Smrz Steals Miller Pole

Henny Ray Abrams | May 27, 2012

TOOELE, UTAH, MAY 27 – Team Liberty – Effenbert Racing’s Jakub Smrz took his first pole of a Superpole season that’s been dominated by Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes with a fast final lap at Miller Motorsports Park.

Srmz had been down in fourth place in Superpole 3 when rain began to fall in the second sector with only a few minutes remaining. Most everyone immediately slowed down or pitted, including the Czech rider. But he went out for his final lap with just enough time to get started before the ten-minute session ran out.

As the only rider on the track, Smrz was racing only the clock, and when he crossed the line after time had expired he’d beaten it.

He improved on his previous best lap by .760 sec. in clocking a 1:47.626. The lap dropped Althea Racing Ducati’s Carlos Checa to second and denied him his first pole of the year.

Sykes came to Miller having taken four of five poles-Sylvain Guintoli took the other one-but could only muster the third best time today.

Davide Giugliano, Checa’s teammate, finished with the fourth fastest time.

Behind the Italian came Honda’s Jonathan Rea, Guintoli (Team Effenbert – Liberty Racing Ducati), and Aprilia’s Max Biaggi. Eugene Laverty, Biaggi’s teammate, had a mechanical issue on his out lap and didn’t record a time.

Neither of the BMWs made Superpole. Leon Haslam was knocked out in Superpole 1 and Marco Melandri in Superpole 2.

FIXI Crescent Suzuki’s John Hopkins qualified for Superpole, in his first race since breaking his foot in Monza, but failed to advance from Superpole 1.

World Superbike Superpole Results:

1. Jakub Smrz (Ducati) 1:47.626

2. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1:47.810

3. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1:48.062

4. Davide Giugliano (Ducati) 1:48.220

5. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1:48.653

6. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati) 1:48.568

7. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 2:48.794

8. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) DNS

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.