Checa takes pole with fastest-ever Island lap
Carlos Checa has set the quickest lap ever recorded around Phillip Island on a Superbike to take pole position on his Ducati 1098R ahead of tomorrow’s opening round of the World Superbike Championship.
The Althea Racing rider set a blistering time of 1m30.882s, securing the first Superpole trophy of the 2011.
Checa, who won one of last year’s races at the Phillip Island circuit, was just a fraction ahead of Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia) who put in a quick lap towards the end but who was edged off the top slot by 0.013 seconds.
Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli gave the Effenbert/Liberty Racing team a great championship baptism with third place on the grid.
BMW Motorrad’s Leon Haslam produced a solid run on his S1000 RR machine to take fourth, holding off a last-minute attempt by Eugene Laverty (Yamaha World Superbike Team).
Jakub Smrz (Effenbert/Liberty Racing) was next up followed by Australian hero Troy Corser (BMW Motorrad), while Marco Melandri concluded his first Superpole with eighth place.
Australian wildcard entrant Josh Waters impressed on his Yoshimura Suzuki with 11th fastest times, with fellow Aussie wildcard Bryan Staring to start from 18th.
Another Australian, Kawasaki rider Mark Aitchison, will start his first full season in World Superbike competition from 22nd and last.
In the Australian Superbike Championship, Wayne Maxwell (Team Honda Racing) claimed the Superpole ahead of team-mate Jamie Stauffer and BMW’s Glenn Allerton (Procon Racing).