WSBK: Smrz leads the way after mixed weather conditions

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WSBK Press Release:

Jakub Smrz pushed as hard in dry conditions as he had in the wet free practice session this morning to take the overnight fastest lap time of 1 minute 49.842 seconds. The man from the Czech Republic had been quickest in the wet opening session, after a thunderstorm had arrived at Miller at an inopportune moment.

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A good day for the Ducati riders saw Carlos Checa go second, heading up the BMW Motorrad Motorsport machine of Marco Melandri and the Aprilia Racing entry of Max Biaggi. Davide Giugliano and Sylvain Guintoli continued the good Ducati form in going fifth and sixth respectively.

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Jonathan Rea was the first Honda rider home, in seventh, with Eugene Laverty joining his team-mate Biaggi in the top eight places.

Tom Sykes crashed out on his Kawasaki Racing Team official bike and was an unusually low ninth after the first qualifying session. The cosmopolitan nature of the championship was demonstrated fully as the FIXI Crescent Suzuki of Leon Camier took the English rider to tenth, making it all six manufacturers in the early top ten.

In his comeback ride from injury David Salom was 15th after the first official session, while another rider making a return to the fray, local man John Hopkins was ranked 17th.

The 24-strong field of riders will face a further qualifying session tomorrow morning and then the top 16 will go forward to Tissot-Superpole to determine their final grid positions.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: The United States round of the Superbike World Championship from Miller Motorsports Park will air on SPEED Monday, May 28 at 4:00pm ET and 7:00pm ET.

Times:

1. Smrz (Ducati) 1'49.842 average 160.824 kph

2. Checa (Ducati) 1'49.912

3. Melandri (BMW) 1'50.038

4. Biaggi (Aprilia) 1'50.091

5. Giugliano (Ducati) 1'50.280

6. Guintoli (Ducati) 1'50.312

7. Rea (Honda) 1'50.358

8. Laverty (Aprilia) 1'50.428

9. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'50.433

10. Camier (Suzuki) 1'50.520

11. Davies (Aprilia) 1'50.561

12. Haslam (BMW) 1'50.730

13. Fabrizio (BMW) 1'50.877

14. Badovini (BMW) 1'51.042

15. Salom (Kawasaki) 1'51.055

16. Berger (Ducati) 1'51.070

17. Hopkins (Suzuki) 1'51.512

18. Canepa (Ducati) 1'51.590

19. Baz (Kawasaki) 1'52.002

20. Holden (BMW) 1'52.108

21. Mercado (Kawasaki) 1'52.288

22. Aoyama (Honda) 1'52.390

23. Zanetti (Ducati) 1'52.953

24. Turpin (Ducati) 1'54.994

For more information: www.worldsbk.com