The Ulsterman was back on top, with less than a second covering the top ten!
An entertaining 25-minute Tissot Superpole session for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship saw Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) take a second pole of the season with a blistering lap, which became an all-time WorldSBK lap record at Jerez. The reigning quadruple WorldSBK Champion took his first pole at the Jerez circuit to take the fight to Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) who finished second and GRT Yamaha WorldSBK rider Marco Melandri.
Having achieved two wins at Imola, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was the first rider to dip under Marco Melandri’s lap record. The reigning four-time WorldSBK Champion set a 1’38.743 on race tyres before dropping his time to a 1’38.247, finishing on top, making for an intriguing Race 1. Alvaro Bautista was quick but consistently losing time in the final sector meant that he could only take second, 0.036s off. Marco Melandri was back to his best, as the Italian, who was on pole position at Jerez in 2017, took third place and top Yamaha honours. Could he be a threat for a win in Race 1?
Row two features a raft of British riders, with Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) completing his session in fourth, not improving massively on his lap time from the race tyre. Third in the championship, Lowes will look to consolidate that position in the race. Fifth on the grid went to Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), a personal best for the ‘Pocket Rocket’ at Jerez. Completing row two was Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), who kept up his strong performance of Superpole sessions, never starting lower than sixth in 2019.
Row three sees FP1 leader Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) who had a rather quiet Tissot Superpole, but don’t rule out the Dutchman, as his race pace looks strong. Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing) took eighth position, making for his best Tissot Superpole session of the season. Rounding out row three, Sandro Cortese (GRT WorldSBK Team), who had a small crash at Turn 6 before improving his time to get onto the third row. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (BARNI Racing Team) completes the top ten.
Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) has gone from pole at Imola to 12th at Jerez, one place ahead of returnee, Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura), whilst Loris Baz could only manage 15th on his and Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha’s return.
- Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’38.247
- Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) 1’38.283 +0.036
- Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) 1’38.489 +0.251
- Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) 1’38.734 +0.487
- Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’38.762 +0.515
- Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 1’38.846 +0.599