Riders were finally greeted by a dry track in Assen for the World Superbike Superpole sessions. From the fifteen riders from session one, only twelve progress and although there was little by the way of surprise to see Clementi and Iannuzzo drop off from the boards going into session two, it was an afternoon of disappointment for the champion of Aragon – Chaz Davies – who didn’t lap faster than tenth during the first fourteen minutes and will start tomorrow in thirteenth place on the grid.
This hasn’t been a good weekend so far for BMW machines with only Melandri on the S1000RR showing any decent pace.
As expected, Superpole wizard Tom Sykes lead with a solid 1’36.242 early in session one, closely followed by Giugliano and Jonathon Rea; who is something of an expert around the Dutch course, having secured at least one race win here in each of the past three years.
The pace picked up for the second session with Sykes taking eight-tenths off of his previous time, narrowly followed by Guintoli and Checa both running well on their Aprilia and Ducati engines respectively. It wasn’t quite as close at the foot of the table however with Cluzel, Badovini and Neukirchner missing out on progression to the third – and final – Superpole session.
And so, Superpole session three arrived with Sykes, Guintoli, Checa and Laverty all looking to be in with the pace capable of staking a claim for a front row start for Sunday. Predictably – and emphatically – it was Sykes who scored the fastest lap with a fantastic 1’35.043, giving him another pole position. And it will be an all UK affair at the front after Rea and Laverty joined him on the front row with the ‘adopted Brit’, Guintoli just behind in fourth.
1 – T. Sykes | Kawasaki | 1’35.043
2 – J. Rea | Honda | 1’35.639
3 – E. Laverty | Aprilia | 1’35.814
4 – S. Guintoli | Aprilia | 1’35.973
5 – L. Baz | Kawasaki | 1’36.166
6 – D. Giugliano | Aprilia | 1’3.6.326
7 – M. Melandri | BMW | 1’36.330
8 – C. Checa | Ducati | 1’36’438
9 – M. Fabrizio | Aprilia | 1’37.570