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Donington BSB: Rea snatches wet pole

Gino Rea will line up in pole position for this afternoon’s opening Bennetts British Superbike Championship race at Donington Park, the Buildbase Suzuki rider topping a wet qualifying session from Danny Buchan (Synetiq BMW) and Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing).

It was a disaster though for championship leader Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) and fellow title hopeful Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati) as they both crashed out.

The rain began to fall in Q1, which saw Ryo Mizuno, Storm Stacey and Jesse Trayler all crash out, Stacey slipping off after the chequered flag had gone out although he made it through to Q2 after posting the fifth fastest time behind Rea, Kyle Ryde, Joe Francis and Takumi Takahashi.


With both the air and track temperature at a cool ten degrees, conditions were treacherous throughout the 12-minute session, but the drama happened immediately with Josh Brookes losing the back end on the exit of Goddards on his out lap.

Ryan Vickers, who also progressed from Q1, was the first to post a time and the first flying lap saw him quickest from Rea, Rory Skinner, Bradley Ray, Joe Francis and Lee Jackson. The session went from bad to worse for VisionTrack Ducati though with Iddon crashing out coming into McLeans.

Third time around and Vickers went quicker still with a 1’48.260 but Buchan soon relegated him to second with a 1’47.843 with FS-3 Racing team-mates Skinner and Jackson now in third and fourth respectively.

With four minutes to go, Tommy Bridewell briefly went quickest before Rea and Buchan pushed him back to third, the Suzuki of Rea now quickest at 1’45.229. Honda’s Takahashi was another faller, this time at Craner Curves.

Both Rea and Buchan went quicker next time around and it was the latter who was now at the top of the leaderboard with a 1’44.191 but championship leader Mackenzie crashed out under braking as he approached the Foggy Esses.

In the closing minutes Rea took over the top spot once more from Buchan by 0.414s and although Bridewell was back up to third he was more than two seconds adrift of the flying Rea.

Brookes got back out on track and managed one flying lap which put him momentarily, and superbly, up to third but the final seconds saw Irwin push him back to fourth whilst Rea’s final lap of 1’43.279 gave him an eventual advantage over Buchan of 0.696s.

Jackson came through for fifth whilst Bridewell took an eventual sixth and they were followed by Francis, Ryde, Skinner and title contender Jason O’Halloran. Mackenzie and Iddon ended up in 16th and 17th respectively.

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