WSB Phillip Island: Checa answers critics with Superpole victory

Alstare Ducati rider Carlos Checa went some way to answering the critics of the new Panigale superbike by putting it on pole for the opening round of the 2013 World Superbike Championship.

The UK riders showed their form earlier in Superpole, with Tom Sykes topping Superpole 1 and Eugene topping SP2, before Laverty eventually finished second to the veteran Spaniard as the best of the Brits.

Yesterday’s provisional pole man Michael Fabrizio rounded out the front row of the grid, having finished fastest in qualifying 2 earlier in the day as well.

Last year’s championship runner-up Tom Sykes was fourth, championship favourite Marco Melandri fifth and Laverty’s Aprilia team mate Sylvain Guintoli sixth.

The third row of the grid was an all-British affair, with Leon Camier seventh, and the Pata Honda pairing of Leon Haslam and Jonathan Rea eight and nine. Chaz Davies was twelfth.

Checa, who is riding injured after mediacal problems saw him admitted to hospital with a blocked intestine, as well as carrying the effects of a big crash in opening free practice. He said “It was a great surprise after all the happenings of the past week. I’ve struggled to be fit on the bike after the problems of the past week and yesterday’s crash.”

Laverty said “I was happy with the last run. I didn’t have such a good run on my qualifier, so I stuck in a race tyre and had a great last lap. If we’re not ready now we’ll never be.”

WSB Phillip Island Superpole Results

1. Carlos Checa (Team Ducati Alstare) Ducati Panigale 1199 1’30.234
2. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’30.429
3. Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’30.581
4. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’30.615
5. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) BMW S1000 RR 1’30.615
6. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’30.683
7. Leon Camier (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’30.991
8. Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike) Honda CBR1000RR 1’30.998
9. Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) Honda CBR1000RR 1’31.742

10. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’31.283
11. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’31.576
12. Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) BMW S1000 RR 1’31.870

13. Max Neukirchner (MR-Racing) Ducati Panigale 1199 1’32.010
14. Jamie Stauffer (Team Honda Racing) Honda CBR1000RR 1’32.353
15. Ivan Clementi (HTM Racing) BMW S1000 RR 1’32.773

16. Glen Allerton (Next Gen Motorsports) BMW S1000 RR 1’32.352
17. Jules Cluzel (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’32.402
18. Alexander Lundh (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’32.487
19. Ayrton Badovini (Team Ducati Alstare) Ducati Panigale 1199 1’32.540
20. Federico Sandi (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’32.898
21. Vittorio Iannuzzo (Grillini Dentalmatic SBK) BMW S1000 RR 1’33.082

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer