The man who won three of the past four races at Aragon World Superbike, Aruba.it Racing Ducati’s Chaz Davies, has secured the pole for this weekend’s double header.The Welshman, running a new Pirelli qualifying tire at Motorland Aragon, posted a best lap of 1:49.319 during Superpole for round 3 of 13. Joining Davies on the front row are Kawasaki Racing teammates Jonathan Rea, the two-time reigning WorldSBK Champion, and 2013 SBK Champion Tom Sykes.
Rea, who had doubled in both opening rounds in Australia and Thailand from pole, finished 0.031 of a second behind Davies. As for Sykes, he was 0.173 of a second off the pace.Heading up row two is Aruba.it Racing Ducati’s Marco Melandri, who will be joined by Spaniards Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) and Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team).Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team), Leandro Mercado (IODARacing) and Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) qualified on row three.The sole American in 2017 World Superbike, Nicky Hayden (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) came through as the leader of Tissot Superpole 1 to qualify 10th.Five minutes into the Tissot Superpole 2 shootout Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) pulled off track due to a technical problem with his Yamaha YZF R1, effectively ending his session as he qualified 12th. Later it was Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) who was another victim of technical issues as his Honda CBR1000RR came to a sudden halt, leaving him 11th on the grid.Crashes in close succession for Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), Ondrej Jezek (Grillini Racing Team) and Markus Reiterberger (Althea BMW Racing Team) towards the end of Tissot Superpole 1 saw them all slide out of contention and unable to challenge for Superpole 2 positions.Race 1 at Motorland Aragon gets underway at 1 p.m. local time.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.