Reigning WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea fended off a charge from points leader Alvaro Bautista to secure pole position at Jerez this morning by 0.036s.
The Kawasaki man, who rode out in tandem with team-mate Leon Haslam, had already gone under the lap record on race rubber but then slotted in a qualifying tyre to put in a 1’38.247 for his second pole of the year.
Ducati’s Bautista set a 1’38.283 while Marco Melandri found a lap from nowhere to grab the final front-row slot on the GRT Yamaha.
“It is so nice to be back on pole position, especially at Jerez as I have never got the pole here,” said Rea.
“I felt quite good this morning and our three stop strategy in Superpole was good - building, building our pace.”
It was Rea’s 18th career Superpole win, which makes him the stand-alone fifth best rider in history with Carl Fogarty his next target on 21.
Rea would remain on pole even after a late push by Bautista. Melandri made best use of recent riding position changes to go third fastest, 0.251 seconds from Rea, with Alex Lowes (Yamaha) fourth quickest and one of several riders under the old 2017 season track best, after WorldSBK missed out Jerez from the calendar in 2018.
Leon Haslam (Kawasaki) followed Rea for a time to help with his fifth best lap time, while all-time Superpole king Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad) was sixth and top S1000RR rider.
Michael van der Mark (Yamaha) placed seventh and in a remarkable performance for a rider who lost track time on day one, Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was eighth.
Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha) fell in Superpole but still finished ninth, with Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Barni Racing Team Ducati) tenth.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was 12th and Eugene Laverty’s replacement, Tommy Bridewell (Team GoEleven Ducati), 16th from 19 riders. Returning WorldSBK team Ten Kate Racing Yamaha finished 15th thanks to proven WorldSBK race winner, Loris Baz.