Latest World Superbike Results
Alex Lowes pipped Jonathan Rea by less than seven hundredths of a second to record the weekend's fastest time of 1'34.685. Chaz Davies and Leon Haslam recorded identical times, six tenths further back. Troy Bayliss was seventh quickest in the second race weekend of his surprise comeback.
The temperature was 36°C under a slight haze.
Kyle Smith was quickest in the second session, with Kenan Sofuoglu ahead of the close trio of Jules Cluzel, Film Wilairot and PJ Jacobsen, all within half a second of Smith's time of 1'38.490. Wilairot's brother Rattapong, a wildcard for this round, was tenth quickest, not having recorded a time in the morning session.
Joint title leader Jonathan Rea set the pace early on and was quickest throughout most of the session. He ended the session three quarters of a second ahead of his teammate Tom Sykes.
Rookie Jordi Torres was third quickest, beating Chaz Davies by five hundredths of a second.
PJ Jacobsen opens the weekend with the fastest time in an extended seventy-five minute session. Kyle Smith and Kenan Sofuoglu beat local rider Film Wilairot, swapping the top spot until Jacobsen closed the session with a 1'38.592.
Rain was showing south of the track, but luckily it didn't get close to the track and left the riders to get on with twenty two more laps of close racing.
Eighteen uninterrupted laps under light cloud cover offering excellent conditions for racing.
With a high track temperature, managing tyre life was assumed to be the way to win the race, offering a potentially pedestrian race. Luckily, the tyres performed perfectly well and we got an exciting, close race instead.
After incidents in World Superbike qualifying, the start to qualifying was pushed back an hour.
With no Evo class for 2015, an easily predicted division between Superpoles one and two isn't as clear-cut as it was last year. The weather was warm and clear and the track was hot, but red flags affected both sessions.
In the untimed session before Superpole, Michael van der Mark was quicker than Tom Sykes by a hundredth of a second. Leon Haslam was not far behind and Alex Lowes was within two tenths of van der Mark.
Jules Cluzel was one thousandth of a second slower than his best time from yesterday but was still quickest ahead of Kyle Smith who was unable to beat Kenan Sofuoglu's best Friday lap.
Gino Rea continues to perform well in his return to the series with the third fastest lap, quicker than Lorenzo Zanetti and Kenan Sofuoglu.
Leon Haslam was the quicker of the two Aprilias with Jordi Torres settling for second-best. Jonathan Rea was third quickest, but his time didn't yesterday's fastest from Alex Lowes.
Troy Bayliss continues to keep his promise of taking it easy in free practice with the sixteenth quickest time today, seventeenth overall, improving his time each session so far. Gábor Rizmayer did not take part in this session as yesterday's crash ruled him out for the weekend.
While overall times were not as quick as the morning's session, rookie Jordi Torres was quickest, with his Red Devils Aprilia teammate Leon Haslam under a quarter of a second behind him. The morning's quicker times still keep the top three qualifiers at Lowes, Torres and Sykes.
Troy Bayliss put in sixteen laps, but didn't improve his position by much.
Jules Cluzel ended the day quickest, ahead of Gino Rea, returning to World Supersport after a couple of years in Moto2. Kenan Sofuoglu managed the third quickest lap, although not as fast as his morning's time. Kyle Smith in fourth continues his excellent debut weekend.
Alex Lowes, strong throughout last week's testing at Philip Island on the Suzuki GSXR-1000, opened with an early fast time and stayed at the top of the sheets throughout the rest of the session. Jordi Torres, a class rookie on an Aprilia RSV4, was second-quickest, recording consistent fast laps throughout the opening session.
Kawasaki ZX-10R rider Tom Sykes, 2013 champion and last year's runner up, ended the session third quickest, fending off Leon Haslam on the Aprilia and his new Kawasaki teammate Jonathan Rea. Reigning champion Sylvain Guintoli, having switched to the Honda CBR1000RR with the number one plate, finished thirteenth, behind his teammate Michael van der Mark.
This weekend's special guest star, three-time World Superbike champion, British Superbike champion and MotoGP race winner, Troy Bayliss, managed only three laps, ending the session just over three seconds off Lowes's pace-setting lap. The Australian was sitting in on the Ducati Panigale for Davide Giugliano who was injured during testing.