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Sam Lowes was forced to sit out with bike problems.
Silverstone is a fast, flat track with only one slow corner worth writing home about. The fact it’s at the top of a hill, like most airfield tracks, means that the weather can change fairly quickly and the size of the track means that each end can have its own weather. Couple this with the ripples and bumps caused by the formula one and other cars pushing the tarmac into the corners under braking and you have a unique track. What was forecast earlier in the week, a dry Sunday, was thrown away when bikes hit tarmac and the weather did its thing. We also learned the difference between waved white flags, there is rain somewhere on the track, and stationary white flags with a red cross from corner to corner, it's raining right here.
The weather at Silverstone once again was damp and cold.
World Supersport at Silverstone was raced over sixteen laps under a grey sky with marshals keeping their rain flags handy.
Silverstone weather wasn’t as clear as was hoped, with the earlier Superstock race cut short by a lap for the rain. The start was delayed in an attempt to let the track conditions to clear up, but they eventually, twenty minutes later than advertised, had to race.
The FIM rulebook was once again brought in to deal with the weather that hit Superpole. Wet sessions are easy and dry sessions are easy. Superpoles where the weather changes between sessions are easy. What happened today was that rain arrived in the middle of Superpole 3 and that’s where section 1.16.3 “Specific weather conditions during Superpole” comes into play.
The rules when a dry session is interrupted by a red flag for rain state that there is a ten minute break and that the nine remaining riders then take part in a twenty minute wet session. What the rules don’t state explicitly is that the red flagged session is invalidated. What the rules also don’t clarify is that the astounding pole position record-breaking lap never hits the record books. While these two cases aren’t stated, they are both implemented, much to the dismay of riders and fans.
The weather held off from disrupting the World Supersport qualifying and allowed the lap record to tumble.
Superpole at Silverstone started dry and bright but, with a few clouds in the sky, it looked like it would be a race against the weather. What it was was one of the most unusual Superpole sessions we have been witness to.
Eugene Laverty recorded the first, and so far the only, 2'04 lap of the weekend, throwing down the gauntlet in search of his first pole position in World Superbike. Tom Sykes, Leon Camier and Sylvain Guintoli were all around half a second off Laverty's time.
Sam Lowes ended the free practice session fastest while Kenan Sofuoglu failed to go faster than his best time from yesterday. This is the first session of the weekend where Lowes has been faster than Sofuoglu, but if weather slows the second qualifying session down, Sofuoglu is still sitting in provisional pole. Florian Marino was able to record a couple of laps at the pace of his fastest, while Jack Kennedy and Michael Van Der Mark only registered a single 2'09 each. Lowes and Sofuoglu had ten and eleven laps under the 2'10 mark respectively, to put that into perspective.