Kawasaki Racing Team rider tops Superpole 2 timesheet in style at Motul Thai Round
In the sweltering heat of the Chang International Circuit on Saturday it was WorldSBK World Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) who took pole position in the Tissot Superpole 2 session, thanks to a superb new pole record lap (1’32.957) of the Thai track.
With an ambient temperature of 36°C and a track temperature of 50°C at the Buriram venue the heat was on, but Rea kept ice cool to deliver a superb pole lap and set down a marker for his rivals. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) had provisional pole in the final seconds, but Rea outdid him by +0.235s on his final lap, whilst Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) also qualified on the front row, +0.5s off pole.
Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) was +0.072 behind Melandri in fourth as his good form continues.
There were crashes in Tissot Superpole 2 for Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) and Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team), at turns 6 and 1 respectively, with both riders losing the front end. Davies ended up fifth on the grid after returning to the track following his crash whilst Torres is tenth.
Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) completes row 2, whilst Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia), Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) and Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) will feature on the third row.
Behind Torres it is Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Markus Reiterberger (Althea BMW Racing Team) who complete the fourth row for Race 1 at Round Two in Thailand, though of course there will be a grid reshuffle for Race 2 on Sunday as dictated by the new regulations for 2017.
Camier and Savadori were the two riders to graduate from Tissot Superpole 1,
with rookie Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and the experienced Nicky Hayden (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) just missing out and therefore ending up 13th and 14th respectively on the grid.
Race 1 at the second round of the 2017 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship takes place at 4pm local time in Thailand.