Assen WSB: Smrz rules practice, Sykes top placed Brit
Jakub Smrz stole the show in the opening qualifying session for the third round of the World Superbike Championship at Assen by securing provisional pole position on his Effenbert Ducati.
The Czech rider set a 1.36.058 to hold of a resurgent Max Biaggi onboard the Alitalia Aprilia. Biaggi was a contended throughout the hour long session and ended the day ahead of arch rival Marco Melandri and fellow Roman Michel Fabrizio.
Tom Sykes was the highest placed British rider onboard his factory Kawasaki in fifth. The 25 year old used the softer ‘A’ tyre to good effect and improved his lap time by over one second.
It was a solid day for BMW men Troy Corser and Leon Haslam in sixth and seventh respectively with Yamaha man Eugene Laverty in eighth.
The biggest surprise of the day was the lack of pace from last years double race winner Jonathan Rea who ended the day in ninth. Rea didn’t use the soft tyre but is struggling with grip and feeling in two areas of the track.
1. Jakub SmrzDucati (Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing) 1'36.058 1098R
2. Max BiaggiAprilia RSV4 (Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team) 1'36.287 Factory
3. Marco MelandriYamaha YZF (Yamaha World Superbike Team) 1'36.494 R1
4. Michel FabrizioSuzuki (Team Suzuki Alstare) 1'36.550 GSX-R1000
5. Tom SykesKawasaki (Kawasaki Racing Team Superbike) 1'36.747 ZX-10R
6. Troy CorserBMW S1000 (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 1'36.876 RR
7. Leon HaslamBMW S1000 (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 1'36.989 RR
8. Eugene LavertyYamaha YZF (Yamaha World Superbike Team) 1'37.024 R1
9. Jonathan ReaHonda (Castrol Honda) 1'37.063 CBR1000RR
10. Noriyuki HagaAprilia RSV4 (PATA Racing Team Aprilia) 1'37.106 Factory
11. Carlos ChecaDucati (Althea Racing) 1'37.114 1098R
12. Joan LascorzKawasaki (Kawasaki Racing Team) 1'37.364 ZX-10R
13. Leon CamierAprilia (Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team) 1'37.373 RSV4 Factory
14. Ruben XausHonda (Castrol Honda) 1'37.424 CBR1000RR
15. Ayrton BadoviniBMW (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team) 1'37.613 S1000 RR
16. Barry VenemanBMW S1000 (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team) 1'37.716 RR
17. Maxime BergerDucati (Supersonic Racing Team) 1'37.853 1098R
18. Sylvain Guintoli1'37.899 Ducati 1098R (Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing)
19. Chris VermeulenKawasaki (Kawasaki Racing Team) 1'38.452 ZX-10R
20. Roberto Rolfo Kawasaki (Team Pedercini) 1'38.487 ZX-10R
21. Mark AitchisonKawasaki (Team Pedercini) 1'38.713 ZX-10R