Front row start again for Guintoli
Sylvain Guintoli was at his combative best again today, setting second fastest time in qualifying for tomorrow's round of the British Superbikes Championship at Donington Park.
Playing shrewd tactics throughout the three-stage roll-for-pole qualifiers, Guintoli left his best lap until the very last, scorching to an incredible 1:31.111. But for a couple of mistakes in that lap(!) he may well have gained pole - which he missed by a blink of an eye, just 0.046-seconds.
Sylvain Guintoli: "We've progressed a lot over the two days of practice and qualifying. In our first practice yesterday our best was 1:33.3. Today we're over two seconds a lap quicker. Again we worked on our settings overnight and came up with something that felt very good. We knew the roll-for-pole would be a tough one so we held back in the early stages - I was only sixth fastest in the second session - but that allowed us a fresh tyre for the end. The team were so professional, I came in with seconds to spare to get that last flying lap and I had everything I needed. We could have had that pole but I made a few mistakes - but I am not unhappy, we are ready for the races.
"Tomorrow's races are going to be close, I think. Leon Camier's going well (he's on pole), so I'm anticipating a good fight!"
Jack Valentine, team manager: "Everyone's done a fantastic job, Sylvain's riding very well and we're in a good position for tomorrow.
"We did our race simulations and we're confident Sylvain will be able to put in 1:31s during the race, probably settling into consistent 1:32s toward the end. To put his times into perspective - today Sylvain was lapping 7/10ths of a second quicker than he was on his MotoGP Ducati (on race tyres). This is a very very fast pace.
"Everything is looking very positive. The GSX-R's base settings are still working really well with just minor adjustments . The tyres are also working extremely well. And given Sylvain's performance in that last session, where he was able to push to almost-pole time in just one lap, it shows the confidence he has in the bike.
"The forecast for tomorrow is for cooler temperatures, but we'll be fine if it's as hot as it was today, or cooler. There's a slight chance of rain, but Sylvain's proven he's very happy in the wet. Yes, we're very confident for a good pair of results tomorrow."
ViSK British Superbike Championship, Donington Park,
1. Leon Camier (Airwaves Yamaha) 1m:31.047s