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Miller WSBK: Last-lap Smrz bags pole



Smrz has taken pole for the first time this year
Smrz has taken pole for the first time this year

By WSBK desk
Image by Paul Sturman

Superpole three
Jakub Smrz 1'47.626
Carlos Checa 1'47.810
Tom Sykes 1'48.062


Liberty Ducati's Jakub Smrz has blasted to his first pole position of the 2012 World Superbike season at Miller Motorsport Park, deposing reigning champion Carlos Checa from top spot with his last lap of the session to hammer home the form he showed in practice and qualifying.

It looks like Checa had finally taken the pole he has so far missed out on this year but Smrz had other ideas and managed to go faster than the Spaniard on a used tyre. Kawasaki's Tom Sykes couldn't find the pace to take his fifth pole of the year so settled for third place.

Checa's team-mate Davide Guigliano will have his first-ever front-row start tomorrow after following Checa around to pick up the fourth fastest time. Jonathan Rea heads the second row from Sylvain Guintoli, Max Biaggi and Eugene Laverty, whose works Aprilia broke right at the start of the session and he wasn't able to put in a time.

Superpole two
Carlos Checa 1'47.990
Jakub Smrz 1'48.056
Sylvain Guintoli 1'48.076

Checa was the first man to punch through the 1'48s barrier with his final lap which saw him take top spot after sitting in sixth for much of the session. Smrz found the pace he displayed yesterday to go second with his last lap with his team-mate Guintoli also in the top flight.

Chaz Davies had got himself into seventh with his last lap on a qualfier but was shunted back into the drop zone when Michel Fabrizio and Davide Guigliano went faster. Fabrizio was then pushed back by the lap of Smrz which also put Marco Melandri into ninth and out. Laverty held on to eighth spot by the skin of his pants. Sykes and Rea had the only non-Italian bikes left in the third session.

ELIMINATED
Michel Fabrizio
Marco Melandri
Chaz Davies
Lorenzo Zanetti

Superpole one
Carlos Checa 1'48.427
Eugene Laverty 1'48.480
Jakub Smrz 1'48.485


BMW's Leon Haslam was the only title contender to drop out in the first session after he punctured a rear tyre at the start of the session and then put in a fast enough time for 11th but was bumped down the order by fast laps from Lorenzo Zanetti and Chaz Davies, who both made it through.

It would appear Haslam is lacking rear grip as you can hear his electronics cutting the engine revs almost everywhere. And it looked like his exhaust was a bit loose too. Laverty was fastest of the Brits just behind Checa with the Toomebridge man finding more pace from second free practice.

ELIMINATED
Leon Haslam
Maxime Berger
Nico Canepa
John Hopkins

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