Van der Mark quickest on Friday in Thailand
The fastest man on the first day of qualifying at the FIM Superbike World Championship round in Thailand was precocious podium rider from the opening round, Michael van der Mark (Honda World Superbike Team).
His 1’34.629 was set in hot conditions, on a track with three resurfaced and very slippery sections.
Second quickest today was 2014 champion and new Pata Yamaha rider Sylvain Guintoli, who was 0.182 seconds down on VDM, but still putting himself and his former team-mate well ahead of third place rider Jordi Torres (Althea Racing BMW), who was 0.588 from the leading time. Despite falling and losing some confidence Torres got it all back and more to be top BMW rider, heading up many of the more fancied riders after one full attack lap near the end of the second hour on track.
On an all-new WorldSBK machine like his team-mate Guintoli Pata Yamaha rider Alex Lowes was fourth and 2015 world champion Jonathan Rea (KRT) fifth. Rea was working on his long runs after sitting out most of the morning session because of the track conditions.
Nicky Hayden was a strong sixth on his Honda World Superbike CBR, one place up on Tom Sykes (KRT).
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati WSBK) and Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati WSBK) made a desmo pairing in eighth and ninth, with the final top ten place going to German rookie Markus Reiterberger (Althea Racing BMW).
Aussie Josh Brookes (Milwaukee SMR BMW) placed 11th; with Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) 12th.