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New Track Best Gives Rea Superpole Win | Sport | WSBK

The single-shot 25 minute Superpole introduced for 2019 was won at the first attempt by the number one plate rider, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team). His 129.413 best lap was a new track best for Superbikes at PI.

Rea’s team-mate Leon Haslam was a composed and confident second in his full-time WordSBK return, 0.211 seconds from the top.

Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) placed third in his first competitive experience of Pirelli qualifying tyres, 0.316 seconds from Rea, but on the front row all the same.

Bautista, Australian WorldSBK 2019

Another new bike, the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK factory machine of Tom Sykes was fourth fastest, just over 0.4 seconds back from Sykes’ 2018 team-mate’s best lap.

Top Yamaha man Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) will line up for the first race later this afternoon in fifth place, from rookie Yamaha rider Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha) in sixth.

Alex Lowes, Australian WorldSBK 2019

Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha) was seventh, while Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Barni Racing Team Ducati) found pace at just the right time after an earlier technical issue in the morning free practice session, finishing eighth.

Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha) was the last rider to get within a second of Rea, in ninth place, while Leon Camier’s first Superpole outing on his HRC-supplied Moriwaki Althea Racing CBR1000RR put him inside the top ten – if only just.

Chaz Davies ( Racing – Ducati) was a lowly 16th, while Troy Herfoss (Penrite Honda) failed to qualify directly, but was allowed to get onto the grid due to his earlier performances in practice.

Davies, Australian WorldSBK 2019

Caricasulo Heads Opening 2019 Supersport Superpole

Federico Caricasulo (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha) was the fastest rider in the first WorldSSP championship Superpole of 2019. He was just 0.079 seconds ahead of his team-mate Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha).

Both riders from the Bardahl team were again head and shoulders above their peers, with many hunting a tow from the leading due, much to Krummenacher’s annoyance.

Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) was third quickest on his R6, but 0.539 seconds from the lead. Raffaele De Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) broke up the Yamaha hordes with fourth best time and starting position for Sunday’s flag-to-flag, two-part, WorldSSP race.

Krummenacher, Australian WorldSSP 2019

WorldSSP rookie Federico Fuglini (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) was fifth and day one star man Thomas Gradinger (Kallio Racing Yamaha) sixth.

Hector Barbera (Team Toth by Willirace) slotted in seventh, ahead of the leading Kawasaki belonging to Hikari Okubo (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing). Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was held up by a slower rider as he went for a time that would have put him higher than his eventual eighth place. Top Honda qualifier was Hannes Soomer (MPM WILSport Racedays Honda) in tenth place. Wildcard rider Tom Toparis (Landbridge Transport Yamaha) placed 15th and top Aussies rider.

Caricasulo, Krummenacher,,Australian WorldSSP 2019

By Gordon Ritchie

Photos GnG