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Brno WSBK: Biaggi chases Smrz in tight first session

Liberty Ducati's Jakub Smrz just edged out reigning World Superbike Champion in the first free practice session at Brno this morning with frantic last laps that saw the lead change five times in the last few minutes.

Smrz went round in 2'00.200 with Biggi a little under two tenths behind with Marco Melandri, on the works Yamaha, coming back to third with his final circulation after he led the way with four minutes left. The Italian's lap was enough to demote Michel Fabrizio's Alstare Suzuki while Sylvain Guintoli, who had nipped into fourth, ended in fifth just two one-hundredths in arrears.

Alitalia Aprilia's Leon Camier, who was at the top of the sheets with his 1'00.922 with five minutes left, slipped to sixth and series leader Carlos Checa, on the Althea Ducati, was just behind him. Checa and Biaggi were fighting for top spot over most of the hour but the Spaniard lost out right at the end.


BMW's Leon Haslam, who led with ten minutes left, slipped to eighth while the PBM Kawasaki of Tom Sykes nipped into ninth with his last lap which pushed Eugene Laverty into tenth but he is only a second off the pace with Ruben Xaus in close attendance.

Noriyuki Haga, as high as fourth early on, finished in 13th with James Toseland in 18th and rookie Alex Lowes, racing in WSB for the first time, just one place behind in 19th. Chris Vermeulen, Maxine Berger and Joan Lascorz all crashed unhurt.

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