World Superbike

Checa Continues Superpole Dominance at Assen

2 Mins read

Carlos Checa claimed his third pole position out of three at the start of the 2011 World Superbike Championship after leaving his rivals trailing at Assen.

As he did at Donington, the championship leader made serene progress through the two knockout sessions before upping his pace in SP3.

The Spaniard lapped the 4.555km circuit in 1:35.292, giving him a quarter of a second in hand on nearest challenge Jakub Smrz.

The Czech rider narrowly avoided elimination in SP1 before topping the timesheets in the second session, but didn't have an answer for Checa when pole was up for grabs.

Eugene Laverty had set the pace in SP1 and carried that pace through into the final shootout to put the Yamaha YZF R1 on the front row.

He will be joined by Noriyuki Haga, with the Japanese rider knocking Jonathan Rea of the front row in the final seconds of SP3. Rea will have to contend himself with fifth position but that may be tinged with disappointment after he had set the pace in the morning's second Qualifying Practice session.

Surprisingly, World Champion Max Biaggi was never in contention for pole at any stage and finished over a second outside of Checa's pace, leaving him down in sixth, just ahead of Tom Sykes.

Biaggi will be happier with his afternoon's work than fellow countryman Marco Melandri. The Yamaha rider, who is Checa's nearest threat in the Championship standings, crashed out in SP3 after threatening to challenge Checa. Having not set a representative time, Melandri couldn't improve on eighth.

The second Alitalia Aprilia of Leon Camier was among the casualties in SP2 after losing time in the final few corners of his final lap. Troy Corser had also shown potential pole position pace before dropping to tenth. The Australian did at least out-qualify teammate Leon Haslam who will start a disappointing twelfth behind Joan Lascorz.

After showing promise on Friday, Michel Fabrizio was knocked out in SP1, despite lapping only half a second slower than Eugene Laverty's fastest SP1 time. The Alstare Suzuki rider was just a hundredth of a second away from knocking out Smrz but also lost time in the final sector to stay 13th. He will be joined on row four by Ruben Xaus, Sylvain Guintoli and Ayrton Badovini.

Pos Rider Team Lap Time
1 Carlos Checa Althea Racing 1:35.292
2 Jakub Smrz Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing 1:35.560
3 Eugene Laverty Yamaha World Superbike Team 1:35.580
4 Noriyuki Haga PATA Racing Team Aprilia 1:35.920
5 Jonathan Rea Castrol Honda 1:36.138
6 Max Biaggi Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team 1:36.302
7 Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team 1:36.351
8 Marco Melandri Yamaha World Superbike Team 1:37.036
Eliminated in Superpole 2
9 Leon Camier Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team 1:35.903
10 Troy Corser BMW Motorrad Motorsport 1:35.954
11 Joan Lascorz Kawasaki Racing Team 1:35.983
12 Leon Haslam BMW Motorrad Motorsport 1:36.089
Eliminated in Superpole 1
13 Michel Fabrizio Team Suzuki Alstare 1:36.148
14 Ruben Xaus Castrol Honda 1:36.260
15 Sylvain Guintoli  Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing 1:36.361
16 Ayrton Badovini BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team 1:36.920
Failed to Qualify for Superpole Session
17 Maxime Berger Supersonic Racing Team 1:37.272
18 Chris Vermeulen Kawasaki Racing Team 1:37.501
19 Barry Veneman BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team 1:37.569
20 Roberto Rolfo Team Pedercini 1:37.676
21 Mark Aitchison Team Pedercini 1:37.794
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MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3 and WorldSBK writer for The Checkered Flag. Contact: [email protected]
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