Corser on Valencia Pole

Calvin Kim
by Calvin Kim
Troy Corser topped the leaderboard after Friday's opening qualifying session for the first round of the World Superbike championship at Valencia, Spain.

The Aprilia rider's lap left him clear of second fastest Hitoyasu Izutsu on a Kawasaki with local hope Ruben Xaus on a Ducati third quickest and his Australian team-mate Troy Bayliss fourth.

Troy CorserIzutsu's fellow Kawasaki rider Gregorio Lavilla was fifth fastest after the one-hour battle with American Ben Bostrom - fastest rider at the pre-season Valencia test three weeks ago - sixth on his Ducati.

Italian Giovanni Bussei moved to seventh place in the closing stages of the session while reigning British Superbike champion Neil Hodgson was eighth fastest at the windswept 2.95-mile circuit.

Defending world champion Colin Edwards took the ninth best time withCorser's team-mate Regis Laconi 10th. Edwards' new team-mate Tady Okada was 13th.

Edwards commented: "The settings we had from the test here just haven't worked so we've had to start again and we're about halfway to getting the machine right. We're not miles away from getting the machine right and I'm sure we'll improve the machine for morning - we'll have to, simple as that."

Friday's World Superbike qualifying times:1 Troy Corser, Australia (Aprilia) 1:35.5042 Hitoyasu Izutsu, Japan (Kawasaki) 1:36.0983 Ruben Xaus, Spain (Ducati) 1:36.2254 Troy Bayliss, Australia (Ducati) 1:36.2775 Gregorio Lavilla, Spain (Kawasaki) 1:36.6286 Ben Bostrom, USA (Ducati) 1:36.6467 Giovanni Bussei, Italy (Ducati) 1:36.7968 Neil Hodgson, GB (Ducati) 1:36.8929 Colin Edwards, USA (Castrol Honda) 1:36.92310 Regis Laconi, France (Aprilia) 1:36.936
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