Carlos Checa will start the fifth round of the 2011 World Superbike Championship from pole position after gaining confidence in time to snatch the top spot from Jakub Smrz.
Having commanded a sizeable advantage in the dry after Q1, Checa was expected to be the favourite for pole position, but slippery conditions threatened to derail those hopes, the Spaniard down in the mid-field during the sessions that preceded Superpole.
Nonetheless, the experienced Althea Ducati rider hauled himself into SP3, where he would exchange fastest laps with Jakub Smrz before his final flying effort of 1min 58.315secs proved enough to keep him out front.
His fourth pole position in five attempts, Checa admits he was surprised to still come out in front and regarded it as his best Superpole yet.
“Considering the conditions, this was the most difficult and most surprising pole of the season so far. I really didn't expect to do it on the wet seeing as we were struggling to make the top eight this morning. I would have been happy with the front row for tomorrow but the pole is fantastic, and also unexpected!
“We had a good setting and I gained confidence in each session of the Superpole, improving as the grip began to pick up. Maybe I could have pushed a little harder in certain sections of the track but I didn't and it was an amazing surprise when I realised I'd made pole! We hope for drier conditions [in the races], but of course I will give it my all whatever the weather.”