Locatelli under lap record for WorldSSP pole at P.I.

2020 WorldSBK
Round One – Phillip Island
WorldSSP Superpole

With Chris Plumridge

Andrea Locatelli (Bardahl Yamaha) has smashed the qualifying lap record at Phillip Island in Superpole for the Yamaha Finance Round of the 2020 Motul FIM Supersport World Championship.

WorldSBK SSP Superpole R Phillip Island WorldSSP Saturday

WorldSBK SSP Superpole R Phillip Island WorldSSP Saturday

Andrea Locatelli

Locatelli claimed his first-ever pole position in World Supersport, in a session where the previous benchmark was beaten four times.

MV Agusta’s Randy Krummenacher will start alongside him, while Kawasaki’s Lucas Mahias completes the front row.

Air temperatures were around 19-degrees and a 25-degree track temperature greeted riders as they swarmed the track when the Tissot Superpole session got underway just before 1300 this afternoon at Phillip Island.

Corentin Perolari (GMT94 Yamaha) was the fastest of the first group to put in a lap with a 1:33.787 ahead of Danny Webb (WRP Wepol Yamaha) and Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing Yamaha), before Phillipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), and then Krummenacher going faster still, the latter with a 1:32.893. That only lasted 30 seconds or so, with Locatelli claiming provisional pole back with a 1:32.440 and breaking the all time fastest at Phillip Island (Sam Lowes in 2013, 1:32.545).

Can Oncu (Turkish Racing Kawasaki) was also quick, in third having posted a 1:33.507.

Steven Odendaal (EAB Ten Kate Yamaha) was campaigning in plain black replacement leathers today as a result of his huge crash on Jules Cluzel’s (GMT94 Yamaha) oil yesterday, sore but riding strongly.

With fifteen minutes to go, all but Raffaele De Rosa (MV Agusta), Soomer, Oli Bayliss (Cube Racing Yamaha) and Loris Cresson (OXXO Yamaha) were out on track with the others looking sideways at each other to see who would exit on qualifying tyres first.

WorldSBK SSP Superpole R Phillip Island WorldSSP Saturday

WorldSBK SSP Superpole R Phillip Island WorldSSP Saturday

Randy Krummenacher

Perolari was back out on track with the quick boots on, moving up into fourth with a 1:33.423. Teammate Cluzel was on a good lap before his foot came off the peg through the Hayshed, dropping half a second in the process, enough for fourth with a 1:33.413.

By this time the quick guys were out on track and were looking to shake things up. Krummenacher was only a tenth of a second off around the back of the circuit on his first fast lap out, but got shaky coming out of Turn 10 to mess up his lap and stay second, 1:32.440. Team-mate De Rosa put in a 1:32.946 to knock Oettl off the front row, while Locatelli lowered his mark even further, a 1:32.340 put him three tenths up on Krummenacher who was still sitting in the pit.

WorldSBK SSP Superpole R Phillip Island WorldSSP Saturday

WorldSBK SSP Superpole R Phillip Island WorldSSP Saturday

Andrea Locatelli

Finding clear track was becoming a struggle, with five minutes to go all except Oettl (fourth fastest) were on track. De Rosa was baulked by traffic and could not improve on his third place. Krummenacher was looking good through the final timing split, squeezing every inch of track as he ran the MV right to the grass to set a 1:32.323 for pole, before running straight onto the grass at Turn 1, perhaps not quite looking where he was going after that effort! Mahias also improved, 1:32.617 to take him to third behind Krummenacher and Locatelli.

As the chequered flag came out Locatelli was roaring past the Hayshed, eight hundredths off in the first sector but improved through his next sectors to claim pole back over Krummenacher by a tenth and a half. Locatelli finished the session on pole (1:32.176) ahead of Krummenacher (1:32.323) and Mahias (1:32.617). Aussie Wild Card Bayliss will start 20th after setting a 1:35.108.

We go racing for World Supersport tomorrow at 1315 from Phillip Island, as the Yamaha Finance Round signals the start of the 2020 Motul FIM World Superbike Championship.

2020 WorldSBK
Round One – Phillip Island
WorldSSP Superpole Results

Pos No.   Rider Bike Time/Gap Speed
1 A.  Locatelli YZF R6 1m32.176 276.9
2 R.  Krummenacher F3 675 +0.147 272.7
3 L.   Mahias ZX-6R +0.441 272.0
4 J.   Cluzel YZF R6 +0.715 274.1
5 R.  De Rosa F3 675 +0.718 268.7
6 P.   Oettl ZX-6R +0.783 267.3
7 S.  Odendaal YZF R6 +0.880 276.2
8 I.    Viñales YZF R6 +1.060 270.7
9 C.  Perolari YZF R6 +1.211 269.3
10 F.   Fuligni F3 675 +1.257 266.7
11 C.  Öncü ZX-6R +1.331 272.0
12 H.  Soomer YZF R6 +1.378 277.6
13 M. Gonzalez ZX-6R +1.506 276.2
14 D.  Webb YZF R6 +1.547 273.4
15 H.  Okubo CBR600RR +1.864 268.7
16 P.   Sebestyen YZF R6 +2.106 272.7
17 C.  Bergman YZF R6 +2.173 274.1
18 A.  Verdoïa YZF R6 +2.707 271.4
19 P.   Hobelsberger CBR600RR +2.847 267.3
20 O.  Bayliss YZF R6 +2.932 269.3
21 J.   Van Sikkelerus YZF R6 +3.043 264.1
22 L.   Cresson YZF R6 +3.221 272.0
23 G.  Hendra Pratama YZF R6 +3.383 270.0

Source: MCNews.com.au

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