2014 Aragon World Superbike | Honda’s Rea Leads Friday Practice
2014 Aragon World Superbike Thursday Practice Results
The second round of the 2014 World Superbike Championship began Friday with two of four free practice sessions at Motorland Aragon in Spain.
One rider led both sessions – Pata Honda World Superbike’s Jonathan Rea. The Northern Irishman topped Aprilia Racing Team’s Marco Melandri and the reigning World Superbike Champion, Kawasaki Racing Team’s Tom Sykes, in FP1.
And though it appeared Sykes would take the top time in FP2, Rea put in a quick last lap of 1:58.130 around the 3.31-mile circuit featuring 17 corners.
“I’m quite satisfied with today – it’s been a really good start to the weekend for us. We’ve got quite a good base already, but I still need to work on optimizing our engine braking quite a lot. The last time we were here it was quite good, but maybe a change in conditions has thrown some other issues into the mix,” Jonathan Rea says.
“We can work a bit more on chassis settings tonight but, for day one, I’m quite happy with my out-and-out pace. With the change in raceday schedule, we need to do a long run tomorrow morning to work with a cooler race-one temperature in mind. We’ve got two rear options to check and see if our preferred tyre will work in cooler conditions around 10.30. So, after a longer run in the morning, I’ll get ready for Superpole.”
Rea, who finished 4-15 at 2013 Aragon World Superbike, finished 0.237 of a second ahead of Sykes. In third, 0.395 of a second back was Ducati Superbike Team’s Chaz Davies. The British rider Davies doubled at Aragon last season while competing on the GoldBet BMW S1000RR.
Taking the fourth quickest time Thursday was Sykes’ teammate Loris Baz, who just 0.004 of a second ahead of Ducati Superbike’s David Giugliano. The current points leader and race-2 winner at Phillip Island – Sylvain Guintoli – finished sixth, with Melandri in seventh.
The final riders to post within a second of Rea were Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Eugene Laverty, the race-one winner at Phillip Island, and Pata Honda World Superbike’s Leon Haslam, the latter 0.923 of a second off his teammate’s time.
The next quickest rider was nearly 0.800 of a second behind Haslam, the top EVO rider, Althea Racing Ducati’s Niccolo Canepa. Canepa, who suffered a crash, was followed by Laverty’s teammate Alex Lowes and Red Devils Roma Aprilia’s Toni Elias, the 2011 Moto2 Champion.
Bimota on the other hand had an encouraging start to their return to superbike competition with Ayrton Badvoini and Christian Iddon finishing in 17th and 21st.
There is one more free practice session tomorrow morning which gives the riders currently placed 21st and below the chance to make the grid deciding Tissot-Superpole.