PHILLIP ISLAND, Australia — Michel Fabrizio was on top after the first day of qualifying for the eni Superbike FIM World Championship Friday at Phillip Island.
Riding the Red Devils Roma Aprilia, Fabrizio emerged from a close battle held under clear skies, turning a best lap of 1:31.317 to edge Aprilia rider Eugene Laverty for the top spot.
The session was characterized by very competitive and balanced performances on track, considering the top-13 riders within a second and the five brands in the first seven positions.
Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) showed good form by finishing third, followed by Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki), teammate Chaz Davies, Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike) and 2012 runner-up Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team).
Carlos Checa (Ducati Team Alstare) was on track in the afternoon despite a spectacular crash in the morning session.
“It was one of the biggest highsides of my career and I think I went up a long way before hitting the track,” explained Checa. “I was lucky not to break anything but I hurt my left shoulder and my right foot, which is a bit of a problem because I use the rear brake quite a bit. The crash ended the session for me, but fortunately I was able to get out in the afternoon, put in some laps and get a time.”