The Team Effenbert Liberty Racing Ducati pilot, a World Series rookie, was in his second SuperPole session in only his fourth race on the tour. The top 16 riders of the 23 racer field compete in SuperPole to establish the top starting positions for Sunday’s pair of 22 lap races around the hilly 4.592 km Portimao circuit.
The 16th and last rider to make it into Tissot-SuperPole was Saskatoon’s McCormick, currently living in the Czech Republic.
McCormick’s best lap time of 1:43.410 in SuperPole action netted him 13th overall on the grid, at the top of the list of riders who did not make it into the second of three SuperPole sessions. Factory Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja racer and fellow rookie Loris Baz earned 12th best time, at 1:43.199, just over two tenths of a second better than McCormick.
“The team didn’t know what I could do with the Q tires,” explained an elated McCormick. “I wasn’t sure either, but the soft Pirelli was so usable. A big part of setting a good time was getting a tow, getting into the group right off the bat, tagging along, having some fun.”
“The lap time was there, maybe even something better, I could really get on the throttle,” continued McCormick. “You can get on it ten feet earlier, and that’s always the goal. Everything went to plan, but the lap wasn’t perfect, I could maybe have done a 1:43.1.”
“I did that SuperPole time on my first flying lap, first time out, and most of those other guys were still on race tires,” said the 2011 Canadian Superbike National Champ. “I caught up with Baz half way through the lap and had to follow him, but it worked out well. It was really fun – I tucked the front end once, but I was already starting to pick up the throttle so it wasn’t really a big drama.”
“I went out again with a second tire, and that one wasn’t a pretty lap,” admitted McCormick of his second run on his second rear Q tire. “So for sure, I’ve learned some things for the next time.”
McCormick is optimistic that he can join the busy mid-field pack in what are expected to be a pair of very hectic, closely fought World Championship races tomorrow around Portimao’s 15 turn layout. The weather is predicted to be warm and sunny, as McCormick looks to improve on his career best 15th place finish scored two weeks ago at the opening race at the famed German Nurburgring.