Checa On Top at Miller Motorsports Park

Henny Ray Abrams | May 28, 2011

TOOELE VALLEY, UT, MAY 28 – Althea Racing’s Carlos Checa  topped the first World Superbike qualifying session at Miller Motorsports Park, a track where he’s experienced the best and worst of racing.On a cool and overcast afternoon, the Spaniard and his Ducati lapped the 3.05-mile Perimeter Course in a time of 1:48.260 mins., despite being on the slowest of the top six motorcycles. Checa’s top speed of 185.914 mph down the 3500-foot front straight was more than 10 mph off the 196.043 mph benchmark set by third fastest Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team).Checa’s first Superbike win, and first double-header sweep, came from pole here at MMP in 2008. But last year, when he also started from pole, Checa suffered mechanical problems while on his way to victory in both races.Today there were more worrisome mechanical problems. Checa suffered two failures in the morning session, but was clean in the afternoon. Clean and fast. He was .795 sec. faster than Leon Camier, on the second Aprilia Alitalia bike, and a full 1.046 sec. up on Biaggi. Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes, the lone representative of Team Green, was fourth fastest. Teammate Chris Vermeulen remains unfit to race.Vermeulen was set to race in the U.S. before re-injuring himself in the previous round at Monza.”It is disappointing to not race in America but my injuries are still healing,” Vermeulen said prior to the race weekend.

Superbike Qualifying:

1. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1:48.260

2. Leon Camier (Aprilia) 1:49.055

3. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1:49.306

4. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1:49.432

5. Troy Corser (BMW) 1:49.552

6. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1:49.621

7. Jakub Smrz (Ducati) 1:49.683

8. Eugene Laverty (Yamaha) 1:49.708

9. Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki) 1:49.855

10. Ayrton Badovini (BMW) 1:49.881


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.