CIA Landlord Insurance Honda’s Kyle Smith ended the opening day of round twelve of the 2018 FIM Supersport World Championship at the Losail International Circuit ninth on the combined timesheets. Smith automatically goes through to Superpole 2 tomorrow to challenge for a spot on the first two rows of the grid for the race on Saturday.
Smith said: “I was hoping to be a bit closer up front but I think the top ten times are quite tight. We’ve got some things to try on the bike and see if we can push a little bit more in qualifying tomorrow and get a bit closer to the front.”
Teammate Peter Sebestyen made a significant stride forward across the two sessions ending the first day of World Superport action in Qatar in fifteenth position. Sebestyen bettered his time by almost two seconds in FP2 and is confident he can improve further tomorrow.
Sebestyen said: “I made a big improvement in FP2. I exited the pit with Kyle and now I understand where I have to push a little bit more but because of this we may have to change something on the bike to give me more feedback. I had a little problem sliding on the rear into the corner, if we can improve this I think we can have a much better time. I feel much better on the bike.”
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “I feel there is more to come I know Kyle is capable of mid 01s and his consistent pace is good. We did improve the bike, we’ll improve a little bit more and so will Kyle and we will be in the fight to qualify on the first two rows. I am sure it will be a close, tight race. Our bike is good here and Kyle is good here so things are looking good going into qualifying tomorrow.”
“It’s Peter’s first time here on our bike. He has been here once a few years ago on a Superbike so for him it’s like learning the circuit again. He’s done quite well he’s right in contention to fight to go through into SP2. It’s not out the way, like he said he found a bit at the end behind Kyle there. He needs to be able to do that consistently and improve from there. We need to make it all count now to give him the best chance to challenge for a position in SP2 but also to fight for the best grid position and for a top ten finish in the race.
There’s work to do, we’ll all pull together for the best result for CIA Landlord Insurance Honda.”
Free Practices Combined Results
1 L. Mahias 2’00.876
2 S. Cortese +0.113
3 R. Krummenacher +0.518
4 J. Cluzel +0.723
5 C. Perolari +0.847
6 R. De Rosa +0.930
7 F. Caricasulo +0.949
8 H. Barbera +1.006
9 K. Smith CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +1.176
10 L. Stapleford +1.298
15 P. Sebestyen CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +2.489