Rea Takes Phillip Island Pole After Heavy Crash


Jonathan Rea will start tomorrow’s season-opening World Superbike races from pole position after a heavy crash for David Salom saw the session brought to an early finish. The Ulsterman was the quickest rider in the early stages of SP2 and with Salom’s accident coming before anyone set a time on qualifying rubber, that initial time was enough for pole.

The grid was effectively decided by the very first laps for each rider in SP2 with Leon Haslam’s 1:31.507 being immediately usurped by Rea’s Kawasaki. Chaz Davies slotted into second and it was the Welshman who was left with the biggest hard-luck story to tell after the session was halted prematurely.

The Ducati rider was the first man to fit a qualifying tyre and was on target to go comfortably fastest until Salom lost control in spectacular fashion at the final corner. The front end of the Pedercini Kawasaki folded, sending the Spaniard into a sickening series of cartwheels as he hit the gravel trap. The red flags were inevitably brought out but the decision to stop the session was made seconds before Davies crossed the line to register a 1:30.800, a time that would later be cancelled.

Salom was soon stretchered away and taken to the medical centre where he later regained consciousness but curiously, race direction chose not to restart the session, instead calling a result with four minutes still to go. Rea was thus declared the polesitter with Davies and Haslam completing an all-British front row.

Michael van der Mark will line up an excellent fourth ahead of pre-session favourite Alex Lowes with Nicolas Terol and Jordi Torres ensuring three rookies would qualify ahead of the series’ most recent champions. Tom Sykes will have been more disappointed than most with the failure to restart the session having been nailed down in eighth while Sylvain Guintoli was forced to settle for ninth ahead of Matteo Baiocco, Salom and Leandro Mercado.

Superpole 1 also saw a brief suspension after a high-speed accident for Matthew Walters dropped debris at the first corner but once the green flags returned, Baiocco leapt to the top on a 1:31.639. Mercado joined his fellow Ducati rider in the mid-1:31s leaving Randy de Puniet as the fall guy, the injured Frenchman knocked out in third. Troy Bayliss also failed to make it through in fourth and will line up fourteenth for tomorrow’s races.

 

SWANN INSURANCE AUSTRALIAN ROUND: SUPERPOLE CLASSIFICATION

1 Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Kawasaki Racing Team 1:31.212
2 Chaz Davies Ducati Aruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK Team 1:31.238
3 Leon Haslam Aprilia Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils 1:31.507
4 Michael van der Mark Honda PATA Honda World Superbike 1:31.613
5 Alex Lowes Suzuki Voltcom Crescent Suzuki 1:32.042
6 Nicolas Terol Ducati Althea Racing 1:32.081
7 Jordi Torres Aprilia Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils 1:32.243
8 Tom Sykes Kawasaki Kawasaki Racing Team 1:32.265
9 Sylvain Guintoli Honda PATA Honda World Superbike 1:32.446
10 Matteo Baiocco Ducati Althea Racing 1:32.841
11 David Salom Kawasaki Team Pedercini 1:31.488
12 Leandro Mercado Ducati Barni Racing Team 1:31.885
ELIMINATED IN SUPERPOLE 1
13 Randy de Puniet Suzuki Voltcom Crescent Suzuki 1:31.885
14 Troy Bayliss Ducati Aruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK Team 1:32.201
15 Leon Camier MV Agusta MV Agusta Reparto Corse 1:32.668
16 Jed Metcher Kawasaki Race Center – Demolition Plus 1:32.727
17 Niccolo Canepa EBR Team Hero EBR 1:32.998
18 Sylvain Barrier BMW BMW Motorrad Italia SBK 1:33.057
19 Matthew Walters Kawasaki Team Pedercini 1:33.477
20 Roman Ramos Kawasaki Team Go Eleven 1:33.716
FAILED TO QUALIFY FOR SUPERPOLE 1
21 Santiago Barragan Kawasaki Grillini SBK Team 1:33.960
22 Larry Pegram EBR Team Hero EBR 1:34.323
23 Christophe Ponsson Kawasaki Grillini SBK Team 1:34.324
24 Gabor Rizmayer BMW BMW Team Toth 1:34.633
25 Imre Toth BMW BMW Team Toth 1:36.699