File photo courtesy World Superbike

Nürburg, Germany, Aug. 30, 2013 -- Chaz Davies topped Friday’s World Superbike qualifying session at the Nurburgring in Germany. With about a minute-and-a-half to go the former AMA road racer from Wales, clocked a 1:55.034 on the factory BMW S1000RR to take over the top spot from Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes, who led nearly all of the session. Just 17-100ths of a second separate Davies and Sykes. It was an amazingly close session on the 3.2 mile, 16-turn Nurburgring with the top 11 riders all within a second.

Davies has a solid history at the famous German circuit. He scored his first World Superbike win last year at the Nurburgring in race two, overtaking Sykes and pulling away on his own. Two years ago Davies won the Supersport race ahead of James Ellison.

Sykes ended up second with a 1:55.051, but was clearly the most consistently fastest rider in Friday’s session, turning lap after lap in the 1:55s. Like Davies, Sykes scored his inaugural World Superbike win at this circuit back in 2011. He is looking to close the 13-point gap this weekend on series leader Sylvain Guintoli.

Michel Fabrizio showed good speed on his satellite Aprilia, turning the third fastest time of 1:55.142.

Next was Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier, who clocked a 1:55.342. Camier put Suzuki on the podium at the Nurburgring last year, an outstanding achievement considering that was the only Suzuki podium of the entire season.

Jonathan Rea is the only one among the current riders who won twice at the Nurburgring: he managed to do it in race two in 2009 and in race one in 2010. Rea was fifth fastest Friday on his Pata Honda.

Championship leader Sylvain Guintoli was sixth. Guintoli always finished in the top-10 in all six races he’s run here. For him, two key moments: a fourth in grid in 2010, his maiden career front-row start, and the second place in race two in 2011, at the time his best career result.

Loris Baz, Leon Haslam, Eugene Laverty and Marco Melandri rounded out the top 10 Friday.

Former Nurburgring winner and pole winner Carlos Checa did not record a time in Friday’s qualifying session. He crashed early in the session and did not make it back on the track.

Nurburgring - FIM Superbike World Championship - Qualifying 1
1. Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) BMW S1000 RR 1'55.034
2. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'55.051
3. Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'55.142
4. Leon Camier (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'55.342
5. Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) Honda CBR1000RR 1'55.434
6. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'55.609
7. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'55.648
8. Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike) Honda CBR1000RR 1'55.683
9. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'55.691
10. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) BMW S1000 RR 1'55.705
11. Jules Cluzel (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'55.990
12. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'56.157
13. Markus Reiterberger (Vanzon-Remeha-BMW) BMW S1000 RR 1'56.362
14. Ayrton Badovini (Team Ducati Alstare) Ducati 1199 Panigale 1'56.389
15. Max Neukirchner (MR-Racing) Ducati 1199 Panigale 1'56.552
16. Mark Aitchison (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'57.285
17. Matej Smrz (Yamaha Motor Deutschland) Yamaha YZF R1 1'57.310
18. Federico Sandi (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'57.939
19. Vittorio Iannuzzo (Grillini Dentalmatic SBK) BMW S1000 RR 1'58.837

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