DONINGTON, Great Britain – After being in the top three all day, Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) posted a series of 1.27 laps to round out the opening day of eni FIM Superbike World Championship practice on top at an overcast Donington Park on Friday. The reigning Champion was within half a second of his own outright circuit record and he takes an advantage of almost a quarter of a second into Saturday.
Behind Sykes, the top 10 in the combined three session classification, and therefore automatically into Tissot-Superpole 2 were Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team), Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team), Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team), Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team), Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), Pata Honda duo Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam, and Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team).
The EVO standings were once again headed by Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing Ducati) who was 11th overall. Leon Camier (BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike Team) left it until FP3 to show his real potential moving into 12th overall just behind the flying Italian rider.
Baz and Davies crashed at Redgate corner with 18 minutes to go, both riders able to walk back to the paddock uninjured.
Alessandro Andreozzi (Pedercini Kawasaki) made it into Tissot-Superpole by claiming the final spot in 20th, just beating his team mate Romain Lanusse, who is making his World Superbike debut this weekend.
Bryan Staring (Iron Brain Grillini Racing Kawasaki), who replaces Michel Fabrizio for the remainder of the year, will take no further part in the round because of the injury he sustained prior to coming to Donington Park. The Australian rider was unable to fully manoeuvre on the machine, resulting in him withdrawing from the event.
Former World Supersport champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Team India Kawasaki) narrowly took the number one position in the combined standings after two close and exciting Supersport sessions at Donington Park.
With almost everyone in the field improving in the afternoon the top 11 riders were covered by a second, giving us the prospect of yet another thrilling encounter on Sunday.
Upon completion of Friday’s on-track encounters it was Sofuoglu who goes into Saturday’s next free practice session at the top of the standings after displacing current points leader Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport) and Britain’s Kev Coghlan (DMC-Panavto Yamaha) in the closing minutes.
Fourth overall went to Florian Marino (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres), with Imola winner Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) and PJ Jacobsen (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) completing the top six.
World Superbike Practice Times
1.Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1:27.840 (164.877km/h)
2. Davide Giugliano (Ducati) 1:28.082
3. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) 1:28.132
4. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) 1:28.181
5. Alex Lowes (Suzuki) 1:28.187
6. Marco Melandri (Aprilia) 1:28.467
7. Eugene Laverty (Suzuki) 1:28.495
8. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1:28.665
9. Leon Haslam (Honda) 1:28.833
10. Chaz Davies(Ducati) 1:28.947
11. Niccolo Canepa (Ducati) 1:29.435
12. Leon Camier (BMW) 1 :29.684
13. Christian Iddon (Bimota) 1 :29.999
14. Ayrton Badovini (Bimota) 1:29.999
15. David Salom(Kawasaki) 1:30.020
16. Toni Elias (Aprilia) 1:30.555
17. Fabien Foret (Kawasaki) 1:30.643
18. Jeremy Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 1:31.135
19. Claudio Corti (MV Agusta) 1:31.480
20. Andrea Andreozzi (Kawasaki) 1:31.877
21. Romain Lanusse (Kawasaki) 1:32.032
22. Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki) 1’32.064
23. Imre Toth (BMW) 1:32.339
24. Aaron Yates (EBR) 1:32.615
NC. Geoff May (EBR) 1:34.194
NC. Peter Sebestyen (BMW) 1:34.519
NC. Bryan Staring (Kawasaki) 1:35.916
–From WSBK Press Office