Photography by Gold & Goose
Jonathan Rea saved the best for the last lap and as a result put his PATA Honda CBR1000RR on top of the charts Friday to open round two of the World Superbike Championship at MotorLand Aragon. Rea clocked a 1:58.180 on the final lap to nip Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes, who turned a 1:58.417. Former AMA road racing star Chaz Davies was third fastest with a 1:58.575 on the factory Ducati.
Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team), Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) and Aprilia’s Marco Melandri completed the top six.
Championship leader Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) was seventh with round one winner Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) improving in the last five minutes to elevate himself to eighth. His new team mate Alex Lowes continued to adapt to the Spanish track eventually finishing in 11th.
In the EVO category Niccolo 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 third 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 Badvoini and Christian Iddon finishing in 17th and 21st.
The American duo of Aaron Yates and Geoff May continued development of the EBR 1190 RX machine and finished 25th and 27th (last) in Free Practice 2 with a 2:04.075 and 2:05.593 respectively. May is hoping to make his debut after suffering a crash and injury, which put him out before the opening round in Australia in February.
There is one more free practice session Saturday morning, which gives the riders currently placed 21st and below the chance to make the grid deciding Tissot-Superpole.
American PJ Jacobsen ended the day in seventh in the second World Supersport practice on his Intermoto Ponyexpress Kawasaki, after finishing the first session as the second fastest. Josh Day was 10th in Superstock 1000.
World Superbike Free Practice 2 – Friday
1 65 J. REA GBR PATA Honda World Superbike Honda CBR1000RR 1’58.180
2 1 T. SYKES GBR Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’58.417
3 7 C. DAVIES GBR Ducati Superbike Team Ducati 1199 Panigale R 1’58.575
4 76 L. BAZ FRA Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’58.579
5 34 D. GIUGLIANO ITA Ducati Superbike Team Ducati 1199 Panigale R 1’58.717
6 50 S. GUINTOLI FRA Aprilia Racing Team Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’58.900
7 33 M. MELANDRI ITA Aprilia Racing Team Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’58.901
8 58 E. LAVERTY IRL Voltcom Crescent Suzuki Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’58.971
9 91 L. HASLAM GBR PATA Honda World Superbike Honda CBR1000RR 1’59.103
10 59 N. CANEPA ITA Althea Racing Ducati 1199 Panigale R EVO 1’59.861
25 20 A. YATES USA Team Hero EBR EBR 1190 RX 2’04.075
27 99 G. MAY USA Team Hero EBR EBR 1190 RX 2’05.593