MOSCOW – Carlos Checa of Althea Racing Ducati obliterated the previous track best from practice at the all-new Moscow Raceway during Tissot-Superpole qualifying, in readiness for the eni FIM Superbike World Championship races on Sunday.
The top 16 riders in Superpole were whittled down to a top eight and Checa proved to be the best of them after the three sessions had been completed, setting a new track best of 1:34.193.
It is his first pole win of the 2012 season but the ninth of his career.
Tom Sykes of Kawasaki Racing Team has more poles than anyone else in 2012, seven, but had to settle for second best this time, with two fellow ex-British championship riders, Eugene Laverty of Aprilia Racing and Leon Haslam of BMW Motorrad Motorsport also on the front row.
“Finally Tom had some problems with the qualifiers because he has been very difficult to beat in Superpole,” said Checa. “Here we found good pace and a good lap time with the soft tires, we interpreted well the line in the slow area. The circuit is a really nice for me, slow and good fun to ride. But it’s really special to be in Moscow, racing here, it seems strange if you look back a long time ago. But things have changed now and it’s a pleasure to be part of that change.”
Marco Melandri of BMW Motorrad Motorsport went fifth and Jonathan Rea of Honda World Superbike Team sixth. To make sure the championship battle remains tense, Max Biaggi of Aprilia Racing was seventh fastest and well in the leading rider mix. Davide Giugliano of Althea Racing Ducati fell in Superpole three and thus starts eighth on the grid.
Two 25-lap Superbike races are schedule for Sunday, with close action expected at this impressive new venue in an exciting new country for the eni FIM Superbike World Championship to visit on the championship trail.