Sylvain Guintoli led the way during poor Friday weather conditions at the Assen circuit.
Ducati Effenbert Liberty Racing’s Sylvain Guintoli set the fastest time during a rainy World Superbike qualifying session at Assen. Following the French rider by only fractions of a second was Kawasaki Racing Team’s Tom Sykes on the ZX-10R. Fellow British rider Leon Camier of Crescent Fixi Suzuki, also under one second from the lead, pulled in third. Ducati Althea Racing rider, and current championship points leader, Carlos Checa, finished the day fourth-fastest.
Honda’s Jonathan Rea leads the provisional Row 2. The Northern Irish rider was a full second off Guintoli’s best. Rea is followed by BMW Italia’s Michel Fabrizio and Ayrton Badovini. Meanwhile, factory BMW Motorrad’s Marco Melandri was eighth-fastest on the day.
Max Biaggi of the Aprilia Racing Team, currently second place in overall points, failed to break the top ten, coming in 17th. Fourth place in the points, BMW Motorrad Motorsport’s Leon Haslam crashed going into Turn 5 during his session, and though he was able to get safely to the pit, he ended up placing 14th.
Most riders went out on slicks for the opening day at Assen, but soon after it began to rain and they had to quickly return in order to keep their bikes in decent condition (World Superbike moving to a single bike rule this year). Riders will brave the conditions tomorrow for Superpole qualifying.
2012 World Superbike Assen Qualifying Session 1
1. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati) 1'37.600
2. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'37.630
3. Leon Camier (Suzuki) 1'38.468
4. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1'38.665
5. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1'38.873
6. Michel Fabrizio (BMW) 1'39.062
7. Ayrton Badovini (BMW) 1'39.125
8. Marco Melandri (BMW) 1'39.127
9. Maxime Berger (Ducati) 1'39.286
10. Chaz Davies (Aprilia) 1'39.362
11. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) 1'39.485
12. Jakub Smrz (Ducati) 1'39.605
13. John Hopkins (Suzuki) 1'39.625
14. Leon Haslem (BMW) 1'39.770
15. Brett McCormick (Ducati) 1'39.915
Honda CBR600RRs dominated the first Supersport qualifying session as Bogdanka PTR Honda rider Sam Lowes claimed the top spot, followed by Broc Parks from Honda Ten Kate Racing Products. Lowes was only 0.039 seconds faster than Parks. Coming in third from PTR Honda was Jules Cluzel, new to the Supersport ranks and currently standing ninth in overall points for the season.
Kawasaki ZX-6R riders claimed the fourth and fifth place positions, with championship points leader Fabien Foret of Kawasaki Intermoto Step coming ahead of Kenan Sofuoglu of Kawasaki DeltaFin Lorenzini.
American PJ Jacobsen came in 20th on the Bogdanka Honda PTR, the 18-year-old making his World Supersport debut at the Assen Track.
2012 World Supersport Assen Qualifying Session 1
1. Sam Lowes (Honda) 1'38.900
2. Broc Parks (Honda) 1'38.939
3. Jules Cluzel (Honda) 1'39.589
4. Fabien Foret (Kawasaki) 1'39.730
5. Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 1'39.735
6. Imre Toth (Honda) 1'40.040
7. Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki) 1'40.266
8. Massimo Roccoli (Yamaha) 1'40.326
9. Mathew Sholtz (Honda) 1'40.390
10. Jed Metcher (Yamaha) 1'40.620