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Pole to gravel trap - Stapleford’s Qatar rollercoaster ride

Former British Supersport Champion Luke Stapleford had a rollercoaster rider at the Qatar World Supersport finale which saw him bag pole position for the season finale but end up in the gravel courtesy of a nerfing from the errant Xavi Pinsach.

Stapleford had struggled with the Profile Triumph second practice on Friday and he couldn’t improve on the time he set in the opening session, so he was shuffled from tenth to 17th but the magic was back for qualifying as Stapleford went a second faster than his previous best to get through to Superpole two.

His opening lap in the second session slotted him into third, but then as everyone pitted for fresh rubber they were able to improve their time. However Stapleford also had on some new boots and was on pace for the front row, matching five-time champion Kenan Sofuoglu in every sector. At the chequered flag, Stapleford nicked pole position - a British rider in a British team on a British bike.


The race didn’t go at all to plan.  Stapleford got a good start and tipped into the first corner in third place. He was forced wide by Randy Krummenacher and lost valuable time. Disaster struck a couple of corners later as Pinsach lunged up the inside, tucked the front and wiped Staplford out of a top-five slot.

“The weekend was like a rollercoaster, from the struggles Friday, pole position Saturday then getting taken out in the race. Obviously I'm really disappointed the weekend ended the way it did but we've all got to keep positive, it was a new circuit for me and to be on pole position shows what potential we have,” he said.

“I genuinely believe we had a chance of winning the race which is really hard to take but it gives me even more motivation to work harder than ever over the coming weeks to make sure we come out fighting for round 1 next season. I'd like to thank everyone for the kind messages over the weekend, the support was incredible.”

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