Five British riders amongst best six in Riviera di Rimini Round opener
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) has topped the timesheets in Free Practice 1 as the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship bikes kicked off what promises to be a scorcher of a weekend at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. The Laguna Seca double winner wasted little time to make his presence felt at the Pirelli Riviera di Rimini Round, keeping amongst the top two best times all throughout the forty-minute session.
Rea was briefly beaten to the punch by Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), before regaining his lead with 26 minutes left on the clock. His final time of 1’35.128 was over a tenth of a second faster than Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team), with the rider from Lincolnshire jumping up to second inside the final minute.
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) took some time to warm up to the Rimini track, finding his form in the final ten minutes and moving to third in the timesheets. Behind him, Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) was back in full force after a disappointing US Round, scoring the fourth fastest time of the opening session, and making it four different machines in the four top spots.
Sykes was finally fifth in FP1, less than half a second behind his teammate, with Davies ending the session in sixth position. Loris Baz (GULF ALTHEA BMW Racing Team) showed encouraging pace in the early Friday practice with the seventh fastest time, ahead of Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team) in eighth.
Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) followed up his Laguna Seca podium – his first in four years – with the ninth fastest time, just ahead of the Yamaha of Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) in tenth, and Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia), running at his home race, in eleventh and provisionally out of the Superpole 2 positions.
Catch Free Practice 2 LIVE from Misano Circuit at 12:30 local time (10:30 GMT) and relive all the action from FP1 thanks to the WorldSBK VideoPass.