Rea back in top form in Czech Round FP3

Friday, 8 June 2018 15:38 GMT

KRT one-two at the end of the day in session conditioned by red flag

After a rare winless round at Donington Park, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was back in full form at Brno on Friday, taking the best time in Free Practice 3 and the overall Friday sessions, and showing that the reigning champion is still very much the man to beat on the weekend. Behind him, Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) completed another KRT Friday one-two, with Marco Melandri ( Racing – Ducati) in third.

With the first free practice throwing out unusual results due to the damp track conditions, it was the FP2 times that represented the bar to beat for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship riders in the final afternoon session. Running again on a dry track, only eight riders managed to improve their earlier times – one of those the championship leader, cutting 0.045 seconds off his best lap.

With Sykes running half a second off his previous best and Melandri – the last WorldSBK winner at Brno – not quite able to better his marks, it was Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) who took the second best time in FP3 and fourth overall on the day. The Italian thus makes it into the Superpole 2 again, confirming that he is extracting more out of the Aprilia each passing race.

Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) managed to take the fifth best time of the day, with Chaz Davies ( Racing – Ducati) in sixth, over half a second behind Rea out in front. Donington double marvel Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) did improve his best lap time in FP3, rising up to seventh on the day.

Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Junior Team) created more headlines in the final session of the day – although perhaps not how he intended to. The Italian, who led the timesheets in FP1, was running seventh overall and second in the final session’s timesheets when an engine failure left him out of action and the track filled with smoke and oil, forcing a red flag with nine minutes to go. His final time of 2’00.191 was enough however to keep him in eighth position and keep his slot in tomorrow’s Superpole 2.

The final two riders to make it directly into the Superpole 2 tomorrow were Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) in ninth and Loris Baz (GULF ALTHEA BMW Racing Team) just behind in tenth. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) couldn’t follow up his maiden WorldSBK podium with a good start at Brno, crashing early into FP3 and only recording the 18th best lap time.

An intriguing qualifying lies ahead! The WorldSBK Superpole 1 starts tomorrow from 10:30 local time (08:30 GMT), with lights out in Race 1 at 13:00 (11:00). Catch all of the action thanks to the WorldSBK VideoPass.