Rea takes Pole Position at Laguna ahead of Davies and Bautista

by Robert Jones

Jonathan Rea took his fourth Pole Position of the 2019 World Superbike season, ahead of Aruba.it Ducati riders Chaz Davies and Alvaro Bautista

Before the action could really get going, there was a red flag less than five minutes into the session when Loris Baz crashed at the Corkscrew

The Frenchman was perfectly fine, and ultimately qualified ninth. Unfortunately the crash did create significant damage to the air fence, which meant that repairs were needed before the session could resume. 

With the repair work compete, it was the championship leader who was in supreme form and immediately went fastest on race rubber before fitting the qualifying tyre. 

With the best time of the weekend set on his second run, Rea then went quicker by a full second to take Pole with a 1:21.876s. 

Both Ducati riders have been a threat to Rea all weekend, and have been going from strength to strength before today’s race one

Credit: WorldSBK.com

Bautista spent a short part of the session top in the early stages, and confirmed his good race pace by going third only +0.172s slower than Rea. However, the two title contenders were separated by three-time winner at the Californian circuit Davies. 

The Welshman has returned to form in a big way this weekend, and will hope to transform his race pace into a podium challenge. 

Having another strong weekend is Tom Sykes, who managed to qualify fourth on the BMW after his best weekend of the year last time out at Donington Park

Fifth through seventh on the grid were dominated by Kawasaki riders, with Leon Haslam leading the way ahead of Jordi Torres and Toprak Razgatlioglu

Eighth was Alex Lowes who has been a few tenths shy of the top three all weekend. Sadly that was as good as it got for the Pata Yamaha team, as Michael Van Der Mark suffered a crash to end his session prematurely, meaning the Dutchman will start from sixteenth. 

Rounding out the top ten was Eugene Laverty of the Team Goeleven Ducati. The Irishman has looked much more comfortable from the outset unlike at Donington Park.

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