Imola WSBK: Davies, Rea set identical times in practice

Ducati's Chaz Davies topped Friday's World Superbike running at Imola with an identical 1m46.686s laptime to Kawasaki rider Jonathan Rea.

Championship leader Rea led the opening session by almost four tenths of a second with a 1m46.951s ahead of Davies, who comes to Imola looking for his third successive double at the Italian circuit.

Ten Kate Honda's Leon Camier was 12th at the end of FP1 despite a crash in the closing stages, and was declared fit to continue for the remainder of the weekend, having missed the last round at Assen with injury.

However, the Briton opted to withdraw from the weekend after FP2, with British Superbike star Jason O'Halloran taking his place.

Aprilia's Eugene Laverty also made his return to action since his horror Thailand crash having been cleared to participate on Thursday, and was ninth after FP1, while going a place better in the second session in eighth.

Rea led the FP2 times once again, though was unable to improve on his best lap from the morning with a 1m47.038s, while Marco Melandri and Lorenzo Savadori completed the top three.

Davies deposed Rea on the combined times halfway through the final session with a 1m46.821s, though the Northern Irishman retaliated with a 1m46.686s 10 minutes later.

Rea's time stood as the benchmark as the chequered flag flew, but Davies found time in the final sector of his last effort to match the KRT rider's time, with Davies awarded top spot by virtue of setting that time more recently.

Davies' teammate Melandri completed the top three, though the Italian was over half a second down, with Lorenzo Savadori and Michael van der Mark completing the top five.

Tom Sykes failed to better his 1m47.468s from FP2 in the final session and was left in sixth on the combined times on the second factory Kawasaki, with Xavi Fores close behind in seventh.

Pucetti wildcard Leon Haslam secured a place in Superpole 2 with a late effort of 1m47.563s in FP3 to go eighth, with Jordi Torres and Michael Ruben Rinaldi completing the top 10.

Laverty held onto a place in SP2 for much of the final session, but was knocked down to 11th late in FP3, while Yamaha's Alex Lowes – who lost most of FP1 due to a crash at Tosa - was left in 12th after an earlier lap which put him comfortably fifth was cancelled.

Honda's O'Halloran, making his WSBK debut this weekend, was 3.5 seconds off the pace in 21st, while teammate Gagne was 17th after crashing on his out-lap at the start of third practice.

PJ Jacobsen, 19th on the Triple M Honda, and Orelac's Leandro Mercado in 16th also crashed on Friday, with the latter taking two trips into Imola's gravel traps.

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Event Imola
Track Imola
Drivers Chaz Davies , Jonathan Rea
Teams Ducati Team , Kawasaki Racing
Article type Practice report