wSBK Press Release:
The opening day of action at Imola’s Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari saw current WorldSBK Champonship leader Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) leap to the top of the standings in the final moments of the second session courtesy of a 1’47.344 lap-time. Fellow KRT rider Tom Sykes was second at the checkered flag and looked on course to move into first place until an error at the ‘Variante Bassa’ during his final lap.
The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK Team was close to the top once more, as Davide Giugliano made a dream return to the WorldSBK paddock by posting the third fastest time of the weekend so far, a fraction ahead of his team mate Chaz Davies, who was fourth after being quickest in this morning’s FP1.
Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) remained fifth, as he had been in the earlier morning session, the rider currently second in the overall points classification finished the first day more than half a second faster than Alex Lowes who powered his Voltcom Crescent Suzuki into sixth.
Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia) improved his time but remained seventh ahead of David Salom (Team Pedercini), the much faster Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing Ducati) and reigning World Champion Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) who was tenth.
Michel Fabrizio (Althea Racing) finished 12th just behind team mate Matteo Baiocco but ahead of Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike Team), Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) – the only rider to not improve their time this afternoon – and Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) who completed the top 15.
All riders have one final chance to make it through into Tissot-Superpole, with the third free practice session scheduled to run for a further 45-minute time tomorrow morning.
WorldSBK Imola – Combined times Free Practice 1 and 2:
1 – Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Racing Team 1’47.344
2 – Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team +0.173
3 – Davide Giugliano Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team +0.238
Cluzel heads into Saturday as the fastest in WSS
Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) will lead the World Supersport riders into tomorrow’s FP3 and sole qualifying session after topping the opening day of on track action. The Frenchman’s time of 1.51.552s on his penultimate lap narrowly edged championship leader Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) who left it until his final lap to improve on his FP1 time.
The Turk, who has won the last two World Supersport races to lead the current standings, lapped within 0.049s of his championship rival, the Imola winner from 2013 producing a stunning run of consistently fast times throughout both sessions. Sofuoglu was however lucky to escape injury after falling awkwardly during FP2 at turn 2.
Marco Faccani (San Carlo Puccetti Racing) produced an incredible lap in the closing stages of FP2 to finish an impressive third (+0.519s), the current STK600 champion looking comfortable on his home circuit.
American PJ Jacobsen (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) ended up fourth ahead of other factory MV Agusta rider Lorenzo Zanetti , who gave the Italians something to cheer about. The 2014 WSS race winner at Imola finished the opening day with a fifth place.
Ratthapark Wilairot (CORE’’ Motorsport Thailand) was another rider to leave it until the last moment to show his true pace, the Thai rider elevated himself to sixth with his final lap of the 45 minute session.
Alex Baldolini (Race Department ATK#25), Gino Rea (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda), Kyle Smith (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) and Roberto Rolfo (Lorini Honda) completed the top ten.
WSS Imola – Combined times Free Practice 1 and 2:
1 – Jules Cluzel MV Agusta Reparto Corse 1’51.552
2 – Kenan Sofuoglu Kawasaki Puccetti Racing +0.049
3 – Marco Faccani San Carlo Puccetti Racing +0.519