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Imola WSBK: Rea tops second qualifying



Jonathan Rea bags a provisional pole position
Jonathan Rea bags a provisional pole position

By Vicky Turner
Image by GeeBee Images

Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea stormed to the top of the World Superbike qualifying practice timesheets at Imola this morning, and was the only rider to go quicker than the time clocked in the opening session yesterday set by Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes.

Rea left it till there was only six minutes remaining of the session to make an impact and clocked his fastest time of 1’47.205, and in doing so went 0.013 seconds quicker than the fastest lap set yesterday by Sykes of 1’47.218, and the Isle of Man resident bags himself a provisional pole position.

Sykes was not able to improve on his best lap from yesterday, and could only manage a 1’47.506 this morning. One rider who did improve was Althea Racing’s Davide Giugliano. He set a time of 1’47.282, to make him the third fastest rider overall and clinching a provisional front row start.

But only 0.4 seconds off a provisional front row place was Red Devils Roma rider Michel Fabrizio, followed by fellow Italian and local hero GoldBet BMW’s Marco Melandri, who was able to go faster than the time he set yesterday to push himself fifth quickest.

Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty was able to find that extra pace that he lacked on Friday, to go one second quicker in this morning’s session to set a 1’47.958 time, and was only one tenth of a second slower than team-mate, Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli.

Fixi Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier did not better his first qualifying practice time of 1’48.147, but was only a fraction off yesterdays pace, with his lap of 1’48.213 this morning, but his time still leaves the tall Kent lad ninth fastest overall.

GoldBet BMW’s Chaz Davies finally made it into the top ten on the timesheets, something which eluded the Welshman on Friday. Davies was obviously more comfortable out on his bike this morning, as he was able to knock  0.5 seconds off his lap times that he set yesterday. He ended the session tenth fastest overall, followed by Ducati Alstare's Carlos Checa, and Pata Honda’s Leon Haslam. The crocked Englishman improved on his time from yesterday, and set his best lap of 1’48.485.

Veteran racer Noriyuki Haga did not have the best of mornings, as he crashed his Grillini Dentalmatic bike with fifteen minutes of the session remaining at Variante Tamburello. The rider, who is only racing for this weekend, was unhurt in the incident.

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