The first day’s action at the Pirelli Riviera Di Rimini Round concluded with the World Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) in familiar territory at the top of the combined practice timesheets. The Northern Irishman set down a 1’34.901 marker in the afternoon FP2 session, putting him just 0.03s ahead of the day’s second fastest rider Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), with Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) third best.
Rea recovered from some technical problems earlier in the day to lap faster than his rivals and put himself in a good position at the seventh round of the 2017 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship.
Sykes had been the quickest rider in FP1, followed by Rea and Melandri in the morning top three, but the Yorkshireman ended day with an uncharacteristic crash at the end of FP2.
Melandri finished his day a quarter of a second behind pace setter Rea and just under a tenth of a second ahead of Friday’s fourth best rider – his teammate Chaz Davies.
Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) made it four Britons in the top five, with Spaniards Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) and Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) in sixth and seventh respectively.
The top ten also featured Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team), Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) and Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team), with Lowes suffering two crashes in FP1.
Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) in 11th and Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) in 12th were two of the riders to miss out on automatic Tissot Superpole 2 classification so they will participate in SP1 on Saturday.
The WorldSBK riders will return to the track for FP3 on Saturday morning at 8.45am at local time, with SP1 at 10.30am, SP2 at 10.55am and Race 1 at 1pm.
#RiminiWorldSBK Fastest on Friday:
1. Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Racing Team 1.34.901
2. Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team +0.030
3. Marco Melandri Aruba.it Racing – Ducati +0.250