First pole of the season for Rea

Jonathan Rea will start his first World Superbike race of this season from pole position after beating Tom Sykes in qualifying at Magny-Cours.

Qualifying for the French round of the World Superbike championship took place on a wet Magny-Cours circuit.

Sylvain Guintoli fired the opening salvo with a 1:58.945 but quickly began to drop down the order.

Rea was leading at the halfway point with a 1:54.657, which put him 1.2s up on his team-mate Sykes.

The championship leader continued to lay down hot laps, lowering the benchmark to a 1:52.881.

Sykes was his nearest challenger but finished a massived 0.712s down. Chaz Davies joined the Kawasaki pairing on the front row of the grid.

Guintoli, Leon Camier – who crashed late in the session – and Michael van der Mark will make up the second row of the grid.

Earlier in SP1, 36-year-old Frenchman Matthieu Lagrive surprised as he progressed to SP2 along with Nicky Hayden. They qualified P9 and P7 respectively with the American ahead on the Honda.

Davide Giugliano missed out, finishing in 13th place overal.

1 Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R 1:52.881s
2 Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R 1:53.593s
3 Chaz Davies Racing Ducati 1199R 1:54.087s
4 Sylvain Guintoli Pata Crescent Yamaha R1 1:54.574s
5 Leon Camier MV Agusta RC F4 RR 1:55.303s
6 Michael van der Mark Honda Racing CBR1000RR 1:55.334s
7 Nicky Hayden Honda Racing CBR1000RR 1:55.529s
8 Lorenzo Savadori IodaRacing Aprilia RSV4 1:55.811s
9 Matthieu Lagrive Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:56.744s
10 Xavi Fores Barni Ducati 1199R 1:56.878s
11 Alex Lowes PATA Crescent Yamaha R1 1:57.547s
12 Jordi Torres Althea BMW S1000RR 1:58.353s
13 Davide Giugliano Racing Ducati 1199R 1:56.494s
14 Josh Brookes Milwaukee BMW S1000RR 1:57.312s
15 Alex de Angelis IodaRacing Aprilia RSV4 1:57.355s
16 Luca Scassa VFT Racing Ducati Panigale R 1:57.475s
17 Roman Ramos GO Eleven Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:58.421s
18 Karel Abraha Milwaukee BMW S1000RR 1:58.765s
19 Matthieu Lussiana Team ASPI BMW S1000RR 1:59.363s
20 Markus Reiterberger Althea BMW S1000RR 1:59.800s
21 Peter Sebestyen Team Toth Yamaha R1 2:00.463s
22 Alex Plancassagne 3ART Yamaha YZF-R1 2:01.140s
23 Gianluca Vizziello Grillini Kawasaki ZX-10R 2:02.231s
24 Imre Toth Team Toth Yamaha R1 2:02.495s
25 Dominic Schmitter Grillini Kawasaki ZX-10R 2:06.811s
26 Saeed al Sulaiti Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R 2:07.317s