Reigning World Champion Tom Sykes improved his morning session time, but the Kawasaki Racing Team rider was edged out by Rea.
Alcaniz (Spain) - Round 2 of the eni World Superbike Championship got underway in near perfect conditions at MotorLand Aragon with Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) having the honour of topping the first European day of the season.
Reigning World Champion Tom Sykes improved his morning session time, but the Kawasaki Racing Team rider was edged out by Rea, who ensured that his last lap of the day at the Spanish track would keep him at the top of the standings.
Sykes was therefore 2nd ahead of Aragon wizard Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team) who moved up to 3rd. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team), Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) and Aprilia’s Marco Melandri completed the top 6.
In the EVO category Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing Ducati) held on to tenth position despite a late crash. Local rider David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) ended the day as the 3rd placed EVO rider in 14th just behind the returning Leon Camier (BMW Motorrad Italia).
The other Spaniard in the field Toni Elias had a difficult day, the Red Devils Aprilia only managing 12th position.
Bimota on the other hand had an encouraging start to their return to superbike competition with Ayrton Badovini and Christian Iddon finishing in 17th and 21st.
There is one more free practice session tomorrow morning which gives the riders currently placed 21st and below the chance to make the grid deciding Tissot-Superpole.
Times: 1. Rea (Honda) 1'58.180 average 162.789 kph; 2. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'58.417; 3. Davies (Ducati) 1'58.575; 4. Baz (Kawasaki) 1'58.579; 5. Giugliano (Ducati) 1'58.717; 6. Melandri (Aprilia) 1'58.763; 7. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1'58.855; 8. Laverty (Suzuki) 1'58.971; 9. Haslam (Honda) 1'59.103; 10. Canepa (Ducati) 1'59.861; 11. Lowes (Suzuki) 2'00.309; 12. Elias (Aprilia) 2'00.480; 13. Corti (MV Agusta) 2'00.749; 14. Camier (BMW) 2'00.966; 15. Salom (Kawasaki) 2'01.032; 16. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 2'01.076; 17. Badovini (Bimota) 2'01.463; 18. Foret (Kawasaki) 2'01.511; 19. Morais (Kawasaki) 2'01.801; 20. Toth (BMW) 2'02.672; 21. Iddon (Bimota) 2'02.709; 22. Fabrizio (Kawasaki) 2'02.716; 23. Scassa (Kawasaki) 2'03.138; 24. Andreozzi (Kawasaki) 2'03.217; 25. Yates (EBR) 2'04.075; 26. Sebestyen (BMW) 2'05.570; 27. May (EBR) 2'05.593.