Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) will start the opening races of the 2015 eni FIM Superbike World Championship from Pole Position after successfully edging out fellow Britons Chaz Davies (Aruba.it – Ducati Superbike Team) and Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils), who will join him on the front row.
Jonathan Rea: “It was a strange way to end the session. From my point of view we did a good job with a race tyre in the high temperatures and the Kawasaki is working very well. We made a good set-up breakthrough in FP4. I am really happy with the first Tissot-Superpole of the season because it is the best possible result from qualifying. I also wanted the chance to use the qualifying tyre, however, because I know the Kawasaki uses the Q tyres very well too. So the lap time could have been quite good. But, this is still the best possible result for me after Superpole.”
Rea’s competition was fierce as Davies and Nico Terol (Althea Racing Team Ducati), could have elevated themselves to pole and second place respectively had not the red flag come out during their quick lap attempt, due to the heavy highside suffered by David Salom (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) with four minutes to go – which drew Superpole 2 to an early close.
The Spaniard, who was thrown off his ZX-10R at turn 11, was immediately transported to the circuit’s Medical Centre and then lifted to the Royal Melbourne Hospital for further checks.
Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike), Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) and Terol will start from row 2 while Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils), Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda World Superbike) and Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing Team) completed the top 10.
The Italian rider, along with Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing Team Ducati) were the two riders able to qualifying to the second Superpole session. Last year’s STK1000 winner, however, was later disqualified due to using two qualifying tyres in Superpole 1 and will start the two opening races of the year from the back of the grid (24th place).
The Three-time World Superbike Champion Troy Bayliss will start the two races from the 13th spot.
Cluzel grabs Australian pole after WSS qualifying
Last year’s World Supersport race winner at Phillip Island Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) will start from Pole Position in the opening round of the World Supersport championship after posting a lap time in today’s qualifying session of 1.33.379s to grab the number 1 grid spot ahead of former WSS Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), who will line up alongside him on the grid tomorrow.
Cluzel improved on his personal best lap in the closing stages to remain at the head of the time sheets at the end of an unpredictable 45 minutes. Cluzel’s team mate Lorenzo Zanetti will start from 3rd on his MV Agusta Reparto Corse debut.
Former Moto2 rider Gino Rea (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda) returns to the series in a solid 4th ahead of Kyle Smith (Pata Honda WSS Team), the Englishman able to mount a serious attack on the Pole Position despite falling at Siberia Corner with 18 minutes to go. Ratthapark Wilairot (CORE Motorsport Thailand) will complete the second row.
Frenchman Lucas Mahias (Intermoto Kawasaki Ponyexpres) who had been right in the mix during Free Practice will start from 7th after failing to record a time because of an issue with his Kawasaki machine until the final ten minutes. Other WSS rookie Dominic Schmitter (Go Eleven Kawasaki) claimed 9th on his first ride at the iconic Phillip Island circuit and after a heavy crash earlier in the day.
Wildcard rider Aiden Wagner (Oz Wildcard Racing) continues to impress on his WSS debut, the youngster backing up his the top ten result from the tests earlier in the week, ensuring his place on the grid with the 12th fastest time.
From: WSBK Press Office