Photography By: Gold & Goose
Carlos Checa continued to show that taking his championship away from him will be a tough row to hoe after again keeping the others behind him in the first day of official World Superbike testing at Phillip Island in Australia.
After besting last week's private tests, Checa and his Althea Ducati were again the best of the best on day one, the Spaniard lapping at a best of 1:31.947 to best Aprilia's Max Biaggi by .185 of a second with Checa the only rider to crack into the 1:31s. He did so in the morning session and failed to go quicker in the afternoon.
Biaggi's 1:32.132 kept his countryman Marco Melandri behind him with the BMW rider ending up third with a 1:32.232 - another tenth of a second behind Biaggi.
Honda's Jonathan Rea was fourth fastest at 1:32.379 with Leon Haslam fifth. Haslam, however, didn't finish the day, crashing out of the opening session in the final corner and suffering a broken lower leg.
Kawasaki's Tom Sykes put the ZX-10R sixth fastest, some three tenths faster than the Ducati of Sylvain Guintoli. Then it was two more Ducatis with Nico Canepa and Jakub Smrz ninth and 10th, respectively.
Sykes' Kawasaki teammate Joan Lascorz was 10th fastest.
World Supersport Champion Chaz Davies ended his first day of official World Superbike qualifying in 20th on his Aprilia.
Day One Times
1. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1:31.947
2. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1:32.132
3. Marco Melandri (BMW) 1:32.232
4. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1:32.379
5. Leon Haslam (BMW) 1:32.397
6. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1:32.465
7. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati) 1:32.768
8. Nico Canepa (Ducati) 1:32.836
9. Jakub Smrz (Ducati) 1:32.848
10. Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki) 1:32.848