Aragon Superbike: Aprilia’s Laverty Tops Friday Qualifying

Aprilia Racing's Eugene Laverty

_2013 Motorland Aragon World Superbike Qualifying 1 Results

The top nine riders were separated by only a second Friday during the first day of qualifying practice at Motorland Aragon for round 2 of 15 in the 2013 World Superbike Championship.

Taking the provisional pole at the 3.32-mile Spanish circuit was the man who went 2-1 at the opening round in Phillip Island, Aprilia Racing’s Eugene Laverty.

The Irishman posted a best time of 1:58.548 with only a few laps remaining in the 45-minute sessions. During Q1, Laverty significantly improved on his first free practice time (not timed) of 1:59.691; leading the FP1 sessions was BMW Mottorad GoldBet S1000RR rider Marco Melandri.

During Q1, Laverty was 0.104 of a second quicker than Melandri’s teammate Chaz Davies, and 0.339 of a second faster than Kawasaki Racing Team’s Tom Sykes, the Brit who finished a half-point behind last year’s World SBK Champion Max Biaggi and took a record nine poles in a season aboard the ZX-10R Ninja.

Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team RSV4 Superbike) says: “We worked quite a bit on the electronics today because I wasn’t satisfied with them during free practice this morning, especially going into turns. There is still room for improvement but we’re moving in the right direction and our times show it. We just need to make it easier to maintain the pace for more laps in view of the race. Tomorrow we’ll see what happens, the track will probably have better grip so we’ll adapt our setting in order to be ready Sunday.”

Melandri, who suffered a DNF at race two in Phillip Island after a crash with Ducati Alstare’s Carlos Checa, was fourth quickest in Q1, the Italian 0.396 of a second behind Laverty.

Fifth quickest was Pata Honda World Superbike CBR1000RR pilot Jonathan Rea, who finished ahead of Phillip Island’s race-one winner, Aprilia Racing’s Sylvain Guintoli.

FIXI Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier was seventh fastest, but his participation in the rest of the week is questionable. During Q1, the GSX-R1000 rider suffered a nasty high side at turn 10, and was transferred to the on-track medical center. Doctors diagnosed Camier with a dislocated left knee, and he was transported to the Alcaniz hospital for further evaluation. Although nothing was confirmed, World SBK reports his participation during the rest of the week is “seriously doubtful.”

Camier’s teammate Jules Cluzel finished eighth quickest, followed by Kawasaki Racing Team’s Loris Baz. The Frenchman Baz was the final rider to post within a second of Laverty; Baz was 0.875 of a second behind.

Rounding out the top 10 was Althea Racing Aprilia’s Davide Giugliano, who posted a best time of 1:59.599. World SBK credited Pata Honda World Superbike’s Leon Haslam 11th, though he posted the same time as Giugliano.

The fastest Ducati rider was the Spaniard Checa on the Alstare 1199 Panigale R. The 2011 World Superbike Champion posted a 2:00.004, which was 1.456 of a second behind Laverty.

The 20-rider WSBK grid will return to the Aragon circuit Saturday for the second qualifying practice session ahead of Superpole, which was decide the grid for Sunday’s double header.

For a preview of 2013 Aragon World Superbike, click here.

2013 Motorland Aragon World Superbike Qualifying 1 Results:

1. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’58.548

2. Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) BMW S1000 RR 1’58.652

3. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’58.887

4. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) BMW S1000 RR 1’58.944

5. Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) Honda CBR1000RR 1’59.060

6. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’59.144

7. Leon Camier (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’59.379

8. Jules Cluzel (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’59.414

9. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’59.423

10. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’59.599

11. Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike) Honda CBR1000RR 1’59.599

12. Carlos Checa (Team Ducati Alstare) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 2’00.004

13. Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 2’00.199

14. Ayrton Badovini (Team Ducati Alstare) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 2’00.688

15. Alexander Lundh (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 2’01.041

16. Max Neukirchner (MR-Racing) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 2’01.658

17. Federico Sandi (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 2’01.928

18. Vittorio Iannuzzo (Grillini Dentalmatic SBK) BMW S1000 RR 2’03.201

19. Ivan Clementi (HTM Racing) BMW S1000 RR 2’03.233

20. Mark Aitchison (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 2’04.169