WSBK – Rea takes pole for season opener

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Kawasaki new boy Jonny Rea got his season off to the perfect start after piloting his ZX-10R to pole position after Superpole 2 was cut short by a red flag incident.

Rea, claimed his first Phillip Island pole – his fifth WSBK pole overall – on a pair race tyre was set to make another lap on a qualifying tyre until David Salom suffered a fast and hard highside crash on Kawasaki Team Pedercini ZX-10R, resulting in the the Superpole 2 session being red-flagged. Race control decided not to restart the session which left Rea on pole and in the perfect starting place for Sunday’s two 22-lap races.

Salom underwent medical checks at the circuit after his crash and has not suffered serious injuries.

Rea, who now has five WSBK poles, said: “It was a strange way to end the session. From my point of view we did a good job with a race tyre in the high temperatures and the Kawasaki is working very well. We made a good set-up breakthrough in free practice four. I am really happy with pole position because it is the best possible result from qualifying. I also wanted the chance to use the qualifying tyre, however, because I know the Kawasaki uses the Q tyres very well too. So the lap time could have been quite good. But, this is still the best possible result for me after Superpole.”

Salom’s heavy crash looked severe but he was conscious afterwards and medical tests have revealed he has not suffered any serious injuries.

The 4.445km long Phillip Island circuit is expected to offer its usual tough challenge to all comers on Sunday, especially as temperatures are expected to be hot and the track temperatures correspondingly high.

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