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WSS Aragon 2013: Coghlan hails 'unbelievable' pace

13 April 2013

By Neil Morrison

Kev Coghlan will start an impressive fifth position for the second round of the 2013 World Supersport Championship after making gains during final qualifying at Motorland Aragon.

The Scot hasn't been outside the top six all weekend and ran as high as third for much of the Q2 session, only for late laps by Fabien Foret and Sheridan Morais to deny him his maiden front row start in the Supersport class.

Given the DMC Lorenzini Kawasaki team's fairly short preparation schedule prior to the Phillip Island curtain raiser in February, Coghlan's qualifying performances so far have been nothing short of remarkable.

“It's been pretty unbelievable at this point,” he told Crash.net. “In Australia we went well, we didn't expect to be in the top ten in qualifying but we've come here and been in the top six in every session. I just feel comfortable as well.”

Coghlan comes into the season having endured slightly hectic winter period after the DMC team changed its plans at the eleventh hour. Coghlan had a competitive 2012 with the DMC team in the Superstock class aboard a new Ducati 1199 Panigale, but having originally signalled his intentions to stay for 2013, the team would go on to merge with 2012 WSS champions Lorenzini for an assault on the Supersport series.

“It all came around in March a few weeks before the first race. We only had two days of testing before then and immediately felt really good straight away.”

The continuity with the DMC team has been a great help and the versatile Scot, who has had extensive experience in Moto2 and 125 grand prix bikes, claims the ZX-6R is the best he has sampled.

“It's absolutely the most competitive bike I've ridden in my life. The electronic package too. I've never been a big fan of the electronics before but on this it works amazing. I don't know how much of that is down to the package or my technicians or whatever but they all work well together. My mechanics on the bike worked with me last year on the Panigale. My technician from the Lorenzini side too is great, we all get on really well.”

He performed admirably in Australia considering the circumstances, qualifying on the third row in ninth, before a spill in the early laps ruined his chances of scoring good points.

“I think I got a bit too excited really. I didn't make the best of starts and I was working my way back through and came to a group and just tried to pass everyone in one lap. A stupid rookie mistake really. If I didn't have the slip off it could have been a top ten. So here the most important thing is to put some points on the board and get a strong top ten finish.”

He has moved on to Aragon, a circuit he knows well from his Spanish championship days, and where he has ridden as a wild card in Moto2.

“It's a really technical track so that helps obviously that I've been here a few times. You can see the likes of Jack [Kennedy] and Christian [Iddon] are struggling a bit with not having many miles here but I think it suits my style. There are a lot of fast corners that suit me and the bike's a missile so down this back straight.”

After today's performance a top six finish in the race seems to be a definite possibility.

“Hopefully we can be in the top six. We seem to have pretty good race pace. The tyres are holding up well so, in Australia my lap times at the end of the race were better than sixth or seventh place. We seem to have a good tyre life and we just need to not make the same mistakes as Australia. I need to have a smooth first two laps and build up to it and get into it.”

But on a World Supersport grid of 35 riders that can always be easier said that done.

“Yeah, sometimes the red mist comes down and you just want to go but we'll keep my head on in this race...”