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WSBK Assen: Sykes splashes to top FP1 time

26 April 2013

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The third round of the 2013 World Superbike Championship has kicked off with Tom Sykes topping first free practice at a wet Assen in a session truncated by a crash for Pata Honda's Leon Haslam.

With wet and cool conditions blighting the session from start-to-finish, Sykes's benchmark time would come in the first 15mins and remain good enough to the chequered flag, albeit some 25secs down on Jonathan Rea's lap record.

Finishing comfortably ahead of Sylvain Guintoli and Marco Melandri as the only other riders to get beneath 2mins, Aragon double winner Chaz Davies was fourth best, ahead of Haslam, whose crash with three minutes remaining prompted the red flags and ultimately the end of the session.

Crashing at turn seven, Haslam – who is competing at Pata Honda's home circuit this weekend – has been taken to the medical centre for checks.

Haslam wasn't the only rider to suffer in the tricky conditions, with Davide Giugliano, Loris Baz and Alexander Lundh all coming down, albeit without consequence.

Elsewhere on the timesheets, Jules Cluzel headed up Ayrton Badovini in sixth and seventh, while Leon Camier defied pre-event predictions to get out on his Fixi Crescent Suzuki and lap in eighth best despite his injured knee.

Alstare Ducati rider Carlos Checa and HTM BMW's Ivan Clementi rounded out the top ten, albeit four seconds adrift of pace setter Sykes.

Lap record holder Rea, meanwhile, completed just three slow laps before deciding to pull into the pit lane for the remainder of the session.


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