Smrz rips to an early advantage in America

Saturday, 29 May 2010 23:04 GMT
Smrz starts in great style at MMP
Czech star Jakub ‘Kuba’ Smrz (Pata B&G Ducati) piloted his 1098R Ducati to provisional pole after the first qualifying session at Miller Motorsports Park in the USA, setting a 1’48.517 that was under the existing race lap record, if not quite beating the absolute track best.

Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) was a close second, and the Yamaha Sterilgarda four-cylinder machine of Cal Crutchlow third.

World Championship leader Leon Haslam was fourth on his Suzuki Alstare machine, after a steady untimed session earlier this afternoon. Althea Ducati riders Carlos Checa and Shane Byrne mixed it up with the factory bikes once again, going fifth and sixth respectively on what was a good first day for the twin-cylinder machines, which are now 3kg lighter from this round onwards.

Despite a crash late in the session double world champion James Toseland (Yamaha Sterilgarda) was seventh, and only 0.370 seconds from provisional pole man Smrz. In another impressive ride, Luca Scassa (Supersonic Ducati) was a firm eighth, ahead of the factory BMW of Troy Corser.

Max Biaggi’s Aprilia Alitalia vee-four set a whopping top speed of 313.7kmph on the main straight today, with Max tenth overall, just ahead of top Honda finisher from the Hannspree Ten Kate team, Jonathan Rea. Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) and Biaggi’s team-mate Leon Camier were the last of 13 leading riders all within the same second.

Top Kawasaki Racing Team rider on show proved to be Tom Sykes, 14th, one up on Ruben Xaus’ works BMW, those two riders keeping Max Neukirchner (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) in 16th. Sylvain Guintoli was 17th for Alstare Suzuki, while local rider Roger Lee Hayden made the best of his home advantage in his rookie WSB season to go 18th for Pedercini Kawasaki.