Three of the stars from the first World Superbike Championship round in Australia, Jonathan Rea, Leon Haslam and Max Neukirchner, will start no higher than the fifth row of in Qatar after being eliminated from the opening phase of Superpole.

A huge disappointment for Rea especially, who entered Superpole with the second quickest time, the Northern Irishman found himself plummet down the timesheets in the final minute when a number of riders on the cusp of elimination improved.

Left in the pit lane and with no chance to respond when Troy Corser, Broc Parkes, Ruben Xaus and Regis Laconi moved ahead in quick succession, Rea will start a lowly 17th, alongside Leon Haslam, who couldn't hook up a good lap.

Max Neukirchner is also a surprise absentee from Q2 after he didn't give himself enough time to get around the lengthy circuit and start a final quick lap. Tommy Hill compounded a tough day for the Brits with the 20th and slowest time.

At the front, Ben Spies was quickest, ahead of Tom Sykes and Broc Parkes.



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