Tuuli heads up fifth row in Spain

CIA Landlord Insurance Honda’s Niki Tuuli narrowly missed entry to Superpole 2 by only three hundredths of a second despite a good run in Superpole 1 today.  Tuuli had his name on the number two spot but was denied going through when Morais claimed it on the last lap of the session.

Tuuli said: “I didn’t make it but still I improved a lot. We improved the bike and my riding was much better but I just need to find that rhythm.  We have been improving all weekend and now we are going the right way, now we have the potential to be faster so I’m really happy about that.  We still have a long way to the top but step by step we can be there. Thanks to the team.”

Andrew Irwin posted his fastest time of 1’57.8 in Superpole 1 making a huge 1.4s improvement over his best lap in FP2 and the World Supersport rookie will start the 16-lap race from the ninth row of the grid in 26th position.

CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “Obviously we are disappointed not to go through and be challenging for the first two rows of the grid.  That said Niki rode well in that session, on his first run he caught traffic but on the second run he did two good laps all on his own.  This place, if you can get a good draught down the straight you can gain a little bit of free time.  Niki didn’t have that and missed out by such a small margin.  So we start 13th tomorrow.  We have a good chance to challenge well inside the top ten and build from there.  One thing we shouldn’t forget to allow for is that Niki is a young rider with all his experience on a Yamaha and he is adjusting to the change to a Honda which requires a different riding style.  I’m sure we will soon see the best of Niki Tuuli, I think tomorrow we will see a good strong challenge in the race and then move to Assen and improve again.”

“Andrew lost a bit of confidence after his crash in Australia and then in Thailand but we are seeing some big improvements from him. He’s frustrated because he knows he should be higher but he needs to relax, he knows that and I’m sure that working with Kor and the data we’ll just go forwards again in the race.  Then we go to Assen which is a circuit Andrew knows from his British Championship days so that’s a big positive.”

 

The lights go out for the World Supersport race from Motorland Aragon at 11:30 (local time) tomorrow.

 

Results Superpole 1

1 H. Okubo 1’55.097

2 S. Morais +0.019

3 N. Tuuli CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +0.030

4 T. Gradinger +0.137

5 A. West +0.316

6 R. Hartog +0.432

7 S. Hill +0.967

8 N. Calero +1.027

9 E. Lahti +1.127

10 A. Coppola +1.198

16 A. Irwin CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +2.709

 

Free Practices & Superpole Combined Results

1 S. Cortese 1’53.567

2 L. Mahias 1’53.589

3 F. Caricasulot 1’53.648

4 R. De Rosa 1’54.069

5 R. Krummenacher 1’54.174

6 J. Cluzel 1’54.421

7 S. Morais 1’54.485

8 L. Stapleford 1’54.518

9 A. Badovini 1’54.849

10 H. Okubo 1’54.987

13 N. Tuuli CIA Landlord Insurance Honda 1’55.127

26 A. Irwin CIA Landlord Insurance Honda 1’57.806