WSB: Rea and company smash best lap records in Superpole

Published: 25 February 2017

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) set a new track best of 1’29.573 to take his ninth career Superpole win at the opening round of the year in Australia.

All top four riders on the grid, Rea, Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) and Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) put in lap times under the previous magic 1’30 bracket after they set out for a one lap on Pirelli’s traditional ‘one-lap special’ qualifying tyres. New style, two or three lap, qualifiers will appear from the first European rounds onwards this year.

With the green and red machines on top as expected after testing and qualifying the next best rider proved to be Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) the first rider just outside the 1’29s, by only 0.16 seconds.

Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) placed sixth, and improving pace-setter Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) seventh. Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Ducati) fell on his way to a faster time and placed eighth.

Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) were the two riders who had to get out of Superpole 1 to compete in Superpole 2, and went ninth and tenth eventually.

Nicky Hayden (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) and Markus Reiterberger (Althea BMW Racing Team) completed the front three rows in Superpole qualifying.

Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) was 15th on the grid after his first Superpole experience. Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) fell before going for his final fast lap in Superpole and was thus 13th on the grid, having missed out on direct Superpole 2 qualification after Friday’s sessions.

Josh Brookes (ERMotorsports Yamaha) was 16th in his home wildcard race.