Althea Ducati’s Carlos Checa led the afternoon qualifying session at Misano, besting Max Biaggi and Marco Melandri.
Championship points leader Carlos Checa continues to head the World Superbike roster, the Spaniard topping Friday’s qualifying session at Misano. The Althea Ducati ace bested his closest rivals in the SBK title hunt, with Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia) second-fastest and Marco Melandri (Factory Yamaha) third-fastest.
Checa will search for a prime grid position in tomorrow’s Superpole sessions, the Number 7 rider looking for win number seven on Sunday.
“We had good feeling with the bike at Miller and also have useful information from the testing we did here at Misano a month ago so those factors have surely helped us here today,” said Checa in team PR. “We perhaps had a small advantage today but we know that Biaggi and Melandri will be there on Sunday and the races will be tough. Anything could happen come Sunday but the important thing is that we know we are competitive.”
Biaggi, the double winner at Misano in 2010, was 0.125 off Checa’s pace. The Emperor is still smarting from his Race 1 crash at Miller, which left the defending champ banged up after colliding with Jonathan Rea of the first lap skirmish. “I was afraid it would be worse,” said Biaggi in Aprilia PR. “Maybe it helped that today I wore, for the first time, a latest
Max Biaggi scored the double at Misano last year and needs more of the same to get his 2011 title defense back in order.
generation riding suit with an airbag system. It helped me to fee more protected and consequently more serene. It’s a nice helping hand.”
Melandri was more than three tenths adrift of Biaggi, with fellow Italian Michel Fabrizio rounding out the provisional front row on his Alstare Suzuki.
The near all-Italian front row is followed by Troy Corser as fifth-fastest, the BMW rider having crashed in the closing minutes of the session. The former SBK champ cleared medical checks, however, with the WSBK press office reporting the Aussie likely fit for Saturday’s qualifying.
Yamaha’s Eugene Laverty paced sixth-fastest at Misano, followed by Effenbert-Liberty Ducati’s Jakub Smrz and Aprilia Pata’s Noriyuki Haga. Smrz’s teammate and Miller Race 1 podium comrade, Sylvain Guintoli, finished the session ninth-fastest. Meanwhile Tom Sykes was the fastest Kawasaki in tenth, almost eight tenths down on Checa.
Notable competitors outside the top-10 are Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad), Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda) and Leon Camier (Aprilia Alitalia), which button down the 11-13 positions. Returning to action for the Kawasaki squad, Chris Vermeulen was relegated to 21st with a lap 1.730 off the leader.
2011 World Superbike Misano Friday Qualifying Results:
1. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1’36.024
2. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1’36.149
3. Marco Melandri (Yamaha) 1’36.482
4. Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki) 1’36.546
5. Troy Corser (BMW) 1’36.656
6. Eugene Laverty (Yamaha) 1’36.683
7. Jakub Smrz (Ducati) 1’36.713
8. Noriyuki Haga (Aprilia) 1’36.728
9. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati) 1’36.753
10. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’36.793
11. Leon Haslam (BMW) 1’36.810
12. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1’36.824
13. Leon Camier (Aprilia) 1’36.984
14. Ayrton Badovini (BMW) 1’37.059
15. Matteo Baiocco (Ducati) 1’37.073
Parkalgar Honda’s Sam Lowes (11) led fellow Brit Chaz Davies in the afternoon Supersport qualifying at Misano.
Parkalgar Honda’s Sam Lowes led the way in the Supersport class at Misano. Lowes was followed by fellow Brit and co-points leader, Chaz Davies on the ParkingGO Yamaha. The Kawasaki Motocard.com duo of David Salom and Broc Parkes hold third and fourth on the timing sheets, with Honda riders Fabien Foret (Hannspree Ten Kate), Italian wild card Illario Dionisi and Robbin Harms (Harms Benjan Racing) following.
As for Davies’ teammate and fellow points leader, Luca Scassa, he gets to enjoy Misano from the pits as wrencher. Having been disqualified for riding Misano during a riding school before the round, Scassa has been demoted to assistant mechanic. WorldSBK.com reports the Italian will perform the humbling duty of refueling race bikes, cleaning wheels and fetching Pirellis from tire impound. Instead Team Manager Giulio Rovelli takes over the ParkinGo Yamaha R6 and was 32nd out of 37 riders in the afternoon qualifying session.
2011 World Supersport Misano Friday Qualifying Results:
1. Sam Lowes (Honda) 1’39.541
2. Chaz Davies (Yamaha) 1’39.618
3. David Salom (Kawasaki) 1’39.795
4. Broc Parkes (Kawasaki) 1’39.897
5. Fabien Foret (Honda) 1’40.133
6. Ilario Dionisi (Honda) 1’40.141
7. Robbin Harms (Honda) 1’40.454
8. Florian Marino (Honda) 1’40.467
9. Massimo Roccoli (Kawasaki) 1’40.639
10. James Ellison (Honda) 1’40.743