Biaggi Leads Donington Day 1

Cycle News Staff | March 25, 2011

Aprilia’s Max Biaggi didn’t make his move until late, but when he did it counted as the World Champion led a group of 10 riders who were within a second of each other to take provisional pole position for Sunday’s two World Superbike races at Donington Park.Biaggi lapped at 1:28.794 – over a second faster than Carlos Checa’s leading time from this morning’s practice session – to lead the way, the Italian besting his countryman Marco Melandri and his factory Yamaha by just .047 of a second. The two Italians were on the only riders to crack the 1:29 barrier, but there was a horde of riders just fractions of a second behind them.Third fastest was Checa, the Spaniard and his Ducati almost a second quicker than what he went in leading this morning’s practice session. Checa lapped at 1:29.194 with Yamaha’s Eugene Laverty filling the provisional front row with his 1:29.379.Jakub Smrz rode his privateer Ducati to fifth fastest, with Leon Haslam the best of the BMWs in sixth. BMW’s Troy Corser and Castrol Honda’s Ruben Xaus followed in quick succession in eighth and ninth, respectively.Leon Camier ended the session in 10th and only .845 of a second behind his teammate Biaggi.Noriyuki Haga, who led the session at the start, finished up in 11th place, but just 1.020 behind the leader.Alstare Suzuki’s Michel Fabrizio, who was sixth in this morning’s session, crashed late in the session and ended up 17th. The returning Chris Vermeulen, meanwhile, completed 16 laps and ended up last.

Friday Qualifying

1.                  Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1:28.794

2.                  Marco Melandri (Yamaha) 1:28.841

3.                  Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1:29.194

4.                  Eugene Laverty (Yamaha) 1:29.379

5.                  Jakub Smrz (Ducati) 1:29.397

6.                  Leon Haslam (BMW) 1:29.472

7.                  Troy Corser (BMW) 1:29.476

8.                  Ruben Xaus (Honda) 1:29.613

9.                  Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki) 1:29.637

10.                  Leon Camier (Aprilia) 1:29.639