WSBK: Sykes fastest in close FP1

The World Superbike riders went out for their first session in the seventh round of the championship at Imola under cloudy skies. With a lot of riders seeming to be on a fast pace at the Italian track, it was Tom Sykes

Sykes pipped home hero’s to P1 at Imola

Photo: World SBK

who secured the fastest time in a last lap push from the Kawaski rider.

Home rider Ayrton Badovini was the first rider to sit at the top of the timing sheets, and was swapping positions with fellow Italians Michele Fabrizio and Davide Guigliano in the opening fifteen minutes; they brought the time down to 1.51.509. Astoundingly it was Leon Haslam who was the first non-Italian to top the session, still recovering from the broken leg he sustained in Assen four rounds ago. 
Haslam’s time was soon beaten by Kawasaki Racing Team’s Tom Sykes, who secured a lap time of 1.50.404, 0.404s faster than his compatriots time. Despite another fast lap from Badovini, it was the Yorkshire Grinner who led the way for the next half an hour of the session, setting four faster laps along the way. In the closing 10 minutes Jonathan Rea was on the move and shot up into third position, before beating Sykes’ lap time and securing a time of 1.48.673. The Pata Honda was then challenged by home hero Davide Guigliano on his Alstare Aprilia, shaving 0.192s off Rea’s time just as the chequered flag came out. However, as is becoming the norm in 2013 Tom Sykes put in one last flying lap to push himself back into the top spot in Imola, with a time of 1.48.409, just 0.8s off his own lap record. 
Despite leading the session early on, Haslam was back down in 13th position in the final ten minutes of the session but jumped up into seventh position in the closing minutes. Davide Guigliano and Jonathan Rea completed the top three, 0.246 back of Sykes’ time, and world championship leader Sylvain Guintoli completed the session in fifth, one place behind Marco Melandri in fourth. 
Times below: 
1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’48.409
2. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’48.481
3. Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) Honda CBR1000RR 1’48.673
4. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) BMW S1000 RR 1’48.977
5. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’49.126
6. Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’49.255
7. Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike) Honda CBR1000RR 1’49.262
8. Ayrton Badovini (Team Ducati Alstare) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 1’49.281
9. Carlos Checa (Team Ducati Alstare) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 1’49.291
10. Leon Camier (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’49.468
11. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’49.503
12. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’49.534
13. Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) BMW S1000 RR 1’49.743
14. Jules Cluzel (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’50.282
15. Max Neukirchner (MR-Racing) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 1’50.638
16. Federico Sandi (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’52.329
17. Noriyuki Haga (Grillini Dentalmatic SBK) BMW S1000 RR 1’53.236
18. Alexander Lundh (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’54.516
19. Vittorio Iannuzzo (Grillini Dentalmatic SBK) BMW S1000 RR 1’54.529

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