In response to the yellow flags in Estoril ruining several riders' qualifying on their only one-shot tyre, the rules have been changed for Superpole in World Superbike. Still at a short fifteen minutes, riders now get two of the super sticky qualifying tyres with which to set their qualifying times. Eugene Laverty would miss this session after his morning's crash.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi, an Italian rider on an Italian bike at an Italian track with a limited Italian audience, has been quickest heading to Superpole, and his nemesis from last weekend, Garrett Gerloff, will start from pit lane this afternoon, but his superpole time will be used in tomorrow's sprint race.
After one lap, Jonathan Rea set a 1'33.778 ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu and Lucas Mahias. Scott Redding and Garrett Gerloff waited for everyone else to get their fast lap in before heading out, new strategies turning up with the second Q tyre.
Scott Redding pushed up to fourth place, half a second off Rea's top lap, as Garrett Gerloff crashed out into turn one, ensuring he starts from the back of the grid for Sunday's sprint race.
With five minutes left, riders started circulating for their last laps and Lucas Mahias tucked in behind Jonathan Rea, the number one rider leaving the pits early to get a clear track. Rea set a 1'33.416, a new lap record, with Mahias half a second behind him and Alex Lowes made it a provisional all-Kawasaki front row with just over two minutes to go.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi spoiled the colour scheme on the front row, slipping in to second place, knocked to third place then fourth as Scott Redding then Toprak Razgatlioglu stole second place.
The top three riders in the championship finished on the front row in the order they stand in the title chase. The second row will be Michael Ruben Rinaldi, Tom Sykes and Alex Lowes, Sykes finishing outside the top three in his first Superpole of the year.
|1||1||J. REA||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1'33.416||268,0|
|2||54||T. RAZGATLIOGLU||Yamaha YZF R1||1'33.515||0.099||269,3|
|3||45||S. REDDING||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1'33.534||0.118||274,8|
|4||21||M. RINALDI||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1'33.678||0.262||272,7|
|5||66||T. SYKES||BMW M 1000 RR||1'33.860||0.444||270,0|
|6||22||A. LOWES||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1'33.897||0.481||272,7|
|7||44||L. MAHIAS||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1'33.924||0.508||264,1|
|8||47||A. BASSANI||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1'34.012||0.596||272,7|
|9||19||A. BAUTISTA||Honda CBR1000 RR-R||1'34.217||0.801||272,7|
|10||7||C. DAVIES||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1'34.453||1.037||273,4|
|11||55||A. LOCATELLI||Yamaha YZF R1||1'34.464||1.048||270,0|
|12||91||L. HASLAM||Honda CBR1000 RR-R||1'34.520||1.104||268,0|
|13||60||M. VAN DER MARK||BMW M 1000 RR||1'34.674||1.258||270,0|
|14||3||K. NOZANE||Yamaha YZF R1||1'34.677||1.261||268,7|
|15||94||J. FOLGER||BMW M 1000 RR||1'34.892||1.476||268,7|
|16||53||T. RABAT||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1'35.156||1.740||272,7|
|17||32||I. VINALES||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1'35.622||2.206||267,3|
|18||23||C. PONSSON||Yamaha YZF R1||1'35.909||2.493||268,0|
|19||76||S. CAVALIERI||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1'36.465||3.049||260,9|
|20||84||L. CRESSON||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1'38.365||4.949||263,4|