Rapid Davies secures pole in Italian sunshine

Saturday, 13 May 2017 09:31 GMT

Tissot Superpole 2 saw Davies top the timesheet for pole, with Sykes and Rea also on the front row

On Saturday morning at Imola it was Chaz Davies who took pole for Race 1 with a 1’45.662 lap time putting him at the head of the grid. The Racing - Ducati rider will be joined on the front row at the 4.936km Italian track by Kawasaki Racing Team pair Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea.

Davies won both Imola races in 2016 and he will aim to repeat that feat this weekend starting on Saturday afternoon ahead of his rivals, after Sykes lapped just +0.032s behind the Welshman in second and Rea qualified third, being +0.324s off the pole pace.

Another British rider Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) was provisionally in second place before the pace increased right at the end of the session, but at his team’s home race he will be pleased to have qualified fourth.

Also on the second row at the Motul Italian Round, lining up behind Camier, are top Italian qualifier Marco Melandri ( Racing - Ducati) in fifth and Irishman Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) in sixth place.

Row three will feature three additional nationalities, as Spaniard Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team), Argentina’s Leandro Mercado (IODARacing) and Dutchman Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) line up seventh to ninth respectively.

With an ambient temperature of 22°C and the track temperature reaching 34°C in the SP2 run, it was Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia), Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) and Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) who qualified on row four.

Earlier in the morning Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) sat out the Tissot Superpole 1 session, not registering a lap time due to feeling unwell.

In that SP1 session Bradl led the way with a 1'48.460 laptime, with Savadori also making it through to SP2 alongside the German rider with a late 1'48.572 time.

Race 1 for the WorldSBK riders at Imola takes place at 1pm local time on Saturday afternoon.