Biaggi (Aprilia) takes the top slot in opening qualifying session at Valencia.
Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing) was the man on form in Friday’s first qualifying session at the Valencia circuit in Spain. The Italian, who was always amongst the pacesetters, set the quickest time of the day ten minutes before the end of the session with a time of 1 minute 34.775 seconds. Right behind Biaggi were the two race winners in the opening rounds of this year’s championship, Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike) and Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox). Both men were the only riders to dip under the 1’35" mark, and were separated by one-thousandth of a second. The provisional front row was completed by Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox), who was up amongst the front-runners once again.
Britain’s Tom Sykes (Yamaha World Superbike), who had a crash on his R1, was next up ahead of Jakub Smrz (Ducati Guandalini) and the Suzuki Alstare duo of Max Neukirchner and Yukio Kagayama, just half a second off the polesitter’s pace.
The provisional third row of the grid saw Jonathan Rea of the Ten Kate Honda team precede his team-mate Ryuichi Kiyonari, while Carlos Checa was unable to go any higher than 15th. The first of the BMWs was the S1000RR of Troy Corser, 13th overall, while Broc Parkes went well for Kawasaki in 16th. In his first Superbike qualifying session John Hopkins recorded 18th quickest time on the Stiggy Racing Honda, an encouraging performance and just over 1 second off the pace.
Times: 1. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’34.775; 2. Spies B. (USA) Yamaha YZF R1 1’34.907; 3. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 1’34.908; 4. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’35.243; 5. Sykes T. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 1’35.270; 6. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 1’35.278; 7. Neukirchner M. (GER) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’35.285; 8. Kagayama Y. (JPN) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’35.316; 9. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1’35.328; 10. Kiyonari R. (JPN) Honda CBR1000RR 1’35.372; 11. Nakano S. (JPN) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’35.416; 12. Laconi R. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 1’35.489; 13. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 1’35.516; 14. Haslam L. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1’35.535; 15. Checa C. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 1’35.541; 16. Parkes B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’35.662
Supersport World Championship
The Supersport riders took advantage of a ‘grippy’ track after the previous sessions to set some quick times. Fastest of the day in free practice was set by Spain’s Joan Lascorz, now on a Kawasaki. The 2008 race winner stopped the clocks in a time of 1 minute 36.672 seconds, just a fraction slower than his own lap record from last year. Lascorz was well over half-a-second quicker than Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha World Supersport) in second place, one of the men on form at the moment. Kawasaki’s successful day was completed with third place for Katsuaki Fujiwara, who was over one second down on his team-mate. After dominating the first two rounds the Hondas were not on form on the opening day of action at Valencia, Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) the quickest in fourth place, while points leader Andrew Pitt was down in tenth and Qatar winner Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar) in 14th. Michele Pirro (Yamaha Lorenzini) was in seventh while Anthony West (Stiggy Racing Honda) completed row 2.
Times: 1. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’36.672; 2. Crutchlow C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R6 1’37.343; 3. Fujiwara K. (JPN) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’37.701; 4. Sofuoglu K. (TUR) Honda CBR600RR 1’37.834; 5. Foret F. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’37.864; 6. Lagrive M. (FRA) Honda CBR600RR 1’37.893; 7. Pirro M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’37.971; 8. West A. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 1’38.055
One of the title favourites, Claudio Corti, powered to the quickest time in today’s Superstock 1000 free practice session. The Italian, this year with Suzuki Alstare Brux, ended the day with a time of 1 minute 38.428 seconds, almost 2" off the pace of Roberts’s mark from last year. Riders from Eastern Europe made a big impact today, with Czech Republic’s Ondrej Jezek second and Hungarian Balazs Nemeth (both Honda MS Racing) third. Fourth place went to another top Superstock rider Xavier Simeon (Ducati Xerox Junior Team), who had a harmless crash. Davide Giugliano was also well up in fifth on the MV Agusta, while Maxime Berger (Ten Kate Honda) could only manage eleventh.
Times: 1. Corti C. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’38.428; 2. Jezek O. (CZE) Honda CBR1000RR 1’38.637; 3. Nemeth B. (HUN) Honda CBR1000RR 1’39.006; 4. Simeon X. (BEL) Ducati 1098R 1’39.046; 5. Giugliano D. (ITA) MV Agusta F4 312 R 1’39.312; 6. Barrier S. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R1 1’39.389; 7. Fores J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’39.474; 8. Burrell B. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1’39.511
Danilo Petrucci (Yamaha Italia Trasimeno) dominated the Superstock 600 session with quickest time in the opening free practice session. The Italian put a fair distance between himself and his rivals, except for Belgium’s Vincent Lonbois (MTM Yamaha), who was three-tenths away. A third Yamaha took the next slot, this time with Marco Bussolotti, while Eddi La Marra (Honda Lorini) making up the front row. One of the pretenders to the Superstock 600 crown, Britain’s Gino Rea could only manage ninth quickest time for a provisional third row slot.
Times: 1. Petrucci D. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’40.320; 2. Lonbois V. (BEL) Yamaha YZF R6 1’40.650; 3. Bussolotti M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’41.098; 4. La Marra E. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 1’41.430; 5. Guarnoni J. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’41.808; 6. Guittet B. (FRA) Honda CBR600RR 1’42.000; 7. Morelli N. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 1’42.186; 8. Chmielewski A. (POL) Yamaha YZF R6 1’42.240