Kyle Ryde (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) put himself fourth on the starting grid for tomorrow’s FIM Supersport World Championship race at Phillip Island after making great strides in Superpole qualifying.
With Kenan Sofuoglu now back at home after missing the first round through injury Ryde had been flying solo in his pit garage during his first race weekend for the championship-winning Kawasaki Puccetti squad.
Despite struggling in the recent tests and first day of race qualification yesterday Ryde relied heavily on the advice of his team and the 19-year-old went fastest in WorldSSP Superpole 1. Having thus qualified for Superpole 2 he went out to improve his performance even further and earn a fourth place starting position, with a time only 0.355 from pole.
Ryde will now start his first race from the leading place on the second row of the grid, in a race that has been shortened to 15 laps from the scheduled 18.
Kyle Ryde, stated: “That improvement was down to the team; trusting in what they want to do with the bike. This morning the set-up was not how I liked it but I had Jonathan Rea, the Superbike champion, telling me to just ride it and ride it. And then I had Andrew Pitt, who was a Supersport champion, telling me just to ride it and ride it. That is what I did this morning and it felt a little bit better. I went into Superpole with a new front and a new rear tyre – and it just clicked. A 1’33.4 today is a brilliant achievement compared to yesterday, and put us on the second row. I still feel that I have got a little bit left in me. That is a good sign as it was not a perfect lap but for my first race with Kawasaki Puccetti Racing it is a brilliant outcome. Where I was on Monday and Tuesday at the test I was devastated to be down the order. Yesterday, in 16th place, I was also down in the dumps. I knew I could do well today, but I did not quite expect this. An awesome job from the team.”
Gino Rea (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) was seventh in Superpole continuing his learning process on the Ninja ZX-6R at good pace. Michael Canducci (Puccetti Racing Junior Team FMI Kawasaki) was 12th after Superpole 2, with Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) and Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) right behind him in 13th and 14th positions. Lachlan Epis (Response RE Racing Kawasaki) was 21st fastest in Superpole at his home round, and Kazuki Watanabe (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) placed 23rd.