This afternoon the new Moscow Raceway played host to its first first ever Superpole and the star of the session was Althea Racing’s very own champion Carlos Checa. He scored his first pole of the 2012 season with a flying lap of 1m34.1 that proved unbeatable in the final phase.
After such positive qualifying sessions, Davide Giugliano also had high hopes of lining up on the front row but a crash in the final stage unfortunately relegated him to the second row; he’ll start from eighth position tomorrow. Already first and second in yesterday’s qualifying session, Davide and Carlos continued to work hard in today’s second qualifying in spite of cooler conditions (air temperature 16 ̊C, track 16 ̊C), and the threat of rain.
Davide remained in the garage during the first part of the session while his technicians made some small changes to his 1198. He then took to the track, completing only a handful of laps before the inevitable onset of rain stopped play. Carlos was able to record a series of fast laps in the initial stages, lowering his best time set yesterday by a fraction of a second.
Thanks to a best time of 1m35.2 he qualified in second place for this afternoon’s Superpole, two tenths of a second behind his team-mate. The session was briefly red-flagged due to the rain and when riders returned to the track no-one was able to improve on Davide’s first qualifying time; he therefore remained at the top of the timesheets, qualifying first for Superpole with a time of 1m35.0. Althea’s flagbearers consolidated those results in the final practice session of the early afternoon, finishing in first (Carlos) and third (Davide) position.
Superpole 1: needing just one flying lap each on race rubber, Carlos and Davide went straight to the top of the timesheets together with Sykes; both Althea riders recorded a 1m35.2 in the first few minutes of this opening phase. Thanks to these times, the Althea men were able to return to the garage, having secured safe passage to phase two. At the end of the session, they were in fourth (Davide) and fifth (Carlos) position behind Sykes, Biaggi and Laverty.
Superpole 2: the second phase was almost a repeat of the first. Carlos and Davide immediately put in a fast time with both lapping in under 1m35. While Davide set a fast 1m34.9 which put him in final fourth place, Carlos recorded the fastest lap of the weekend so far, a 1m34.4 which assured him of first position at the end of the 12-minute session.
Superpole 3: unfortunately during his first lap in this final phase Giugliano suffered a fall, the crash unfortunately preventing him from completing a fast lap which left him in eighth position at the end of today’s Superpole; he’ll therefore line up on the second row of tomorrow’s race grid. Incredibly Carlos improved even further on the time he set in the previous phase, taking advantage of the qualifying tyre to record an unbelievably quick 1m34.1. There was no doubt that this time, four tenths quicker than second-placed Sykes’ best lap, would be sufficient to secure pole, his first pole of the season.
Carlos Checa: “I’m extremely happy with today’s Superpole because this is where everything has to come together, my riding, the tyre, the bike; everything worked well and we were able to record the kind of time that we thought might be possible here. My first lap wasn’t great but the second was pretty clean, I made no mistakes and when I saw the time I knew it would be very hard to beat. It’s my first pole of the year, and doing it at this new track in Russia makes it even more special. The races are still to come of course, and my objective is to make a quick start and aim for the win, in the hope that conditions allow me to make two strong races.”
Davide Giugliano: “Unfortunately we didn’t have the third Superpole phase that we’d hoped for. In the second phase I went out on a qualifier and I think this conditioned the final phase as I went out on the same tyre but it didn’t behave in the same way and I crashed. After a weekend in which we have been up front in each session, I’m disappointed to be starting eighth tomorrow; it’s not a bad position but we thought we could do more today. We had everything lined up and the front row was in our sights… Anyway tomorrow we’ll go racing and I hope that I regain what I lost in the final Superpole session.”
TIMES (Superpole): 1. Checa (Ducati) 1’34.1; 2; Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’34.5; 3. Laverty (Aprilia) 1’34.5; 4. Haslam (BMW) 1’35.1; 5. Melandri (BMW) 1’35.2; 6. Rea (Honda) 1’35.2; 7. Biaggi (Aprilia) 1’35.2; 8. Giugliano (Ducati)
Source: Althea Racing
Read More Posts on Carlos Checa
Read More Posts on Davide Giugliano