South Africa: Superbike First Qualifying

WSBK Report

The intensity of motorcycle racing competition in the FIM World Superbike Championship in 2010 was continued in the first qualifying session today, with all seven participating manufacturers represented in the top 11 places, all within 0.859 seconds of each other.

Michel Fabrizio led the charge on the opening day at a warm and welcoming Kyalami, pushing his Ducati Xerox factory machine to the best time of 1’38.477 around the 4.246km circuit near Johannesburg.

On race tyres he is already under his own lap record pace from the 2009 season at this round, with one more day of practice and Superpole to go before Sunday’s two races.

A spread of machines ranged out behind Fabrizio, with the Yamaha Sterilgarda R1 of Cal Crutchlow second, Jonathan Rea’s Hannspree Ten Kate Honda third and Troy Corser’s BMW Motorrad Motorsport fourth fastest.

Points leader Leon Haslam (Suzuki Alstare) was fifth, with privateer Althea Ducati rider Carlos Checa sixth. All the top six set lap times under the 1’39 mark.

Seventh was the Pata B&G Ducati of Jakub Smrz, with the top eight rounded out by recent Monza race winner, Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia).

Privateers Shane Byrne (Althea Ducati) and Luca Scassa (Supersonic Ducati) were the final riders into the top ten places on the opening day.

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) was 11th fastest, top Kawasaki rider in the 22-strong pack, one place ahead of Biaggi’s team-mate Leon Camier.

Some legendary Superbike names had a tough first day, with Noriyuki Haga only 13th, Ruben Xaus 14th and James Toseland still hurt from his big Monza crash, 15th.

Local wild card rider Sheridan Morais (EmTek Aprilia) was a creditable 16th, only 1.3 seconds from pole at his local track, while the top 18 riders were covered by only 1.547 seconds.

World Superbike Times:

1. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1198 1’38.477 (155,220 km/h)

2. Critchlow C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 1’38.529

3. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR 1000 RR 1’38.687

4. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S 1000 RR 1’38.896

5. Haslam L. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 1’38.951

6. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1198 1’38.954

7. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1198 1’39.027

8. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’39.094

9. Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1198 1’39.281

10. Scassa L. (ITA) Ducati 1198 1’39.288

11. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10 R 1’39.336

12. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 1000 Factory 1’39.336

13. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1198 1’39.630

14. Xaus R. (ESP) BMW S1000 RR 1’39.462

15. Toseland J. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 1’39.656

16. Morais S. (RSA) Aprilia RSV4 1000 Factory 1’39.798

17. Guintoli S. (FRA) Suzuki GSX R 1000 1’39.894

18. Neukirchner M. (GER) Honda CBR 1000 RR 1’40.024

19. Vermeulen C. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX 10 R 1’40.646

20. Hayden R. (USA) Kawaski ZX 10 R 1’41.054

21. Parkes B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX 10 R 1’41.216

22. Baiocco M. (ITA) Kawsaki ZX 10 R 1’42.172