Homeboy Carlos Checa got things started today at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia, Spain with the fastest lap during free practice on his Althea Ducati.The Spaniard clicked off a 1:35.154 roughly 20 minutes into the session and it was good enough to keep him at the top. But it wasn't for a lack of effort on the part of Xerox Ducati's Michel Fabrizio as the Italian ended up second late in the session as he tries to rebound from a miserable round in Portugal. Fabrizio was obviously giving it 100 percent as he crashed early in the session, but bounced back to get within a tenth of a second of Checa.Third went to Sterligarda Yamaha's James Toseland, the former World Superbike Champion ending up .3 of a second slower than Fabrizio.BMW's Troy Corser put the German bike into fourth, besting Max Biaggi and the factory Aprilia and championship leader Leon Haslam on the Alstare Suzuki.Hannspree Ten Kate Honda's Jonathan Rea was seventh with Fabrizio's teammate Noriyuki Haga eighth and Leon Camier ninth on the second Aprilia. Kawasaki's Tom Sykes rounded out the top 10 to put all six manufacturers in the top 10 in the opening session.Roger Lee Hayden ended up 21st on the Pedercini Kawasaki with his 1:37.169.

Friday Free Practice

1.                  Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1:35.154

2. Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) 1:35.288

3. James Toseland (Yamaha) 1:35.598

4. Troy Corser (BMW) 1:35.776

5. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1:35.794

6. Leon Haslam (Suzuki) 1:35.875

7. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1:35.881

8. Noriyuki Haga (Ducati) 1:36.066

9. Leon Camier (Aprilia) 1:36.070

10. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1:36.130

World Superbike Headlines

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.

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