Form-man Rea ups the pressure on Bautista with Laguna pole

Jonathan Rea carries on from where he left off at Donington Park with his third WorldSBK Superpole of 2019, though he will have two Ducatis for company on the front row.
Form-man Rea ups the pressure on Bautista with Laguna pole

Laguna Seca WorldSBK - Superpole Qualifying Results

Jonathan Rea is well placed to extend his newfound World Superbike Championship lead after qualifying on pole position for round nine of the 2019 season at Laguna Seca, USA.

Clutching a healthy 24-point advantage after his triple win at Doningtin Park last weekend provided the driving force behind what has been an impressive swing in momentum for the Kawasaki man, Rea once again had the measure of his rivals over a single lap.

His third Superpole of the 2019 season, Rea nonetheless faces a doubled Ducati threat come race one with both Chaz Davies and Alvaro Bautista joining him on the front row.

A strong return to form for Davies, whose struggles on the Panigale V4 R have been well documented this year, the Welshman lived up to his promising showing in practice to out-qualify title contender Bautista for only the season time this season.

Tom Sykes heads up row two on the factory BMW Motorrad alongside fellow Briton Leon Haslam and arguably the stand-out performer of the session Jordi Torres, who surprised in hauling the unfancied Pedercini Kawasaki up into sixth place.

Despite being out-paced by Torres, Toprak Razgtalioglu enured strength in Kawasaki numbers in seventh to share row three with Yamaha pair Alex Lowes and Loris Baz, the Frenchman rewarding his Ten Kate Racing team for their swift repair-work on a bent R1 after he dropped it in accident at the Corkscrew early on.

Though still not quite 100 per cent fit, Eugene Laverty starts his first race for two months in an very creditable tenth, the Irishman faring better than fellow ‘walking wounded’ Michael van der Mark, whose crash at turn four consigned him to 15th on the grid but but avoided any further damage to his wrists.

Elsewhere, Marco Melandri’s first race since announcing his retirement will begin from a lowly 17th, behind local wild-card JD Beach on a sister Yamaha, and ahead of only the two Hondas.