Althea Ducati’s Carlos Checa has set the fastest time in the opening World Superbike free practice session at the Nurburgring this morning, lapping less than a tenth faster than Joan Lascorz on the factory PBM Kawsaki who jumped into second with his last circuit.
Checa’s 1’57.296 is just 0.078s ahead of Lascorz who demoted Liberty Ducati’s Jakub Smrz from second just after the Czech rider crashed unhurt. He is four-tenths slower than Checa with the Alstare Suzuki of Michel Fabrizio rounding out a theoretical front row.
Alitalia Aprilia’s Leon Camier is the first of the British contingent in fifth and nearly a second off the pace with fellow ex-BSB man Sylvain Guintoli one pace behind. Returning Castrol Honda rider Jonathan Rea bagged eighth just ahead of the first works Yamaha of Marco Melandri who is 1.036s in arrears.
BMW’s Leon Haslam ended the session in ninth after leading early on and he has Tom Sykes, on the second works ZX-10R, just behind him. Reigning world champion Max Biaggi is down in 11th while Eugene Laverty heads James Toseland in 12th.