2016 Thailand World SBK Friday Practice Results
The second round of 2016 World Superbike officially began Friday with the opening practice sessions ahead of the doubleheader at Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand.
Under the new schedule, which features a race on Saturday and another on Sunday, the top-20 riders from Friday practice automatically progress to Superpoole 2.
This intensifies the fight for top times Friday, and the first one to post some serious speed at a slick Chang International Circuit was Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team’s Sylvain Guintoli on the YZF-R1.
But the Frenchman wouldn’t remain the overall leader; during the second free practice, the 2014 World Supersport Champion, Honda World Superbike Team’s Michael van der Mark, was quickest.
The Dutchman posted a 1:34.629, earning the top position by 0.182 of a second ahead of Guintoli; these were the only riders to post under the 1:35 mark. Earning third during FP2 was Althea BMW Racing Team’s Jordi Torres.
During the beginning of FP2, Kawasaki Racing Team ZX-10R Ninja pilots Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea led the way ahead of Ducati’s Chaz Davies.
But with 15 minutes to go, van der Mark continually got quicker, eventually posting the quickest time ahead of Guintoli and Torres. Guintoli’s teammate Alex Lowes finished fourth, followed by the reigning World Superbike Champion who doubled at Phillip Island SBK two weeks ago.
Rounding out the top 10 were the only American in World Superbike, Honda World Superbike’s Nicky Hayden, Sykes, Davies, Aruba.it Racing Ducati’s Davide Giugliano, and Althea BMW Racing’s Markus Reiterberger.
The 24-rider grid returns to Chang Saturday for the final free practice session ahead of Superpole and race one.