Top ten for Danilo in Portimao qualifying

CIA Landlord Insurance Honda rider Jules Danilo produced his best Tissot Superpole qualifying session of the year to date today, posting a fastest time of 1’45.661 to qualify in tenth place.  Danilo heads up the fourth row of the grid for tomorrow’s 18-lap race at the challenging high-speed Portuguese circuit.

Danilo said: “Best qualifying of the year so I’m happy with that.  I’m happy with how the weekend has gone, it’s been really consistent and I think that’s all thanks to the work we did in the test.  We tried many things and now I feel a lot more confident on the bike.  I was able to find a bit of a slipstream – more of a reference – and I think that helped me especially as it’s the first time it’s happened in the weekend so having someone to catch gave me a bit of extra motivation.  But I also improved my lap time on my own and I think our pace is really good so I’m curious to see how the race will evolve. Previous years’ lap times have been 45s and 46s so let’s see where that puts us tomorrow.”

It proved a difficult day again for Peter Sebestyen as he struggled to get into a rhythm on the Honda CBR600RR.  Whilst the young Hungarian set his fastest lap time of the weekend in the Tissot Superpole session he dropped down the order and starts Sunday’s FIM World Supersport race from 16th on the sixth row of the grid.

Sebestyen said: “Compared to yesterday I think we have a better bike but we still have a lot of things to improve for tomorrow.  I’m confident. It was very difficult today, especially in qualifying as I tried to use the slip stream but I couldn’t do a good strategy so my lap times didn’t come. The position is not great but it will be a more exciting race for tomorrow.  If we can fix some issues I think we can do a good race because my bike, the chassis seems very good.”

CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “That is Jules’s best qualifying of the year.  He missed out on the first three rows by only a tenth of a second but it was a really good effort and a big improvement.  You can see now he has a chance to fight well inside the top ten in the race so it puts us in a good position.  He’s very happy and comfortable on the bike, we might make some small tweak for warm-up but really that’s just to maximise him and the bike.  I’m sure he can do it.  Great job by the team.”

“Peter is a little bit disappointed by his position but he’s managed to match his best time from last year. He’s quite happy with the chassis so we’re now fitting him a brand-new engine for tomorrow to give him every chance and the opportunity to fulfil his potential.  Good job by the boys.  We like this track, it’s like our second home round as they are our original sponsor and remain friends of the team.  We are looking for a best result for the team, for both riders. Peter is always a better racer than a qualifier so we are looking in good shape for the race, let’s see what we can do.”

Results Tissot Superpole

1 F. Caricasulo 1”44.220

2 R. Krummenacher +0.444

3 L. Mahias +0.770

4 I. Vinales +0.778

5 R. De Rosa +0.936

6 A. Badovini +0.981

7 H. Okubo +1.129

8 J. Cluzel +1.179

9 K. Smith +1.318

10 J. Danilo CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +1.441

16 P. Sebestyen CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +2.196