World Supersport Superpole one was a busy affair as too many riders jostled for too few places.
In the morning's untimed session, Lucas Mahias led the Yamahas of Sandro Cortese, Federico Caricasulo and Jules Cluzel as Rafaelle De Rosa on the MV Agusta stopped it all going the Japanese marque's way fifth quickest.
Federico Caricasulo was the quickest of the five Yamahas at the top, leading Lucas Mahias, Jules Cluzel, Sandro Cortese and Randy Krummenacher on a track that had almost completely dried up from this morning's downpour. Everyone was quicker than the first session, apart from Kyle Smith who didn't record a laptime, and only three riders missed out on the 107% qualifying threshold.
As the British weather continued to be British, Lucas Mahias continued to be an endurance rider at heart, setting a time at the end of the session that was almost a second quicker than Jules Cluzel's quickest time. Ant West shored up his reputation as an uncannily quick man in the rain, ending the session third quickest, just over a second off Mahias's time, and one of only three men under 1'46.
Just like the World Superbike session, six riders missed the 107% qualifying mark.
Press releases from the organizers and some of the teams in WorldSBK:
A bunch of British heroes
WorldSBK is on the way to the land of hope and glory with records in sight
The WorldSBK grid charges towards Round Six of the championship
Kenan Sofuoglu bowed out of competition at Imola and afterwards he recounted his career to Steve English for MotoMatters.com
Five world championships, 43 WorldSSP victories and 85 podiums in the class are the records that Kenan Sofuoglu will leave on the World Supersport class, but the mark he leaves is indelible. The Turkish superstar retired from racing at the recent Imola WorldSBK round and afterwards said that it was a family decision to step away from racing.
“It was nice to have qualified on the front row but I asked myself why should I race? I felt that I was physically unwilling to do it but also if I had an incident with one of the title contenders and took them out of the race, that would have been very bad. I might have destroyed their season. I could say goodbye to everyone on the grid and this was the best thing to do. I also did not want to break the promise that I made to my family not to race,” reflected Sofuoglu.
Family has played a role in the 33 year old's career for many years and it also provided the most dramatic moments of his career. In a heartbreaking 2015 season the Turkish rider was flying to and from races while his newborn son was in intensive care. Ultimately Hamza would lose his battle, but the spirit and determination showed by Sofuoglu was nothing short of Herculean. To claim the title that season was incredible, and in the depths of a personal hell he was able to claim four consecutive victories.
Press releases from the teams and series organizers after Sunday's races at Imola:
WorldSSP standings after the Imola round:
The World Supersport seventeen lap race was not marred by the rain as Kenan Sofuoglu lined up for his last weekend of racing.
Press releases from the WorldSBK and WorldSSP teams and organizers after qualifying and the first race from Imola: