Jonathan Rea © Gallo Images
At Phillip Island on Saturday morning Jonathan Rea was the top man in Superpole 2, with Tom Sykes and Marco Melandri also on the front row.
In perfect conditions at the season-opening Australian WSBK weekend the first Superpole 2 of 2017 concluded with defending World Champion Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) on pole courtesy of a rapid 1’29.573. best lap – a new lap record at the track.
Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) also worked their way onto the front row having registered best laps that were 0.032s and 0.161s off pole man Rea’s pace respectively.
The second row will comprise Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati), Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) and Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia), with all of the top five under last year’s pole record of 1’30.020 set by Sykes.
Davies survived a potential disaster midway through the 15-minute shootout as he almost came off his bike on Turn 1. He will hope that bit of luck is an omen for the season ahead.
Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team), Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) and Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) are on the third row.
Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team), Nicky Hayden (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) and Markus Reiterberger (Althea BMW Racing Team) will line up on the fourth row.
Camier and Van der Mark were the two riders to have made it through from Superpole 1.
The likes of Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia), Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) were unable to progress and will therefore line up on the fifth row in 13th, 14th and 15th respectively.
Laverty had provisionally been in a position to make it through to Superpole 2 but a crash after just one flying lap saw him fall out of contention.