CHAMBON TAKES POLE
Supersport World Championship, Round 3, Kyalami, South Africa Final qualifying, Saturday 6th April 2002.
TEAM Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra rider Stephane Chambon crowned the frantic final minutes of final qualifying today by posting a lap of 1:46.146 to take pole position for tomorrow's 25-lap race.
Chambon had less then two minutes on the clock remaining when he went out to complete his final attempt at pole, but he flew round to take pole position. Second today was Jamie Whitham (Yamaha), with Andrew Pitt (Kawasaki) third and Christian Kellner (Yamaha) fourth.
The biggest improvement of the day was Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra rider Katsuaki Fujiwara, who moved up from 15th to fifth place on the grid.
STEPHANE CHAMBON - Pole, 1:46.146
"Towards the end of the final session, I was determined to go quickly, so I put my head down and just opened the gas, I had an idea of how fast I was going by the read-out on the dashboard and I knew it was going to be very, very close. When I realised I had done it; I was over the moon! Of course, pole is one thing and winning a race is another, but I feel very happy to be on pole. My back was better today, but I'll probably have some pain-killing injections before tomorrow's race - so I can concentrate on doing the best I can."
KATSUAKI FUJIWARA - 5th, 1:46.780
"I'm so happy to have made such a big jump forwards. Yesterday I was confused and I didn't know which direction to take. Today I used one bike with the new ignition system and I was able to understand it a bit better and concentrate on my riding. Also, I think we found a better set-up and I know which tyres I will use for the race. It'll be a long hard race, but now I'm looking forward to it."
Final qualifying results
1 Chambon (F-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) 1:46146,
2 Whitham (GB-Yamaha) 1:46.295,
3 Pitt (AUS-Kawasaki) 1:46.414,
4 Kellner (D-Yamaha) 1:46.471,
5 Fujiwara (J-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) 1:46.780,
6 Casoli (I-Yamaha) 1:46.860,
7 Teuchert (D-Yamaha) 1:46.866,
8 Vermeulen (AUS-Honda) 1:46.913,
9 Corradi (I-Yamaha) 1:47.025,
10 Foret (F-Honda) 1:47.093,