Superbikes - Laguna WSBK: Melandri heads second qualifying from Canepa, Sykes

GoldBet BMW’s Marco Melandri left it till the dying seconds of the final World Superbike qualifying session to bag provisional pole with a new best lap record of 1’23.775. The Italian pushed fellow Roman, Ducati Alstare’s Nico Canepa off the top of the time-sheets just as the chequered flag appeared.

Superbikes - Laguna WSBK: Melandri heads second qualifying from Canepa, Sykes

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Laguna WSBK: Melandri heads second qualifying from Canepa, Sykes

Canepa, riding as a replacement for the injured Carlos Checa put in an impressive time of 1’23.938, just two tenths of a second off the time clocked by Melandri. Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes was leading the way for the majority of the session, and the Yorkshireman set the fastest time at the very start of the 60 minute session, and looked like he was going to be the man to beat. But he could not improve on his best lap of 1’24.153, and had to watch as the two Italian riders lapped in the 1’23’s. But it is still a provisional front row start for Huddersfield’s finest.

With ten minutes to go GoldBet BMW’s Chaz Davies clawed his way from tenth to fifth fastest with his best lap of 1’24.334, just behind Aprilia’s Sylvain Guintoli. The French rider was only three one-hundredths of a second faster than the Welshman this afternoon.

Guintoli’s team-mate, Irishman Eugene Laverty could not replicate his good form that he set in the first qualifying outing a few hours before. The Monaco based resident set a 1’24.394, to place him eighth fastest, with Pata Honda’s Leon Haslam ending the session in ninth with a 1’24.592 lap. Ducati Alstare’s Ayrton Badovini rounded off the top ten.

There were a few crashes and technical problems out on the circuit. Wildcard rider Roger Lee Hayden experienced a technical problem at the Andretti Hairpin in the early part of the session. Red Devils rider Toni Elias also had a bike issue putting an end to his qualifying outing, with over 30 minutes of the session remaining.

Elias was sixth fastest, but slipped back down to fourteenth. Kawasaki’s stand-in rider David Salom crashed at The Corkscrew with fifteen minutes left of the session remaining. The World Supersport rider was declared OK at the Californian track side, and ended up re-joining.

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