Aruba Ducati’s Marco Melandri has taken the first-ever WorldSBK pole position at Argentina’s San Juan circuit this afternoon, leading reigning champion Jonathan Rea by four-tenths of a second with Eugene Laverty in third place.
Melandri set a 1’39.012 with his final lap of the session after Rea had to back out of his last effort when he ran wide at turn one. The Kawasaki man had three separate front-end moments during Superpole two but still managed the middle of row one.
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) made it out of Superpole one comfortably to join the Superpole 2 elite, but his attempt at extending his all-time record of pole wins to 48 stuttered and he finished up fourth on the grid.
Xavi Fores (Barni Ducati) was top independent rider in fifth place and Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha) made a hard charge through to sixth.
Toprak Razgatlioglu continued his strong showing after being third fastest on Friday, finishing up seventh, and one place ahead of Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia).
Chaz Davies, on the second Aruba Panigale, found a technical problem on his bike as he was intent on pushing for a front-row starting position, ending up only ninth and on the third row for race one.
Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda) qualified tenth, Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha) 11th after qualifying out of Superpole 1 with Sykes, and local hero Leandro Mercado (Orelac Kawasaki) was a disappointing 12th.
Jake Gagne (Red Bull Honda) was 14th fastest in Superpole, in a field of 19 riders.