Superbike Imola, FP1: Jonathan Rea sets the pace

Jonathan Rea was the fastest man in the first of the Free Practice sessions (each of 40 minutes) taking place on Friday 11th May, all timed to determine who will go straight to Superpole 2. The three times World Champion ranked first in front of Chaz Davies, Marco Melandri and Xavi Forés.

POKER – So far Rea has won four races at Imola, with Honda in 2014 and with Kawasaki the year after. As many wins as Chaz Davies, who’s been unbeaten for four races, since he made the double in both 2016 and 2017. FP1 results already prove that the weekend will be characterised by this duel, whose value increases if we consider the championship standings: theKawasaki rider leads with 30 points of advantage on Davies. Jonathan Rea was very fast for the whole session and in the final stages he performed one lap in 1’46″951, after that Davies had gone first for a couple of minutes. Marco Melandri, who has ever won here, is third and the potential of Ducati 1199 Panigale R is proved also by Xavi Forés, 4th. Fifth place for Tom Sykes (one second off Rea), followed by Michael van der Mark. Crash for Alex Lowes, whose Yamaha was partly destroyed.

HASLAM IS 10TH– This weekend we have the long-awaited comeback of Leon Haslam. The British Superbike championship leader used FP1 to adapt to the Puccetti Kawasaki (in the photo), whose electronics is much different from the one he uses in BSB, where he has no electronic help. Leon finished the session in 10th place.

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