WSBK – The suspense goes up two notches at Imola … – Pole for Fabrizio!

The suspense goes up two notches in Imola…

WSBK - The suspense goes up two notches at Imola ... - Pole for Fabrizio!

At the head of the Superbike and Supersport championships, Spies and Crutchlow had to drive the point home this weekend at Imola for the 12th round of the World Superbike … but the first was dominated by the Italians and the second fell ! Reports.

The pole for Fabrizio !

While Ben Spies (Yamaha World SBK) featured – again! – At the head of the last Superpole session, Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox), in front of his home crowd, took advantage of his final lap to set an incredible time: 1’47.735, 43 thousandths less than the American who gave up pole position to young italian !

For Michel, this is his very first pole in the World Superbike and we can expect the n ° 84 1098F09 that he drives wonderfully to animate the two races on Sunday afternoon. The show promises all the more that the first four pilots are held in 15 hundredths…

Behind Fabrizio and Spies is Jonathan Rea (Honda Ten Kate), the strong man of the end of the season at Honda. The young Irishman allows himself to get ahead of a Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) who is nevertheless extremely motivated: in the last event, the Japanese lost the lead of a championship he had been leading since the first race….

The 2nd row is made up only of Italian motorcycles: Jakub Smrz (Ducati Guandalini) hoists his private 1098R just in front of the official Aprilia of Max Biaggi, dad for only a few days! Shane Byrne (Ducati Sterilgarda) follows on his private 1098R as well and Shinya Nakano’s replacement on the second Aprilia: a certain Marco Simoncelli !

The reigning GP 250 world champion – who will be driving an RCV for the Honda Gresini team next year – is only 1.6 seconds behind his compatriot Fabrizio. But he should make further progress in the race: Marco only discovered the RSV4 at the start of the week at Mugello !

On the 3rd row are the BMW S1000RR of Troy Corser, the Honda CBR1000RR of Leon Haslam (Honda Stiggy Racing) then the Ducati 1098R of Lorenzo Lanzi and Fonsi Nieto (both Ducati DFX Corse, the team where Regis Laconi rode).

A horde of Honda dominates the 4th row: Carlos Checa, Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda Ten Kate) and Matthieu Lagrive (Honda Althea) place their Fireblades in front of the second official Yam ‘of Tom Sykes.

The first Suzuki, driven by Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki Alstare), will start from 17th place, just ahead of the first Kawasaki led by Broc Parkes (Kawasaki World SBK). Finally, the most French of the Spaniards, David Checa (Yam ‘GMT 94) will start from a distant 25th place on the grid.

"His time is far from ridiculous after only 1h45 of driving since he is 3.4 seconds from the pole position achieved by Michel Fabrizio before the exercise of the super pole which escapes us once again", notes Team GMT 94.

Indeed, the first free practice session was simply canceled: "led by Max Biaggi, a few rare pilots demanded the cleaning of a track that most of the pilots considered quite practicable", regrets Christophe Guyot’s team. A definite handicap for David who was discovering the Italian track !

Supersport side, no surprise: Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha World SSP) takes his ninth pole of the season by completing the lap of the circuit in 1 ‘50.680. As at the Nurburgring, Kenan Sofuoglu (Honda Ten Kate) achieves the second fastest time, and this time the Turkish is beaten "only" by a good half-second…

Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki places his Ninja in 3rd position, ahead of stage local Massimo Roccoli (Honda Intermoto Czech). Eugene Laverty (Honda Parkalgar), the only rider still able to prevent Cal Crutchlow from winning the title – in his first season! – is only in second row behind Garry McCoy (Triumph Parkingo BE1) and Mark Aitchison (Honda Althea).

Our only representative in this category, Fabien Foret (Yam ‘World SSP), closes this 2nd rank. Eighth on the grid therefore, our French driver is used to crazy climbs and we can expect to find him much better placed at the end of the 19 laps in the race. !

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