Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea put in a late fast lap to claim top spot on the first day of WorldSBK free practice just after he ran into the gravel at Redgate, a corner which claimed more than one victim in the final session.
Rea battled team-mate Tom Sykes for most of the final session as the Kawasaki looks again best suited to the Leicestershire track which has dried out enough for slicks following the morning deluge.
Rea ended with a 1’28.003 just one lap after he outbraked himself into Redgate. Sykes, who had been top on a 1’28.207 did look like he might better the Isle of Man resident but lost time in the final sector and had to settle for second.
It was bad news for championship hopeful Davies when he went down after hitting a damp patch. As he tumbled into the gravel, the Welshman appeared to whack his ankle so has been taken to the medical centre for checks.
At the same time, Topratz and Tati Mercado followed Davies in but stayed upright. However, Redgate also claimed Xavi Fores and Gino Rea, with Roman Ramos also visiting its gravel.
Lorenzo Savadori had a trouble-free session on the Milwaukee Aprilia which is working well at Donington. The Italian ended the day in third place and half a second behind Rea with Alex Lowes in close attendance.
Lowes managed a 1’28.567 on the Pata Yamaha to stay in front of Eugene Laverty’s Aprilia whose best of 1’28.50 was enough for fifth place.
Michael van der Mark bounced back from a weird front-end crash at Hollywood to bag sixth place with Leon Haslam seventh. The Derby rider ran on at Melbourne three times and a big moment exiting the same corner put the kybosh on his fastest potential lap.
Loris Baz continued his form from the wet sessions, taking seventh place with wilcard Bradley Rea relishing the mixed conditions to finish in ninth place and grab an automatic qualifying two spot.
Marco Melandri was the last of the automatic Q2 men, keeping tenth place by the skin of his teeth to finish as the top Ducati runner. Wildcard Luke Mossey put in a good showing to take 11th place with Toptratz in 12th.
As predicted by himself this morning, Leon Camier struggled as the track dried but still managed 13th place with Nico Canepa and Mercado completing the top 15. Davies ended in 6th with Mason Law 18th and Gino Rea 21st.