Rea and Fores also in top three as action gets underway at Phillip Island
As the first day of action of the 2017 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship commenced at Phillip Island on Friday it was Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) who topped the timesheets in FP1 with a best time of 1’30.189.
Davies took over at the top towards the end of free practice from World Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team), who finished second by a +0.066 margin having led much of the session.
Spanish BARNI Racing Team rider Xavi Fores was third on his Ducati, just under three tenths off Davies’ P1 time.
Rea’s colleague Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) was fourth, with the top five completed by the returning Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati).
Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team), Nicky Hayden (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team), Markus Reiterberger (Althea BMW Racing Team), Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) and Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) completed the top ten.
In the first ten minutes of the session an engine fault for Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) saw him pull off track, with a red flag briefly coming out as a precaution due to a an oil leak from Camier’s machine, though the action soon got back underway. Camier concluded FP1 in 11th place.
Newcomer Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) ran off track at turn 4 at one stage in his first official WorldSBK session and the German ended up 15th on the timesheet.
Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) spectacularly saved a huge wobble at turn 11 late in the session and finished 13th.
The WorldSBK riders will back in action on Friday afternoon at the Yamaha Finance Australian Round for FP2 at 2.30pm local time.