Honda’s Rea Takes Portimao Superbike Pole

2011 World Superbike

Jonathan Rea set the fastest Superbike lap ever at Portimao in Portugal this afternoon to take pole position for tomorrow’s final two races of the 2011 World Superbike Championship.

The Castrol Honda rider lapped the 4.592km Portimao circuit in a time of 1:41.712, eclipsing by three tenths of a second the previous best lap set by Cal Crutchlow last season.

Rea has been in scintillating form all weekend for the final SBK round of 2011 and was fastest in this morning’s second regulation qualifying session. But the 24-year-old from Northern Ireland saved his best lap for this afternoon’s final Superpole session to take his second consecutive pole position.

Rea will be joined on the front row for tomorrow’s two 22-lap races by newly crowned World Superbike Champion Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati), who was second fastest today, ahead of Yamaha Superbike riders Eugene Laverty and Marco Melandri, who round out the front row.

Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda CBR1000RR Superbike) says: "To be honest, I’d much rather swap this pole position and the one at Magny-Cours for two good results tomorrow, but I’m still very happy with today.

"I’m enjoying riding the bike so much right now and go out with a smile on my face in every session. We had quite a different strategy with tyres today but it looks like being quite a difficult race with the temperatures here and we think the race will probably start around lap ten. For now though, we’ll just savour the moment and I’ll try my best tomorrow, which is another day after all."

Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati 1198 R Superbike) says: "It’s a special weekend for many reasons and we are of course extremely satisfied to be on the front row. I was able to make a great lap and go under 1m42 which is a very good result but Johnny was stronger here today. We’re here to fight and tomorrow I want to be as competitive as ever. We will stay focused on tomorrow’s races and try to do our best."

2011 Portimao World Superbike: Superpole Results

1. Jonathan Rea Honda GBR 1’41.712
2. Carlos Checa Ducati ESP 1’41.951
3. Eugene Laverty Yamaha GBR 1’42.173
4. Marco Melandri Yamaha ITA 1’42.259
5. Sylvain Guintoli Ducati FRA 1’42.627
6. Jakub Smrz Ducati CZE 1’42.710
7. Joan Lascorz Kawasaki ESP 1’43.282
8. Noriyuki Haga Aprilia JPN 1’43.307
9. Ayrton Badovini BMW ITA 1’42.645
10. Tom Sykes Kawasaki GBR 1’42.740
11. Leon Haslam BMW GBR 1’42.879
12. Leon Camier Aprilia GBR 1’43.012
13. Maxime Berger Ducati FRA 1’43.306
14. Michel Fabrizio Suzuki ITA 1’43.661
15. Davide Giugliano Ducati ITA 1’43.683