Silverstone Superbike: Checa Tops Q1

2011 World Superbike

Following a pair of third-place finishes at Brno, Althea Ducati’s Carlos Checa returned to his usual dominate form, taking the provisional pole Friday at Silverstone, Round 9 of the 2011 World Superbike Championship.

Checa stormed to a quick pace in the 60-minute long qualifying session (Q1), setting the pace within the first few laps. He initially had the quickest time of 2:06.0, but then closed the qualifying session with a 2:05.4. This was over a second quicker than his Free Practice 1 time.

Checa’s lap was 0.4 of a second faster than the Frenchman Maxime Berger aboard the Supersonic Racing Team Ducati, making for two 1198 superbikes up front.

Rounding out the provisional front row were Tom Sykes on the Kawasaki Racing Team ZX-10R, the top Brit in Q1, and Leon Camier on the Aprilia Alitalia RSV4.

The man fastest in Free Practice 1, the Wildcard entry John Hopkins on the Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000, was fifth fastest, followed by Alstare Suzuki’s Michel Fabrizio.

As for the reigning World Superbike Champion Max Biaggi, the Alitalia Aprilia rider did his normal Friday riding, focusing on set-up and qualifying in back in ninth.

Carlos Checa: “Today went well. We have already improved with respect to last year. With the soft tyre we were able to make some very fast laps and we’re satisfied. The problem may arrive tomorrow as temperatures will probably be warmer and we’ll have to see how the tires go in different conditions.

“All in all, seeing as this is one of the more difficult tracks for us, we are happy. We just have to minimize the disadvantage that we have along the straight but I think we can do it; we’ll see tomorrow but I’m pretty confident.”

2011 Silverstone World Superbike: Qualifying 1 Results
1. Checa (Ducati) 2’05.4
2. Berger (Ducati) 2’05.8
3. Sykes (Kawasaki) 2’05.8
4. Camier (Aprilia) 2’05.9
5. Hopkins (Suzuki) 2’05.9
6. Fabrizio (Suzuki) 2’06.0
7. Smrz (Ducati) 2’06.0
8. Laverty (Yamaha) 2’06.0