Monday, May 9, 2011

Biaggi spectacular in Monza Superpole

From the WSBK Press Office

Reigning World Superbike champion Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia) reasserted himself at his home circuit of Monza with a spectacular display in Superpole qualifying on Saturday, setting a lap of 1 minute 41.745 seconds to take his first pole position of the 2011 season.

Biaggi had a truly record-breaking day, the Italian using a qualifying tire to set his new best lap of the 5.777km circuit together with an all-time record average lap speed in WSBK history of 204.405km/h. He also set an absolute top speed record, achieving 334.8km/h in the second free qualifying session.

“This track is special for us and finally it came after three races in which it has been difficult to be competitive and get back on top," Biaggi said. "In qualifying we made good set-up trying a few different things, some of which worked and some of which didn’t. But we did a good job and Italy is always special for us. For sure, top speed is a help at Monza and you need it, but also good braking and agility helps, and I’m happy with everything.”

Second in Superpole, some 0.648 seconds behind, was Eugene Laverty (Yamaha Superbike Racing Team).

“It’s been a good weekend for us," Laverty said. "The fact that the team is pretty much next door to the circuit is nice and hopefully we can have a couple of good races tomorrow and be fighting for the podium. We’ve been waiting for it for a long time and hopefully tomorrow we can achieve that. The Yamahas managed to challenge the Aprilias on this track last year, so we’re looking forward to this weekend to try and challenge Max again.”

Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda) and Troy Corser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) completed the front row, making it four different bikes in the top four places.

"For sure I’m very happy to be on the front row of the grid, because the weekend hasn’t panned out great so far," Rea admitted. "We’ve been working very hard for tomorrow’s race; it was pretty critical in the end for tires with the temperature going up and down, but I’m savouring the moment to be on the front row, it’s exactly what we need to get away in the group tomorrow.”

Fifth on the grid for Sunday’s 18-lap races is another local legend Marco Melandri (Yamaha World Superbike) with Friday’s fastest qualifier Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) sixth. The second row is completed by the last two riders in Superpole 3, Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki Alstare) and Noriyuki Haga (Pata Aprilia).

A great ride from satellite competitor Ayrton Badovini (BWM Motorrad Italia Superbike) put him ninth, ahead of British rider Leon Camier (Aprilia Alitalia).

Championship leader Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) was the top twin-cylinder rider on show, 11th, one place up on the battling Sylvain Guintoli (Effenbert - Liberty Racing Ducati).

Out of Superpole after a close combined qualifying ranking were big names like Chris Vermeulen (Kawasaki Racing Team) and James Toseland (BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike). Each struggled with injuries, Vermeulen from a first day highside crash that gashed his left elbow and Toseland from an existing operation on his right hand.

The ParkinGO Yamahas continue to dominate in the Supersport World Championship, but this time pole position at Monza is in the hands Chaz Davies. The British rider set a quickest time of 1:47.809 around the high-speed track, a couple of tenths quicker than Sam Lowes on the Parkalgar Honda. Broc Parkes took his Kawasaki ZX-6R machine to third place, with the front row completed by Fabien Foret (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda).

Opening round winner Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Ducati) powered to pole position for Sunday’s Superstock 1000 race at Monza with a time of 1:46.044. The Italian was ahead of the three BMW S1000RR machines that have been setting the pace so far, the Italia STK version of Sylvain Barrier, Michele Magnoni (Baru Racing Team) and the other BMW Italia bike of Lorenzo Zanetti.

With his win at Monza, young Frenchman Romain Lanusse ((MRS Yamaha Racing France) has now taken over at the top of the European Superstock 600 Championship. Such was Lanusse’s domination that the following group were a full six seconds behind in their sprint to the line. The photo-finish saw Dino Lombardi (Martini Corse Yamaha) take the runner-up slot, ahead of American Joshua Day (Racedays Kawasaki).

Superbike Qualifying Times
1. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1:41.745
2. Laverty E. (IRL) Yamaha YZF-R1 1:42.393
3. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1:42.614
4. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000RR 1:42.688
5. Melandri M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF-R1 1:42.714
6. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000RR 1:42.723
7. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1:42.954
8. Haga N. (JPN) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1:43.043
9. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000RR 1:42.886
10. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1:42.995
11. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 1:43.116
12. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 1:43.146
13. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:43.090
14. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:43.437
15. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 1:43.993
16.Berger M. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 1:44.005


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