Bautista smashes record to record maiden World SBK pole

Alvaro Bautista demolishes the World Superbike lap record at Buriram to take his first pole position in the series.

Alvaro Bautista has demolished the World Superbike lap record at Buriram to take his first pole position in the series almost half a second quicker than nearest rival Jonathan Rea.

The Racing Ducati rider turned up the pace on his new V4 R to produce a 1m 31.912s to beat the previous lap record by nine-tenths of a second.

Despite Rea improving on his own times by half a second compared to his pole time 12 months ago, the Kawasaki rider ended the session 0.429s off Bautista having looked closely matched during practice.

Alex Lowes joins the front row for Pata Yamaha, inside one-tenth of a second of Rea, while GRT Yamaha’s Sandro Cortese maintained his momentum from Friday practice by taking fourth place on the grid in just his second World Superbike outing.

Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam also notched up a late improvement to take fifth place one spot ahead of Tom Sykes on the factory BMW.

Marco Melandri heads up row three on the GRT Yamaha ahead of Go Eleven Ducati’s Eugene Laverty and Racing Ducati’s Chaz Davies who continues to struggle to match his team-mate’s pace.

Michael van der Mark, Thailand rostrum-finisher 12 months ago, struggled in qualifying down in 10th place for Pata Yamaha but ahead of Markus Reiterberger (BMW) as Leon Camier lifted his Moriwaki-Althea Honda on to the final spot of the fourth row.

Source: Crash

Foto-credit: Racing Ducati World SBK

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