Rea Friday’s fastest despite FP2 crash

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On the opening day at Jerez Rea was top of the combined timesheets despite an afternoon crash, with Sykes and Van der Mark also in the top 3

It was an eventful Friday at the Pirelli Spanish Round for Jonathan Rea as he crashed early in FP2, having earlier set the fastest time of the day in the morning practice. Tom Sykes and Michael van der Mark were second and third best respectively, with their best times coming in FP2.

In the first ten minutes of the afternoon session Rea crashed at turn 8, tumbling heavily through the gravel. His team worked hard to repair his machine and before the end of the session he was back on track notching fast laps. Chaz Davies crashed at turn 13, also in the opening ten minutes of FP2 and he did not reappear in the session – ending the day tenth overall.

In fair weather conditions under clear blue and sunny skies in the south of Spain Alex Lowes was fourth fastest overall, just ahead of Marco Melandri. Melandri and Xavi Fores both suffered technical problems at the end of a hectic FP2 run.

Meanwhile, Lowes - who sits fifth in the general standings after a good year so far - undertook a long run in FP2 setting a consistently fast pace on his Yamaha YZF R1.

Eugene Laverty was sixth quickest, just head of his teammate Lorenzo Savadori. In quick succession in FP2 Savadori set his fastest lap of the day, had a big wobble and then crashed at turn 2 towards the end of the afternoon outing. The Italian was soon back on his feet and back out on track after his accident.

Roman Ramos held provisional P1 in FP1 before ending the day eighth. 2014 World Champion Sylvain Guintoli was back in action getting to grips with the Kawasaki ZX-10RR, riding for the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing at the final two rounds of the season, lapping in ninth on the combined timesheets on his return to WorldSBK action.

Takumi Takahashi got a feel for the Jerez track on his Honda CBR1000RR in 20th place after a technical problem early in FP2.

As the riders undertook their first practice earlier in the day at the Pirelli Spanish Round it was Rea who put in the fastest lap of the superb 4.423km Circuito de Jerez with an excellent late 1’40.291 time. The triple World Champion really picked up the pace in the latter stages of FP1 on a resurfaced track and was 0.6s faster than closest challenger Lowes. Melandri was just 0.002s behind Lowes in third in that session.

Also in the morning session Raffaele de Rosa lost the front at turn one in the final minutes of the session but the Italian walked away unhurt. Ayrton Badovini had a copycat spill at the same turn shortly afterwards and was also soon back on his feet.