News 19 Aug 2017

Sykes tops WorldSBK timesheets in Lausitzring's Friday practice

Rea and Davies complete the top three on day one in Germany.

Source: Supplied.

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) topped the Friday timesheets at Lausitzring’s ninth round of the 2017 World Superbike Championship (WorldSBK), setting a new lap record of 1m37.172s around the German circuit.

Sykes’ colleague Jonathan Rea and the Kawasaki Racing Team duo’s Racing – Ducati rival Chaz Davies were also in the top three.

Sykes also led the way in FP1 with a 1m37.337s lap, which was also under the previous lap record, before going even faster in the afternoon. Sykes then crashed in FP2 at turn four, but was not adversely affected by the accident.

In an incident packed FP2 session the riders had carried out just under 25 minutes of practice before the red flag came out following a crash for Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) at turn 14.

As marshals worked to clean the track a further disruption was then caused by heavy rain – which led to a delay of over an hour in restarting the session.

Earlier in the day in clear conditions at the 4.255km Lausitzring track, Sykes had set a rapid pace on his Kawasaki ZX-10RR with that aforementioned new lap record, whilst Rea was a further 0.167s behind him and Davies was marginally slower, being 0.189s off P1.

Neither Rea nor Davies would improve in FP2 and therefore ultimately ended the day +0.332s and +0.354s behind Sykes respectively.

Milwaukee Aprilia’s Lorenzo Savadori was fourth fastest on the combined timesheets thanks to his best FP1 time and in the afternoon Marco Melandri ( Racing – Ducati) moved into the top five.

Savadori’s Milwaukee Aprilia teammate Eugene Laverty was sixth fastest overall. Meanwhile, returning to WorldSBK for a wildcard ride at round nine, Germany’s Markus Reiterberger (Van Zon Remeha BMW) placed as the top BMW rider in seventh overall.

The combined Friday top 10 also featured Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) and Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team).

Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) was the fastest rider in the WorldSSP class, courtesy of his best effort from FP1.

The French rider’s 1m41.476s lap saw him top the combined timesheets at Lausitzring as the riders returned to action following the summer break. Cluzel could not improve his time in the afternoon but his morning pace put him ahead of his rivals overall.

Heavy rain had fallen earlier in the afternoon before FP2 meaning most of the riders could not improve on their FP1 times. That was the case for Sheridan Morais (Kallio Racing) and Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) who were nonetheless still both in the top three on the combined timesheets.

World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) survived two big wobbles in FP2 unscathed and was fourth quickest overall, followed by Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team).

Australians Anthony West (EAB West Racing) and Lachlan Epis (Response RE Racing) were 14th and 21st respectively, as Giuseppe Scarcella (GEMAR Team Lorini) failed to qualify by just one position.

Countryman Mike Jones ( Racing – Junior Team) lodged the fourth fastest time in STK1000, as fellow Aussie Glenn Scott (Agro On-Benjan-Kawasaki) was 18th in the same category.

Qualifying and race one is scheduled to get underway on Saturday, followed by the final race on Sunday.