Aragon WSBK: Rea sets new lap record to claim pole position
Kawasaki star Jonathan Rea outpaced Ducati rival Scott Redding to claim the first pole position of the 2021 World Superbike season at Aragon, setting a new lap record in the process.
Rea was quick straight out of the box in the 15-minute qualifying session, with his first flyer of 1m49.314s already good for the quickest time of the weekend until that point.
Teammate Alex Lowes, now in his second season with Kawasaki, then moved the goalposts with a time of 1m48.890s to claim provisional pole after the first runs, with GRT Yamaha’s Garrett Gerloff slotting into third early on.
The times tumbled further when the riders returned on track for a final shot at pole position, with Redding first to dislodge Lowes from the top after posting a 1m48.833s.
But it was six-time champion Rea who ended the day at the top, gaining a quarter of a second on his rivals in the third sector alone to beat his own lap record from 2020 with a time of 1m48.458s.
Redding ended up 0.275s off the pace in second, while 2013 champion Tom Sykes made it three different manufacturers on the front row with a best effort of 1m48.840s on the new BMW M1000RR.
Lowes failed to improve on his final run and ended up fourth on the grid, 0.432s off his teammate Rea, while Chaz Davies qualified fifth on the GoEleven customer Ducati.
Gerloff outqualified his factory Yamaha counterparts in sixth, as the Hondas of Leon Haslam and Alvaro Bautista finished seventh and eighth quickest - separated by a tenth of a second.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi ended up 1.058s down on the pole time in ninth in his first qualifying outing for the works Ducati team, while practice pacesetter and Yamaha rider Toprak Razgatlioglu completed the top 10.
Razgatlioglu’s teammate Andrea Locatelli was 14th fastest in qualifying on the second of the Yamaha R1s, one spot ahead of new BMW recruit Michael van der Mark.
Qualifying was completed without interruptions, but Alex Bassani did suffer a crash early on at Turn 2.
|10||21||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||Ducati||1'49.516||1.058|
|15||60||Michael van der Mark||BMW||1'50.189||1.731|
|View full results|
Rea “very frustrated” at WSBK rev limit imposed on Kawasaki
Aragon WSBK: Dominant Rea scores landmark 100th win