Portimao WSBK: Laverty grabs first Aprilia pole since 2015

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Portimao WSBK: Laverty grabs first Aprilia pole since 2015
By: Lewis Duncan , Journalist
Sep 15, 2018, 10:30 AM

Eugene Laverty demolished the Portimao lap record to claim Aprilia's first World Superbike pole since 2015 by 0.060 seconds from Jonathan Rea.

Laverty's Milwaukee Aprilia teammate Lorenzo Savadori set the pace in SP1, and used his prior track knowledge to set the early pace in the pole shootout session with a 1m41.387s.

Kawasaki's Rea slotted into second by just over a tenth, though was pushed back to third by Laverty, who posted an identical 1m41.493s to his fellow Ulsterman.

Rea was the first to complete his flying lap on the qualifying tyre in the dying seconds of SP1, and took provisional pole with a new outright lap record of 1m40.705s, with Loris Baz – who progressed through SP1 with along Savadori – shadowing him in second.

But Laverty lit up the timing screens on his attempt, and edged ahead of Rea by 0.060s with a 1m40.705s to claim Aprilia's first pole since the French round in '15 and the first for Shaun Muir Racing.

Ducati's Marco Melandri completed the front row with a lap jut under a tenth outside of Rea's lap, while Savadori heads row two from Yamaha's Michael van der Mark and the second Kawasaki of Tom Sykes.

Baz was shuffled back to eight at the final reckoning, with Jordi Torres – who will line up on the MotoGP grid with Avintia at Aragon next weekend – and Toprak Razgatlioglu rounding out the top 10.

Michael Ruben Rinaldi was just a tenth outside of his fellow WSBK rookie Razgatlioglu in 11th, with Alex Lowes left in 12th having been unable to complete his Q-tyre lap due to a crash at the final corner.

While Savadori and Baz made it through SP1, Ducati's Chaz Davies was not so fortunate.

An improvement from Baz pushed Davies out of the SP2 progression place, and he remained there as he began his final lap, with Honda's Leon Camier pushing him down to fourth in the session.

Davies' final lap proved nothing special and he will start from 14th behind Camier, with the sister Ten Kate bike of Jake Gagne completing the top 15.

SP2 results:

Pos. # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 50 Ireland Eugene Laverty  Aprilia 1'40.705  
2 1 United Kingdom Jonathan Rea  Kawasaki 1'40.765 0.060
3 33 Italy Marco Melandri  Ducati 1'40.856 0.151
4 32 Italy Lorenzo Savadori  Aprilia 1'40.901 0.196
5 60 Netherlands Michael van der Mark  Yamaha 1'40.926 0.221
6 66 United Kingdom Tom Sykes  Kawasaki 1'41.103 0.398
7 12 Spain Xavi Fores  Ducati 1'41.202 0.497
8 76 France Loris Baz  BMW 1'41.213 0.508
9 81 Spain Jordi Torres  MV Agusta 1'41.422 0.717
10 54 Turkey Toprak Razgatlioglu  Kawasaki 1'41.960 1.255
11 21 Italy Michael Ruben Rinaldi  Ducati 1'42.047 1.342
12 22 United Kingdom Alex Lowes  Yamaha 1'42.709 2.004

SP1 results:

Pos. # Rider Bike Time Gap
SP2 32 Italy Lorenzo Savadori  Aprilia 1'41.457  
SP2 76 France Loris Baz  BMW 1'41.674 0.217
13 2 United Kingdom Leon Camier  Honda 1'42.019 0.562
14 7 United Kingdom Chaz Davies  Ducati 1'42.045 0.588
15 45 United States Jake Gagne  Honda 1'42.653 1.196
16 36 Argentina Leandro Mercado  Kawasaki 1'42.812 1.355
17 68 Colombia Yonny Hernandez  Kawasaki 1'42.844 1.387
18 99 United States PJ Jacobsen  Honda 1'43.018 1.561
19 40 Spain Roman Ramos  Kawasaki 1'43.586 2.129
20 96 Czech Republic Jakub Smrz  Yamaha 1'43.984 2.527
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About this article

Series World Superbike
Event Algarve
Drivers Eugene Laverty
Teams Team Milwaukee
Author Lewis Duncan
Article type Qualifying report