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Checa holds off local man Smrz on first day at Brno

Brno (Czech Republic), Friday 8 July 2011 – Two Ducatis led the way in this afternoon’s first qualifying session for the Czech Republic Round at Brno, the quickest being the Althea Racing machine of points leader Carlos Checa. The Spaniard’s time of 1 minute 59.322 seconds was a couple of tenths quicker than the one recorded by the next man, home favourite Jakub Smrz on the all-Czech Effenbert-Liberty Racing 1098R.

Another manufacturer pairing, this time from the Yamaha World Superbike Team, made up the provisional front row of the grid, Italian Marco Melandri just a fraction ahead of his team-mate Eugene Laverty. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team) was next up in fifth place, the Italian as always opting to dedicate Friday to obtaining the best set-up for his bike. More is expected of Biaggi at his all-time favourite circuit for tomorrow and Sunday.

Tom Sykes had a good run near the end of qualifying to post sixth place on his Kawasaki Racing Team Superbike machine, with Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) right behind. Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki Alstare) completed the overnight second row, while the top 10 was completed by Sylvain Guintoli (Effenbert-Liberty Ducati) and Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team). Leon Camier (Aprilia Alitalia) was 11th, just over a second from Checa, with Ducati privateer Maxime Berger (Supersonic Ducati) 12th.

After participating in the morning’s free practice session, Badovini’s regular team-mate James Toseland preferred to sit things out for the rest of the weekend due to his still recovering wrist, and his place was again taken by Lorenzo Lanzi. Lorenzo went 14th in his first session on the machine, just one place behind Noriyuki Haga (Pata Aprilia). Mark Aitchison had a good first day on his Pedercini Kawasaki, as he was the last rider in the top 15, from a field of 22.

Falls in the unofficial opening session from Kawasaki Racing Team riders Joan Lascorz and Chris Vermeulen held back their efforts in first qualifying, with Lascorz 19th and Vermeulen 20th. Alex Lowes, riding as a replacement for the injured Jonathan Rea in the Castrol Honda team, was 21st today, his first day in the WSBK class.

Times: 1. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R; 1’59.322; 2. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 1’59.585; 3. Melandri M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R1 1’59.653; 4.Laverty E. (IRL) Yamaha YZF R1 1’59.906; 5. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’59.940; 6. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10R 2’00.154; 7. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 2’00.164; 8. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 2’00.196; 9. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 2’00.310; 10. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 2’00.348; 11. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 2’00.440; 12. Berger M. (FRA); Ducati 1098R 2’00.463; 13. Haga N. (JPN) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 2’00.494; 14. Lanzi L. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 2’00.580; 15. Aitchison M. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX-10R 2’00.604; 16. Xaus R. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 2’00.681; etc.

World Supersport

Aussie Broc Parkes (Kawasaki Motocard.com) set the quickest time of 2 minutes 03.611 seconds in Supersport qualifying this afternoon at Brno, confirming the positive trend for the Spanish-run team. Second place behind Parkes went to Britain’s Gino Rea after a great performance on his Step Racing Honda CBR600RR, with another Honda, that of Fabien Foret (Hannspree Ten Kate) was in third.

Spain’s David Salom (Kawasaki Motocard.com), quickest in the morning’s free practice, had to settle for fourth place in the afternoon run. Sam Lowes (Parkalgar Honda) was next up ahead of one of the early pacesetters Massimo Roccoli (Lorenzini by Leoni Kawasaki) in sixth, Robbin Harms (Harms Benjan Racing Team) in seventh and Roberto Tamburini (Bike Service R.T. Yamaha) in eighth. Some problems were encountered by the two ParkinGO Yamaha riders, Luca Scassa and Chaz Davies, who are currently languishing down in ninth and tenth places respectively.

Times: 1. Parkes B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX-6R 2’03.611; 2. Rea G. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 2’03.909; 3. Foret F. (FRA) Honda CBR600RR 2’03.941; 4. Salom D. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 2’04.013; 5. Lowes S. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 2’04.123; 6. Roccoli M. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 2’04.279; 7. Harms R. (DEN) Honda CBR600RR 2’04.639; 8. Tamburini R. (ITA); Yamaha YZF R6 2’05.047; etc.

Superstock 1000

Danilo Petrucci (Barni Racing Team Ducati) went four-tenths of a second quicker than the next man, Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia Superstock) to take the provisional pole in Superstock 1000. The Frenchman came very close to taking the mark from his Italian rival, who was the only one under 2 minutes 04 seconds, but he eventually had to settle for second place. There was just a whisker between him and the next man, the promising German Markus Reiterberger (Garnier Alpha Racing Team BMW) and the current FIM Cup points leader Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Ducati).

Lorenzo Zanetti put the second Italian BMW into sixth place, but then crashed out in the final stages. Niccolò Canepa (Lazio Motorsport Ducati) continued to re-familiarize himself with his new Ducati mount in ninth place, just ahead of South African Sheridan Morais (Lorenzini by Leoni Kawasaki) who completed the top 10.

Times: 1. Petrucci D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 2’03.625; 2. Barrier S. (FRA) BMW S1000 RR 2’04.079; 3. Reiterberger M. (GER) BMW S1000 RR 2’04.086; 4. Giugliano D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 2’04.091; 5. Baroni L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 2’04.355; 6. Zanetti L. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 2’04.702; 7.Antonelli A. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR 2’04.830; 8. Massei F. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 2’04.874; etc.

Superstock 600

The first European Superstock 600 Championship qualifying session at Brno concluded with an American rider in provisional pole position. Joshua Day (Revolution Racedays Kawasaki) went quickest with a time of 2 minutes 08.432 seconds, one-tenth ahead of Italian Christian Gamarino on another Kawasaki, this time from the Goeleven team. Third place went to Spain’s Nacho Calero Perez (Orelac Racing Yamaha), with Slovakian Tomas Krajci (TK Racing Slovakia Yamaha) fourth.

Points leader Romain Lanusse (MRS Yamaha Racing France) had another quiet first run down in eleventh place, but his closest championship rival Jed Metcher (MTM-RT Motorsports Yamaha) was much better placed in fifth.

Times: 1. Day J. (USA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 2’08.432; 2. Gamarino C. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 2’08.553; 3. Calero Perez N. (ESP) Yamaha YZF R6 2’08.578; 4. Krajci T. (SVK) Yamaha YZF R6 2’08.768; 5. Metcher J. (AUS) Yamaha YZF R6 2’08.874; 6. Lombardi D. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 2’09.052; 7. Egea S. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R6 2’09.150; 8. Duwelz G. (BEL) Yamaha YZF R6 2’09.153; etc.