Jonathan Rea has taken his fourth pole position at Portimao after a stunning 1:40.676 lap time. The Kawasaki Racing Team rider will line up ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu and Alex Lowes.
The 25-minute session began at Portimao and immediately caused trouble for Maximilian Scheib and Scott Redding who both suffered early tumbles. Despite Redding’s early crash, the Aruba.it rider’s opening lap was good enough for second position, behind PATA Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatlioglu and ahead of Michael van der Mark.
As the clock ran down, Redding returned to the 2.905-mile Portuguese circuit with 12-minutes remaining, quickly followed by Honda’s Alvaro Bautista, who ended his first run down in 17th.
As we approached halfway through the Superpole session, Razgatlioglu, Redding and van der Mark filled the front row grid slots. Jonathan Rea held fourth ahead of Friday FP2 pacesetter Loris Baz. Tom Sykes lay sixth ahead of Michael Ruben Rinaldi, Alex Lowes, Leon Haslam and Scheib completed the top ten.
As riders returned to the box to fit the Superpole qualifying tyre, Alvaro Bautista returned to the pits after tipping off at turn six.
With the yellow striped qualifying tyre fitted to the rear of their machines, riders returned to the track to put in their one-lap flyer in order to set the grid for this afternoon’s opening race of the weekend.
Kawasaki’s of Sandro Cortese and Alex Lowes was one of the first riders to hit the circuit followed by Marco Melandri and Garrett Gerloff.
Leon Haslam was the first rider to complete a lap with the sticky rear tyre fitted and improved on his previous tenth place position up to fourth with a 1:41.607. As Haslam crossed the line, championship leader Scott Redding rolled out of pitlane to start his final run of the session.
Alex Lowes was the next rider to cross the line with his qualifying tyre and immediately when to the top of the timesheets with a 1:41.074, -0.279s quicker than Razgatlioglu’s previous best time.
As the riders blasted through the sectors, Rea, Sykes and Rinaldi all had red indicators to their name. Sykes was the leading rider of that trio and moved to second, while Rinaldi went fourth fastest.
Jonathan Rea was on an astonishing lap up behind Loris Baz and snatched provisional pole from his team-mate by about 0.3s. Eyes then moved to Redding and Razgatlioglu. The Yamaha rider was on a strong lap as the Turk looked to topple Rea from the top spot but missed out by +0.2s. Redding also failed to improve on his time and remained in eighth.
As the flag fell, Bautista crossed the line to only go 12th fastest while Baz could only manage the sixth quickest time.
Redding continued to press on for his second flying lap. The Gloucestershire rider aimed to improve on his third-row grid spot but a poor third sector left the championship leader down in eighth.
Jonathan Rea made it three different manufacturers to take pole in 2020 in three rounds, qualifying on pole ahead of Razgatlioglu and Alex Lowes.
Sykes heads row two with Michael van der Mark and Loris Baz along side the BMW rider.
Rinaldi heads row three with Redding and Eugene Laverty completing the top nine while Leon Haslam heads row four in tenth.
Lights out for race one is at 14:00
Featured image: Kawasaki Racing Team