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.

Qualifying results:

Cla # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 1 United Kingdom Jonathan Rea
Kawasaki 1'48.458
2 45 United Kingdom Scott Redding
Ducati 1'48.733 0.275
3 66 United Kingdom Tom Sykes
BMW 1'48.840 0.382
4 22 United Kingdom Alex Lowes
Kawasaki 1'48.890 0.432
5 7 United Kingdom Chaz Davies
Ducati 1'49.069 0.611
6 31 United States Garrett Gerloff
Yamaha 1'49.185 0.727
7 91 United Kingdom Leon Haslam
Honda 1'49.246 0.788
8 19 Spain Alvaro Bautista
Honda 1'49.338 0.880
9 21 Italy Michael Ruben Rinaldi
Ducati 1'49.516 1.058
10 54 Turkey Toprak Razgatlioglu
Yamaha 1'49.704 1.246
11 53 Spain Tito Rabat
Ducati 1'49.761 1.303
12 50 Ireland Eugene Laverty
BMW 1'49.767 1.309
13 44 France Lucas Mahias
Kawasaki 1'49.951 1.493
14 55 Italy Andrea Locatelli
Yamaha 1'49.962 1.504
15 60 Netherlands Michael van der Mark
BMW 1'50.189 1.731
16 3 Japan Kohta Nozane
Yamaha 1'50.435 1.977
17 23 France Christophe Ponsson
Yamaha 1'50.489 2.031
18 94 Germany Jonas Folger
BMW 1'50.628 2.170
19 32 Spain Isaac Viñales
Kawasaki 1'50.672 2.214
20 47 Italy Axel Bassani
Ducati 1'51.107 2.649
21 76 Italy Samuele Cavalieri
Kawasaki 1'52.717 4.259
22 36 Argentina Leandro Mercado
Honda 1'53.120 4.662
23 84 Belgium Loris Cresson
Kawasaki 1'53.649 5.191
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