Ducati’s Checa Tops Nurburgring Superbike Q1

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2012 Nurburgring World Superbike Qualifying 1 Results

Following a one-week break, the 2012 World Superbike Championship continued Friday with the first qualifying session at Nurburgring, which will host round 12 of 14 this weekend.

And although he only finished seventh quickest during the first practice session, Althea Racing Ducati’s Carlos Checa was the quickest rider during qualifying 1.

The Ducati 1198 pilot, who won race 1 at Nurburgring last season en route to the World SBK title, worked with his team to significantly improve his morning practice time by almost two seconds in qualifying. Checa ended qualifying 1 with a best lap time of 1:55.307.

Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati 1198) says: “This is a track where Ducati has often done well in the past and so today we have confirmed that tendency; then we will see what happens in the races which are another story! We’ve seen that the tires are losing grip after a few laps so if the level of grip on track doesn’t improve over the weekend it will be like this with pretty slippery conditions for the races. Having said that I’m feeling comfortable with both the bike and the track and both Davide and I have worked hard, consolidating our top team status. We’re definitely on the right track and will continue with the work tomorrow.”

Following 0.434 of a second behind was teammate Davide Giugliano, who took victory last season at the German track in the Superstock 1000 class.

Davide Giugliano (Althea Ducati 1198) says: “We’ve worked hard today and in a calm and methodical way which is important. We’ve started on the right foot, also because we didn’t use the softer tyre solution today but the so-called ‘standard’ one so to record an interesting time with that one, seeing as it end up being the race tyre, bodes well. There’s still room for improvement as far as my general level of comfort with the bike but I’m confident. I’m getting better physically, though my neck and arm is still hurting me somewhat, I’m probably at about 70% fitness wise.”

The provisional front row was completed by the man who has seven poles this season, Kawasaki Racing’s Tom Sykes, and Aprilia Racing Team’s Eugene Laverty.

The provisional second row consisted of BMW Motorrad’s Leon Haslam (his teammate Marco Melandri finishing 12th), the 2010 World Superbike Champion, Aprilia Racing’s Max Biaggi, Honda World Superbike’s Jonathan Rea and FIXI Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier.

The 24-rider grid will return to the Nurburgring circuit Saturday for the final practice and qualifying sessions ahead of Superpole.

Nurburgring World Superbike Qualifying 1 Results:
1. Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) Ducati 1198R 1’55.307
2. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Ducati 1198R 1’55.750
3. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’55.802
4. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’55.813
5. Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 1’55.828
6. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’55.838
7. Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 1’55.891
8. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’55.949
9. Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’56.399
10. Lorenzo Zanetti (PATA Racing Team) Ducati 1198R 1’56.461
11. Sylvain Guintoli (PATA Racing Team) Ducati 1198R 1’56.465
12. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 1’56.497
13. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’56.981
14. Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 1’57.024
15. Michel Fabrizio (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 1’57.077
16. Niccolò Canepa (Red Devils Roma) Ducati 1198R 1’57.434
17. David Salom (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’57.468
18. John Hopkins (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’57.592
19. Maxime Berger (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1198R 1’57.729
20. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 1’58.286
21. Lorenzo Lanzi (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert) Ducati 1198R 1’59.145
22. Brett McCormick (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1198R 1’59.712
23. Alexander Lundh (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’59.763
24. Norino Brignola (Grillini Progea Superbike Team) BMW S1000 RR 2’00.676