Aboard their potent RSV4, Laverty was quick at the start of the final, ten minute element of the three part Tissot SuperPole session. Then late in the session, Laverty turned his best lap of 1:40.620 to net his second pole of the 2013 World SBK season. This means Laverty will take the point on the twenty rider strong grid in both of tomorrow’s 21 lap world Championship races around the famous 13 turn, 4.423km venue.
Second on the grid went to Tom Sykes, moving up in the ranking after minor issues with his works Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja. Sykes set a best lap of 1:40.668, just .04 of a second behind Laverty, and like Laverty also getting the most from the very soft Pirelli slick qualifying tires.
Sykes leads the point’s standings in the eni World Superbike series over Laverty, 411points to 375, with 50 points maximum up for grabs from Sunday’s two rounds. Also in with a mathematical shot at the crown is Laverty’s Aprilia team-mate Sylvain Guintoli with 373 points. Early season points leader Guintoli will start from row two, in fifth grid position.
“Well, we won the first battle,” smiled Laverty following Tissot SuperPole. “It’s quite a big gap between Tom and me in the points, and now we need to go out tomorrow and take both the wins – that’s the way to look at it. I can’t wait for the racing to start.”
Meanwhile Sykes was happy that, while he didn’t earn his customary pole, he is in better shape than he was in year ago. In 2013, Sykes lost the Championship title by just half a point after a wild and wet race in France.
“Yeah, compared to last year, we’re in a much better position” explained Sykes. “I’m happy to find a balance with the bike; we found some things in that last practice session at noon. I had a little trip through the gravel, but that was no big deal. I’m confident with our Kawasaki for tomorrow.”
Third quickest was Althea Racing Aprilia’s Davide Giugliano, who had been fastest during most of the early track sessions. Turning a best lap of 1:40.839, Giugliano will complete the front row in Jerez.
Marco Melandri was fourth best on the factory supported BMW Motorrad GoldBet S1000RR. At the top of the time charts briefly before Giugliano and then Laverty put in their final fast laps, Melandri will be out for a win in BMW’s final appearance as a works team on the SBK tour. Next season, Melandri replaces Laverty at Aprilia.
The outside starting spot on the second row went to Toni Elias, the series newcomer and former G.P. star losing out on his pole bid when he suffered a minor crash with the Red Devils Roma Aprilia. Four of the top six grid spots went to the current World Champion Superbike manufacturer.
Leon Camier had a good outing with the Fixi Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000, taking pole on row three just ahead of the first of the works Ducati Panigale Alstare entries, handled by Xavier Fores. Long time privateer stalwart Mark Aitcheson of Australia had a great session, completing the third row aboard the privateer Team Pedercini Kawasaki.
The fourth starting line includes riders who expected more from final qualifying. Chaz Davies starts tenth on the second GoldBet BMW entry, Broc Parkes returns to the series on the Monster Energy backed endurance spec Yamaha in 11th, and Lorenzo Lanzi is 12th fastest with his one generation old Ducati 1098 Desmo.
Although thunder storms were predicted for qualifying, track conditions were warm and windy, the rain passing near the track without affect. Tomorrow’s predictions again suggest thunder storms.