WorldSBK Aragon - Superpole Qualifying Results

Jonathan Rea emphasised his status as the rider to beat heading into the first of three WorldSBK races at Motorland Aragon by posting record pace to claim a 25th career pole position.

The Ulsterman came into the session having set the quickest time of the weekend thus far in this morning’s FP3 session but moved the goalposts further on the sticky qualifying rubber to become the first rider to officially break 1min 49secs on a superbike.

Stopping the clock at 1m 48.860secs, Rea was just under two tenths quicker than the impressive Loris Baz, who once more placed himself right in the shop window for 2021 with his first front row start since 2018 on a day when the factory Yamaha riders were well down the order.

Scott Redding spared some Ducati blushes with a strong recovery to third place, the title contender overturning the form book somehow to emerge as the best Panigale V4 R rider having struggled in free practice relative to team-mate Chaz Davies.

Indeed, practice pace suggested Rea would come up against the Welshman for Superpole honours, but the Welshman’s qualifying form deserted him once again as he laboured to just ninth on the grid.

Alex Lowes gets underway from fourth position, ahead of Michael Ruben Rinaldi - also sending out a message to out-qualify Davies comfortably on the privateer Go Eleven Ducati - while Leon Haslam and Alvaro Bautista gave Honda a welcome boost to go sixth and seventh, ahead of both factory Yamahas and BMWs.

With Baz up on the front row, there may be questions as to why Michael van der Mark and Toprak Razgatlioglu could only manage eighth and 11th respectively, the latter even out-qualified by rookie Garrett Gerloff on the privateer GRT Yamaha.

Elsewhere, it was a disastrous session for BMW after ‘Mr Superpole’ made an uncustomary error to crash off at Turn 8 when he’d just set the fastest first sector time. He starts 14th, which is still ahead of team-mate Eugene Laverty down in 18th position.

 

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