2009 WSBK Phillip Island QP1 Result - Kuba Libre!

Czech rider Jakub Smrz took the first provisional pole of 2009 at Phillip Island today, after firing in a last-second fast lap to trounce the opposition. In hot conditions, Smrz put his Guandalini Ducati ahead of the factory Xerox Ducati of Noriyuki Haga. Briton Leon Haslam was third fastest, after setting a time that looked quick enough to clinch pole with just a couple of minutes to go. Behind Haslam's Honda followed the Suzukis of Max Neukirchner and Yukio Kagayama, all within a few hundredths of Haslam. 

Shinya Nakano was first of the Aprilias in 6th place, while Ben Spies, who had led the cooler morning session, slipped to 8th place, losing over a tenth of a second in the afternoon. Troy Corser was fastest of the BMW men, taking 16th spot, while Makoto Tamada was the quickest Kawasaki, way down in 18th, and just ahead of his team mate Broc Parkes, and the other BMW of Ruben Xaus. Practice continues tomorrow. 

World Superbike QP1 Results


196J. SmrzCZEDucati 1098R1'32.312
241N. HagaJPNDucati 1098R1'32.569
391L. HaslamGBRHonda CBR1000RR1'32.623
476M. NeukirchnerGERSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K91'32.673
571Y. KagayamaJPNSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K91'32.704
656S. NakanoJPNAprilia RSV41'32.928
784M. FabrizioITADucati 1098R1'32.932
819B. SpiesUSAYamaha YZF R11'32.939
966T. SykesGBRYamaha YZF R11'32.971
109R. KiyonariJPNHonda CBR1000RR1'32.991
113M. BiaggiITAAprilia RSV41'32.995
1255R. LaconiFRADucati 1098 RS 091'33.202
1344R. RolfoITAHonda CBR1000RR1'33.206
147C. ChecaESPHonda CBR1000RR1'33.224
1567S. ByrneGBRDucati 1098R1'33.317
1611T. CorserAUSBMW S1000 RR1'33.377
1765J. ReaGBRHonda CBR1000RR1'33.418
18100M. TamadaJPNKawasaki ZX 10R1'33.709
1923B. ParkesAUSKawasaki ZX 10R1'33.911
20111R. XausESPBMW S1000 RR1'34.080
2133T. HillGBRHonda CBR1000RR1'34.123
2225D. SalomESPKawasaki ZX 10R1'34.487
2324B. RobertsAUSDucati 1098R1'35.123
2431K. MuggeridgeAUSSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K91'35.716
2599L. ScassaITAKawasaki ZX 10R1'35.759
2677V. IannuzzoITAHonda CBR1000RR1'36.103
2715M. BaioccoITAKawasaki ZX 10R1'36.514
2886A. BadoviniITAKawasaki ZX 10R1'37.127


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It's pretty impressive when a single SECOND (plus 5 thousandths) separates the top 15 riders!

I think it just might be possible for Yamaha and Aprilia to really have something special, right from the start. I'm really excited about both of them. They've both got the right configuration to put down some serious torque out of the corners with the Ducatis, and they should be able to have the revs on the top end with the other "fours".

It's also exciting to have BMW join the series. They've gone and procured the services of two great riders, so they obviously mean business. I must say I'm pretty surprised at their engine and chassis layout, with its really "standard" layout. I thought it might have been at least a little bit quirky, being a BMW.

I can't WAIT to see how the first couple races shake out.

Aprilia is my sentimental favorite (Nakano put in a pretty impressive showing), but I think this first weekend might very well see Haga and Spies at the front.

A big tip of the hat to Smrz, though. Well done.