flowing track, you need to hit your apexes and flow with the track.  Peter knows that and now he has a good understanding of what Kyle did he needs to do the same and it will happen. He has the capability and potential to get his best finish so far this year here which will set us up well for 2019.  We’ll make some small tweaks in Warm Up tomorrow and make another step forward but we are in good shape for the race so let’s see what happens. Well done to Stu, George, Kor & Matia for all their hard work.”

 

Results Superpole 1

1 T. Gradinger 2’02.183

2 H. Soomer +0.165

3 A. Badovini +0.460

4 H. Okubo +0.721

5 G. Van Straalen +1.149

6 P. Sebestyen CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +1.581

7 J. Van Sikkelerus +1.953

8 S. Hornsey +2.076

9 L. Cresson +2.453

10 C. Stange +2.543

 

Free Practices & Superpole Combined Results

 

1 L. Mahias 2’00.461

2 S. Cortese 2’00.610

3 J. Cluzel 2’01.035

4 L. Stapleford 2’01.330

5 C. Perolari 2’01.478

6 K. Smith CIA Landlord Insurance Honda 2’01.523

7 F. Caricasulo 2’01.570

8 R. De Rosa 2’01.711

9 T. Gradinger 2’01.729

10 H. Barbera 2’01.738

16 P. Sebestyen CIA Landlord Insurance Honda 2’03.764