After a three-week break, the 2011 World Superbike Championship were back on track Friday for the first qualifying session at Brno, Round 8 of the WSBK series.
And the man who lead the openiong qualifying session was no surprise – Carlos Checa. The Althea Ducati rider, who currently leads the World Superbike Championship after seven of 13 rounds with 261 points, posted a 1:59.322.
Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati 1198R Superbike) says: "Today went well but is only the first day. We were able to make good use of the tyre and made a lot of laps with one that probably won’t be the race tyre, and this is why we look to be a little ahead. We’re not in a bad position but at the same time we’re not at a big advantage either.
"I’m satisfied with the work done today and we’re first, but I’m not looking at that; I’m concentrating instead on the work we have to do tomorrow to have more of a guarantee for the races. Maybe it will rain on Sunday but I’m not particularly worried. I’m confident and think we’ll be ready for battle whatever the weather conditions may be."
Not far behind Checa, though, was another Ducati rider – Effenbert-Liberty Racing’s Jakub Smrz, the home favorite. He was 0.263 of a second slower than Checa.
Behind the two Ducati superbikes were the Yamaha World Superbike duo, Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty, respectively. Rounding out the top five at Q1 was the reigning World Superbike Champion, Alitalia Aprilia’s Max Biaggi.
Kawasaki Racing’s Tom Sykes was sixth fastest, followed by Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport). Rounding out the top 10 were Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki Alstare) Sylvain Guintoli (Effenbert-Liberty Ducati) and Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team).
James Toseland participated in Q1 Friday aboard his BMW Motorrad Italia S1000RR, but is sitting out the rest of the weekend due to wrist pain from recent surgery; Lorenzo Lanzi will ride for Toseland at Brno.
The WSBK grid will be back on Brno Saturday Superpole.
2011 Brno World Superbike Qualifying 1 Results:
1. C. Checa 1’59.322
2. J. Smrz 1’59.585
3. M. Melandri 1’59.653
4. E. Laverty 1’59.906
5. M. Biaggi 1’59.940
6. T. Sykes 2’00.154
7. L. Haslam 2’00.164
8. M. Fabrizio 2’00.196
9. S. Guintoli 2’00.310
10. A. Badovini 2’00.348