This year’s single-shot 25 minute Superpole was won at the first attempt by the number one plate rider, Jonathan Rea. His 1’29.413 best lap was a new track best for WorldSBK at Phillip Island.
Rea’s Kawasaki team-mate Leon Haslam was a composed and confident second in his full-time WorldSBK return, 0.211 seconds from the top.
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba Ducati) placed third in his first competitive experience of Pirelli qualifying tyres, 0.316 seconds from Rea, but on the front row all the same.
Another new bike, the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK factory machine of Tom Sykes was fourth fastest, just over 0.4 seconds back from Sykes’ 2018 team-mate’s best lap.
Top Yamaha man Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha) will line up for the first race later this afternoon in fifth place, from rookie Yamaha rider Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha) in sixth.
Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha) was seventh, while Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Barni Ducati) found pace at just the right time after an earlier technical issue in the morning free practice session, finishing eighth.
Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha) was the last rider to get within a second of Rea, in ninth place, while Leon Camier’s first Superpole outing on his HRC-supplied Moriwaki CBR1000RR put him inside the top ten – if only just.
Chaz Davies (Aruba Ducati) was a lowly 16th, while Troy Herfoss (Penrite Honda) failed to qualify directly, but was allowed to get onto the grid due to his earlier performances in practice.