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Imola WSBK: Lowes bags provisional Supersport pole

Yakhnich Yamaha’s Sam Lowes was unstoppable in the World Supersport qualifying practice session in Imola this afternoon, and clocked a time of 1’51.104, smashing his previous best lap record that he set last year.

The Derby rider stormed his way to the top of the timesheets with more than thirty minutes remaining, and that is where he stayed. Early in the session MAHI Racing’s Kenan Sofuoglu attempted to go faster than the Brit, but the current champion could only manage second. The Turk could not break into the 1’51’s throughout the 45 minute session and could not improve on his best lap of 1’52.917, meaning the Kawasaki rider ended the afternoon in eleventh, and on a provisional fourth row.

Puccetti Racing’s Riccardo Russo had an impressive afternoon out on his home circuit. With fourteen minutes of the practice qualifying session left the Italian soared to second in the timesheets, and was able to improve on his time of 1’52.370, to go a second quicker on his final lap, and when the chequered flag came out he rode a 1’51.826, to bag himself a provisional front row start. Russo and Lowes were the only riders to break into the 1’51 barrier, with the Italian just 0.7 seconds slower than the Lincolnshire lad.


Pata Honda’s Michael Van der Mark was never outside the top five quickest times in the final half of the session. He had to contend with team-mate Lorenzo Zanetti who was not far off the Dutch rider’s lap times. But Van der Mark was two tenths of a second quicker than the Italian and finished third fastest with a 1’52.083, with Zanetti narrowly missing his chance of a provisional front row start as he ended the afternoon in fourth. Fellow Italian Kawasaki Intermoto’s Luca Scassa rounded off the top five.

Rivamoto’s Jack Kennedy was clocking consistently quick lap times, and found himself just outside the top five times in seventh with ten minutes remaining. But MAHI Racing’s Fabien Foret was just too quick for the Dubliner and pushed the rider down to ninth, which is where he ended the afternoon, with a respectable 1’52.785 lap, improving 0.2 seconds from his previous time. Team Goeleven’s Andrea Antonelli rounded off the top ten.

DMC-Lorenzini rider Kev Coghlan ended the Supersport qualifying practice in twelfth, one hundreds of a second slower than Sofuoglu. This time ParkinGo MV’s Christian Iddon got the better of fellow Brit, Team Lorini rider Tommy Bridewell. Iddon ended the session in 22nd with a 1’53.547 time, with MCE British Superbike racer, Bridewell ending the day 24th fastest with a time of 1’53.591.

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