Sylvain Guintoli rode the fastest ever World Superbike lap of Phillip Island to claim pole position for tomorrow’s races in Australia. The Frenchman, who took his one and only win of 2013 here in last season’s opening round, edged out Davide Giugliano for pole as reigning champion Tom Sykes endured an afternoon to forget.
Current British Superbike champion Alex Lowes entered the session as many people’s favourite for pole after topping the times in combined practice despite a crash. The Voltcom Crescent Suzuki rider dropped straight into the 1:30s on his first lap of SP2 but Marco Melandri found six tenths on his Aprilia to knock him off top spot.
Giugliano followed Melandri over the line to immediately snatch pole away from his compatriot but Guintoli, who had been lying fourth after his first run, clocked a 1:30.038 second time around to go two tenths under the outright circuit record and crucially, a tenth ahead of Giugliano.
The session wasn’t over yet as 2013’s king of Superpole Tom Sykes started a lap which looked set to threaten the 1:29s but the reigning champion lost the back end of his Kawasaki at Lukey Heights, sending him sprawling onto the grass. With only a minute to go, the Briton was rooted back in eighth and pole position was secured for Guintoli and Aprilia.
Giugliano and Melandri complete the front row with Eugene Laverty and Alex Lowes together on row two on the Voltcom Crescent Suzukis. Jonathan Rea starts sixth on the leading Honda ahead of Loris Baz and the disappointed Sykes while Leon Haslam lines up ninth despite needing a 1:30.970 to get him out of SP1.
Niccolo Canepa claimed the honours in the EVO class and stunned many with his sensational pace in morning practice while Chaz Davies finds himself eleventh as his tough weekend showed no signs of improving. The Welshman had already fallen once on Friday and the Ducati Panigale almost threw him off again before he corrected things at the last corner.
The Red Devils Roma squad received a nasty surprise in the first session as Toni Elias failed to navigate his way through the first session. The Aprilia outfit started on the front row here last year courtesy of Michel Fabrizio but their sole rider will have to come through from row five in tomorrow’s races after being knocked out by David Salom’s EVO Kawasaki. He’ll be joined by the MV Agusta of Claudio Corti and experienced Frenchman Fabien Foret.
|2014 eni SUPERBIKE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP – ROUND 1 – PHILLIP ISLAND|
|TISSOT SUPERPOLE RESULT|
|1||SYLVAIN GUINTOLI||APRILIA||APRILIA RACING TEAM||1:30.038|
|2||DAVIDE GIUGLIANO||DUCATI||DUCATI SUPERBIKE TEAM||1:30.135|
|3||MARCO MELANDRI||APRILIA||APRILIA RACING TEAM||1:30.332|
|4||EUGENE LAVERTY||SUZUKI||VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI||1:30.385|
|5||ALEX LOWES||SUZUKI||VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI||1:30.421|
|6||JONATHAN REA||HONDA||PATA HONDA WORLD SUPERBIKE||1:30.660|
|7||LORIS BAZ||KAWASAKI||KAWASAKI RACING TEAM||1:30.796|
|8||TOM SYKES||KAWASAKI||KAWASAKI RACING TEAM||1:30.835|
|9||LEON HASLAM||HONDA||PATA HONDA WORLD SUPERBIKE||1:31.138|
|10||NICCOLO CANEPA||DUCATI||ALTHEA RACING||1:31.274|
|11||CHAZ DAVIES||DUCATI||DUCATI SUPERBIKE TEAM||1:31.281|
|12||DAVID SALOM||KAWASAKI||KAWASAKI RACING TEAM||1:31.950|
|ELIMINATED IN SUPERPOLE 1|
|13||TONI ELIAS||APRILIA||RED DEVILS ROMA||1:32.107|
|14||CLAUDIO CORTI||MV AGUSTA||MV AGUSTA RC-YAKHNICH MOTORSPORT||1:32.187|
|15||FABIEN FORET||KAWASAKI||MAHI RACING TEAM INDIA||1:32.248|
|16||ALESSANDRO ANDREOZZI||KAWASAKI||TEAM PEDERCINI||1:32.902|
|17||JEREMY GUARNONI||KAWASAKI||MRS KAWASAKI||1:33.146|
|18||SHERIDAN MORAIS||KAWASAKI||IRON BRAIN KAWASAKI SBK||1:33.404|
|19||GLENN ALLERTON||BMW||BMW MOTORRAD ITALIA SBK||1:33.605|
|20||IMRE TOTH||BMW||BMW TEAM TOTH||1:34.137|
|FAILED TO QUALIFY FOR SUPERPOLE 1|
|21||MATHEW WALTERS||KAWASAKI||TEAM PEDERCINI||1:34.453|
|22||GEOFF MAY||EBR||TEAM HERO EBR||1:34.640|
|23||AARON YATES||EBR||TEAM HERO EBR||1:35.521|
|24||PETER SEBESTYEN||BMW||BMW TEAM TOTH||1:37.274|