Mike Jones has claimed his fourth-consecutive pole position in the Motul Pirelli Australian Superbike Championship, setting the fastest-ever time for a Superbike around the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit this afternoon to add another valuable point to his championship tally.
Jones clocked a scorching 1:31.995 on his Desmosport Ducati, edging out Wayne Maxwell by just over 0.3s, while Matt Walters was an impressive third on his privately-entered Kawasaki.
The second row of the grid for tomorrow’s races will consist of Yamaha factory riders Daniel Falzon (fourth) and Cru Halliday (sixth), split by Penrite Honda rider Troy Herfoss (fifth).
“I thought I couldn’t smile any wider, but I can,” Jones said.
“I’m stoked to score another pole position, and I’m feeling really confident with the Desmosport Ducatti.
“It shows the development with the bike and my ability to adapt to it is getting stronger and stronger as the season goes on.
“The goal for me is to take the race lap record tomorrow and I believe we can do it. With the championship so close, so to keep racking up these extra points for pole could be very valuable at the end of the year.”
Maxwell, who had set the pace in practice, was not surprised about the challenge posed by Jones.
“We always knew Mike was going to be hard to beat; he’s been fast all year over a single lap,” Maxwell said.
“They ran the two-tyre strategy and we haven’t been able to make that work. I feel good on the bike though, and tomorrow is going to be another tough battle in the two races.”
Walters, who has been the top-performing privateer this season, was elated with his front row qualifying performance.
“I was watching the lap timer every couple of sectors, and I could see I was going a lot quicker than I had before,” Walters said.
“I got to Lukey Heights and I was like ‘don’t throw it away now’ – the bike was really good, and now we’ll work on it for the races.
“It’s a good feeling to be in the top three, it’s been a fair while since I’ve been able to ride a bike this fast, so it definitely helps my confidence.” The two Kawasaki Superbike races will be held at 11:20am and 1:35pm tomorrow.