Razgatlioglu storms to the top in Tissot Superpole, Aegerter impresses with third
The very first World Superbike Tissot Superpole did not disappoint with many talking points to take away from the 15-minute dash to the line. While it was red sector times everywhere you looked, it was Toprak Razgatlioglu [Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldBSK] who came out victorious.
After the first run of the 15-minute session, it was first Jonathan Rea [Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK] who initially led the way, followed by Aruba.it Racing – Ducati teammates Michael Ruben Rinaldi and Alvaro Bautista. Sam Lowes [Kawasaki Racing WorldSBK] found his way into fourth position after the first run of laps, followed by Iker Lecuona [Team HRC].
While riders sat, awaiting for the 5-minute mark to hit, it was Bautista who lead the initial charge in the final time attack of the second, but heavy traffic on his first flying lap ended his chances of a possible Pole Position.
Putting in a perfect Pole lap in the last minutes of Superpole, it was Toprak Razgatlioglu who will start the first World Superbike race of the 2023 season from Pole Position.
“First I say, for me this weekend, it has not been an easy start with problems, but finally every session I improve the bike and I am happy. I did a really good lap time. A big thank you to my team, they are working a lot and I hope in the race we take a good position and I will try to fight again for the win, we will see.”
Starting from P2 on the grid for Race 1 of the Grand Ridge Brewery Australian Round will be the reigning World Champion, Alvaro Bautista after crossing the line with his fastest lap of 1:29.584, +0.184 from Razgatlioglu.
“Today in qualifying, I followed many slower riders in front of me so I couldn’t put my best sector together, but in many cases, I am happy with the front row and this is important. Let’s see, later in the race I will try to keep this feeling to keep this fun with the bike and try to make a good show for all of the people here.”
While it was an impressive effort from Razgatlioglu, it was the GYTR GRT Yamaha rider and double World Supersport Champion Dominique Aegerter who had everyone’s jaws on the ground in an impressive maiden World Superbike, Superpole effort. It was all eyes on Aegerter as he put in a perfect lap, his fastest by a large margin, to start his maiden World Superbike race from the front row of the grid.
“For sure it’s only qualifying, but you need to ride the lap time. We have not had many days on the bike. We have had 6 days for the testing and just 3 months ago I was in this exact Parc Ferme, but with the Supersport bike of a 600. The GYTR GRT Yamaha Racing Team have done a fantastic job. They are always trying to improve, so a big thank you to them for helping me adapt to the big bike. Still, I need to learn a lot with the tyres and the electronics. It is all very difficult to understand because before this, the bikes I rode in my career didn’t have this many electronics. We need to try and bring the power to the ground and in this qualifying, we could make it and I made quite a fast lap.”
Starting on the second row of the grid in fourth, Jonathan Rea was the first rider to hit into the 1:29.715 on his first flying lap, setting his fastest time of the weekend.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi also set his fastest time of the weekend in the Tissot Superpole of 1:29.775, but this wasn’t enough for a front row start. Rinadli will still take an impressive 6th place for the first race of the 2023 World Superbike season.
Remy Gardner [GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK] also set his fastest time of the weekend, dipping into the 1:29s time bracket and again closing the gap between himself and the front pack. A marginal +0.441s separates Gardner’s P7 placing from Pole Position, once again proving that Race 1 being held at 4pm (AEDST) this afternoon will be a cracker!
Written by Tayla Relph. Images by Russell Colvin