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WSBK Imola: Checa Edges Out Rea In Superpole

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Carlos Checa - Photo Credit: Althea Racing

Carlos Checa - Photo Credit: Althea Racing

Carlos Checa
saw off the challenge of Jonathan Rea to take his sixth pole position of the 2011 season, moving him another step closer to the World Superbike title. The Spaniard can clinch the championship this weekend if results go his way on Sunday and with closest rival Marco Melandri back in the third row, Checa is closing in on his first title.

The Althea Ducati rider clocked a 1:47.196 to pip Rea by less than a tenth of a second while Noriyuki Haga and Tom Sykes will complete the front row for tomorrow's races. Both showed impressive pace at earlier stages in the weekend with Haga quickest in SP2 and Sykes topping the combined qualifying times.

Eugene Laverty, linked with a MotoGP ride in 2012, will head up the second row on the factory Yamaha. The Irishman was the fastest man in SP1 but set his slowest time of the afternoon in SP3, leaving him back in fifth.

Leon Haslam continued an excellent session for the Brits with sixth ahead of fellow BMW rider Ayrton Badovini and Effenbert-Liberty Ducati's Sylvain Guintoli.

Melandri will line-up next after missing out on SP3 by 0.007s and the Italian faces an uphill task to keep the title race alive. To clinch the title, Checa must outscore the Yamaha man by 26 points and should the grid positions be replicated in the races, that target will be reached.

Leon Camier completed the top ten on the solitary Alitalia Aprilia as Max Biaggi sits this event out following the injury sustained at the Nurburgring, effectively ending his title defence.


Superpole Result:

Pos Rider Nat Bike Team Lap Time
1 Carlos Checa SPA Ducati Althea Racing 1:47.196
2 Jonathan Rea GBR Honda Castrol Honda 1:47.274
3 Noriyuki Haga JAP Aprilia PATA Racing Team Aprilia 1:47.442
4 Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki Kawasaki Racing Team 1:47.468
5 Eugene Laverty IRL Yamaha Yamaha World Superbike Team 1:47.929
6 Leon Haslam GBR BMW BMW Motorrad Motorsport 1:48.081
7 Ayrton Badovini ITA BMW BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team 1:48.234
8 Sylvain Guintoli FRA Ducati Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing 1:48.416
Eliminated in Superpole 2
9 Marco Melandri ITA Yamaha Yamaha World Superbike Team 1:47.781
10 Leon Camier GBR Aprilia Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team 1:47.858
11 Michel Fabrizio ITA Suzuki Team Suzuki Alstare 1:48.126
12 Maxime Berger FRA Ducati Supersonic Racing Team 1:48.334
Eliminated in Superpole 1
13 Jakub Smrz CZE Ducati Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing 1:48.741
14 Federico Sandi (WC) SPA Ducati Althea Racing 1:48.812
15 Troy Corser AUS BMW BMW Motorrad Motorsport 1:48.894
16 Alessandro Polita (WC) ITA Ducati Barni Racing Team S.N.C 1:49.091
Failed to Qualify for Superpole Session
17 Mark Aitchison AUS Kawasaki Team Pedercini 1:49.159
18 Joan Lascorz SPA Kawasaki Kawasaki Racing Team 1:49.185
19 Matteo Baiocco (WC) ITA Ducati Barni Racing Team 1:49.378
20 Ruben Xaus SPA Honda Castrol Honda 1:49.595
21 Roberto Rolfo ITA Kawasaki Team Pedercini 1:49.668
22 Javier Fores SPA BMW BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team 1:50.888
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