He'd already done well this year, but today he did even better: Luke Stapleford, as British as the Triumph 675 he rides, gave his privateer bike wings this evening at Qatar, putting together a 2’01”621 which easily beat the time set by the World Champion: “I'm very happy to have scored my first pole, because the Losail track was brand new to me - commented a smiling Stapleford- tomorrow I'll be there between the two Kawasakis that are leading the championship and I'll try to keep pace with them”.
The first of these two Kawasakis was in fact that of Sofuoglu who didn't appear to very happy about giving the pole away, and the 0.059 second gap came down to one corner that the Turk took with a little too much enthusiasm, having to correct himself as a result.
Randy Krummenacher set the third time on the ZX6R, and wasn't best pleased with his position. He nevertheless vows to fight for the win tomorrow evening.
Alex Baldolini opens the second row with his MV Agusta 675; his best time 2’02”008 saw him close just behind the top three and we will see if he has the necessary physical strength to complete the whole race distance tomorrow. Kyle Smith on the Honda closes ahead of Jules Cluzel with the factory MV.
Malaysian rider Khairuddin is on row three, ahead of Ayrton Badovini, eighth on the Honda CBR, and Jacobsen in ninth, six tenths of a second from leader Stapleford.