Davies storms to Imola pole

Chaz Davies set a new track record at Imola on a World Superbike machine and will start on pole for Saturday's Race One, leading his Aruba.it Racing Ducati team-mate Davide Giugliano by half a second.

Championship leader Jonathan Rea on the Kawasaki will complete the front row.

Rea had a slender lead after the first set of runs, before the session was red flagged when 2014 champion Sylvain Guintoli, riding a Crescent Pata Yamaha, suffered a huge crash on his flying lap.

The Frenchman required immediate medical attention trackside, before being taken to the nearest medical facility.

Upon the resumption, Davies was in a class of his own, smashing the previous record held by Tom Sykes in 2013 by just about half a second. Davies' time of 1m 45.598s being the fastest ever recorded at Imola.

Giugliano responded in kind and took three tenths off his pole-sitting time of last year to secure the Ducati one-two, but he was never in with a chance of usurping his team-mate on the day.

Rea was forced to settle for third place, some seven tenths off of pole and just ahead of his Kawasaki team-mate Sykes, while Lorenzo Savadori placed on the Aprilia in fifth. 

Row two was completed by Jordi Torres on the Althea BMW, with  MV Agusta's Leon Camier heading the third row. 

Camier is joined by Markus Reiterberger and Nicky Hayden, who is making his race debut at Imola this week.

Davis had initially set the fastest time, but shortly before Guintoli's crash the defending champion responded to take a narrow advantage. 

The Ducati rider didn't have the opportunity to respond immediately, but after the session was resumed following the 15-minute red flag, there was no stopping him.

Giugliano first went under last season's pole with a blistering lap of his own, 1m 46.055s, before Davies made the session his own with a 1m 45.598s.

Full Superpole 2 qualifying results

1. Chaz Davies GBR Aruba.it Racing Ducati 1199R 1m 45.598s
2. Davide Giugliano ITA Aruba.it Racing Ducati 1199R 1m 46.055s
3. Jonathan Rea GBR Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R 1m 46.328s
4. Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R 1m 46.331s
5. Lorenzo Savadori ITA IodaRacing Aprilia RSV4 1m 46.531s
6. Jordi Torres ESP Althea BMW S1000RR 1m 46.867s
7. Leon Camier GBR MV Agusta RC F4 RR 1m 46.911s
8. Markus Reiterberger GER Althea BMW S1000RR 1m 46.952s
9. Nicky Hayden USA Honda Racing CBR1000RR 1m 47.429s
10. Matteo Baiocco ITA VFT Ducati 1199R 1m 47.471s
11. Michael van der Mark NED Honda Racing CBR1000RR 1m 47.563s
12. Sylvain Guintoli FRA PATA Crescent Yamaha R1 1m 48.677s

Grid positions determined by SP1

13. Xavi Fores ESP Barni Ducati 1199R 1m 47.811s
14. Alex Lowes GBR PATA Crescent Yamaha R1 1m 48.001s
15. Josh Brookes AUS Milwaukee BMW S1000RR 1m 48.046s
16. Karel Abraham CZE Milwaukee BMW S1000RR 1m 49.167s
17. Alex de Angelis RSM IodaRacing Aprilia RSV4 1m 49.321s
18. Dominic Schmitter SUI Grillini Kawasaki ZX-10R 1m 49.857s
19. Peter Sebesteyen HUN Team Toth Yamaha R1 1m 49.916s
20. Pawel Szkopek POL Team Toth Yamaha R1 1m 51.020s
21. Josh Hook AUS Grillini Kawasaki ZX-10R 1m 51.827s
22. Saeed al Sulaiti QAT Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R 1m 52.108s