Reigning WorldSBK champion Jonathan Rea bagged the final pole position of the year under the floodlights of Losail this evening, taking top spot by two-tenths from the Yamaha of Alex Lowes with Sandro Cortese pulling off a surprise third place.
Rea went to the Pirelli qualifier early and set a 1’56.246 - a tenth off Tom Sykes’ circuit best - which went unchallenged while Lowes, for the first race at least, has a healthy margin over his championship third place rival with team-mate Michael van der Mark in eighth and Toprak Razgatlioglu in tenth.
It was not a good session for Chaz Davies. The Aruba Ducati man, who was fastest yesterday, finds himself down in 12th place and almost 1.5s off the pace, unable to make the most of the extra grip the Q-tyre offers.
The second row will be headed by BMW’s Sykes in fourth place on the time sheets, while Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) was 0.762 seconds behind Rea and in fifth place.
A late fight from Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team) saw him up to sixth after his tough opening day, despite getting in behind Eugene Laverty on his fastest lap.
One time clear championship leader Alvaro Bautista was seventh, and just over a second slower than Rea.
Van der Mark (Yamaha) placed eighth, a resurgent Markus Reiterberger (BMW Motorrad) ninth and the top ten was rounded out by a relatively muted Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing).
Leon Camier finished one place behind old mate Davies and in his final WorldSBK race weekend Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha) qualified 17th on the grid, one place behind Laverty.