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Checa smashes 'Ring record for pole
3 September 2011
Carlos Checa has taken his first World Superbike pole position since Miller Motorsports Park after dominating the opposition at the Nurburgring.
The championship leader has been imperious form over the weekend thus far, the Spaniard signalling his intentions by just missing out on the lap record during the Superpole-preceding FP2 session.
However, having come close to it again during the first Superpole knockout phase, Checa saved his best for last by producing a pole position-securing time of 1min 54.144secs, one that was also good enough to lower Max Biaggi's former record marker by a massive four tenths.
As a measure of how dominant Checa was, Eugene Laverty was also able to dip under the previous best, but he still looks a distant second compared to the in-form Althea Ducati rider.
Nonetheless, second marks Laverty's fifth front row start of the season, the Irishman comfortably holding off Biaggi, who shrugged off his foot injury to go third, while Marco Melandri made it two Yamahas at the head of the field in fourth.
With the front four enjoying a considerable advantage over the remainder of the field, things were somewhat closer in the fight for the second row positions, with Noriyuki Haga – a winner in Germany aboard a Ducati last season - emerging top on the PATA Aprilia.
Well up on factory Aprilia rider Leon Camier, who crashed out of the first knockout phase in 13th, Haga will line up alongside Tom Sykes on the leading Kawasaki and Leon Haslam, who gave BMW something to smile about in seventh after a tough weekend thus far. Effenbert-Liberty Ducati rider Sylvain Guintoli completes the second row in eighth.
Behind them, Jonathan Rea was unlucky to miss out on a shootout shot in ninth place, though it will still represent Castrol Honda's first top ten start since Monza. He is joined on the third row by Jakub Smrz, impressive Pedercini Kawasaki rider Mark Aitchison and Michel Fabrizio, who crashed in the early stages of Superpole, but would bounce back to make it into 12th for Suzuki.
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