Jonathan Rea set a stunning lap to beat Scott Redding to pole position in Estoril, with Alex Lowes in 3rd.
This week the World Superbike paddock moves to Estoril for the Portuguese round of the WSBK Championship. The weather is very sunny but blustering winds will make it quite difficult for the riders in the 15-minute Superpole session.
Combined times yesterday saw Scott Redding top of the timing sheets 0.120 seconds ahead of Texan Garrett Gerloff aboard his GRT Yamaha. Jonathan Rea was in third on combined times on his Factory Kawasaki, followed by his team-mate Alex Lowes and the Pata Yamaha of Toprak Razgatlioglu. Michael Ruben Rinaldi looked to be having a stronger weekend in sixth on combined times going into the Superpole session.
As usual, Jonathan Rea led the field out. Scott Redding decided to hang back to get clear track. The early pace was set by Toprak on the SCX (soft race) tyre, but he ventured out onto the green paint out of the last corner and his lap was deleted. That, therefore, promoted Alex Lowes into the top spot.
Jonathan Rea then went top on his second attempt and was being followed by Lucas Mahias. The Frenchman went second and Garrett Gerloff went third.
Tyres were then swapped for qualifiers. This is where we see everybody’s real raw pace on the bikes. Scott Redding was the first to set a lap time on the super-sticky qualifying tyre. He set a lap 0.588 seconds faster than Jonathan Rea’s time. He was being followed by Tito Rabat who sailed straight on at Turn one, stopping millimetres from the barrier.
Jonathan Rea then trumped Redding to top spot with a great final sector. Alex Lowes went third with the incredible and resurgent Eugene Laverty in fourth. Laverty ended the session in eighth and this surely is a welcome sight for the Irishman after a difficult couple of years.
Toprak Razgatlioglu looked to be in touch all the way around but looked to be slightly tentative. He went fourth after stuffing his Yamaha up the inside of Chaz Davies in the final corner. Garrett Gerloff ended the session in fifth and looks to continue his strong form from Aragon.
BMW Motorrad Rider Tom Sykes ended the session in sixth followed by Michael Ruben Rinaldi in seventh, and he is starting to show what he can really do on his Aruba.It Ducati. Tito Rabat rounded out the top ten just behind Lucas Mahias.
The race today sees Jonathan Rea on pole with a very fast Scott Redding and two quick Yamahas behind him on row two. Can anybody stop Rea winning again in Estoril? Find out when lights go out at 14:00.