Assen Superbike: Checa on Pole – Again

Assen Superbike Qualifying

Carlos Checa has already captured three out of four races so far in the 2011 World Superbike Championship, and for Sunday’s race in Assen the Spaniard will be starting from the best position to capture another: the pole.

After qualifying first on Saturday at the TT Circuit in Assen, the Althea Ducati 1198 rider has now taken every superpole event of the 2011 WSBK season to date (Phillip Island, Donington, Assen).

Checa struggled during the the qualifying sessions, but he continually progressed throughout the three Superpoles, eventually posting the fastest time of 1:35.292.

Three-tenths behind Checa was Effenbert – Liberty Ducati rider Jakub Smrz. Finishing the front row for Sunday’s World Superbike in Assen will be Eugene Laverty (Yamaha Superbike R1) and Noriyuki Haga (Pata Aprilia RSV4).

Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati) says: “The result, to tell the truth, came as a surprise because we were struggling a little in the first phase of the Superpole and it is easy to find yourself knocked out for just a tenth of a second.

“We risked going out but were luckily able to continue and the qualifying tires in the second and third sessions really worked well for me. In the final session I was able to make two very fast laps, one of which was very clean, without mistakes, and this way we took the fastest time. I didn’t expect it because in the final minutes other riders were lapping very fast too but of course I am extremely happy with the result.

“The third pole in three races, incredible! I must however remain realistic; tomorrow will not be easy because we’ve seen that times are closer than ever. I’ll do my best to get a strong start and stick with the leaders and we’ll see what we can do.”

Following is a breakdown of Checa’s Assen Superpoles from Althea Ducati:

  • Superpole 1: In this first phase Carlos Checa made two exits with his 1198 on race rubber. The second exit left him in 10th position, sufficient to pass to the second phase and a tactic that left him with both qualifying tires available for the successive sessions.
  • Superpole 2: making use of the first of two qualifying tires, the Spaniard Checa made two laps, the second faster than the first, to close the session in second position.
  • Superpole 3: the second qualifier behaved well and allowed Carlos to complete a clean, error-free lap for which he was rewarded with pole position for tomorrow’s races. This is the third time in three races that Carlos and Althea Racing have enjoyed this privilege, and they hope to take advantage of the opportunity tomorrow.

2011 Assen World Superbike Superpole Results:
1.    Carlos Checa    Ducati    ESP    1’35.292
2.    Jakub Smrz    Ducati    CZE    1’35.560
3.    Eugene Laverty    Yamaha    GBR    1’35.580
4.    Noriyuki Haga    Aprilia    JPN    1’35.920
5.    Jonathan Rea    Honda    GBR    1’36.138
6.    Max Biaggi    Aprilia    ITA    1’36.302
7.    Tom Sykes    Kawasaki    GBR    1’36.351
8.    Marco Melandri    Yamaha    ITA    1’37.036
9.    Leon Camier    Aprilia    GBR    1’35.903
10.    Troy Corser    BMW    AUS    1’35.903
11.    Joan Lascorz    Kawasaki    ESP    1’35.983
12.    Leon Haslam    BMW    GBR    1’36.089
13.    Michel Fabrizio    Suzuki    ITA    1’36.148
14.    Ruben Xaus    Honda    ESP    1’36.260
15.    Sylvain Guintoli    Ducati    FRA    1’36.361