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Friday 17th June 2011

XAUS MAKES PROGRESS AT HOT ARAGON

Ruben Xaus was thirteenth fastest in today’s opening qualifying session in preparation for the two seventh round World Superbike championship races which take place on Sunday at Motorland Aragon in Spain.

Provisional pole position was secured by Marco Melandri, with series leader Carlos Checa second fastest in this afternoon’s one-hour qualifying which was run with temperatures in the mid-thirties.

Xaus is riding this weekend without team-mate Jonathan Rea who is recuperating at home following surgery on his wrist on Wednesday. However, the 32-year-old Spaniard made progress during the day and will work with his crew on improving his speed through Aragon’s final sector for tomorrow’s practice and Superpole qualifying sessions.

Ruben Xaus – P13, 2m00.853s
It’s a new track and it’s been hot today and, although we came here to test, we learned nothing. But we have made some steps today, even though the tyres were struggling a little bit after five or six laps, so that’s something critical we must look at. There is one corner in the last sector where I am losing maybe half a second, but I’m not sure why. At the other end of the track I’m really happy because in the first and second splits I’m in the top group of riders which is a big motivation for tomorrow. Hopefully, it will be much easier to improve on that last sector in one corner than in the other places. Finally, it’s not so bad for us – it could be better, of course, but we know what we need to do for tomorrow.

Ronald ten Kate – team manager
Our test here was run in completely different conditions – even some snow – so we had to start from scratch today, learning the right set-up for the track. The direction that Ruben has taken the bike today is quite out of the ballpark, but he’s getting happier with it and he’s getting faster. His biggest problem is the last sector where he is slowest at the moment. On paper, it’s not the most difficult, and in the more demanding sector, he’s third fastest. Tomorrow we’ll spend some time next to the track to see if there are any areas where we can help him improve, but at the moment we’re quite positive.

2011 World Superbike championship, round seven – Motorland Aragon, Spain
First qualifying results:

1 Marco Melandri (ITA) Yamaha 1m59.726s
2 Carlos Checa (ESP) Ducati 2m00.073s
3 Noriyuki Haga (JPN) Aprilia 2m00.214s
4 Leon Camier (GBR) Aprilia 2m00.253s
5 Tom Sykes (GBR) Kawasaki 2m00.267s
6 Max Biaggi (ITA) Aprilia 2m00.309s
13 Ruben Xaus (ESP) Castrol Honda 2m00.853s

 

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