Magny-Cours (France), Friday 30 September 2011 – A near record pace final lap from Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) and a very slightly slower mark from Eugene Laverty (Yamaha World Superbike Team) conspired to keep local favourite Sylvain Guintoli (Effenbert-Liberty Racing Ducati) off the provisional pole spot in France. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team Superbike) was once again on fine form as he joined the top four, with the second Effenbert-Liberty Racing Ducati of Jakub Smrz fifth fastest.
Imola race winner Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda) scored a top six, with the first official BMW home belonging to Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) who was seventh. Noriyuki Haga (Pata Aprilia) finished off the virtual second row in the opening qualifying session, making it six different types of machine in the top eight places.
Troy Corser, Haslam’s BMW team-mate, was ninth and second official Kawasaki rider Joan Lascorz tenth, in a first qualifying session so close that the top ten riders were covered by only 0.411 seconds. Another local rider, Maxime Berger (Supersonic Ducati) was 11th and only 0.544 from provisional pole, with privateer Kawasaki rider Mark Aitchison (Pedercini Team Kawasaki) delighted to be so close to the leaders in 12th, and only just over half a second from leader Checa.
Italian rider Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK) was 13th and therefore one place up on championship high-flyer, Marco Melandri (Yamaha World Superbike Team) today.
Lone Suzuki man Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki Alstare) was 15th, but Ruben Xaus (Castrol Honda) did not ride this afternoon as he had tweaked his neck after a fast crash in the morning session.
Times: 1. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 1’38.652; 2. Laverty E. (IRL) Yamaha YZF R1 1’38.664; 3. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 1’38.741; 4. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’38.860; 5. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 1’38.942; 6. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1’38.957; 7. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 1’38.977; 8. Haga N. (JPN) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’39.019; 9. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 1’39.025; 10. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’39.063; 11. Berger M. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 1’39.196; 12. Aitchison M. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’39.220; 13. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1’39.309; 14. Melandri M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R1 1’39.333; 15. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’39.504; 16. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’39.587; etc.
Three Kawasakis took the top three slots at the end of the first WSS qualifying session, with the best time of 1 minute 41.498 seconds going to Massimo Roccoli (Lorenzini by Leoni). The Italian was a full half-second clear of the factory machines of Broc Parkes and David Salom (Motocard.com). Fourth place went to Luca Scassa (Yamaha ParkinGO) followed by Fabien Foret (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda).
Championship leader Chaz Davies (Yamaha ParkinGO) is currently lying eighth behind two more Hondas of Sam Lowes (Parkalgar) and young Frenchman Florian Marino (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda).
Times: 1. Roccoli M. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’41.498; 2. Parkes B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’42.060; 3. Salom D. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’42.148; 4. Scassa L. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’42.247; 5. Foret F. (FRA) Honda CBR600RR 1’42.384; 6. Lowes S. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 1’42.519; 7. Marino F. (FRA) Honda CBR600RR 1’42.644; 8. Davies C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R6 1’42.662; etc.
The first round of the never-ending duel between Ducati and BMW at the Magny-Cours circuit was resolved in favour of the Italian manufacturer, which placed four bikes in the top four positions of qualifying. Top slot went to title favourite Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) who was four-tenths of a second quicker than Danilo Petrucci (Barni Racing Team). Third quickest was Lorenzo Baroni (Althea Racing) followed by Niccolò Canepa (Lazio MotorSport).
The best BMW man was Lorenzo Zanetti (BMW Motorrad Italia STK) in fifth, ahead of a second S 1000 RR machine of Fabio Massei (Piellemoto), while Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia STK) had a spectacular crash from which he fortunately emerged unharmed.
Times: 1. Giugliano D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’41.372; 2. Petrucci D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’41.758; 3. Baroni L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’42.071; 4. Canepa N. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’42.693; 5. Zanetti L. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR; 1’42.989; 6. Massei F. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1’43.063; 7. Reiterberger M. (GER) BMW S1000 RR 1’43.249; 8. Antonelli A. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR 1’43.255; etc.
Italian Dino Lombardi (Martini Corse Yamaha) re-emerged as a contender in Superstock 600 qualifying as he powered to the top in a time of 1 minute 45.630 seconds. Behind can be found the young American Joshua Day (Revolution Racedays Kawasaki) and Belgium’s Gauthier Duwelz (MTM-RT Motorsports Yamaha).
Points leader Jed Metcher (MTM-RT Motorsports Yamaha) is currently down in tenth, one place ahead of Romain Lanusse (MRS Yamaha Racing France), with another of this year’s winners Michael van der Mark (Ten Kate Junior Honda) in fourth.
Times: 1. Lombardi D. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’45.630; 2. Day J. (USA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’45.692; 3. Duwelz G. (BEL) Yamaha YZF R6 1’46.036; 4. Vd Mark M. (NED) Honda CBR600RR 1’46.117; 5. Marchal M. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’46.142; 6. Schacht A. (DEN) Honda CBR600RR 1’46.177; 7. Krajci T. (SVK) Yamaha YZF R6 1’46.333; 8. Cecchini R. (ITA) Triumph Daytona 675; etc.