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WSS: Lagrive denies British hopes for pole.

Matthieu Lagrive has taken a surprise pole position for the latest round of the World Supersport Championship at Brands Hatch after a stunning record-breaking lap.

Qualifying had looked to be a battle between Brits Jonathan Rea and Craig Jones, but it would be Lagrive spoiling the party thanks to his lap of 1min 28.008secss, the fastest Supersport lap to be recorded around the Kent circuit.

Indeed, the tussle between Rea and Jones, who have mostly dominated proceedings this weekend, was anticipated by many, but while Jones was the first to make significant inroads on Rea's fastest lap from yesterday, he would end up just six hundredths off the ultimate pace.

Rea, meanwhile, went into the session having broken the lap record for the second time this weekend during free practice this morning.

However, even he was powerless to stop Lagrive, who had gone into the session in fourth position, albeit four tenths off the front. Nonetheless, with 20 minutes remaining, Lagrive pulled out a stunning lap to very nearly break to through the magical 1min 28secs marker for the first time.

Even better, the three-time World Endurance Champion timed his lap to perfection as light rain began to fall. It was enough to force Rea to lose a bundle of time in the final sector on what had looked like being as pole winning lap.

Quickly cleaning up, several riders ventured onto the circuit in the final few minutes, including Jones. Baulked on his first flying lap - much to his visible frustration -, Jones produced the fastest first sector of the session on his second attempt, only to then encounter more bikes in his way.

He will start third on the grid with Lagrive and Rea alongside him, while Broc Parkes rounds out the front row on his Yamaha.

Karl Harris made it a good day for British riders in fifth after a fine effort in the latter stages lifted him up the order. Stiggy Motors duo Joshua Brookes and Robbin Harms will start sixth and seventh, with Barry Veneman the best of the Suzuki riders in eighth.

There was a disappointment for Andrew Pitt though, the championship leader barely able to make an impression on proceedings as he settled for a spot on the third row of the grid in ninth.

Elsewhere, Steve Plater made good gains to jump from 17th to 11th, the Triumph rider starting just ahead of British Supersport wild-card Hudson Kennaugh in 12th. Chris Martin was one of the few drivers not to improve their time on the was to 21st, while fellow Brits Graeme Gowland and Rob Frost were 27th and 30th.


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Jonathan Rea with WSBK trophy at the FIM award presetation, Qatar WSBK 2016
Jonathan Rea with WSBK trophy at the FIM award presetation, Qatar WSBK 2016

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