Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes made a statement of intent in World Superbike second practice at Aragon as he finished the session top of the pile after a terrific duel with Ducati’s Chaz Davies.
A highly-entertaining second practice at Aragon saw the Yorkshireman power through into top place with just under ten minutes remaining, bumping the similarly impressive Davies into second.
Indeed, Davies’ time from FP1 had gone untouched in the opening half hour of the second session as Sykes’ 1’51.949 had him top in the session but second combined early on.
Unsurprisingly, many of the riders further down the grid were able to better their first practice times in the opening stanza and Davide Giugliano increased Aruba.it Ducati’s optimism ahead of tomorrow’s action by slotting into second place in the session behind Sykes but no-one could touch Davies’ morning lap.
Honda’s Nicky Hayden and Karel Abraham, in their pursuit, took tumbles at Turn 14 and Turn 8, respectively. Hayden was able to re-emerge late in the session and made his way through into seventh but Milwaukee BMW’s Abraham failed to affect his morning times and stayed 17th, one ahead of team-mate and reigning BSB champion Josh Brookes.
One man who was able to change the tide of a thereto dull session was Hayden’s team-mate Michael Van Der Mark and he made his way to the top with 25 minutes remaining courtesy of a 1’51.791.
Markus Reiterberger surprised soon after, the Althea BMW rider topping the timesheets momentarily before Davies bit back with a 1’51.087.
A frantic end to the session saw all the riders out on track getting their work done before tomorrow’s encounters and Jonathan Rea – who had spent the majority of the session in the pit working on issues and strategy – took third on his Kawasaki, though it was not to last.
Sykes regained his position at the top by becoming the first man into the 1’50s this weekend and, try as they might, no-one could displace him as the former champion even chucked in a late 1’50.712 to consolidate his position ahead of Davies as the session came to a close.
As the chequered flag approached, fast laps from Van Der Mark and Giugliano put those two third and fourth, respectively and a stunner from Lorenzo Savadori saw him come next just ahead of Rea.
Hayden’s late flurry following his crash saw the American take seventh on his Honda, ahead of impressive work from Leon Camier and Xavi Fores. Alex Lowes rounded out a top ten that was separated by less than a second come the close of proceedings.