Ducati’s Smrz Tops Miller World SBK Q1


2012 World Superbike

Although rain plagued the first free practice at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah Saturday, Liberty Racing Team Effenbert Ducati’s Jakub Smrz pushed his 1198R to a 2:02.138.

The Czech’s time may not seem impressive, but it was over two seconds faster than BMW Motorrad’s Marco Melandri.

And when the rain stopped in the afternoon, and the Miller circuit dried, Smrz was once again pushing hard. Under dry conditions, Smrz took the provisional pole for round 6 of the 2012 World SBK Championship after posting a 1:49.842.

But only 0.070 of a second behind was the man who doubled at the round last season en route to his first-ever World Superbike Championship – Althea Racing Ducati’s Carlos Checa. The Spaniard finished Saturday’s Q1 session ahead of Melandri and Aprilia Racing’s Max Biaggi, respectively.

Taking the fifth- and sixth-quickest times Saturday during Q1 were Checa’s teammate Davide Giugliano and Smrz’s teammate Sylvain Guintoli (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing), respectively, making for four Ducati 1198 superbikes out of the top six.

The man who took four poles this season, Kawasaki Racing’s Tom Sykes, crashed out during qualifying, finishing ninth fastest.

The grid will return to Miller Sunday for another practice and qualifying session ahead of Monday’s double header, which takes place on Memorial Day in the states.

2012 Miller Motorsports Park World Superbike: Qualifying 1 Results:
1. Jakub Smrz (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert) Ducati 1098R 1’49.842
2. Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 1’49.912
3. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 1’50.038
4. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’50.091
5. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 1’50.280
6. Sylvain Guintoli (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 1’50.312
7. Jonathan Rea(Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 1’50.358
8. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’50.428
9. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’50.433
10. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’50.520
11. Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’50.561
12. Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 1’50.730
13. Michel Fabrizio(BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 1’50.877
14. Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 1’51.042
15. David Salom (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’51.055
16. Maxime Berger (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 1’51.070
17. John Hopkins (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’51.512
18. Niccolò Canepa (Red Devils Roma) Ducati 1098R 1’51.590
19. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’52.002
20. Jake Holden (Grillini Progea Superbike Team) BMW S1000 RR 1’52.108
21. Leandro Mercado (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’52.288
22. Hiroshi Aoyama(Honda World Superbike Team)Honda CBR1000RR 1’52.390
23. Lorenzo Zanetti (PATA Racing Team) Ducati 1098R 1’52.953
24. Shane Turpin (Boulder Motor Sports) Ducati 1098R 1’54.994