WorldSBK Estoril | Rea upstages rivals to secure Superpole in Portugal

Kawasaki's Jonathan Rea overturns pre-Superpole predictions to secure pole for two of three WorldSBK races at Estoril from Scott Redding and Alex Lowes

Jonathan Rea - Kawasaki Racing Team 2021 WorldSBK

Jonathan Rea has secured pole position for the opening race of the Estoril WorldSBK Championship round, the Kawasaki man defeating pre-Superpole favourites Ducati and Yamaha around the Portuguese venue.

The six-time WorldSBK Champion came into the short Superpole session seemingly adrift of Scott Redding and Toprak Razgatlioglu, but as he so often does, Rea saved his best until last as the only rider to dip below 1m 36secs.

The performance will help put a rather different experience of qualifying at Estoril when he crashed during the 2020 Superpole session, forcing him to start towards the back of the grid in what would prove to be his coronation race.

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It was a similar situation that hampered Redding too, who also crashed in the final Superpole of last year in his attempts to kepe hs fading title hopes alive. Fast forward to now, while Estoril isn’t hosting the title decider this time, the rivalry between Rea and Redding remains fresh, with the Kawasaki man getting the edge on his Ducati counterpart yet again.

Alex Lowes completes the front row of the grid, demoting the Yamahas of Razgatlioglu and American racer Garrett Gerloff to fourth and fifth, with the Superpole specialist Tom Sykes riding well in sixth on the BMW.

Michael Ruben Rinaldi couldn’t match his form from Friday to end up seventh, ahead of a much improved Eugene Laverty and an impressive Lucas Mahias, the French rookie using a Rea-shaped tow to haul his Puccetti Kawasaki into ninth.

Tito Rabat starts his second WorldSBK race from tenth place, though will have no doubt frustrated riders behind him when he ran off as he completed his fastest lap, bringing out yellow flags.

Elsewhere, there was frustration for Chaz Davies, who having spent Friday hampered by technical issues, could only manage 16th on the GoEleven Ducati.

Honda is also in trouble with both Alvaro Bautista and Leon Haslam well down the order in 12th and 15th respectively.

2021 WorldSBK Estoril | Superpole Qualifying Results

2021 WorldSBK Estoril | Superpole Qualifying Results | Round 2 / 13
PosRiderNat.WorldSBK TeamSuperbikeTiming
1Jonathan ReaGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasakI ZX-10RR1m 35.876
2Scott ReddingESPAruba Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R1m 36.047
3Alex LowesGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasakI ZX-10RR1m 36.054
4Toprak RazgatliogluTURPata Yamaha by BRIXXYamaha YZF-R11m 36.164
5Garrett GerloffESPGRT Yamaha WorldSBKYamaha YZF-R11m 36.350
6Tom SykesGBRBMW Motorrad WorldSBKBMW M1000RR1m 36.369
7Michael Ruben RinaldiESPAruba Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R1m 36.532
8Eugene LavertyIRLRC Squadra CorseBMW M1000RR1m 36.604
9Lucas MahiasESPKawasaki Puccetti RacingKawasakI ZX-10RR1m 36.863
10Tito RabatESPBarni Racing TeamDucati Panigale V4 R1m 36.892
11Andrea LocatelliITAPata Yamaha by BRIXXYamaha YZF-R11m 37.031
12Alvaro BautistaESPTeam HRC HondaHonda CBR1000RR-R1m 37.032
13Jonas FolgerGERBonovo MGM ActionBMW M1000RR1m 37.128
14Michael van der MarkNEDBMW Motorrad WorldSBKBMW M1000RR1m 37.193
15Leon HaslamESPTeam HRC HondaHonda CBR1000RR-R1m 37.399
16Chaz DaviesGBRTeam GoElevenDucati Panigale V4 R1m 37.422
17Axel BassaniESPMotocorsa RacingDucati Panigale V4 R1m 37.501
18Kohta NozaneESPGRT Yamaha WorldSBKYamaha YZF-R11m 37.611
19Isaac VinalesESPOrelac Racing VerdNatura KawasakI ZX-10RR1m 38.512
20Christophe PonssonESPAlstare YamahaYamaha YZF-R11m 38.854
21Loris CressonESPTPR Team Pedercini RacingKawasakI ZX-10RR1m 40.008
22Samuele CavalieriESPTPR Team Pedercini RacingKawasakI ZX-10RR1m 40.288