Checa sets the pace in qualifying at Philip Island

Carlos Checa’s vice like grip on the Philip Island circuit continued in final qualifying with the Spaniard setting the pace once more ahead of Superpole. Checa was unable to set a faster time than in the first qualifying session but was still 0.2s faster than nearest rival Max Biaggi.

Biaggi, the reigning world champion, set his time in the dying minutes to move ahead of Tom Sykes. The Englishman saw the biggest improvement from Friday’s opening session and looked to be very confident aboard his Kawasaki. Sykes is an aggressive rider with a determined style and if the Kawasaki allows him to continue in this vein he could have a very strong weekend.

Sylvain Guintoli was fourth fastest. The Frenchman has had a strong weekend and consistently has been the second fastest Ducati. Jonathon Rea is still clearly hampered by injury but the Irishman overcame his two recent crashes to set the fifth fastest time and end qualifying just ahead of compatriot Eugene Laverty.

Laverty, a class rookie, has impressed everyone this weekend with his consistent pace leaving Marco Melandri in his wake. The Italian posted the 12th fastest time as he continues to adapt to riding a superbikes after spending his career in Grand Prix.

Josh Watters did well to qualify for Superpole; the wildcard rider clocked the 13th fastest time. Double world champion James Toseland was the final rider to make the cut off mark with Leon Camier the unlucky rider to miss out on Superpole.

For full qualifying results click here

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