ASSEN, Netherlands – Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) set the quickest time in this afternoon’s first qualifying session at Assen, which was conditioned by bad weather. The riders first went out on slicks but one minute later it began to rain, making the track slippery. They just about managed to get back to the pits in reasonable conditions and then just a few riders ventured out at the end in the wet.
Guintoli was a fraction of a second ahead of Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), with an impressive Leon Camier (Crescent Fixi Suzuki) and championship leader Carlos Checa (Ducati Althea Racing) completing the provisional front row. Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) was fifth ahead of Michel Fabrizio (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet), the first BMW runner in the timesheets. Even in these difficult weather conditions, five different manufacturers are in the top 6 positions.
Two more BMWs were next up, Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad) in eighth ahead of Ayrton Badovini with the Italian team’s S1000RR.
With the top 16 positions likely to stay the same should it rain in tomorrow morning’s final session, the first rider to be excluded will be Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing). The Italian has to hope for an improvement in the weather otherwise he will be forced to start from the fifth row of the grid.
Pos. Rider Team Bike Time 1 Sylvain Guintoli Team Effenbert Liberty Racing Ducati 1098R 01:37.6 2 Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R 01:37.6 3 Leon Camier Crescent Suzuki Suzuki GSX-R1000 01:38.5 4 Carlos Checa Althea Racing Ducati 1098R 01:38.7 5 Jonathan Rea Honda World Superbike Team Honda CBR1000RR 01:38.9 6 Michel Fabrizio BMW Motorrad Italia GOLDBET SBK Team BMW S1000 RR 01:39.1 7 Ayrton Badovini BMW Motorrad Italia GOLDBET SBK Team BMW S1000 RR 01:39.1 8 Marco Melandri BMW Motorrad Motorsport BMW S1000 RR 01:39.1 9 Maxime Berger Liberty Racing - Team Effenbert Ducati 1098R 01:39.3 10 Chaz Davies ParkinGO Aprilia Racing Team Aprilia RSV4 1000 F 01:39.4 11 Eugene Laverty Aprilia Racing Team Aprilia RSV4 1000 F 01:39.5 12 Jakub Smrz Team Effenbert Liberty Racing Ducati 1098R 01:39.6 13 John Hopkins Crescent Suzuki Suzuki GSX-R1000 01:39.6 14 Leon Haslam BMW Motorrad Motorsport BMW S1000 RR 01:39.8 15 Bret McCormick Team Effenbert Liberty Racing Ducati 1098R 01:39.9