Smrz First in Utah

Henny Ray Abrams | May 29, 2010

TOOELE, UTAH, MAY 29: Ducatis dominated the first qualifying session for the World Superbike round at Miller Motorsports Park, and it wasn’t the factory bikes.Riding a year-old Ducati 1098R, Team PATA B&G Racing’s Jakub Smrz put himself on the provisional pole after dominating the session on a cloudy bright and cool afternoon in Tooele, Utah, just west of Salt Lake City.The Czech rider went to the top of the order early in the hour and stayed there until the final 14 minutes. Then a revolving cast of characters – Shane Byrne, Carlos Checa, Cal Crutchlow – all went to the top before Smrz reasserted himself.His lap of 1:48.689 with about 7:38 minutes remaining put him top of the order, but there was more in it.Althea Racing’s Carlos Checa moved to second at 1:48.742 and was there for the final push in the last five minutes.At the end of the session the order of the top four changed dramatically. Team Suzuki Alstare’s Leon Haslam went to second, only to get dropped to fourth by Ducati Xerox’s Michel Fabrizio and then Yamaha Sterilgarda’s Cal Crutchlow after time expired.Still, it was Smrz cementing his provisional pole with a late lap of 1:48.571. Next to him on the provisional front row are Fabrizio, Crutchlow, and Haslam.Checa ended up on the row two pole in front of teammate Byrne, with James Toseland (Yamaha Sterilgarda) seventh, after crashing in the final eight minutes, and Luca Scassa eighth on the Supersonic Racing Team Ducati.Of the eight bikes on the two front rows, five were Ducatis.There was more diversity on row three. BMW’s Troy Corser finished in front of Aprilia Alitalia’s Max Biaggi, the Italian with the fastest trap speed of 195.120 mph. The first Honda was ridden to the eleventh fastest time by Hannspree Ten Kate’s Jonathan Rea, with Nori Haga twelfth on the second Ducati Xerox 1098R.Roger Lee Hayden qualified a provisional 18th on one of the few tracks he’d previously raced on, even if it was back in 2007.


1. Jakub Smrz (Ducati) 1:48.571

2. Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) 1:48.760

3. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1:48.682

4. Leon Haslam (Suzuki) 1:48.734

5. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1:48.742

6. Shane Byrne (Ducati) 1:48.853

7. James Toseland (Yamaha) 1:48.887

8. Luca Scassa (Ducati) 1:48.945

9. Tory Corser (BMW) 1:49.040

10. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1:49.191

11. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1:49.281

12. Nori Haga (Ducati) 1:49.386

13. Leon Camier (Aprilia) 1:49.443

14. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1:49.748

15. Ruben Xaus (BMW) 1:49.961

16. Max Neukirchner (Honda) 1:50.121

17. Sylvain Guintoli (Suzuki) 1:50.133

18. Roger Hayden (Kawasaki) 1:50.806

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.