Aruba Ducati’s Marco Melandri has taken only his second ever WorldSBK pole position at Jerez this morning and set a new outright lap record at the Andalucian track to boot.
The little Italian emerged on top after a flurry of fastest laps which saw Michael Van Der Mark and Alex Lowes both rocket to the top of the timesheets in quick succession before Melandri put in a 1’38.960 and even a late charge from champion Jonathan Rea couldn’t dislodge him.
Rea was also under the existing record as he grabbed second place in his bid to finally win a race at Jerez. Team-mate Tom Sykes, still suffering with his injured little finger, pushed Van der Mark down one more place with his last lap.
The Dutch Pata Yamaha man has debuted a new rear brake system this weekend which utilises a small lever under the clutch instead of a thumb operated system. He was six-tenths off Melandri’s time but still fast enough to claim the middle of row two.
Milwaukee Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty charged into sixth place with his final lap but team-mate Lorenzo Savadori put paid to that, going 0.060s faster to edge Laverty on to row three. Chaz Davies was unable to make any impression and starts in eighth.
Leon Camier was right at the sharp end early on but slipped back to ninth on the MV Agusta, one place ahead of Roman Ramos. Sylvain Guintoli put the Puccetto Kawasaki in 11th with Xavi Fores in 12th place.