Biaggi Takes Provisional Pole From Spies

Henny Ray Abrams | May 29, 2009

Aprilia’s Max Biaggi grabbed the provisional pole from Yamaha’s Ben Spies with his final lap of World Superbike qualifying at Miller Motorsports Park.Spies went to the top with about 15 minutes to go in the one hour session, then lowered it with his two final laps. But Biaggi was faster in both of the splits on his final lap and crossed the line with a time of 1:49.820 mins., .081 of a second faster than Spies.The time was off the best lap of 1:48.193 set by Carlos Checa last year, but Checa’s time was done on qualifying tires, which won’t be used until tomorrow. And the times, once again, were close; the top 12 were on the same second.Hannspree Ten Kate Honda’s Checa was third with Guandalini Racing’s Jakub Smrz (Duc) filling out the provisional front row.Ducati Xerox’s Michel Fabrizio sits on the row two provisional pole just .09 of a second in front of Kawasaki’s Jamie Hacking. Hacking’s lap of 1:50.466 is the fastest he’s ever gone around MMP. He qualified for the 2007 race AMA Superbike races with a time of 1:50.524.In his first visit to MMP, Sterilgarda Ducati’s Shane Byrne was seventh fastest with Yukio Kagayama recovering from an early session highside to qualify eighth. After the session, the Suzuki Alstare Brux rider was diagnosed with a suspected fractured ankle bone. Kagayama had been fastest in the morning session.Ten Kate Honda’s Ryuichi Kiyonari is on row three next to Hannspree Ten Kate Honda’s Jonathan Rea, Xerox Ducati’s Nori Haga, and Celani Race Suzuki’s Karl Muggeridge, the final rider on the lead second.Jake Zemke qualified 16th, four spots ahead of Stiggy Racing Honda teammate Leon Haslam.Friday Qualifying:

1. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1:49.820

2. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1:49.901

3. Carlos Checa (Honda) 1:50.144

4. Jakub Smrz (Ducati) 1:50.282

5. Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) 1:50.457

6. Jamie Hacking (Kawasaki) 1:50.466

7. Shane Byrne (Ducati) 1:50.512

8. Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki) 1:50.556

9. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) 1:50.701

10. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1:50.740


16. Jake Zemke (Honda) 1:51.072

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.