CIA Landlord Insurance Honda’s Kyle Smith pulled it out of the bag with 2nd position in Superpole 1 today at the Automotodrom Brno taking him through to Superpole 2.
Smith went on to qualify in 11th place despite sliding off unhurt at the end of the SP2 session at the wide and flowing Czech circuit and will start the 16-lap race from the 4th row of the grid tomorrow.
Smith said: “I think another positive day for me as we have progressed from yesterday and we have been faster, the pace is not a million miles off. I’m just a bit disappointed with the crash in qualifying but it was on a personal best lap and I was pushing. I think there is still room to improve on the set up. Slowly but surely it feels like we are getting there so I’m pretty excited for the race tomorrow.”
Teammate Andrew Irwin improved once again in the Superpole 1 session getting down to the .05s for the first time this weekend. Irwin qualified in 17th position and is looking to challenge well inside the points at his first visit to the fast 5.043km circuit.
Irwin said: “Today I think we took another step, I feel that there was more in the second run. The first laps I did weren’t perfect but it was one of them that just doesn’t work out the way you want it to sometimes. 17th on the grid is not the worst qualifying, it’s not the best either but I’ll take that and I think tomorrow in the race we can definitely get some good points.”
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “Great job by Kyle he did enough in SP1 to go through. Because we had to use two tyres in SP1 we only had one for SP2. On that last lap Kyle looked to be on a good run where he could get on the third row but he slid off at turn 10. We will work with Ohlins to make a little setting change to improve that corner entry so he can run it in faster. It is a front end circuit here, a lot of people have been caught out. Definitely Kyle Smith being back with CIA Landlord Insurance Honda is good for all of us, he is doing a great job. It’s also good inspiration for Andrew who made a big step in SP1. At one point it looked like he had a chance to go through to SP2 but he’s still learning, we need to find that bit more. He is always good on race day, good on the first lap and another good start will see him fighting in the points and looking for the top ten. With Kyle we have to be realistic at this stage it’s his first race back with us but we’re looking to be in the fight for sixth. Let’s see what happens and look forward to a great race for both riders and the whole CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team.”
Results Superpole 1
1 H. Okubo 2’04.917
2 K. Smith CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +0.005
3 H. Soomer +0.135
4 E. Lahti +0.246
5 R. Hartog +0.276
6 A. Coppola +0.315
7 A. Irwin CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +0.698
8 L. Cresson +0.724
9 A. Baldolini +0.770
10 L. Morciano +0.998
Free Practices & Superpole Combined Results
1 S. Cortese 2’02.670
2 R. Krummenacher 2’03.274
3 J. Cluzel 2’03.323
4 R. de Rosa 2’03.626
5 L. Mahias 2’03.671
6 F. Caricasulo 2’03.740
7 A. Badovini 2’04.175
8 A. West 2’04.441
9 S. Morais 2’04.411
10 T. Gradinger 2’04.465
11 K. Smith CIA Landlord Insurance Honda 2’04.482
17 A. Irwin CIA Landlord Insurance Honda 2’05.615
The lights go out for the World Supersport race from Brno at 11:30 (local time) tomorrow.