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Rachit Thukral

Portimao WSBK: Rea claims 40th career pole, Bautista only ninth

Rea sat nearly half a second down on early pacesetter Toprak Razgatlioglu after his first run in Saturday’s 15-minute pole shootout, but found a whopping eight tenths on his final flying lap to strengthen his status as the best qualifier of the season.

The Northern Irishman’s time of 1m39.610s was just under two tenths up on what Razgatlioglu managed on his factory Yamaha and over half a second quicker than anything witnessed in practice earlier this weekend.

It secured him his 40th career pole position in WSBK and closer to the tallies of Troy Corser and Tom Sykes.

Rea’s Kawasaki teammate Alex Lowes continued the fine form that he showed in Barcelona last month, securing yet another front row start with a time of 1m39.859s.

Andrea Locatelli equalled his best qualifying result of the season with fourth following a late 1m40.000s effort, while Loris Baz put in an impressive time aboard the Bonovo BMW to qualify fifth, three places ahead of the works M1000RR of Scott Redding.

Between Baz and Redding, Honda’s Iker Lecuona and GRT Yamaha’s Garrett Gerloff qualified sixth and seventh respectively, the two riders separated by just over a tenth of a second.

Ducati ace Bautista ended up a distant ninth after his final lap was deleted for a track limits infringement. This meant his previous time of 1m40.548s counted towards the final result, leaving him on the third row of the grid - albeit still the top Ducati in the field.

The next-best Panigale V4 R was that of his teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi, who qualified 11th behind the second works Honda of Xavi Vierge.

Michael van der Mark was only 19th on the factory BMW on his third weekend back in WSBK after a long injury-induced layoff.

Portimao WSBK - Qualifying results:

Cla # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 65 United Kingdom Jonathan Rea Kawasaki 1'39.610  
2 1 Turkey Toprak Razgatlioglu Yamaha 1'39.772 0.162
3 22 United Kingdom Alex Lowes Kawasaki 1'39.859 0.249
4 55 Italy Andrea Locatelli Yamaha 1'40.000 0.390
5 76 France Loris Baz BMW 1'40.242 0.632
6 7 Spain Iker Lecuona Honda 1'40.342 0.732
7 31 United States Garrett Gerloff Yamaha 1'40.497 0.887
8 45 United Kingdom Scott Redding BMW 1'40.532 0.922
9 19 Spain Alvaro Bautista Ducati 1'40.538 0.928
10 97 Spain Xavi Vierge Honda 1'40.624 1.014
11 21 Italy Michael Ruben Rinaldi Ducati 1'40.677 1.067
12 5 Germany Philipp Oettli Ducati 1'40.744 1.134
13 2 Italy Roberto Tamburini Yamaha 1'40.771 1.161
14 47 Italy Axel Bassani Ducati 1'41.000 1.390
15 44 France Lucas Mahias Kawasaki 1'41.088 1.478
16 33 United States Jake Gagne Yamaha 1'41.161 1.551
17 50 Ireland Eugene Laverty BMW 1'41.258 1.648
18 3 Japan Kohta Nozane Yamaha 1'41.321 1.711
19 60 Netherlands Michael van der Mark BMW 1'41.473 1.863
20 35 Malaysia Hafizh Syahrin Honda 1'41.741 2.131
21 91 United Kingdom Leon Haslam Kawasaki 1'41.765 2.155
22 29 San Marino Luca Bernardi Ducati 1'41.853 2.243
23 17 Germany Marvin Fritz Yamaha 1'41.912 2.302
24 36 Argentina Leandro Mercado Honda 1'41.982 2.372
25 23 France Christophe Ponsson Yamaha 1'42.152 2.542
26 52 Czech Republic Oliver Konig Kawasaki 1'43.840 4.230
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