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 Smrzâ€ƒ(Liberty Racing Team Effenbert)â€ƒDucati 1098Râ€ƒ1’48.146
2. Joan Lascorzâ€ƒ(Kawasaki Racing Team)â€ƒKawasaki ZX-10Râ€ƒ1’48.176
3. Tom Sykesâ€ƒ(Kawasaki Racing Team)â€ƒKawasaki ZX-10Râ€ƒ1’48.246
4. Max Biaggiâ€ƒ(Aprilia Racing Team)â€ƒAprilia RSV4 Factoryâ€ƒ1’48.247
5. Jonathan Reaâ€ƒ(Honda World Superbike Team)â€ƒHonda CBR1000RRâ€ƒ1’48.321
6. Leon Haslamâ€ƒ(BMW Motorrad Motorsport)â€ƒBMW S1000 RRâ€ƒ1’48.328
7. Carlos Checaâ€ƒ(Althea Racing)â€ƒDucati 1098Râ€ƒ1’48.375
8. Sylvain Guintoliâ€ƒ(Team Effenbert Liberty Racing)â€ƒDucati 1098Râ€ƒ1’48.555
9. Eugene Lavertyâ€ƒ(Aprilia Racing Team)â€ƒAprilia RSV4 Factoryâ€ƒ1’48.555
10. Leon Camierâ€ƒ(Crescent Fixi Suzuki)â€ƒSuzuki GSX-R1000â€ƒ1’48.556
11. Davide Giuglianoâ€ƒ(Althea Racing)â€ƒDucati 1098Râ€ƒ1’48.728
12. Ayrton Badoviniâ€ƒ(BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet)â€ƒBMW S1000 RRâ€ƒ1’48.741
13. Lorenzo Zanettiâ€ƒ(PATA Racing Team)â€ƒDucati 1098Râ€ƒ1’48.762
14. Marco Melandriâ€ƒ(BMW Motorrad Motorsport)â€ƒBMW S1000 RRâ€ƒ1’48.773
15. Chaz Daviesâ€ƒ(ParkinGO MTC Racing)â€ƒAprilia RSV4 Factoryâ€ƒ1’48.959
16. Maxime Bergerâ€ƒ(Team Effenbert Liberty Racing)â€ƒDucati 1098Râ€ƒ1’49.343
17. NiccolÃ² Canepaâ€ƒ(Red Devils Roma)â€ƒDucati 1098Râ€ƒ1’49.617
18. John Hopkinsâ€ƒ(Crescent Fixi Suzuki)â€ƒSuzuki GSX-R1000â€ƒ1’49.790
19. Michel Fabrizioâ€ƒ(BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet)â€ƒBMW S1000 RRâ€ƒ1’50.031
20. David Salomâ€ƒ(Team Pedercini)â€ƒKawasaki ZX-10Râ€ƒ1’50.085
21. Mark Aitchisonâ€ƒ(Grillini Progea Superbike Team)â€ƒBMW S1000 RRâ€ƒ1’50.810
22. Hiroshi Aoyamaâ€ƒ(Honda World Superbike Team)â€ƒHonda CBR1000RRâ€ƒ1’51.511
23. Leandro Mercadoâ€ƒ(Team Pedercini)â€ƒKawasaki ZX-10Râ€ƒ1’51.645
24. Brett McCormickâ€ƒ(Liberty Racing Team Effenbert)â€ƒDucati 1098Râ€ƒ1’51.703
25. Lorenzo Alfonsiâ€ƒ(Team Pro Ride Real Game Honda)â€ƒHonda CBR1000RRâ€ƒ1’52.993