Two years after scoring his first World Superbike pole position in the United States, Carlos Checa
will once again start from first place at Miller Motorsports Park after a crushing performance in Superpole.
The Spaniard, who dominated proceedings for Ten Kate Honda on the series' first visit to the Utah circuit in 2008, was in imperious form again during the Superpole shootout as he smashed his own lap record with a best of 1min 47.081secs
With lap times tumbling in each of the three phases, Checa first dipped below his lap record during SP1, only for Max Biaggi
to slice another two tenths off in SP2.
However, no rider could come close to Checa when it mattered as he put considerable air between himself and eventual second place man Biaggi, the Althea Ducati rider even confident enough to sit out the second-half of the session.
The shootout had been reduced to a last gasp sprint after a stoppage mid-way through due to separate accidents for Jonathan Rea and Jakub Smrz.
Once the session restarted, three-time pole sitter Cal Crutchlow will secured third, while Smrz was still able to hold onto a front row spot despite his early demise, the Czech rider suffering a dramatic looking high-side but thankfully able to walk away.
Rea was similarly lucky to escape injury after he was launched from his Ten Kate Honda, the Northern Irishman no doubt counting his blessings after the CBR1000RR skimmed over him as it bounced down the tarmac. He will start seventh.
Joining him on the second row will be championship leader Leon Haslam, who put in a quiet performance on the way to fifth, and Noriyuki Haga, who squeezed into the shootout for the first time this season on the way to a respectable sixth around a circuit he has publicly acknowledged as not being a favourite of his. Leon Camier did a fine job to make it through to the shootout, but ran out of useable tyres once there as he settled for eighth.
It was an exciting session throughout, particularly in the final seconds of SP2 as the close lap times coaxed all but one rider to attempt a final lap.