Portimao WSBK: Rea grabs pole, Redding crashes

Kawasaki rider Jonathan Rea grabbed pole position for the Portugal World Superbike round, while championship leader Scott Redding was only eighth after an early crash.

Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing Team

Ten Kate Yamaha’s Loris Baz set the early pace on race tyres with a 1m42.317s, though FP3 pacesetter Toprak Razgatlioglu blitzed this on his first lap with a 1m41.353s.

Ducati’s Redding – who leads the standings by 24 points after a double win at Jerez last week – shadowed the factory Yamaha rider by 0.083s at the end of his first flying lap. 

But on his second, Redding crashed at the Turn 5 hairpin, with the Ducati rider later telling his crew when he returned to pitlane: “I think I bottomed the front”. 

Redding would return to the circuit with eight minutes to go after the damage on his Ducati was repaired, but he failed to lift himself up the order on his qualifying tyre run at the end.

Posting a 1m41.436s, Redding could only muster eighth behind the customer Ducati V4 R of Go Eleven’s Michael Ruben Rinaldi.

Kawasaki’s Alex Lowes shot to the top of the order on his Q tyre lap with a 1m41.074s, before teammate Rea began to light up the timing screens. The reigning world champion crossed the line with a 1m40.676s to take over top spot with just a minute to go.

Yamaha man Razgatlioglu put the pressure on across the first two sectors, only entering the final split a tenth down on Rea.

But the Turkish rider continued to bleed time and wound up 0.278s adrift, unable to deny Rea his first pole of the season.

Lowes completed the front row for his best qualifying result of the year behind Razgatlioglu, with Jerez poleman Tom Sykes heading the second row on the BMW.

Michael van der Mark edged Baz in fifth, with Rinaldi, Redding and the BMW of Eugene Laverty – who suffered an engine issue in FP3 – making up row three.

Leon Haslam was top Honda runner in 10th, though just under a second off the pace, with the GRT Yamaha of Garrett Gerloff splitting Haslam from teammate Alvaro Bautista – who crashed at Turn 13 with 10 minutes remaining.

Chaz Davies struggled in Superpole, the Ducati rider only conjuring a 1m42.227s in 13th.

Session results:

Cla # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 1 United Kingdom Jonathan Rea
Kawasaki 1'40.676
2 54 Turkey Toprak Razgatlioglu
Yamaha 1'40.954 0.278
3 22 United Kingdom Alex Lowes
Kawasaki 1'41.074 0.398
4 66 United Kingdom Tom Sykes
BMW 1'41.240 0.564
5 60 Netherlands Michael van der Mark
Yamaha 1'41.335 0.659
6 76 France Loris Baz
Yamaha 1'41.354 0.678
7 21 Italy Michael Ruben Rinaldi
Ducati 1'41.424 0.748
8 45 United Kingdom Scott Redding
Ducati 1'41.436 0.760
9 50 Ireland Eugene Laverty
BMW 1'41.504 0.828
10 91 United Kingdom Leon Haslam
Honda 1'41.607 0.931
11 31 United States Garrett Gerloff
Yamaha 1'41.807 1.131
12 19 Spain Alvaro Bautista
Honda 1'42.123 1.447
13 7 United Kingdom Chaz Davies
Ducati 1'42.227 1.551
14 11 Germany Sandro Cortese
Kawasaki 1'42.345 1.669
15 12 Spain Xavi Fores
Kawasaki 1'42.421 1.745
16 64 Italy Federico Caricasulo
Yamaha 1'42.491 1.815
17 77 Chile Maximilian Scheib
Kawasaki 1'42.654 1.978
18 36 Argentina Leandro Mercado
Ducati 1'42.718 2.042
19 33 Italy Marco Melandri
Ducati 1'42.873 2.197
20 20 France Sylvain Barrier
Ducati 1'42.894 2.218
21 13 Japan Takumi Takahashi
Honda 1'44.025 3.349
22 23 France Christophe Ponsson
Aprilia 1'44.027 3.351
23 63 Italy Lorenzo Gabellini
Honda 1'44.779 4.103

Portimao WSBK: Razgatlioglu fastest in Friday practice

Portimao WSBK: Rea dominates, Redding struggles