Photography By: Gold & Goose
Ducati Alstare’s Carlos Checa put the Ducati Panigale 1199R on the pole position in its World Superbike Championship debut with a new fast lap of Phillip Island at the very end of Superpole 3.
To that point it was Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes and BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK’s Marco Melandri who were tied at the top with identical times of 1:30.615 mins., though the pair only completed only two laps. Then came a flurry of action at the end with Checa taking advantage of the recently repaved surface to shoot to the top with a lap time (1:30.234 mins.) that bettered his previous best lap of 1:30.882 mins. from 2011.
Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty jumped to second in front of Red Devils Roma’s Michel Fabrizio (Aprilia), the Italian who’d been fastest in second qualifying. That put Checa, Laverty and Fabrizio on the front row in the new three rider per row starting grid.
Sykes and Melandri watched from the pits as the other shuffled them down the order. They finished fourth and fifth, respectively, with Aprilia’s Sylvain Guintoli sixth, the trio filling row two. The top six were covered by .449 sec.
The final three riders in Superpole 3 were Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) and Pata Honda World Superbike teammates Leon Haslam and Johnny Rea.
Phillip Island World Superbike Superpole Results:
1. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1:30.234
2. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) 1:30.249
3. Michel Fabrizio (Aprilia) 1:30.581
4. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1:30.615
5. Marco Melandri (BMW) 1:30.615
6. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) 1:30.683
7. Leon Camier (Suzuki) 1:30.991
8. Leon Haslam (Honda) 1:30.998
9. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1:31.742