Superbike - Pole man Checa sets lap record on new Ducati

Carlos Checa put his Ducati Panigale on pole in the opening World Superbike races of the season at Phillip Island.

The Spanish Alstare rider posted a scorching time of 1:30.234 on the new superbike - a new record for the series - in topping Superpole 3.

It is the 10th pole position of his career.

"This morning I felt pain in both my shoulder and foot and I really didn’t think I’d be competitive in qualifying and Superpole," said Checa.

"The mechanics did a great job and made the bike easier for me to ride and by the time Superpole started this afternoon, I felt pretty good really - better than I thought I would.

"We’ll have to see how the tyres perform after a lot of laps tomorrow."

Eugene Laverty put his factory Aprilia second, just 0.195s off the pace, with fastest rider in qualifying Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) third.

“I threw myself into a fast lap using a race tyre and I must say that everything went perfectly," said Irishman Laverty.

"It was just a bit rocky in the turn that comes out onto the straight stretch, but second place is excellent, especially since we've worked well on our race pace."

The second row is headed by Briton Tom Sykes (Kawasaki), who posted the same lap-time as Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet).

Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) and Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) will start sixth and seventh, ahead of Camier's British countrymen Leon Haslam and Jonathan Rea (both Pata Honda).

Times

1 C. CHECA ESP Team Ducati Alstare 1'30.234

2 E. LAVERTY IRL Aprilia 1'30.429

3 M. FABRIZIO ITA Red Devils Roma Aprilia 1'30.581

4 T. SYKES GBR Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'30.615

5 M. MELANDRI ITA BMW Motorrad GoldBet 1'30.615

6 S. GUINTOLI FRA Aprilia 1'30.683

7 L. CAMIER GBR Fixi Crescent Suzuki 1'30.991

8 L. HASLAM GBR Pata Honda 1'30.998

9 J. REA GBR Pata Honda 1'31.742

-------------------------------------------------- Superpole 2 --------------------------------------------------

10 D. GIUGLIANO ITA Althea Aprilia 1'31.283

11 L. BAZ FRA Kawasaki 1'31.576

12 C. DAVIES GBR BMW Motorrad GoldBet 1'31.870

-------------------------------------------------- Superpole 1 --------------------------------------------------

13 M. NEUKIRCHNER GER MR-Racing 1'32.010

14 J. STAUFFER AUS Honda 1'32.353

15 I. CLEMENTI ITA HTM Racing 1'32.773

-------------------------------------------------- Others in Grid --------------------------------------------------

16 G. ALLERTON AUS Next Gen Motorsports 1'32.352

17 J. CLUZEL FRA Fixi Crescent Suzuki 1'32.402

18 A. LUNDH SWE Pedercini Kawasaki 1'32.487

19 A. BADOVINI ITA Ducati Alstare 1'32.540

20 F. SANDI ITA Pedercini Kawasaki 1'32.898 1

21 V. IANNUZZO ITA Grillini Dentalmatic 1'33.082