Home boy Jakub Smrz ended day one on top of the time sheets at Brno, site of the Czech Republic round of the World Superbike Championship, with the Czech riding his Guandalini Racing by Grifo’s Ducati to a best of 1:59.125 – some three tenths better than Yamaha Motor Italia’s Troy Corser. The effort was by far the 25-year-old’s best of his 41-race-old World Superbike career and it was a popular result given the venue. Ducati Xerox’s Troy Bayliss filled the provisional front row on his factory Ducati, the Australian lapping at 1:59.517. Then came Sterilgarda Go Eleven Ducati-mounted Max Biaggi, the Italian fourth on his 1098 RS at 1:59.747. Two more riders squeezed into the 1:59s – Ducati-mounted Lorenzo Lanzi and the first of the Suzukis, ridden by Fonsi Nieto. The first rider in the 2:00-minute range was Bayliss’ factory teammate Michel Fabrizio, the Italian barely besting his wild card teammate for the weekend Niccolo Canepa. Fabrizio lapped at 2:00.024 with Canepa at 2:00131 in his World Superbike racing debut. Ruben Xaus rounded out the top 10. The Hondas struggled on day one at Brno with the first of the CBR1000RRs ridden to 13th by Robby Rolfo. Rolfo’s Hannspree Ten Kate Honda teammate Carlos Checa ended up 15th – almost a second and a half off Smrz’ best. Yamaha’s Noriyuki Haga, meanwhile, ended the day 12th fastest. Friday Qualifying 1. Jacob Smrz (Ducati), 1:59.125 2. Troy Corser (Yamaha), 1:59.493 3. Troy Bayliss (Ducati), 1:59.517 4. Max Biaggi (Ducati), 1:59747 5. Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati) 1:59.850 6. Fonsi Nieto (Suzuki) 1:59.926 7. Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) 2:00.024 8. Niccolo Canepa (Ducati) 2:00.131 9. Max Neukirchner (Suzuki) 2:00.179 10. Ruben Xaus (Ducati) 2:00.196
Paul Carruthers | Editor
Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.