JEREZ, Spain – An intense Tissot-Superpole second session was won by Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team), who claimed pole position for the 10th round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship at Jerez on Saturday. The young Frenchman will move off ahead of everyone else in the two Sunday races for the second time this year. Baz also recorded the new best lap of the track for the Superbike class in 1:40.298, beating the previous record by 0.322s.
“We changed something on the bike set-up for Superpole and it worked out well,” Baz said. “I could have pushed a little bit more in the first split because I did not know how the bike would have reacted. I think I did the second part of the track really fast so it was a really good lap.
“My second pole this year but it is the first in fully dry conditions and I am really happy about that. This morning I was struggling a little with finding a quick lap but it was the same for everyone. When the conditions are hot here it can be a little strange. Allowing for this I think we have been strong from the beginning of the weekend, especially on fresh tires. I am happy and confident for the races now.”
Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) will join Baz on the front row for the two 20-lap races. The top-three riders were awarded with the Tissot-Superpole trophies by 2011 Superbike World Champion Carlos Checa.
Row two will see the Aprilia Racing duo of Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli as well as Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), who was sixth.
Alex Lowes crashed his Voltcom Crescent Suzuki at turn 2 in the final 30 seconds and will start ninth behind Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team, seventh) and Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike, eighth), and ahead of other Pata Honda rider Jonathan Rea.
The accolade of being the fastest of the EVO qualifiers went to Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia), who will start Sunday’s races from 12th on the grid despite falling at turn 6 with two minutes to go.
Superpole 1 was as equally exciting with Barrier posting an incredible lap of 1:41.768s, a time that would have put him third overall on the pre-Superpole classification. Haslam also made it through to Superpole 2 with his fastest lap of the weekend, where he and Barrier joined the automatically seeded top 10 riders after free practice.
Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) claimed pole position for Sunday’s World Supersport race at Jerez in a time of 1:44.293s with his nearest rival Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) only managing a fourth row start in 10th.
Kenan Sofuoglu (San Carlo Puccetti Racing) was second in a close session that saw 13 riders covered by 0.958s. The recently married former champ will however have to start from the pitlane for exceeding the engine allocation quota.
Completing the front row are the second Pata Honda of Italian Lorenzo Zanetti and Florian Marino (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki).
Row two will see the American PJ Jacobsen (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki), the ever improving Ratthapark Wilairot (Core PTR Honda) and the Irishman Jack Kennedy (CIA Insurance Honda).
Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing) will start the penultimate race of the STK1000 Cup from pole position after laying down the gauntlet in official qualifying at Jerez. A steady opening day saw the young Argentine rider focus on race set up and after declaring himself satisfied unleashed a lap time 0.659s better than his nearest rival and current championship leader Lorenzo Savadori (Team Pedercini). Joining Mercado and Savadori on the front row tomorrow will be Italian Fabio Massei (EAB Racing Ducati).
Marco Faccani (San Carlo Team Italia) won Saturday’s European Superstock 600c race at Jerez and with it the 2014 championship. Starting from pole position he and Federico Caricasulo (Evan Bros Racing Team) were soon over three seconds clear of the chasing pack, leaving the duo to fight for the victory. In the end it was Faccani who has been at the front of all of the races bar one this year who claimed his fifth win of the year ahead of his compatriot, who himself notched up his 3rd podium of the season.
World Superbike Qualifying Times
1.Loris Baz (Kawasaki) 1:40.298 (158.755km/h)
2. Davide Giugliano (Ducati) 1:40.533
3. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1:40.561
4. Marco Melandri (Aprilia) 1:40.822
5. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) 1:40.877
6. Eugene Laverty (Suzuki) 1:41.092
7. Chaz Davies (Ducati) 1:41.199
8. Leon Haslam (Honda) 1:41.338
9. Alex Lowes (Suzuki) 1:41.421
10. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1:41.447
11. Toni Elias (Aprilia) 1:41.882
12. Sylvain Barrier (BMW) 1:42.928
13. David Salom (Kawasaki)
14. Niccolo Canepa (Ducati)
15. Alessandro Andreozzi (Kawasaki)
16. Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki)
17. Jeremy Guarnoni (Kawasaki)
18. Bryan Staring (Kawasaki)
19. Claudio Corti (MV Agusta)
20. Imre Toth (BMW)
–From World SBK Press Office