Rea beats Sykes for first Superpole of 2016
Jonathan Rea has notched up his first Superpole success of the 2016 season by beating Kawasaki team-mate Tom Sykes in the wet conditions at Magny-Cours.
Having dominated to an emphatic victory in the wet at the Lausitzring las time out, the current World Superbike championship leader headed proceedings over the opening phases with a run of consistent fastest laps.
After the opening blast of qualifying laps Pata Yamaha's Sylvain Guintoli and Aruba.it Racing Ducati's Chaz Davies kept the factory Kawasaki duo in close company but as the top two turned up the speed in the second runs it became a two-way tussle for pole position.
Sykes looked to have set a very high benchmark with a provisional pole time of 1m 53.593s but with conditions slowly drying and riders continuing to find the full limits of grip Rea produced a 1m 52.881s to go seven-tenths clear at the chequered flag.
Davies won the battle for the final place on the front row over Guintoli while Leon Camier on the MV Agusta had to settle for fifth after a small slip off curtailed his session a couple of minutes early.
Michael van der Mark got the better of Honda team-mate Nicky Hayden to take sixth while the American rider is joined by IodaRacing Aprilia's Lorenzo Savadori and Pedercini Kawasaki's Matthieu Lagrive on row three.
Xavi Fores, who claimed his maiden World Superbike podium in the wet last time out in Germany, couldn't reproduce the same single lap pace in the wet and will start 10th as Alex Lowes and Jordi Torres rounded out the Superpole 2 contenders.
Davide Giugliano was the unlucky rider to narrowly miss out on progression from Superpole 1, and also suffered a small crash on his out lap in qualifying and will start 13th ahead of Milwaukee BMW's Josh Brookes and Alex de Angelis on the second IodaRacing Aprilia.