Max Biaggi powered his Aprilia RSV4 to the top of the timesheets in today’s opening qualifying run at Miller Motorsports Park. The Italian made a late surge towards the end of the one-hour session to edge American Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike) off the top slot with a time of 1 minute 49.820 seconds. Spies was just one-tenth away from Biaggi’s time, and the two riders were the only ones to dip under the 1m50s mark around the 4.907 km long Utah circuit. Biaggi also looked pretty impressive in top speed as well, his Aprilia clocking almost 307 km/h on the long Miller straight.
Equally impressive was last year’s double race winner Carlos Checa (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) of Spain, who has been quick out of the box since the start of the day, and who led a total of 12 riders in one second, while Czech Republic rider Jakub Smrz on the Guandalini Ducati 1098 headed Italian Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) for fourth. American Jamie Hacking is standing in well for the injured Makoto Tamada in the Kawasaki World Superbike team, the American grabbing the sixth slot ahead of Britain’s Shane Byrne on the Sterilgarda Ducati 1098 machine.
Yukio Kagayama, quickest in free practice, crashed his Suzuki Alstare GSX-R in qualifying but still managed to notch up eighth place, while points leader Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) is currently languishing in eleventh place. Still with work to do for the moment are the BMWs of Troy Corser, who had previously gone second in free practice, and Ruben Xaus, in fourteenth and seventeenth place respectively.
World Superbike Times
1. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’49.820; 2. Spies B. (USA) Yamaha YZF R1 1’49.901; 3. Checa C. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 1’50.144; 4. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 1’50.282; 5. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’50.457; 6. Hacking J. (USA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’50.466; 7. Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 1’50.512; 8. Kagayama Y. (JPN) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’50.556; 9. Kiyonari R. (JPN) Honda CBR1000RR 1’50.701; 10. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1’50.740; 11. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 1’50.755; 12. Muggeridge K. (AUS) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’50.757; 13. Parkes B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’50.961; 14. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 1’51.002; 15. Lavilla G. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 1’51.046; 16. Zemke J. (USA) Honda CBR1000RR 1’51.072
World Supersport Summary
The FIM Supersport World Championship made its first appearance at Miller Motorsport and for this reason riders and teams had two free practice sessions instead of one so they could get to grips with the Utah circuit. Quickest time of the day went to Spain’s Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Provec) in 1 minute 53.350 seconds, a couple of tenths ahead of Ireland’s Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda) and Frenchman Fabien Foret (Yamaha World Supersport). Points leader Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha World Supersport) was quickest in the first session but could only manage sixth in FP2, just behind the Hannspree Ten Kate Honda champion pairing of Kenan Sofuoglu and Andrew Pitt. The afternoon session was brought to a halt just before the end due to a crash involving Portugal’s Miguel Praia (Parkalgar Honda), who was immediately taken to the medical centre for checks.
World Sportsport Times
1. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’53.350; 2. Laverty E. (IRL) Honda CBR600RR 1’53.549; 3. Foret F. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’53.573; 4. Sofuoglu K. (TUR) Honda CBR600RR 1’53.637; 5. Pitt A. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 1’53.844; 6. Crutchlow C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R6 1’53.956; 7. Aitchison M. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 1’54.333; 8. McCoy G. (AUS) Triumph Daytona 675 1’54.339