Rea takes pole position in Italy
Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea will start tomorrow’s two fourth-round World Superbike championship races from pole position after setting the fastest time in today’s Superpole sessions at Imola in Italy.
The British rider powered his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP around the 4.936km Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in a time of 1m46.289s, almost three tenths of a second ahead of Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli and Davide Giugliano of Italy, who completes the front row.
It is Rea’s fourth career pole position, the last occasion being at Portimao in Portugal in 2011. He received his trophy today from 15-time world champion Giacomo Agostini and the 27-year-old is also confident of his race for tomorrow’s two 19-lap outings at Imola.
His Pata Honda team-mate, Leon Haslam, will start the races from tenth place on the grid after some problems in today’s practice sessions. The 30-year-old crashed early in Free Practice 4 after being one of the front runners in the morning session.
Haslam was unable to maximise the additional grip from Pirelli’s qualifying tyre in Superpole, but he is determined to mount two strong challenges in tomorrow’s two races, the first of which goes at 10.30am local time.
Jonathan Rea P1
Honestly, I didn’t really expect that! I knew we had really good pace and we were working towards the race tomorrow. But this pole position lark doesn’t really have my name on it so I’m really happy. The lap was really good but I just want to thank all the guys in my box who’ve been working incredibly hard. They’re making the CBR better and better and to do it in Pata’s back yard here in Italy is just great. I’m looking forward to two strong races tomorrow and hopefully we can get some good results then.
Leon Haslam P10
Yeah, it was a pretty rubbish afternoon. I felt we were making some good progress up until the second session today when I had a problem with the shifter on the outlap which caused a bit of a highside. I couldn’t quite get the gear and it threw me off and we lost the whole session. I had a familiar problem in Superpole with the extra grip from the qualifer and ended up going slower than I did on the race tyre. We’d made some good progress this weekend, but had a bad afternoon.
Pieter Breddels co-ordinator
Pole position for Jonathan, and his last one was a very long time ago! Well done to him and his team. There are four or five riders who can be fast in the race and will be battling it out tomorrow, but no-one is outstandingly strong and I think he is one of the contenders. After a good morning session Leon unfortunately had a crash in FP4. Luckily he wasn’t hurt but it put his progress on hold a bit. He had some problems with the qualifier too so we’ll have to see how he can do tomorrow.
|1||Jonathan Rea||1m46.289s||GBR||HONDA||Pata Honda|
|2||Sylvain Guintoli||1m46.554s||FRA||APRILIA||Aprilia Racing Team|
|3||Davide Guigliano||1m46.555s||ITA||DUCATI||Ducati Superbike Team|
|4||Chaz Davies||1m46.678s||GBR||DUCATI||Ducati Superbike Team|
|5||Marco Melandri||1m46.740s||ITA||APRILIA||Aprilia Racing Team|
|6||Tom Sykes||1m46.767s||GBR||KAWASAKI||Kawasaki Racing Team|
|7||Loris Baz||1m47.014s||FRA||KAWASAKI||Kawasaki Racing Team|
|8||Eugene Laverty||1m47.715s||IRL||SUZUKI||Voltcom Crescent Suzuki|
|9||Niccolo Canepa||1m48.240s||ITA||DUCATI||Althea Racing|
|10||Leon Haslam||1m48.242s||GBR||HONDA||Pata Honda|