WSB: Bautista dominates qualifying to take first-ever superbike pole position
Alvaro Bautista has continued his run of form from Phillip Island to take his first-ever World Superbike pole position at Buriram, Thailand.
The Spanish rider lead for the majority of the session, however cemented his place at the top by going nine tenths faster than the previous pole record of 1’32.814 set by Kawasaki Racing’s Jonathan Rea in 2018.
Crossing the line with a best time of 1’31.912, Bautista will start today’s race aboard his Aruba.IT Ducati Panigale V4R ahead of the ZX-10RR of Rea and the Pata Yamaha of Alex Lowes, who finished 0.429 and 0.528 seconds down respectively.
Following them will be German rider Sandro Cortese, who continues to impress in his debut World Superbike season aboard the GRT Yamaha R1. He leads the second Kawasaki Racing machine of Leon Haslam, who’s best time of 1'32.688 was only good enough for fifth place.
Behind him came the first of the BMW S1000RRs, piloted by Tom Sykes. The German manufacturer is still struggling for top speed, with the team running essentially a superstock bike as they continue to develop the re-designed machine for competition.
Lining up on the third row will be Marco Melandri, Eugene Laverty and Chaz Davies. Both Laverty and Davies are also competing on the Panigale V4R, however finished 1.125 and 1.284 seconds down on Bautista’s best time.