Jonathan Rea made sure he tallied at least one more pole position as a Kawasaki rider before the end of the 2023 WorldSBK season as he took top spot in qualifying for Round 10 at Aragon.
The Ulsterman, who is poised to join Yamaha for the 2024 WorldSBK season in place of BMW-bound Toprak Razgatlioglu, made the most of his intimate knowledge of the Alcaniz circuit, a venue which is used predominantly by Kawasaki for testing year-round.
It meant Rea, who has struggled to match the Ducati and Yamaha of Alvaro Bautista and Razgatlioglu at times in 2023 over a single lap, would come out on top on this occasion to secure his second Superpole of the season, the 42nd of his WorldSBK career.
While he might be starting ahead of his two primary rivals, Bautista and Razgatlioglu won’t be far away regardless, the top two riders in the overall standings slotting in alongside him in second and third respectively as they prepare for what could be a crucial three races in the fight for this year’s crown.
Pata Yamaha’s Andrea Locatelli made gains towards the end of the session to ascend to fourth, in turn dislodging Michael Ruben Rinaldi to fifth and Iker Lecuona down to sixth, the latter in particular enjoying one of his strongest Superpole sessions of the season on the factory HRC Honda CBR1000RR-R.
Axel Bassani gets underway as top privateer in seventh, the Italian sharing row three with fellow independent racers Philipp Oettl and Remy Gardner.
There was disappointment, however, for Bassani and Oettl’s Ducati stablemate Danilio Petrucci, who went from hero to zero by crashing out of contention early on without setting a time having topped the preceding FP3 session beforehand.
Though unable to replicate his top five pace through practice, Garrett Gerloff was still the best placed BMW rider as he rounded out the top ten on the satellite Bonovo machine, ahead of Loris Baz in 11th, Scott Redding in 13th and Michael van der Mark in 14th.
Elsewhere, Bradley Ray started 17th on the Motoxracing Yamaha, one spot ahead of Florian Marino, the Kawasaki test rider - deputising for the injured Alex Lowes this weekend - qualifying 18th for what will be his first WorldSBK start in five years.
|2023 Aragon WorldSBK | Motorland Aragon | Superpole Qualifying Results| Round 10 of 12|
|1||Jonathan Rea||🇬🇧||Kawasaki Racing Team||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1m 47.973|
|2||Alvaro Bautista||🇪🇸||Aruba Ducati||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1m 48.324|
|3||Toprak Razgatlioglu||🇹🇷||Pata Crescent Racing||Yamaha R1||1m 48.523|
|4||Andrea Locatelli||🇮🇹||Pata Crescent Racing||Yamaha R1||1m 48.710|
|5||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||🇮🇹||Aruba Ducati||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1m 48.804|
|6||Iker Lecuona||🇪🇸||Team HRC||Honda CBR1000RR-R||1m 48.876|
|7||Axel Bassani||🇮🇹||Motocorsa Racing||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1m 48.909|
|8||Philipp Oettl||🇩🇪||Go Eleven||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1m 49.000|
|9||Remy Gardner||🇦🇺||GYTR GRT||Yamaha R1||1m 49.031|
|10||Garrett Gerloff||🇺🇲||Bonovo Racing||BMW M 1000 RR||1m 49.083|
|11||Loris Baz||🇫🇷||Bonovo Racing||BMW M 1000 RR||1m 49.256|
|12||Xavi Vierge||🇪🇸||Team HRC||Honda CBR1000RR-R||1m 49.418|
|13||Scott Redding||🇬🇧||BMW Motorrad WorldSBK||BMW M 1000 RR||1m 49.556|
|14||Michael van der Mark||🇳🇱||BMW Motorrad WorldSBK||BMW M 1000 RR||1m 49.738|
|15||Lorenzo Baldassarri||🇮🇹||GMT 94||Yamaha R1||1m 49.917|
|16||Dominique Aegerter||🇨🇭||GYTR GRT||Yamaha R1||1m 50.005|
|17||Bradley Ray||🇬🇧||Motoxracing||Yamaha R1||1m 50.052|
|18||Florian Marino||🇫🇷||Kawasaki Racing Team||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1m 50.509|
|19||Tito Rabat||🇪🇸||Puccetti Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1m 51.040|
|20||Hafizh Syahrin||🇲🇾||MIE Racing||Honda CBR1000RR-R||1m 51.135|
|21||Isaac Vinales||🇪🇸||TPR by Vinales Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1m 51.184|
|22||Eric Granado||🇧🇷||MIE Racing||Honda CBR1000RR-R||1m 51.249|
|23||Gabriele Ruiu||🇮🇹||B-Max Racing||BMW M 1000 RR||1m 51.691|
|24||Oliver Konig||🇨🇿||Orelac Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1m 52.863|
|-||Danilo Petrucci||🇮🇹||Barni Spark Racing||Ducati Panigale V4 R||No Time|