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Monday, May 30, 2011

Checa claims pole at Miller

From the WSBK Pressoffice

Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) put in a 1 minute 58.315 second lap on a drying track to take his fourth Tissot Superpole win of the 2011 World Superbike Championship season and give himself the best possible starting slot for raceday on Monday.

“I really like this track, but the bike doesn’t so much," Checa explained. "We had some problems that we solved and I hope for tomorrow everything is going to be fine. We’ve been working quite well in the dry, and finally when it was getting dry I was able to get more grip and that’s the main reason I was able to fight for the pole. It’s a nice surprise.”

Only just behind was Jakub Smrz (Effenbert-Liberty Ducati), deposed by Checa with no time left to go faster.

“Carlos is good today so he deserves pole position," Smrz said. "I think we made a really good job today, the bike was better in the wet, there were no problems to be fast. Hopefully it will be the same in the dry and I hope to fight for the best possible position.”

Yamaha World Superbike team-mates Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty completed the front row, mastering the damp conditions well when it counted most. This is the first front row start for Melandri in WSBK racing and was particularly welcome after he struggled in some earlier sessions at a track he had never seen before first practice. Laverty has now earned three front row starts in the past three races.

The second row is headed by Sylvain Guintoli, Smrz’s team-mate, with the top official BMW rider on show Troy Corser, who went sixth. Late faller in Superpole 3, Max Biaggi, was seventh for Aprilia Alitalia and impressive BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike rider Ayrton Badovini was eighth.

Row three is reserved for riders who missed out on Superpole 3, with Aprilia Pata veteran Noriyuki Haga going ninth overall, just ahead of Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team Superbike), who went 10th as the track dried out slowly.

Aprilia Alitalia rider Leon Camier was lucky to get back into the fray after a fall early in Superpole 1, but he made it back to the pits to take his second bike into Superpole 2 and then qualify 11th overall.

Leon Haslam had a tough day again on his BMW Motorrad Motorsport S1000RR, toppling over in Superpole 2 and being unable to make it further up the order than 12th.

After a surprise exit from Superpole 1 Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda) was only 13th on the grid with his team-mate Ruben Xaus only one place behind.

Former double champion James Toseland (BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike) battled against his still injured right hand to go 18th on the grid, limiting his laps in the wet conditions after he missed out on the top 16 after final regulation qualifying.

Qualifying Times
1. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 1:58.315
2. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 1:58.390
3. Melandri M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF-R1 1:58.609
4. Laverty E. (IRL) Yamaha YZF-R1 1:58.860
5. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 1:59.069
6. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000RR 1:59.262
7. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1:59.736
8. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000RR 1:59.827
9. Haga N. (JPN) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 2:00.303
10. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10R 2:00.477
11. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 2:00.643
12. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000RR 2:01.127
13. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 2:03.232
14. Xaus R. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 2:03.382
15. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 2:03.397
16. Waters J. (AUS) Suzuki GSX-R1000 2:04.156
17. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:50.195
18. Toseland J. (GBR) BMW S1000RR 1:50.306
19. Aitchison M. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:50.646
20. Berger M. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 1:50.717
21. Rolfo R. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:51.586

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