Alex Lowes has secured his first pole position in the World Superbike championship after storming through Superpole 2 ahead of points leader Jonathan Rea.
The Pata Yamaha rider notched up a 1m 34.066s on his opening flying lap on the Pirelli qualifying tyre and it remained unbeaten throughout the remainder of Superpole 2 to hand the British rider his maiden pole position in the series, as well as the factory Yamaha’s first official pole since returning to the series in 2016.
Rea went closest to knocking Lowes off of top spot but narrowly missed out by 0.046s after losing time in the final sector. The Kawasaki rider will be a heavy favourite for victory in the Assen opener having claimed seven consecutive wins in the series at the Dutch circuit heading into this weekend.
Xavi Fores completes row three on the independent Barni Ducati while Lorenzo Savadori made it four different manufacturers in the front four qualifying spots for Milwaukee Aprilia.
Aruba.it Racing Ducati’s Marco Melandri secured the middle of the second row in front of Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes, who is still waiting for his next pole position to take the all-time World Superbike record, while local favourite Michael van der Mark could only manage seventh place for Pata Yamaha.
Aragon race two winner Chaz Davies starts alongside the Dutch rider in eighth for the factory Ducati squad ahead of MV Agusta’s Jordi Torres, as Loris Baz (Althea BMW), Toprak Razgatlioglu (Puccetti Kawasaki) and Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing Ducati Junior Team) complete row four.
Red Bull Honda will miss the Assen opening race with Jake Gagne forced to sit out with injury after suffering a heavy high-side during Friday practice, while teammate Leon Camier is out of action this weekend after suffering three broken ribs and a chest injury last time out at Aragon.