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WorldSBK Argentina: Razgatlioglu chases Rea in second session

Reigning WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea took charge of the second free practice session at San Juan this afternoon but was chased hard by Kawasaki stablemate Toprak Razgatlioglu and this morning quickest man Alex Lowes.

Razgatlioglu looked like he had the measure of the pack with a minute left to run but Rea had other ideas, putting in a scorching 1'41.794 to topple the young Turk. Lowes then added a bit more pain with a 1'42.159 but the Puccetti Kawasaki man hit right back with a 1'42.132 to claim second place.

On a track that was cleaning up nicely with the benefit of two sessions, Aruba Ducati's Marco Melandri was the first improver and he was quickly usurped by Rea's Kawasaki's team-mate Tom Sykes, who claimed third on the combined sheets with a 1'44.258 but then times began to radically tumble.


Rea waded in with a 1'44.048 on only his second lap before Lowes raised the bar again on a 1'43.621. Sykes bounced back to second with a 1'43.720 before Lowes again dropped the hammer to take top spot with a 1'43.233.

Rea looked to be having an average lap with 23 mins to go and then found a massive chunk in the final sector to put in a 1'43.124 before Melandri snaffled away top spot with a 1'42.936. It was then game on as Rea dropped to a 1'42.549 as Chaz Davies bounced into third with a 1'43.158.

Davies then really pushed and claimed top banana with a 1'42.488. Razgatlioglu then banged in his effort of 1'42.373 before Rea sealed the deal with the quickest lap of the day so far.

Lorenzo Savadori, second early on, came fighting back to claim fourth place on a 1'42.454 which pushed Davies' Aruba Ducati down to fifth. Jake Gagne was the surprise of the session, putting in a storming 1'52.581 for sixth place, 0.030s quicker than former world champion Melandri.

Eugene Laverty found the business end of four seconds to put his Milwaukee Aprilia in eighth place while Xavi Fores came from outside the top 15 to end in ninth. Hometown hero Tati Mercado completed the top ten with Michael van der Mark in 11th place and a second slower than team-mate Lowes.

Leon Camier placed 12th with Loris Baz 13th and Sykes slipping back to 14th place. Jakub Smrz rounded out the top 15.

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