MOSCOW – The Althea Racing Ducati pairing of Davide Giugliano and Carlos Checa led the field in the first eni FIM Superbike World Championship qualifying session at Russia’s Moscow Raceway with Giugliano setting the best lap so far of 1:35.074.
They each had a trip onto the gravel at one point of the session but ended their first day in the best possible positions in any case.
Sylvain Guintoli of PATA Racing Team Ducati made it a clean sweep for the Ducati riders inside the top three, with the first four-cylinder machine being that of Marco Melandri of BMW Motorrad Motorsport in fourth.
Chaz Davies of ParkinGO MTC Racing Aprilia carried on his strong form from the morning session to go fifth in qualifying and be top Aprilia rider on show.
Fastest Kawasaki man Tom Sykes of the Kawasaki Racing Team was sixth, while PATA Racing Team rider Lorenzo Zanetti claimed a fine seventh on a good day for the Ducati crews.
Hiroshi Aoyama of Honda World Superbike Team proved to be the fastest Honda man, in eighth place, having been inside the top four at one time.
Max Biaggi of Aprilia Racing had a tough day and finished 13th with John Hopkins of FIXI Crescent Suzuki the first Suzuki rider in the day one rankings in 14th place.
The first qualifying session was held in dry conditions with overhead cloud making its presence felt, leaving air temperatures at a mild 18°C and track temperatures at 22°C.