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Checa untouchable as he grabs pole

By Burning Rubber on Feb 26, 11 04:54 AM

CARLOS Checa saved his best for last as he stormed to pole in Phillip Island.

After dominating every single session since the World Superbike circus rocked up to the Australian circuit last week, the Spaniard made it look easy as he snuck out and grabbed the top spot with a blistering lap time of 1.30:882mins.

It has been the same story throughout the weekend, with the Althea Racing Ducati rider ending every session on top, and it was clear from the offset that it was going to be business as usual today.

He sauntered to the top in the new format Superpole 1, which now sees the top16 battle it out in a 14minute session, while at the back end Joan Lascorz, Noriyuki Haga, James Toseland and Ruben Xaus were knocked out.

Superpole 2 was another easy sweep, in a session which saw the Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing Ducati of Jakub Smrz and the Castrol Honda of Jonathan Rea crash in separate incidents with just eight minutes to go.

Both riders rushed back to the pits and were able to get back on the track in the final few minutes in a bid to get themselves out of the knock-out zone.

Smrz, who managed to get two quick laps in, was able to catapult himself up to fifth and secure his place in the final shoot-out, but Rea was unable to capitalise and will start tomorrow's races from 12th on the grid.

As the final session got underway, it was Leon Haslam's BMW Motorrad Motorsport which made the first charge, but his time at the top lasted less than a minute as Biaggi stole P1.

But with Checa now just on his first outlap, it was obvious what which way the session would go, a point reinforced just over a minute later when he reclaimed his rightful place at the top of the timesheets.

Biaggi held onto second, with Smrz's team-mate Sylvain Guintoli finishing third ahead of Haslam.

Rookie Eugene Laverty heads the second row after a solid Superpole debut where the factory Yamaha rider never dropped lower than fifth.

Having been running second during the earlier part of Superpole 3, he headed out for a final shot in the closing minutes, but was unable to find that extra something to improve his grid spot.

Leon Camier - who has been ill most of the week with suspected glandular fever - just missed out on Superpole after qualifying 17th.

World Superbike Championship Phillip Island Superpole results:

1. Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) 1'30.882
2. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team) 1'30.895
3. Sylvain Guintoli (Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing) 1'31.293
4. Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 1'31.429
5. Eugene Laverty (Yamaha World Superbike Team) 1'31.858
6. Jakub Smrz (Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing) 1'31.980
7. Troy Corser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 1'32.182
8. Marco Melandri (Yamaha World Superbike Team) 1'32.662
9. Michel Fabrizio (Team Suzuki Alstare) 1'32.153
10. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team Superbike) 1'32.204
11. Joshua Waters (Yoshimura Suzuki Racing Team) 1'32.240
12. Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda) 1'32.708
13. Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Racing Team) 1'32.346
14. Noriyuki Haga (PATA Racing Team Aprilia) 1'32.391
15. James Toseland (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team) 1'32.547
16. Ruben Xaus (Castrol Honda) 1'32.788
17. Leon Camier (Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team) 1'32.847
18. Bryan Staring (Team Pedercini) 1'32.883
19. Maxime Berger (Supersonic Racing Team) 1'33.079
20. Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team) 1'33.161
21. Roberto Rolfo (Team Pedercini) 1'33.286
22. Mark Aitchison (Team Pedercini) 1'33.413

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