Italian Michel Fabrizio’s hot streak has continued in the season-opening round of the Superbike World Championship at Phillip Island, with the Aprilia rider setting the fastest time in today’s opening qualifying session.
Fabrizio, who set the pace in opening practice, again didn’t put a foot wrong as he stopped the clock at 1m31.317s, enough to edge out Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty (1:31.392) and BMW’s world No. 3 Marco Melandri (1:31.539).
But it was a tight affair all round, and only 0.567s separated Fabrizio from Honda’s Jonathan Rea (1:31.884) in 10th position. In between, all the other big guns were well positioned, including Aprilia’s Leon Camier, BMW’s Chaz Davies, Honda’s Leon Haslam and Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes.
Carlos Checa (Ducati), the recent Phillip Island master, could only manage the 12th fastest time after a big crash in this morning’s practice. Immediately in front of Checa was Australian wildcard Jamie Stauffer (Honda), the Kurri Kurri (NSW) rider dipping into the 1:31 bracket for the first time ever at Phillip Island with a brilliant late burst of speed.
Australia’s second wildcard, Wilton’s (NSW) Glenn Allerton (BMW), was 14th as he continues to fine-tune his setup for Sunday’s two 22-lap WSBK races.
Further qualifying and practice sessions will be held tomorrow at 9:45am and 12:30pm respectively, before the final run for grid positions in Superpole, which begins at 3:00pm.
TIMES: Qualifying 1
|1||Michel Fabrizio||Red Devils Roma) Aprilia||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||1:31.317|
|2||Eugene Laverty||Aprilia Racing Team||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||1:31.392|
|3||Marco Melandri||BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK||BMW S1000 RR||1:31.539|
|4||Leon Camier||Fixi Crescent Suzuki||Suzuki GSX-R1000||1:31.608|
|5||Chaz Davies||BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK||BMW S1000 RR||1:31.638|
|6||Leon Haslam||Pata Honda World Superbike||Honda CBR BR1000RR||1:31.687|
|7||Tom Sykes||Kawasaki Racing Team||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1:31.754|
|8||Davide Giugliano||Althea Racing||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||1:31.793|
|9||Sylvain Guintoli||Aprilia Racing Team||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||1:31.863|
|10||Jonathan Rea||Pata Honda World Superbike||Honda CBR1000RR||1:31.884|
|11||Jamie Stauffer||Team Honda Racing||Honda CBR1000RR||1:31.984|
|12||Carlos Checa||Team Ducati Alstare||Ducati Panigale 1199||1:32.063|
|13||Max Neukirchner||MR-Racing||Ducati Panigale1199||1:32.243|
|14||Glen Allerton||Next Gen Motorsports||BMW S1000 RR||1:32.352|
|15||Loris Baz||Kawasaki Racing Team||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1:32.497|
|16||Ayrton Badovini||Team Ducati Alstare)||Ducati Panigale 1199||1:32.540|
|17||Ivan Clementi||HTM Racing||BMW S1000 RR||1:32.757|
|18||Jules Cluzel||Fixi Crescent Suzuki||Suzuki GSX-R1000||1:32.801|
|19||Federico Sandi||Team Pedercini||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1:32.898|
|20||Vittorio Iannuzzo||Grillini Dentalmatic SBK||BMW S1000 RR||1:33.082|
|21||Alexander Lundh||Team Pedercini||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1:33.305|