News 23 May 2015

Sykes sets Friday WorldSBK pace at Donington Park

Sofuoglu leads World Supersport on opening day in the UK.

Source: WorldSBK.

Source: WorldSBK.

On a day that saw three 45-minute Free Practice sessions for the WorldSBK riders, the final one deciding the 20 riders qualified to tomorrow’s Tissot-Superpole sessions was the most intense as well.

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) ended day one as the fastest rider to lap the 4.023km Donington Park circuit as the top 13 was covered by only 0.953s.

The official Kawasaki rider’s time of 1m28.172s was less than a tenth of a second from his own race lap record set in 2013 and kept the former champion 0.111s ahead of the opposition.

Davide Giugliano crashed his Racing Ducati SBK Team entry moments after moving into second place with three minutes to go, the Italian was able to stay ahead of Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) who finished third after also improving in the final session of the day.

Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) showed no ill effects of the rib injury from Imola, moving closer to the fastest time in fourth ahead of compatriots Chaz Davies ( Racing – Ducati SBK Team) and Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) who were fifth and sixth, respectively.

Ayrton Badovini kept BMW Motorrad Italia in contention in seventh ahead of Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike Team), Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing Ducati).

WorldSBK rookie Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) just missed out on the top ten on his Donington debut day, ahead of Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda World Superbike Team), David Salom (Team Pedercini), Randy de Puniet (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) and the youngest rider on the grid Christophe Ponsson (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) who rounded out the top-15.

The final rider to make it into Tissot-Superpole was Santiago Barragan (Grillini SBK Team Kawasaki) who edged Imre Toth (BMW Team Toth) in the final half of FP3 to secure 20th despite an early crash at Goddards.

Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) dominated the opening day of World Supersport action, dipping below the 2013 lap record of Sam Lowes in FP1 to head the field after FP2 by 0.112s.

Behind the Turkish rider who is currently leading this year’s world championship was Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) who overcame a difficult morning to move into second. The Frenchman finished ahead of the British pairing of Luke Stapleford (Profile Racing Triumph) and Kyle Ryde (Pacedayz European Trackdays Yamaha) who showed incredible pace in both 45-minute sessions to finish third and fourth respectively.

American PJ Jacobsen (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) kept himself in contention in fifth ahead of the third British wildcard entered at Donington Park, Andrew Reid. The youngster from Northern Ireland is replacing Ratthapark Wilairot in the CORE Motorsport Thailand team finishing a credible sixth at the end of the opening day.

In a session that saw most riders improve. Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres), Gino Rea (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda), Sam Hornsey (Profile Racing Triumph), and Kevin Wahr (SMS Honda) rounded out the top 10.

Of the Aussies in WSS Aiden Wagner was 22nd at 2.899s off the pace, while Glenn Scott was one position behind him. In the STK1000 Bryan Staring was down in 14th position at the end of FP2.

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