Carlos Checa earned himself a provisional front row start for Sunday’s 10th round World Superbike championship races at Brno by setting the third fastest time in this afternoon’s opening qualifying session.
The Hannspree Ten Kate Honda rider lapped the 5.4km Czech circuit in a time of 2’00.205s, just two tenths off the time of provisional pole setter, Max Biaggi.
Checa’s team-mate, Jonathan Rea, was 13th fastest today as he rode his Honda CBR1000RR Superbike for the first time at the undulating Brno circuit – the scene of his maiden World Supersport championship win a year ago.
Carlos Checa Speaks… (P3, 2’00.205s)
Today we have been constantly on the pace near the front. We carried our setting from last week’s Imola test over here to Brno and started pretty much with that this morning. We changed a few things to fine tune the setting but, as a team, we have been quite clear about the direction we need to go in. As long as there is no rain tomorrow, I think we can keep moving forward. We need to work a little bit on finding some more front grip in the first sector but our minds are clear and we are in a good position.
Jonathan Rea Speaks…. (P13, 2’01.023s)
The bike is actually working quite well at the moment and we’ve just changed a couple of things after last week’s test at Imola – I’m just not sure what I’m looking for from the bike. But I was in a similar position last year with the Supersport team and we managed to sort things overnight. We need to do that again here, so we’ll sit down later to look at what needs improving. I can’t see the front guys going that much quicker, so it’ll be down to me getting a bit closer to the limit, which we’re not near yet.
Ronald ten Kate Speaks… (Team Manager)
We seem to be quite close to the bull’s-eye with Carlos today. We are not that far off, even though, of course, there is still some work to do. We’re a little puzzled by Johnny’s struggles – he seems to be having problems getting into a good rhythm with the track Hopefully a good night’s sleep will sort it as it’s a little like the position he was in last year in Supersport. I think the Friday sessions then could best be described as a waste of fuel! But he made a big step forward on Saturday to win his first World Supersport race on the Sunday. Hopefully, this is just the way he does things at Brno.
2009 World Superbike championship, round ten – Brno, Czech Republic
Friday qualifying, results:
1 Max Biaggi (ITA) Aprilia 1’59.982s
2 Michel Fabrizio (ITA) Ducati 2’00.066s
3 Carlos Checa (ESP) Hannspree Ten Kate Honda 2’00.205s
4 Ben Spies (USA) Yamaha 2’00.558s
5 Lorenzo Lanzi (ITA) Ducati 2’00.581s
6 Troy Corser (AUS) BMW 2’00.603s
13 Jonathan Rea (GBR) Hannspree Ten Kate Honda 2’01.023s