Checa Stays Fast in Qualifying

Cycle News Staff | July 9, 2011

Althea Racing Ducati’s Carlos Checa heads into this afternoon’s Superpole session as the fastest rider after keeping his spot atop the time sheets on the strength of his Friday qualifying lap at the Brno circuit in the Czech Republic.The championship leader, and four-time pole winner, was nearly a second slower than he was yesterday. But none of Friday’s top three riders improved their times and all three breezed into Superpole.Heavy overnight rains washed the rubber off the track, which the riders said was in worse condition than on Friday, even though it’s warm and sunny in Brno.Checa’s lap of 1:59.322 mins. continues to set the pace with Czech rider Jakub Smrz (1:59.585) second on the Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing Ducati second and Yamaha’s Marco Melandri third at 1:59.653 mins.Aprilia Alitalia Racing’s Max Biaggi was the first rider to improve his time. By lowering his lap time by .3 sec. he moved up to fourth. Team Suzuki Alstare’s Michel Fabrizio slightly improved his time and landed in fifth.

Sixth fastest Eugene Laverty was slower than he’d been on Friday and finished the day in sixth, just in front of PATA Racing Team Aprilia’s Nori Haga. The Japanese rider was half a second faster on Saturday.Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes and BMW Motorrad’s Leon Haslam were one-hundredth apart, with Leon Camier a tenth slower in tenth place on the second Aprilia Alitalia Racing RSV4 Factory.Sykes made it into Superpole, but neither of his teammates, Joan Lascorz and Chris Vermeulen, did. Neither did either of the Castrol Hondas. Ruben Xaus was 17th and Alex Lowes, riding in place of the injured Jonathan Rea, was 21st of 22.Superbike Qualifying:1. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1:59.322

2. Jakub Smrz (Ducati) 1:59.585

3. Marco Melandri (Yamaha) 1;59.653

4. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1:59.668

5. Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki) 1:59.905

6. Eugene Laverty (Yamaha) 1:59.906

7. Nori Haga (Aprilia) 1:59.946

8. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 2:00.154

9. Leon Haslam (BMW) 2:00.164

10. Leon Camier (Aprilia) 2:00.440