Superpole Losail: Rea on pole for his second title
Let it be said: Jonathan Rea wants to wear his second world crown in Superbike with panache! Author of pole in Qatar at the end of the afternoon – ahead of Hayden, Davies, Guintoli and Sykes -, the n ° 1 is aiming for a tenth 2016 victory tonight. Go Johnny, go !
The fastest driver on race tires at the start of the second Superpole session (the "SP2" which brings together the ten best drivers from the first day of free practice and the two drafted from the "SP1" disputed a few minutes earlier), Jonathan Rea was the fastest on qualifying tires … once is not customary !
By his own admission, the "Number One" of the World Superbike in 2015 – and in 2016! – has never been a poleman, unlike his teammate Tom Sykes in particular. This pole position is only the second of "Johnny" this year, the first in the dry.
In his eight seasons in the WSBK, “the ruthless JR” only started first on the grid eight times, compared to 38 for “Super” Sykes! The northern Irishman’s record time in SP2 therefore illustrates how much he wants to shine in the spotlight of the Losail circuit tonight and to celebrate his second world title with dignity..
Qualified for a "disappointing" fifth place, Tom Sykes is going to have to spit in the gloves – and put sugar in the tank of the Ninja No.1 ?! – to maintain his tiny chance of stealing his crown from Jonathan: as a reminder, the n ° 66 is 48 points behind in the championship.
To counter Rea and beat Scott Russel – the only other rider to win once in WSBK on Kawasaki – "Major Tom" must not only win in the heats tonight and tomorrow, but also hope that his best enemy does not score more than one point. Clearly, Rea would have to orbit, crash or telescope with another WSBK star … which nobody wants.
Between the two factory Kawasaki, three different machines will be placed on the Qatari starting grid, including – cocorico! – the Yamaha n ° 50 by Sylvain Guintoli! Author of the fourth time, our dear "Frenchie" will start in front of two Englishmen: Tom Sykes therefore, and his future ex-teammate at Yamaha Alex Lowes.
Chaz Davies, winner of five of the last six races contested in World Superbike (!), Meanwhile secured the last place in the front row. The Ducati factory rider n ° 7 is one of the big favorites to win. But like Rea or Sykes, he should beware of outsiders like Fores (7th on his Ducati n ° 12) and Savadori (8th on his Aprilia n ° 32).
Fourth manufacturer in the Top 5 of this last Superpole 2016, Honda can congratulate Nicky Hayden, second in the session at the controls of the good old Fireblade! Delighted with his performance on soft rubber, the American star at the legendary n ° 69 admitted in the parc ferme to be a tone below on hard rubber…
At the controls of his BMW n ° 81, Jordi Torres is in the opposite situation: third fastest time at the end of the first run of SP2 on hard compounds (behind Rea and Sykes, ahead of Davies and Fores), the "Spanish Elvis" only signed the tenth time of the qualifying session finally.
Beaten by Michael van den Mark – passed through SP1 – on his Honda CBR1000RR n ° 60, Torres will start this evening and tomorrow from the head of the fourth row, in front of the Ducati 1199 Panigale n ° 34 of Davide Giugliano – also qualified in SP1 – and the MV Agusta F4 n ° 2 of Leon Camier.
Winner two weeks ago in Jerez of the Superstock 1000 Cup, Rafaelle de Rosa is rewarded by his BMW Althea team with a "wildcard" for this night final of the Superbike world championship, and an S1000RR in WSBK configuration , like those of Jordi Torres or Markus Reiterberger.
The STK1000 champion made excellent use of his German bomb as he went 6 hundredths of a second from qualifying in SP2! Finally, the # 35 BMW will take the lead in fifth place ahead of Josh Brookes ‘# 25 BMW Milwaukee and Alex de Angelis’ # 15 Aprilia IodaRacing … and four places ahead of "Reiti’s # 21 ", that Rafaelle replaced at Lagune Seca this summer.
Back to WorldSBK this weekend – only? -, Leon Haslam places "his" Kawasaki Perdercini in 16th place ahead of Reiterberger therefore, and the second BMW Milwaukee machine driven by the future and ex-MotoGP rider: n ° 17, Karel Abraham.
The teammate of the English and local n ° 91 of the stage Saad Al Sulaiti qualifies in 20th position. The Qatari rider will place his ZX-10R in the middle of the seventh row, between Ninja n ° 40 of Roman Ramos (Kawasaki GoEleven) and Panigale n ° 89 of Luca Scassa (Ducati VFT Racing).
Superpole World Superbike Losail 2016
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