Aruba.it Racing’s Ducati’s Chaz Davies dominated the opening day at Imola, topping both free practise one and two ahead of his main championship rivals Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes.
Free practise one was distrupted after there was an oil spillage half an hour into the session. Once the track re-opened it was clear Davies had the pace as he went out on track and and finished half a second ahead of Leon Camier on the MV Augusta.
The Welshman set an even faster time in free practise two which brought him up ahead of the Kawasaki Racing Team, however it took half the session for the time to be set.
Sykes and Rea were able to get close to the Brit and have proved they had pace to fight for victories, as Friday is crucial for riders to get into Superpole 2.
Davies explains his pace on the opening day: “Given that this is only day one, we certainly can’t complain about our performance. I felt comfortable on the Panigale R since the very first exit, and the bike has been immediately more competitive on this track than last year. In the afternoon, we worked on the gearbox and managed to make further improvements, and I was also able to make a couple of longer runs with a quite constant rhythm.
I tried two rear-tyre options, both of which seem to work. The choice will depend on the strategy one wants to adopt during the race. Anyways, it’s only Friday and we need to keep working. There are still a few tenths of a second up for grabs out there.”
Markus Reiterberger secured a top four position ahead of Leon Camier who continued to impress on the MV Augusta.
For a full list of times click here.