Assen World Superbikes: Smrtz fastest, Biaggi out of Superpole

Published: 26 April 2008

Ducati man Jacob Smrtz was the surprise fastest man in final qualifying today and will be the last man on track in this afternoons Superpole session. Smrtz has been a front runner all weekend and it is clear that the 1200cc Ducati suits the flowing Assen circuit with Ducati riders filling the next three places on the grid.

Ruben Xaus put a frustrating day on Friday behind him to climb up the leader board to second spot ahead of yesterday’s pole man Troy Bayliss and his Xerox Ducati team-mate Michel Fabrizio.

Whilst Ducati men secured all four spots on the provisional front row, Max Biaggi had a disastrous second qualifying session. The Italian was unable to improve his lap time from day one and dropped from 11th to 18th and as a result won’t take part in this afternoons Superpole session and will be forced to start Sunday’s two races from the fifth row of the grid.

Max Neukirchner was the first of the four cylinder machines and could have been placed even higher after he missed the opportunity to set a final fast lap when a technical problem prevented him from leaving the pits in the final minutes of the session.

Sixth and seventh place went to Notiyuki Haga and Yukio Kagayama who were unable to improve upon their lap time set yesterday, whilst Troy Corser slashed 0.7seconds off his lap time to jump from 15th to eighth spot.

Carlos Checa was another improver, but the Spanish Ten Kate Honda rider could still only manage tenth fastest, half a second off the pace of Smrtz.

 Final positions:

1 96 J. SMRZ CZE Guandalini Racing by Grifo's Ducati 1098 RS 08 1'40.064 1'39.558 1'39.558

2 111 R. XAUS ESP Sterilgarda Go Eleven Ducati 1098 RS 08 1'40.837 1'39.596 1'39.596

3 21 T. BAYLISS AUS Ducati Xerox Team Ducati 1098 F08 1'39.677 1'39.810 1'39.677

4 84 M. FABRIZIO ITA Ducati Xerox Team Ducati 1098 F08 1'40.375 1'39.832 1'39.832

5 76 M. NEUKIRCHNER GER Team Alstare Suzuki Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'40.409 1'39.974 1'39.974

6 41 N. HAGA JPN Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Yamaha YZF-R1 1'40.009 1'40.606 1'40.009

7 34 Y. KAGAYAMA JPN Team Suzuki Alstare Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'40.036 1'40.075 1'40.036

8 11 T. CORSER AUS Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Yamaha YZF-R1 1'40.778 1'40.042 1'40.042

9 10 F. NIETO ESP Team Suzuki Alstare Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'40.195 1'40.082 1'40.082

10 7 C. CHECA ESP Hannspree Ten Kate Honda Honda CBR1000RR 1'40.745 1'40.096 1'40.096

11 100 M. TAMADA JPN Kawasaki PSG-1 Corse Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'40.278 1'40.422 1'40.278

12 23 R. KIYONARI JPN Hannspree Ten Kate Honda Honda CBR1000RR 1'40.496 1'40.309 1'40.309

13 94 D. CHECA ESP Yamaha France Ipone GMT 94 Yamaha YZF-R1 1'40.746 1'40.314 1'40.314

14 36 G. LAVILLA ESP Ventaxia VK Honda Honda CBR1000RR 1'40.919 1'40.331 1'40.331

15 57 L. LANZI ITA R.G. Team Ducati 1098 RS 08 1'40.520 1'44.595 1'40.520

16 55 R. LACONI FRA Kawasaki PSG-1 Corse Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'40.997 1'40.588 1'40.588

17 38 S. NAKATOMI JPN YZF Yamaha Yamaha YZF-R1 1'40.817 1'40.657 1'40.657

18 3 M. BIAGGI ITA Sterilgarda Go Eleven Ducati 1098 RS 08 1'40.673 1'40.993 1'40.673

19 31 K. MUGGERIDGE AUS D.F. Racing Honda CBR1000RR 1'40.695 1'40.777 1'40.695

20 86 A. BADOVINI ITA Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'40.839 1'40.714 1'40.714

21 54 K. SOFUOGLU TUR Hannspree Ten Kate Honda Jr.Honda CBR1000RR 1'41.561 1'40.741 1'40.741

22 44 R. ROLFO ITA Hannspree Honda Althea Honda CBR1000RR 1'41.279 1'40.869 1'40.869

23 194 S. GIMBERT FRA Yamaha France Ipone GMT 94 Yamaha YZF-R1 1'41.156 1'40.906 1'40.906

24 83 R. HOLLAND AUS D.F. Racing - Bertocchi Honda CBR1000RR 1'43.184 1'41.633 1'41.633

25 28 A. VOS NED Fabricom - MCT Racing Ducati 1098 RS 08 1'41.662 1'44.024 1'41.662

26 88 S. AOYAMA JPN Alto Evolution Honda SuperbikeHonda CBR1000RR 1'42.289 1'42.203 1'42.203

27 22 L. MORELLI ITA Alto Evolution Honda SuperbikeHonda CBR1000RR 1'43.030 1'43.090 1'43.030

28 13 V. IANNUZZO ITA Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'43.312 1'45.196 1'43.312

29 77 L. NAPOLEONE FRA Grillini PBR Team Yamaha YZF-R1 1'43.439 1'43.414 1'43.414