Carlos Checa and Max Biaggi continue to set the pace during first World Superbike Championship qualifying at Misano, the pair closely matched, but comfortably ahead of their opposition.

Once again, Checa led the way for much of the session, with Biaggi closing down the gap to just a tenth in the final seconds after out pacing his rival in two of the four sectors.

Biaggi's final lap came after the session was restarted with less than three minutes to go due to a red flag stoppage prompted by an accident for 2010 pole sitter Troy Corser.

The Australian crashed heavily at turn eight and was taken to the medical centre, but while the extent of his injuries are not yet known, the official WSBK website states that he may ride tomorrow.

Marco Melandri and Michel Fabrizio made it a strong day for the Italian contingent as they held down positions three and four at the end of the session, ahead of the unfortunate Corser.

Having languished towards the bottom end of the timesheets in FP1, Eugene Laverty bounced back to claim the sixth fastest time, ahead of Jakub Smrz, while Noriyuki Haga and Sylvain Guintoli were others to capitalise on the stoppage by pumping in their best laps when the session restarted.

As ever, things remain close in the mid-field with just a second covering third down to 21st position, ensuring the fight to get into Superpole will be fierce when Q2 resumes tomorrow.

Currently, Matteo Baiocco on the wild-card Barni Ducati is doing a fine job in 15th, ahead of Joan Lascorz, while Ruben Xaus, Alessandro Polita - on the second Barni Ducati -, Roberto Rolfo, Maxime Berger, Mark Aitchison, Chris Vermeulen and Lorenzo Lanzi occupy the danger zone.


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