Carlos Checa not only took the fastest lap in practice on Friday but also posted a new track record at Nurburgring.
Althea Racing’s Carlos Checa took the quickest lap around the German circuit on Friday, blasting the competition with a time of 1’55.232. The Ducati rider clenched a new track record and was 0.215 seconds ahead of BMW Motorrad Motorsport’s Troy Coser, who took second with his time of 1’55.447. Xerox Ducati’s Michel Fabrizio earned third on the timesheets aboard his Ducati 1098R, and was more than half a second adrift of Checa’s pace. A busy qualifying session was made worse when Aprilia rider Leon Camier suffered an extremely bad fall. The Brit sustained injuries to his knee and fractured his wrist during the slide, and as of this moment his condition is being evaluated on whether he needs surgery.
Behind the top-three was Althea Racing Ducati’s Shane Byrne, who took the fourth-best lap around the German circuit followed by Ducati’s Noriyuki Haga in fifth. The Japanese rider managed to outlap championship leader Max Biaggi, who ran 0.053 seconds behind in sixth and more than eight-tenths adrift of Checa’s pace.
“We’re having a bit of difficulty transferring power to the ground,” Biaggi said. “We’re suffering particularly from vibrations. I’d say it’s nothing very surprising, but tomorrow we need to improve. We need to find the best possible setup. Today I also tried changing out bikes to evaluate the best solutions and test the effects. Pirelli has provided a new tire for everyone, but I didn’t use it very much. Apparently we’ll see an improvement with it, but I’ll have to test it more thoroughly tomorrow. In short, this was a busy Friday. Now we need to put all of this information together and make the choices which will let us close in on the leaders.”
After taking the double win in the last round at Silverstone, Yamaha Sterilgarda’s Cal Crutchlow was seventh in the books after posting a best lap of 1’56.169.
“Today was not so bad, seventh overall is ok,” said Crutchlow. “We will go faster tomorrow though! We will look at some of our chassis and gearbox settings to see how we can achieve this. I’m not so worried; I think the times are pretty close from second-place to tenth. We’re looking forward to improving some more in the morning.”
Honda Ten Kate’s Jonathan Rea was 0.084 seconds behind in eighth and was more than one second off the leading pace.
Team PATA B&G Racing’s Jacob Smrz and Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes rounded out the top-10 times in ninth and tenth respectively. Biaggi’s closest title rival, Leon Haslam, had a best lap on the Nurburgring circuit that placed him 11th in the field and more than 1.3 seconds off Checa’s pace. Also struggling throughout Friday was Yamaha Sterilgarda’s James Toseland, who was 18th on the timesheets and more than one and a half seconds off the pace of Checa. Despite this result, Toselands feels optimistic about the upcoming race and the progress made in the first day at Nurburgring.
“The position looks worse than it is,” Toseland said. “We’ve been working with a new engine that we’ve got this weekend and trying some different settings along with learning the track. It’s been tough learning the track today but I’m quite optimistic with the times. I’m looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow morning and getting faster.”
BMW’s Troy Corser took second in Friday’s practice at the German circuit and was 0.215 seconds adrift of Checa.
World Superbike Nurburgring Qualifying Results:
1. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1’55.232
2. Troy Corser (BMW) 1’55.447
3. Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) 1’55.753
4. Shane Byrne (Ducati) 1’55.998
5. Noriyuki Haga (Ducati) 1’56.024
6. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1’56.077
7. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1’56.169
8. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1’56.253
9. Jacob Smrz (Aprilia) 1’56.340
10. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’56.436
11. Leon Haslam (Suzuki) 1’56.617
12. Max Neukirchner (Honda) 1’56.617
13. Luca Scassa (Ducati) 1’56.734
14. Ruben Xaus (BMW) 1’56.799
15. Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati) 1’56.819
World Championship leader Kenan Sofuoglu had a great first day at the German circuit after posting a best lap of 1’59.276. The Ten Kate Honda rider set the leading time by just one-thousandth of a second ahead of Triumph’s David Salom, with Intermoto Czech Honda’s Gino Rea rounding out the top-three times in third. Kawasaki Motocard.com’s Katsuaki Fujiwara took the fourth-quickest time aboard his Ninja ZX-6R, with runner-up in the championship, Eugene Laverty, taking fifth in the timesheets.
Kawasaki rider Fabian Foret was 0.828 seconds off the leader’s time in sixth, and was followed by Fukiwara’s Kawasaki teammate, Broc Parkes, in seventh. Ten Kate Honda’s Michelle Pirro, Triumph’s Matthieu Lagrive and Kuja Racing’s Mark Aithchison completed the top-10 times, with just one more qualifying session remaining to sort out grid positions.
2010 World Supersport Nurburgring Qualifying:
Kenan Sofuoglu set the leading time in the first qualifying session at Nurburgring ahead of Triumph’s David Salom.
1. Kenan Sofuoglu (Honda) 1’59.276
2. David Salom (Triumph) 1’59.277
3. Gino Rea (Honda) 1’59.807
4. Katsuaki Fujiwara (Kawasaki) 1’59.818
5. Eugene Laverty (Honda) 1’59.964
6. Fabian Foret (Kawasaki) 2’00.104
7. Broc Parkes (Kawasaki) 2’00.275
8. Michelle Pirro (Honda) 2’00.423
9. Matthieu Lagrive (Triumph) 2’00.535
10. Mark Aithchison (Honda) 2’00.538
11. Chaz Davies (Triumph) 2’01.073
12. Massimo Roccoli (Honda) 2’01.102
13. Miguel Praia (Honda) 2’01.266
14. Roberto Tamburini (Yamaha) 2’01.589
15. Vittorio Iannuzzo (Triumph) 2’01.598