WSB First Qualifying: Rea sets the pace in Phillip Island

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Honda Superbike rider Jonathan Rea claimed provisional pole position at the end of first qualifying today. The 25 year old was the one and only man to dip under the 1m 32s bracket with a best lap of 1m 31.959.

Speaking to MCN, he said: “I didn’t have the best session this morning, but this afternoon it all came good. I did quite a few laps on an old tyre and then I came in put a new one on and then went out and showed my pace.

"We still don’t have the race pace to fight with Checa and it will be difficult to stay with Biaggi but we’re definitely in the next group.”

The next three places went to Ducati men Jakub Smrz, Davide Giugliano and world champion Carlos Checa. Smrz has a reputation for being a good qualifier but it was the pace of Giugliano which took everyone by surprise.

The WSB rookie and 2011 Superstock champion got help from his team-mate Checa in setting the best lap after getting a perfect two from the world champion.

Max Biaggi looked smooth and in control on his way to fifth place ahead of an impressive Niccolo Canepa riding the Red Devils Roma Ducati.

Tom Sykes bounced back from his crash this morning and loss of track time to claim sixth to finish ahead of his factory Kawasaki team-mate Joan Lascorz. The Spanish rider only completed three laps himself after crashing at the start of the session.

Leon Haslam completed three laps, but did more than enough to qualify with an impressive 1.33.532 lap.

Speaking to MCN he said: “It was good to get a run out so that I could understand how the leg would feel. I’m pretty awkward on the bike and I have to adapt my style, but it didn’t feel too bad.

"I felt like I was just cruising on my lap and I know I can go faster. I’m glad I went out and now I’ve got another 24 hours to recover before Superpole.”

Eugene Laverty’s weekend suffered another blow after the Irishman crashed his factory Aprilia at Lukey Heights during qualifying. The 25 year old suffered concussion in the crash, but after being examined in the medical centre returned to the pit box and was treated by his physician Michael Kerr.

Phillip Island - SUPERBIKE - Qualifying 1

1. Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 1'31.959
2. Jakub Smrz (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert) Ducati 1098R 1'32.116
3. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 1'32.198
4. Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 1'32.228
5. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'32.318
6. Niccolò Canepa (Red Devils Roma) Ducati 1098R 1'32.343
7. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'32.402
8. Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'32.443
9. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 1'32.553
10. Michel Fabrizio (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 1'32.609
11. Sylvain Guintoli (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 1'32.644
12. Leon Camier (Crescent Fixi Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'32.817
13. Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'32.874
14. Bryan Staring (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'32.884
15. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 1'33.040
16. Maxime Berger (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 1'33.075
17. David Salom (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'33.128
18. Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 1'33.136
19. Lorenzo Zanetti (PATA Racing Team) Ducati 1098R 1'33.148
20. Joshua Brookes (Crescent Fixi Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'33.477
21. Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 1'33.532
22. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'34.189
23. Mark Aitchison (Grillini Progea Superbike Team) BMW S1000 RR 1'34.239
24. David Johnson (Rossair AEP Racing) BMW S1000 RR 1'34.855
25. Raffaele De Rosa (Team Pro Ride Real Game Honda) Honda CBR1000RR 1'34.979


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Michael Guy

By Michael Guy

Sports Editor, former 250-racer and adventure rider