Alvaro Bautista extended his run of Superpoles to three-in-a-row ahead of round five of the 2023 WorldSBK Championship at Misano, despite ending his session on the deck after a rare spill.
Fresh from another hat-trick of wins - his third of the season - over a single weekend in Barcelona last time out, from Bautista's home soil to Ducati's local turf, the ex-MotoGP rider came into Superpole as hot favourite following arguably his most dominant showing in practice yet.
And so it proved, Bautista getting the edge on his final time attack with a 1m 33.017secs lap. It came shortly before the session was red flagged with just under two minutes on the clock remaining, though it was just as well since the Spaniard was down on the asphalt after low-siding at Turn 8.
The late stoppage - caused by Gabriele Ruiu's expiring Bmax BMW - denied Bautista's rivals from capitalising on his slip.
Indeed, Bautista's eventual pole-winning benchmark was a closer run thing than anticipated, with Toprak Razgatlioglu little more than a tenth shy of causing a minor upset.
However, the Yamaha rider remains the odd one out up front with Ducati riders filling positions 1-3-4-5, with Michael Ruben Rinaldi - who nabbed his first front row since Most - ahead of top privateers Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing) and Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing).
One of several riders to have their final flyers scuppered by the untimely red flag, Jonathan Rea had to settle for sixth on the grid, with Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha), Iker Lecuona (HRC Honda) and Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha) filling row three.
Alex Lowes overcame an early spill to round out the top ten, while fellow Briton Scott Redding was another faller, the ROKiT BMW rider coming down late on at Turn 2 to leave him 12th on the grid.
Of the other Brits, Tom Sykes will start 18th for his first race since returning to the factory BMW squad, while Bradley Ray notched up best Superpole result of the season thus far in 15th.
|2023 Italian WorldSBK | Misano World Circuit | Superpole Qualifying Results | Rd. 5 of 12|
|1||Alvaro Bautista||ESP||Aruba Ducati||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1m 33.017|
|2||Toprak Razgatlioglu||TUR||Pata Crescent Racing||Yamaha R1||1m 33.182|
|3||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||ITA||Aruba Ducati||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1m 33.266|
|4||Danilo Petrucci||ITA||Barni Spark Racing||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1m 33.403|
|5||Axel Bassani||ITA||Motocorsa Racing||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1m 33.430|
|6||Jonathan Rea||GBR||Kawasaki Racing Team||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1m 33.578|
|7||Dominique Aegerter||CHE||GYTR GRT||Yamaha R1||1m 33.821|
|8||Iker Lecuona||ESP||Team HRC||Honda CBR1000RR-R||1m 33.830|
|9||Remy Gardner||AUS||GYTR GRT||Yamaha R1||1m 33.997|
|10||Alex Lowes||GBR||Kawasaki Racing Team||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1m 34.016|
|11||Andrea Locatelli||ITA||Pata Crescent Racing||Yamaha R1||1m 34.065|
|12||Scott Redding||GBR||BMW Motorrad WorldSBK||BMW M 1000 RR||1m 34.134|
|13||Philipp Oettl||GER||Go Eleven||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1m 34.264|
|14||Garrett Gerloff||USA||Bonovo Racing||BMW M 1000 RR||1m 34.268|
|15||Bradley Ray||GBR||Motoxracing||Yamaha R1||1m 34.371|
|16||Xavi Vierge||ESP||Team HRC||Honda CBR1000RR-R||1m 34.434|
|17||Lorenzo Baldassarri||ITA||GMT 94||Yamaha R1||1m 34.446|
|18||Tom Sykes||GBR||BMW Motorrad WorldSBK||BMW M 1000 RR||1m 34.494|
|19||Loris Baz||FRA||Bonovo Racing||BMW M 1000 RR||1m 34.522|
|20||Hafizh Syahrin||MAL||MIE Racing||Honda CBR1000RR-R||1m 35.247|
|21||Gabriele Ruiu||ITA||B-Max Racing||BMW M 1000 RR||1m 35.796|
|22||Tito Rabat||ESP||Puccetti Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1m 36.025|
|23||Isaac Vinales||ESP||TPR by Vinales Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1m 36.350|
|24||Luca Vitali||ITA||Orelac Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1m 36.630|
|25||Ryo Mizuno||JPN||MIE Racing||Honda CBR1000RR-R||1m 37.246|