Round three of the 2012 World Superbike Championship got underway Friday at TT Assen with a free practice session followed by a rain-soaked qualifying (Q1) session.
When Q1 began in the afternoon, the riders entered the 2.82-mile circuit on slicks, but soon had to change to rain tires due to storms moving through the Netherlands. Once riders got back into the pits to change tires, though, the conditions got worse, and only few riders ventured onto the track.
And when the session was complete, Effenbert Liberty Racing Ducati’s Sylvain Guintoli took the provisional pole, the Frenchman lapping the Assen circuit 1:37.600. Not far behind was Kawasaki Racing Team’s Tom Sykes; the Brit trailed Guintoli by 0.030 of a second.
Finishing off the provisional front row were Crescent Fixi Suzuki’s Leon Camier and the championship leader, Althea Ducati’s Carlos Checa.
Heading up the provisional second row was Honda World Superbike’s Jonathan Rea, who was joined by three BMW S1000RR superbikes – BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet’s Michel Fabrizio, BMW Motorrad’s Marco Melandri (leader of the first free practice session) and BMW Italia’s Ayrton Badovini, respectively.
World Superbike says: With the top 16 positions likely to stay the same should it rain in tomorrow morning’s final session, the first rider to be excluded will be Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing). The Italian has to hope for an improvement in the weather otherwise he will be forced to start from the fifth row of the grid.”
The 2012 World Superbike grid will be back on the Assen circuit Saturday for another qualifying and free practice session ahead of Superpole.
2012 Assen World Superbike: Qualifying 1 Results:
1. Sylvain Guintoli (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1198R 1’37.600
2. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’37.630
3. Leon Camier (Crescent Fixi Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’38.468
4. Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 1’38.665
5. Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 1’38.873
6. Michel Fabrizio (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 1’39.062
7. Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 1’39.125
8. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 1’39.127
9. Maxime Berger (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1198R 1’39.286
10. Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’39.362
11. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’39.485
12. Jakub Smrz (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert) Ducati 1098R 1’39.605
13. John Hopkins (Crescent Fixi Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’39.625
14. Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 1’39.770
15. Brett McCormick (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert) Ducati 1198R 1’39.915
16. David Salom (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’40.124
17. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’40.231
18. Niccolò Canepa (Red Devils Roma) Ducati 1198R 1’40.859
19. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Ducati 1198R 1’41.161
20. Leandro Mercado (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’41.693
21. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 1’41.768
22. Mark Aitchison (Grillini Progea Superbike Team) BMW S1000 RR 1’43.144
23. Lorenzo Zanetti (PATA Racing Team) Ducati 1198R 1’50.808