Three manufacturers in the top five as Rea claims fourth pole position at Portimao
The competitive nature of Tissot Superpole was on full display at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve as the grid was set for the Motul Portuguese Round as reigning Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) claimed pole position for Race 1 by nearly three tenths of a second; his second consecutive pole position at Portimao and his fourth at the circuit in total.
The early pace was set by Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) as he posted a 1’41.353 to strike first, heading Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT – Racing Ducati); the double Jerez race winner suffering a crash at Turn 5 but was able to remount his Ducati Panigale V4 R and bring it back to the pit lane where his team quickly repaired some damage. Redding was able to head back out on track shortly afterwards.
As riders switched to the qualifying tyre, it was Rea who laid down the gauntlet as he became the first rider to lap in the 1’40 bracket to claim the best starting position possible, with other riders unable to response. Rea will be joined on the front row by Razgatlioglu and Rea’s KRT teammate, Alex Lowes, with the duo unable to match Rea.
Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) showed his Superpole prowess with fourth on the grid as he secured a second row start, ahead of Michael van der Mark (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team). Sykes and van der Mark were separated by just 0.005s; showing how competitive the field is. Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) was once again the top Independent rider as he secured a second row start as he continued to show his impressive pace.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team Goeleven) was the fastest Ducati rider throughout Superpole as he secured a front row start, beating Championship leader Redding by the smallest of margins. Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) qualified in ninth with Leon Haslam (Team HRC) the highest-placed Honda rider on the grid with 10th.
Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) qualified in 12th after a crash during Superpole in Sector 3, the Spanish rider able to remount his bike and ride it back to the pit lane. He qualified just ahead of Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati); Davies around eight tenths of a second behind teammate Redding.
The top six following Tissot Superpole, full results here:
1.) Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
2.) Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) +0.278
3.) Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.398
4.) Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +0.564
5.) Michael van der Mark (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) +0.659
6.) Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) +0.678
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