Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea dominated out on the Italian track as the rider topped both the morning and afternoon World Superbike testing sessions at Imola today.
Rea clocked his best time of 1’46.625 in the last minute of the final test, and in doing so toppled Althea Racing’s Davide Giugliano from the top of the timesheets, as he was able to go three tenths of a second faster than the Italian’s best time of 1’46.908.
Giugliano was the fastest rider out on his home track for the majority of the final session and looked like he would cement his position as the quickest rider today, but Rea came back out of his garage, and on his last lap took away the spoils from the Aprilia rider.
Rea used these first two sessions alongside team-mate Leon Haslam to test new upgrades on the electronics for their CBR1000RR Fireblade. Something must have clicked for the Isle of Man resident as he was able to go one second faster than his best lap from the morning session.
Aprilia’s Sylvain Guintoli used his 50th lap of the day to clock his fastest time of 1’47.324. This lap did propel the Frenchman to second fastest overall, but during the final minutes of the session he was demoted to third after Rea stormed to the front of the timesheets. Only one tenths of a second behind was his team-mate Eugene Laverty. The Irishman like, Guintoli found the final session of the day the most rewarding as he jumped from seventh fastest this morning to fourth with a 1’47.496.
Not far off the pace of Laverty, was Red Devils Roma rider Michel Fabrizio, who rounded off the top five fastest times. GoldBet BMW’s Marco Melandri was four hundredths of a second behind his fellow Roman. The former MotoGP racer was focusing with his team on different chassis settings for his BMW S1000RR, and this morning was where Melandri clocked his quickest lap of 1’57.583.
Fixi Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier used today’s double sessions to work on his riding position and electronics set-up to improve his performance on the exit of slow corners. The Brit was setting some consistent laps and managed to improve his time by one second in the final session at the Italian circuit, with his time of 1’47.759, to place him seventh fastest.
GoldBet BMW’s Chaz Davies used the official testing at Imola to focus on his recurring grip issues and even though he was 0.4 seconds slower than team-mate Melandri the Welshman safely made it inside the top ten quickest times with his best lap of 1’47.969. Fixi Crescent Suzuki’s Jules Cluzel rounded off the top ten.
Pata Honda’s Leon Haslam is still recovering from completing his first full races since April, but the crocked Smalley native did manage to complete a total of 36 laps but he could only manage a 1’48.930, one second off the pace of fellow Brit Davies, meaning the Honda rider ended the day thirteenth fastest overall.
Current championship leader, and yesterday's double race winner, Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes did not take part in the testing sessions and neither did his team-mate, Loris Baz.