The anticipation was rising, the focus was very much on for a historic Superpole, and Assen WorldSBK certainly delivered one. But it was not a stand alone all time record 44th one for Tom Sykes, it was a first ever WorldSBK pole for British runner Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK). He has been second in Superpole twice before but despite being a veteran of 110 races he had never quite had a pole.
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) was second at a magic circuit for him, by 0.046 from Lowes, with the third place on the front row going to the improving Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team Ducati). The Spanish rider was a more substantial 0.321 from Lowes, in again warm track conditions at Assen. He was ahead of all the official Ducatis, as his 2018 season continues apace – even at a track that is not his favourite.
Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) stuck in a strong time on Saturday morning to go fourth, with Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) fifth.
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) was on course to beat the best time, but only in his first sector, as he slowed toward the end, he finished sixth, but takes an important second row start.
Fastest man on Friday Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK), was seventh for his home round, Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) eighth, Jordi Torres (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) ninth, and the highest placed rider who qualified from Superpole 1 into Superpole 2, Loris Baz (GULF ALTHEA BMW Racing Team), tenth.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) went from SP1 to SP2 and was 11th, but fast Friday rider Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba Racing IT Ducati Junior Team) was only 12th.
After his big Friday off Jake Gagne (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) did not take part in Superpole and will not ride in race one, with his condition to be reviewed on Sunday for race two.
By Gordon Ritchie