For the first time the WorldSBK riders had three 40 minute session to complete on Friday, not the two single hour periods from last season. Thanks in part to this, and to some changeable weather and track conditions, the expected order after official testing earlier in the week was spectacularly overturned as Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) pulled out the fastest time of 1’30.407 in the dry FP2 session.
Some 0.315 seconds behind, Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda) was a sensational second, with the second Aprilia of Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) third and the top Kawasaki runner being Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) in fourth place. Multiple world champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki) was fifth today, after some real efforts and big slides in the final FP3 session. He was only one thousandth of a second ahead of sixth place.
Marco Melandri (Aruba Ducati) was sixth and top Ducati runner, over half a second back from Savadori.
Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha ) placed seventh and Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team Ducati) eighth, and top independent rider.
Chaz Davies (Aruba Ducati) made a late run to ensure he was ninth, and joining him in the automatic Superpole 2 positions is Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK) who had whopping crash at Lukey Heights.
Jake Gagne (Red Bull Honda) was a creditable 11th first time out as a full-timer, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) 12th.
Jordi Torres (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) was 13th, Loris Baz (Althea BMW) 16th. WorldSBK rookie PJ Jacobsen (TripleM Honda) ended his first day 18th.
Top local wildcard rider was Troy Herfoss (Penrite Honda), in 19th place.