Jonathan Rea will start the inaugural WorldSBK race to take place at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as a determined last gasp effort lifted him ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu.

The Turkish rider looked to be on course for his first career WorldSBK pole position on a drying circuit, only for Rea to leave it until the very last moment - when the track was ultimately at its best - to fire in a 1m 41.619secs lap.

It was just enough to deny Razgatlioglu by a tenth of a second, though the Yamaha man will feel relieved to be back at the sharp end after two disappointing weekends at the unfavourable Motorland Aragon circuit.

Fresh from his and Honda’s best results of the season in Aragon, Alvaro Bautista notched up another milestone for the CBR1000RR-R by achieving the bike’s maiden front row start in third position.

Tom Sykes made it four different manufacturers inside the top four aboard the BMW, the Briton edging out future team-mate Michael van der Mark, who will start fifth on the second of the factory Yamahas.

Michael Ruben Rinaldi was once more the best placed Ducati representative in sixth position on the privateer Go Eleven bike, ahead of title contesting stablemate Scott Redding, who could only manage seventh on the grid.

Even so, he fared better than Chaz Davies, whose Superpole woes show no sign of ending as he is forced to start two of this weekend’s three races from 11th on the grid. Between the two Aruba bikes will be Alex Lowes in eighth, Loris Baz in ninth and Leon Haslam in tenth.

One of the standouts throughout practice, Garrett Gerloff couldn’t make it count in Superpole to end up 15th, while WorldSBK debutant Jonas Folger failed to set a time altogether, leaving him 21st and last on the grid.

Meanwhile, Motocorsa Racing will continue racing this weekend after drafting in Lorenzo Zanetti to replace the injured Leandro Mercado.



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