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Lausitz WorldSBK: Sykes tops opening free practice

Former WorldSBK champion Tom Sykes set the pace in this morning’s first practice at the Lausitzring, topping the timesheets by a little less than two-tenths of a second from works Kawasaki team-mate Jonathan Rea, with Chaz Davies in third.

Sykes put down a 1’37.372 with half of the hour-long session remaining and then lowered it to a 1’37.337 which remained unbeaten. He had almost half a second in hand until Rea came out for his final, one-lap dash but didn’t quite have the pace, ending on a 1’37.504 to beat Ducati’s Davies, who had put in a 1’37.526 just seconds earlier.

The fight for fourth was much more heated with four riders and three manufacturers in the mix. Leon Camier climbed his way up the after again spending the first 20 minutes of Friday practice watching his technicians fix a problem with the MV Agusta to put in a best of 1’38.165 with ten minutes left to run.


The former BSB champion his 10km/h down on top speed at the German track so is again working hard under braking and mid-corner to make up time, and Camier did not test at the Lausitzring when some of the other teams did.

Camier was pushed back to fifth by the Milwaukee Aprilia of Eugene Laverty with two minutes left to run as the Irish slug-balancer stuck in a 1’38.112 but he was eclipsed by team-mate Lorenzo Savadori one lap later as the Italian joined the sub-1’38 club on a 1’37.721. Laverty fought back with a 1’37.880 to end half a second off the pace.

German Markus Rieterberger, who is wildcarding with his own IDM squad, pushed Camier back to seventh place with his last lap of 1’37.962 while former Althea BMW team-mate Jordi Torres ended the other side of the MV in eighth on a 1’38.462.

Pata Yamaha’s Alex Lowes did break into the top five with 20 minutes left to run, setting a 1’38.780 but even a faster 1’38.470 couldn’t stop his slide down to ninth. The Derby-based rider ran off track twice at turn one, looking down at the rear of his R1 both times.

Team-mate Michael Van Der Mark completed the top ten and the automatic Superpole two places should rain appear this afternoon. Stefan Bradl was 11th, Xavi Fores 12th and Roman Ramos 13th. Marco Melandri only completed 11 laps after electronic problems and ended up 14th with Randy Krummenacher 15th.

Davide Giugliano was 17th on the Red Bull Honda and 2.321s off the pace.

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