KRT one-two with van der Mark completing the top 3 in red-flagged session
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) set the early pace in Free Practice 1 as Round 11 of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship kicked off at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours. In what could be a historic weekend for the rider from Northern Ireland as he pursues his fourth consecutive world title, Rea led the 40-minute session from the opening stages with a final best time of 1’37.202.
Kawasaki’s big weekend – they are also seeking the manufacturers title at Magny-Cours – began in fantastic fashion as Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) took second place, 0.522 seconds behind his teammate. The man from Yorkshire is seeking his fourth French victory this weekend, after winning three on the trot between 2012 and 2013.
Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) took third place on the timesheets with his final lap, edging just ahead of fellow Yamaha rider Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team), who also improved his best lap after the flag came down.
Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) was back amongst the best in FP1, taking fifth place on the timesheets, with teammate Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) in ninth.
Leading independent rider Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team) was sixth in the opening session and the leading Ducati, as Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) could only record the seventh fastest time, while Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was unable to set a time after suffering an issue early in FP1.
The session was momentarily red-flagged with 2:02 minutes to go due to a high-speed crash from Tati Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) at the final chicane.
Watch Free Practice 2 from 12:30 local time (10:30 GMT) at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours thanks to WorldSBK VideoPass.