World Supersport’s race was delayed initially for a bike that returned to the pits smoking. Safety dictated that the track was checked for oil. After it was cleared, the race was started with sixteen laps intended, down one from the original seventeen, but that was red flagged after two laps due to a Robbie Rolfo crash. The restart lasted four laps before Robbie Rolfo crashed again, joined by Kazuki Watanabe and Marco Malone this time, bringing out red flags again. World Supersport will resume after World Superbike has completed and everyone’s had enough time to figure out the rules. The restart will be 14:20 local time.
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Starting on time, World Supersport qualifying opened with Gino Rea and Robbie Rolfo as favourites to qualify for Superpole two.
After a delayed start due to a power failure that affected tyre warmers (and riders' motorhomes), the riders lined up under a hot Italian sun for nineteen laps of the Imola circuit.
Jordi Torres, favourite to qualify for Superpole two, sat out the first Superpole due to a bout of gastroenteritis, leaving the Hondas of Nicky Hayden and Stefan Bradl as the two quickest men coming into this session.
Federico Caricasulo retakes the top spot in this untimed session, ahead of Kenan Sofuoglu and PJ Jacobsen.
In another session interrupted by a red flag, Chaz Davies sets the quickest time ahead of the Kawasakis of Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes. Leon Camuier, fifth quickest behind Marco Melandri, breaks the five-way Ducati/Kawasaki hegemony at the top.
With two red flags, this session took a lot longer to complete than planned. The second red flag was caused by Alex Baldolini's MV Agusta spewing oil on the track, requiring a much longer intervention than the earlier five minute break at the start of the session. Kenan Sofuoglu came out on top, over half a second faster than Kyle Smith and Sheridan Morais. Federico Caricasulo and Jules Cluzel were unable to improve their morning's times but still qualify through to Superpole two from their quicker times from the first session.
Chaz Davies heads to Superpole as the quickest rider, ahead of the Kawasakis of Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes. Davies' teammate Marco Melandri was fourth quickest. Eleventh quickest in this session, Michael van der Mark will be relying on his morning's time to qualify him straight into Superpole two. Jordi Torres and Nicky Hayden are the two quickest riders to compete in Superpole one.
The top five riders were all within a quarter of a second of Federico Caricasulo's quickest time, with Jules Cluzel and Kenan Sofuoglu fending off championship leader Lucas Mahias and Sheridan Morais. PJ Jacobsen is a quarter of a second further back in sixth place, making it four manufacturers in the top six spots.
The Imola weekend opened with the five fastest riders being on a Kawasaki or Ducati as the two marques continue their dominance. Jonathan Rea was a quarter second quicker than Chaz Davies and Tom Sykes, the second- and third-placed riders sharing identical quickest times, ahead of Marco Melandri. Xavi Fores, the third man on a Ducati, was over half a second off fourth place.
Race two of World Superbike at Assen would be Jonathan Rea’s 200th start in the series and he would have to deal with a windy track and whatever the reverse grid would throw up.
Round four of the World Supersport championship would be eighteen laps of Assen, the Cathedral of Speed.
World Supersport favourites to advance from Superpole one were Luke Stapleford and Roberto Rolfo. Rain didn’t look likely.
Twenty one laps of the cathedral of speed, riders would be trying to make a point after the spat in Superpole. The weather was cold, 10ºC air temperature, 18ºC on the track.
Superpole one was contested by eleven riders, vying for two places to compete in Superpole two, with Randy Krummenacher and Xavi Fores in the two favourite spots. Superpole two ended in riders arguing in Parc Fermé.
Updated: See below.