Jonathan Rea admitted a late error in the final sector of his final lap cost him the WSBK pole position at a drenched Magny-Cours on Sunday.
The newly crowned world champion looked set to better Leon Haslam's time with his last lap of the day, posting three fastest sectors on the way to the finish line.
But he would lose valuable time in the final sector to finish just 0.004s short of Haslam's time and take second on the grid – and he admits the fault was his.
“I was so nervous because going down the last hill into the final complex it is like a sheet of water and there were no riders in front to make a line,” said Rea. “Every lap I was so nervous there. I saw on the big screen that my sectors were red, red, red, meaning I was fastest but I just bottled it in the last part!
“Everything was going good earlier in Superpole and I was P2, P2 and then the red flag came. I went back to pitlane and nobody was in the Superpole enclosure. My crew chief Pere said, 'pitlane opens again in ten seconds.'
“So I had to go again, with the same tyres. The problem is keeping heat in the tyres because I had slowed down and come back into pitlane. I had some moments on my out lap under deceleration, which is the main issue we need to improve in wet conditions. But it was fun.”