Checa notches up his first Superpole at Miller Motorsports Park
Carlos Checa (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) notched up the first Superpole of his short Superbike World Championship career at the Miller Motorsports Park in Utah. The 35 year-old Spanish rider, in just his sixth race, powered his Honda CBR1000RR to a new outright record time of 1 minute 48.193 seconds around the spectacular 4.907 kilometre circuit. Just three tenths behind was recent Monza round winner, the German Max Neukirchner on his Suzuki Alstare GSX-R1000. The front row of the grid was completed by the Ducati Xerox factory pairing of Troy Bayliss and Michel Fabrizio on their 1098 F08 machines.
Carlos Checa: "We worked well today, I had an incident this morning so there is always something to improve and something to fix. But finally I was so concentrated in the lap I did, I tried to be as clean and effective as possible. I know that I was able to be in the 48s but I didn't expect 48 low and when I saw that time it was a great surprise and a great satisfaction to be on the pole for the first time. Now the start tomorrow is the next step we need to improve! I will try to do a good race tomorrow, for sure we have some chance of winning because we have shown our potential in the last few races, and especially here. The bike is now working well and I'm also confident with the tyres, so you never know."
Max Neukirchner: "I'm really happy about the position and I think I did a great lap. I had some problems yesterday with the chassis and in particular I was losing a lot of time in the final split, but we found a good way to improve and we were much quicker than yesterday. I think we found a good race set-up and I hope I'm tomorrow I'm in front. Here on this track it's going to be really hard, the times are very close and I'm sure it'll be a big fight."
Troy Bayliss: "It was the best time I've done here at the Miller Motorsports track so far and I thought maybe my time would be good enough but I was actually half a second off in the end. It's always a good challenge coming to a new track and it will undoubtedly make for great racing. Everyone was riding well this afternoon in Superpole and Carlos (Checa) rode an incredible lap. Having said that, our weekend is progressing positively too, the bike is working well, the track is great and so things are looking good for tomorrow's races.
Michel Fabrizio: "I am very happy as to start from the first row for the second time this season is a great feeling. We will see tomorrow, I will have to fight for positions at the front against several very strong riders but this at least means that we'll be seeing some great racing. We've made some good progress between the sessions of yesterday and today and so I'm pretty confident for tomorrow. With regard to strategy for the races, I prefer to simply say 'no comment'!"
Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB) had been quickest after the two qualifying sessions but was unable to repeat his performance in the one-lap Superpole session and just missed out on the front row of the grid by a fraction. Lining up alongside the Australian will be Spain's Ruben Xaus (Sterilgarda Go Eleven Ducati), Regis Laconi (Kawasaki PSG-1 Corse) from France and Japan's Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki Alstare).
The third row of the grid for the two races is headed by Max Biaggi (Sterilgarda Go Eleven Ducati), who put in a good performance despite still recovering from his recent injury. The Italian finished a couple of tenths of a second ahead of a courageous Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB), who took part in Superpole with a broken right collarbone following a crash in the morning's qualifying session.