2012 Phillip Island WSBK QP1: Rea Holds Off Ducati Hordes

Johnny Rea has pulled off the first upset of the weekend at Phillip Island, by posting a sub-1'32 lap during the first session of qualifying for the World Superbike class to seize provisional pole. In the dying seconds of QP1, the Honda WSBK man took nearly a second off his best time to usurp the Ducatis, which had dominated until then, and seize the top spot. Rea's fast time demoted Effenbert Liberty's Jakub Smrz into 2nd spot, who had himself pushed Carlos Checa off provisional pole a few moments earlier.

The Althea Ducati man ended the session behind both Rea and Smrz, but more surprisingly, Checa also ended up slower than his rookie teammate Davide Giugliano, albeit by just a few hundredths of a second. Max Biaggi inserted his factory Aprilia between Checa and yet another Ducati, this time of Niccolo Canepa, while Tom Sykes led the Kawasakis in 7th, ahead of teammate Joan Lascorz in 8th.

Bravest performances of the day went perhaps to the injured riders from the British Isles. Aprilia's Eugene Laverty is riding with two injured hands, one recently recovered from surgery, and only managed 3 complete laps with a good deal of help from the medical center. BMW's Leon Haslam, fresh from having surgery on his leg on Thursday to pin the bones he fractured during the final test on Monday, suited up to complete a couple of laps to test his ability to control the bike and ride safely, with an eye to trying to race on Sunday and collect a handful of points. Neither man threatened the pole, Haslam finishing 21st and Laverty finishing 22nd.


Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff
1 65 J. REA Honda CBR1000RR 1'31.959  
2 96 J. SMRZ Ducati 1098R 1'32.116 0.157
3 34 D. GIUGLIANO Ducati 1098R 1'32.198 0.239
4 7 C. CHECA Ducati 1098R 1'32.228 0.269
5 3 M. BIAGGI Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'32.318 0.359
6 59 N. CANEPA Ducati 1098R 1'32.343 0.384
7 66 T. SYKES Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'32.402 0.443
8 17 J. LASCORZ Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'32.443 0.484
9 33 M. MELANDRI BMW S1000 RR 1'32.553 0.594
10 84 M. FABRIZIO BMW S1000 RR 1'32.609 0.650
11 50 S. GUINTOLI Ducati 1098R 1'32.644 0.685
12 2 L. CAMIER Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'32.817 0.858
13 19 C. DAVIES Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'32.874 0.915
14 67 B. STARING Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'32.884 0.925
15 4 H. AOYAMA Honda CBR1000RR 1'33.040 1.081
16 121 M. BERGER Ducati 1098R 1'33.075 1.116
17 44 D. SALOM Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'33.128 1.169
18 86 A. BADOVINI BMW S1000 RR 1'33.136 1.177
19 87 L. ZANETTI Ducati 1098R 1'33.148 1.189
20 25 J. BROOKES Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'33.477 1.518
21 91 L. HASLAM BMW S1000 RR 1'33.532 1.573
22 58 E. LAVERTY Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'34.189 2.230
23 18 M. AITCHISON BMW S1000 RR 1'34.239 2.280
24 20 D. JOHNSON BMW S1000 RR 1'34.855 2.896
25 35 R. DE ROSA Honda CBR1000RR 1'34.979 3.020


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Rea managed to upset the balance of power with an underpowered CBR1krr... let's see what happens on Sunday though. But Laverty and Haslam?? With their injuries, they still managed to suit-up and turn laps! They are tough competitors and know that every point counts... I wish them luck this weekend.

I know it's very early, but I'm not getting a good feeling about BMW's prospects. I'm hoping they can get consistently competitive and fill the void that Yamaha left at the front of the field.