Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea has remained at the top of Friday’s combined WorldSBK timesheet despite an early crash which cost the reigning champion more than half an hour’s track time.
And Rea wasn’t the only big name to go down as Ducati’s Chaz Davies had a strange crash minutes after Rea’s spill and almost missing an automatic Superpole two spot as he didn’t get back out in the session and ended up in tenth place.
Rea got spat over the highside at turn eight and quickly jumped up nursing his wrist. Davies looked like he had a mechanical problem as he went into the gravel at turn 11 with the Aruba-backed Panigale pivoting around the headstock before throwing the Welshman off.
Davies’ time from this morning’s session was enough to keep him in the top ten but it was touch and go as a late lap from Sylvain Guintoli pushed him to tenth place and only an error from Jordi Torres in the last sector saw the Althea BMW man fail to get in front of Davies.
Even though Rea spent a big portion of the session sat in his chair, he still managed to set the fastest session time, a 1’40.435 which was two-tenths down on his fastest lap from this morning. Team-mate Tom Sykes bounced himself into second on the combined sheets but is still six-tenths slower than the Castletown resident.
Sykes’ best time dropped Pata Yamaha’s Michael Van Der Mark to third place by 0.002s with the next three riders covered by 0.006s. Alex Lowes, on the second works R1, didn’t go quicker than this morning but out in a fast and consistent race run, but his time from the morning was enough for fourth and only 0.001s behind Van Der Mark.
Marco Melandri was another rider not to improve this afternoon and crashed late on in the session at turn eight but his 1’40.893 from FP1 was only 0.002 behind Lowes while Milwaukee Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty was a further 0.003s behind his auld enemy but didn’t improve.
Team-mate Lorenzo Savadori did go quicker, setting a 1’41.086 for seventh overall before crashing at turn two after a big moment four corners previously. Roman Ramos also went quicker than his morning time and ended in eighth with Guintoli putting the Puccetti Kawasaki in ninth and Davies the last of the automatic Superpole two men.
Leon Camier only missed out by 0.077s, finishing in 11th place with Tati Mercado, Torres, Raffaele De Rosa and Xavi Fores completing the top 15.