Reigning WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea bagged the Superpole race win at San Juan today and took advantage of the much cooler track conditions to set a new lap record in the process.
Rea nicked the lead from poleman and race one winner Alvaro Bautista on lap one and never looked back, crossing the line with a three-second advantage despite a near crash on lap eight with Toprak Razgatlioglu taking the last podium spot.
With the lights going out, the drag race down to the tight turn one was important, with Bautista leading ahead of Rea, while Razgatliolgu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) made it up to third. At Turn 6, Rea hit the front and sat Bautista up, hitting the front and immediately pulled clear.
Behind the leading three, Chaz Davies and Michael van der Mark (Yamaha) collided on the exit of turn nine. Out front, Rea led Bautista with Razgatlioglu holding onto third ahead of Alex Lowes. It was a disaster at the end of the opening lap for Loris Baz, as he crashed at Turn 16 in another highside.
The lap times came down dramatically and Rea was setting new lap records each time, but the fights further down were beginning to come alive. Davies made it ahead of van der Mark eventually before chasing down Lowes, taking fourth on Lap 5.
Behind them, Leon Haslam and Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) were coming from outside the top ten, running eighth and ninth respectively. Also featuring inside the top ten and enjoying strong rides were Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) in seventh and Leon Camier (Moriwaki Honda), who completed the top ten.
With two laps to go, Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) broke into the top ten, pinching tenth from Camier and then, setting off after Haslam and Sykes on the final lap. Soon enough, the Argentine rider was right in the mix and got on Sykes’ case, although he was unable to make his way ahead of the 2013 WorldSBK Champion.