American sensation Ben Spies headed the timesheets for the first time this weekend when he lapped his Yamaha in 1m 34.709s in the final qualifying session for tomorrow’s World Superbike round in Spain.
In a spree that saw the top 14 riders finish within half a second of one another, Spies headed surprise runner-up Regis Laconi (DFX Corse Ducati) by five-thousandths of a second. Max Biaggi finished third fastest on the Aprilia RSV4, despite appearing to suffer from mechanical troubles that stopped him twice during the session.
But perhaps the most astonishing performance was Troy Corser’s sixth place on the new BMW S1000RR, with a lap in 1m 34.851s, only 0.142s off Spies’ pace.
It wasn’t an outstanding session for the five British riders. Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) was the best of them, finishing 13th quickest, with Shane Byrne (Sterilgarda Ducati) in 15th position followed by Tom Sykes (Yamaha R1), with Leon Haslam (Stiggy Honda) in 19th.
Tommy Hill (Althea Honda) misses the cut into this afternoon’s Superpole session for the fastest 20 riders, as he was 22nd fastest.