The first Superpole of the 2009 season has arrived and the rules have changed completely compared to past editions. Rather than a single round, now there is a formula which is much like the one used in F1 races. The top twenty finishers from the official trials participate in the Superpole 1 and the sixteen best times move on to the Superpole 2. Finally, the top eight drivers compete in the first two battle lines of the Superpole 3. Each of the three rounds lasts twelve minutes and the drivers are only allowed to use two tires for the qualifying round and two for the competition round. Ben Spies, on a Yamaha Factory, won the first Superpole of the season with a time of 1:31:069. Max Biaggi conquered the second-place position, stopping the clock at 1:31:402, just 0:333 behind the Texan. Max closed out the Superpole 1 in seventh position with a time of 1:32:345, using competition tires and then placed fifth in the Superpole 2 with a time of 1:31:617, with the first set of available qualifying tires. Shinya Nakano will start off from ninth position in tomorrow’s first race, thanks to his time of 1:31:843, which he achieved on competition tires. The Japanese driver missed out on qualifying for the Superpole 3 by just 68 thousandths of a second, and he placed sixth in the first round with a finishing time of 1:32:264, using qualifying tires.
"This Superpole is very exciting,” declared Biaggi. “You’re never sure of the outcome until the very end. You’re always on the razor’s edge. We were all very fast, with Spies and Laconi we managed to beat the record from the Bayliss circuit and it is really satisfying to start off so far ahead. This Superpole was a bit turbulent, the motorcycle I had chosen gave me some problems during the last minutes of the warm-up laps, and I had to use another bike that I didn’t really like, so we created a combination, adapting the frame from the first to the second, and fortunately the result was good. Perhaps in tomorrow’s race we will have more problems than the others because the RSV4 is still in is development and growth phase and it won’t be easy to choose the most suitable tires for the race. I’ll give it my all, 100%, and try to find a good rhythm starting from the very first laps. I would like to thank my team for the excellent job they are doing as well as everyone who has believed in this project and who pushed for my return to Aprilia. I will try to pay them back with the best possible results.”
“This new Superpole formula is a real adrenaline rush,” said Nakano. “It’s new for all of us. You always need to be on high alert and have a good strategy. There was a lot of traffic in the Superpole 1 and I was at the back of the qualifying line, so we decided to use qualifying tires. Then we only used the competition tires and in the last seconds, the qualification slipped away by a few thousandths of a second. I’m satisfied because this weekend we managed to continue to grow and we are also quite competitive. The important thing for tomorrow’s race will be to start off well and set a good pace. For the first time, I’ll be competing in two races on the same day. They’re shorter with respect to the MotoGP, but much more difficult to manage and you begin to push the limit right from the start.”