Marco Melandri raced to a Spectacular Maiden Pole at Aragon

Yamaha Racing Press Release

In a thrilling Superpole session today at Aragon, Marco Melandri was flawless, qualifying in pole position with an impressive time of 1’57.634, while setting the new track record in the process.

Team Yamaha's Marco MelandriThe Italian completed two laps in the opening Superpole heat and confident to have recorded a sufficiently fast pace decided to save his qualifiers for the coming heats. The nail-biting dying seconds of the session saw several riders improve their lap times, bumping Melandri back to 12th.Team-mate Laverty wisely changed to a set of qualifiers with just 3 minutes to go and produced a flying lap taking him comfortably into Superpole two in first place.

The second phase of the Superpole knockout was equally impressive with Laverty and Melandri concluding in third and seventh place respectively. Melandri performed impeccably in the third and final session, producing his fastest time on the first lap, setting the record time on the new Spanish track and claiming his maiden pole position in his World Superbike career.

Having used his qualifiers in the previous heats, Laverty completed Superpole three in sixth place on a set of used race tyres.

A track temperature of at least 20 degrees less than that recorded in yesterday’s first qualifying session permitted all riders to improve their lap times in this morning’s second qualifying. Eugene Laverty had a less than perfect session, struggling with wheelie issues which he managed to improve prior to the afternoon’s free practice. A competitive qualifying session saw all 16 riders heading into the Superpole knockout with less than a second between them

Both Yamaha World Superbike rookies face tomorrow’s two races confident to be on top form and proving strong contenders for a Spanish podium. Melandri has his sights on a victory, in what will be a very competitive race day, on higher track temperatures.

Marco Melandri
Yamaha World Superbike Team – 1st, 1’57.634
“This is an amazing day. I really didn’t think I’d be in pole position, especially after the first Superpole where I risked not qualifying. My team has been working harder than ever since Misano and we’ve really come a long way and the bike is working very well. I’m really happy with today and I want to say thanks to Yamaha and all my team. The race tomorrow will be very difficult and competitive. A lot will depend on the heat of the track and tyre wear but hopefully it won’t be as windy as today.”

Eugene Laverty
Yamaha World Superbike Team – 6th, 1’58.756
“It was a very tough morning. I didn’t find a good set up, so I wasn’t very confident. The team worked hard and we made huge improvements in the afternoon’s free practice and I regained confidence prior to Superpole. I knew I had to go out again in the first heat and improve my time even if that meant using a qualifier and only have one left. Unfortunately I also knew that then I couldn’t produce a faster lap in the third session. Marco, Checa and Biaggi will be very strong tomorrow but I’m sure I’ll be competitive as well.”

Andrea Dosoli – Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager
“A great result for Marco today. He has had a good weekend overall and has found a good race set-up. He was fortunate in the first Superpole, having saved his qualifiers for the final heats. It’s important to be on the front row and it will be crucial to get ahead and try and save on tyre wear. He did a long run in the afternoon which highlighted the necessity not to over use the tyres in the first few laps. Eugene struggled this morning but managed to improve on his race setting before the afternoon’s session. The second row is a very good result and from there I’m confident he will be strong and battle for a position amongst the leaders.”

2011 World Superbike Spain Motorland Aragon 18/06/2011

1 Marco Melandri Yamaha ITA 1’57.634
2 Max Biaggi Aprilia ITA 1’57.790
3 Leon Camier Aprilia GBR 1’58.279
4 Carlos Checa Ducati ESP 1’58.472
5 Tom Sykes Kawasaki GBR 1’58.641
6 Eugene Laverty Yamaha GBR 1’58.756
7 Joan Lascorz Kawasaki ESP 1’59.194
8 Ayrton Badovini BMW ITA 1’59.591
9 Noriyuki Haga Aprilia JPN 1’58.566
10 Sylvain Guintoli Ducati FRA 1’58.640
11 Michel Fabrizio Suzuki ITA 1’58.950
12 Mark Aitchison Kawasaki AUS 1’59.680
13 Jakub Smrz Ducati CZE 1’59.355
14 Leon Haslam BMW GBR 1’59.367
15 Maxime Berger Ducati FRA 1’59.507

Qualifying 1 & Qualifying 2

1 Carlos Checa Ducati ESP 2’00.073 1’59.183
2 Jakub Smrz Ducati CZE 2’01.829 1’59.262
3 Max Biaggi Aprilia ITA 2’00.309 1’59.278
4 Tom Sykes Kawasaki GBR 2’00.267 1’59.358
5 Leon Camier Aprilia GBR 2’00.253 1’59.419
6 Maxime Berger Ducati FRA 2’00.509 1’59.423
7 Marco Melandri Yamaha ITA 1’59.726 1’59.437
8 Ayrton Badovini BMW ITA 2’00.377 1’59.579
9 Michel Fabrizio Suzuki ITA 2’00.324 1’59.613
10 Joan Lascorz Kawasaki ESP 2’00.727 1’59.830
11 Eugene Laverty Yamaha GBR 2’00.503 1’59.831
12 Noriyuki Haga Aprilia JPN 2’00.214 1’59.881
13 Leon Haslam BMW GBR 2’01.047 2’00.007
14 Mark Aitchison Kawasaki AUS 2’01.428 2’00.024
15 Sylvain Guintoli Ducati FRA 2’01.484 2’00.133
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