At Miller Motorsports Park
Carlos Checa (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) notched up the first Superpole of his short Superbike World Championship career at the Miller Motorsports Park in Utah.
The 35 year-old Spanish rider, in just his sixth race in SBK, powered his Honda
CBR1000RR to a new outright record time of 1 minute 48.193 seconds around the spectacular 4.907 kilometre circuit. Just three tenths behind was recent Monza round winner, the German Max Neukirchner on his Suzuki Alstare GSX-R1000.
The front row of the grid was completed by the Ducati Xerox factory pairing of Troy Bayliss and Michel Fabrizio on their 1098 F08 machines.
Carlos Checa: "We worked well today, I had an incident this morning so there is always something to improve and something to fix. But finally I was so concentrated in the lap I did, I tried to be as clean and effective as possible. I know that I was able to be in the 48s but I didn't expect 48 low and when I saw that time it was a great surprise and a great satisfaction to be on the pole for the first time. Now the start tomorrow is the next step we need to improve! I will try to do a good race tomorrow, for sure we have some chance of winning because we have shown our potential in the last few races, and especially here. The bike is now working well and I'm also confident with the tyres, so you never know".
Max Neukirchner: "I'm really happy about the position and I think I did a great lap. I had some problems yesterday with the chassis and in particular I was losing a lot of time in the final split, but we found a good way to improve and we were much quicker than yesterday. I think we found a good race set-up and I hope I'm tomorrow I'm in front. Here on this track it's going to be really hard, the times are very close and I'm sure it'll be a big fight".
Troy Bayliss: "My Superpole lap was the best one I've done here so far at the Miller Motorsports track and I honestly thought a 48.6 would be good enough for the pole.
I thought I did everything right and it was still half a second out but it was the best I could do. Tomorrow's another day and the bike seems to be working good. I've been down on the track once today, had a bit of an off, but everything's working quite well".
Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB) had been quickest after the two qualifying sessions but was unable to repeat his performance in the one-lap Superpole session and just missed out on the front row of the grid by a fraction. Lining up alongside the Australian will be Spain's Ruben Xaus (Sterilgarda Go Eleven Ducati), Regis Laconi (Kawasaki PSG-1 Corse) from France and Japan's Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki Alstare).
The third row of the grid for the two races is headed by Max Biaggi (Sterilgarda Go Eleven Ducati), who put in a good performance despite still recovering from his recent injury. The Italian finished a couple of tenths of a second ahead of a courageous Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB), who took part in Superpole with a broken right collarbone following a crash in the morning's qualifying session.