Former WorldSBK Champion Tom Sykes stamped his authority on the second free practice session at Donington Park this lunchtime, topping the timesheets with a half-second advantage over team-mate Jonathan Rea.
On a drying track following this morning biblical deluge, Sykes was the only man under the 1’39s barrier with a 1’38.593 and reigning champion Rea had no answer, setting a 1’39.106 with his final lap.
Pata Yamaha’s Alex Lowes was in and around the top five for the whole 40-minute session, eventually ending in third place with a 1’39.432 but he had Red Bull Honda’s Leon Camier in close proximity.
The former BSN champ is quite thankful for the wet conditions as it’s not as tough on his battered body but Camier told bikesportnews.com in between sessions he is still in quite a lot of pain. However, it didn’t stop him posting a 1’39.886.
Loris Baz is showing his wet weather form, ending the session in fifth place on the Althea BMW, one ahead of Lorenzo Savadori who put in a last-ditch effort to bag sixth place with a 1’39.933.
Xavi Fores was languishing right at the foot of the times until the final minutes, but he found some pace to drag himself into seventh place which also puts him top Ducati. Marco Melandri was next along but is 1.774s slower than Sykes.
Chaz Davies is definitely having no fun, sitting down in ninth place when he needs to finish with a big points haul this weekend but his Aruba Ducati team have pulled results out of the bag from worse positions that this over a weekend.
Britain’s Gino Rea managed to get inside the top ten on his BSB-spec OMG Suzuki, putting in a 1’40.669 without the benefit of a full electronics suite. He finished just ahead of Michael Rinaldi who, in turn, was one ahead of Luke Mossey who is using full electronics for the first time.
Eugene Laverty was right on the pace early doors but he dropped back to 13th while Leon Haslam is struggling in 14th place on his home track. Michael van der Mark, struck down by food poisoning earlier in the week, completes the top 15.
BSB’s Mason Law finished in 18th and Bradley Ray in 24th.