Monaco based Irishman Eugene Laverty manages to beat the opposition to bring Aprilia it’s first pole position since Leon Camier pole at Magny Cours in 2015 season.
Portimao marks Laverty’s third pole position since he started ridingg in World Superbike class in 2011 and the first for him since Jerez round of 2013 season. It was also first pole position for Shaun Muir’s SMR squad, who is acting as Aprilia factory effort in the class. That Aprilia means bussiness in qualifying was already seen during first runs of Q2, when it was Lorenzo Savadori, who was fastest, 1 tenth ahead of Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea and Laverty, who both set the exactly the same time during run 1.
But his team mate being fastest before the only run on Pirelli qualifying tyres proved the great motivator for the Irishman, who managed to set the time of 1:40.705 to beat Tom Sykes’ existing pole lap record by more than six tenths. Jonathan Rea finished in second position, 0.060s behind Laverty, while Marco Melandri was the best of the Ducati’s in third. Lorenzo Savadori’s Aprilia, who also progressed from Q1, was best of the rest in fourth position, managing to hold leading Yamaha of Michael Van der Mark and Tom Sykes Kawasaki behind him, as Dutchman and West Yorkshireman finished in fifth and sixth position.
Best independant rider was Barni Ducati’s Xavi Fores, who ended the qualifying at the start of third row in seventh position, where he will be joined by BMW’s Loris Baz, who joined Savadori from Q1, and MV Agusta’s Jordi Torres. Fourth row was completed by Puccetti Kawasaki rider Toprak Razgatlioglu, Aruba junior rider Michael Rinaldi and Pata Yamaha Alex Lowes, who was also the only rider that crashed, when he lost the front at the last corner during his second qualifying run.
Behind them it was leading Honda of Leon Camier, who ended in 13th position and one place ahead of second factory Ducati of Chaz Davies, who seems to be struggling with left collarbone injury, which he broke twice during the summer break. They will be joined by Camier’s Red Bull Honda team mate Jake Gagne on 5th row, as the American finished the qualifying in 15th position. On sixth row there will be Orelac Kawasaki’s Leandro Mercado, Pedercini Kawasaki’s Yonny Hernandez and TripleM Honda’s PJ Jacobsen, while grid will be completed on seventh row, from where GoEleven Kawasaki of Roman Ramos and Guandalini Yamaha of Jakub Smrz will start.
Featured Photo Credit: WorldSBK