PHILLIP ISLAND, Australia — Sylvain Guintoli led the Aprilia Racing team to a pair of front row starting spots during Tissot-Superpole qualifying for the eni FIM World Superbike Championship Saturday at Phillip Island GP Circuit.
The 31-year-old Frenchman set a track record lap during the final qualifying session, covering the circuit in one minute and 30.038 seconds.
Guintoli’s pole came after a winter spent recovering from injury.
“This winter was hard. After 4 months without riding a bike and only a little bit of testing I was concerned about my physical conditions,” Guintoli said. “But my Aprilia worked very well and it is no secret that this is one of our favorite tracks. I really had a lot of fun today. It’s a shame I couldn’t get my time down to 1’29 – that would have been fantastic. The important thing is that we grew and developed throughout the weekend.
“My shoulder isn’t giving me any problems so tomorrow I’ll be able to push hard since we’ve also got an excellent race pace. I expect to have two good races. There are a lot of riders with good pace, but I hope to be able to use my RSV4’s power to bring home the win.”
Davide Giugliano rode a Ducati 1199 Panigale R to second on the grid with Guintoli’s Aprilia teammate Marco Melandri taking the third spot.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki riders Eugene Laverty and Alex Lowes qualified fourth and fifth with Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) sixth followed by the KRT pairing of Loris Baz and Tom Sykes.