WSB Imola: Checa dominates first qualifying in Imola
Carlos Checa finished a massive 0.38 seconds faster than his closest rival in the first qualifying session to take provisional pole position for Sunday’s two races. The in-form Spaniard who was fastest in free practice has clearly got his Althea Ducati working well and demonstrated this by setting a string of consistent race laps in addition to his pole time.
Speaking to MCN he said: "I expected to be in a good position here because we saw last year that the Ducati’s of Haga and Fabrizio were very fast. But honestly I did not expect to be first and I did not expect this sort of advantage, but anyway this is only one lap."
Jonathan Rea continued his impressive run of form to secure the second fastest time ahead of fellow Brit Leon Haslam. Haslam dug deep at the end of the session and actually posted his best lap in the dying minutes of the session just as rain started to fall at the Italian circuit.
Nurburgring race winner Noriyuki Haga continued his resurgence to post the fourth fastest time ahead of fellow Ducati riders Michel Fabrizio and Shane Byrne.
The big shock of the day was championship leader Max Biaggi languishing down in 14th position and on the provisional fourth row of the grid.
1 7 C. CHECA ESP Althea Racing Ducati 1098R 1'48.178 22 164,263 276,9
2 65 J. REA GBR HANNspree Ten Kate Honda Honda CBR1000RR 1'48.558
3 91 L. HASLAM GBR Team Suzuki Alstare Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'48.621
4 41 N. HAGA JPN Ducati Xerox Team Ducati 1098R 1'48.660
5 84 M. FABRIZIO ITA Ducati Xerox Team Ducati 1098R 1'48.667
6 67 S. BYRNE GBR Althea Racing Ducati 1098R 1'48.752
7 35 C. CRUTCHLOW GBR Yamaha Sterilgarda Team Yamaha YZF R1 1'48.813
8 11 T. CORSER AUS BMW Motorrad Motorsport BMW S1000 RR 1'48.851
9 66 T. SYKES GBR Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'48.970
10 111 R. XAUS ESP BMW Motorrad Motorsport BMW S1000 RR 1'49.224
11 57 L. LANZI ITA DFX Corse Ducati 1098R 1'49.275 1.097
12 52 J. TOSELAND GBR Yamaha Sterilgarda Team Yamaha YZF R1 1'49.528
13 50 S. GUINTOLI FRA Team Suzuki Alstare Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'49.560
14 3 M. BIAGGI ITA Aprilia Alitalia Racing Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'49.613
15 76 M. NEUKIRCHNER GER HANNspree Ten Kate Honda Honda CBR1000RR 1'49.622
16 96 J. SMRZ CZE Team PATA B&G Racing Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'49.659
17 99 L. SCASSA ITA Supersonic Racing Team Ducati 1098R 1'49.776
18 90 F. SANDI ITA Gabrielli Racing Team Aprilia RSV4 1000 F. 1'51.641
19 95 R. HAYDEN USA Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'52.106
20 33 F. LAI ITA ECHO CRS Honda Honda CBR1000RR 1'52.200
21 5 I. LOWRY GBR Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'52.248
22 15 M. BAIOCCO ITA Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'52.315