As the riders lined up for the 21 lap race, Jonathan Rea was the only rider with the super-soft SCX tyre on the back of his bike, with Toprak Razgatlioglu and Scott Redding opting to use the standard SC0 Pirelli. Rea also lined up with the development front tyre. The track was 37ºC, a little warmer than the tyres like.
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World Superbike Superpole qualifying took place under a 21ºC sunny sky and a track temperature of 31ºC. Scott Redding was quickest in this morning's FP3, but the biggest news is the absence of a BMW team, with Eugene Laverty's team undergoing "internal restructuring" causing their absence.
World Supersport qualifying culminates in Superpole, twenty minutes to determine the grid for this afternoon's race. Dominique Aegerter and Steven Odendaal dominated qualifying yesterday, and are favourites for the top two places.
Scott Redidng went quickest, ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu, but Jonathan Rea and Garrett Gerloff's times from yesterday keeps them on the provisional front row.
Dominique Aegerter took the top spot from Steven Odendaal, the pair setting exceedingly close times once again. Manuel Gonzales and Philipp Oettl also swapped places from this morning's session, ending the session third and fourth quickest, over a half second off the pace of the leading two.
Four bikes in the top four for this session, and not a Ducati amongst them. Jonathan Rea held off Garrett Gerloff and Alvaro Bautista with Tom Sykes maintaining his morning's form to make the BMW look good. Scott Redding was seventh quickest, but his morning time keeps him third quickest overall.
Steven Odendaal and Dominique Aegerter were within lap record pace, with Philipp Oettl the only other rider withing seven tenths of a second. Yamaha R6s made up seven of the top eight places.
Scott Redding is quickest at Assen, a traditionally Ducati track, with Jonathan Rea second quickest ahead of the Ducatis of Chaz Davies and Michael Ruben Rinaldi. Toprak Razgatlioglu is the only other rider within half a second of Redding's best time while Tom Sykes held off talk-of-the-town Garrett Gerloff, who has just re-signed with Yamaha for another year.
As the riders left their garages to setup on the grid, the rain came down, but it had stopped by the time the teams left the riders on the grid to race and everyone settled on the softest tyre as the track hit 35ºC.
Another wet morning brought out intermediate and wet tyres for ten laps around the hard-braking short Donington Park.
Superbikes return to Donington Park, home of the first World Superbike race in 1988, and the UK brought out its finest dreary weather for Saturday, punishing riders throughout the morning's Superpole session. The rain eased off before the race and the track was dry enough for slick tyres, although still too cold for most riders to choose the SCX sprint tyre that's been favoured in recent races. In the absence of Supersport racing, with Brexit and Covid coinciding to cause uncertainty in the costs when the calendar was being written up, the wet weekend feels a little less packed than usual, especially with the circuit limiting attendance to just four thousand spectators.
World Superbike Superpole was wet and cold, but the rain held off.
Leon Haslam opened the session with a 1'42.206 on his first flying lap, slower than Jonathan Rea's fastest time this morning. Rea replied on his second lap with a 1'41.550, with Alex Lowes half a second behind him as Haslam pitted in.
With rain drenching the opening session, Jonathan Rea was consistently quickest throughout the thirty minutes on track, ahead of his teammate Alex Lowes. Leon Haslam was unsurprisingly in third place with Tom Sykes rounding out a British top four. Garrett Gerloff, learni ng his third track in three weekends, followed up on his Friday's top spot with a wet fifth place. Scott Redding crashed out at the Melbourne Loop, ending the session in twelfth place. The weather will likely remain wet all day.
With the English weather looking to be unpredictable all weekend, Garrett Gerloff, back from a stint in MotoGP, used an SCX tyre to set the fastest time of the day, over three tenths quicker than Jonathan Rea who couldn't improve on his morning's time. Toprak Razgatlioglu, who finished in second place here in 2018, was third quickest ahead of Alex Lowes. Scott Redding held off Michael Ruben Rinaldi with local lad Leon Haslam seventh quickest.
Jonathan Rea topped the morning's session ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu and Tom Sykes, with Michael Ruben Rinaldi quickest Ducati in fourth.