sport

Fabrizio fastest Down Under

Italian Michel Fabrizio looks the man to beat in the first round of the World Superbike Championship at Phillip Island in Australia.

The Aprilia rider setting the fastest time in Friday's opening qualifying session.

Fabrizio, who also set the pace in opening practice, recorded an impressive time of one minute 31.317 seconds to finish ahead of works Aprilia rider Eugene Laverty and BMW's Marco Melandri.

However, there is nothing to choose between a large number of riders, with the top 13 covered by less than a second.

British riders enjoyed a successful session with Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) in fourth, Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) fifth, Leon Haslam (Pata Honda) sixth and 2012 runner-up Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) in seventh.

Haslam's team-mate Jonathan Rea was 10th, while Spain's Carlos Checa (Ducati Team Alstare) finished 12th after recovering from the spectacular crash he had in free practice.