Rea fastest in Assen FP1

Rea kicks Ten Kate Honda's home event off in style by cruising to the fastest time in Assen FP1
Jonathan Rea has drawn first blood during first free practice for the fourth round of the 2010 World Superbike Championship in Holland, the Honda rider dominating throughout.

An adopted home race for Rea, by virtue of Assen being Ten Kate's local event, Rea immediately moved to the top of the timesheets and would remain there for the session's entirety.

Indeed, Rea's best lap of 1min 36.789secs was set within the first six minutes, the Northern Irishman commanding a lead of well over a second for some time.

Eventually, his rivals closed the gap, although only one other rider would get below 1min 37secs, that being Troy Corser, the Australian suggesting that BMW's much improved pace at Valencia was by no means a one-off.

Cal Crutchlow was third quickest on the Yamaha Sterilgarda, ahead of championship leader Leon Haslam in fourth and Jakub Smrz, the Ducati rider ensuring five different manufacturers fill the top five positions.

As was the case at times in Valencia, it was a good session for Ducati as a manufacturer, albeit only in a privateer capacity with Carlos Checa and Shane Byrne going sixth and seventh for Althea, while Luca Scassa popped up into the top ten on the steadily improving Supersonic machine.

Michel Fabrizio did get his Xerox entry into the top ten in eighth, although team-mate Noriyuki Haga could only manage 16th fastest – 1.7secs behind Rea – having dwindled in the lower reaches of the top twenty for most of the hour.

James Toseland was ninth fastest on the second Yamaha R1, while title contender Max Biaggi was the top Aprilia rider in 11th position.

Over at Kawasaki, Chris Vermeulen's tentative return to competition saw him score the 19th fastest time, albeit 1.7secs slower than team-mate Tom Sykes in 14th place.

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Iggy - Unregistered

April 23, 2010 4:02 PM

The factory Ducati team really seem to really be missing Tardozzi. It's very embarassing when the privateer Ducati teams are consistently out-performing them.

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