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Monza WSBK: Melandri edges Rea to lead first qualifying



Marco Melandri must be listening to some good advice
Marco Melandri must be listening to some good advice

By Vicky Turner
Image by GeeBee Images

GoldBet BMW’s Marco Melandri dominated and obviously felt at home on the Monza tracks, as he clocked the fastest time of 1’42.883, in the opening World Superbike qualifying practice session this afternoon which was delayed after an oil spill as Ascari.

The Italian remained consistent throughout, and was never out of the top five, but with less than three minutes remaining overtook Aprilia’s Sylvain Guintoli who, at one point looked like he would remain at the top of the time-sheets, but in the end could only manage third with a 1’43.510 lap but is blisteringly-fast through the speed trap at 207mph...

Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea, stormed to second quickest on his tenth lap, with a time of 1’43.157, but could not find enough pace, and wasa quarter of a second down on Melandri’s lap time, and remained second until the chequered flag appeared. Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes was on course for another fast qualifying practice session, and after his first lap he shot to the top, but could not stay there and was overtaken by Melandri, Rea and Guintoli.

Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty was in contention for a top three finish, as he did climb to second on his third lap, but once the 45 minutes was up found himself with a fastest lap time of 1’43.956, placing him seventh overall, behind Red Devils Roma’s Michel Fabrizio.

Fixi Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier started the session in good form, and did find himself third fastest after ten minutes, but when the rest of the grid starting doing last lap dashes, the tall Kent rider found himself in ninth, with a time of 1’44.106. But Camier did finish ahead of French team-mate Jules Cluzel who rounded off the top ten.

It will be mixed emotions in the GoldBet BMW garage as while Melandri will no doubt be celebrating his good form, team-mate Chaz Davies will not be experiencing the same feelings. The Welshman was riding high at the top of the time-sheets and did set the second quickest lap time on his second lap, but during his sixth time around the Monza circuit he crashed at Lesmo 2 with 30 minutes remaining, which prematurely ended his session.

The rider did not make it back on to the track due to the fact his bike had snapped in half (see below). Davies was unhurt, but after hitting the gravel he ended up 13th overall.

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Lesmo 2 Davies 0
Lesmo 2 Davies 0
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