The first World Superbike qualifying pratice at Imola saw Effenbert Liberty’s Jakub Smrz take the top of the timesheets in a do-or-die last lap flyer that denied Kawasaki’s Joan Lascorz the honour of leading the chart by a mere 0.030s, in what turned out to be a super tight session with the first seven riders grouped in less than two and half tenths of a second. Following Lascorz was team mate Tom Sykes who had lead most of the hot 45 minute session, but he was bumped back to third and missed out on the provisional pole by just one tenth of second, while Max Biaggi was fourth and he was less than a whisker’s length from the Kawasaki rider, a mere 0.001s.

Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike) with Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) and reigning World Champion Carlos Checa finished the day in 5th, 6th and 7th positions respectively. Sylvain Guintoli and Eugene Laverty posted the identical same time, only the French man suffered technical problems on his Ducati 1198.

Leon Camier jumped forward to take 10th spot, which shouldn’t disappoint his team as he was less than a half a second from Smrz. Outside the top ten were Davide Giugliano (Ducati Althea), this morning’s top rider Ayrton Badovini who dropped back to 12th, Lorenzo Zanetti who also dropped back to 13th following a technical issue on his Pata branded Ducati.

Marco Melandri just doesn’t seem to digest this Italian track as he finished in 14th, while former Imola winner Michel Fabrizio still hasn’t found the feeling he has been looking for with his BMW.

John Hopkins and Leandro Mercado who just returned to action after missing the first round due to injuries, both crashed out, scaring the hell out of their respective teams, apparently both were uninjured.

WSBK Imola QP1 Results:

1. Jakub Smrz (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert) Ducati 1098R 1’48.146

2. Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’48.176

3. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’48.246

4. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’48.247

5. Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 1’48.321

6. Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 1’48.328

7. Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 1’48.375

8. Sylvain Guintoli (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 1’48.555

9. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’48.555

10. Leon Camier (Crescent Fixi Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’48.556

11. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 1’48.728

12. Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 1’48.741

13. Lorenzo Zanetti (PATA Racing Team) Ducati 1098R 1’48.762

14. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 1’48.773

15. Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’48.959

16. Maxime Berger (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 1’49.343

17. Niccolò Canepa (Red Devils Roma) Ducati 1098R 1’49.617

18. John Hopkins (Crescent Fixi Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’49.790

19. Michel Fabrizio (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 1’50.031

20. David Salom (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’50.085

21. Mark Aitchison (Grillini Progea Superbike Team) BMW S1000 RR 1’50.810

22. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 1’51.511

23. Leandro Mercado (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’51.645

24. Brett McCormick (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert) Ducati 1098R 1’51.703

25. Lorenzo Alfonsi (Team Pro Ride Real Game Honda) Honda CBR1000RR 1’52.993