|Sykes was rapid in the rain at Assen
Photo: World SBK
Tom Sykes was fastest in the opening free practice session at Assen for the third round of the World Superbike Championship.
Wet conditions and damp, grey skies greeted the WSBK riders and Kawasaki Racing’s Tom Sykes set the early pace, bringing times down on every lap. Limited grip meant Davide Guigliano was the first of four to crash with 22 of the 45 minute session to go, sitting in 7th whilst most riders were back in the pits.
Aragon double race winner Chaz Davies moved up into third position in the remaining 6 minutes, using his confidence boost gained from last weekends wins but was pipped by Marco Melandri in the closing minutes, finishing 1.781 behind Sykes.
Injured Fixi Cresent Suzuki rider Leon Camier was helped by the wet conditions, and he set a time of 2.02.638 which left him in 8th position. We are awaiting on a decision as to whether he feels fit enough to continue on his GSX-R1000 for the rest of the weekend.
Lap record holder at Assen, Pata Honda’s Jonathon Rea didn’t set a time in the soaking conditions, he did one lap then re-entered the pits. His teammate Leon Haslam finished the session in fifth position, although he crashed with 3 minutes of the session remaining.
World championship leader Sylvain Guintoli completed the session in second position, under a half a second off Sykes’ time. Italian Marco Melandri rounded out the top three, 0.7 off the fastest time.
Many riders sat in the pits for the majority of the wet session, not wanting to risk any injury this early in the season.
Results can be found here.