World Superbike race one was twenty three laps of a dry race with the sun threatening to break through the grey British sky.
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The track for World Superbike superpole one was, unlike yesterday, dry. The weather threw a few surprising names into the first session, fighting for only two places for the second session that determines the first four rows of the grid.
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.
Jonathan Rea was around a second off the qualifying record and six hundredths of the race record in this morning's untiled session, with his Kawasaki teammate Tom Sykes very close behind. While Sykes was quicker in the first half of the track, Rea was the faster man in the second half. The Yamahas of Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark were next quickest, ahead of Eugene Laverty and Chaz Davies.
Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes swapped places at the top again as the wet track dried out and the riders got within half a second of lap record pace. Lorenzo Savadori made a surprise appearance in provisional third place, ahead of Alex Lowes and Eugene Laverty, and the Alpaca-haired Bradley Ray, double winner at this track in British Superbike earlier in the year, was the quickest wildcard, earning himself direct access to Superpole two.
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 rain stopped falling on the still-damp track, everyone improved on their morning's times, with Tom Sykes, the rider with the most victories around this circuit, coming out on top, over half a second quicker than his Kawasaki teammate Jonathan Rea. Rea said yesterday that there must be something in the tea bags round here that gives Sykes extra pace, as shown by his nine victories in his last five visits here.
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.
Jonathan Rea swept in late to take the top spot in a very wet session dominated, until that point, by his teammate Tom Sykes. Six riders were outside the 107% required for qualification, with three of them not even setting a laptime. Loris Baz, a perennial front-runner in the wet, was third quickest and Leon Camier, returning from injury, was just over two seconds off Rea's quickest time in fourth place.
With the unpredictable British weather promising to live up to its reputation, it is unlikely any lap records will be broken this weekend.
World Superbike's second race at Imola made use of the reverse grid set in yesterday's race but would be missing Jason O'Halloran as he has been declared unfit after his crash yesterday. His leg was broken by a foot peg during his crash in yesterday's race.
The World Supersport seventeen lap race was not marred by the rain as Kenan Sofuoglu lined up for his last weekend of racing.
World Supersport Superpole took place with rain threatening to make an appearance at some point.
World Superbike race one at Imola was 19 laps under good weather. Leon Camier was replaced for the race on the Red Bull Honda by Jason O'Halloran after Camier pulled out after two sessions on Friday, not having recovered enough from his crash at Aragon to compete. Extra front brake cooling was allowed for there first time and this safety measure will continue testing at Donington in a couple of weeks.
Superpole one at Imola was contested by twelve riders aiming for two spots with Eugene Laverty and Alex Lowes the two favourites to qualify for advancement.
It looked like Jonathan Rea was going to get it all his own way, but towards the end of the session, Chaz Davies clinched the top spot. Rea was able to then match his rival's time, but he couldn't beat it. Marco Melandri was third quickest ahead of Lorenzo Savadori while Eugene Laverty and Alex Lowes missed out on Superpole two and will head into the first Superpole sessions as favourites to advance. Leon Haslam was eighth-quickest on his return to World Superbikes.