Utah: Series Friday notes

Bayliss quickest in first qualifying session at Miller Motorsports Park Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) set the quickest time in the first-ever World Superbike qualifying session at the Miller Motorsports Park circuit near Salt Lake City. The ...

Bayliss quickest in first qualifying session at Miller Motorsports Park

Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) set the quickest time in the first-ever World Superbike qualifying session at the Miller Motorsports Park circuit near Salt Lake City. The Australian clocked a time of 1 minute 49.394 seconds in the one-hour qualifying session, which as a result becomes the new circuit lap record.

"I'm very happy with how we've gone seeing as it's our first time here" declared Bayliss. "I like the track a lot, it reminds me a little of Qatar and the surface is similar to that of Misano, with a few little bumps and things here and there. The times are already fast, and we hope to go even faster tomorrow. We've already made good progress and we pretty much know already what we're going to use in the race tyre-wise. The weather is supposed to get hotter and it's a very physical track so that will definitely make for some great racing!"

Second place on the provisional front row, just two-tenths of a second slower, went to another Australian, Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB), who also quickly got dialed in to the US track. Corser was closely followed by Spain's Carlos Checa (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda), who headed the timesheets for much of the session, and the increasingly impressive Jakub Smrz (Guandalini Ducati) from the Czech Republic.

The only two other riders who dipped under the 1'50" mark were Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox), and Fonsi Nieto (Suzuki Alstare) from Spain. Italian youngster Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini) also put in a good performance on last year's Kawasaki machine to finish ninth, a fraction ahead of Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB), while Alto Evolution Honda Superbike Shuhei Aoyama recorded one of his best performances so far this year with eleventh quickest time.

Both Max Neukirchner (Alstare Suzuki) and Max Biaggi (Sterilgarda Go Eleven Ducati) had a difficult start to their Miller Motorsports Park weekend, rounding off the top 16 provisional Superpole qualifiers. Alstare Suzuki's German rider was fifteenth, with Biaggi a tenth of a second and one place behind in sixteenth after an off-track excursion.

It is worth mentioning that the top speed on the over 1 kilometre straight, the longest on the WSBK calendar, was recorded by Nieto (Suzuki) in 305.8 km/h and that no crashes were recorded throughout the session.

Environmental Issues at the Top of the Agenda

The FIM has taken the step of promoting environmental concerns to the very top of its priority list and to underline the message it has instigated a World Environmental Day, Friday May 30th, which will kick off at the first ever Miller Motorsports Park WSB round. Late in the afternoon three World Superbike riders, Carlos Checa, Max Neukirchner and Troy Bayliss got things underway by planting three ash trees at Miller, as a symbol of the birth of this new initiative, and optimism for the future.

-credit: worldsbk.com

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Series World Superbike
Drivers Max Biaggi , Carlos Checa , Troy Bayliss , Noriyuki Haga , Fonsi Nieto , Troy Corser , Michel Fabrizio , Jakub Smrz , Max Neukirchner , Shuhei Aoyama , Ayrton Badovini