Chaz Davies bounced back from a free practice one spill to take the best lap time on day one of WorldSBK practice in Qatar, with the Welshman 0.273 seconds ahead of Jonathan Rea and 0.318 seconds better than his team-mate Alvaro Bautista.
Davies set a 1’57.449 which knocked Kawasaki’s Rea off the top of the pile and the five-time champion’s fastest of the session, a 1’57.722, wasn’t enough to retake the lead.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) began his final Kawasaki race weekend in fourth place, with his 2020 team-mate Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) fifth on a 1’58.028 and the top BMW of Tom Sykes sixth.
Sykes had just got into the top ten during free practice one but found 1.2s in between sessions to put himself firm at the sharp end.
Alex Lowes (Yamaha) some 0.854 seconds behind Davies, was seventh and the final rider within a second of the leader at this long 5.380km circuit. The soon-to-be Kawasaki man only found a tenth between the two practices.
Markus Reiterberger (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was eighth after posting the 11th fastest time this morning while compatriot, Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha) finished ninth and Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) rounded out the top ten.
Eugene Laverty jumped ahead of Leon Haslam, who is clearly struggling at a track where he is usually fast, for 11th place with Michael Rinaldi, Marco Melandri and Tati Mercado rounding out the top 15.
Leon Camier put his Honda in 17th overall cutting his best lap by eight-tenths from first practice.