Misano: Ducati’s Checa Tops Friday

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2012 World Superbike Championship

The reigning World Superbike Champion who won four races in six rounds so far in 2012, Carlos Checa, took the provisional pole Friday at Misano, round seven of 14.

The Althea Ducati 1198 R pilot put in a quickest lap of 1:36.521 at the 2.62-mile circuit containing 16 corners. And the quick time arrived during the final laps of the 45-minute qualifying (Q1) session that was held under extremely hot conditions.

The Spaniard would take the provisional pole by only 0.047 of a second from Honda World Superbike’s Jonathan Rea.

Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati 1198 World Superbike) says: “We’ve worked well today and I’m satisfied with what we’ve got done. The tyres we have tested today give fairly similar results to each other in these hot conditions. Everyone’s talking about grip problems but this is probably due to the high temperatures, it might cause problems through the corners but I’m feeling confident. We’ll see how the conditions are tomorrow and Sunday but I think we can be very competitive come race day.”

Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike CBR1000RR) says: “We didn’t have the best setting this morning and I was quite uncomfortable on the bike on track. As I completed more laps, my data engineer pointed to a few things I was doing wrong and it was clear we also needed to change the setting that we started with. So, we started this afternoon’s session with new gearing, fork spring settings and wheelbase, which was quite a lot of changes.

“The first thing was to put more laps on the tyre I used this morning and then, when we put in a fresh, slightly harder tire, I still had a good rhythm and got a good lap time. I’m happy for the first day though – the bike’s working good and it’s clear there is still a lot more we can do to get more satisfied with the set-up. Will make some more changes overnight and try those in the morning, but what I’m really happy with is the emotion in the team. Between sessions we were very calm and made methodical, positive changes and I’d like to thank the guys for that. Hopefully tomorrow we can improve not only the lap time but also the race pace.”

Following the Ducati and Honda CBR1000RR was the Aprilia RSV4 piloted by Max Biaggi, and BMW Motorrad’s Marco Melandri, who led the first free practice session earlier in the day Friday. This makes for four different makes in the top four races.

Two more Ducati 1198 superbikes followed, piloted by Checa’s teammate Davide Giugliano and Team Effenbert Liberty Racing Ducati’s Sylvain Guintoli, respectively. The top Kawasaki was piloted by factory rider Loris Baz, who finished seventh. Rounding out the top 10 were BMW Motorrad’s Leon Haslam, Guintoli’s teammate Jakub Smrz and Kawasaki Racing Team’s Tom Sykes.

All together, the top 16 riders were within a second of each other, previewing the tight racing that will occur Sunday during Misano World Superbike.

The 24-rider grid will return to the circuit Saturday morning for a free practice and qualifying session ahead of Superpole.

2012 Misano World Superbike: Qualifying 1 Results:
1. Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 1’36.521
2. Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 1’36.568
3. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’36.703
4. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 1’36.795
5. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 1’36.806
6. Sylvain Guintoli (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 1’36.829
7. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’36.957
8. Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 1’37.009
9. Jakub Smrz (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert) Ducati 1098R 1’37.022
10. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’37.044
11. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’37.280
12. Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 1’37.295
13. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’37.340
14. Lorenzo Zanetti (PATA Racing Team) Ducati 1098R 1’37.406
15. Niccolò Canepa (Red Devils Roma) Ducati 1098R 1’37.439
16. John Hopkins (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’37.514
17. Matteo Baiocco (Barni Racing Team Italia) Ducati 1098R 1’37.523
18. Michel Fabrizio (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 1’37.614
19. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 1’37.733
20. David Salom (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’37.948
21. Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’38.112
22. Maxime Berger (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 1’38.198
23. Leandro Mercado (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’39.038
24. Federico Sandi (Grillini Progea Superbike Team) BMW S1000 RR 1’40.251