Assen WSBK: Lowes outpaces Rea for maiden pole

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Assen WSBK: Lowes outpaces Rea for maiden pole
David Gruz
By: David Gruz
Apr 21, 2018, 9:24 AM

Yamaha rider Alex Lowes claimed his maiden World Superbike pole position at Assen after beating world champion Jonathan Rea by 0.046s.

Rea was confidently leading as SP2 started, his 1m34.761s lap giving him a three-tenth lead over Barni Ducati's Xavi Fores during the mid-session pitstops.

However Lowes moved from third to first with a 1m34.066s during the final minute of qualifying, and Rea's subsequent improvement fell narrowly short.

Fores was the fastest Ducati rider in third, as the rest of the field was over six tenths off the pace.

Aprilia's Lorenzo Savadori claimed fourth ahead of Marco Melandri, who beat Rea's Kawasaki teammate Tom Sykes by two thousandths of a second for fifth.

Local hero Michael van der Mark had to settle for seventh, 0.807s slower than his pace-setting teammate despite topping the timesheets in Friday practice.

Chaz Davies was only eighth on the second works Ducati, followed by MV Agusta's Jordi Torres, Loris Baz (Althea BMW), Toprak Razgatlioglu (Puccetti Kawasaki) and Ducati junior Michael Ruben Rinaldi.

Razgatlioglu and Baz advanced to Q2 from the first part of qualifying, separated by less than a tenth.

Baz was the early pace-setter in the session and also the first rider to improve during the second runs, but was demoted by Razgatlioglu's 1m35.569s with two minutes on the clock.

The former MotoGP rider improved once more at the end of the session to end up just 0.084s behind the Turkish rookie.

Orelac Racing's Leandro Mercado was best of the rest and will start 13th, ahead of fellow Kawasaki rider Roman Ramos (GoEleven).

PJ Jacobsen was the sole Honda rider in qualifying, taking 15th, as Jake Gagne was sidelined by his massive highside crash on Friday.

Aprilia's Davide Giugliano, replacing the injured Eugene Laverty, was 16th.

SP2 results:

Pos.RiderBikeTimeGap
1 united_kingdom Alex Lowes  Yamaha 1'34.066  
2 united_kingdom Jonathan Rea  Kawasaki 1'34.112 0.046
3 spain Xavi Fores  Ducati 1'34.387 0.321
4 italy Lorenzo Savadori  Aprilia 1'34.739 0.673
5 italy Marco Melandri  Ducati 1'34.838 0.772
6 united_kingdom Tom Sykes  Kawasaki 1'34.840 0.774
7 netherlands Michael van der Mark  Yamaha 1'34.873 0.807
8 united_kingdom Chaz Davies  Ducati 1'34.986 0.920
9 spain Jordi Torres  MV Agusta 1'35.099 1.033
10 france Loris Baz  BMW 1'35.541 1.475
11 turkey Toprak Razgatlioglu  Kawasaki 1'35.858 1.792
12 italy  Michael Ruben Rinaldi  Ducati 1'35.875 1.809

 SP1 results:

Pos.RiderBikeTimeGap
SP2 turkey Toprak Razgatlioglu  Kawasaki 1'35.569  
SP2 france Loris Baz  BMW 1'35.653 0.084
13 argentina Leandro Mercado  Kawasaki 1'35.854 0.285
14 spain Roman Ramos  Kawasaki 1'35.982 0.413
15 united_states Patrick Jacobsen  Honda 1'36.199 0.630
16 italy Davide Giugliano  Aprilia 1'36.417 0.848
17 colombia Yonny Hernandez  Kawasaki 1'36.478 0.909
18 czech_republic Ondrej Jezek  Yamaha 1'36.734 1.165
- united_states Jake Gagne  Honda no time -
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About this article

Series World Superbike
Event Assen
Location TT Circuit Assen
Drivers Alex Lowes
Teams Yamaha Factory Racing
Author David Gruz
Article type Qualifying report