Reigning WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea snatched pole position this morning at Imola, beating Kawasaki team-mate Tom Sykes by three-tenths of a second and denying the Huddersfield rider the chance to beat Troy Corser’s Superpole record.
“I tried to put myself on the on front row because track position is everything here. I feel we have the weapons to fight Chaz this year,:” said Rea, after posting a 1’45.797s lap.
Chaz Davies himself fell in the Superpole 2 session but still managed to go third on the grid, the last man on the front row, behind Rea and Sykes on the Aruba Ducati.
Team0mate Marco Melandri placed fourth as the big guns of WorldSBK fired loudest again. Top independent rider was Barni Ducati’s Xavi Fores in fifth.
A strong comeback to WorldSBK action for Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) put him sixth, having had to go through Superpole one. But it wasn’t easy for the Irishman as he had to reply on and a cancelled lap for Topratz in order to place in the top two.
Jordi Torres heads up the third row in seventh place on the MV Agusta while Michael Ruben Rinaldi was eighth and Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) ninth.
Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha) was a top R1 runner, in tenth, with wildcard rider Leon Haslam (Puccetti Kawasaki) 11th. Haslam wasn’t able to get the best from the qualifying tyre and his lap on race rubber was almost equal.
Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK) ended 12th and was the final man in SP2.
PJ Jacobsen (TripleM Honda World Superbike Team) will be 17th on the race one grid, and also fast pre-race Honda rider in a running flush of CBRs, with Jason O’Halloran (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) 18th and Jake Gagne (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) 19th.