STK1000 standings leader on pole at home race, ahead of compatriots Vitali and Tamburini
It was a case of Italian dominance at the business end of the timesheets in the STK1000 qualifying session at Imola on Saturday as Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team) took pole and was joined on the front row by his fellow countrymen Luca Vitali (Nuova M2 Racing) and Roberto Tamburini (PATA Yamaha Official STK 1000 Team).
Ducati equipped Rinaldi took his second pole position of 2017 with a 1'49.113 lap of the 4.936km Imola circuit, to put him at the head of the grid for his home race. Qualifying +0.629s behind Rinaldi in second place was Aprilia rider Vitali, whilst a further +0.088s margin back Yamaha’s Tamburini made it three Italians and three different manufacturers on the front row.
In fourth place Frenchman Florian Marino (Pata Yamaha Official STK1000 Team) was the only non-Italian in the top six, in front of home riders Federico Sandi (Berclaz Racing Team) and Marco Faccani (Althea BMW Racing Team) on row two.
Australian rider Mike Jones (Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team), Chile’s Maximillian Schieb (Nuova M2 Racing) and Turkish rider Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) feature on a cosmopolitan third row, with Swiss rider Sebastien Suchet (Berclaz Racing Team) heading row four in tenth place.
Early on in the session the red flags came out following a crash for Italian rider Andrea Tucci (Tucci Racing Team) who was taken to the medical centre and then taken by helicopter for further treatment to a thoracic trauma.
There were also crashes in the session for Razgatlioglu, Federico D’ Annunzio (FDA Racing Team), Matteo Ferrari (DMR Racing Team), Luca Marconi (TheBlackSheep Team), Riccardo Cecchini (DDM by BWG-Bike &Motor RT-Grimaldi) and Toni Fisterbusch (Agro On-Benjan-Kawasaki) as the riders pushed hard to improve their times.
The Superstock 1000 European Championship race will take place at the Motul Italian Round on Sunday at 3.15pm local time.