Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) slammed in two quick laps in rapid succession at the end of today’s Misano Q1 to end up with the provisional pole at the Misano World Circuit. The Italian’s time of 1 minute 37.016 seconds was good enough to edge out Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike) from the top slot, after the Texan rookie had headed the standings almost throughout. Third and fourth on the provisional front row of the grid went to the still injured Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki Alstare) and British rider Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda). The top 19 positions in today’s standings are all contained within one second, confirming the current equilibrium reigning in Superbike. The provisional front row is also made up of four different manufacturers - Ducati, Yamaha, Suzuki and Honda – with a fifth, Kawasaki, opening up the second row following a superb performance by Broc Parkes.
The session also confirmed the constant improvement of the Ten Kate Honda team, with Ryuichi Kiyonari and Carlos Checa in sixth and seventh position respectively, ahead of points leader Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox), four-tenths of a second down on his team-mate. After two difficult events, BMW have bounced back into the top 10, with Troy Corser running well throughout and ending up tenth overall. This time round BMW went better than Aprilia, as Shinya Nakano could only manage 11th and Max Biaggi 16th, eight-tenths off the polesitter. For the moment John Hopkins (Stiggy Racing Honda) is outside the Superpole top 20, the American down in 26th position on his return to action following his Assen crash.
Despite it being his first time at Misano Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha World Supersport) soon made his intentions clear with quickest time in the first free practice session. The championship leader stopped the clocks with a time of 1 minute 39.442 seconds, just five-hundredths off the track record. Crutchlow made his decisive move five minutes from the end of the session, grabbing the provisional pole from Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Provec), who also looked rapid throughout. The British rider’s rivals for the title, Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) and Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda) follow in third and fourth place but are four and nine-tenths off the pace. Fifth and sixth quickest times went to two of the possible candidates for the win, Frenchman Fabien Foret (Yamaha World Supersport) and Australian Andrew Pitt (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda), ahead of Mark Aitchison (Honda Althea) and two Italians, Massimo Roccoli (Intermoto Honda) and Michele Pirro (Yamaha Lorenzini).
The first day of Superstock 1000 action went the way of Maxime Berger. The Ten Kate Honda man was quick right out of the box, and he set the best time of the day in 1 minute 41.245 seconds. The Frenchman used his testing experience from last week here to break the domination of the Italians at their home track. Second quickest time went to Davide Giugliano (MV Agusta Unionbike), ahead of Michele Magnoni (Yamaha Bevilacqua). Fabio Massei (Yamaha Lorenzini) made an excellent debut in fifth place, while second place man in the championship Xavier Simeon (Ducati Xerox) struggled to sixteenth quickest time.
As expected, Danilo Petrucci (Yamaha Trasimeno) immediately went quickest in the first Superstock 600free practice session. The points leader, level at the top with Gino Rea (Ten Kate Honda) was half-a-second quicker than his rivals, but Rea today was only down down in seventh. Second place went to Eddi La Marra (Honda Lorini), while team-mate Marco Bussolotti was third ahead of two more Italians, wild-cards Roberto Tamburini (Yamaha WCR) and Giuliano Gregorini (Yamaha Baru).