A little bit of history was made in the 15-minute Superpole 1 and 2 sessions at Phillip Island in the WSS class, as the riders took part in the first ever ‘WSBK style’ WSS final qualifying.
The riders from 11th to the final one in 27th after normal qualifying took part in WSS Superpole 1, and then the top 10 from regular qualifying and the best two from Superpole 1 competed for the final grid positions on the first four rows.
The history man was – appropriately enough – Kenan Sofuoglu, after Superpole 2 as he scored a fast 1’33.142 with his very last lap, to lead the grid.
He was also the first rider to score pole under the new tech rules in the class, with less powerful engines and much less in the way of electronic aids on board.
“I feel zero difference under the new rules,” said Sofuoglu. “Honestly, I am a person who does not like electronics, and that is one of the reasons I would hate to go Superbike, because you need to use a lot of electronics there. Supersport is still the old style and I like it very much. Standard, ride it by yourself and the throttle is in my hand. I like it.”
Second fastest in Superpole was American rider PJ Jacobsen (Honda WSBK Team) just over half a second off Sofuoglu’s best.
On his first race weekend in the WSS scene Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) scored a front row start in third place, being held up with traffic on his final lap.
Fourth was former Stock 600 rider Federico Caricasulo (Bardahl Evans Bros. Honda) from two MV Agusta riders, the official Reparto Corse rider Lorenzo Zanetti and Race Department RK25 rider Alex Baldolini.
Christian Gamarino, Superpole 2 faller Jules Cluzel, young British gun Kyle Ryde and Qatar race winner in 2015, Kyle Smith completed the top ten.