Before the weekend Carlos Checa said that he expected to struggle at Brno, but ended up exceeding expectations by setting provisional pole position in the opening qualifying session this afternoon. The 38 year old Spaniard was concerned about the lack of speed of his Althea Ducati on the fast Czech Republic track, but was actually the fastest man through four of the five individually timed sectors that make up the lap.
Speaking to MCN, Checa said: “I’m a little bit surprised but saying that we know that when we put our minds on the job we can achieve good results. I still think it will be hard to race with the Yamaha’s and off course Biaggi on the Aprilia.
"The lap time I did was better than we expected but it is just one lap and maybe I used a tyre that the others did not use. I did some laps with Biaggi and in some areas I have an advantage and in others we lose."
Local hero Jakub Smrz made it two Ducati’s on the front row and held up Yamaha duo Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty. Coming into the weekend the Yamaha team were confident that the bike would work well having both riders so close the front on a Friday is a clear indication they will be on the pace all weekend.
Laverty said: "The last time I was this close to the front on a Friday was Monza which turned out to be a pretty good weekend. We were a way off in the morning but this afternoon I understood what I needed to do and stopped riding it like a WSS bike and used the power and lines I need to for WSB. We still need to make some improvements to the last part of the braking zone, but other than that I’m happy."
The provisional second row of the grid is headed by ten time Brno race winner Max Biaggi along with Tom Sykes, Leon Haslam and Michel Fabrizio.
Leon Camier ended the session in 11th with rookie Alex Lowes in 21st onboard the Castrol Honda after suffering a front end crash mid way through the session.
Brno - SUPERBIKE - Qualifying 1
1. Carlos Checa 1'59.322 Ducati 1098R (Althea Racing)
2. Jakub Smrz 1'59.585 Ducati 1098R (Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing)
3. Marco Melandri 1'59.653 Yamaha YZF R1 (Yamaha World Superbike Team)
4. Eugene Laverty 1'59.906 Yamaha YZF R1 (Yamaha World Superbike Team)
5. Max Biaggi 1'59.940 Aprilia RSV4 Factory (Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team)
6. Tom Sykes 2'00.154 Kawasaki ZX-10R (Kawasaki Racing Team Superbike)
7. Leon Haslam 2'00.164 BMW S1000 RR (BMW Motorrad Motorsport)
8. Michel Fabrizio 2'00.196 Suzuki GSX-R1000 (Team Suzuki Alstare)
9. Sylvain Guintoli 2'00.310 Ducati 1098R (Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing)
10. Ayrton Badovini 2'00.348 BMW S1000 RR (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team)
11. Leon Camier 2'00.440 Aprilia RSV4 Factory (Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team)
12. Maxime Berger 2'00.463 Ducati 1098R (Supersonic Racing Team)
13. Noriyuki Haga 2'00.494 Aprilia RSV4 Factory (PATA Racing Team Aprilia)
14. Lorenzo Lanzi 2'00.580 BMW S1000 RR (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team)
15. Mark Aitchison 2'00.604 Kawasaki ZX-10R (Team Pedercini)
16. Ruben Xaus 2'00.681 Honda CBR1000RR (Castrol Honda)
17. Roberto Rolfo 2'00.793 Kawasaki ZX-10R (Team Pedercini)
18. Matteo Baiocco 2'00.970 Ducati 1098R (Barni Racing Team)
19. Joan Lascorz 2'00.980 Kawasaki ZX-10R (Kawasaki Racing Team)
20. Chris Vermeulen 2'01.503 Kawasaki ZX-10R (Kawasaki Racing Team)
21. Alexander Lowes 2'02.430 Honda CBR1000RR (Castrol Honda)
22. Viktor Kispataki 2'02.831 Honda CBR1000RR (Prop-tech ltd.)