Checa from Biaggi, Haslam secures front row start in Superpole
Carlos Checa retained his stranglehold of the Phillip Island WSB round by securing pole position for the two 22 lap races tomorrow. The Althea Ducati rider has led every single session of testing, practice and qualifying and also set a new circuit best lap of the Australian circuit in the process.
Checa’s closest rival continues to be world champion Max Biaggi who pushed the Spaniard all the way and was the only other man to dip into the 1m 30s bracket.
Sylvan Guintoli was another man on a charge, securing third place ahead of Brit Leon Haslam onboard the factory BMW.
Eugene Laverty did an incredible job in his first ever Superpole and will start at the head of the second row in fifth place. Alongside him will be Jacob Smrz (Ducati) Troy Corser (BMW) and Marco Melandri (Yamaha) who should be satisfied with a second row start in his first Superpole and experience with Pirelli qualifiers.
Tom Sykes looked set to secure a place ion the second row but dropped to tenth. He will be joined on the third row by Jonathan Rea who suffered a crash during Superpole two.
James Toseland improved one place to secure 15th with Leon Camier in 17th after just missing out on Superpole.
Front row rider quotes:
“After the test here I honestly wondered if we’d make it into the top 16 in qualifying so to get a place on the front row is a really good result. Since we arrived here Carlos has been awesome so he’ll be hard to catch. It’s a long race so it’s all a bit of an unknown, we’re still in the development process and a lot of it will be down to tyres. Last year I had a good result so hopefully we can do the same tomorrow.”
“It’s looking good especially considering this is our first race for the team and this bike. I can do consistent lap times which makes the thought of the race very exciting. I’m loving riding the Ducati especially at this track. The v-twin is very different to the Suzuki from last year but it works really well through the high speed turns where you are really lent over. We lose out ion top speed but that is what will make it exciting. I’m going to be on the podium tomorrow.”
“I’m satisfied with this result. Each year we improve at this track and this result shows that the test we did here at the end of last year was worth it. The top speed of the bike is good and that’s down to my technicians at Aprilia because they clearly did a great job.”
“A lot will depend on the temperature, the track condition and the wind. The race is many laps and for sure the tyres will suffer so it will be important to keep them fresh for the end of the race. The speed of my bike is ok compared to most of the four cylinders but not the Aprilia. Max is 15kph faster than me so this will be difficult. The perfect solution for me is to lead into turn one and try to make a break, but I really do not know if this will be possible.”
Phillip Island - SUPERBIKE - Superpole 3
1. Carlos Checa1'30.882 (Althea Racing)
2. Max Biaggi1'30.895 (Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team)
3. Sylvain Guintoli1'31.293 (Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing)
4. Leon Haslam1'31.429 (BMW Motorrad Motorsport)
5. Eugene Laverty1'31.858 (Yamaha World Superbike Team)
6. Jakub Smrz1'31.980 (Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing)
7. Troy Corser1'32.182 (BMW Motorrad Motorsport)
8. Marco Melandri1'32.662 (Yamaha World Superbike Team)
9. Michel Fabrizio1'32.153 (Team Suzuki Alstare)
10. Tom Sykes1'32.204 (Kawasaki Racing Team Superbike)
11. Joshua Waters1'32.240 (Yoshimura Suzuki Racing Team)
12. Jonathan Rea1'32.708 (Castrol Honda)
13. Joan Lascorz1'32.346 (Kawasaki Racing Team)
14. Noriyuki Haga1'32.391 (PATA Racing Team Aprilia)
15. James Toseland1'32.547 (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team)
16. Ruben Xaus1'32.788 (Castrol Honda)
17. Leon Camier1'32.847 (Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team)
18. Bryan Staring1'32.883 (Team Pedercini)
19. Maxime Berger1'33.079 (Supersonic Racing Team)
20. Ayrton Badovini1'33.161 (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team)
21. Roberto Rolfo1'33.286 (Team Pedercini)
22. Mark Aitchison1'33.413 (Team Pedercini)