Indonesia WSBK: Razgatlioglu boosts title bid with pole
Toprak Razgatlioglu scored a crucial pole position for the opening round of this weekend's Indonesia World Superbike season finale, boosting his bid to wrest the crown away from Jonathan Rea.
Yamaha rider Razgatlioglu, who holds a 30-point lead over Rea ahead of Saturday's first race at the Mandalika street track, was quickest in the opening runs during the 15-minute Superpole session, setting a benchmark of 1m33.544s to go 0.155s clear of title rival Rea.
It was Kawasaki man Rea who was first out of the pits for his second run, and he temporarily took the top spot on a 1m33.201s, with Scott Redding slotting into second on the factory Ducati.
But Razgatlioglu was not to be denied, as he became the first man to lap the all-new track on Indonesia's Lombok island in the 1m32s bracket, going three tenths up on Rea with a 1m32.877s to take his third pole in the last four rounds.
Razgatlioglu can claim the title in the opening race of the weekend if he wins, with Rea finishing third or lower.
Behind Rea and Redding, Garrett Gerloff left it late to move up to fourth place aboard the GRT Yamaha, beating the second works R1 of Andrea Locatelli.
Tom Sykes was another late improver in his final Superpole as a BMW rider, bagging the final slot on the second row in sixth.
Axel Bassani will start seventh on his Motocorsa Ducati ahead of Alvaro Bautista's Honda and the second BMW of Michael van der Mark. Leandro Mercado completed the top 10 for MIE Racing Honda.
Chaz Davies was 11th-fastest in his last-ever WSBK qualifying session for Go Eleven Ducati, three places ahead of Michael Ruben Rinaldi on the second factory V4 Panigale.
Both Leon Haslam (Honda) and Alex Lowes (Kawasaki) were ruled out of the Indonesia races prior to qualifying with injury, reducing the grid to 18 bikes.
|9||60||Michael van der Mark||BMW||1'34.080||1.203|
|14||21||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||Ducati||1'34.499||1.622|
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