Michel Fabrizio’s magic moment continues as last Sunday’s Imola winner powered to the quickest time in the first Superbike qualifying session at Magny-Cours. The Ducati Xerox rider’s time of 1 minute 38.770 seconds was just three-tenths away from Haga’s best lap of 1’38.444. There was quite a scrap for second place, with Fabrizio managing to hold off Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) and the two main title contenders Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) and Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike), with all four separated by 0.169 seconds and the only riders able to lap under the 1’39"mark
Carlos Checa (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) was back amongst the top echelons with fifth place, ahead of Troy Corser (BMW), the Australian looking much more at ease than Imola on the French track, and Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki Alstare), who brought back some morale to the Alstare team. The surprise of the day was Fonsi Nieto (Ducati DFX), who set ninth quickest time, ahead of Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing), victim of a harmless crash. It was a positive debut on the Aprilia RSV4 for BSB champion Leon Camier, the British rider posting 17th quickest time just two-tenths away from Biaggi.
Times: 1. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’38.770; 2. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1’38.821; 3. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 1’38.877; 4. Spies B. (USA) Yamaha YZF R1 1’38.939; 5. Checa C. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 1’39.379; 6. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 1’39.435; 7. Kagayama Y. (JPN) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’39.497; 8. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 1’39.613; 9. Nieto F. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 1’39.772; 10. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’39.834; 11. Haslam L. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1’39.900; 12. Muggeridge K. (AUS) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’39.964; 13. Parkes B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’40.000; 14. Salom D. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’40.017; 15. Sykes T. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 1’40.048; 16. Kiyonari R. (JPN) Honda CBR1000RR 1’40.101
The Supersport free practice session saw a two-way battle between Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) and Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Motocard.com). The Turkish rider, who won at Imola last Sunday, eventually took the top slot with a time of 1 minute 41.885 seconds, holding off his rival by just 14 thousandths of a second. Lascorz also crashed out while trying to set the quickest time. The pace of the top two was far superior to the rest, with Fabien Foret (Yamaha World Supersport) in third place, but seven-tenths behind, while Andrew Pitt (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) in fifth was almost a whole second off the pace. Massimo Roccoli again went well on the Intermoto Czech Honda in fifth, while the two title rivals Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda) and Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha World Supersport), were seventh and ninth respectively in the timesheets, albeit separated by a fraction. After his Imola crash, Crutchlow did the same today in the hour-long session, fortunately without any consequences.
Times: 1. Sofuoglu K. (TUR) Honda CBR600RR 1’41.885; 2. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’41.903; 3. Foret F. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’42.604; 4. Pitt A. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 1’42.851; 5. Roccoli M. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 1’42.927; 6. Veneman B. (NED) Honda CBR600RR 1’42.931; 7. Laverty E. (IRL) Honda CBR600RR 1’43.022; 8. Fujiwara K. (JPN) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’43.032
Xavier Simeon (Ducati Xerox) continued on his way towards the 2009 title in today’s opening free practice session at Magny-Cours. The Belgian rider, who just needs five points to be crowned champion, immediately made his mark with the quickest time of 1 minute 42.621 seconds in the Friday hour. He was quicker than second-placed Ayrton Badovini (JIR Aprilia) by just 0.041 of a second, but the Italian, following his disqualification for a technical infringement at Imola, confirmed the Italian bike’s potential today in Superstock. Third quickest was Claudio Corti (Suzuki Alstare), two tenths off the pace of the leader and Simeon’s only rival in the title race. Corti has always gone well at Magny-Cours and this was confirmed in the session. Behind the top 3 can be found two French riders, Sylvain Barrier (Garnier Yamaha) and Maxime Berger (Ten Kate Honda).
Times: 1. Simeon X. (BEL) Ducati 1098R 1’42.621; 2. Badovini A. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’42.662; 3. Corti C. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’42.858; 4. Barrier S. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R1 1’43.084; 5. Berger M. (FRA) Honda CBR1000RR 1’43.250; 6. Fores J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’43.370; 7. Mähr R. (AUT) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’44.299; 8. Baroni L. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R1 1’44.409
Two Italians set the pace in today’s Superstock 600 free practice session. The quickest time of 1 minute 46.389 seconds went to Marco Bussolotti (Yamaha Trasimeno), who was three-tenths ahead of his team-mate Danilo Petrucci. The points leader, who crashed during the session, soon found his rhythm again to set his quickest time right at the final moment. Third place went to the young French rider Florian Marino (Race Junior Honda), ahead of his fellow-countryman Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Yamaha), while fifth quickest time went to Imola winner, Eddi La Marra (Honda Lorini). Championship challengers Britain’s Gino Rea (Ten Kate Honda) and Vincent Lonbois (MTM Yamaha), were in seventh and eighth place respectively.
Times: 1. Bussolotti M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’46.389; 2. Petrucci D. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’46.666; 3. Marino F. (FRA) Honda CBR600RR 1’46.871; 4. Guarnoni J. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’46.876; 5. La Marra E. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 1’46.923; 6. Guittet B. (FRA) Honda CBR600RR 1’47.012; 7. Rea G. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 1’47.217; 8. Lonbois V. (BEL) Yamaha YZF R6 1’47.393