WSBK Assen: Jonathan Rea second fastest in qualifying

Jonathan Rea
Jonathan Rea

World Superbike Championship leader Jonathan Rea has qualified on the front row in second place for Sunday’s fourth round of the series at Assen in The Netherlands.

The Northern Ireland rider was denied pole position by his Kawasaki team-mate Tom Sykes at the legendary track by 0.131 seconds, with Sykes posting the fastest time in 1m 34.789s on the Ninja ZX-10R.

Red Devils Aprilia rider Leon Haslam was third fastest followed by Ducati’s Chaz Davies, Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda) and Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Alex Lowes, who round out the first six.

Rea, who leads Haslam at the top of the standings by 26 points after winning four of the six races held so far this season, said: “I am happy to be on the front row because it is important here at Assen and also I have a strong race pace so it gives me a chance to be in the front at least.

“My lap was a good one but I made some small mistakes. Tom did a good job and that is an impressive lap time with the 2015 regulations in place.

“I really did want the pole position today because when I felt the qualifying tyre on the out lap, I though I could give it a go. I just overcooked it in T1 and it upset the next two corners,” he added.

“When I saw the lap time I knew we could be competitive for the front row but not for pole position.”