Sofuoglu claims pole position in WorldSSP as Aussies gain strength.
A breathtaking opening Motul Superbike World Championship race at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli on Saturday afternoon saw Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) eventually take victory.
Sykes took full advantage of three major crashes ahead of him to secure maximum points, with Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) also on the podium.
In the final stages of the last lap Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) crashed out of the lead and was hit by Rea, with Rea able to pick up his bike to finish third, behind winner Sykes and second placed Lowes. Moments before that incident, Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) also crashed out when fighting for a podium finish and he would ultimately finish 15th.
Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) also spectacularly crashed out at turn 13 with seven laps to go after a rear tyre malfunction, with Rea close by, after the Dutchman had led for most of the race. Van der Mark took over at the front from provisional leader Rea in the early stages and had built up a big lead at one stage before his advantage decreased and then he went down.
Behind Sykes, Lowes and Rea the top five also featured Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) and Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team).
Meanwhile in the first race Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia), Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), Roman Ramos (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven), Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) and Raffaele de Rosa (Althea BMW Racing Team) were all in the top 10.
A later update from Ducati confirmed Davies was diagnosed with a closed thoracic trauma and was then transported by ambulance to Rimini to undergo a CAT scan, which showed a fracture of the transverse process of L3 (third lumbar vertebra).
Further examinations also indicate a contusion of the left thumb. Davies will not take part in race two and will observe a period of rest before being re-examined ahead of the Laguna Seca round.
WorldSSP champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) grabbed his third pole of 2017, to be joined on the front row by Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) and Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team).
Australia’s Anthony West (EAB West Racing Yamaha) will start from the fourth row in P12, while Lachlan Epis (Response RE Racing Kawasaki) will line up 28th and Giuseppe Scarcella (Team Lorini Honda) 32nd.
Continuing on his strong run of form in WorldSSP300, Spain’s Mika Perez (WILSport Racedays) has secured his second pole position ahead of Marc Garcia (Halcourier Racing) and Robert Schotman (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP300 Team).
The STK1000 pole position belonged to Friday pace-setter Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team), with teammate Mike Jones impressing in fifth and Glenn Scott (Agro On-Benjan Kawasaki) 33rd.