WSBK: Round #1 - Phillip Island Superpole Report

Sylvain Gunitoli race action shot

WSBK Press Release:

The first Tissot-Superpole of 2014 was contested today under cloudy skies, with Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) securing the first slot on the grid for the two debut races of the season, scheduled for tomorrow at Phillip Island. The 31 year old Frenchman set a new outright best lap of the Australian venue in 1'30.038 during the final Superpole session, despite a small moment he had during his flying lap. The first race winner of last year got the better of Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) by only a hundredth of a second, with the Italian rider continuing to impress on his first ever race weekend aboard his Ducati 1199 Panigale R.

Ducati SBK Team 2014 - Davies, Giugliano and the new 1199 Panigale Superbike:

Marco Melandri won the battle for the last spot of the first row by finishing third ahead of Suzuki duo Eugene Laverty and Alex Lowes, whilst Jonathan Rea claimed sixth place, followed by KRT paring of Loris Baz and Tom Sykes. The reigning Superbike World Champion missed the chance to snatch the pole position as he crashed unhurt at turn 9 with two minutes to go.

Leon Haslam, following an encouraging lap set in Superpole 1, did not manage to significantly improve his performance in the following session and was 9th at the checkered flag, two places in front of fellow British Chaz Davies.

Eugene Laverty race action shot

Two riders out of the twelve who took part in the second Tissot-Superpole were riding EVO-spec bikes. Niccolò Canepa finished 10th after qualifying directly to the final 15 minutes, thanks to a 6th place in the combined times from free practice. Kawasaki Racing Team's David Salom, on the other hand, worked his way up to Superpole 2  thanks to the second best time set in the first session, eventually securing a 4th row start (12th place).

Tissot-Superpole 2 times:

1. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1'30.038 average 177.725 kph

2. Giugliano (Ducati) 1'30.135

3. Melandri (Aprilia) 1'30.332

4. Laverty (Suzuki) 1'30.385

5. Lowes (Suzuki) 1'30.421

6. Rea (Honda) 1'30.660

7. Baz (Kawasaki) 1'30.796

8. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'30.835

9. Haslam (Honda) 1'31.138

10. Canepa (Ducati) 1'31.274

11. Davies (Ducati) 1'31.281

12. Salom (Kawasaki) 1'31.950

Kenan Sofuoglu race action shot

World Supersport:

Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) claimed his career's 18th pole position today at Phillip Island as he lapped the 4.445 km Australian track in 1'32.769s during the World Supersport qualifying session. The three time World Champion was the only rider to break the 1'33s barrier, although not improving the best lap of the circuit set by Sam Lowes last year. Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport) played catch up with the leader throughout the entire session, eventually finishing second ahead of Roberto Tamburini.

Scotsman Kev Coghlan continued on his good form as he ended up 4th followed by American PJ Jacobsen, who crashed unhurt at turn 11 with four minutes left in the session. Russian Vladimir Leonov sealed an encouraging second row start, whilst his team-mate's performance was heavily affected by an early fall at Turn 10. Jules Cluzel managed to complete only two laps, finishing 14th.

Core PTR Honda duo Raffaele De Rosa and Ratthapark Wilairot were 7th and 8th respectively ahead of Italian rider Lorenzo Zanetti, who crashed out at Turn 6 in the final stages. Local rider and WSS rookie Bryan Staring rounded the top-10.

Times:

1. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 1'32.769 average 172.493 kph

2. Vd Mark (Honda) 1'33.021

3. Tamburini (Kawasaki) 1'33.290

4. Coghlan (Yamaha) 1'33.300

5. Jacobsen (Kawasaki) 1'33.346

6. Leonov (MV Agusta) 1'33.379

7. De Rosa (Honda) 1'33.542

8. Wilairot (Honda) 1'33.755

9. Zanetti (Honda) 1'34.100

10. Staring (Honda) 1'34.273

11. Marino (Kawasaki) 1'34.276

12. McConnell (Triumph) 1'34.392

For more information: www.worldsbk.com