WorldSBK Portimao – Superpole Qualifying Results

Jonathan Rea will start the first two WorldSBK races at Portimao from pole position after prevailing over Toprak Razgatlioglu in a hard fought Superpole, while Scott Redding could only manage eighth after a crash.

The Ulsterman appeared to be coming into the grid-deciding session around the Portuguese circuit on the back foot to Yamaha after Razgatlioglu showcased impressive performance over a single lap in free practice.

However, it was the five-time WorldSBK champion that would prevail when it mattered to pump in a superb 1m 40.676s lap on the Kawasaki ZX-10RR, a full three tenths up on Razgatlioglu.

Even so, the front row represents a good starting point for Razgatlioglu, the Turk – yet to claim a pole position in WorldSBK – known for proving stronger in race conditions than he often is in Superpole.

A strong session all round for Kawasaki, Alex Lowes scored his first front row start in ‘green’ with a confident run to third position, ahead of ‘Mr Superpole’ Tom Sykes, who on this occasion could only manage fourth on the grid for BMW.

Michael van der Mark and Loris Baz join him on the second row to consolidate Yamaha’s strength in numbers at the head of the field, while Michael Ruben Rinaldi emerged as the unexpected top Ducati rider in seventh aboard the privateer GoEleven machine.

Indeed, it was a tough session for Scott Redding in eighth, the championship leader looking strong initially before a low speed fall at Turn 5 on the Ducati Panigale V4 R set him back ahead of the ‘sticky’ tyre time attacks in the closing stages. Though quickest through the first sector on his first attempt, a mistake forced him to bail out of it before being unable to make the tyre work again on the second effort.

Eugene Laverty bounced back from his FP3 technical issues to place his BMW ninth on the grid, with Leon Haslam the best of the Hondas in tenth place.

His team-mate Alvaro Bautista gets underway from 12th place after also suffering a tumble at Turn 5, while Chaz Davies’ qualifying woes continued as he left himself with work to do again from 13th.



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