Nitro Nori glows brightest at a scorching Brno After a period in the relative doldrums by his own incredibly high standards, Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) burst back onto top form in the first period of qualifying, setting the best time of the...
Nitro Nori glows brightest at a scorching Brno
After a period in the relative doldrums by his own incredibly high standards, Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) burst back onto top form in the first period of qualifying, setting the best time of the opening day with a 1'59.277. He was less than a second from the track best. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha Sterilgarda) was also into the 1'59s, second overall, with leader from the free session this morning, Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox), third. The Friday 'front row' was completed by privateer Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati).
For Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia) Brno is his favourite circuit, one he was fifth at today, ahead of another rider who was resurgent in qualifying, BMW Motorrad Motorsport's Ruben Xaus. Having crashed and broken his right leg here last year, this was Ruben's near perfect comeback ride at this 5.403km circuit. Local hero Jakub 'Kuba' Smrz (Pata B&G Aprilia) found himself on a new machine this weekend, and made good use of his vee-four Aprilia, seventh fastest in the first qualifying session, one place above the determined Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda).
A former winner at this race, James Toseland (Yamaha Sterilgarda) was ninth, privateer Luca Scassa (Supersonic Ducati) a fine tenth. Alstare Suzuki's talented duo of Sylvain Guintoli and Leon Haslam had a tough first day, with Sylvain 15th and Leon 17th. Top Kawasaki rider was Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) 18th. Troy Corser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) qualified 12th but fell near the end of the session, and suffered a bruised chest and suspected concussion, and his condition will be reviewed for tomorrow's race.
Illness had forced six-times Supersport World Championship race winner Katsuaki Fujiwara to miss the previous round at Misano, but his comeback started perfectly, posting the fastest day one time in qualifying. Second was Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda) while Fujiwara's team-mate Joan Lascorz was third fastest. The top four was completed by Hannspree Ten Kate Honda rider Michele Pirro. A good day for Kawasaki riders put Fabien Foret (Lorenzini by Leoni Kawasaki) fifth, the top Triumph rider was David Salom (ParkinGO BE1 Triumph) one place back. Kenan Sofuolgu was seventh.
Maxime Berger (Ten Kate Race Junior Honda) posted a 2'03.950 lap, less than a second from his own best lap set last year, to take the first day advantage in qualifying. The championship leading BMW of Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia) was second today, and another S1000RR was third, thanks to Sylvain Barrier (Garnier Racing BMW). Andrea Antonelli fired himself to fourth place on the first of two Lorini Hondas in the field, Lorenzo Baroni (Ducati Pata B&G) was the top Ducati rider, fifth.
British rider Josh Elliot (Direct CCTV Racedays Kawasaki) scored an early advantage with the fastest lap of the day at Brno, 2'07.537, keeping the late charge of Berardino Lombardi (Martini Corse Yamaha) at bay. The top three riders were packed tight, with Nacho Calero Perez (Oleac Racing Yamaha) third, by only a couple of tenths from Elliot. Florian Marino (Ten Kate Race Junior Honda) was fourth fastest, Fred Karlsen (MTM Racing) completing the top five.