Marco Simoncelli and Chaz Davies got their respective World Superbike and Supersport bows off to a good start at Imola with a strong qualifying performance.

250GP World Champion Simoncelli makes his debut for Aprilia at his and the team's home circuit having been drafted in as a replacement for the injured Shinya Nakano.

Despite a lack of experience riding the RSV-4, save for a test at Mugello this week, Simoncelli signalled his intentions with by out pacing Max Biaggi and recording the sixth quickest time in provisional qualifying.

Although he couldn't quite match that in Superpole, Simoncelli did reach the top eight shootout after an outstanding last gasp effort in phase two saw him squeeze through. He will start just two positions behind Biaggi.

Davies, meanwhile, who started three MotoGP races for Pramac Ducati in 2007, will start 11th on the grid at Imola ahead of his maiden race on the BE1 Triumph Daytona 675, just half a second adrift of team-mate Garry McCoy.


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