Jonathan Rea has secured his first pole position at Imola since 2014 after powering against his main rivals hit by various incidents in a frantic Superpole.
The defending World Superbike champion enjoyed a trouble-free session to lead throughout the pole position shootout and used the Pirelli qualifying tyre to notch up a 1m 45.797s – just two-tenths of a second off the outright lap record.
Rea took pole by three-tenths from Kawasaki teammate Tom Sykes after he saw his initial qualifying lap cancelled havign been judged to have exceeded track limits at the final chicane. As a result, the Yorkshire rider opted to play safe with his final qualifying lap to lockdown a front row place.
Aruba.it Racing Ducati’s Chaz Davies, who has clinched the past four race wins at Imola, was another to battle through issues in qualifying after crashing on the exit of the final chicane after clipping the inside kerb.
But the Welsh rider was able to recover his Panigale R and return to the pits before returning to action with the Pirelli qualifying tyre to take third place.
Davies shuffled out teammate Marco Melandri who will head up row two ahead of Barni Ducati’s Xavi Fores while Eugene Laverty profited from progressing through Superpole 1 to take sixth place for Milwaukee Aprilia.
Jordi Torres produced an impressive charge for MV Agusta to take seventh place in qualifying ahead of Aruba.it Racing Ducati junior rider Michael Ruben Rinaldi as Milwaukee Aprilia’s Lorenzo Savadori rounded out the third row.
Pata Yamaha’s Alex Lowes heads up row four after graduating from Superpole 1 as Puccetti Kawasaki wildcard Leon Haslam and the second factory Yamaha of Michael van der Mark claimed 11th and 12th respectively.
Toprak Razgatlioglu could consider himself unlucky to miss out on Superpole 2 having initially fired in a lap quick enough to take a spot to graduate into the pole position shootout but saw his lap time cancelled after cutting the final chicane. The penalty saw the Puccetti Kawasaki rider relegated behind Laverty, who was promoted to Superpole 2, and Loris Baz to 13th place.
With Red Bull Honda’s Leon Camier withdrawing from the Imola race weekend, stand-in rider Jason O’Halloran impressed by out-qualifying teammate Jake Gagne with the pair lining up 18th and 19th on the race one grid.