WorldSBK Magny-Cours Superpole Results: Rea pole, Bautista only 14th

WorldSBK Superpole Qualifying Results, Magny-Cours, France - Jonathan Rea holds off Michael van der Mark for Magny-Cours pole as Alvaro Bautista struggles

Jonathan Rea - Kawasaki ZX-10RR

Jonathan Rea took another small step towards the 2019 World Superbike Championship title by holding his nerve in a tense wet Superpole qualifying session at Magny-Cours.

The Ulsterman – who leads Alvaro Bautista by 91 points and can win the title this weekend if he extends that margin to 125 points – laid down an impressive benchmark in the opening half of the session that put him more than seven tenths clear of the opposition. 

However, his rivals would slowly chip away at the margin in the closing minutes with Michael van der Mark putting in lap after lap to bring the margin right down to two tenths ahead of his final effort.

Going quickest in the opening three sectors, van der Mark lost his advantage in the final corner when he had to lift for a yellow flag, leaving him just 0.014s shy of pole position. Rea did respond with his own PB 0.001s quicker but either way he’d secure pole.

Rea’s joy was compounded by a dismal morning for his title rival Bautista, who never looked comfortable in the slippery but evolving conditions, rarely showing in the top ten as lap times dropped. He will start down in 14th position. 

Leon Haslam made it two factory Kawasakis on the front row, the Briton well ahead of satellite rival Toprak Razgatlioglu down in 16th as he suffered in the conditions.

Michael Ruben Rinaldi flew the flag for Ducati as the only Panigale rider in the top ten with a fine run to fourth, ahead of Loris Baz – scoring his best start of the season – and lap record holder Tom Sykes on the BMW.

Alex Lowes heads up row three from Eugene Laverty, ahead of Honda duo Ryuichi Kiyonari and Leon Camier, the pair posting their first top ten starts of the year as the CBR1000RR once again proved more competitive in wet conditions.

Chaz Davies gets away from 11th place, ahead of Alessandro Delbianco, Marco Melandri – who suffered a crash – and the embattled Bautista.

WorldSBK Magny-Cours Superpole Results

French WorldSBK, Magny-Cours - Superpole Qualifying Results
1Jonathan ReaGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR1m 53.955
2Michael van der MarkNEDPata YamahaYamaha YZF R11m 53.969
3Leon HaslamGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR1m 54.212
4Michael Ruben RinaldiITABarni Racing Team DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R1m 54.563
5Loris BazFRATen Kate SBK YamahaYamaha YZF R11m 54.670
6Tom SykesGBRBMW WorldSBK TeamBMW S1000RR1m 55.155
7Alex LowesGBRPata YamahaYamaha YZF R11m 55.427
8Eugene LavertyIRLTeam Goeleven DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R1m 55.460
9Ryuichi KiyonariJPNMoriwaki Althea HondaHonda CBR1000RR1m 55.838
10Leon CamierGBRMoriwaki Althea HondaHonda CBR1000RR1m 55.977
11Chaz Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R1m 56.271
12Alessandro DelbiancoITAAlthea Mie Racing Team HondaHonda CBR1000RR1m 56.327
13Marco MelandriITAGRT YamahaYamaha YZF R11m 56.513
14Alvaro Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R1m 56.534
15Sylvain BarrierFRABrixx DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R1m 56.712
16Toprak RazgatliogluTURKawasaki Puccetti RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR1m 57.091
17Sandro CorteseGERGRT YamahaYamaha YZF R11m 57.120
18Leandro MercadoARGOrelac Racing VerdNatura KawasakiKawasaki ZX-10RR1m 57.373
19Markus ReiterbergerGERBMW WorldSBK TeamBMW S1000RR1m 58.294
20Jordi TorresESPTeam Pedercini Racing KawasakiKawasaki ZX-10RR1m 58.928