WorldSSP: Determined PJ Jacobsen grabs pole ahead of Kenan Sofuoglu
A focused performance in Tissot Superpole 2 from PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) gave the American rider his second pole position of 2017, with World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) returning to action to qualify second. The front row of the grid was completed by South African rider Sheridan Morais of the Kallio Racing team.
Jacobsen put in an excellent 1’54.948 lap on his MV Agusta F3 675 machine, to repeat his pole triumph from Australia at Round One. However Sofuoglu will be aiming to prevent Jacobsen from taking more poles as the season progresses and he steps up his title defence, having returned to action from his pre-season hand injury to qualify in a highly respectable second place – by a +0.061s deficit from P1.
It was a story of fine margins for Morais too, as he slotted in behind the front two on his Yamaha YZF-6R, trailing Jacobsen by just +0.09s.
Heading row two and +0.257s off pole was Kyle Smith (GEMAR Team Lorini), who will have Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) lining up alongside him in fifth.
SP1 saw Mahias and Roberto Rolfo (Team Factory Vamag) take the top two slots to move through to SP2. Rolfo suffered a light crash at the end of SP2 but had already secured sixth place on the grid.
There were also crashes late in the SP2 session for Niki Tuuli (Kallio Racing) at turn 2 and Hikari Okubo (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) at turn 14, with the Finnish and Japanese riders ending up seventh and eighth respectively. Behind that pair is Swiss rider Robin Mulhauser (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) in ninth, just over a second off pole pace.
On the fourth row are Christian Gamarino (BARDAHL EVAN BROS. Honda Racing), his fellow Italian Alessandro Zaccone (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Englishman Gino Rea (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven).
In SP1 a crash for Anthony West following a technical issue at turn 13 brought out the red flag after oil was left on track. The incident saw West slide into the gravel, with his Yamaha YZF R6 catching fire, the Australian ending up at the back of the grid as a result. The session resumed after the oil spill was dealt with by the Aragon marshals.
The WorldSSP race at MotorLand Aragon round takes place at 11.30am local time on Sunday.
Pole Position – PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) “I am absolutely happy with this second pole position. All the MV Agusta team did a very good job today and I can’t thank them enough. The only little problems today were the wind as is was too strong, and the tyres, but in the end I had a very positive feeling on by bike and I was able to close in pole position. The main target for tomorrow is win the race or at least get the podium, so I can bridge the gap with the top riders and get back in the fight for the championship.”
WorldSSP Tissot-Superpole 2:
1. PJ Jacobsen (USA) MV Agusta 1.54.751
2. Kenan Sofuoglu (TUR) Kawasaki 1.55.676 (+0.061)
3. Sheridan Morias (RSA) Yamaha 1.55.599 (+0.090)