Van der Mark claims Thai pole

Michael van der Mark will start his first World Superbike race from pole position have edged Jonathan Rea in Thailand.

On a hot and humid afternoon in Thailand where the track temperature headed toward 50'C, van der Mark led the early charge in Superpole 2.

The Honda rider posted a 1:34.269 to edge Sylvain Guintoli by 0.037s while Alex Lowes was a further 0.065s down.

The riders returned to the pits for fresh rubber before heading back out with three minutes to go for a final dash for pole position.

Chaz Davies shot to the front with a 1:34.025 despite having a near collision with his Racing team-mate.

Tom Sykes also had a brief spell on provisional pole but as the chequered was waved it was van der Mark who came through with a 1:33.452.

The Dutchman claimed pole position – the first by a Dutchman – by 0.219s over Championship leader Jonathan Rea while Sykes had to settle for third place despite setting an identical lap time as his Kawasaki team-mate.

Davies finished fourth ahead of Guintoli and Davide Giugliano.

Earlier in SP1 Karel Abraham, who moved over to Superbikes from MotoGP in the off season, and Xavi Fores looked to be the two riders who would progress.

However a late charge from Matteo Baicco on board the Ducati saw him snatch the second transfer spot through to Superpole 2 while Josh Brookes missed out by 0.002s.

Abraham and Baicco qualified P11 and P12 at the end of Superpole 2.

1. Michael van der Mark Honda Racing CBR1000RR 1:33.452
2. Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R 1:33.671
3. Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R 1:33.671
4. Chaz Davies Racing Ducati 1199R 1:33.844
5. Sylvain Guintoli PATA Crescent Yamaha R1 1:33.866
6. Davide Giugliano Racing Ducati 1199R 1:33.983
7. Alex Lowes PATA Crescent Yamaha R1 1:34.371
8. Nicky Hayden Honda Racing CBR1000RR 1:34.416
9. Markus Reiterberger Althea BMW S1000RR 1:34.796
10. Jordi Torres Althea BMW S1000RR 1:34.859
11. Karel Abraham Milwaukee BMW S1000RR 1:34.977
12. Matteo Baiocco VFT Ducati 1199R 1:35.205
13. Josh Brookes Milwaukee BMW S1000RR 1:35.207
14. Leon Camier MV Agusta RC F4 RR 1:35.288
15. Roman Ramos GO Eleven Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:35.605
16. Xavi Fores Barni Ducati 1199R 1:35.686
17. Sylvain Barrier Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:35.699
18. Lorenzo Savadori IodaRacing Aprilia RSV4 1:35.771
19. Alex de Angelis IodaRacing Aprilia RSV4 1:35.794
20. Saeed al Sulaiti Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:37.179
21. Anucha Nakcharoensri Yamaha Thailand R1 1:37.416
22. Peter Sebestyen Team Toth Yamaha R1 1:37.757
23. Dominic Schmitter Grillini Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:38.150
24. Imre Toth Team Toth Yamaha R1 1:39.091
25. Sahustchai Kaewjaturaporn Grillini Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:41.373