ROOKIE RISPOLI HITS THE TOP EIGHT IN QUALIFYING ON MCE BSB DEBUT
APRIL 12, 2016
American James Rispoli will start his first MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship race at Silverstone from eighth place on the grid after an impressive performance in the opening Datatag Qualifying session of 2016 yesterday.
Rispoli steps up from the Dickies British Supersport Championship this season and together with the Anvil Hire TAG Racing Yamaha team completed a perfect start to his campaign after making the cut for the final stage of Datatag Qualifying in drying conditions at the Northamptonshire circuit. Now the ‘Rocket’ is gearing up for his MCE BSB race debut later this afternoon when he will start from the third row of the grid.
Rispoli said: “It has been a bit crazy! Every time sheet before qualifying I was something like P22 so I could see a lot of people not even questioning my name to even be near Q3, but we knew we had some decent pace and in FP1, FP2 and FP3 we kept getting mugged in the last ten minutes of the session because we just didn’t have the tyre and then the shifter broke so we just needed to finish the lap. We know we are fighting for around that one second off and that was our first goal. Q2 was our next goal and Q3 was something we know we could have done and we were sniffing around that P12 mark and Q1 was crazy.
“We had wets in and we were going to go for that in Q1 and then a Moto3 kid came by from the session before and I asked him what it was like and he said straight away it was dry so we instantly put slicks in and luckily the team did as we barely squeezed through Q1.
“To go out in Q2 and go with Haslam and Jackson as I had to catch them a bit after my out lap but that got me about a second behind them and I kind of reeled in Jackson and got a good draft and made a pass which meant I could then follow Haslam the last half a lap. When I saw a 2m:06.3 on the dash I was stoked. I had done a 2m:08.5 the rest of the weekend so to pull that off was really good.
“We went into Q3 and we made a change but it didn’t really pay off; we are still learning all the time and for me literally every day is about taking out the notepad but we get to start with the front guys and it seems that when I am behind them I am ok to do the pace. I know it is going to be a long race and we haven’t done any long runs, but we can only take one step at a time. We have agreed to go into the race and just do the bets that we can and wherever we end up I will be happy with because it is our first Superbike race.
“These guys in front of me have all been in Q3 before and know how to do a lap; they all know the maximum they can ride so to even be in with them and be eighth on the grid is a win for us already to start the season. There are a lot of amazing guys sitting behind me on the grid today so I have to be thankful that we have validated that and show that we are good enough to be in Superbike.”