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Elias: Team had to explain Superpole format to me!
14 September 2013
Toni Elias says he can take satisfaction from qualifying an excellent fifth for his World Superbike Championship debut at Istanbul Park after needing to have the Superpole format explained to him beforehand.
The GP veteran, making his World Superbike debut this weekend with Red Devils Roma Aprilia, has been a revelation from the word go, shrugging off his relative lack of Superbike knowledge to prove a top five contender from the opening session.
However, having lost crucial track time in the morning due to damp weather conditions, Elias admits he then had to have his team explain the intricacies of Superpole's knockout format. Furthermore, Elias wasn't aware of the soft tyre option until he saw his rivals' lap times come down dramatically compared with free practice.
Despite this, Elias still comfortably qualified for the final phase of Superpole before making the most of the tow from pole sitter Tom Sykes to set a time good enough for the second row in fifth place.
“This morning I wish I had the possibility to use the two sessions to test some new solutions but with the wet track I did not manage to test what I wanted. Then we had to do the Superpole, which is a completely new formula for me. My head technician and the guys had to explain to me what to do exactly.
“All the other riders have had an amazing start and I was quite concerned about it when I found quite difficult to follow them. Then someone explained me they were using the soft tyre!
“Jokes apart, with very little experience of this bike, I can be really satisfied. I'm trying to understand tyres, bike reaction and everything I need for a perfect set-up. I'm waiting tomorrow full of excitement.”
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