World Superbike Superpole qualifying was twenty five minutes of everyone out at once to get the best time they can. The new surface, coupled with a lack of overnight rain, ensured that Marco Melandri's qualifying record from 2017 was up for grabs.
After one lap, Alex Lowes knocked Sandro Cortese off the top spot with a 1'38.972 on normal race tyres, ahead of Jonathan Rea and the third Yamaha of Michael van der Mark fourth quickest. A lap later, Alvaro Bautista took second place as riders started to pit in for a tea break.
Michael van der Mark and Jonathan Rea didn't pit in and instead improved their places with van der Mark improving to fourth quickest and Rea taking the top spot with a 1'38.743 on race rubber, the new surface allowing the qualifying lap record to be broken on normal tyres.
Alex Lowes was the first out on the qualifying tyre and he set a target of 1'38.734 on an empty track, only nine thousandths quicker than Rea's best time on race rubber. After he crossed the line, everyone else pouted out of the pits and aimed at his time.
Jonathan Rea was a quarter of a second up on the first sector and maintained that advantage around the rest of the track and ended the lap quickest, half a second up, only to be joined by Alvaro Bautista and a surprising Marco Melandri on the front row.
As the clock ran out, nobody was able to catch the top guys and the front row was decided. Jonathan Rea took pole position with a new record of 1'38.247, fending off Alvaro Bautista and the previous record holder Marco Melandri on the front row. Alex Lowes headed the second row ahead of Alex Lowes, Leon Haslam and Tom Sykes.
As the fight between Rea and Bautista continues, the Yamahas are a real threat at Jerez.
|1||1||J. REA||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1'38.247||274,5|
|2||19||A. BAUTISTA||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1'38.283||0.036||286,5|
|3||33||M. MELANDRI||Yamaha YZF R1||1'38.498||0.251||278,6|
|4||22||A. LOWES||Yamaha YZF R1||1'38.734||0.487||275,1|
|5||91||L. HASLAM||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1'38.762||0.515||280,0|
|6||66||T. SYKES||BMW S1000 RR||1'38.846||0.599||273,1|
|7||60||M. VAN DER MARK||Yamaha YZF R1||1'38.849||0.602||275,8|
|8||81||J. TORRES||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1'38.899||0.652||271,1|
|9||11||S. CORTESE||Yamaha YZF R1||1'39.077||0.830||275,1|
|10||21||M. RINALDI||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1'39.090||0.843||282,9|
|11||54||T. RAZGATLIOGLU||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1'39.330||1.083||273,8|
|12||7||C. DAVIES||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1'39.649||1.402||278,6|
|13||36||L. MERCADO||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1'39.712||1.465||274,5|
|14||28||M. REITERBERGER||BMW S1000 RR||1'39.890||1.643||275,8|
|15||76||L. BAZ||Yamaha YZF R1||1'39.999||1.752||268,5|
|16||46||T. BRIDEWELL||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1'40.376||2.129||275,8|
|17||72||Y. TAKAHASHI||Honda CBR1000RR||1'40.738||2.491||275,8|
|18||52||A. DELBIANCO||Honda CBR1000RR||1'40.747||2.500||275,1|
|19||23||R. KIYONARI||Honda CBR1000RR||1'40.846||2.599||273,8|