Chaz Davies was left to rue the red flag stoppage in Superpole which denied him a first ever World Superbike pole by a matter of seconds. The Ducati rider was metres from the end of a lap which would have taken him ahead of Jonathan Rea but the red flags came out due to David Salom’s heavy accident.
With the session never restarting, Davies was stuck in second position and the Welshman admitted his early run on the qualifying tyre had been to cover himself against that exact scenario.
“This morning we continued with our work, trying a few different options to see how the tyre reacts and I’m feeling well prepared, we haven’t had any real issues there. In qualifying, I planned to get out on the ‘Q’ as quickly as possible in order to complete my lap before any red flags could occur but I didn’t quite finish the lap in time. Anyway, a front row start is obviously a great way to start the season. We’re feeling as prepared as we can be I think, also after testing earlier this week, and I’m looking forward to racing.”
Teammate Troy Bayliss missed out on a spot in Superpole 2, finishing the opening session in fourth for a fifth-row start, but the three-time champion was happy with the progress made after a tough Friday.
“Today was certainly an improvement over yesterday. I’ve had time to get some good laps in and have felt a lot better on the bike. I did have a crash in the free practice, it was a big highside but I landed ok and was fortunately unhurt. I was a little disappointed to not have the chance to participate in the shoot-out but I’m still happy because I haven’t used the qualifying tyre for such a long time, and you need time to build confidence with those tyres. I’m confident that we’ll be able to make further improvement tomorrow. The high temperatures forecast for tomorrow will definitely be a factor but it’s the same for everyone so we’ll just have to see what we can do…”