Ducati’s Davide Giugliano left his best lap till last, and just as the chequered flag came out in the darkness of the Qatari desert he set a time that was quick enough to place him at the very top of the World Superbike free practice timesheets.
Giugliano was the only rider to reach 1.57 after his best lap of a 1’57.876, with Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea only 0.2 seconds off the best lap of the Roman, and a second off lap record pace.
But Rea was the most consistent rider, and had more laps in the 1.58 than anyone else on the Losail circuit. Title challenger Sylvain Guintoli appeared to be relishing his time under the floodlights and was never outside the top five throughout the final timed session, especially after a 1’58.166.
Kawasaki’s Loris Baz was dangerously close of not making it into Superpole two, but at the flag he managed to pull his way up from eleventh, to fourth. But his team-mate and championship fighter, Tom Sykes could only manage eighth. But did shave off over half a second from his best time this evening, and ended the outing with a 1’58.818.
Voltcom Suzuki’s Eugene Laverty secured his place in Superpole two, but was unable to better his time that he set in FP2, but did more than enough to stay in Superpole two.
Voltcom Suzuki’s Alex Lowes was hanging on to a place in Q2 by the skin of his teeth, as he crashed early into the session at turn 4. He was unhurt but by the time the 45 minutes were up he slipped down to twelfth, but miraculously made it back out from the pits to catapulted his way to sixth, and out of danger with a 1’58.539 - just as the session came to an end.
Ducati’s Chaz Davies and Pata Honda’s Leon Haslam were never really in danger of not progressing into Superpole two, and ended the rather dark evening in seventh and ninth respectively.
Aprilia’s Marco Melandri was not so lucky, as Baz’s late burst of good form meant that the diminutive Italian was pushed out of the top ten, and was one tenth too slow to remain in a Superpole two position. Red Devils Roma’s Toni Elias rounded out the top ten.
Entrants for Superpole two:
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