2012 World SuperbikeThe eighth round of the 2012 World Superbike Championship got underway Friday at Motorland Aragon, the Spanish circuit that was added to the WSBK calendar last year.
And taking the provisional pole with a lap that was over two-tenths of a second faster than last year’s lap record (set by Althea Ducati’s Carlos Checa, 158.8) was BMW Motorrad’s Marco Melandri.The Italian posted a 1:58.608 aboard his BMW S1000RR in the first of two qualifying sessions at the 3.155-mile circuit. Melandri was 0.365 of a second quicker than the man who led the morning’s practice session, Aprilia Racing Team’s Max Biaggi. It’s no surprise these two were up front, considering each rider shared a win at the debut Aragon World Superbike race last season.The 2010 World Superbike Champion Biaggi did suffer a crash with eight minutes left in the qualifying session at turn 16. Biaggie wasn’t harmed, and he managed to get to the garage without much damage on the RSV4.Biaggi was followed by Kawasaki Racing’s Tom Sykes, who posted a 1:59.123 aboard the ZX-10R, and the other Aprilia Racing rider Eugene Laverty, who posted a 1:59.263.BMW S1000RR riders took the next three positions, with Melandri’s teammate Leon Haslam fifth fastest, and BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet’s Ayrton Badovini sixth, and BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet’s Michel Fabrizio seventh.Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Racing Aprilia) completed the provisional second row in eighth. As for the reigning World Superbike Champion, Althea Ducati Team’s Carlos Checa struggled with grip on the 1198, posting the 10th quickest time.Tomorrow the WSBK grid heads back onto Aragon for one more qualifying session and Tissot Superpole.For a preview of Aragon World Superbike, click here.Aragon World Superbike Qualifying 1 Results (Friday): 1. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 1’58.608 2. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’58.973 3. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’59.123 4. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’59.263 5. Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 1’59.396 6. Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 1’59.751 7. Michel Fabrizio (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 1’59.770 8. Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 2’00.146 9. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 2’00.147 10. Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 2’00.401 11. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 2’00.514 12. John Hopkins (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 2’00.570 13. Niccolò Canepa (Red Devils Roma) Ducati 1098R 2’00.615 14. Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 2’00.617 15. Sylvain Guintoli (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 2’00.640 16. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 2’00.690 17. Maxime Berger (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 2’01.151 18. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 2’01.827 19. Lorenzo Zanetti (PATA Racing Team) Ducati 1098R 2’01.965 20. Jakub Smrz (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert) Ducati 1098R 2’02.032 21. David Salom (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 2’02.616 22. Leandro Mercado (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 2’02.630 23. Norino Brignola (Grillini Progea Superbike Team) BMW S1000 RR 2’07.213
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This week, in the first segment Editor Don Williams talks to us about the new Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. It’s the middleweight ADV style machine that uses the same 650 parallel twin motor as the Ninja 650, so it’s an excellent performer in a user-friendly, good looking package.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my dearest industry friends—now retired Honda PR executive, Jon Seidel. Jon’s fascinating career spans some 30 years with Big Red, and gave him some great experiences with some incredible machines. I was fortunate enough to be invited on many of the press launches that he organized. His new project is documenting and saving many of the old archives from years gone by—and incidentally, if you have anything that may be of value to the project, please contact us by email at email@example.com and we’ll pass it all on to Jon.
So on that note, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!