Checa Takes German Pole

Cycle News Staff | September 3, 2011

Althea Ducati’s runaway World Championship points leader Carlos Checa did little to give the others hope today as the Spaniard sped to his fifth pole position of the season in Superpole at the Nurburgring, further proving he’s still in charge headed into tomorrow’s two World Superbike races in Germany.Checa, who led the regular qualifying session with a best lap of 1:55.030 earlier today, bettered that immediately in Superpole 1 with a 1:54.641. Checa continued to dominate the session, leading Superpole 2 with a slightly slower 1:54.709 and then finishing it up with a record-setting 1:54.144 when it mattered most – in Superpole 3.

When all was said and done he had .368 of a second in hand over Eugene Laverty, the factory Yamaha rider ending up second in all three Superpole sessions.Third fastest in Superpole 3 went to Aprilia’s Max Biaggi, the Italian fourth and fifth in the first two sessions, but improving to third at the end. Biaggi, who suffered a possible broken foot yesterday when it was struck by debris, ended up .599 of a second off his rival Checa’s best, but will start both races from the front row tomorrow.Laverty’s teammate Marco Melandri will complete the front row, the Italian having been in the top four for all three Superpole sessions.Row two will be led by the resurgent Noriyuki Haga, the Aprilia-mounted veteran improving from ninth in Superpole 1 to fourth in Superpole 2 before dropping a spot at the end of Superpole 3. Haga’s best was .969 of a second slower than Checa’s.Haga will be joined on row two by the factory Kawasaki of Tom Sykes, Leon Haslam in BMW’s home race and the Ducati of Sylvain Guintoli.Castrol Honda’s Jonathan Rea and Ducati-mounted Jakub Smrz were dropped at the end of Superpole 2 and qualified ninth and 10th, respectively.Superbike Qualifying

1.                  Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1:54.144

2.                  Eugene Laverty (Yamaha) 1:54.512

3.                  Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1:54.743

4.                  Marco Melandri (Yamaha) 1:54.818

5.                  Noriyuki Haga (Aprilia) 1:55.113

6.                  Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1:55.223

7.                  Leon Haslam (BMW) 1:55.237

8.                  Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati) 1:55.249

9.                  Jonathan Rea (Honda)

10.                  Jakub Smrz (Ducati)