Lowes speeds to fifth pole of season

Championship leader Sam Lowes comfortably sets fastest time to set up another Kenan Sofuoglu duel
Sam Lowes will start from pole position for the tenth time in his World Supersport career after easing past title contender Kenan Sofuoglu's time by over half a second at Portimão.

The Englishman was disappointed after a machine failure on his Yakhnich Motorsport R6 saw him miss out on the end of Saturday morning's free practice but he soon put that behind him by starting the session with an ominous race simulation.

After posting nine consecutive laps within one second of each other he emerged from the pits to claim a time of 1 minute 44.8 seconds. Only Sofuoglu and third placed qualifier Sheridan Morais were able to get within a second of his time.

Like Lowes, Sofuoglu spent a lot of the session honing his race set up. The eight laps he set in the 1.45s suggest Sunday's race will be a two-horse battle.

PTR Honda's Sheridan Morais continued the form that saw him head the time sheets in Saturday morning's free practice to claim the final spot on the front row. The Kawasaki pairing of Fabien Foret and Andrea Antonelli will start from fourth and fifth respectively.

Michael van der Mark accelerated his recovery from the foot injury sustained at the first corner spill in Monza by completing the second row in sixth.

Jack Kennedy will be disappointed with seventh place after featuring in the top three in all three previous sessions. He was lucky not to crash after tangling with a touring Sam Lowes. Unluckily the Dubliner banged his knee on the inside of the kerb, tearing the skin off his knee cap in the process, and failed to improve his time from there.

David Salom, making his comeback from the hand injury sustained in Phillip Island, qualified just outside the top ten in eleventh.

Elsewhere Christian Iddon will start Sunday's race from the sixth row in 16th, three places behind team-mate Robbie Rolfo.

Kev Coghlan's difficult weekend continued as the Scot struggled to qualify in 23rd position.

By Neil Morrison

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Lowes, Portuguese WSS 2013
Roberto Rolfo, Lucas Mahias, Photo Finish, [Credit: Dorna]
Kenan Sofuoglu, World Supersport [Credit: Kenan Sofuoglu]
Kenan Sofuoglu, World Supersport [Credit: Kenan Sofuoglu]
Kazuki Watanabe, Team Go Eleven Kawasaki, [Credit:]
Kyle Smith on the Pata Honda at Phillip Island
Kyle Smith on the Pata Honda at Phillip Island
Kieran Clarke will return to the World Supersport Championship in 2015 with PTR in the CIA Insurance Honda team
Kyle Smith - PATA Honda
Pata Honda`s Michael van der Mark celebrates podium finish at Phillip Island
Pata Honda`s Michael van der Mark during testing at Phillip Island
New PTR Honda signing Matt Davies
Austria`s David Linortner has joined PTR Honda for 2013 World Supersport Championship
Fabien Foret, Ten Kate Honda
Sam Lowes, Parkalgar Honda, Donington Park WSS, 2011 [pic credit: Ian Hopgood Photography]
James Ellison, Bogdanka PTR Honda, Donington Park WSS, 2011 [pic credit: Ian Hopgood Photography]
David Salom, Kawasaki, Donington Park WSS, 2011 [pic credit: Ian Hopgood Photography]
Gino Rea, Step Racing Honda, Donington Park WSS, 2011 [pic credit: Ian Hopgood Photography]

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