10 years after his first race win, Rea marched to the top of the standings after the opening session at Misano!
The first session of the 2019 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” took place in warm weather conditions under a clear blue sky and proved to be a close one. Round seven of the championship is set to be a thrilling encounter, as Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) took the top spot ahead of Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) and Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati).
Having taken his first WorldSBK win exactly ten years ago today, Rea hit the front in the early stages before improving with 24 minutes left. Rea ended FP1 on top, whilst Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) put in a strong late run to finish in second place, ahead of championship leader Alvaro Bautista, who completed the top three. Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) came home in fourth whilst Chaz Davies had a strong start to the weekend and rounded out the top five.
Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was in the front group in sixth, with the 2013 WorldSBK champion starting his weekend strongly. Home-favourite Marco Melandri (GRT WorldSBK) was the top Italian after FP1 in seventh, ahead of Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) and Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing), as the 22-year-old Turkish rider completed the top ten.
It was a mixed session for the wildcards, as Samuele Cavalieri (Motocorsa Racing) was 13th whilst Michele Pirro (BARNI Racing Team) took a heavy tumble at Turn 13, although was OK and returned to the circuit later on to finish 14th. Alessandro Delbianco (Althea Mie Racing Team) was top Honda at his home circuit, in 19th place.
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Top six after FP1, for full results, click here!
- Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’36.029
- Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +0.196
- Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +0.234
- Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +0.351
- Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +0.515
- Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +0.526