Times improve at Motorland Aragon as WorldSBK riders get up to speed.
Friday’s WorldSBK activity drew to a close with the Kawasaki Racing Team leading the way. 2013 World Superbike Champion Tom Sykes topped the standings until the final minute of today's second session, when he was displaced by current championship leader Jonathan Rea. Rea goes into FP3 tomorrow with a margin of 0.145s over his team-mate, who managed to hang on to second overall.
Chaz Davies, fastest this morning on his Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team machine, improved to remain third in the combined standings ahead of his team mate – and new substitute rider for the injured Davide Giugliano - Xavi Fores, who finished an impressive fourth on his 2015 debut (+0.766s).
Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) made the biggest improvement, moving up to fifth place (+0.862s) as he edged Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), sixth with a second gap to the top.
Completing the top ten
The final places inside the top ten were taken by Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) who was 1.324s behind Rea, Althea Racing’s Nico Terol, reigning champion Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda World Superbike Team), who also improved late in the session and local rider Jordi Torres, who powered his Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils RSV4 RF to tenth position overall.
Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia) elevated himself to 12th place in his last quick-lap attempt before the chequered flag and finished behind fellow Italian rider Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing Team Ducati).
Free Practice 3 is scheduled to take place at 9:55am local time tomorrow and is the last chance for the riders to make it into the afternoon’s Tissot-Superpole, courtesy of being inside the top-20 at the end of the next 45 minutes. The first ten riders will be seeded directly in the second session.
Jonathan Rea #65 - Kawasaki Racing Team: "This is the first event that we have to all use the new electronics so we had a few things to sort out. We have made a good step and surely we will try something more in the third free practice session. We are looking quite good and I think that if we have a good feeling in the Tissot-Superpole then for sure I will push for the best placement on the grid. It would be nice to get three pole positions in a row but our focus has to be the two races, which I still expect to be really close."
Tom Sykes #66 - Kawasaki Racing Team: "Today was not my best day to be honest. I woke up this morning at 5am and I immediately realised something was not right. Despite this we worked really hard and we knew we could have been fast given our previous tests here. We are definitely heading in the right direction with the bike. I wasn't able to get down to business properly but the results are encouraging anyway. All I wish now is to drink a good cup of tea and an early night. Hopefully I'm feeling better tomorrow."
Chaz Davies #7 - Aruba.it Racing - Ducati SBK Team: “This morning went well and I felt that I could lap fast but then this afternoon the conditions changed and I didn’t really get the feedback that I want from the bike here at Aragón. I know I can go faster, it’s just a case of finding the right setting, we’re not there yet although it’s doesn’t look bad on paper. We still have work to do, but overall it’s been a positive day. We’ll take a good look at the data this evening and then tomorrow try to develop some of the ideas we’ve got. I’m confident that we can do more.”
WorldSBK MotorLand Aragon
Combined times Free Practice 1 and 2
1 - Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Racing Team 1'51.234
2 - Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team +0.145
3 - Chaz Davies Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team +0.348