Davies and Haslam on the front row, Sykes and Guintoli in 8th and 9th place.
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) will start the opening races of the 2015 eni FIM Superbike World Championship from Pole Position after successfully edging out fellow Britons Chaz Davies (Aruba.it – Ducati Superbike Team) and Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils), who will join him on the front row.
Jonathan Rea: “It was a strange way to end the session. From my point of view we did a good job with a race tyre in the high temperatures and the Kawasaki is working very well. We made a good set-up breakthrough in FP4. I am really happy with the first Tissot-Superpole of the season because it is the best possible result from qualifying. I also wanted the chance to use the qualifying tyre, however, because I know the Kawasaki uses the Q tyres very well too. So the lap time could have been quite good. But, this is still the best possible result for me after Superpole.”
Rea’s competition was fierce as Davies and Nico Terol (Althea Racing Team Ducati), could have elevated themselves to pole and second place respectively had not the red flag come out during their quick lap attempt, due to the heavy highside suffered by David Salom (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) with four minutes to go – which drew Superpole 2 to an early close.
The Spaniard, who was thrown off his ZX-10R at turn 11, was immediately transported to the circuit’s Medical Centre and then lifted to the Royal Melbourne Hospital for further checks.
Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike), Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) and Terol will start from row 2 while Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils), Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda World Superbike) and Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing Team) completed the top 10.
The Italian rider, along with Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing Team Ducati) were the two riders able to qualifying to the second Superpole session. Last year’s STK1000 winner, however, was later disqualified due to using two qualifying tyres in Superpole 1 and will start the two opening races of the year from the back of the grid (24th place).
The Three-time World Superbike Champion Troy Bayliss will start the two races from the 13th spot.