Factory BMW man Marco Melandri demonstrated his affinity with the Aragon circuit to secure provisional pole ahead of fellow Italian and rival Max Biaggi.
Last year Melandri and Biaggi shared the spoils and after today’s sessions it looks like they will be the men to beat again in 2012.
Speaking to MCN, Melandri said: “The lap time was good but we’re struggling with the consistency of the front tyre. It felt unstable and it was not easy because at this track we have a lot of long braking areas where we are lent over. But this is a problem for everyone.”
Max Biaggi secured the second fastest time on his factory Aprilia which is clearly working well at the flowing Aragon track. He claimed second ahead of Kawasaki man Tom Sykes and Eugene Laverty.
Leon Haslam claimed fifth spot despite admitting to MCN that he wasn’t particularly happy with the set-up of his S1000RR.
Chaz Davies showed his speed once again in qualifying to set the eighth fastest time onboard his ParkinGO Aprilia one place ahead of Fixi Crescent Suzuki rider Leon Camier.
Jonathan Rea’s efforts to learn the track were dealt a cruel blow when he suffered an engine failure with 15 minutes of the session to go. At the time he was up to tenth place, but slipped to 14th. He used the remaining minutes of the session to watch his rivals lapping the track in an effort to learn lines in preparation for tomorrow.
Aragon - FIM Superbike World Championship - Qualifying 1
1. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 1'58.608
2. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'58.973
3. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'59.123
4. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'59.263
5. Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 1'59.396
6. Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 1'59.751
7. Michel Fabrizio (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 1'59.770
8. Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 2'00.146
9. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 2'00.147
10. Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 2'00.401
11. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 2'00.514
12. John Hopkins (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 2'00.570
13. Niccolò Canepa (Red Devils Roma) Ducati 1098R 2'00.615
14. Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 2'00.617
15. Sylvain Guintoli (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 2'00.640
16. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 2'00.690
17. Maxime Berger (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 2'01.151
18. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 2'01.827
19. Lorenzo Zanetti (PATA Racing Team) Ducati 1098R 2'01.965
20. Jakub Smrz (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert) Ducati 1098R 2'02.032
21. David Salom (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 2'02.616
22. Leandro Mercado (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 2'02.630
23. Norino Brignola (Grillini Progea Superbike Team) BMW S1000 RR 2'07.213