At Phillip Island on Saturday Rea was the top man in Tissot Superpole 2, with Sykes and Melandri also on the front row
Under clear blue skies at the season-opening Yamaha Finance Australian Round the first Tissot Superpole 2 of 2017 concluded with defending World Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) on pole courtesy of a stunning 1’29.573 best lap – a new lap record at Phillip Island.
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) also feature on the front row having registered best laps respectively +0.032s and +0.161s off pole man Rea’s record pole time.
The second row will comprise Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati), Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) and Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia), with all of the top five under last year’s pole record of 1’30.020 set by Sykes.
Davies had a big scare midway through the 15-minute shootout as he had a huge wobble and ran offline at turn 1.
Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team), Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) and Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) are on the third row.
Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team), Nicky Hayden (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) and Markus Reiterberger (Althea BMW Racing Team) will line up on the fourth row.
Camier and Van der Mark were the two riders to have made it through from Tissot Superpole 1.
The likes of Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia), Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) were unable to graduate it through from Tissot Superpole 1 and will therefore line up on the fifth row in 13th, 14th and 15th respectively.
Laverty had provisionally been in a position to make it through to Tissot Superpole 2 but a crash after just one flying lap saw him fall out of contention.
The first race of the 2017 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is set to commence at 3pm local time at Phillip Island on Saturday, with Race 2 at 3pm on Sunday.