Spaniard Carlos Checa has started the 'Panigale' era of Ducati in World Superbike by winning the Tissot-Superpole at Phillip Island. The Ducati Team Alstare managed to take the best out of the new Borgo Panigale superbike by setting an incredible 1'30.234, that means a brand-new Best Lap for the series and the 10th pole position of his career.
Checa saved a Superpole tyre for the final minutes of a hard-fought Superpole 3, with all 9 riders desperate to find a way into the front rows for tomorrow's World Superbike races. The choice made by the former champion and the team led by Francis Batta proved to be successful, as Checa got the nod from an extremely competitive Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) by just 0.195 seconds.
After being the fastest rider in qualifying, Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) gave his fans another pleasant surprise by ending up in third place. This good performance tells a lot about the good shape of the Rome-born rider, who has always been more of a Sunday racer than a qualifier.
The second row of the grid will be headed tomorrow by 2012 Mr. Superpole Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), whose lap-time was exactly matched by fifth place Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team). Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) and Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) will aim to be part of the battle for the rostrum position moving off from the 6th and 7th grid slot, as well as following Pata Honda World Superbike duo of Leon Haslam and Jonathan Rea.