Jonathan Rea takes pole position in Aragon from Scott Redding and Tom Sykes. Even with the new rev limit in place Jonathan Rea set a very fast lap time
Overcast skies at Aragon to start the 15-minute Superpole session as the World Superbike Championship gets underway at Aragon. It’s a very long time since we have seen these boys out on track so it’s a welcome relief to see them back.
FP3 saw Toprak Razgatlioglu on-board his Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK just 0.001 seconds faster than Aruba.it Racing Ducati rider, Scott Redding and less than 0.5 seconds faster Kawasaki Racing WorldSBK pairing Alex Lowes and Johnathan Rea. That set the session up to be an intriguing one.
As they trundled down pitlane to start the Superpole session, they were led out by six-time World Superbike Champion, Jonathan Rea on his very different-looking Kawasaki. He set the first quick lap but this was quickly bettered by his team-mate Alex Lowes. He went straight on at Turn 1 after his first flyer so came straight back down pitlane after his one lap dash. He was followed by GRT Yamaha rider Garrett Gerloff.
Axel Bassani went down very early on at Turn 2 as he started his flying lap. He stormed off across the gravel and looked a little bit upset with himself. Welshman Chaz Davies looks to have a lot of pressure lifted from his shoulders as he put his Team GoEleven Ducati in a competitive position.
With 5 minutes to go, the riders started to filter on to track with their super-sticky qualifying tyres in to attempt to set the ultimate lap time around this very tricky circuit. Scott Redding was the first to knock Alex Lowes off top spot setting a new lap record. Qualifying maestro Tom Sykes went 2nd on his BMW Motorrad M1000RR. But, the incredible Johnathan Rea displaced Redding with an incredible lap. Alex Lowes ended up in 4th position with Chaz Davies just behind him and Turkish rider Toprak Razgatlioglu in 6th. Texan Garrett Gerloff got a good starting position in 7th and will surely be one to watch later today in Race 1.
Team HRC Honda pairing Leon Haslam and Alvaro Bautista were 8th and 9th respectively as they still try to develop the Honda Fireblade. They’ll be looking to make a few positions up on the start later on today. Aruba.it Racing Ducati rider, Michael Ruben Rinaldi rounds out the Top 10 with a solid first qualifying session in the Factory squad.
Former MotoGP resident Tito Rabat was 11th as he tries to get to grips with his Ducati Panigale V4R. He said he “felt like he was dancing” on his WSBK after feeling “safe at speed” in MotoGP so it’s set to be a difficult learning curve for the Barcelona-born rider. Last year’s World Supersport Champion, Andrea Locatelli was 14th on his Pata Yamaha, and the step into Superbikes looks to be a bit of a wake-up call for the man who completely destroyed all of his opposition last year.
But, an all-to-familiar sight of the brilliant Johnathan Rea on pole sets the scene for Race 1 today. This doesn’t mean he will ride off into the distance though, with a vast array of incredible fast riders around him. The race is set to be a fascinating one and is not to be missed. Catch all the action from Race One today at 1pm GMT+1.
Featured Image: Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK.