Misano WSBK: Rea smashes lap record for third pole of 2021
Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea smashed the Misano lap record to claim his third consecutive pole position of the 2021 World Superbike season, beating the Yamaha of Toprak Razgatlioglu.
Despite not featuring inside the top two in any of the practice sessions in the run up to qualifying, Rea managed to set the quickest time of the weekend in his very first attempt, a 1m33.778s.
Razgatlioglu settled for second early on, with Lucas Mahias an impressive third on the Puccetti Kawasaki ahead of practice pacesetter Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Ducati).
With five minutes left in the session, the Kawasakis were the first to begin their second runs, with Rea setting a record-breaking time of 1m33.416s to pull further clear of the rest of the field.
Teammate Alex Lowes then lapped the circuit in 1m33.897s to go second, with Mahias’ 1m33.924 effort provisionally locking out the front row for Kawasaki.
As the other riders completed their final flying laps, Lowes and Mahias got pushed down the order, with Rinaldi, Ducati’s Scott Redding and then Razgatlioglu all finding more time in the dying minutes in the session.
However, none of them could topple six-time champion Rea, who maintained his unbeaten record in qualifying in 2021 thanks to his previous flyer.
Razgatlioglu qualified second with a 1m33.515s, and even tried to set a second timed lap on used tyres, only to give up midway after losing three tenths in the second sector.
Redding completed the front row for Ducati ahead of teammate Rinaldi, as Tom Sykes made it four different manufacturers in the top five with a time of 1m33.860s on the new BMW M1000RR.
Lowes and Mahias got shuffled down to sixth and seventh respectively and were the last of the riders to break the 1m34s barrier, as Motocorsa Ducati rider Axel Bassani continued his fine form to qualify eighth fastest.
Honda was never in the fight for pole position, with Alvaro Bautista the marque’s highest-placed rider in ninth ahead of a disappointed Chaz Davies on the GoEleven Ducati.
Rookie Andrea Locatelli qualified a second off the pace in 11th on the factory Yamaha, with the second Honda of Leon Haslam and new BMW recruit Michael van der Mark finishing 12th and 13th respectively.
GRT Yamaha's sophomore rider Garrett Gerloff will start at the back of the grid after crashing out of qualifying at Turn 1 with seven minutes on the clock.
RC Squadra Corse BMW rider Eugene Laverty didn’t take part in superpole following a crash at Turn 10 in FP3 this morning. He will miss the first race of the weekend later today after being declared unfit by the medical staff.
|4||21||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||Ducati||1'33.678||0.262|
|13||60||Michael van der Mark||BMW||1'34.674||1.258|
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