Rea Controls Nurburgring Session

Paul Carruthers | September 4, 2009

Hannspree Ten Kate Honda’s Jonathan Rea dominated the opening qualifying session for Sunday’s two World Superbike races at the Nurburgring in Germany, the Brit ending up half a second quicker than countryman Tom Skyes at the end of the session that was held in iffy conditions.After ending up second to Noriyuki Haga in the first practice session this morning, Rea took control of the timed session pretty much from the start and he was able to hold the top spot the very end, lapping at a best of 2:11.278.Sykes moved to second with just a minute and a half to go, the Yamaha factory rider ending up .503 of a second behind Rea. Troy Corser also put himself near the top at the end of the session, the Australian riding the factory BMW to the third quickest time with a 2:12.086. The final spot on the provisional front row went to Xerox Ducati’s Michel Fabrizio, the Italian just over a second off Rea’s best.Fifth fastest went to World Championship points leader Haga, the Japanese rider having led the practice session this morning as he appears to have put his post summer-break injuries behind him. Behind Haga came Shane Byrne, the Brit having been second for most of the session prior to crashing out.Another Brit was seventh – Stiggy Honda’s Leon Haslam, the CBR1000RR-mounted Haslam just a few ticks quicker than Jakub Smrz.Then came Ryuchi Kiyonari, Carlos Checa… and Ben Spies. Spies, who was mired back in 21st and 4.2 seconds off Rea’s best with just a few minutes to go, managed to cut a faster lap on his very final go-around in his first visit to the German circuit. That lap was a 2:13.898 and it bumped him up to 11th. Still, he is 2.6 seconds behind Rea.Californian John Hopkins ended the session in 21st – 3.971 seconds behind Rea.

Friday Qualifying

1.                  Jonathan Rea (Honda) 2:11.278

2.                  Tom Sykes (Yamaha) 2:11.781

3.                  Troy Corser (BMW) 2:12.086

4.                  Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) 2:12.354

5.                  Noriyuki Haga (Ducati) 2:12.635

6.                  Shane Byrne (Ducati) 2:12.819

7.                  Leon Haslam (Honda) 2:12.979

8.                  Jakub Smrz (Ducati) 2:13.089

9.                  Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) 2:13.215

10.                  Carlos Checa (Honda) 2:13.550

11.                  Ben Spies (Yamaha) 2:13.89821. John Hopkins (Honda) 2:15.249

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.