Sykes tops QP1 in World Superbikes at rainy Assen

Sykes topped both of Friday’s sessions

Photo: WSBK

After Britain’s Tom Sykes topped this morning’s FP1 session at Assen WSBK, the slightly chilly and rainy conditions remained at the dutch circuit this afternoon, which saw the Brit once again finish on top of the pile with a time of 1m 57.190s.

Pata Honda’s Leon Haslam did not start the session after suffering a broken tib and fib as a result of a big accident during FP.

Riders ventured out their pit boxes steadily over the first 15 minutes or so. It was Ayrton Badovini who was putting in the fast times to begin with, improving every lap, lying just ahead of team mate Carlos Checa briefly, before the Spaniard tumbled down the leaderboard. Sylvain Guintoli was quick out the blocks, along with his compatriot Jules Cluzel, who was on the pace at the 30 minute mark.

Tom Sykes made an appearance with 25 minutes left to go, putting his ZX-10R a quarter of a second ahead of Badovini in 1st. Meanwhile, Eugene Laverty crept up into 3rd, and Chaz Davies binned his BMW on his 4th flying lap. He was sitting in 9th at the time.

5 minutes later, Sykes banged another quickest time in, widening the gap to Badovini up to two seconds. He was the only rider out on track at this time doing flying laps. The rain became heavier shortly after this, meaning the track went rather static for a while, with most riders deciding not to risk anything, given the conditions.

Marco Melandri began to make a move up the timesheets with 7 minutes left on the clock, lifting himself up to 6th behind Jonathan Rea; who responded immediately by putting his Pata Honda into third. Ivan Clementi crashed in the final sector with 6 minutes to go, whilst sitting in 12th.

With 2 minutes left, Badovini crashed in the final sector, and to add salt to the wound was swiftly relegated to 4th by Melandri. Alexander Lundh also binned his Kawasaki on the same lap.

Sykes asserted his dominance a final time at the flag, putting in another fastest lap to round off the session over one and a half seconds ahead of Guintoli. The only other significant improvers after the chequered flag appeared was Davide Giugliano, who put ended up 5th, and Eugene Laverty who moved into 3rd.

That means the session finished with Sykes leading, from Guintoli, Laverty, Melandri, Giugliano, Badovini, Rea and Cluzel rounding out the top 8.

A list of times and standings can be found here. 

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