Jonathan Rea heads into tomorrow’s final free practice session ahead of Tissot-Superpole as the fastest rider in the combined classification.
Imola (Italy) - As the opening day of on track action at Imola draws to a close, Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) heads into tomorrow’s final free practice session ahead of Tissot-Superpole as the fastest rider in the combined classification.
A fire in the adjoining park close to the circuit brought out the red flags after only 7 minutes after major improvements already for Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) who had jumped to 9th and Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) who had both also improved on their morning time.
When the session resumed virtually all of the riders improved, which was to be expected, with Jonathan Rea leading the standings from Sykes and Melandri but another red flag with 12 minutes of the session remaining meant another short stoppage before the session could finally resume.
Eventually with the stoppage reaching almost 45 minutes, the decision to cancel the on track activity for today was made due to a broken drainage cover at Turn 4.
The top ten riders were therefore classified as Jonathan Rea, Tom Sykes, Marco Melandri, Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team), Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team), Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team), Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) and the fastest EVO rider Leon Camier (BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike Team).
As it stands Michel Fabrizio (Iron Brain Grillini Kawasaki) is 20th and therefore the final rider to make into Tissot-Superpole. There is of course once final session tomorrow morning for everyone to improve.
Free Practice 1
Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) was the fastest rider in the opening Free Practice session at Imola this morning. Riding in the hottest conditions of the season so far, the Italian ended the session marginally quicker than his nearest rival, Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team).
From the start of the session both Aprilia Racing Team riders (Sylvain Guintoli and Marco Melandri) set the pace with reigning Champion Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) in hot pursuit. As the riders settled into their rhythm the lap times tumbled and several riders challenged for the number one spot, but at the flag it was Giuglinao who ended FP1 on top with a time of 1.48.329 to edge out Rea who improved to second ahead of Guintoli with his final lap.
Behind Giugliano, Rea and Guintoli the top six was completed by Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team), Marco Melandri and Tom Sykes. David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) would end up the fastest rider in the EVO category, finishing a respectable 9th overall and only 1.7s from Giugliano and 0.2s faster than wildcard rider Ivan Goi (Barni Racing Team Ducati) who was the second EVO classified rider. Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) struggled throughout the session with set-up, managing only one flying lap to finish 18th.
Times: 1. Rea (Honda) 1'48.147 average 164.310 kph; 2. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'48.187; 3. Melandri (Aprilia) 1'48.261; 4. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1'48.323; 5. Giugliano (Ducati) 1'48.329; 6. Davies (Ducati) 1'48.592; 7. Haslam (Honda) 1'48.999; 8. Laverty (Suzuki) 1'49.259; 9. Baz (Kawasaki) 1'49.600; 10. Camier (BMW) 1'49.610; 11. Lowes (Suzuki) 1'49.710; 12. Goi (Ducati) 1'49.920; 13. Canepa (Ducati) 1'50.015; 14. Salom (Kawasaki) 1'50.103; 15. Badovini (Bimota) 1'50.228; 16. Elias (Aprilia) 1'50.370; 17. Iddon (Bimota) 1'50.609; 18. Scassa (Kawasaki) 1'50.926; 19. Corti (MV Agusta) 1'51.034; 20. Fabrizio (Kawasaki) 1'51.357; 21. Andreozzi (Kawasaki) 1'51.544; 22. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 1'51.572; 23. Foret (Kawasaki) 1'51.581; 24. Morais (Kawasaki) 1'51.707; 25. Toth (BMW) 1'52.445; 26. May (EBR) 1'54.669; 27. Sebestyen (BMW) 1'55.102; NC. Yates (EBR) 1'56.225.