Nineteen-year-old Rea, who was fastest in Friday’s afternoon free practice session with a time of 1m32.331s, continued his strong performance aboard his Red Bull Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade and ran as high as second in today’s Audi Performance Qualifying.
With just eleven minutes of the session remaining, Louth-based Rea was running in an impressive third place on his Dunlop-shod machine. As the pace intensified and lap times tumbled in the closing stages of the fifty-minute session, the talented teenager settled for a solid sixth position
Meanwhile, Red Bull Honda Supersport rider Eugene Laverty qualified his Red Bull Honda CBR600RR in seventh place for the second round of the British Supersport Championship.
The 19-year-old from Toomebridge, lapped consistently in the top three for much of the morning session and ran as high as second in the difficult and cold conditions, finally finishing fourth overall.
Laverty was looking to improve in the afternoon, but an unfortunate mixture of heavy traffic and rain prevented him from doing so.
Jonathan Rea: “I’m pretty happy with qualifying as I set my fastest time on a race tyre and I’m confident I can run with the front runners. We’re now trying to push up at the front instead of settling for top ten, so that’s really good and I would like to thank my engineer Chris Pike as he’s really motivated me today.”
Eugene Laverty: “I’m not very pleased with my second qualifying session. I was fourth in the first but it started raining before I managed to get any quick laps in. It’s frustrating starting from the second row on the grid, but there’s no reason why I can’t get on the podium again tomorrow.”
Red Bull Honda Team Manager Havier Beltran: “We’re happy with the progress for both riders. They have both been working hard on race set-up, and it’s unfortunate that Eugene got duped in qualifying. Jonathan has been working really hard all weekend and we’re pleased his qualifying result.”
1, Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) 1m31.542s,
2, Karl Harris (HM Plant Honda) +0.539S,
3, Leon Haslam (Ducati) +0.747s,
4, Michael Rutter (Honda) +0.809s,
5, Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) + 0.811s,
6, Jonathan Rea (Red Bull Honda) +0.889s,
7, Michael Laverty (Honda) +0.954s,
8, James Haydon (Suzuki) +1.113s,
9, Shane Byrne (Suzuki) +1.152s,
10, Craig Coxhell (Kawasaki) +1.637s.
1, Tom Sykes (Suzuki) 1m35.439s,
2, Cal Crutchlow (Honda) +0.488s,
3, Simon Andrews (Yamaha) +1.206s,
4, Leon Camier (Honda) +1.373s,
5, Dennis Hobbs (Honda) +1.408s,
6, Stuart Easton (Ducati) +1.453s,
7, Eugene Laverty (Red Bull Honda) +1.487s,
8, Jamie Robinson (Honda) +1.712s,
9, Pere Riba (Kawasaki) +1.815s,
10, Jay Vincent (Honda) +1.907s.
The first 18-lap British Superbike race takes place at 12.00, with race two at 14.25 and the British Supersport race at 13.25. The ITV1 broadcast window is 14.05 to 15.05.