Magny-Cours WSBK: Rea breaks records on the way to pole01/10/2011
By David Miller
Image by Paul Sturman
Jonathan Rea 1'37.460
Eugene Laverty 1'37.600
Carlos Checa 1'37.932
Castrol Honda's Jonathan Rea has broken the Magny-Cours Superbike circuit record on his way to the World Superbike pole position at the French track this afternoon but had to fend off a charge by Yamaha's Eugene Laverty who was also under Cal Crutchlow's 2010 time.
Laverty was first to set a fast time with his 1'37.600 but Rea bettered it by 0.110 while Alitalia Aprilia's Leon Camier pulled a Superpole performance out of nowhere to take third, only to be deposed by world champion-elect Carlos Checa right at the end of the session.
Liberty Ducati's Sylvain Guintoli is at the head of row two at his home race while Tom Sykes' PBM Kawasaki is right next to him. Leon Haslam put his works BMW in seventh and is one place ahead of Marco Melandri on the second factory YZF-R1.
Tom Sykes 1'37.650
Sylvain Guintoli 1'37.708
Leon Haslam 1'37.769
Sykes' sole flying lap was fast enough to break Crutchlow's circuit lap record and he was sitting at the head of a British top five until Frenchman Guintoli saw fit to go second fastest with his final circulation, punting Haslam down to third.
Checa was the man in trouble, sitting in eighth place as he crossed the line for his last lap but his luck ran with him as the four riders who were able to push him into the relegation zone were all in the pits at the time, so had no bearing on the Spaniard's progress.
Carlos Checa 1'37.780
Sylvain Guintoli 1'37.818
Tom Sykes 1'38.020
Checa rescued himself from 13th place with the fastest lap of the weekend so far to park himself at the top of the timesheet with seconds to spare, knocking a resurgent Camier into fourth place but the former BSB man set a 1'38.075 on a race tyre, saving stickies for the remaining sessions.
Guintoli was another man in trouble with only a few minutes left but did the same as fellow Ducati man Checa. Current series runner-up Melandri looked certain to be eliminated until he pulled a last sector out of the bag to go 11th fastest. Haga found some pace after his spill in the final free practice session to finish sixth while Corser was also a late qualifier.
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