Q1 pace-setter Walters approves of revamped qualifying format

In-form Kawasaki privateer makes gains by going through first ASBK session.

Image: Russell Colvin.

Leading Motul Pirelli Australian Superbike Championship privateer Matt Walters has given the newly-introduced two-stage qualifying format his tick of approval at Wakefield Park.

Walters was 11th in this morning’s timed practice, which meant he had to transfer through Q1 if he were to further improve upon his grid position in Q2, which was exactly what he managed to do.

It was a particularly impressive showing from the Kawasaki-mounted series mainstay, eventually slotting his Ninja ZX-10RR into eighth on the grid for tomorrow’s pair of 20-lap races. He improved his personal best lap to 58.009s in the second outing, well within a second of pole.

“It’s not a bad structure because you get to kind of redeem yourself if you don’t have such a good timed practice,” Pirelli-equipped Walters told CycleOnline.com.au. “There’s definitely not as much traffic on the circuit, so that helps.

“I struggled a little bit in Q2 because we had to use two tyres in the first one just to get through – we didn’t have a fresh one left once we made the second session. That’s just how it goes, it’s a part of it.

“It wasn’t too bad though, we made the most of it and I was happy with how we ended up. I was just fortunate I didn’t have to do many laps on that tyre I ended up qualifying on in both Q1 and Q2. I took my time to go out in the second session and it paid off.”

The two-stage structure sees the top nine from the sole timed practice session go directly through to Q2, leaving riders below to take part in Q1. The top three riders from Q1 then move into Q2, both sessions 15 minutes in duration.

Source: CycleOnline.com.au

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