Laguna WorldSBK: Rea stays top despite front-end crash

Picture: GeeBee Images

Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea stayed at the top of the Laguna WorldSBK times in free practice three despite crashing in the middle of what had been a blistering race simulation.

The reigning champion went down at turn five after completing ten laps of the simulation that had seen the Irishman put in nine in the 1’23s bracket, four of which were faster than the best lap of next best rider Marco Melandri. He walked away from the incident.

The Italian Aruba Ducati man narrowly improved his best time for the day, dropping to a 1’23.458 compared to this morning’s 1’23.489 after crashing at the Corkscrew in the second session. Tom Sykes remained in third overall despite not finding any extra pace in the third period.

Lorenzo Salvadori survived two trips into the gravel to set the fourth best time. The Milwaukee Aprilia man put in a 1’23.510 to budge team-mate Eugene Laverty down a spot. The Monaco resident had upped his game from FP1 to sit in fourth on a 1’23.586 but Savadori had other ideas.

Chaz Davies upped his game by two-tenths to end the day on a 1’23.635 after bailing out of a potential third-placed lap but he was under fire from Pata Yamaha’s Alex Lowes, who finished half a tenth behind the Welshman.

Leon Camier made it into qualifying two by right, going fifth fastest at the halfway mark but he then slipped back to eighth, one ahead of Jordi Torres on the MV Agusta. Xavi Fores was the last man into Q2 automatically, which means Michael van der Mark will have to battle with Loris Baz and Topratz in qualifying one tomorrow.

American Jake Gagne and Josh Herrin wrapped up the top 15. Rookie Karel Hanika made it off the bottom of the pile, nicking 19th place from Yonny Hernandez but then crashed at session end.

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