Althea Racing Ducati's Carlos Checa took the first-ever Superpole in Russia convincingly ahead of Sunday's historic World Superbike races at Moscow Raceway.
Checa lapped the circuit in 1:35.222 mins. to easily beat Kawasaki's Superpole maven Tom Sykes for the ninth Superpole of his career at the 11th round of the World Superbike Championship. Checa's lap was .356 of a second faster than Sykes' best.
Aprilia's Eugene Laverty was third fastest, and only .013 of a second slower, after bouncing back from the mechanical woes that hampered him yesterday. BMW's Leon Haslam nearly a full second slower than Checa in fourth.
Marco Melandri, Haslam's teammate, was marginally slower than Haslam and not much faster than sixth fastest Johnny Rea of the Honda World Superbike team.
The rest of the second row is Aprilia's Max Biaggi and Davide Giugliano on the second Althea Racing Ducati.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki's John Hopkins nearly made it into Superpole 3, but ended up finishing 11th and failing to advance. It was the Californian's best qualifying effort of the season on the team's GSX-R1000.
1. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1:34.193
2. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1:34.549
3. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) 1:34.562
4. Leon Haslam (BMW) 1:35.170
5. Marco Melandri (BMW) 1:35.224
6. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1:35.237
7. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1:35.253
8. Davide Giugliano (Ducati) 1:35.924
9. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) 1:35.224
10. Nicolo Canepa (Ducati) 1:35.255
11. John Hopkins (Suzuki) 1:35.678