Yamaha’s Marco Melandri broke in the Aragon circuit with the fastest lap on Friday ahead of Carlos Checa.
Yamaha’s Marco Melandri established the fastest pace around the Aragon circuit on Friday, taking the best lap ahead of Spaniard Carlos Checa and Pata Aprilia’s Noriyuki Haga. More than three-tenths faster than Checa, Melandri was the only rider able to dip below the two-minute lap time and is in excellent shape for the first ever World Superbike races at the Aragon circuit.
After placing third in the previous race at Misano, Haga demonstrated excellent pace after recovering from a crash earlier in the session. Aprilia Alitalia’s Leon Camier was just 0.039 seconds off the pace of Haga, with Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes placing fifth in the timesheets more than half a second adrift of Melandri.
“After Misano we decided to change a few things, above all at the front, in order to find more stability and confidence,” Camier said. “And it seems to be working. I had a good feeling of greater stability. Naturally it’s a bit early to jump to conclusions, but it seems like we’re doing better now. In addition to that, I really like this track, nice ups and downs, beautiful turns… Great!”
Camier’s teammate, Max Biaggi, registered sixth on the provisional grid followed by Alstare Suzuki’s Michel Fabrizio.
Max Biaggi: “In these conditions we lost whatever progress we had made during testing. So I had to start all over again looking for the best solution.”
“Today was a complicated day,” said Biaggi. “The set-up we had found during the tests had to reckon with a track which is very different in these asphalt temperatures. In these conditions we lost whatever progress we had made during those tests. So I had to start all over again looking for the best solution. In these conditions we have very little time available to us, so we moved forward trying various things. Now things are starting to fall into place and tomorrow we’ll continue this method. The goal is to have a bike ready for Superpole.”
Fabrizio, who is attempting to overcome the effects of last weekend’s crash at Misano, had difficulties opening the throttle with his sore right arm and wrist.
“For the first day, I suppose seventh quickest is not too bad – especially when you consider that I cannot get on the gas as I want to,” said Fabrizio. “At the moment there is not enough strength in my right arm and wrist and I just cannot get the throttle wide open when I want to. I don’t mind the pain, but it’s a bit frustrating because I know I can be faster.”
BMW Italia’s Ayrton Badovini, who is fresh off a fourth-place finish at Misano, nabbed eighth in the order. Yamaha’s Eugene Laverty and Supersonic Racing’s Maxime Berger rounded out the top-10 times in ninth and 10th, respectively, with Laverty running 0.777 seconds off the pace of Melandri.
Meanwhile, BMW riders Troy Corser and Leon Haslam appear to be struggling at Aragon after posting 12th and 14th respectively in the time charts.
“It’s been another frustrating day and although I have some pain on the bike, I don’t think it’s affecting my riding,” Corser said. “I can cope with the pain OK, but it would be nice to have the bike working properly and doing what I want it to do, instead of having problems. The problems are not new ones, but it seems that our bike is very sensitive to changes and when that happens the electronics don’t seem to manage what’s going on.”
Aragon World Superbike Practice Results 2011:
1. Marco Melandri (Yamaha) 1’59.726
2. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 2’00.073
3. Noriyuki Haga (Aprilia) 2’00.214
4. Leon Camier (Aprilia) 2’00.253
5. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 2’00.267
6. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 2’00.309
7. Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki) 2’00.324
8. Ayrton Badovini (BMW) 2’00.377
9. Eugene Laverty (Yamaha) 2’00.503
10. Maxime Berger (Ducati) 2’00.509
11. Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki) 2’00.727
12. Troy Corser (BMW) 2’00.798
13. Ruben Xaus (Honda) 2’00.853
14. Leon Haslam (BMW) 2’01.047
15. Mark Aitchison (Kawasaki) 2’01.428
Kawasaki Motocard.com’s Broc Parkes secured the fastest lap in Friday’s Supersport qualifying just three-tenths ahead of his teammate, David Salom. Overall it was a terrific day for the Spanish team after taking the top spots on the timesheet at their home circuit. Meanwhile, Parkalgar Honda’s Sam Lowes earned third on the provisional grid after coming within half a second of Parkes. Yamaha
ParkinGo’s Chaz Davies and Luca Scassa both suffered crashes during the session, but both recovered to round out the top-five times in practice at the Aragon circuit.
Aragon World Supersport Practice Results 2011:
1. Broc Parkes (Kawasaki) 2’02.773
2. David Salom (Kawasaki) 2’03.087
3. Sam Lowes (Honda) 2’03.320
4. Chaz Davies (Yamaha) 2’03.936
5. Luca Scassa (Yamaha) 2’03.943
6. Gino Rea (Honda) 2’04.404
7. Fabien Foret (Honda) 2’04.466
8. Massimo Roccoli (Kawasaki) 2’04.503
9. Roberto Tamburini (Yamaha) 2’04.705
10. Florian Marino (Honda) 2’04.889