Jules Cluzel has given a downbeat Fixi Crescent Suzuki team a welcome boost following Superpole at Motorland Aragon after securing an unexpected second row start in fifth place.
With the team reeling from Leon Camier's accident during Q1, the Briton sustaining an injury that has sidelined him for the remainder of the weekend, attention turned to sole remaining Suzuki rider Cluzel to see if he could pick up where his counterpart had left off.
Assuming the role of team leader with aplomb, Cluzel was able to make the SP3 session comfortably before putting in a lap good enough to secure a spot in the middle of the second row alongside fellow Frenchmen Sylvain Guintoli and Loris Baz.
A boon for both Cluzel and the Suzuki team, the 2012 World Supersport runner-up was delighted to show his progress when it mattered.
"I am very happy with the whole of today; the practice and qualifying session went well and so did Superpole,” he said.” This morning we did a long run with the race tyre and we have more information and it was good for me to get more of a feeling over a longer distance.
“Before Superpole I was very nervous because it was my first time, but at the end everything came good so I am really pleased with that. In the first exit we were panicking a bit because although I improved my time it was not enough to make Superpole 2, so we had to use the first qualifying tyre. I improved a lot and this was my first experience with qualifiers so I enjoyed that very much.
“We did have some vibration, but I think that everyone had that because there was so much more grip. We used a race tyre in the second session and I did an even faster lap than I did with the qualifier, so for me this is the really good point from the whole of Superpole.
“In the last run I improved again; I think it might have been possible to go quicker but I made a couple of mistakes on the lap, including a big one in the first corner, so I had to push because the qualifier only lasts for one lap. But I still improved again so I am very happy with that. We will start both races from fifth place and I enjoyed today, so this has been a high point of the weekend so far."