Fabrizio fastest again in Kyalami Q2.

Ducati's Michel Fabrizio maintained his grip on the WSBK meeting in South Africa by topping the second qualifying session by a tenth of a second over a pair of hungry British riders.

The Italian, while not improving on his Friday qualifying 1min 38.103secs, nevertheless set the pace with a lap of 1min 38.362secs, keeping Leon Haslam and Tom Sykes at bay by 0.143secs and 0.152secs respectively.

Having allowed Shaun Whyte, Fonsi Nieto, Ryuichi Kiyonari and Sykes to set the early pace, Fabrizio vaulted to top spot with a 1min 38.914secs effort, only to see the Yamaha-mounted Sykes retaliate just seconds later. The Briton remained untouched for the next nine minutes, but Fabrizio wasn't to be denied, mustering an initial 1min 38.456secs to reclaim top spot and then improving on his own mark to seal the deal.

Sykes, however, would not end the 45-minute session as the Italian's closest opposition, as Haslam sneaked past the Yamaha man's best effort with a 1min 38.505secs lap in the closing stages.

Yukio Kagayama also got to within a couple of tenths of the pace, making it four different makes in the leading quartet as he added Suzuki to Ducati, Honda and Yamaha, but was only fifth overall after another Brit, Jonathan Rea, carried his Friday best to third on the combined qualifying list.

Superpole king Ben Spies appears to have work to do if he is to maintain his season-opening streak and equal Doug Polen's record of six after posting 'only' the fifth best time in the second session - and failed to improve on his Friday best. The American was run close by late South African stand-in Sheridan Morais, who pushed the Kawasaki team's ZX10R to seventh overall with a big improvement between sessions and ensured that both green machines made it into Superpole for the first time this year.

Kiyonari, Carlos Checa - who recorded identical 1min 38.905secs laps - Jakob Smrz and points leader Nori Haga rounded out the top ten in session two, all relying on their times on the overall combined list, but the order behind them was a little shuffled as others relied on day one marks.

Shinya Nakano popped up into twelfth overall courtesy of his Friday best, while Max Biaggi (16th overall) also made the Superpole cut based on what he achieved on Friday. Between them, Gregorio Lavilla, Shane Byrne and Ruben Xaus all improved second time around, as did the final four qualifiers, Tommy Hill, Broc Parkes and Pedercini duo Luca Scassa and David Salom, the latter making the cut for the first time.

Among those missing out, Nieto, Karl Muggeridge and Steve Martin finished the morning 21st, 22nd and 23rd overall, just ahead of Whyte.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Fabrizio, South African WSBK 2009
Ducati pack up for long haul, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati pack up, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati pack up, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati pack up, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati pack up, Misano WSBK 2017
Cluzel qualifies 2nd, WSS, Misano WSBK 2017
Caricasulo qualifies 3rd, WSS, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati Panigale engine, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati Panigale bikes, Misano WSBK 2017
Xavi Fores, Barni Ducati [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Marco Melandri, Racing Ducati [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Marco Melandri, Racing Ducati [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Chaz Davies, Racing Ducati [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Chaz Davies, Ducati [Credit: Ducati Media]
Ducati team, Race1, Imola WSBK 2017
Davies and Jonathan Rea in parc ferme after qualifying, Assen WSBK 2017
Davies and Jonathan Rea in parc ferme after qualifying, Assen WSBK 2017

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