Checa seals pole Down Under
Phillip Island - Spain's Carlos Checa rode a record lap time at the Phillip Island circuit to seal pole position for Sunday's first two races of the opening round of the World Superbike Championship.
The 40-year-old Ducati rider will start at the front of the grid after posting a time of 1:30.234 during the final qualifying sessions on Saturday.
Checa, a four-time winner at Phillip Island, set the previous record time of 1:30.882 to top qualifying for last year's race.
Also starting from the front row will be Aprilia riders Eugene Laverty of Northern Ireland (1:30.429) and Italy's Michel Fabrizio (1:30.581).
Kawasaki's Tom Sykes of England and BMW's Marco Melandri of Italy will be on the second row alongside French rider Sylvain Guintoli on an Aprilia.
Leading results from Saturday's final qualifying session for Sunday's two races of the season-opening round of the World Superbike Championship on the 4.445km Phillip Island circuit:
1. Carlos Checa, Spain, Ducati, 1 minute, 30.234 seconds.
2. Eugene Laverty, Britain, Aprilia, 1:30.429.
3. Michel Fabrizio, Italy, Aprilia, 1:30.581.
4. Tom Sykes, Britain, Kawasaki, 1:30.615.
5. Marco Melandri, Italy, BMW, 1:30.615.
6. Sylvain Guintoli, France, Aprilia, 1:30.683.
7. Leon Camier, Britain, Suzuki, 1:30.991.
8. Leon Haslam, Britain, Honda, 1:30.998.
9. Jonathan Rea, Britain, Honda, 1:31.742.
10. Davide Giugliano, Italy, Aprilia, 1:31.283.