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Rea tops Q2, Guintoli misses cut

8 September 2012

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Jonathan Rea has signalled his intentions ahead of Superpole for the 12th round of the World Superbike Championship at the Nurburgring by topping a fast-paced Q2 session.

The Honda rider maintained a fairly low profile during the initial stages of the session, but sprung to the top of the timesheets with two minutes remaining to deny title rivals Marco Melandri and Max Biaggi a 1-2 finish.

Producing a best of 1min 55.157secs, Rea – who will make his much anticipated MotoGP debut with Repsol Honda next weekend – was three hundredths faster than Melandri, who jumped from an overnight position of 12th to go second quickest on the BMW.

Key rival Biaggi kept him honest in third, less than a tenth behind, while Q1 pace setter Carlos Checa and Tom Sykes, who has an outside shot of the title, were fourth and fifth.

Davide Giugliano improved his time, but dropped from second to sixth fastest, ahead of Leon Haslam, who admitted to struggling with the pain from his shoulder following his accident last time out at the Moscow Raceway, and Suzuki's Leon Camier. Chaz Davies and Eugene Laverty rounded out the top ten.

As ever, the fight to get into Superpole was keenly fought with several riders experiencing stints outside the top sixteen over the course of the session. These included Loris Baz and Michel Fabrizio, but late efforts would haul them up to 11th and 12th, the latter condemning his BMW Italia team-mate Ayrton Badovini to 17th and out of Superpole with the final lap of the session.

David Salom and John Hopkins were also riders to go safe in 15th and 16th respectively, demoting Silverstone race winner Sylvain Guintoli, the Frenchman powerless to prevent himself from being dumped out when a crash mid-session prevented him from returning to the circuit. He will start in 18th position.

Also on the Superpole sidelines is Hiroshi Aoyama aboard the second Honda and all three Effenbert Liberty Ducatis, with newcomer Lorenzo Lanzi – a last minute replacement for the out-of-favour Jakub Smrz – heading Maxime Berger, who didn't set a time, and Brett McCormick in 20th, 21st and 22nd respectively.

Alexander Lundh and Norino Brignola bring up the rear in 23rd and 24th.


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