Fabrizio flies to provisional pole time The intensity of competition in World Superbike Racing in 2010 was continued in the first qualifying session today, with all seven participating manufacturers represented in the top 11 places, all ...
Fabrizio flies to provisional pole time
The intensity of competition in World Superbike Racing in 2010 was continued in the first qualifying session today, with all seven participating manufacturers represented in the top 11 places, all within 0.859 seconds of each other.
Michel Fabrizio led the charge on the opening day at a warm and welcoming Kyalami, pushing his Ducati Xerox factory machine to the best time of 1'38.477 around the 4.246km circuit near Johannesburg. On race tyres he is already under his own lap record pace from the 2009 season at this round, with one more day of practice and Superpole to go before Sunday's two races.
A spread of machines ranged out behind Fabrizio, with the Yamaha Sterilgarda R1 of Cal Crutchlow second, Jonathan Rea's Hannspree Ten Kate Honda third and Troy Corser's BMW Motorrad Motorsport fourth fastest. Points leader Leon Haslam (Suzuki Alstare) was fifth, with privateer Althea Ducati rider Carlos Checa sixth. All the top six set lap times under the 1'39 mark. Seventh was the Pata B&G Ducati of Jakub Smrz, with the top eight rounded out by recent Monza race winner, Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia). Privateers Shane Byrne (Althea Ducati) and Luca Scassa (Supersonic Ducati) were the final riders into the top ten places on the opening day.
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) was 11th fastest, top Kawasaki rider in the 22-strong pack, one place ahead of Biaggi's team-mate Leon Camier. Some legendary Superbike names had a tough first day, with Noriyuki Haga only 13th, Ruben Xaus 14th and James Toseland still hurt from his big Monza crash, 15th.
Local wild card rider Sheridan Morais (EmTek Aprilia) was a creditable 16th, only 1.3 seconds from pole at his local track, while the top 18 riders were covered by only 1.547 seconds.
Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda) secured the top spot in the opening qualifying session with a 1'41.363 lap, before a red flag came out to halt proceedings with almost four minutes left to run. He carried on in the lead after the session had been completed but Matthieu Lagrive (ParkinGO Triumph BE1) used the last minutes to improve to second, just in front of Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) and Kenan's team-mate Michele Pirro. Championship leader Joan Lascorz was fifth fastest on his Motocard.com Kawasaki. The best-placed local wildcard was Ronan Quarmby (Bike Fin Safe Sky Honda), eighth.