Saturday’s WorldSSP action at the Chang International Circuit saw Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) produce a lap of 1’37.683 for pole position, in a Tissot Superpole 2 shootout which took place in scorching hot (36°C) conditions.
Despite suffering a fracture of the sacrum bone in a final lap crash at Phillip Island at Round 1, Frenchman Cluzel demonstrated his tenacity to lap quicker than the rest of the field in the intense Thai heat. Just behind him on the grid is impressive local wildcard Chalermpol Polamai (Yamaha Thailand Racing Team), who lapped +0.447s behind Cluzel.
French rider Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) completes the front row having qualified +0.473s behind his compatriot Cluzel, with another Thai wild card Decha Kraisart (Yamaha Thailand Racing Team) heading a second row which will also feature Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) and Kyle Smith (GEMAR Team Lorini).
Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team), Hikari Okubo (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) and Christian Gamarino (BARDAHL EVAN BROS. Honda Racing) are on row three, with Kyle Ryde (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Gino Rea (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) on the fourth row. Rea appeared to have technical issues towards the end of Tissot Superpole 2 and lapped +1.74s off P1.
From the earlier Tissot Superpole 1 session Caricasulo and Khairuddin were the riders to make it through to Superpole 2. Meanwhile Kallio Racing colleagues Niki Tuuli and Sheridan Morais (Kallio Racing), along with Robin Mulhauser (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda), were just behind Khairuddin in Superpole 1 and therefore start the second WorldSSP race of 2017 on row five.
Indeed Sunday’s WorldSSP race in Thailand will commence at 2.30pm local time at the Chang International Circuit.
Pole Position: Jules Cluzel – CIA Landlord Insurance Honda
“We were faster by half a second, so I am happy! I really feel good; I did after my first run, but I was out on track alone. I feel like the first session was warm up, and the second I just pushed. I wanted to push as I thought I was a little bit behind the Thai rider, but I did a good lap. I enjoyed a lot and I think tomorrow will be even better, well I hope so!”
WorldSSP Tissot-Superpole 2:
1. Jules Cluzel (FRA) Honda 1.37.683
2. Chalermpol Polamai (THA) Yamaha 1.38.130 (+0.447)
3. Lucas Mahias (FRA) Yamaha 1.38.156 (+0.473)