Moscow SBK: Ducati’s Checa Tops Superpole

2012-moscow-sbk-ducati-checa-tops-superpole

2012 Moscow Raceway Superpole Results

This weekend, the first-ever global racing event (on either two or four wheels) got underway in Russia with the appearance of the World Superbike Championship at Moscow Raceway.

Throughout the practices, Ducati riders were fastest, leading every session except for the first practice session that was led by BMW Motorrad’s Marco Melandri.

And one Ducati 1198R rider carried this momentum into Tissot-Superpole – the reigning World Superbike Champion, Carlos Checa. The Althea Ducati rider qualified on the pole for Sunday’s double header with a best time of 1:34.193; it was his first of 2012 World SBK, and the ninth of his career.

Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati 1198 World Superbike) says: “I’m extremely happy with today’s Superpole because this is where everything has to come together, my riding, the tyre, the bike; everything worked well and we were able to record the kind of time that we thought might be possible here.

“My first lap wasn’t great but the second was pretty clean, I made no mistakes and when I saw the time I knew it would be very hard to beat. It’s my first pole of the year, and doing it at this new track in Russia makes it even more special. The races are still to come of course, and my objective is to make a quick start and aim for the win, in the hope that conditions allow me to make two strong races.”

The man who took seven so far this season, Kawasaki Racing’s Tom Sykes, was start from second, the Brit 0.356 of a second slower than Checa. Finishing out the front row for round 11 of 14 were two more brits – Aprilia Racing Team’s Eugene Laverty in third and BMW Motorrad Motorsports Leon Haslam.

Heading up the second row is Melandri, who will be joined by Honda World Superbike’s Jonathan Rea, Aprilia Racing Team’s Max Biaggi and Althea Racing Ducati’s Davide Giugliano, who fell back by the time Superpole was complete.

Following is a Superpole recap courtesy of Althea Ducati:

Superpole 1: needing just one flying lap each on race rubber, Carlos and Davide went straight to the top of the timesheets together with Sykes; both Althea riders recorded a 1:35.2 in the first few minutes of this opening phase. Thanks to these times, the Althea men were able to return to the garage, having secured safe passage to phase two. At the end of the session, they were in fourth (Davide) and fifth (Carlos) position behind Sykes, Biaggi and Laverty.

Superpole 2: the second phase was almost a repeat of the first. Carlos and Davide immediately put in a fast time with both lapping in under 1:35. While Davide set a fast 1:34.9 which put him in final fourth place, Carlos recorded the fastest lap of the weekend so far, a 1:34.4 which assured him of first position at the end of the 12-minute session.

Superpole 3: unfortunately during his first lap in this final phase Giugliano suffered a fall, the crash unfortunately preventing him from completing a fast lap which left him in eighth position at the end of today’s Superpole; he’ll therefore line up on the second row of tomorrow’s race grid. Incredibly Carlos improved even further on the time he set in the previous phase, taking advantage of the qualifying tyre to record an unbelievably quick 1:34.1. There was no doubt that this time, four tenths quicker than second-placed Sykes’ best lap, would be sufficient to secure pole, his first pole of the season.

Catch all the action from Moscow Raceway on SPEED TV Sunday. Race 1 gets underway at 4 p.m. (EDT), and Race 2 at 5 p.m.

Moscow Raceway World Superbike Qualifying Results:
1. Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 1’34.193
2. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’34.549
3. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’34.562
4. Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 1’35.170
5. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 1’35.224
6. Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 1’35.237
7. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’35.253
8. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 1’34.973
9. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’35.224
10. Niccolò Canepa (Red Devils Roma) Ducati 1098R 1’35.255
11. John Hopkins (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’35.678
12. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 1’35.834
13. Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’35.629
14. Lorenzo Zanetti (PATA Racing Team) Ducati 1098R 1’35.678
15. Sylvain Guintoli (PATA Racing Team) Ducati 1098R 1’35.689
16. David Salom (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’35.798
17. Michel Fabrizio (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 1’36.182
18. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’36.237
19. Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 1’36.326
20. Alexander Lundh (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’38.163
21. David McFadden (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’38.372