Unsurprisingly it was Sam Lowes who set the pace in the opening minutes of Supersport qualifying at a windy Portimao this afternoon, ahead of reigning champion Kenan Sofuoglu and Irishman Jack Kennedy
|Lowes will start from the front row for the fourth time in 2013
Photo: World SBK
with 0.620 seconds covering the three of them.
David Salom sat in fourth position ahead of Austrian David Linortner who shot up to fifth in the opening 6 minutes of the session, however he was soon to be pushed down a place by Michael VD Mark who jumped into fifth position. Yakhnich Motorsport rider Lowes showed no sign of slowing down, setting a faster time of 1.45.346 which kept him in provisional pole position.
Italian Andrea Antonelli shot up into fourth, to head the second row in the first ten minutes of the session, this improvement by the Italian was swiftly followed by a crash from compatriot Lorenzo Zanetti. In a strong battle for a position on the second row of the grid, championship contender Fabien Foret shot up from thirteenth position into fourth with half an hour left on the clock. Not giving up without a fight, Sofuoglu went fastest with 26 minutes remaining, going 0.027 seconds ahead of Sam Lowes with a time of 1.45.319.
South African Mathew Scholtz crashed with 25 minutes of the session remaining, just before countryman Sheridan Morais popped up into fifth position and again improving his grid place by moving into third with 22 minutes remaining. Irishman Jack Kennedy began to slip down the order after sitting in a provisional front row position, eventually ending up in seventh.
With 17 minutes remaining, VD Mark and Foret began swapping places for the back of the front row in sixth. Meanwhile Lowes responded to Sofuoglu’s pole time and went back on top with a time of 1.44.804 ten minutes before the session was due to end. Foret moved up into fourth position with five minutes to go, claiming the front position of the second row. Sofuoglu will start in second position ahead of Morais who rounded out the front row.