FIRST BLUE POLE: Rea takes maiden Yamaha pole position at Assen as he fends off Bulega, Bautista P7

Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) claimed his first pole position for Yamaha in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship after a dramatic Tissot Superpole session at the TT Circuit Assen. The #65 had endured a difficult start to life in blue but he mastered the wet-but-drying conditions perfectly to take pole position at a circuit he’s enjoyed so much success at, with Rea joined on the front row by Championship leader Nicolo Bulega ( Racing – Ducati) and 2021 Champion Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team).

SOME RAIN FALLS AGAIN: wet but a rapidly drying track…

Rain started falling just seconds before the pit lane opened to add even more drama to the 15-minute session, although the worst of the track conditions were towards the end of the lap even with constant improvement. At the halfway stage of the session, Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) was the pacesetter with a 1’43.444s before he went even faster on his next lap to post a 1’43.026s and even further to a 1’42.650s, showing the track evolution as it dried out, although he did face competition from Nicolo Bulega ( Racing – Ducati) who was just a tenth away from the #65.

TAKING A FRONT ROW: Rea to lead away the grid

Despite the track drying, times didn’t improve too much with Rea able to hold on to claim a first Yamaha pole position, and making it poles with three different manufacturers, joining Noriyuki Haga and Stephane Mertens and only behind Troy Corser with six. It’s his 44th pole position and his first in 203 days, with his last coming at Portimao last year, while it was also Great Britain’s 160th pole position. He was 0.094s clear of Bulega, who had been so impressive in the fully wet FP3 session. He’s made it three front row starts in three rounds in his rookie season. Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) claiming third place with a 1’43.003s, around 0.353s down on Rea.

TWINS INSEPARABLE: Sam leads Alex in Superpole

The second row will feature Sam Lowes (ELF Marc VDS Racing Team) and twin brother Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), with the pair going from fourth and fifth respectively. Sam posted a 1’43.190s to lead his brother by just a couple of tenths and they’ll be hoping they battle each other on track potentially for a podium. Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) has been fast at Assen so far and secured a second row start as he looks for a first rostrum in WorldSBK.

CHAMPION WITH WORK TO DO: P7 for Bautista, Spinelli impresses

Defending Champion Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) will line up from the third row after taking seventh. It’s a season-best Superpole result for the #1 and he’ll be hoping he can repeat his feats from Australia and Barcelona where he was able to challenge for the podium. He’s joined on the front row by former teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team Motocorsa Racing) in eighth with Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven) in ninth. After a difficult weekend so far, Andrea Locatelli (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) will lead away the fourth row, joined by stand-in rider Nicholas Spinelli (Barni Spark Racing Team) who took 11th.

DRAMA FOR THE HOME HERO: tyre gamble fails to pay off…

Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) had tried a tyre gamble by pitting for fresh wet tyres but a crash at Turn 5 on his first flying lap with the new tyres ruined his chance of hauling himself up the order. After he didn’t pit following his crash, he lost his last lap time and will line up from 13th place.

The top six from WorldSBK Superpole, full results here:

1. Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) 1’42.650s

2. Nicolo Bulega ( Racing – Ducati) +0.094

3. Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +0.353s

4. Sam Lowes (ELF Marc VDS Racing Team) +0.540s

5. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.792s

6. Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +0.983s

Race 1 is up next, and you won’t want to miss it! Watch everything from 14:00 Local Time (UTC+2) using the WorldSBK VideoPass!


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