KRT rider quickest out the blocks at Donington
On a British summer’s day at the end of May, times tumbled quickly in the first few minutes of practice as Ducati’s Davide Giugliano led teammate Davies in the initial charge out the pits, before the fast laps started to come in and the 1’30 barrier started to come under threat. A run off for Markus Reiterberger was quickly recovered from, just as Tom Sykes pulled the pin and hit the top of the timesheets, the Yorkshireman’s characteristic Donington form immediately on show - before Chaz Davies hit back, with Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jonathan Rea in P3.
Sykes kept up the rhythm and shaved the tenths off his lap time to go down into the 1’28s after only a quarter of the session, before most riders returned to the pits for first adjustments. Reigning Champion Jonathan Rea was the first back out to start working on longer runs, with the Northern Irishman setting a number of consecutive fast lap times and trading red sectors with the best lap of the session.
The final fifteen minute showdown began with Ducati’s Davide Giugliano taking the top spot from his teammate Chaz Davies, before Tom Sykes took off four tenths to remind the grid he means business at the Derbyshire track, where he has won for the last six years. With 13 minutes remaining the Red Flag came out as a crash saw BMW rider Lussiana take a tumble in front of MV Agusta rider Leon Camier, but the session was soon resumed with Sykes still on top.
The Yorkshireman finished the first session of the weekend fastest with a 1:28.554, ahead of Ducati’s Davide Giugliano, defending title holder Jonathan Rea and second Aruba.it rider Chaz Davies as Kawasaki and Ducati led the way. Alex Lowes was the next fastest man on track as the recovering Pata Yamaha rider put in great session to take P5 despite having broken his collarbone in Sepang, just ahead of MV Agusta’s Leon Camier to make it five Brits in the top 6.
Roman Ramos took a great P7 for Team GOELEVEN, ahead of Honda World Superbike Team’s Nicky Hayden, fresh from his victory in Malaysia: his first in WorldSBK. Lorenzo Savadori took P9 for Aprilia on his IodaRacing machine, ahead of Barni Racing’s Xavi Forés in P10 and his IodaRacing teammate Alex De Angelis in P11. Jordi Torres was the quickest BMW of the first session in P12 for Althea, with the top 15 completed by Milwaukee BMW’s Karel Abraham, VFT Racing’s Luca Scassa and second Althea machine Markus Reiterberger.