It was a close battle for the provisional pole in the opening round of the World Superbike at Phillip Island.
Phillip Island (Australia), Friday 22 February 2013 – A close battled Qualifying 1 put an end to the first World Superbike day of 2013. The session was held under the clear skies of Phillip Island, with perfect temperatures and average winds blowing inland. Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma Aprilia), after being the fastest rider of Free Practice 1, topped once again the timesheets thanks to a 1’31.317 lap-time, ahead of works Aprilia rider Eugene Laverty.
Michel Fabrizio: “We are working very well. I’m not fully satisfied yet because we still need to find the perfect set up for the race distance. Hopefully we’ll get it sorted tomorrow, and we’ll be ready for Sunday. Conditions were a bit more difficult during the afternoon compared to the morning, due primarily to the wind that made changing direction harder. Last Monday I was hit by a seagull on my arm while I was on the straight and I am still feeling the pain. I can say though, that we’re on the right direction. We’re planning on doing some small adjustments for tomorrow and these will hopefully make us improve further.”
The session was characterized by very competitive and balanced performances on track, considering the top-13 riders within a second and the five brands in the first seven positions. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) showed good form by finishing third, followed by Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki), his team mate Chaz Davies, Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike) and 2012 runner-up Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team).
Carlos Checa (Ducati Team Alstare) was on track this afternoon despite the spectacular crash he had in Free Practice 1 at Turn 5. The Spaniard ended the session in 12th position - after completing only 7 laps – ahead of Max Neukirchner (MR-Racing Ducati).