Carlos Checa was one of two high profile fallers during Saturday's Superpole session at Vallelunga, the Spaniard being related to twelfth due to his accident - one place behind countryman and fellow crasher Ruben Xaus.

Checa lost the front of his Ten Kate Honda through a left hander, landing heavily on his shoulder before sliding off the track.

"Of course, I'm a little disappointed about the crash," said the Spaniard. "I'd felt the front pushing at that point before but I didn't expect to lose it there. It was a tyre that had performed well but it was quite hard and maybe one lap was not enough to get it up to temperature to get the grip needed with a qualifier in the rear. I'm OK, but it means I will have two difficult starts tomorrow. We still have some things to try tomorrow and a softer setting may help tyre wear, but we'll have to see what happens."

Checa's fall once again left Ryuichi Kiyonari to lead the Ten Kate challenge, although the on-form Japanese - who has won three of the last four races - slipped one position from second qualifying and will line-up in fifth.

"I tried my best to get on the front row in my Superpole lap but I lost time in the first split - perhaps because I was pushing a little bit too much," explained Kiyo. "I'm happy with the race set-up but we still have some more work to do in warm-up tomorrow to make it even better. Everyone on the team is working hard to get it right, so I will try my best for some more good results in the races."

Meanwhile, the team's third rider, reigning World Supersport champion, Kenan Sofuoglu, qualified 14th fastest in only his second Superpole event. "I was very happy to get into Superpole but I was a little nervous before my lap. Since the first round Qatar I have only ever watched it on TV!" confessed the young Turkish rider.

"We've had limited time today to prepare everything for tomorrow's races, but it's been the same for all the riders," said team manager Ronald ten Kate. "The race set-up and tyre choice will therefore be a bit of a gamble, but the pace has been good in race simulations today. Carlos will, of course, have to use all his experience to fight his way through from his starting position but I'm quite sure he is ready to do that."


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