Marco Melandri backed up his impressive free practice performance by clocking the fastest lap in the opening qualifying in session at Aragon today. The factory Yamaha man was the only rider to set a sub two minute lap and despite hotter track conditions bettered his opening Free Practice time from this morning.
Carlos Checa claimed second spot, but unlike Melandri he was unable to improve on his best lap in Free Practice.
Speaking to MCN, Checa said: “I expected to be faster here, because when we tested her last year I was lapping in the 1.58’s, but for sure the temperature today is very hot. I have tested the different tyre solutions and the soft tyre is working well but I still need to do a long run tomorrow to really understand. At the moment Melandri looks very strong, but I am sure we can improve things for tomorrow.”
Noriyuki Haga was once again in good form and led the way for Aprilia and the RSV4. The privateer PATA Aprilia rider finished in third place ahead of Leon Camier in fourth and Max Biaggi in sixth.
Camier said: “We made a good change to the bike and compared to Misano the feeling I’m getting from the front is better and I’ve definitely got more confidence. In Misano I was losing the front so much and it feel better here, but saying that I’m still surprised to be this high up the leader board.”
Tom Sykes impressed with both his outright pace and consistency during the qualifying session especially given that he spent the session on the harder rear Pirelli tyre and is yet to test the higher performing soft tyre.
He said: “It’s been a good session for us especially as I was in second position for most of the session using a tyre that I ran in Free Practice this morning. Last year our bike was a bit of a disaster in the hot conditions so it’s good to be this far up with the new bike.”
Aragon - SUPERBIKE - Qualifying 1
1. Marco Melandri1'59.726 Yamaha YZF R1 (Yamaha World Superbike Team)
2. Carlos Checa2'00.073 Ducati 1098R (Althea Racing)
3. Noriyuki Haga2'00.214 Aprilia RSV4 Factory (PATA Racing Team Aprilia)
4. Leon Camier2'00.253 Aprilia RSV4 Factory (Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team)
5. Tom Sykes2'00.267 Kawasaki ZX-10R (Kawasaki Racing Team Superbike)
6. Max Biaggi2'00.309 Aprilia RSV4 Factory (Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team)
7. Michel Fabrizio2'00.324 Suzuki GSX-R1000 (Team Suzuki Alstare)
8. Ayrton Badovini2'00.377 BMW S1000 RR (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team)
9. Eugene Laverty2'00.503 Yamaha YZF R1 (Yamaha World Superbike Team)
10. Maxime Berger2'00.509 Ducati 1098R (Supersonic Racing Team)
11. Joan Lascorz2'00.727 Kawasaki ZX-10R (Kawasaki Racing Team)
12. Troy Corser2'00.798 BMW S1000 RR (BMW Motorrad Motorsport)
13. Ruben Xaus2'00.853 Honda CBR1000RR (Castrol Honda)
14. Leon Haslam2'01.047 BMW S1000 RR (BMW Motorrad Motorsport)
15. Mark Aitchison2'01.428 Kawasaki ZX-10R (Team Pedercini)
16. Lorenzo Lanzi2'01.475 BMW S1000 RR (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team)
17. Sylvain Guintoli2'01.484 Ducati 1098R (Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing)
18. Roberto Rolfo2'01.527 Kawasaki ZX-10R (Team Pedercini)
19. Chris Vermeulen2'01.567 Kawasaki ZX-10R (Kawasaki Racing Team)
20. Jakub Smrz2'01.829 Ducati 1098R (Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing)