Magny-Cours WSBK: Rea continues unbeaten pole run
Kawasaki star Jonathan Rea extended his run of pole positions in the 2021 World Superbike season after beating title rival Toprak Razgatlioglu in qualifying at Magny-Cours.
Rea was the last leading rider to cross the finish line in the 15-minute shootout, lapping the circuit in 1m35.683s to pip Razgatlioglu’s factory Yamaha by 0.101s and clinch his eighth consecutive pole of the year.
With this result, the six-time world champion surpassed Ben Spies' record of scoring most pole positions in a row, while also claiming a landmark 100th pole for Kawasaki in WSBK.
Apart from Rea and Razgatlioglu, BMW’s Tom Sykes was the only other rider to break the 1m36s barrier in qualifying, his time of 1m35.919s securing him a front row start for the second round in a row.
Kawasaki’s Alex Lowes led qualifying with five minutes to go with a time of 1m36.025s, but was shuffled down to fourth as other riders made improvements late in the session.
Andrea Locatelli rounded out the top five on the second of the factory Yamahas, while Leon Haslam posted a time of 1m36.258s to put his factory Honda on the outside of the second row.
Fresh off securing a contract extension for 2022, Michael Ruben Rinaldi was the lead Ducati rider in seventh, 0.732s off the pace of Rea’s Kawasaki.
Title contender Scott Redding endured a difficult qualifying on the second of the works Ducatis after topping FP3 earlier this morning, finishing eighth and nearly a tenth behind his younger teammate.
The British rider, who will move to BMW next year replacing Sykes, trails Rea and Razgatlioglu by 38 points with six rounds to run.
Redding will be joined on the third row of the grid by his 2022 teammate Michael van der Mark, while Lucas Mahias was due to line up 10th for Puccetti Kawasaki but has been ruled out of the race by injuries sustained in a crash.
Both GoEleven Ducati’s Chaz Davies and GRT Yamaha’s Garrett Gerloff missed out on a spot inside the top 10, ending up 11th and 12th, while Alvaro Bautista was also surprisingly off the pace in 14th on the second Honda - 1.586s down on the pole time.
Magny-Cours WSBK - Qualifying results:
|7||21||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||Ducati||1'36.415||0.732|
|9||60||Michael van der Mark||BMW||1'36.736||1.053|
|View full results|
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