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Assen WorldSBK: Sykes cuts gap to Rea in second practice

Former WorldSBK champion Tom Sykes has cut the gap to Kawasaki team-mate and current series king Jonathan Rea in the second session at Assen, and only trails by 0.078s ahead of the final session of the day in Holland.

Rea dropped his time to a 1’35.630 on the second lap of a 17-lap run - which means the Castletown man is confident with his setup and is already working his race tyre - while Sykes put in a 1’35.708 which is half a second quicker than his time from this morning.

Pata Yamaha’s Michael van der Mark wasn’t able to improve on his time from today but the local hero’s 1’35.931 was enough to hold on to third place on the overall sheets.


Marco Melandri is the leading Ducati in fourth and was scheduled to topple Rea from the number one spot but a mistake on the brakes into the Gert Timmer Chicane saw him run off track. The Italian’s next effort was 1’35.971, six-tenths up on this morning.

MV Agusta’s Jordi Torres found half a second to claim fifth place with a 1’36.002 while Lorenzo Savadori shrugged off this morning’s crash to set a 1’36.041 for sixth place. The Milwaukee Aprilia man is struggling with weight transfer on the RSV4 which is making it unstable as he comes off the brakes at turn-in.

Xavi Fores, on the Barni Ducati, is four-tenths off the top in seventh with Loris Baz and Alex Lowes next along.

Chaz Davies is a surprise down in tenth place and, should it rain - unlikely given the current blazing sunshine - he would only just squeak into Superpole two tomorrow. Whether Davies is working on distance or is really struggling will only become evident this afternoon as he is a little under seven-tenths off the pace.

Topratz is in 11th while PJ Jacobsen hopped up to eighth early doors but then slipped back to 12th but it is good progress for the little Noo Yawker on the Triple M Honda. Michael Rinaldi, Davide Giugliano - who appears to be struggling with the Aprilia’s brakes - and MotoGP exile Yonny Hernandez round out the top 15.

Red Bull Honda’s Jake Hagne had a whopping crash which saw him walk to the barriers but he has gone to the medical centre for checks. His Fireblade has been returned to the team in a dustpan.

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