The number 1 plate, worn by World SBK Champion Max Biaggi on his trusted Aprilia RSV4, was among the top Superbike riders on the Australian track at Phillip Island in Superpole.
In the first two races for the 2011 WSBK season the Corsair will start from the second spot on the grid after ending just 13 thousandths of a second behind Carlos Checa’s fastest time.
The Superpole clock saw Max Biaggi come through the first two sessions easily, with determination and without any uncertainty.
In the third session, after ten tense minutes, the clock stopped for Max at 1’30.895, second best lap behind Carlos Checa (Ducati) and in front of Guintoli (Ducati) and Haslam (BMW)
Max Biaggi (2011 Aprilia RSVR Factory) says: "Wow! Thirteen thousandths are nothing, comments the smiling Roman. "It means that even on this track which has never favoured us we have improved a lot compared to the last two years, coming close to the best.
"I am truly happy with this result which is to the merit of the team’s hard work coming here and testing during the off season. Those tests allowed us to better understand our problems, so we worked hard on the details, small adjustments which can make the difference. The engineers were very good.
"We are not the fastest, but one thing for sure is that for the races we’re competitive. Tomorrow the weather conditions will be important, the temperature and the tyres we choose as a consequence. Then, as always, we’ll be ready to give it our all."
It was almost an all Italian Superbike front row…
1. Carlos Checa, Italian, (Althea Racing) Ducati 1198 R 1’30.882
2. Max Biaggi, Italian, (Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’30.895
3. Sylvain Guintoli, Italian, (Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing) Ducati 1198 R 1’31.293
4. Leon Haslam, UK, (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 1’31.429