Chili on pole at Assen

Published: 02 September 2003

Frankie Chili has taken his first pole position of the season after putting in the best lap in a wet Superpole session at the Assen round of the World Superbike championship.

Rain affected the morning’s qualifying session and the afternoon’s free practice so a wet Superpole session was declared giving riders 12 laps to set their qualifying time instead of the usual one. But by the time the session started the track had dried almost completely so the competition was fierce.

Chili set the top time of 2:00.874, bettering his previous best time by nearly three seconds and knocking Neil Hodgson off the top spot. Hodgson still had three laps to beat Chili’s time but couldn’t muster the extra speed, leaving him to start the race in second place on the grid.

Gregorio Lavilla, the fastest man in the first qualifying session, came in with the third fastest time while Hodgsons team-mate Ruben Xaus finishes the front row of the grid.

British wild-card John Reynolds knocked over two seconds off his best time to qualify in fifth position followed by Regis Laconi, James Toseland and Chris Walker.

Walker missed the Superpole session after crashing in the mornings qualifying but qualified on his earlier times. James Haydon also crashed in the wet and has injured his hand. He will wait till before the race to decide whether or not he will ride.

The second Brit wild-card Leon Haslam will start the race in ninth after finishing three seconds down on Chili.

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