Jonathan Rea has been gifted the first World Superbike pole position of 2015, after a red flag in the second superpole session caused WSBK officials to take the unusual decision of abandoning the session with four minutes left on the clocks.
“It was a really weird session with it being cut short, but we did a really good job on the race tyre without even having to use the qualifier, and that means I’m really looking forward to tomorrow now.”
The biggest loser of the red flag was Welshman Chaz Davies, who set a lap 0.4 faster than Rea’s just before the flags came out only to see it wiped from the time screen, relegating him to second.
However, the Welshman remained circumspect afterwards, saying: “It’s a fair improvement from last year, and I’m happy, even though it was a strange set of circumstances. I got a bit of a lucky bounce back after losing my fast lap, but the main job is tomorrow.”
Leon Haslam completed an all-British front row in his Aprilia debut, while reigning World Supersport champion Michael van der Mark headed row two from Alex Lowes and former 125GP champion Nico Terol.
However, Jordi Torres, fast all weekend on the second Aprilia, was among the losers, back on the third row with Tom Sykes and Sylvain Guintoli after not being able to set fast laps.
Davide Salom, the cause of the red flag after a high-speed highside at the last turn, split Q1 promoted riders Matteo Biaocco and Leandro Mercado in eleventh. However, former Superstock 1000 front runner Mercado was subsequently demoted to the back of the grid for using both his qualifier tyres in Q1.
Randy de Puniet, riding injured after breaking a rib in free practice, was thirteenth, and returning triple champion Troy Bayliss was back in fourteenth after looking uncomfortable on the factory Ducati for the entire session.