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WorldSBK Portimao: Rea takes Portugese pole

Reigning WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea has bagged pole position at Portimao with a lap almost three-tenths faster than Toprak Razgatlioglu with Britain’s Alex Lowes in third place.

Rea grazed his own outright lap record to take top spot - his fourth pole at the Portugese track – with a 1’40.676 which was enough to demote the works Yamaha man to second after he set a 1.40.954.

Kawasaki’s Lowes was one of the first riders to switch to the Pirelli qualifier and his subsequent 1’41.074 completed the front row.


The early pace was set by Razgatlioglu as he posted a 1’41.353 to strike first, heading Ducati's Scott Redding. The double Jerez race winner suffered a crash at turn five but was able to remount his Ducati Panigale V4 R and bring it back to the pit lane where his team quickly repaired some damage.

As riders switched to the qualifying tyre, it was Rea who laid down the gauntlet as he became the first rider to lap in the 1’40 bracket to claim the best starting position possible, with other riders unable to response.

Tom Sykes (BMW) showed his Superpole prowess with fourth on the grid as he secured a second row start, ahead of Michael van der Mark (Yamaha). Sykes and van der Mark were separated by just 0.005s, showing how competitive the field is. Loris Baz (Ten Kate Yamaha) was once again the top Independent rider as he secured a second row start as he continued to show his impressive pace.

Michael Rinaldi (Team Goeleven) was the fastest Ducati rider throughout Superpole as he secured a front row start, beating Championship leader Redding by the smallest of margins. Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) qualified in ninth with Leon Haslam (Team HRC) the highest-placed Honda rider on the grid with 10th.

Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) qualified in 12th after a crash, the Spanish rider able to remount his bike and ride it back to the pit lane. He qualified just ahead of Chaz Davies  who is eight tenths of a second behind teammate Redding.

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