News 2 Oct 2011

Rea sets new track best for Magny-Cours WSBK Superpole

Jonathan Rea took the World Superbike Superpole at Magny-Cours.

Jonathan Rea took the World Superbike Superpole at Magny-Cours.

Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda) made the best of perfect weather conditions to take the Tissot-Superpole win in France with a 1:37.490 second lap, which was a new track best.

It was his first top starting place this season, and only the second in his career. Second overall after the three-part contest, which determines the top 16 starting positions, was Eugene Laverty (Yamaha World Superbike) from championship leader Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) and Aprilia Alitalia rider Leon Camier.

Checa only just made it into Superpole 3 but still starts from the front row tomorrow, on what is almost certain to be the day he wins the championship outright.

“My Superpole lap was very strong and very good for the team,” Rea said. “It looked like the pace was close all weekend, and we knew that the team needed to make that extra step to make Sunday more comfortable.

“My guys gave me a great bike in FP2, they transformed some things, changing the balance which gave me more confidence to push. I expected to be near the front but didn’t expect the lap time to be so fast.”

Sylvain Guintoli (Effenbert-Liberty Racing Ducati) was the top French competitor in fifth, one place up on Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team Superbike) even though they set identical lap times. The top two rows were completed by Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) and Marco Melandri (Yamaha World Superbike).

Superpole 2 ended the chances of Noriyuki Haga (Pata Aprilia), Kawasaki Racing Team’s Joan Lascorz, Supersonic Ducati’s Maxime Berger and Troy Corser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) improving on their third row starting positions.

The first four riders to exit from the Tissot-Superpole contest were Jakub Smrz (Effenbert Liberty Racing Ducati), Michel Fabrizio (Alstare Suzuki), Mark Aitchison (Pedercini Team Kawasaki) and Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK).

Javier Fores (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK) and Roberto Rolfo (Pedercini Team Kawasaki) were the only two riders not to qualify for Superpole, with Ruben Xaus (Castrol Honda) already out of the running due to an injury picked up in practice yesterday.

Broc Parkes scored his third pole position of the year in WSS qualifying for the Kawasaki team, his second on the run after Imola, with a time of 1 minute 41.395 seconds.

Alongside the Australian on the front row of the grid will be two top Italians, Luca Scassa (Yamaha ParkinGO) in second and Friday pace-setter Massimo Roccoli (Lorenzini by Leoni Kawasaki) in third. The front row is completed by Sam Lowes (Parkalgar Honda).

Points leader Chaz Davies (Yamaha ParkinGO) will only start from the eighth slot on row 2, with James Ellison (Bogdanka PTR Honda), David Salom (Kawasaki and Fabien Foret (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) ahead of him.

Once again there will an all-Italian front row for the Superstock 1000 race tomorrow, with Danilo Petrucci (Barni Racing Team Ducati) ahead of title chaser Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Ducati), the former also setting a new best lap for the category. Third quickest was Niccolò Canepa (Lazio Motorsport Ducati) while Lorenzo Zanetti (BMW Motorrad Italia Superstock) completed the front row.

Frenchman Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia Superstock), who crashed again in the final session, will start from row 2 followed by Lorenzo Baroni (Althea Racing Ducati), Lorenzo Savadori (Lorenzini by Leoni Kawasaki) and the returning Loris Baz (Ten Kate Junior Team Honda).

A thrilling 12-lap race saw Jed Metcher (MTM-RT Motorsports Yamaha Team) move further ahead in the championship battle by taking second place behind race winner Michael Van der Mark (Ten Kate Junior Team).

This was the Dutch Honda rider’s third win of the year and puts him third overall in the championship rankings, 25 points behind Metcher but with a better win ratio, which may be crucial at the final round in Portugal.

One-time race leader and pole man Joshua Day (Revolution Racedays Kawasaki) was third in the race and is now 19 points behind Metcher in the table, with one race remaining.

Tony Covena (Nito Racing Yamaha) was fourth today, eight seconds back, with Robin Mulhauser (RRT Racing Yamaha) fifth.

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